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The Best Time to Buy a Home

There are some common misconceptions about the best time to buy a home. Everyone considers Spring to be the best time, but in reality, Spring just happens to be one of the busiest real estate times of the year, not necessarily the best.

Spring

Spring is seen as a busy time because typically more listings are hitting the market, and it appears that more people are looking. People have been cooped up all winter, and come out for spring and consider a potential change of address. For most, buying a home in spring can benefit their schedule, as the kids are out of school, and going through with a move will be easier to manage during the summer.

Fall

While Fall is typically seen as a slow-down in most real estate markets, it could be one the best times to buy. As there are fewer listings to look at, people are usually buying with a purpose. They’re serious buyers, out to look, find something and make an offer. Spring can be hard with the influx of listings, people can go out to look, not actually intending to buy anything. You could have an open house in spring with a ton of visitors, but of those visitors, how many are seriously looking? But in Fall, people looking at houses typically mean business.

Best Time

The best time to buy a house, is when it’s best for you. You can try to time your purchase to market trends, but most markets are constantly changing. You’ll find a home when it’s right for you. You have to consider your timeline. It takes most house hunters two to three months to find a home, before going through making an offer and closing. That time is subject to variation as it depends on the market and how many homes are available to look at. Some closings can take 30 days or longer.

If you’re selling a home, depending on your market and how competitively priced it is, it could only take listing it for a week to get an offer.

If you’re considering buying a home, keep an eye on the market. You could time it right or not, but either way you could find the perfect house for you or a family. The most active time of year, may not be the best time for you to buy. The number of listings could affect whether or not it’s a buyer’s or seller’s market, and that could be a factor that you want to consider.

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March Real Estate Forecast shows a continued Seller’s Market

The month of March was another active month in the Central Oregon real estate market, following busy late winter months. The number of active listings fell just slightly, but the number of pending sales and sold listings have continued to climb. The Central Oregon real estate market is still strong, with a promising spring coming up, we expect to see more listings, sales and pending sales.

Pending Listings at a high

March was a busy month, as evidenced by a very high number of pending listings. In prior months, pending listings haven’t broken 200. March came in as the highest number of pending listings with 273 since July 2016, which ended with 276 pending sales. This likely promises an active April with a higher number of completed sales. Both January and February finished with high pending listing numbers, which resulted in climbing numbers of completed sales in February and March.

Number of sold properties

March finished with 171 sold properties, jumping from 128 in the month of February. The number of pending sales from February contributed to a higher number of finalized sales in March. The high number of sold properties is evidence of a continued seller’s market from prior months in the Central Oregon area.

March finished with a higher median sales price than prior months and years. The median sales price grew to $395,000, which is the highest it’s been since May 2007, when it topped out at $396,250. Typically, March sets the base pricing standard for the remainder of the summer season and real estate year. In most markets the highest median sales prices are seen in the fall, around September or August. So we can expect to see sales pricing grow throughout the remaining spring and summer months.

Continued Seller’s Market

The number of active listings has continued to drop slightly since last summer, solidifying the seller’s market in Central Oregon. With a more limited number of available properties, it benefits the seller to be able to sell more easily. Another factor that comes with a limited number of properties, is more completed sales, with buyers finding what they’re looking for and making offers immediately sometimes above asking price.

Final Analysis

Pricing in Central Oregon has continued to rise for the last five years, as Central Oregon is still a highly-desired place to live, work and play. With a low inventory of available homes, now is a great time to sell or buy. Get your property listed before the summer real estate boom hits.

If you need help buying or selling real estate, we would love to help you. Visit us at dukewarner.com, browse our Facebook page, or call us at (541) 382-8262.

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Mistakes First-Time Homebuyers Make

Buying a home can be a lot of work. From the hunting, approvals, to the gathering of paper work, it can be overwhelming. It’s important to find a great broker to help guide you through some of this mess. We’ve collected some tips to make the process easier, so you can learn what not to do.

Location

Do you research on the neighborhood you want to buy in. If you fall in love with a house, think about it first. Don’t just put an offer in. Consider what school district it’s in, what school would your kids or future kids go to. You’ll want to know if it’s a safe neighborhood, what’s the crime rate. Would you feel comfortable letting your kids roam the neighborhood during the day or night.

