Spring Buying Tips

Author profile image

An Economist’s 3 Tips for Spring Home Buying in a Sellers’ Market

By: 

In many parts of the country (OK, not Boston), the busy spring home-buying sea

son is already underway—March typically ushers in a significant increase in home searches online. This year, even more people than last year are jumping into the search process as a result of improving financial circumstances, like a new job, or life events, like a new baby.

IMG_9615

That said, many users of this website report that it’s still difficult to find a home that fits their needs and budget. That means this process may take longer than you expect. So, like the Fed keeps telling us, be patient. And be prepared.

1. Consider your alternatives

Mortgage rates are low for now, but they’ll be moving up, and likely remain volatile, in the months ahead. In any case, the average interest rate you see in the news is not necessarily the rate that will apply to you.

The specific rate you get is a product of several factors, including the lender, the loan type, when you applied, the home and its location, the nature of the purchase, and, of course, your credit history and financial circumstances.

What you can afford to buy is significantly affected by the specific mortgage options available to you. A 10-basis-point difference on a mortgage rate has a 1.2% impact on your monthly payment, so what seems like a minor difference from one rate to another can really add up. Plus, if you can’t afford a 20% down payment, you’ll also face mortgage insurance premiums that get added to the monthly payment.

Due to recent changes by housing agencies, you now have more options for low-down-payment programs and even lower mortgage insurance premiums than were available just a few months ago. But that also means you need to think through what is best for you and your circumstances. Our Mortgage 101 crash course is an excellent way to quickly learn the basics about mortgages.

2. Consider new construction

If you are shopping in an area where new homes are being built, don’t assume a brand-new home is out of your price range. While new-home prices have indeed increased at a faster rate than existing-home prices in recent years, that’s partly because low demand from first-time buyers encouraged builders to feature bigger and more expensive homes. In some parts of the country, we are seeing builders open up more affordable communities.

For example, in markets like the greater Cincinnati; Chicago; Washington, DC; and Raleigh, NC, areas, substantial portions of new homes for sale are within budget for households earning the median income for the area.

Having a new home built for you is one way to solve the problem of not being able to find a home on the market that fits your needs. That’s exactly what I did 20 years ago when I bought my first home.

3. Consider an expert local Realtor

The single best piece of advice I can give anyone looking to buy a home is simple: Find an expert local Realtor® to help you through the home-buying journey. All three of those words are important.

When I say “expert,” I mean a professional with substantial experience and insight. This is critical to helping you find the right neighborhood and home, negotiating the best deal for you, and completing the process as smoothly as possible.

“Local” means someone who knows your real estate market, neighborhood, and streets intimately.

And finally, “Realtor” should not be taken for granted as just another name for a real estate agent. A Realtor is a real estate professional who is a member of the National Association of Realtors® and subscribes to its strict code of ethics. That standard of professionalism is important.

Congratulations on making it to this point! You may have weathered an economic storm, but now you’re able to consider buying a home. Buying a home is a journey, but if you follow these tips, you’ll be well on your way.

As chief economist of realtor.com®, Jonathan Smoke leads its efforts to develop and translate real estate data and trends into accurate and relevant consumer and industry insights on housing.

Category : Blog

About Us

Since 1970 Rinetti & Co. Realtors has been selling residential and commercial real estate throughout the greater East Bay. We are boutique real estate company with a single focus, exceptional customer service from start to finish. Rinetti & Co. Realtors has the experience and practical knowledge to adapt to changing market conditions while providing our clients expert advise when buying or selling a home. If you’re considering making a move please contact us and see the difference Rinetti & Co. Realtors can make for you.

Testimonials

The only realtors in San Leandro...You will not meet two finer or more ethical realtors. The best! - Gary S.

Rinetti & Co. turned out to be the perfect place for me to do business...I would not hesitate to recommend their services to anyone buying or selling property. - Mary K.

...As I am sure you are aware, a house is stucco, wood and nails, but a home is where a lifetime of memories are created. Our mother was very proud of her home, it meant so much to her.

- Trent B.

...Thanks for your patience, guidance & professionalism, you made this experience a great one that we will never forget...We can’t thank you enough, thanks a bunch!!! - Rocio R.

If anyone in the East Bay is looking to buy or sell a home, please consider my friends and agents Tianne Rinetti-Vittoria and Perry Vittoria! They helped us buy our house and did an amazing job! They go above and beyond.”

- Chris S.


San Leandro Office
1103 MacArthur Boulevard
San Leandro, CA 94577

(510) 568-6171

Pleasanton Office
231 Old Bernal Avenue, Suite 5B
Pleasanton, CA 94566
(925) 364-5013

Email Us

CA BRE Lic. #01461822

Send to Friend

Email Agent