According to the BMO Harris Bank Home Buying Report, 52% of Americans say they are likely to buy a home in the next five years. Americans surveyed for the report said that they would be willing to pay an average of $296,000 for a home and would average a 21% down payment. The report also included other interesting revelations.
Those Looking to Buy
- 74% of those looking to buy a new home will consult with a real estate agent
- 59% said they will visit online real estate websites
- 37% will seek recommendations from friends and family
- 78% plan to get pre-approved before seriously searching for a home
Those Who Already Own
- 75% of current homeowners set a budget before looking for a home, and 16% ended up spending less while 13% went over their budget.
- 63% of American homeowners spent under six months looking for a new home before they made a purchase.
- 8% bought their home without participating in an active real estate search – or even any plan to buy at all – because a specific property caught their attention.
The last point is very interesting: Of those who purchased a home, 8% bought “without any plan to buy at all”. A property caught their attention and they acted on it.
Why Are More People Not Planning Their Next Move?
Why are people that are considering a move not putting their home search to a plan, and instead, buying only when a property catches their attention? An article by Fannie Maereveals evidence that a large number of homeowners are dramatically underestimating the equity they have in their current home. The report explains that:
“Homeowners may be underestimating their home equity. In particular, if homeowners believe that large down payments are now required to purchase a home, then widespread, large underestimates of their home equity could be deterring them from applying for mortgages, selling their homes, and buying different homes.”
Perhaps it is time to sit with a real estate professional to determine the actual equity you have in your house and to take a look at the opportunities that currently exist in the real estate market. This may be the perfect time to move-up, move-down or buy that vacation home your family has always wanted.
It’s amazing to see what interest rates can do to your purchasing power. In fact, the forecasted increase in rates this year could take a $40,000 bite out of yours if you are looking at $400,000 home.
Now that the housing market has stabilized, more and more homeowners are considering moving up to the home they have always dreamed of. Prices have recovered quite a bit BUT interest rates have stayed near historic low.
Sellers should realize that waiting to make the move when mortgage rates are projected to increase probably doesn’t make sense. As rates increase, the price of the house you can afford will decrease if you plan to stay within a certain budget for your monthly housing costs.
Here is a chart detailing this point:
According to Freddie Mac, the current 30-year fixed rate is currently around 3.75%.With each quarter of a percent increase in interest rate, the value of the home you can afford decreases by 2.5% (in this example, by $10,000).
Freddie Mac predicts that mortgage rates will be closer to 4.7% by this time next year.
Act now to get the most house for your hard-earned money.
When a homeowner decides to sell their house, they obviously want the best possible price with the least amount of hassles. However, for the vast majority of sellers, the most important result is to actually get the home sold.
In order to accomplish all three goals, a seller should realize the importance of using a real estate professional. We realize that technology has changed the purchaser’s behavior during the home buying process. For the past three years, 92% of all buyers have used the internet in their home search according to the National Association of Realtors’ most recent Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers.
However, the report also revealed that 95% percent of buyers that used the internet when searching for a home purchased their home through either a real estate agent/broker or from a builder or builder’s agent. Only 2% purchased their home directly from a seller whom the buyer didn’t know.
Buyers search for a home online, but then depend on an agent to find the actual home they will buy (53%), or to negotiate the terms of the sale & price (48%), or to help understand the process (60%).
The plethora of information now available has resulted in an increase in the percentage of buyers that reach out to real estate professionals to “connect the dots”. This is obvious, as the percentage of overall buyers who used an agent to buy their home has steadily increased from 69% in 2001.
If you are thinking of selling your home, don’t underestimate the role a real estate professional can play in the process.