So you’re thinking about buying a house? Maybe you’ve been renting an apartment since grad school and are ready for a little more space and a yard, or perhaps you’ve moved permanently to a remote work situation and are now dreaming seriously about that house in the country with a vegetable garden and lots of space for your young kids to play.
Whatever has inspired your homebuying dreams, now is the time to get serious about fulfilling them. The market for homebuyers hasn’t been this good in years, and here’s why:
1) Interest rates are historically low.
Mortgage interest rates are nice and low, meaning you likely won’t find a better time to take out that 15- or 30-year mortgage loan. Those lower-than-normal monthly payments mean your house-buying budget is bigger, too, if you’re looking to upgrade to a larger home or a pricier location.
30-year fixed-rate mortgages are hovering at around 3.4%, while those for 15-year-fixed rate mortgages are standing at around 2.5%. But those rates are expected to steadily move upward as the year progresses, so the sooner you can lock in a rate, the better. Keep in mind, rates are always changing – by the time you read this post from the time it publishes the rates mentioned above could change. Here’s more information about how and why this occurs.
2) You can sell your current home at a solid profit now.
With nationwide housing inventory declining nearly 30% by the end of 2020, demand for housing far outweighs current supply. That means if you already own a home and are looking to upgrade to a newer or larger one, you’re in the best seller’s market in years. But it won’t last forever. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) predicts housing inventory will gradually expand this spring, so the sooner you can get your current home on the market, the more likely you are to make a solid return when you sell. That means more funds for that down payment on your next home.
3) Home values will continue to appreciate.
Median home prices in the fourth quarter of 2020 were up 10% nationwide, reflecting the continuing shortage of inventory due to pandemic-inspired holds on both home selling and buying last year. With demand outweighing supply, home values will continue to climb. Thus, if you buy that new home now, you’ll likely only see its value grow in the months and years to come. In fact, NAR predicts a 3% overall increase in home values nationwide this year.
4) The home search and buying processes are more streamlined than ever.
Thanks to COVID-19, the home search and buying processes have completely shifted, which actually makes looking for that dream home (and financing it) easier than it’s ever been. Most real estate agents now offer virtual tours of homes to reduce in-person contact, which can help you save time on scheduling on-site visits (at least until you see a house you’re really serious about). And most financial institutions have moved to online mortgage applications, which simplifies the financing process.
5) You may have more flexibility to live where you want.
Did pandemic lockdowns put you in a work-from-home situation in 2020? If you’re like millions of other Americans, you may be working from home either most of the time or permanently. That means you have greater flexibility than ever before in choosing where to live. If you no longer have to worry about being close to the office or to the metro to make for simple commuting, now may be the time to buy that country home or a larger residence (with more home office space!) in the suburbs.
If you have stable employment and income, didn’t experience a major downturn in working hours or salary during the pandemic, you’re likely well-poised to buy a home right now. Ready to take advantage of low-interest rates and ditch the landlord payments? Jumpstart your mortgage application process with OVM Financial’s easy QuickStart application.
HOW DOES YOUR RENT COMPARE TO A MORTGAGE PAYMENT?
Use our easy rent-to-mortgage calculator to estimate how much house you can afford!