Advice on Buying a Home in MN
When you make the transition from renter to owner, you become the recipient of many benefits, both practical ones, and emotional ones as well. For many people, homeownership is an important rite of passage on the highway into adulthood, probably second only to becoming a parent. Why? Because owning a home enables you to assume more control of two very important aspects of your life; your net worth and your personal environment. Most people would find that pretty exciting stuff! Many of us, when we become adults especially, want to have as much control over our lives as possible, or at least feel that we do!
So if 2018 is your year to purchase that downtown Minneapolis loft, starter home in the burbs, or downsize to the townhome you have always dreamed of, we have some great tips we are dying to share with you.
Prepare Your Finances
If you haven’t already done so, contact a mortgage broker or banker and get pre-approved. This is the only way to know for certain how much house you can afford to buy and what amount of cash you will require for a down payment and closing costs. Online calculators are fine for giving you a ballpark idea but there are too many other factors to consider. If you start looking at properties that are out of your reach, the reality of what you can afford may seem less appealing and sabotage your home buying experience or at the very least, waste your valuable time.
October Twin Cities Housing Market
As we approach the end of the year, it appears that the Twin Cities housing market story for 2017 is pretty much repeating the theme of strong and persistent demand for housing with an ever-shrinking supply of homes to buy below $500,000. We shouldn’t be surprised at the continuation of this trend when we look at interest rates and our local economy.
The 30-year mortgage interest rate dipped from 4.3% to 3.9%, an amazing bargain when you consider the long-term average rate is 8%. While nationally the unemployment rate is 4.1, in our own Minneapolis-St. Paul Metro it is 2.9, the third lowest metro unemployment rate in the country. Our thriving economy is diverse and vibrant, our workforce talented, our schools first-rate and with a robust arts community and 4-season recreation options makes our quality of life second to none. It’s no wonder we have one of the highest homeownership scores in the nation.
As we take a closer look at the statistics for October this year versus last year, we find new listings increased 3.1% although inventory of homes available fell a whopping 18%. This puts the month's supply of inventory at 2.2 which is 18.5% lower than last year. An undeterred 4994 buyers closed on a home last month, up 0.3% and pending sales were also up 3.9% from same time last year. Homes sold faster for more money, selling on an average of 52 days compared to 61 while the median sale price rose by 6.1% to $244,000.
Should I Buy a Home This Winter or Wait for Spring?
If you are a Twin Cities’ buyer that missed out on snaring a deal this past spring or summer, you might be asking yourself, your family, your friends and your realtor whether or not you should keep your search ongoing or simply hunker down for the winter months and venture forth again when the forsythia bloom. Maybe you just started the process and are thinking of putting it on hold until the new year arrives or wondering if there is an advantage to staying the course. As a realtor, I can tell you that I am being asked that question from many of my clients, especially the first time buyers.Because everyone has a story and no personal situation is exactly the same, there is no right or wrong answer. But generally speaking, I tell my buyers that nobody is too cool for thermal underwear in Minnesota. Let’s get some and keep looking for that home. Patience is a virtue and tenacity pays off in the end. To those just getting started in the process, if you have your pre-approval letter in hand start your search and if not get that preliminary work completed and then press go! Now before you get out your list of 7 reasons why you shouldn’t go out in the cold, here are my 7 reasons why house hunting this winter is an excellent idea.
Winter Sellers Are Serious Sellers
Generally speaking, homeowners that choose to put their house up for sale in the winter months have a compelling reason to do so. It may be they are facing a job-related...