Imagine the feeling of stepping through the front door of your dream home, where every corner reflects your unique style and the future brims with possibilities. Buying a home is an exhilarating journey, one that marks a significant milestone in life. It’s a journey filled with anticipation, and it’s also an investment that deserves careful consideration. To make this journey as enjoyable and stress-free as possible, you need a clear path, a trusted companion on your quest for that perfect place to call your own. Here is our home buying road map, to help you understand the process as much as possible before you get the journey underway.
In this friendly and informative guide, we’re excited to take you on a journey through the process of buying a home. Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or looking to move up the property ladder, having a roadmap can make all the difference. We understand that the world of real estate can be complex, no worries! We’ll break down each step, offering guidance and insights that will empower you to make informed decisions. So, fasten your seatbelt, and let’s embark on this adventure together, as we explore the essential steps to turn your homeownership dreams into a reality.
Table of Contents
- The Journey to Homeownership
- Step 1: Define Your Homebuying Goals
- Step 2: Financial Preparation
- Step 3: Create Your Homebuying Team
- Step 4: Home Search and Neighborhood Research
- Step 5: The Offer and Negotiations
- Step 6: The Last Lap: From Contract to Settlement
- Step 7: The Closing Process
- The Finish Line: Moving In and Home Ownership
- Responsibilities of Homeownership
- The Home Buying Road Map
- It’s a Good Time to Buy a Home
- Concerns About Interest Rates
The Journey to Homeownership
Buying a home is one of the smartest purchases you can ever make. For generations, many Americans have used real estate as their first avenue of wealth-building. Building your own equity over years is one of the smartest and most likely ways to gain wealth, and it’s a very real hedge against inflation.
Studies still show that the majority of Americans still see home ownership as part of the “American Dream”. In a 2017 Pew Research Center survey, 72% of renters said they would like to buy a house at some point. If buying a home is one of your goals, you probably know that preparation is in order. Before you literally “get on the road” with your Realtor to view homes that are for sale in your market, your preparation starts with defining what you really want.
Step 1: Define Your Homebuying Goals
Setting clear and well-defined goals is the foundational step in the homebuying process. It’s the compass that guides you through a market filled with options and choices. When you establish your goals, you give yourself a sense of purpose and direction. This clarity helps you focus your search and make informed decisions throughout your homebuying journey, and it helps you avoid common homebuyer regrets. It allows you to differentiate between what you truly need and what might be nice to have. Moreover, clear goals provide a benchmark against which you can measure the success of your homebuying venture.
To define your homebuying goals effectively, consider several crucial factors:
Begin with your budget: Determine how much you can comfortably afford, factoring in your current financial situation, income, and expenses. Take time to do your research when you develop a financial scenario. Many first-time homebuyers are not fully aware of the costs of homeownership simply for the lack of experience. Understanding those costs is crucial for a realistic idea of how much house you can afford.
Next, think about location: Consider the proximity to your workplace, schools, amenities, and transportation. Decide whether you prefer an urban, suburban, or rural setting.
List your must-have features, such as the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and any specific architectural or design preferences. Prioritize these features based on their importance to your lifestyle and needs.
While dreaming big is encouraged, it’s equally essential to be realistic when setting your homebuying goals. Understand that compromises may be necessary, and some desires may need to take a back seat to practicality. Prioritize your goals to distinguish between “must-haves” and “nice-to-haves.” For example, finding a safe neighborhood and convenient location might be a must-have, while granite countertops could be a nice-to-have. Keep in mind that the real estate market is dynamic, and you might encounter options that meet most of your criteria but not all. Being flexible and adaptable in your goal-setting can lead to a more successful and less stressful homebuying experience.
Step 2: Financial Preparation
Being financially prepared isn’t just about having enough money; it’s about understanding your financial landscape, making informed decisions, and ensuring that your homeownership aspirations align with your current and future financial well-being.
1. Assessing Your Financial Readiness: Before you start your homebuying journey, it’s essential to take a close look at your financial situation. Assessing your financial readiness provides a clear picture of what you can afford, and helps you set a realistic budget. When you understand your financial limits you can avoid overextending yourself, and ensures that you can comfortably manage your mortgage payments along with other expenses.
Financial readiness includes having an emergency fund in place, as well as savings for unexpected expenses. Assessing your financial readiness helps you keep your long-term savings goals in mind, as well, like retirement planning and investments.