There are other neighborhood factors to consider. Is it near a noisy highway or train tracks? A great way to learn about the neighborhood is to talk to potential neighbors and ask the questions you want answers to.

Listen to your Head

Sometimes your heart just falls in love with a home, and you’re ready to make an offer then and there, because you’re sure it’s perfect. Be sure to look things over more critically, as you might miss something important. You know the saying “love is blind,” and this certainly applies to house hunting. Be sure to apply your same list of needs, wishes and wants to this property. You may have fallen in love with it, but it might not meet the standards you set for yourself, like being close to town, 4 bedrooms not 2, etc.

Get Pre-Approved

We say it all the time: getting pre-approved is crucial to house hunting. Why hunt for properties that you’re not sure you can afford? Who wants to make an offer on a property only to find out your loan is denied? The best way to get out ahead of this problem is to get pre-approved for a mortgage before you start house hunting. That way you know what the bank will loan you and what you can afford. It will stop you from looking at houses that are out of your budget, and prevent you from wasting time and getting your hopes up.

Utilities

If you’ve only ever rented before, the cost of paying for full utilities might come as a shock to you. Water and sewer typically are included in rent, but as a homeowner you’re on the hook for everything. If your washing machine breaks down, you can’t call a landlord to come and fix it, you’re responsible for the repairs and the repair bill. If your roof leaks in the winter, it’s up to you to get it fixed and shovel the roof. These are all typical growing pains that come with owning a house. The obvious benefit of owning over renting is that you’re putting equity in something, and depending on your market, you could stand to earn more in the value of your home as time goes on. It’s important to note that most mortgages are less expensive than monthly rents, so the extra money you’re saving can go to cover unforeseen expenses.

There are a lot of questions that come with buying a home for the first time. Having an experienced broker to walk you through the process, and answer any questions you have, can be crucial. Find someone you trust, both to find you the perfect home, and to help you close the deal.

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Relationship status and Mortgages

It’s 2017 and there’s no real order to the way that couples do things anymore. Whether you get married and buy a house, or date and live together, most people do things in whatever order they want to. What most don’t consider is how different applying for a mortgage is as a single person, partners or when you’re married. They all differ, and we’re here to break them down for you.

Married

If you’re married and applying for a mortgage with your spouse, there are a couple things you need to know. Being married definitely makes the process easier, but it comes with its own set of hiccups. Being married may help you qualify for better loan terms, as they’ll take the income that you both earn. It helps your debt-to-income ratio as it counts two incomes against the debt you owe. No matter your situation or relationship status, a mortgage is still dependent on income, debt and your credit score.

Something important to note, is that when you apply for a mortgage as a couple, the lender uses the lower of the two credit scores. So if you have terrible credit, but your spouse doesn’t it may make more sense to leave the person with lower credit off of the mortgage application.

If you still want to apply together, you may face higher interest rates. You should consider saving up a bigger down payment, as this will cause you to finance less of the property, perhaps encouraging better rates. You could always look at a less expensive home, or choose higher interest rates and monthly payments.

Single

If you’re single you can make whatever financial decisions, you want. You don’t have to take someone else’s needs and wants into the consideration and you don’t have to worry about their financial history and credit score when you’re applying for a house. Your relationship status won’t be held against you by a lender, and depending on your finances it could benefit you. The one con to applying for a mortgage as a single person is that you don’t have the benefit of a double-income household to help with your mortgage rates. If you, as a single person, earn a high income and have little to not debt in your name, you could be in a good position to purchase a home on your own.

You also have the option as a single person, to buy a home with a co-signer. This makes some mortgage companies more likely to lend to you, as the co-signer agrees to take over mortgage payments if you fail to do so. Co-signing can make a huge difference for a single home purchaser, but it can be dangerous. If you do run into trouble on your payments, it puts pressure on your co-signer, as they’re on the hook financially.

Committed Relationship

Being married isn’t a requirement to borrow money for a home loan. It’s better to consider this as it will add more complication and responsibility to a relationship. If your relationship ever ended, it’s important to consider that it’s harder to split up jointly owned property, because no one is required to go through legal property division. Lenders will happily loan money to unmarried couples, and most of the same rules apply; you can apply using combined incomes, but the lowest credit score will still be used.