Scenario: you know exactly what type of home you want to live in, you know what city or town it’s in, and you even know how you’re going to buy it. This is all great! But what about the “when?” As in, when is the right time to buy? Your own personal financial situation is, of course, a substantial factor, but real estate prices, interest rates, and the time of year are just some of the key factors to consider in the homebuying process. If you want to get the best deal possible—which, of course you do—the “when” is an essential part of the equation.
The ideal arrangement would be if you were able to buy the home you want, for the price you want, at the exact time that’s most convenient for you, when interest rates are at their lowest and your cash flow is at its peak. If the stars align for you and that becomes your reality, you’ve got yourself quite a cozy situation! More often, the case is that you must take stock of all these variables and prioritize them according to your needs, wants, and means.
Is the price right?
Home inventory is historically the highest from spring into summer. One significant factor contributing to this outcome is that families with school-age children want to get settled before school starts back up again around Labor Day. This type of saturation can drive sellers to price their homes more competitively. On the other hand, shopping around during the off-season can also give you the upper hand. December, November and January are the months with the least inventory, respectively. If a seller has listed their home during this time frame, it’s very possible it’s because they don’t have a choice in the matter, in which case they may be more willing to negotiate.
Quick tip: If you’re in the market for a home, make sure you know what you can afford before you start looking. Get a handle on this in the early stages of research by using NVE’s calculator, designed specifically to help you determine how much mortgage you might qualify for.
Is there ample inventory?
RealEstate.com’s Entry-Level Market Report found that entry-level inventory rose 4.1% this year, meaning buyers can expect to see an increase in inventory. According to a statement from RealEstate.com General Manager, Justin LaJoie, “Potential buyers who tested the waters in recent years should have an easier time now, which should be especially good news for anyone who made an offer but lost their bid for a home. First-time buyers can give themselves an extra boost by being well-informed, prepared buyers. And the work they do – contacting more agents, doing more research and visiting open houses – should pay off this year.” Being well-informed and prepared is great advice for anyone in the real estate market, if you ask us!
What do interest rates look like?
Mortgage interest rates fluctuate constantly, so this is something you really need to keep a close eye on. It’s also important to compare rates to make sure you’re aware of your options. The rates offered to a borrower are based on various factors such as debt ratio, credit score, or how much of a down payment you can afford. All lenders have differing methods and models for assessing a borrower’s risk/reward ratio. Because community banks have more flexibility in terms of setting guidelines when it comes to mortgage interest rates, we are are often in a better position than big banks to provide borrowers with more options.
Ask your lender about a rate lock, which guarantees a certain rate, at a certain price, usually (but not always) for a term of 30, 45 or 60 days. If your loan doesn’t process within the allocated window, you’ll lose the rate lock, so timing is everything. Working with professionals you trust to guide you through this process goes a long way! NVE’s mortgage specialists will work with you every step of the way to help make the whole process smooth and hassle-free. We offer a full range of flexible mortgage products to meet your lifestyle needs. Call today at 201-816-2800, ext. 1233, or apply online at www.nve.bank.
Is it time to stop renting?
The notion that owning a home is more cost-effective than renting is widely accepted, particularly in New Jersey, which has the fifth-highest rent prices of any state in the nation, according to Census data. But how long does it actually take for buying a home to cost less than renting? Zillow looked at the cost of renting vs. owning in New Jersey and created this tool that allows anyone (that means you!) to find the answer to this question in almost any town in New Jersey.
Calculators like this should be used as one of many research tools, along with the help of trusted professionals. NVE offers a suite of convenient and helpful online mortgage tools, including four Home Financing Calculators, which can help you answer important questions such as:
You’ll also find 11 more calculators that address a range of personal financing, investment, and retirement topics.
Working with a mortgage specialist who knows the area you’re looking in makes things easier, faster and better. With headquarters in Englewood and branches throughout Bergen County, the mortgage professionals at NVE are also your neighbors. That means our customers have access to experts who can provide service quickly, efficiently, and with a local point of view.
Learn more by speaking with an NVE Lending Specialist! Call 201-816-2800, ext. 1230, email us for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org, or apply for a mortgage on our website.