2012 Housing Forecast

Chief Economist Offers 2012 National Housing Forecast

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), offered his annual analysis of the housing market and provided insight into the year ahead at last week’s REALTORS® Conference and Expo in Anaheim, Calif. He anticipates 2012’s housing market to experience “gradual improvement”. 

Yun explained, “tight mortgage credit conditions have been holding back home buyers all year, and consumer confidence has been shaky recently. Nonetheless, there is a sizeable pent-up demand based on population growth, employment levels and a doubling-up phenomenon that can’t continue indefinitely. This demand could quickly stimulate the market when conditions improve.”

He pointed to tough underwriting standards in the mortgage markets as a key barrier predicting if standards returned to more the “normal” conditions in place before the housing bubble years, sales activity could increase by 15 to 20 percent. He pointed to growing markets such as Bismarck, Boston, Buffalo, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. and identified markets which continue to struggle: Altanta, Chicago, Las Vegas, Miami and Phonenix. Across the country, Yun sees little concern for price declines.

Tips for Finding Your New Home

Having a plan before starting your home search will make things easier and more enjoyable in finding the best home for you.

1. Know yourself
Understand the type of home that best fits your personality. Do you prefer a new or existing home? A ranch or a two story home? If you want a fixer-upper, are you handy, or will you need to budget for contractors?

2. Research before you look
List the features you most want in a home and identify which are necessities and which are extras. Identify three to four neighborhoods you’d like to live in based on commute time, schools, recreation, crime and price. Then log onto http://Indymetrohomes4sale.net to get a feel for the homes available in your price range in your favorite neighborhoods. Use the results to prioritize your wants and needs so you can add in and weed out properties from the inventory you’d like to view.

3. Get your finances in order
Generally, lenders say you can afford a home priced two to three times your gross income. Create a budget so you know how much you’re comfortable spending each month on housing. Don’t wait until you’ve found a home and made an offer before investigating financing. Most offers will not even be considered without pre-approval from a reputable lender.

4. Set a moving timeline.
Do you have blemishes on your credit that will take time to clear up? If you already own, have you sold your current home? If not, you’ll need to factor in the time needed to sell. If you rent, when is your lease up? Do you expect interest rates to jump anytime soon? All these factors will affect your buying, closing, and moving timelines.

5. Future Plans.
What are your future plans? Are you thinking of a starter home with plans to move up in 3 to 5 years, or do you want to stay in the home for five to 10 years?

6. Work with a REALTOR
Ask people you know and trust to recommend a real estate professional if you don’t know someone already. Make sure the agent knows and understands what is important to you and your lifestyle. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. You want an agent who is knowledgeable of the current market conditons in the area you want to live. Market conditions vary from neighborhood to neighborhood. Is your agent a fulltime REALTOR? A REALTOR is someone who is a member of the Board of Realtors and being fulltime means its not a hobby for them. They train and educate themselves in knowing the markets and in finding you the home thats right for YOU!

7. Be Real and Open Minded
Its alright to be picky about the home you intend to buy, but don’t be close-minded or mis led by minor issues or imperfections.
If you see a home that “knocks your socks off” on the inside, don’t forget about other issues like where its located, is it in a quiet area, or some other factor that will impact your quality of life.

Home ownership remains the American Dream!

A Fannie Mae study reveals that the majority of Americans still aspire to own a home–and for good reason.  Owning a home is critical to financial stability and wealth building.  A home serves as a forced savings account and provides a solid asset, as well as a place to live.  Despite the recent market upheaval, the vast majority of Americans still consider home ownership to be important to the economy and preferable to renting.  Since the end of World War II, promoting home ownership has been high on the list of the federal government’s priorities, and will continue to be so.  for more reasons why NOW is prime time to buy a home, contact me and I’ll explain.

This Month in Real Estate

Are you thinking of buying your first home? Are you renting and wondering if you should buy? Then you should watch this 2 minute video. http://youtu.be/HqnSr4az5ks   Are you wondering about local real estate trends? What are the interest rates for buying a home now? Can I qualify for a mortgage? You should email me or give me a call and I will put you in touch with a mortgage professional to walk you through the home loan process. Now is a great time to buy a home and its easier than you might think. If you have a home to sell, I will be glad to show you why now may be a better time to list your home instead of waiting until Spring.