2. Checking Credit Scores and Improving Them: An important aspect of financial preparation for homeownership is managing your credit scores. Credit scores play a significant role in your ability to secure a mortgage with favorable terms.
To bolster your creditworthiness as you prepare for homeownership, begin by checking your credit report. Request a free report from each of the three major credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — and meticulously review your credit history for errors or discrepancies.
Understanding your credit score is equally vital; delve into the factors that influence it, including your payment history, credit utilization, and the length of your credit history, identifying areas for potential enhancement. Making all payments on time, reducing outstanding debts, and steering clear of acquiring new debt or applying for new credit is all crucial for improving your creditworthiness. For those requiring substantial credit improvement, seeking guidance from a credit counselor to formulate a comprehensive credit repair plan can be an invaluable step toward financial readiness for homeownership.
3. Role of Pre-Approval for a Mortgage:
Obtaining mortgage pre-approval stands as a pivotal step in the homebuying journey, and its significance cannot be overstated. It serves several crucial purposes that enhance your homebuying experience:
Firstly, pre-approval provides you with a crystal-clear budget, precisely indicating the amount you can borrow, thus setting a realistic financial framework for your property search.
Furthermore, it grants you a competitive edge in the real estate market; sellers often favor pre-approved buyers as they signify a heightened level of commitment and financial readiness. It bolsters your negotiation power, especially in competitive markets, by reinforcing your position as a serious and qualified buyer, armed with a pre-approval letter in hand.
Additionally, the pre-approval process can streamline your home purchase by condensing the time required for closing, as much of the necessary documentation has already undergone review. This can lead to a more efficient and less stressful transaction.
Moreover, pre-approval can sometimes offer the valuable benefit of rate locking, protecting you from potential interest rate increases during your search.
Step 3: Create Your Homebuying Team
Key Players Involved
When embarking on your journey to buy a home, assembling the right team of professionals is crucial. The key players in your homebuying team typically include:
- Real Estate Agent: A real estate agent is your guide through the entire process, connecting you with key professionals to handle the various steps along the journey. They help you find suitable properties, negotiate on your behalf, and provide valuable market insights. A trusted real estate agent has expertise that is invaluable to the homebuying process, especially if you’re a first-time buyer. Real estate markets are always in flux. The laws in your state are ever evolving. Buying and selling real estate is a complex process and requires a lot of due diligence on your part. An experienced Realtor will help you successfully navigate the complexities.
- Lender/Mortgage Broker: If you’re financing your home purchase with a mortgage, a lender or mortgage broker is essential. They assess your financial situation, help you find the right loan, and guide you through the application process. Finding a trustworthy lender is crucial to getting the best financial tools that will get you to your goal of homeownership with the most favorable terms and cost.
- Home Inspector: Once you’ve found a property you’re interested in, you may have a home inspection, which is strongly advised. A home inspector examines it thoroughly to identify any potential issues or concerns. This step ensures you’re making an informed decision. The home inspection is also valuable in other ways: a good home inspector will educate a homebuyer on the systems and features of the house. This education is very helpful to understand future maintenance and possible costs to budget for. Your Realtor will be a great source for a reputable home inspector.
- Real Estate Title Company: In some states, a real estate attorney is required to handle the legal aspects of the transaction, such as reviewing contracts and overseeing the closing process. In Maryland, the closing is conducted by a title company, which operates under the auspices of an attorney, or attorneys. We always prefer an attorney conducted settlement, rather than a closing conducted by a settlement agent. The extra scrutiny of an attorney gives peace of mind and confidence to all parties.
Tips for Choosing the Right Professionals:
Selecting the right professionals for your team is critical for a smooth homebuying experience. Here are some tips:
- Research and Interview: Don’t hesitate to interview multiple real estate agents, lenders, and other professionals. Ask about their experience, track record, and approach to client service. You can find out a lot about professionals by searching out online reviews and testimonials. Most people in business these days understand the importance of having an online presence and are usually easy to find. Friends, family or coworkers are a great resource. Getting a personal reference is not only a great way to find a professional, but also to ensure a professional will appreciate you choosing them to work with because of that referral.
- Compatibility: Ensure that your personalities and communication styles align with your chosen professionals. You’ll be working closely together, so compatibility is essential.
