Should I Buy a Home This Winter?
Purchasing a home, especially for first-time homebuyers, is a highly personal decision. It’s not so much a question of whether it’s the right time to buy, but whether it’s the right time for you to buy.
So instead of asking the question should I buy a home this winter, ask the question am I ready to buy a home now?
Is It The Right Time For You To Buy?
Here are some questions you can ask yourself to help determine if you are ready to purchase a home:
- Do I have job security?
- Am I ready to settle down in one location long-term?
- Is my credit in good condition?
- Do I have a good rent history?
- Do I know how much house I can afford?
- Do I have savings for a down payment and closing costs?
Your answers to these questions can help determine if you are ready and they can also determine what areas you may need to work on before you decide to buy. It’s also important to note that your savings are necessary for a down payment and closing costs may look very different depending on what loan program you choose.
Some home loan programs require no down payment. Other loan programs come with down payment assistance grants for qualifying borrowers.
There are a lot of options, so familiarizing yourself with the various loan programs can also help you determine how to prepare. The best way to do this is to speak with a loan specialist directly and allow them to assess your current situation and provide any necessary recommendations to get you to the next step or to get you started with the pre-approval process!
Current Housing Market Trends
Increasing mortgage rates have failed to stem the tide of rising home prices. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the median home sales price increased every month and reached its record high of $413,800 in June before finally dipping in July. While there are definitely housing markets where prices are cooling off, overall demand is still keeping in step with supply.
We will most likely not see home prices decrease overall until supply is outpacing demand. That being said, there are some promising signs that the housing market will start to slow down soon and shift to more of a buyer’s market as opposed to a seller’s market.
While home prices have not cooled down quickly, there has been a surge of increased inventory, which points to a more balanced housing market in the future. Homebuyers are slowly gaining back more negotiating power, homes are on the market for longer, and we are seeing more price decreases in homes for sale.
A report from NAR showed a 0.4% decline in existing home sales in August, making this a steady decline for seven months straight now, another indicator that the housing market is gradually shifting away from a seller’s market.
What to Expect in Winter 2022
What can homebuyers expect in the winter? Should you buy a home in the winter? Between October and February, the housing market typically goes into its “off-season”. Most homebuyers want to purchase during the summer when they have the time and flexibility of moving before the school year begins. With school in session, the housing market typically starts slowing down.
Homebuyers house-hunting in the market’s off-season can typically expect to see less competition and lower home prices. It’s important to note that the “off-season” does not always last as long as predicted. In 2022, the spring season for the housing market started as early as January.
This goes to show that while we can forecast the housing market as much as possible, it is never possible to fully predict consumer habits and environmental factors that can drastically affect the housing market. This is why experts urge homebuyers to not try to time the housing market and instead focus on their own finances and getting as prepared as possible to purchase a home. In an unpredictable housing market, it is also important to be flexible.
Maybe you intended to make a 20% down payment, but maybe that’s simply not possible with current mortgage rates. Even if the terms and financing of your mortgage loan are not exactly as you planned, the benefits of entering the housing market sooner outweigh the losses if you wait.
Contact a Loan Specialist
The best way to assess whether or not you’re ready to enter the housing market is to contact a loan specialist! The loan specialists at VeteransLoans.com can assess your current financial situation and credit, help you understand how much house you can afford, and help you determine what home loan product would work to help you meet your goals for homeownership! Call 1 (888) 232-1428 to get started!