This article was originally written as a “Buyer’s Tip” for TheDailyME — an excellent source of local news and information in the “greater Dexter” area.
If you are considering buying a home, it makes sense to be a little nervous. You’ve probably seen the ads or heard people say “it’s a great time to buy!” Like all generalities that’s true, but there are also some reasons to be cautious. Unless you’ve been out of the country of living under a rock, you know the economy and housing markets are uncertain. Just how much this uncertainty affects your decision making will depend on a number of factors all relative to your personal situation. If we change “nervous” to “cautious” we begin to see the need to make decisions deliberately. For some people in some circumstances it actually may not be a good time to buy.
One important consideration is how long you will own the home. Putting down roots with a long term commitment does suggest this is a good time to buy. If you expect to own the home for a relatively short period of time caution is in order. The reasons for that are beyond the scope of a short article like this largely because we’re again dealing in generalities.
One reason it’s an excellent time to buy is that prices are down to historic lows. As a buyer you might be attracted to the lowest priced listings. It’s important to understand the total cost of purchasing and owning a home as that should be your primary consideration.
Another reason it’s an excellent time to buy is mortgage rates are at historic lows. It is true that lending standards have increased, but most lenders have money to lend. The caution here is that it’s also a good time to “shop around” both lenders and loan types to be certain you are borrowing in a way that is most beneficial to your circumstance.
The theme here is “Knowledge is power.” The more you know and understand about your personal situation, loan programs, the market, etc. the more power you will feel. And that feeling won’t be an illusion; you’ll have power. The right agent will help you explore your situation, build a team that makes your purchase decision truly in your best interest, and find that power. One generality that can’t be argued with: this is not a “one size fits all” market. You want to work with people who are more interested in you than they are in selling a house.