Entering the Real Estate Market, Proceed with Caution

We hear it almost daily, “the real estate market has recovered.” At this time, particularly as a buyer, enter the real estate market with caution.

My nerdy side wants to come out and throw a lot of numbers and statistics out. I will attempt to refrain from overload of the stats!

So far this year from January 2013 to April 2013 the appreciation rate for single-family residential sales in Thurston county is 1.25% for average sales and 4.15% when considering median sales. The majority of the home sales in the Olympia, Lacey, & Tumwater area are in the $200,000 to $300,000 range.

Home prices from January 2012 to April 2013 have decreased 3.33%. There are so many different ways to look at statistics.

Proceed with caution, ask a lot of questions, and do your homework. Just because we’ve seen some appreciation in the last two consecutive months, does not clearly indicate home values will continue rising. They could just as easily fall. Expect price fluctuations, and know what goes down will come up.

If I look at the monthly sales and compare them year over year, the numbers look good. Take in the whole picture. Don’t look through a microscope when considering a large purchase.

If thinking of purchasing real estate today, consider it a long-term investment. This is not a purchase to make expecting to sell it and make a profit in a couple of years.

For home buyer’s, the affordability index is great! Between low home prices and low interest rates a single-family residence can be purchased for lower than the typical rent.

Also, when making an offer on a property and several other offers have also been submitted, the seller’s agent will request highest and best offers. This means the buyer offers the highest price and terms they are willing to pay for the property. Also known as, a bidding war.

In my opinion, stay away from bidding wars, unless the home is under-priced, and even then, only offer fair market value. To offer above fair market value only raises home values artificially.

When considering a home purchase it’s advisable to speak with an experienced real estate professional. One who knows what is happening with the economy, the foreclosure and short sale market, and the real estate market.

In my opinion, “the real estate market has recovered,” is an overstatement. Yes, the housing industry is making small strides to recovery, however, that is a long way from recovered.

Everybody’s circumstances are different, one size does not fit all. Find out now by consulting with a real estate professional, financial advisor, or trusted lender.

By Kimberley Bauman

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