After the "doom and gloom" that seems to be all over the news regarding the real estate and mortgage markets, NOW is the time to stop thinking about purchasing a home and get out there and actually BUY one!
It's time to stop putting it off. Contact your favorite real estate agent (or ask me to recommend one to you) and start shopping. Yes, the market is a bit crazy right now, but there are some big deals out there, and signs that it is stabilizing.
I have been in this business for over a decade and I can tell you that I have NEVER seen the amount of inventory that we have now. Some markets are reporting a backlog of six to nine months or more of real estate inventory. That is because no one is out there buying. They're apprehensive, they're nervous, and they're missing out on all the deals. Let their indecisiveness work to your advantage!
When I go to the car dealership to buy a new car, I like to have choices. I am not happy when I show up and there are only two or three cars on the lot. When there are limited choices, I feel like I am being forced to set for less than what I want.
The real estate market had been like that for years. Up until the past year or two, a client would call, we'd figure out price range and area of interest, and there would be maybe three or four houses for them to look at and choose from. And if they did not act quickly, they could miss the boat completely. And price negotiating? Forget about it! With such little inventory moving so quickly, you needed to offer asking price (or more ) or you would not be taken seriously.
Now things are different. There are ten, fifteen, or even TWENTY properties or more to choose from! It is a buyer's market (meaning there are more properties available than there are buyers to buy them, which gives you the upper hand.) You will have an easier time finding exactly what you want and you will have a better chance of getting it for the price you want, too.
And do not be overly concerned with financing. Rates are still near record lows. Yes, many of the more aggressive mortgage products have been discontinued. The days of buying a home using 100% financing are just about gone, but there are still low down payment programs available. Look into FHA if you are a First Time Home Buyer or a 5% down Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac mortgage if you have owned a home in the past three years.
You should still be cautious when shopping for a mortgage, though. I recommend that you speak with your real estate agent. He or she will know exactly who the banks and mortgage companies are in your area that you can trust. Let them refer you and you should have no problem.
And if you are a First Time Home Buyer, do not forget about the $ 7,500 Tax Credit that you will receive if you purchase a home between now April 9, 2008 and July 1, 2009. Thanks to the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 , the federal government is rewarding you nicely for taking advantage of this market!
So the bottom line is to get out there! Talk to your agent, get pre-approved for your mortgage, and take advantage of all the deals that are available before it's too late!