New Year – New Home! What to Expect If You Plan to Buy in 2017

Courtesy of NAR, author Bill Brown, as published by NerdWallet

The real estate market is looking good for first-time buyers, so 2017 may be the year that many young buyers finally step off the sidelines and into the market.  The long-awaited influx of these first time buyers will help drive home sales in 2017. For anyone planning to buy a new home this year, here is a look at what to expect in the market, along with five tips for achieving your home buying goals.

What to expect

low-mortgage-ratesFirst, mortgage credit is still tight from years of stringent underwriting.  However, mortgage interest rates are current around 4%, close to their historic lows.

Second, it may take time to find your dream home. The most recent data from the NAR shows a tight supply of existing homes for sale, and new home construction is not meeting demand. More buyers are competing for a smaller number of affordable homes than a year ago.

Third, home prices are steadily rising. With demand rising and listings scarce in many markets, NAR forecasts home prices will increase nationally about 4% in 2017. In cities with the tightest supply (like the DFW metroplex), prices could rise more than double that (10% or more) over last year.


1.  Start planning now

Begin planning a few months in advance of your home purchase. Start your home search by selecting a real estate agent who knows the area where you want to buy. Select a knowledgeable agent you can rely on to help you find homes in your price range and the neighborhoods you want to live in. You want an agent that can also market you to a seller as a serious buyer when presenting your offer to purchase.  Your Realtor will also develop a negotiation strategy to help make your purchase offer stand out in multiple offer situations.

2.  Get preapproved for a mortgage

Gather your paperwork and ask your Realtor to suggest lenders to guide you through the mortgage application and closing process.

3.  Identify your needs versus wants

No home is perfect. You may have to compromise on features when buying an existing home, but you don’t want to settle for a house you don’t love. Prioritize your needs and wish-list items from most to least important and use this list when viewing homes.

4.  Start looking and be prepared to act quickly

Ask Joe

Your Realtor will take you to visit homes and neighborhoods that align with your budget and needs. In markets with tight supply, multiple offers and bids above asking price are common, so the pressure may be on to move quickly. Don’t be disheartened if you lose out on a few homes, because the right one will come along! You need to be active in the market in order to grab your dream home when it hits the MLS. Your agent has the inside track, and he/she will be actively looking for you.

5.  Make a realistic offer

multiple-offerSince multiple offers are common in a tight market, your Realtor will make recommendations and supply you with comparable sales of similar homes in the area so that your offer is consistent with those sales prices.  She will guide you thru the terms of your offer to insure your offer stands out among the rest.

Buying a home can be challenging and it is in your best interest to work with an experienced and knowledgeable agent.  Laura Van Meter meets this criteria.  As a life-long resident of Arlington, she knows the real estate market like the back of her hand–an important asset for her clients.  She WILL help you find the home of your dreams.  Contact Laura at 682.551.0336 or visit her website HERE.

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