10 Reasons to Buy Now | Hudson Valley Real Estate Blog
You’ve probably heard by now that it’s a buyer’s market with Hudson Valley real estate. Well that’s true. In fact, Taft Street Realty believes that now may be one of the best times in recent history to purchase a home for sale. There are a number of different factors that when combined, create an ideal buyer's market currently happening right now! In this latest blog post, Taft Street will break down the 10 reasons to buy Hudson valley real estate, now!
Lending Criteria Easing?
So far in 2013 it looks like lending institutions are easing the qualification criteria for mortgages. We've experienced the boom days, where anyone with a pulse could get a loan, and the bust days, where banks wanted to verify a buyer's toiletry expenses before approving and funding their loan. Today, as the majority of the country inches forward in the recovery, we're starting to see and feel signs that it may soon become easier for buyers to get that home loan in Ulster County NY. Inventory levels are shrinking finally, values are or will be ticking up, and more demand from buyers is evident. With interest rates still at all-time lows, reports are now showing that there are more banks easing lending standards than there are tightening. This shift that we see coming is just another important reason to buy now!
Don't be afraid to buy now! Affordability levels are off the charts today, with home prices in many markets back to 2002 levels, if not lower! With interest rates also at ridiculously low levels, buyers today can afford Ulster County homes that they likely could never have imagined not too long ago! At Taft Street Realty, we understand buying in an uncertain market can be scary, but we know the best deals are had when the majority is asleep at the wheel! For the up & coming, younger crowd of buyers, this could very well be the best buying opportunity in their lifetime. We encourage buyers to act when the right home surfaces because we see the dynamics of the local market changing in 2013 - with conditions so good that they're likely not going to get any better!
Low Interest Rates (for now...)
Some say rates will go lower, others say they will rise, and some expect them to remain stable for the foreseeable future. From what I can tell rates are slowly going up. The way I see it, the Fed will soon have to move them up to stem an over-correction of the market; like what happened from 2001-2008. Since the country can't absorb the shock of a sudden spike in rates, the only way it can be done is with a gradual (under the radar) increase over the course of 2-3 years or more. And that is precisely what I think we are seeing. The media and other government outlets have touted stable low rates until unemployment drops. But the reality is that they are already off the historic lows and are going to continue to inch up in my humble opinion. For many of my clients here in the Hudson Valley region, even just a half percentage point jump would dramatically affect their monthly payment. I have already seen a half-point jump from as low as 3.25% in the middle of 2012 to rates as high as 3.75% and higher for some buyers today! I have no reason not to believe that, if the economy continues to improve and home prices begin to move higher, rates will continue to move higher in 2013, regardless of what you hear in the news and read online. My only advice to buyers is to know the effects of rising rates on your monthly payments, but DO NOT buy just any house just to get a good rate. When the right house pops up however, jump on it because time slows (waits) for nobody.
Inventory levels, at least in Ulster County NY, seem to have shrunk over the past 12 months. Some sellers are seeing improving conditions and therefore are choosing not to sell at all, while other home owners are deciding to hold off until values are higher. On the buy side, more and more buyers are coming off the fence causing homes to begin to sell faster and closer to asking price. This shortened supply of homes for sale in Ulster County has created a pretty interesting market. Multiple offer situations, bidding wars, and full price offers are slowly making their way back into the market. I'm not saying that is something we see across the board, but in certain price ranges, especially at the entry level and lower price points, we are seeing a shift taking place. It is still a buyer's market now and will be for some time, but the days of seriously beating sellers up on price may be long gone. Of course good deals are still to be had and there will always be motivated and even desperate sellers, but what buyers need to know is that now may very well be the best time to get in the market (more than just a toe dip...) fully and hunt down some good homes with a qualified and trusted local expert. As spring arrives, more homes will surely hit the market, but I wonder at what price?
Low Down Payment Loans Still Exist
FHA, USDA, and 5% down Conventional loans still exist in today's Upstate New York market, but what we don't know is for how long. Some pundits say we need to get back to a time where 20% down was the norm. Others say that the government (FHA USDA) needs to exit the home loan industry all together. Although I don't see that happening any time soon, buyers should be aware that if they need a zero or low down payment loan in Ulster County NY you might want to act sooner rather than later. For those who are wanting to own rather than rent but do not have a ton of money saved up for down payment and closing costs, Taft Street encourages buyers to shop around with some of the best local mortgage professionals in the Hudson Valley so that they can secure the lowest rate and best loan program for them. What's uncertain is how long these low down payment options will be available for.
To Be Continued...
There are even more reasons why it's an ideal climate right now for home buyers! Stay tuned in to Taft Street Realty for the remaining 5 reasons to buy now in Hudson Valley real estate, coming soon!