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The housing landscape during the past few years hasn’t been very friendly to potential buyers. There were bidding wars, over-priced properties and homes that sold so quickly the “For Sale” sign never went up. This has made many of us to put our search on hold until we can purchase a home we like without breaking the bank.

“If you’ve been sitting on the sidelines, we’ve got good news and we’ve got bad news: Things are finally slowing down. But they might not slow down fast enough for your liking.”

This year however, looks better than the last for aspiring home buyers.

“If your resolution is to buy a home in 2019, you’ll have some challenges to contend with, but also some opportunities, says Danielle Hale, realtor.com’s chief economist.”

There are a lot of factors that can determine whether this is your year to buy or not. Here’s the four biggest reasons to buy now.

1. There will be more available homes.
The tight home inventory has kept potential home buyers out of the market for several years. Even if you could afford one, there were so few hitting the market. If they did, they were usually snatched up before you could even look at them.

Last winter made house hunting feel bleak. Nationwide inventory was at its lowest level in history. Towards the end of 2018 things were starting to look up. For 2019 experts predict more opportunities and hopefully less frustration for buyers. The thing is that not everyone will be able to afford those opportunities. This is because the markets seeing the increases in available homes tend to be more expensive in general.

“For buyers, there is going to be more inventory. So that’s a bright spot… The downside of that bright spot is it might not be in their price range.”

If you don’t have big money to spend, the news is still promising. The supply of affordable homes (under $300k) might not be growing too much but it’s certainly not decreasing anymore.

2. Price increases will slow.
While inventory went way down over the past few years, home prices went up. Will we see staggering dollar amounts this year?

Expect home prices to rise but at a slower pace. Experts predict a 2.2 percent increase in home prices this year compared to almost 5 percent in 2018.

“‘We do still anticipate rising home prices, particularly for below-median-priced homes, so buyers in that price range may have some incentive to buy sooner rather than later,’ Danielle Hale of realtor.com says.”

There is, however, a silver lining to those climbing home prices again.

“As increasing costs raise the bar to homeownership some would-be buyers will be knocked out of the market so that remaining buyers may have less competition to contend with.”

3. Mortgage rates are lower than expected.
At the end of 2018, there was a lot of discouraging talk about increasing mortgage rates. Rates on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, which is the most popular loan, were approaching 5% and expected to increases even more throughout this year. Thankfully for buyers, this hasn’t happened.

Rates have actually been falling, much to the confusion of the industry pros, but creating a great opportunities for home buyers because this greatly increases affordability. If the low rates stay for a while then we may see stronger sales than originally predicted.

“Lower mortgage rates will get buyers off the sidelines,” adds Ali Wolf, director of economic research at Meyers Research. “Consumers should take advantage of the returned purchasing power, and in fact, we’re already seeing early 2019 data that suggest they are.”

4. Rents are rising.
Purchasing a home is a scary and expensive decision, even in the best of circumstances. However, you want to keep in mind that rents are rising. While buying a home generally costs more in the short term versus renting, you have to look at the big picture. By purchasing a home you are building equity and not forking over your hard earned money to a landlord. If you can afford to purchase now, you’ll thank yourself in the long run.

Source: Realtor.com – Read Full Article Here

Kara L. Stachel, Esq. is an experienced Fort Lauderdale real estate attorney. Ms. Stachel is admitted to the Florida Bar and the New Jersey Bar, and is a member of the Florida Bar Journal’s Editorial Board, American Bar Association, Commercial Real Estate Women Network, and Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section of the Florida Bar.

Stachel Law’s real estate clients include lenders, brokers, investors, consumers, sellers, and real estate agents, all of whom are counseled and represented throughout every step of a legal matter. The firm provides clients with extensive experience in complex real estate transactions and litigation.

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