With all that’s been going on in 2021, it might feel like a bad time to buy a home. Sales are down, sellers are pulling out, and buyers just don’t feel comfortable spending money right now. However, whether or not you should be buying a house right now is not necessarily dependent on the current situation. Whenever you choose to go through a transaction of this size there are several variables everyone should take into account no matter what.
Consider your finances
This applies no matter what is going on in the world, but it’s more important than ever when the market is uneasy. Have you checked your credit score? Do you have enough savings for a down payment? Do you get a steady paycheck? These are all things that banks will want to see and also factors you should feel comfortable with when buying a home. Elias Legra, Real Estate Consultant from Legra Realty (a MAJORITY partner) also reminds us that “the cardinal rule with banks is that to get a house loan, you've got to have two years in the country.”
Check the interest rate
Average mortgage rates have been at an all-time low for a while. But banks are being pickier about who they give loans to and they may want to see a larger down payment from buyers than normal. This goes back to our first point about having a strong financial history. Because when you do, you can get a very attractive rate, regardless of the market.
Be aware of the market (and the seller’s situation)
Normally, spring is the optimum time for selling a home. However, in periods of uncertainty, homeowners might sell at any time. This can be good news for buyers: a seller that needs the money soon might be willing to sell at a lower price than normal.
Allow plenty of time
House hunting, negotiating the price, getting your mortgage approved, appraisals–every step towards your new home may take days, even weeks. So, allocate plenty of time for the whole process. That also goes for when it comes time to close on the home and sign paperwork. Let’s just say, do not plan your house-warming party until you have the keys securely in your hand.
Real estate agents are your friend
While we always think it’s great to have someone walk you through the home buying process, especially if it’s your first time, you’ll really need them now. Agents are on your side and will be able to tell you what trends they’re seeing and what the market looks like for both buyers and sellers. Ask your friends and family if they have worked with a real estate agent that they trust for a referral. “It fills me with pride when I help a family to buy their house and see them a step closer to achieving the dreams they had when they came to the US,” says Veronica Rios, a Real Estate agent from Walzel Properties LLC, in Texas.
It’s OK to decide it’s not the right time
When it comes to your finances, you should only make decisions with which you are comfortable. If you’re studying the housing market in your area and it doesn’t feel right, then don’t do it. Homes will always be for sale and the perfect one is somewhere out there.
Now just might not be the right time, and that’s OK.
We’re here to help you through some of your biggest financial decisions. Check out MAJORITY’s community for more helpful info on finances and settling down in the US.