Are you thinking of buying a home, but not sure if now is the right time to become a homeowner? It’s easy to dream about owning that new place….but it’s not always easy to know if your timing is on the mark.

The Data

New data shows rising confidence from buyers and sellers alike.

More players on either side of the residential real estate market feel that the time to act is now.

Knowing that many want to pull the trigger on a home purchase or sale can inspire others to do the same.

The link below is from Harvard University’s estimates for home prices in 2018 – I’d invite you to check it out…

Harvard University research: the future of home prices in 2018

Right now, it’s important to learn the facts about what you can afford and the mortgages available to you.

Find out more here from The Mortgage Reports and Erik Martin

Now IS the time, say 77 percent of Americans

Per Martin’s article, a recent survey by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) yielded some very interesting trends:

  • 77 percent of people feel that right now is a good time to buy a home; 48 percent believe this strongly
  • 62 percent of renters believe that now is a good time to purchase a home. That’s up from 52 percent tallied last quarter and 60 percent one year ago
  • 80 percent of respondents who currently own a home, those older than age 55, those with incomes in excess of $100,000, those who live in rural areas, and those in the South and Midwest think that now is a good time to buy a home
  • 78 percent think it’s currently a good time to sell a home. That’s up from 63 percent measured one year ago
  • Those owning in the West (83 percent) are most likely to believe that now is a good time to sell a home

Other reasons why confidence is up

The Mortgage Reports’ Martin also states that Robert Johnson, president/CEO of The American College of Financial Services, points out that there’s another reason people feel more confident about buying or selling today.

Image source: NAR and The Mortgage Reports

“They feel wealthier because the stock market has gone up over the past 10 years,” he says. “This gives them confidence that makes them believe now is a good time to buy or sell.”

Martin states that another factor is at play, too.

“Perhaps most significant for buyers is that interest rates have been near historically low levels for an extended period of time,” Johnson notes. “Many buyers fear that rates are likely to rise in the future. Thus, they believe that now is a good time to buy. They want to make a purchase before rates rise.”

A Call To Action

The news that more owners think now is a good time to sell should be music to the ears of would-be buyers.

“This could help loosen up inventory. It’s another reason to be optimistic, as housing supply continues to be tight in many markets,” says Jessica Lautz, the National Association of Realtors’ Managing Director.

She notes that many sellers will need to become buyers themselves after unloading their home. The fact that buyer confidence is up can make them feel more secure about selling and then purchasing.

Next Steps

To improve your chances of buying a home sooner, Lautz suggests a few tips.

“You want to get your DTI  — debt to income ratio — down,” she says. DTI is a your total amount of recurring monthly debt payments, including credit cards, student loans, auto loans and mortgages, versus your gross monthly income.

“Many lenders prefer a DTI lower than 43 percent. You can lower your DTI by increasing your income and reducing outstanding debt.

“Also, check your credit report and make sure there are no surprises there. Correct any errors you see,” says Lautz.

“Be sure to consult with experts you can trust. Ask your Realtor and mortgage professional about affordable loan programs in your local community you may be able to qualify for,” she adds.

Final to-dos

In addition, be patient and realistic.

“Don’t rush into any decision you’re not sure of,” cautions Lautz. “Buying a home takes time. Make sure you look at prospective neighborhoods carefully and expect to have competition for that perfect home.”

Lastly, be prepared to make sacrifices and compromises.

“We often find that recent successful home buyers have to compromise on one or more things, including location, price or size of the home,” she says.