To buy a house or not to a buy a house, that is the question. It’s a big decision, some would say due to the huge impact it can have on your lives it’s the biggets decision you’ve ever made. Some people will tell you to buy a house right away, others will tell you to wait a few years. These opinions vary between friends, family members, co-workers, even Mom and Dad might disagree on the right thing for you to do. Who’s right, what should you do?
Well, the short answer is that it’s completely up to you. You should rely on the advice of friends and family, their experiences can save you a lot of trouble, but in the end no one can make this decision but you and your spouse. As a Realtor, I get asked all the time by nervous buyers whether I think they are making the right decision and while I am happy to give advice, my answer is always the same, it doesn’t matter what I think, because in the end YOU will be living in whatever home you buy and YOU will be paying for it. For that reason and that reason alone, you need to tune out everyone else’s opinions and focus on what you want to do.
Contrary to what folks in my industry say, it’s not always the right time to buy. That however, has nothing to do with market conditions; “good” market or “bad” market is irrelevant. Whether or not it’s the right time to buy depends on you and your future plans. If you think you will be moving within 2-4 years, I would suggest renting a cheaper home and saving your money. The average home appreciates a little each year, historically, but given the large amount of money you put out for down payment and closing costs to buy, then the closing costs needed to sell, it is rare to be able to sell within the first 4 years of ownership and not have to bring a check to settlement. Also, if you think you’re employment is unstable or if you have credit problems, you might be better off renting for a little while longer until you get things under control.
Everyone has an opinion on Market Conditions and what that means to home buyers. Most opinions on market conditions are because many of the so-called “experts” in the media quote national trends and statistics. That simply is not an accurate picture of what is happening in real estate. All markets are local and what real estate prices are doing in Las Vegas has no impact on what the prices are doing in Lancaster County PA. So don’t base your decision on what you read in the paper. Base your decision on what is happening locally, in your town. Are the jobs stable? Is the local economy OK? Talk to some local experts and see what they say.
That being said, if you are planning on staying for at least the next 5-7 years, or longer, have stable income and good credit, buying makes sense, for a number of reasons. First off, it is your home, you can do what you want, when you want, no need to ask anyone’s permission to paint or remodel. Second, the interest is tax deductible, and there are also tax credits for certain repairs and improvements, so financially it makes much more sense than renting.
So, if buying is right for you, or if you don’t know if it’s right for you and you want to talk to someone, the most important step you can make is the one most people accomplish by accident….. talk to a Realtor. Over 60% of home buyers use the first Realtor they meet, generally what they do is go out looking at houses and if they find one they like end up using whichever agent happens to be there.. Sometimes that works out great, others times they wish they would have made a different choice.
There is no question about it, you should not attempt buying a home without the help of a Realtor, the process is too complicated, the problems that may arise too vast. But picking the first one you meet or just using whoever was at the open house you dropped into might not be right for you. I’m sure, in planning your wedding (if you’re married), you talked to more than one florist, more than one baker, more than one seamstress for the dress. what about that vacation you just took? You researched, planned, shopped around. You left nothing to chance. So why not do that when selecting a Realtor to help you make the biggest financial decision of your life.
Call me, I’d love to help you decide if I am the right person to help you. I’d say I am but I’m pretty biased so you might want to ask me a few questions to, go ahead, I don’t mind. Ask your friends and family if they know of any agents you should interview. Look at the areas you want to purchase in and see which agents are selling homes there already. Go search online, review their websites and blogs. Then go meet with them, ask them about the process, see what services they offer, how they do business, and then select who you are going to work with. Picking the agent before picking the home ensures you will have a committed, competent professional working for you, helping you make the right choice for your future. Good luck and Happy Home Buying!
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If you have questions, need real estate advice or want to buy or sell a home, you can call or text me at 717-371-0557, email me at Jason@JasonsHomes.com or contact me at the office at 717-490-8999!
Your Friend in Real Estate,
Weichert, Realtors – Engle & Hambright