If you’ve been waiting to sell your family home and buy into an active adult community, it may be time to make the move and get on with your future. While today’s buyer's market may translate to a lower sales price for your current home, it can also help you get a great deal on your next home. And, if you plan to finance your purchase, record low interest rates offer even more incentive to buy a home now.
In a bid to stimulate the flagging economy, the Fed has kept home interest rates at record (or near-record) lows. Depending on their credit history and financial situation, homebuyers may be able to lock in 30-year fixed loans with rates around 3.5 percent. Interest rates for fixed 15-year loans or adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) may even come in under three percent. These low interest rates are good news for homebuyers who plan to finance their homes, particularly if they have good credit scores. Many areas across the country are still experiencing a buyer's market. In terms of supply and demand, this means that there are more homes available on the market than there are active buyers. In this type of market, buyers can often negotiate lower prices because sellers are competing to attract buyers. This is a good situation for people buying homes, but generally not as good for home sellers—except it might not be all that bad for some active adults. Every homeowner would ideally like to sell when their home’s value is at its highest point, yet this may not be as critical for long-term homeowners who have built a substantial amount of equity in their homes. Active adults who bought their family homes before the rise of the housing bubble may still earn a profit when they sell, despite the fact that their home is worth less than it was at the height of the market. When considering your own financial situation, it’s important to compare your home equity to your home’s current market value. While selling now might not make the huge profit it would have a few years ago, it still could earn enough to make selling worthwhile. This is particularly true if you are able to then negotiate a good price on a new home in a popular community which is likely to increase in value as the market continues to recover. Although most areas are experiencing a buyer's market, you should also keep in mind that market trends vary from one area to another. If you are considering relocating, real estate professionals can provide fair market analyses for both your current home and for your planned destination. If you are ready to move on with your dreams of living in an active adult community, don’t let fears about the housing market keep you from reaching your goals. Talk to local real estate professionals and mortgage lenders to find out how the current market might actually apply to you.