5 Reasons Home Ownership Should be #1 on your February To-do List
Winter is a Great Time to Buy
Can you believe it's February? It seems the days since we welcomed in 2015 have passed faster than the Starship Enterprise at warp speed! But the year is still young so If home ownership is one of your New Year's Resolutions, now is a great time to begin the journey. Yes, I know, it’s darn cold here in the Twin Cities and you are happy enjoying your warm fires and cozy corners but don’t wait until the tulips are in bloom to start looking for a home. Pull on your boots and dig out your scarfs and mittens because here are 5 great reasons to buy a home now.
1. Less Competition
Spring brings droves of buyers out of winter hibernation looking for homes. As a wiley winter buyer you will face less competition for available homes, tipping the scales in your favor. Even though there are more listings to choose from in spring, chances are the home of your dreams may very likely be the dream home of other buyers as well. When this happens, you may find yourself in a bidding war or at the very least feel pressured to offer a higher price and make more concessions to the seller than you had planned in order “to get” that house before your competition steps in with a better offer.
2. Winter Buyers Enjoy Lower Prices and More Leverage
Spring rains cause rivers, creeks and home prices to rise. Historical data supports higher listing prices for homes in spring and summer months. It is not uncommon for a seller with a desirable property to receive more than one offer which results in less opportunity for you the buyer to negotiate price and conditions of the sale. In winter however, fewer buyers in the market inspire sellers not to let a good one off the hook by haggling over the price and the small stuff so chances are you can work out a better deal all around.
3. Buy While Interest Rates are Low
Right now 30 year fixed mortgage interest rates are below 4% (3.75% this morning to be exact) which is fantastic! Although no one has a crystal ball and can predict when, how fast, or how much rates will rise, most market analyists agree that they will go up in the second half of this year. But don't take my word for it, check out this great article by Kiplinger on the outlook for mortgages in 2015. And remember, the lower the interest rate, the more home you will be able to afford which can make a significant impact in your home buying options.
4. Favorable Lending Conditions
If you are a first time home buyer who has been locked out because you didn’t have a 20% down payment, your time has arrived. Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae will now back mortgages with as little as 3% down. Banks are doing their part too by easing up a bit on credit requirements. Also noteworthy and significant on the mortgage front, last week FHA announced a .5% reduction in the PMI rate! What does this mean for you the buyer? It can mean a reduction of $75 to $125 a month in your payment, or in other terms, a $15,000-$40,000 increase in your purchasing power. Better yet, this reduction is not credit score-dependent.
5. Buy in Winter, Enjoy the Summer
So if you want to buy your home in 2015, why wait? If you buy while the snow is still flying, you can move in Spring and enjoy our beautiful Twin Cities in summer just the way you always do. While all those other buyers are busy looking at homes, attending open houses, and talking to banks you can be relaxing on the deck of your beautiful new home, cool drink in hand, reading that great summer novel and smelling the roses!
So what do you say? My Minnesota Property Group team and I are standing by and ready to help. Let’s get started. Begin your search on our website. We have great information for buyers and an awesome property search tool. Check out our community information and our blog. Questions? Please call, email or text, we have answers.