Hi and Welcome to the all new Scott Varley Group Real Estate Blog. My name is Teri Kraszewski and my focus will be on educating you on the local Real Estate Market here in the Capital District and especially Saratoga County! Along with that I want to talk about living in Saratoga, condo living, new construction, advice for buyers and sellers… the list is endless. Feel free to comment!
We live in a phenomenal part of the country and have been lucky to only see a minimal decline in home values. The media for a long time painted a grim picture of the market but I am here to tell you why now is the right time to buy! Since WWII the average percent rate has been 9.1%. Wow…. Do I need to tell you that right now we are seeing historic all time low rates? We are hovering around 5%, which is the lowest rate in 40 years!!! Now let’s combine that with the government tax credit. If you haven’t owned a home in three years you are eligible for an $8,000 tax credit that does not have to be re-paid. And for those of us who do own, if you have lived in your home 5 out of the past 8 years you are eligible for a $6,500 tax credit. Combine low interest rates and a substantial tax credit with the current inventory and you have all of the right reasons to buy now! In our local MLS (Multiple Listing Service) we have 4,117 active single family listings under $300,000. In Saratoga County alone there are 715 active single family listings and if I don’t count new construction there are still 510! It should be easy to find your dream home…
“If You Don’t Buy a House Now, You’re Stupid or Broke”, this article by Marc Roth says everything (and makes me laugh every time I read the headline). He points out that if you don’t act soon “you will regret it.” Historical trends show that every time rates hit an all time low they went up quickly and dramatically! We are in an artificial market right now. The Feds are continuing to buy mortgages through the end of March which is what has helped to keep interest rates low. Once they stop, experts see rates going up at least a point. Do you know what this means for you? Let’s take a $250,000 conventional 30-year mortgage. If rates increased a point from 5% to 6% it would raise your monthly payment by about $150 a month. $150 a month… When you buy a home it is not about how much the house is actually listed for, it is about how much your monthly payment is. Therefore, rising rates means that you can afford less of a home! If you are waiting for prices of homes to come down think about this… According to the New York Times 7/27/09, “If prices come down another 10% but interest rates increase by 1 percentage point, that would mean the same monthly payment today versus waiting.” So, why wait?
It is my hope that if you are considering buying a home you will sit down with an experienced Real Estate Agent and get all of your questions answered so that you can begin your search in time for the tax credit. You will need to have a written binding contract by April 30, 2010 and close by July 1, 2010. Your home search should be fun! While buying a house is probably the biggest purchase of your life (one reason to find an experienced real estate agent!) it is also a process that should be enjoyable. You will have lots of questions if you are a 1st Time Homebuyer so pick an agent that spends the time answering them (like me, lol)! Happy House Hunting!