- Credentials: Verify their licenses and credentials. Real estate agents, lenders, home inspectors, home improvement specialists, and other professionals you may work with on the homebuying journey will be licensed by the state. You can find any licensee in Maryland on the DLLR website. You can also check with the Better Business Bureau. Any professional should be reputable and accredited.
The Importance of Open Communication:
Open and transparent communication within your homebuying team is the linchpin of a successful and stress-free journey to homeownership. It serves to communicate your goals, preferences, and concerns, ensuring that every member of your team is on the same page, operating with a shared vision. This alignment not only saves valuable time but also minimizes the potential for misunderstandings that can disrupt your progress.
Additionally, open communication enables effective problem-solving. Challenges are an inevitable part of the homebuying process, and through open dialogue, your team can promptly address these issues, collaborate on solutions, and navigate obstacles together.
Furthermore, your team of professionals isn’t just there to execute tasks; they’re also valuable sources of knowledge and guidance. Embrace this educational aspect by asking questions and seeking clarification whenever needed, empowering you to make informed decisions at every turn.
Timely communication is vital for meeting deadlines and preventing unnecessary delays in the closing process. Being responsive and proactive in your interactions with your team helps ensure a smooth and efficient path to homeownership.
Step 4: Home Search and Neighborhood Research
At this stage of the journey, the exciting part is in sight! Very few people don’t enjoy looking at homes. If it weren’t so, we wouldn’t have so many T.V. shows about buying real estate! Most of us are a captive audience to the scripted television version of homebuying. Alas, it doesn’t always go that way in real life. There are some things to be aware of when the search for the dream home begins.
Starting Your Home Search:
- Online Resources: The internet offers a plethora of valuable resources for homebuyers. In today’s world of homebuying, a significant portion of homebuyers start their search on sites like Zillow, Realtor dot com, or even on the Highland Group’s home search website! (feel free to use it, it is more up-to-date and accurate than Zillow :). In recent years, it’s been estimated that around 93% of homebuyers use the internet as part of their home search process. Start by browsing reputable real estate websites and platforms. These platforms allow you to filter properties based on your preferences, such as location, price range, and features.
- Real Estate Agents: Counting on your real estate agent to search for homes in your parameters is one of the most efficient ways to begin your search. Agents have access to a wider range of listings and up-to-the minute database of homes on the market. An experienced agent is intimately aware of the neighborhoods and types of homes in each neighborhood, as well as what is currently on the market. They will be able to “hunt” down the homes that will fit your criteria. They can provide expert guidance tailored to your needs.
- Attend Open Houses: Attend open houses in your desired neighborhoods. This hands-on approach allows you to explore properties firsthand and gain a better sense of what you’re looking for. Be sure to mention that you are working with a buyer’s agent so that you will have representation from the very start of your search. Learn more about buyer’s agency and why it is a great advantage for you during every step of the homebuying journey.
Significance of Researching Neighborhoods:
Neighborhood research plays a pivotal role in your homebuying journey for several compelling reasons. Firstly, it directly impacts your quality of life. Diverse neighborhoods offer a wide array of amenities, school districts, safety levels, and lifestyles. By delving into this research, you can find the best neighborhood for you, one that perfectly aligns with your preferences, ultimately enhancing your overall quality of life.
While there are questions about neighborhoods that Realtors cannot answer, due to Fair Housing laws, they can direct you to resources that will aid your research. We have resources that will answer your questions about safe neighborhoods.
Secondly, understanding the real estate market in different neighborhoods is crucial for making an informed decision on where to invest. Some neighborhoods exhibit more potential for property value appreciation than others, making thorough research a vital step in securing a sound investment. For example, neighborhoods that are located where higher ranking schools are located tend to have consistently higher home values, according to many studies and statistics.
Lastly, it’s wise to investigate any future developments or infrastructure projects planned for the area. Awareness of such initiatives can influence your long-term satisfaction with the neighborhood and help you make a forward-thinking decision in your homebuying process.
Keeping Track of Preferred Properties:
As you conduct your home search, it’s essential to keep track of the properties that catch your eye. If you are a list maker, make a list of your criteria and keep a list of homes that fit each one of them. Take good notes. If you are geared towards technology, there are many apps that will help you catalogue and keep track of homes you like.
After visiting or reviewing each property, take detailed notes on its condition, unique features, and any potential issues or concerns. It may seem trivial, but after seeing a handful of properties, they can start to blend together in your memory! Ask your realtor to provide printed copies of the listings you view and keep them for reference.
