Kathy Fetek and Laurie Tyler are real estate agents in Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage’s Racine office. Each month, they’ll be sharing their real estate expertise with the readers of MetroMilwaukeeLiving to shed some light on various real estate processes. Today, they explain why there isn’t a better time than the present to buy a home.
So you’re ready to buy a home! This is definitely the right time to make the move. In fact it’s actually cheaper to own a home than to rent in many circumstances. As a renter you’re essentially paying your landlord’s mortgage for him. On the other hand, as an owner you build equity (the amount of value you actually have in your home) in your own name, plus you can get credits, e.g. deduction on your annual income tax return.
Currently in Southeast Wisconsin and across the US, interest rates for home loans are low, and so are home prices. In Racine and Kenosha counties combined there are 3,177 single family residences for sale, not including those folks who have decided to try to sell their homes without the aid of a REALTOR®. As a result, there’s a lot of competition for buyers out there. Too many houses and not enough people to buy them has caused prices to drop immensely over the last few years.
The first word that probably comes to you mind when hoping for a great deal on a home is “foreclosure.” There are some good investments on foreclosures out there, but you need to be careful and know what you’re getting in to. “Flip That House” is a TV show, not necessarily reality. Foreclosures typically need a lot of work – if they couldn’t pay their mortgage they sure didn’t have money to pay for upkeep and repairs. Some people losing their homes get angry and wreck everything on their way out as well. Obviously this doesn’t apply to all foreclosures, but the good ones get snatched up right away by someone with cold, hard cash.
With today’s prices it’s possible to get a fantastic price on a home that hasn’t been abandoned to living in a lender orphanage. Many sellers are fairly negotiable – and are not only willing to be flexible on price, but also to assist with costs associated with closing a transaction.
Some businesses also have homes available that were previously occupied by employees who relocated to other cities and are now being listed with an agent by a relocation company. These companies aren’t interested in being landlords or real estate agents, so they’re often fairly eager to sell, usually at lower prices. Homes can also be purchased from estates from heirs who have opted to sell the property. They may have green shag carpeting and chintzy wallpaper, but they’re usually very well taken care of where the major structure is concerned.
So if you’re in the market for a new home, this is definitely the right time to start looking. Next month we’ll go through step by step what is entailed in making that purchase now that you’ve decided to become a homeowner!