As the market starts heating up and real estate becomes a popular dinner party topic again, it’s easy to get so caught up in the fever of searching and offers that we forget why we were buying a home in the first place. When you’re hearing about “inventory shortages” and “bidding wars” it’s important not to fall into the trap of settling, buying for the wrong reasons, or even overspending.
When is the “Right Time to Buy”?
I constantly see information out there telling buyers and sellers that it is the “right time” or the “wrong time” to buy or sell a home. Of course you should take things like rising interest rates or rising or falling prices into consideration, but the most important thing to ask yourself is, “Is it the right time for me?” Are you ready to stay in one place for a while? Are you feeling like your employment position is stable? How about your relationship? If you’re barely making ends meet with a job you hate and your relationship with your partner is on the rocks, it’s probably not the time to buy, no matter what interest rates are doing. Having enough money to comfortably afford your home is more important than buying when everyone else is.
What are your values?
Why do you want to buy a house, anyways? Do you imagine yourself spending your weekends working in your yard every weekend? Is your idea of fun tearing apart a bathroom and putting it back together piece by piece? Or are you more interested in a lifestyle, living close to your work and walking to the grocery store? If you love going out with your friends or traveling for long periods, buying a house with extensive landscaping or an endless list of things needing to be remodeled and upgraded is probably not a good fit. Know what kind of life you want to live in your home BEFORE you find a place, and stay true to that as you search.
Find a REALTOR who gets you.
When you’re looking for an agent to help you find a home, keep looking till you find someone you like and trust. Buying a home can be hugely stressful, and being able to have open and honest conversations with an agent who gets you will make the whole process much easier.
Everyone is happy that the real estate market is in recovery and buying a house is an amazing experience. Just make sure you know what you want your home to be FOR YOU and stay true to your own personal American Dream.
Marguerite Giguere is a buyers agent specializing in Downtown Tacoma. She blogs regularly at GetRealTacoma.com.