When Is the Best Time to Buy or Sell a Home?

Call me at (616) 942-2449 for a FREE home buying or selling consultation

When is the best time to buy or sell a home? It’s an age-old question in real estate. Perhaps a better question is, “Is there a time that’s best for buying or selling?” 

Because so many factors are at play, there’s really no definitive answer. Let’s talk about what those determining factors are, starting with mortgage rates. 

Rates are constantly ebbing and flowing, so it’s important to be mindful of what they’re doing as you prepare to buy a home. There are all sorts of online mortgage calculators that can guide you through the process and won’t cost you anything to use. Simply search “free mortgage calculator” and once you find what you’re looking for, you’ll be able to plug in the approximate price range for the home you’re looking to purchase and get an idea of the current prevailing interest rates. 

Though it’s rarely talked about, it’s important to keep in mind that the prevailing interest rate will influence your monthly mortgage payment more than the price of the home itself. Many buyers assume that rising home values will have a bigger impact on their payment, but they’re mistaken—interest rates are the true driving force behind what you pay. Even if home prices are increasing by $10,000 or $20,000, it’s far less consequential than the interest rate attached to your loan. That means if rates are hovering in the high 3% or low 4% range, it’s time to jump into the market.  

Second, consider the fact that statistics only tell part of the story. What do I mean by that? When we’re trying to determine if it’s an optimal time in the market, we can use national, state, and county stats as a barometer, but we can’t forget that real estate is hyper-local. For that reason, we need to pay more attention to neighborhood- and area-specific data, and we should really limit our research to a particular region or metro area. Don’t base your understanding of what’s happening in the market on national media coverage. 

The bottom line is, the right time to buy a home has less to do with the market and more to do with your individual circumstances.

Finally (and most importantly), your personal circumstances matter. Beyond external factors like market conditions and interest rates, give careful thought to your specific situation. Do you need to move because of a job relocation? Do you want to quit renting and purchase your dream home? In the end, no matter where rates are at or how the market is behaving, when it’s time to move it’s time to move. The bottom line is, the right time to buy a home has less to do with the market and more to do with your individual circumstances. 

As we approach the fall selling season, I’d like to end by shattering some misconceptions about our seasonal market for all you sellers. The first common misconception is that buyers tend to stay out of the fall market, so it’s no use listing this time of year. In reality, between September and Thanksgiving, buyers enter the market by the flock in hopes of finding a home before the holidays. So long as the weather holds up, fall is actually the perfect time to sell. 

So if you listed your home this past spring or summer without success, consider re-listing your home this season. It may very well be your opportunity to get your home sold and for a great price while most other sellers sit this season out. 

If you have any questions or would like any real estate advice whatsoever, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us by phone or email. I’ll talk to you soon!

Do You Know Your Home’s Value?

Buying a home? Click here to perform a full home search
Want to know what your home is worth in today's market?
Check out our Free Online Home Price Estimation Tool.
Call me at (616) 942-2449 for a FREE home buying or selling consultation

If you haven’t checked your home’s value in a while, here are the six reasons why you should do so more regularly:

1. Get rid of your private mortgage insurance (PMI). If you don’t put down at least 20% for your mortgage, you’ll have PMI attached to your loan. After a certain time, though, you can get this removed, but that starts with knowing your home’s value. This can save you up to $90 per month. 

2. Make sure your homeowners insurance covers the full value of your property. If you bought your home a long time ago and its value has increased, you’ll want to know this so you can adjust your coverage. 

3. Lower your property taxes. In this type of market, you won’t find many homes that are depreciating, but that doesn’t mean this won’t change in the future. If your home’s value goes down, you can save on your property taxes. 

