The National Association of Realtors® posted on May 14th a slideshow on Economic and Market issues and outlook. The slides show home price trends increasing, and seasonal differences in pending and home sales; as well as projections of home sales into 2016. Graphs also depict declining affordability; as well as regional differences (Northeast trend is not promising). Projections of existing homes sales for 2015 and 2016 are very optimistic; and time will tell if those projections hold true.
But If you’re following Montgomery County MD home sales, April 2015 sold homes increased 10% from last year, but is 2% lower from the same in 2013, and 8% lower from the same time in 2010!
Sales data is inclusive of homes listed in MRIS. Home sales data compiled from local MLS, MRIS.com; Property information posted on this site is believed to be accurate, but should not be relied upon without verification.
Home buying tips and fundamentals for
first time home buyers
Don’t let your first time home buying experience be overwhelming. Before you plan your Sunday trip to open houses, it’s important to review the fundamentals and make sure you are going into your home purchase fully aware of the responsibility you are about to take on, as well as prepare you for the process and pitfalls that may come your way.
The first item on the list is to determine how much you can afford. Affordability is determined by your financial state and interest rates. Your financial state includes factors such as your income, debt, savings, and expenses. Interest rates impact on your ability to purchase a home because your monthly payment is based on the rate you lock into; the higher the rate, the higher your payment. To determine how much you can afford, you need to contact a mortgage lender for a pre-approval (I am happy to provide you with several names of licensed loan officers).
Once you know how much you can afford, make a housing budget. Making a housing budget can help you understand your expenses, which included utilities, maintenance, and other expenses such as cable and internet. Additionally, take into account any interest rate adjustment (if you have an adjustable rate mortgage) and increasing real estate taxes. Many first time home buyers get into trouble because they underestimate their monthly housing expenses.
Knowing your rights as a home buyer can help you too. Learn about consumer protection laws such as RESPA (Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act), Equal Credit Opportunity Act, Fair Credit Reporting Act, and the Truth in Lending Act. You can get more information about these laws from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (consumerfinance.gov).
As a first time home buyer it is important to know that you have the right to choose your service providers (except for certain circumstances), such as real estate agent, lender, title attorney, insurance provider, etc.
Your next step will be to choose a real estate agent. It is recommended to interview several agents before choosing as your agent will be your trusted guide through the home buying process. A good buyer agent is not only a good negotiator, but does their best to protect your interests.
For more information, please contact me or complete the form below:
The “first rule” of negotiation is to not be emotional. However, many decisions about buying and selling a home are often based on emotion; furthermore, home buyer’s and seller’s expectation and anticipation can also influence decisions.
Stick to the facts. Armed with data and facts, there is less guessing and you are more likely to be persuasive in your arguments. Additionally, relying on facts will also help you stay focused on the larger picture of buying or selling your home. Realistic expectations can be had by comparing recent neighborhood comps to your home rather than relying on what you hear on the news about national stats. Being factual can also help negotiate home inspection repairs and other items you may need to address in your transaction.
Local Real Estate Expert – Dan is a trusted and respected real estate agent who has been writing about local real estate for the Montgomery County Sentinel since 2005. Dan creates comprehensive pricing analysis and unique marketing plans for home sellers, buyers, and other professionals.
The Maryland Association of Realtors reported that home sales are reaching equilibrium as February sales increased 16.3% compared to February 2014, but average home prices fell 3.8%, according to the March 24th press release. Home absorption has increased as Home listing inventory increased 7.3%, while there has been a slight decline in months of inventory.
MAR President Janice Kirkner was quoted to say in the release: “As we have anticipated, homebuyers are actively engaged in the market”…”pending units are up by 17.8 percent, and indication of continued strong activity.”