Is Now a Good Time to Buy a House?
Hi Taylor - My husband and I were thinking of buying a house in the spring but held off because of everything that’s going on. What are you thinking might happen with the market in the next few months? - Valerie
Hey Valerie - I’ve been trying to stay out of the prediction game in 2020 since every month seems to throw a new wrench in our gears. Honestly, I feel like house prices will be all over the place depending on where you live and what’s in the news that week. Some points to consider:
1. Springs sales may have moved to summer. Most realtors I have talked to are seeing good signs after a shaky March, April and May. Confidence plays a massive role in house prices, so the drop in stock prices sent a lot of people running scared. Even though unemployment numbers are relatively high, a large cross-section of the population hasn’t felt the economic hit and is regaining confidence in real estate. Who knows when things will change again, but right now it looks like there might be a summer surge that could, in part, make up for any dip in the spring.
2. Keep an eye on the renters market. Property owners haven’t seen a fallout in home prices, but we might be looking at more and more empty rentals if we can’t move forward with a safe reopening. If workers have to move out of apartments because they can’t afford rent, and then landlords can’t find people to fill those vacancies, we’ll suddenly have a ripple effect that will touch all sectors. If you see a rise in empty rentals, it might be a good time to put in a low bid on a house and see what happens. Don’t forget to look at other market indicators while you’re checking the house trades.
3. Be conservative. I’m all for homebuying, especially if you’ve saved up a good down payment and have a steady income. However, with things being what they are, you should make sure you’re not rushing a decision or taking on more debt than you can handle. Consider that it takes a few months for a sale to finalize, and then think about how much things have changed in just the last three or four months. Maybe this ends up being the perfect time to buy a home, but if you have any doubts you should give serious thought before acting. It’d put a strain on your finances if you took on a mortgage and then you or your husband got laid off the following week.
In short, the decision to hit pause in the spring was probably the right one. If you still have some of the same apprehensions now that you did then, sit tight. If the money is there and the perfect house pops up at the right price, go for it. Good luck!