4. Update your information on online syndicates. Many websites, such as Zillow, give you the ability to update your own home’s listed value on the site. This is important because Zillow's home value algorithm doesn't take all necessary information into account. This means that what buyers see might not be entirely accurate. You, of course, want your home to be represented in an accurate (and favorable) light.
5. Equity for a HELOC (home equity line of credit). If you’re getting a HELOC, you need to know your home’s value so you can determine what you can pull out of it to make home improvements or invest in real estate. 

6. It’s time to sell. If you’re selling your home, you obviously need to know how much it’s worth. Beware of online valuation tools, though, because they used fixed algorithms that encompass entire ZIP codes. They’re useful if you want a ballpark idea of what your home is worth, but after you have that number, go ahead and call a real estate agent so they can calculate an exact price. 

If you’re selling your home, you obviously need to know how much it’s worth.

I recently did an interview with HomeLight about this very topic, so if you’d like to read more about it, click on this link. 

We would be happy to give you a free home valuation so that you can maximize your sale in today’s market, so if you have any questions or if you'd like to get started, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I look forward to hearing from you. 

Spring 2019 Grand Rapids price update

Buying a home? Click here to perform a full home search
Want to know what your home is worth in today's market?
Check out our Free Online Home Price Estimation Tool.
Call me at (616) 942-2449 for a FREE home buying or selling consultation
2019 has gotten off to an incredible start as far as our Grand Rapids real estate market is concerned. There has been a surge of buyer demand from millennials entering our market nationwide, and this is great news for anyone thinking of selling this year. In fact, according to Odeta Kushi, the senior economist for First American Financial Corporation, 2019 is set to be even more lucrative on this front than we’ve observed in the recent past. That’s because the “largest cohort of millennials [will soon be] entering peak household formation and home-buying age,” says Kushi. This will have a massive impact on buyer demand across the nation. Yet, despite all of this positive news, the rumors that we’re in a housing bubble aren’t without some truth. I don’t want to alarm you, but I do want to make something clear: There is no time like the present. The opportunity to earn the best possible deal for your home has not yet passed, but it will soon—possibly sooner than we think. The SP CoreLogic Case-Shiller Home Price Indices shows that price growth (which has been monumentally strong for several years) is slowly but surely losing steam. Don’t let recent talk of a market slowdown scare you off from seizing this opportunity. Experts like Nick Ron (CEO of Home Buyers of America) agree that selling this year will yield far better results than doing so in years to come. Why? There are a couple of crucial reasons: 1. Rates are still historically low. Sitting at or slightly below 5% on average across markets nationwide, today’s rates are still incredible when compared to what buyers could obtain in the past. It’s also worth noting that rates are still rising, and won’t stop any time soon. Because of this, buyers are eager to lock in a low rate while they still can. This gives sellers an incredible amount of leverage. 2. Supply is down. After hearing rumors of a supposed market slowdown, many would-be sellers are choosing to hold off on pursuing their real estate goals. Yet for any sellers savvy enough to see the “bigger picture,” this means just one (very important) thing: less competition. It’s simple supply and demand—the fewer competing sellers there are in our market, the better chance you’ll have at selling quickly and for top dollar. Of course, these reasons only scratch the surface of what’s happening now. There are many other exciting developments taking place in our Grand Rapids market, specifically. What does this all mean for you? It means now is the time to act if you’re thinking of selling. Delaying much longer could cost you dearly. The good news, as I’ve already indicated, is that our market remains strong for now. If you get off the fence soon, you will still have the chance to sell quickly and for top dollar. If you’re thinking of selling, I encourage you to take a look at what your home is currently worth by using this free home value calculator, which takes into account recent Grand Rapids sales: Enter your home address here to find out what your home is currently worth This calculator will offer a decent estimate of your home’s value, but if you’re serious about maximizing your results, don’t hesitate to reach out for an in-person consultation. I'd love the opportunity to give you an even better idea of what you could earn for your home. I’m very familiar with our national and local market, and would be happy to help you make the most of this opportune moment in real estate. If you’re ready to take advantage of current conditions while they last, please give me a call.