True or false? Common real estate myths debunked
#1. It's better to wait out the market until prices go down and interest rates go down. False. This is simply not the truth. These days the average buyer is spoiled by low interest rates, and while we can't foresee the future, it's very unlikely interest rates will go as low as they were in 2012-2013... ever again. While they are very volatile right, they still remain historically low in comparison to prior years, and all things considered, affordability is at quite a high right now. (See historic interest rate chart & affordability) As for prices, they've taken quite a jump since 2012, both in the city, surrounding suburbs, and even out past 95... While we all hope prices will even out eventually, it's always about supply and demand - and low inventory is still a concern.
#2. You need 20% down to buy a home. False. There are some incredible first-time homebuyer programs out there (MassHousing.com) that offer competition rates and no-PMI programs at as a low as 3% down. Yes, the lower down payment sometimes puts a buyer at a disadvantage against 20% buyers or cash buyers in a multiple offer situation. But it's case-by-case, area-relative and I've helped many clients become homeowners with lower down payments, even in this crazy market!
#3. You don't need an agent to buy or sell my home. False. This is one of my favorites, and yes, as a realtor I'm a little biased - but I've seen it all. With the internet and so much information accessible to the consumer, it's easy to imagine one might be able to represent themselves. But as a buyer, are you really comfortable to make yourself stand up against 7 other offers, or negotiating on your own behalf? As a seller, do you know the ins and outs of the market, creative marketing strategies or have relationships with hundreds of agents? In either case, you can be almost sure the other side has an agent, and while I could list a thousand reasons why you need an experienced professional on YOUR side (and not just any agent, but that's for another time!), I'll just leave it as food for thought for now...
#4. Fall is a terrible time to buy! False. I'm a true believer that fall is the BEST time of year to buy a home. There may be less inventory, but there's also far less competition. There's also typically a new batch of homes that come on after Labor Day, when New England is back from vacation and back to school. So for those on a month-to-month or flexible lease, or in a situation that made it harder to compete in the hot spring market (need to sell to buy, for instance), consider a fall home search. Besides, houses are so much prettier to look at when the leaves are turning!
*Please note all of the above are opinions based my experiences, regular discussions with colleagues and trusted lenders, and lots of market research!