Many people dream of buying their own home, but with fluctuating interest rates and a tough housing market it is not always easy to accomplish these days.
Cameron Elkins, loan officer with Freedom Mortgage, said despite ever-changing interest rates he tells his clients that it is always a good time to buy a house because it is a strong investment.
“When buying a house, the money that you put into it turns into equity,” said Elkins. “Some people have the notion that it is cheaper monthly to rent rather than buy, and while they are not wrong, some people rent for years and are no closer to owning their own home.”
Ed Bevacqua, branch manager of Evergreen Home Loans in Yuba City, agrees.
“Anytime is a good time to invest in real estate,” said Bevacqua. “Especially if you are going to hold on to the property for a while. Just look at the history of home ownership – it’s unbelievable.”
Elkins said while there was a slight uptick in mortgage interest rates a few months back, rates are extremely low at this time.
These rates, according to Elkin, ebb and flow based on the mortgage bond industry.
Because of this, Elkins said it is hard to say if rates will remain low into the near future but interest rate professionals anticipate that there may be a slight bump up in the summer before they dip back down again in the fall.
Looking forward to the next six to 12 months, Bevacqua said any indications of the market would be based on long-term predictions and rates can move very quickly.
“That is the crystal ball question,” said Elkins. “But rates through at least 2022 should be extremely advantageous.”
For those toying with the idea of buying a home in the future, Elkins suggests speaking with a mortgage advisor sooner rather than later so they can help the buyer “get all their ducks in a row.”
According to Elkins, mortgage advisors will help buyers plan their savings in addition to providing tips and tricks for the saving process, address ways to better their credit score and lock down each individual buyer’s affordability.
“And it is important to talk to them early so they have as much time as possible to help get the buyer prepared,” said Elkins. “Every family is different so we try to come up with what works best for that buyer.”
Elkins said there are also many first-time buyer programs and down payment assistance loans that can be a helpful resource for buyers.
Bevacqua said many first-time homebuyers are having difficulty getting offers accepted because they don’t have a large amount to put down as a down payment and are not in a position to overbid the asking price.
“To combat this everyone needs to be creative,” said Bevacqua. “Lenders and realtors are coming up with all kinds of ways to make your offers be competitive so be patient and diligent and you will succeed.”
While it can be a tough market right now, Elkins encourages potential buyers to stay encouraged and continuously prepare themselves because one never knows when that perfect house will be available.
Bevacqua recommends buyers stay positive, save their money and listen to their professional real estate and loan agent in addition to getting a real pre-approval from a local mortgage professional.
On the other end of the spectrum, Elkins suggests that sellers keep up the curb appeal of the property to entice possible buyers.
“So much goes through someone’s mind on that first impression,” said Elkins.