Keeping Up With the Trends: 2018 Real Estate

The older we get, the less we seem to be worried about following the trends. Fashion trends, musical trends, makeup trends, often these seem to be unimportant once we reach a certain age. However, if you are looking to buy a home this year, or just thinking about it, there are definitely some market trends you should be aware of.

While the market is still better for sellers than for buyers, be prepared for the tightness of inventory to ease up a little in the late summer and early fall. Since June is the typical ‘peak’ month for home sales, buyers and sellers scrambled to make deals and finalize sales before the month came to an end. There may be less competition for the homes that are still on the market going forward, and less people jumping on new listings.

That doesn’t mean you should relax and take a vacation from house-hunting though. Many people will, which means that if you see a new listing in August, it could be yours while other potential buyers are laying on the beach. If you’re serious about getting a house, get your financials in order, preferably have pre-approval and a down payment at the ready, and know what you want so when you find it you can act immediately.

If you’re a first time buyer, familiarize yourself with the programs designed to benefit you. Look into specialized state programs as well as Federal Housing Administration and the Department of Veterans Affairs loans, which offer flexible terms and competitive rates to qualified homebuyers.

If you don’t have a realtor, now is a great time to get one on your team. As the market pressure eases up a little, their professional connections can be invaluable in gaining access to new listings more quickly than you will using apps like Zillow or Redfin. They will also have the expertise to help you make an offer that is commensurate with the real value of the property, and the negotiating skill to close the deal.

Another trend for buyers to be aware of is that while the interest rate on mortgages is slowly going up, there is not a consensus at the moment if they will hold steady or continue to rise. Because of that, experts say not to be too concerned about rushing into anything to lock in a rate now. Even if they rise a bit more, incomes are rising across the U.S. as well, and rates are still quite low, comparatively speaking.

Due to the fact that there is still likely to be less inventory than there are buyers, one popular trend to consider, if you’re not convinced that now is the time to buy, is renovation of your existing home. A home equity line of credit, essentially a second mortgage that allows you to borrow against the equity of your home, is a helpful tool to enhance your existing property. This allows you to wait out the inventory shortage, or make your house more appealing to potential buyers.

Mortgage technology company Black Knight reports that the market "is poised for a strong shift toward HELOC utilization, as they allow borrowers to take advantage of growing equity while holding on to historically low first-lien interest rates."

Whether you are a buyer, a seller, a realtor, or a lender, Setco Services is here to help you along the journey from initial offer to closing table. We keep our eyes on the market trends and changing regulations so that we can provide our clients with top-tier service. Excellent customer care never goes out of style!