More and more people are coming out from their home-buying holding areas, ready to make a move this spring. But this is not the same market of one or two years ago, and emerging into this brave new world of real estate has some reeling.
So what makes a wise buy for smart-Mass. people looking for homes in the hopping Arlington area? Here are a few scenarios:
· Buying the cheapest house on the nicest block (or town) and fixing it up. Assuming you have the time and means to do so.
· Buying at the higher end of your budget if you a) plan to stay, or b) buy in an area known for real estate stability and appreciation.
· Buying at the lower end of your budget if you a) plan to renovate, b) don't plan on staying long
· Are able to negotiate fix-ups into the cost of the home (new roof, new furnace, etc.)
· Buying near a good school if you have kids
· Buying near public transportation if you have to commute
Maybe these seem obvious, but there are many buyers reacting rashly right now without looking at the bigger picture. Yes prices are rising and inventory is low, but there is no need for outright panic. The impact of low interest rates on the relative cost of a home still makes buying worth it in the long run, you just might need some additional time and effort to find something that's a fit.
So what's the wisest move of all? Knowing when to up the ante on an offer for a home you truly love, and knowing when to walk away when it becomes more than you bargained for.
Smart sellers, it really doesn't get any better than this. A culmination of low interest rates, a backlog of home buyers that are ready and able to get in the game, and little competition (for now) have made the real estate market very attractive for sellers.
Sellers who have been holding out and hoping prices will continue to rise so they can get an even higher price for their home are playing a game of Risk. No one knows how long interest rates will remain this low, and the market is so enticing right now that competition among sellers is heating-up.
So buyers and sellers, here's our tip of the day: Today's wise buys will prevail with patience, persistence, and purchase power. Smart sellers will get in the game while the getting's good and make the most of demand that's out there.