Just one year ago, the U.S. housing market was admittedly in a rough spot. People were hesitant to put their house up on such an unreliable market. However, in just one year buyers and sellers have seen more opportunities to get what they want out of the housing market, making now a great time to take advantage of the positive trends that have started to breath new life into the once bleak market.
The housing market sees positive trends
2013 was a roller coaster for the housing market. It changed a lot over the course of twelve months, and slowly but surely low interest rates and limited inventory on the market transformed into a rising value on homes and some competition among buyers, which experts were surprised and happy to see.
Towards the end of 2013, there were roughly as many houses on the market as at the beginning of the year, but they were selling faster than they had been. That kind of traction is exactly what people are hoping will continue in the new year.
What to expect in 2014 (and what it means for you)
All of this talk of positive trends continuing and the value of homes increasing sounds like great news for the housing market, but there is a downside for buyers. As the value of homes generally increases across the market, mortgage rates are expected to increase as well throughout 2014. Right now, the housing market is doing better than expected, but as 2014 unfurls, experts predict the increased mortgage rates will make it harder for home buyers to find something they can afford.
In 2014, many people expect to see the number of houses on the market increase and stabilize back to normal levels. As inventory increases and mortgage rates rise, homeowners wanting to sell should look for ways to take advantage of the current state of the market before it becomes harder for people to buy. Timing is everything in the housing market, especially if you’re looking to sell your home fast or get the best deal possible as a buyer.
Buying and selling in 2014
The good news is that 2014 promises to be a more stable market. In order for everyone to make the most of that, buyers and sellers need to be active in the market equally. If you’re looking to buy, don’t wait for mortgage rates to increase. If you’re selling, get your house out there now before you have other sellers to compete with.
When you go about selling your home, consider remodeling because it’s almost always worth it. Now is a relatively easy time to get a home equity loan (and 2013 saw a huge number of homeowners make their way back to positive equity, another trend that’s expected to continue in 2014) and even small improvements can have a big impact on the value of your home. Also, keep in mind that because of technology, buyers are very aware of the current prices in an area, so make sure to accurately price your home the first time. If you start out too high you’re just going to waste time and you could have trouble selling at a lower price later in the year when mortgage rates rise.
As a buyer, you should be realistic about your offers, but certainly shop around for the best deal on a house that fits your needs. Whenever you’re looking to buy a house, consider the initial cost, as well as the cost of fixing it up. You might find that it’s a good idea to buy a cheaper house and put your money into increasing its value, remodeling, putting in nice furniture or green appliances, and making additions. That way you’ll make it the home you want it to be, and you’re going into a market where the value of homes is on the rise.