Today’s housing market – 4 key strategies for buyers and sellers

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Parade Magazine’s article by Kate Rockwood (4/13/2013) focused on how the “rules of real estate” have changed.  Some of the highlights are as follows:

Before you buy get a pre-approval.  Lending is tight.  Lending once too loose has gone in the opposite direction, and hopefully will begin to be less restrictive in the future.  Buyers who thought they would have an easy time qualifying can be taken off-guard.  It is a smart move to spend time before you even begin looking for a home sitting down for a pre-approval with an experienced mortgage representative.  You will hear about today’s lending guidelines and see if your status merits today’s best interest rates.  This will allow you to buy with confidence.  Also you may learn of steps you can take to lower your existing debt and repair credit issues to earn the better rates.

Larger down payments are becoming the norm.  Whereas the boom years saw buyers put as little down as possible and take on a huge amount of debt, today’s buyers are saving more to put down on a house and “accepting” a smaller house within their budget.  The nightmare stories of over-leveraged homeowners is fresh in their minds.

You may not make a profit when selling your home.  Trade-up buyers, however, may very likely make up the dollars in buying a larger home that has lost the same – for example – 20% of market value as your original home has.  You are also in position to make up some of your loss as this larger home begins to appreciate from market lows over the coming years.

Plan to stay in your new home for at least 10 years.  Think carefully when you buy, considering your lifestyle needs, the community features as well as the employment situation.  It won’t be the norm for Americans to move every five to seven years as in the past.  Your home will be for your enjoyment and not the investment vehicle you can sell every few years and make a profit.

After foreclosure you can own a home again – and maybe more quickly than you thought.  You may be able to qualify for lending within three years of a foreclosure instead of the five to seven years previously.  Guidelines are changing and don’t wait to start working with professionals to help you rebuild your finances.

Attend our “Ask The Experts” Panel on Saturday, April 27 at 10 a.m at Keller Williams Realty Landmark, 32-55 Francis Lewis Blvd, Flushing, NY 11358.  Know what to expect when buying or selling in today’s real estate market and learn common pitfalls buyers/sellers experience and how avoiding these can save you money!