If you are of the mind, create a comparison chart or spreadsheet to objectively evaluate each property. Include essential details like price, square footage, location, and your overall impression.
Step 5: The Offer and Negotiations
When you’ve found the one, you’ve settled on the home that meets your needs and fits your budget and lifestyle, and the neighborhood is what you want, then it’s time to get down to business. Time to make an offer. The offer that you make has everything to do with the market conditions you find yourself in. This is when it is most helpful to have a buyer’s agent on your team who is a strong negotiator. You want to make a strong offer that meets your needs, stands out from the competition, if there is any, and ends up in a win-win with the seller.
Every market can be different. Whether its a buyers market or a sellers market will dictate your strategy. Whether there is competition, or whether prices or interest rates are in flux…all of the market forces matter to your offer strategy. But, in general, these are the steps you need to follow when making an offer:
Making a Strong and Competitive Offer:
Crafting an offer that stands out in a competitive real estate market is crucial. Here’s how to make a strong and competitive offer:
- Research and Market Analysis: Begin by researching the local real estate market. Understand recent sales in the area and the current demand for properties. This information helps you gauge the fair market value of the home you’re interested in. Your real estate agent will be a big help in providing you with updated market statistics.
- Offer Price: Your offer price should align with the market value of the property. Making an offer significantly below market value can deter sellers, while overbidding might lead to overspending. Alternatively, if prices are rapidly increasing due to a strong seller’s market (low inventory paired with high demand) your offer strategy will be very different. You may have to offer over list price to outbid competitors. Your real estate agent can provide valuable guidance on the appropriate offer price.
- Earnest Money Deposit: A substantial earnest money deposit demonstrates your commitment to the purchase. It’s typically held in an escrow account and is credited toward your down payment or closing costs.
- Flexible Closing Timeline: If possible, be flexible with the closing date to accommodate the seller’s needs. This flexibility can make your offer more attractive.
Negotiating the terms of your home purchase is a critical step. Consider these strategies:
- Know Your Limits: Determine your negotiation limits beforehand. Understand the maximum price you’re willing to pay and the contingencies you’re comfortable with.
- Counteroffers: Be prepared for counteroffers from the seller. Carefully evaluate each counteroffer and consult with your real estate agent to decide whether to accept, counter back, or walk away.
- Contingencies: Be aware that contingencies, such as financing and appraisal contingencies, can impact the negotiation process. Discuss these contingencies with your real estate agent to determine their strategic use.
Importance of Contingencies and Inspections:
Contingencies and inspections are safeguards in the homebuying process. Here’s why they are crucial:
- Protection for Buyers: Contingencies allow buyers to back out of the deal without penalty if specific conditions are not met. Common contingencies include financing, appraisal, and inspection contingencies.
- Inspection: Home inspections are essential to uncover any hidden issues with the property. They provide an opportunity to negotiate repairs or price adjustments with the seller based on the inspection findings.
- Appraisal Contingency: If the home doesn’t appraise for the agreed-upon purchase price, the appraisal contingency allows you to renegotiate the price or walk away from the deal without losing your earnest money.
- Financing Contingency: This contingency protects you if you can’t secure the necessary financing for the home purchase. If your loan falls through, you can exit the contract without penalties.
Step 6: The Last Lap: From Contract to Settlement
After the execution of the completed contract, all the t’s are crossed and the i’s are dotted so to speak…there are several important steps and tasks to complete before the settlement or closing date. There may be re-negotiations, depending on the contingencies of the contract. Here’s an overview of what typically needs to be done:
- Home Inspection and Due Diligence: If the contract included an inspection addendum, buyers should schedule a professional home inspection. The inspection report will identify any issues or repairs needed, allowing buyers to negotiate with the seller for repairs or price adjustments if necessary. Additionally, buyers may conduct further due diligence, such as reviewing property disclosures, HOA documents or condo documents. In some jurisdictions a radon test may be required. Some loans require particular inspections, like pest inspections. VA loans have conditions that must be met, and FHA backed loans have different requirements than conventional loans. There may also be well and septic inspections, depending on the property, which may require a response from the seller.
- Finalizing Mortgage Approval: Buyers should work closely with their lender to ensure their mortgage application is on track for final approval. This involves providing any additional documentation requested by the lender, responding to inquiries, and meeting all loan conditions.
