GRAND RAPIDS HOME BUYER TIPS
Buying a home can be one of your most significant investments in life. Not only are you choosing your dwelling place, and the place in which you will bring up your family, you are most likely investing a large portion of your assets into this venture. The more prepared you are at the outset, the less overwhelming and chaotic the buying process will be. The goal of this page is to provide you with detailed information to assist you in making an intelligent and informed decision. Remember, if you have any questions about the process, I’m only a phone call or email away!
Tip #4: The Business Cycle and Buying a Home
Recession and Expansion
There are times when the economy is brisk and everyone feels confident about his or her prospects for the future. As a result, they spend money. People eat out more, buy new cars, and….
…they buy new homes.
Then, for one reason or another, the economy slows down. Companies lay off employees and consumers are more careful about where they spend money, perhaps saving more than usual. As a result, the economy decelerates even further. If it slows enough, we have a recession.
During such a time, fewer people are buying homes. Even so, some homeowners find themselves in a situation where they must sell. Families grow beyond the capacity of the home, employees get relocated, and some may even find themselves unable to make their mortgage payment – perhaps because of a layoff in the family.
Supply and Demand
When the supply of available houses is greater than the supply of buyers, appreciation may slow and prices may even fall, as happened in the early eighties and the early to mid-nineties.
If you are lucky enough to purchase a home during a slow period, you can be reasonably certain the economy will begin to show strength again. At times, real estate values may even surge drastically. In many regions of the country, this is precisely what occurred in the late eighties and nineties.
Should You Try to “Time the Market”?
One problem with attempting to time your purchase to the business cycle is that no one can accurately predict the future. Another challenge is that interest rates are generally higher during a depressed market and income may not be keeping up. For that reason, fewer people can qualify for a home purchase than in more prosperous times.
Why You Should Not Wait
Plus, this strategy generally works best for first-time buyers. People who already have a home usually need to sell it in order to buy their next one. If a “move-up” buyer wants to buy a home during a depressed market, that means they usually have to sell one during the slow market, too. If a seller wants to sell his home to take advantage of a “hot” market when prices are fairly high, they generally have to buy their next home during that same hot market.
It tends to equal out.
Finally, the business cycle can change over time. Since 1983, we have had two fairly long expansions with only a slight recession in between each. You would not want to wait nine years to buy a home, would you? You could miss out on a substantial amount of appreciation by waiting, and end up paying much higher prices.
More Home Buyer Tips
Tip #1: Benefits of Owning Your Own Home
- The Best Investment
- Income Tax Savings
- Stable Monthly Housing Costs
- Forced Savings
- Freedom and Individuality
- More Space
Tip #2: Important Things To Avoid Before Buying a Home
- Don’t Move Money Around
- The Effect of Changing Jobs
- No Major Purchases of Any Kind
Tip #3: Don’t Buy a Car – or Did You Already Buy One?
- When Income Grows and You Want to Buy “Stuff”
- Debt-to-Income Ratios and Car Payments
- How Buying a Car Reduces Your Purchase Price
Tip #4: The Business Cycle and Buying a Home
- Recession and Expansion
- Supply and Demand
- Should You Try to “Time the Market”?
Tip #5: Comparable Sales and Your Offer Price
- Determining Your Offer Price
- Comparable Sales in the Public Record
- Comparable Sales in the Multiple Listing Service
- Comparable Sales – Pending Transactions
- Other Factors Influencing Your Offer Price
Tip #6: Major Factors Influencing your Offer Price
- How Property Condition Affects Your Offer
- How Home Improvements Affect Your Offer
- How Market Conditions Affect Your Offer
- How Seller Motivation Affects Your Offer
- The Final Decision on Your Offer Price
Tip #7: Offering to Purchase Real Estate- the Basics
- Introduction and Overview
- Contingencies in a Purchase Offer
- Earnest Money Deposit
- The Closing Date
- Transfer of Possession
Tip #8: Writing an Offer – Safeguards Regarding the Property
- Disclosures From the Seller
- Condition of the Property Upon Transfer
- Inspections You Should Require
- Final Walk-Through Inspection
Tip #9: How Financing Details Affect Your Offer
- Down Payment
- Interest Rates
- Closing Costs and Financing Incentives
- Seller Financing
- Cash Offers
- Other Financing Details in Your Offer
Tip #10: How FHA and VA Financing Affects Your Offer
- Extra Costs for the Seller
- VA and FHA Appraisals
Tip #11: Selecting Service Providers
- You and the Seller Must Agree
- Escrow and Settlement
- Title Insurance
- Termite and Pest Inspection