Avoid a bidding war! Act fast if you’re looking to buy a home

Avoid a bidding war! Act fast if you’re looking to buy a home.
 
As we begin to wind down the spring home buying season, which traditionally ends around Memorial Day weekend, it’s helpful to look at where we’ve been and where we might be going.

In the first several months of 2018, the Northern Virginia housing market has seen a significant decline in inventory – dropping between 8-15%, depending on the county or city – compared to the same time frame in 2017.

This shortage has created a market that is beneficial to many sellers because buyers are more inclined to compete for the sale. That simply means that sellers frequently enjoy multiple offers and a higher sale price than expected. Good news for sellers, bad news for buyers.

The challenge that many buyers face in today’s seller’s market is that due to the lack of inventory, first quarter median home sale prices were up approximately 4.5% when compared to the first quarter of 2017.

With fewer properties available in the lower end price ranges, local real estate agents have reported an especially robust market for properties listed under $400,000. For example, an Apple FCU HomeAdvantage® agent reported that a Fairfax County home, priced at $350,000, had 8 offers and an escalation addenda that pushed the price even higher than the list price.

That means, when you combine good condition, pricing and location, a home has an excellent chance of selling quickly. On the other hand, there are still properties that may sit on the market longer than normal if these conditions are not working in harmony.

As early reports show, the housing market appears to benefit the seller. However, with so many ups and downs the question becomes, what’s next?

As summer begins, the number of new listings and overall activity tends to slow. That doesn’t mean homes aren’t selling. However, it could mean that a home may sit on the market a bit longer when compared to the spring market. It could also mean that buyers may enjoy a less competitive market.

Like inventory, interest rates continue to make headlines and influence the housing market. Although we have been blessed with historically low rates for quite some time, loan rates continue to increase ever so slightly. These rising rate trends tend to scare some potential home buyers as their buying power decreases.

Consider; however, that interest rates below 5% are still incredibly low when compared to the past thirty to forty years. It may decrease your buying power but it could also allow you to get into a home with less overall competition.

Despite the headlines, buying or selling a home in today’s market is not impossible. To best navigate the process, buyers and sellers should chat with a professional real estate agent.

Working with a real estate agent will save time and frustration. These professionals are connected to expansive databases of inventory, have an intimate knowledge of the local market, and they’ll help you decode the ever changing market conditions.

Contrary to what you may think, it’s often a good idea to contact your local Credit Union when you’re looking to buy or sell. Many Credit Unions can connect you with trusted agents who are experienced, vetted and, in some cases, offer cash reward incentives.

When you’re ready to buy, let Apple FCU help you!

Apple Federal Credit Union has Licensed Mortgage professionals ready to guide you through the entire buying process from pre-approval to closing and insurance coverage. And because Apple FCU has local mortgage representatives, you’ll receive an approval quickly.

Even more home buying advice is available with Apple FCU’s no cost, no-obligation HomeAdvantage® program. This FREE, comprehensive real estate website will help you find the home of your dreams, sell your existing home, research the market, connect with a top local agent, and save money at closing!

You don’t have to work for a school system to get a mortgage!

You Can Join Apple FCU! No Education Affiliation Needed.

Some people refer to us as ‘The Other Apple’. If you thought Apple Federal Credit Union was just for teachers, or that big computer company, you’d be mistaken. We now serve nearly the entire Northern Virginia community which means you don’t have to work for a school system to open an account!

Open your Apple FCU account online
, in less than 10 minutes, or visit any of our 21 branches. Account opening is available to anyone who lives or works in Fairfax County, Winchester/Frederick County, or Prince William County (including Manassas City, Manassas Park). Membership is available for immediate family or household members and also open to the employees of participating businesses throughout Northern Virginia, including Loudoun and Stafford Counties.

Check us out! We’re almost as cool as the other Apple.