- Appraisal: The lender typically orders an appraisal to determine the fair market value of the property. If the appraisal comes in below the contract price, negotiations may be required to address the discrepancy. We refer to the appraisal as the “second sale” because it will play a strong role in the outcome of the transaction.
- Title Search and Insurance: A title company will conduct a title search to ensure there are no outstanding liens or title issues that could affect the property’s ownership. Buyers will also purchase title insurance to protect their interests.
- Final Walkthrough: A few days before closing, buyers typically have the opportunity to do a final walkthrough of the property. This allows them to ensure that the property is in the same condition as when they made their offer and that any agreed-upon repairs have been completed.
- Secure Homeowners Insurance: Buyers need to secure homeowners insurance and provide proof of coverage to the lender. This insurance is necessary to protect the property and satisfy the lender’s requirements, and is required before closing can take place.
- Closing Costs and Funds: Buyers should work with their lender and the title company to understand their closing costs, which may include fees for various services, property taxes, and prepaid insurance. They will need to bring a certified check or arrange a wire transfer for the required funds at the closing.
- Review Closing Documents: Buyers will receive a Closing Disclosure (previously HUD-1 Settlement Statement), which outlines all the final details of the transaction, including the purchase price, closing costs, and any prorated expenses. Buyers should carefully review these documents before the closing date.
These steps may vary depending on local laws, customs, and specific agreements between buyers and sellers. It’s essential for buyers to work closely with their real estate agent, lender, and title company to ensure a smooth and successful closing process.
Step 7: The Closing Process
On the scheduled closing date, buyers will attend the closing meeting, usually held at the title company or attorney’s office. During this meeting, they will sign the necessary documents, including the mortgage note and the deed. The seller will also sign documents to transfer ownership.
The lender and title company will communicate with the buyers about the final payments needed. Real estate fraud is on the rise, so buyers and sellers should be very careful in following the title company’s instructions for wiring money.
The closing procedures in Maryland are the same, wherever the settlement takes place. Once all parties have signed the necessary documents, the lender will fund the loan. After funding, the transaction is recorded with the local government, officially transferring ownership to the buyers.
After the closing is complete, buyers will receive the keys to their new home and officially take possession of the property.
Congratulations!! You have come to the end of the home buying road map, but the journey is not quite finished…
The Finish Line: Moving In and Home Ownership
The journey is nearly complete…the last step on the homebuying road map is to move in! Even though it may be the last step of the journey, I’m sure you have been preparing for your move for several weeks. Moving into a new home is an exciting yet often challenging transition. Here are some tips to help prepare for a smooth move:
- Create a Moving Checklist: Start by making a comprehensive checklist of tasks, including hiring movers, transferring utilities, and packing. Having a plan in place will reduce stress.
- Declutter and Downsize: Before packing, take the opportunity to declutter your belongings. Donate, sell, or dispose of items you no longer need. This will make your move more efficient and your new home less cluttered.
- Hire Professional Movers: If possible, consider hiring professional movers. They can handle heavy lifting, packing fragile items, and transporting your possessions safely.
- Pack Methodically: Pack room by room and label boxes clearly. This will make unpacking easier in your new home.
- Utilities and Services: Ensure that you’ve scheduled the transfer of utilities such as electricity, water, gas, internet, and cable to your new address well in advance.
- Moving with Pets: If you are moving with pets, don’t forget to make accommodations for them on the day of the move.
Responsibilities of Homeownership
Owning a home comes with various responsibilities. Timely mortgage payments are a primary responsibility, as missing payments can lead to financial penalties and even foreclosure. Homeowners are also responsible for paying property taxes to local government authorities. Maintaining homeowners’ insurance is essential to protect your investment. It’s crucial to keep your policy up to date and review it periodically to ensure adequate coverage. In addition, living in a community with a homeowners association (HOA) may entail additional responsibilities, such as adhering to HOA rules and paying association fees.
Regular home maintenance is another responsibility of homeownership that is essential to preserve the value of your property. This includes tasks like cleaning gutters, servicing HVAC systems, and addressing repairs promptly. If you have a yard, maintaining the landscaping appearance and health is part of homeownership, encompassing lawn care, gardening, and tree maintenance. Be sure to calculate
The importance of home maintenance cannot be overstated. Firstly, regular home maintenance helps in preserving the property’s value by preventing minor issues from turning into costly repairs, ultimately safeguarding your investment. Ensuring that your home’s systems, such as electrical and plumbing, are well-maintained is crucial for the safety of you and your family. We would argue that regular home maintenance and some inexpensive investments can increase your home’s value over time.
