Dear Joan, all I hear is that home prices are going up and now interest rates are also rising. I feel like I have missed my window of opportunity. What do you suggest I do?
There are still some great choices, so do not despair. Just like everything in life, there is always an opportunity to make the right move in any market at any time, you just have to figure out what that move is. Yes, the home prices have bottomed out and have started to slowly increase in many neighborhoods; and interest rates have risen 1 percent or more ... but are still great in the grand scheme of mortgages. Since I do not know your situation, I will discuss three circumstances you might have:
• If you have never owned a home, or at least not owned one in the past five years, then you still should contact your trusted Realtor to find out the great opportunities that might be available to you in bargain priced properties and low interest rates, not to mention low down payment possibilities. There are USDA loans that work in Eagle County that are 0 percent down. There are also FHA loans with 3.5 percent down and some conventional loans with 5 percent down, to qualified buyers. Rents are getting stronger in our community, which is good if you are a landlord, and is a good reason to stop being a tenant and buy if you can.
• If you already own a home here, then you should be in a good position, depending, of course on the 4 “Ps” of selling from the Harvard MBA curriculum that I have mentioned before: Product (type and condition of your home), place (location, location, location), promotion (choose your Realtor wisely as today’s networking and Internet marketing is critical) and, of course, price (must be priced to market conditions). So, in theory, if your home has recently gained in value, then you should be able to find and purchase your next home in today’s market even if that property has also gained some in value. That is one of the great benefits about owning property, because you are gaining equity with the rest of the market and will not be left behind.
• If you don’t buy now, whether you do or do not currently own a home, then you could conceivably miss your “window of opportunity.” I say this simply because there are still such great homes available. I say great meaning that they are lower than what it would cost to build them (replacement cost). Once these homes are sold, under their replacement cost, the new homes that will, and are being built, will have to sell for more. Add in that the interest rates are only predicted to go even higher in the next six to 36 months, it is still the perfect time to buy.
Please do the homework and put pencil to paper and speak to your trusted Realtor and your accountant about your next best move. There may be tax advantages as well as the joy of owning a home you can be proud of in the beautiful communities of Eagle County.
Joan Harned is an owner-broker for Keller Williams Mountain Properties and heads up Team Black Bear, her own real estate team of qualified experts. Harned has been selling real estate in Eagle County for 27 years, is a past chairman of the Vail Board of Realtors, past Realtor of the Year, past director on the Great Outdoors Colorado Board and a member of the Luxury and Land Institutes. Contact Harned with your real estate questions at firstname.lastname@example.org, 970-337-7777 or www.teamblackbear.com.