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Sunday, August 09, 2015

Is it time to buy a home in Florida? Get off the fence now or sit awhile, you decide.

Nothing stays the same in real estate or life. Home prices rise and prices fall.  Interest rates rise and fall.

The problem with the cyclical nature of real estate is one never knows how long the change, regardless of direction, will last.  This is often the challenge for those trying to time the market or just plan when to buy their first (or next) home.

The below chart, provided by Florida Realtors, shows the changes in the Brevard County, Florida inventory, median sales prices and average sales prices for single family homes since 2008.  It is not too difficult to capture the trends - rising prices, lower inventory- simple supply and demand. 

Many buyers have been sitting on the sidelines for a long time hoping to move at the optimal time.    Likewise, some sellers are on the fence hoping to sell at the highest point in the market.

The danger in taking his approach includes if the market shifts to higher prices a hopeful buyer may be priced out of the market for their desired home.  While they can still purchase it may be either a lesser home or require more cash up front.

Often more damaging than price increases can be a rise in the interest rates as the buyer's ability to purchase may be further limited during the mortgage qualification or, at a minimum, require a higher down payment which one may not have at the time.

Regardless of scenario, prices or rates, if one is trying to buy, consider doing so now.

If one is renting consider whether continued renting for another year or more will help your circumstances in the long run. 

This is where I must say that if you are renting it is not necessarily a bad thing.  I do not subscribe to the commonly used "if you are renting, you are throwing your money away" school of thought.   Sometimes your plans for the next year or five may not involve staying put in one place.    Employment or family changes can modify your circumstances so it may not be the best time to buy.

The decision to purchase a house is a long term commitment not to be made lightly.  The commitment goes beyond the monthly payment.  It also involves a commitment to your home (repairs, maintenance).

Still, the amount one can pay for rent is likely to change over the course of the next few years.  As home ownership has declined recently the competition for good rental accommodations has grown.  With rent, in the end, it all comes down to supply and demand.

In Brevard County, Florida, home prices as well as the cost of rentals seem to both be rising at the same time.  Compare those to the cost of home ownership. If you are a first time home-buyer there are programs that may be able to assist you with closing costs and down payment assistance.  I just had a buyer close on a home last month who received $15,000 assistance.  These programs do not last long as the money goes fast.  If you are interested, let me know and I can refer you to a lender.

Key point:  Get off the fence now or sit awhile, you decide. 

Considering buying a home in Viera or Melbourne, Florida?   Call me at 321-693-3850 or send me an email.

Ready to sell your Viera, Florida home?  I want to help you!

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