Moreover, proper maintenance of appliances and systems can improve energy efficiency, resulting in savings on utility bills. Well-maintained homes are more comfortable to live in and have better functionality, significantly enhancing your quality of life. Additionally, some maintenance tasks may be required by local building codes or your homeowners’ association, so compliance is necessary. Lastly, when you decide to sell your home, a well-maintained property is more appealing to potential buyers and can lead to a higher resale value, further underlining the significance of home maintenance in the realm of homeownership.
In conclusion, embarking on the journey of homeownership is an exciting and rewarding endeavor, but it also comes with a set of responsibilities. From timely mortgage payments and property taxes to safeguarding your investment with adequate home insurance and diligent maintenance, these duties are vital to the long-term well-being of your home. Embracing these responsibilities not only ensures your financial security but also enhances your safety, comfort, and the value of your property. By understanding and fulfilling these roles, you’ll be well-equipped to enjoy the benefits of homeownership and make the most of your cherished abode for years to come. If you haven’t yet, make a plan to jump on the home buying road map!
The Home Buying Road Map
Buying a home is not an event, it’s a process. That’s why its important to have an experience Realtor® along for the journey. Helping first time home buyers navigate the process is one of our favorite parts of selling real estate in central Maryland. While there are several moving parts to the process, from negotiations to appraisals and inspections, it is always a joy for us to help people enter into homeownership.
Most home buyers will purchase a home an average of once every 8 to 10 years. Your local real estate agent helps buyers and sellers every day, 365 days a year, with hundreds and even thousands of transactions accounted to their experience We travel the home buying road map every day! Let that experience work for you as you embark on your home buyer’s journey!
For most Americans, purchasing a home is their entry to building wealth. It is also the entry to a lifestyle and to stability for a family. We can’t think of anything we’d rather be doing. Contact us for a guided tour of the home buying process. Learn more about our Buyer’s Representation: 301-401-5119
It’s a Good Time to Buy a Home
- Interest rates have risen, yes, but historically, rates are still fairly low. The average mortgage rate for the last 40 years is around 7% (since people have been keeping track…since c.1971) Rates have been bumping around the low-to-mid 3’s for several years, now we’re seeing 6% to 7%.
- Home prices have are on the rise. For a little history, home prices decreased (2006 – 2010), bottomed (2010 – 2014), and are rising since 2014. When values are rising, it’s a great time to buy.
- There is some question as to whether values will continue to rise. Of course, we don’t know and don’t want to predict. What we do know is that demand is still high and inventory is still low in 2023…see our real estate trends page more recent statistics.
- There is a small, but good inventory of homes on the market to choose from. More homes come on the market every week.
- Owning real estate is a hedge against inflation. If you are a renter, then you have experienced increases in rent consistently. Inflation affects everything. With a 30-year fixed mortgage, there are no increases in your mortgage, like there are with rent. You can count on the same monthly payment, as long as you hold the mortgage.
Homeownership can have positive tax implications, depending on whether you itemize or not. The three most important sources of tax savings for home owners are:
- deductions for mortgage interest
- deductions for real estate taxes
- capital gain exclusion for the sale of a principal residence – this is probably the most important aspect, imo, even if you don’t itemize and take the standard deduction.
For most Americans, purchasing a home is their entry to building wealth. It is also the entry to a lifestyle and to stability for a family. We can’t think of anything we’d rather be doing. Contact us for a guided tour of the home buying process.
Concerns About Interest Rates
Most people don’t track interest rates…not like a real estate professional does. If you look at the historical rate chart linked above, you will notice lots of ups and downs. That is the cyclical nature of rates. They have gone as high as 18% in the 80’s, and as low as 3% in the 2020-2021 years. They may never hit 3% again…who knows, but they will rise and fall, that’s certain.
Date the Rate, Marry the House. That is our latest advice to buyers. Even if it takes a few years for rates to come down, they eventually will, and you can refinance. In the time that you are waiting, most likely your home will accrue some equity, either from your monthly payments or from values rising, or both.
In economics, there are few guarantees, but in real estate there is one: if you wait on the sidelines, you will never build equity.
Need A Real Estate Agent in Your City? We Can Refer a Great Agent!
*Typical home buying journey is just that, not a guarantee.