It’s official: we are headed toward a double-dip in the housing market; some areas are there already. The second dip is not as bitter as the first, in fact it may tend to be sweet for many, so rather than feel terrified like we did the first time, this is the time to take a bite and not worry about your figure.
Standard and Poor’s (yes, I note the irony) Case-Shiller index, the nation’s foremost authority on housing market statistics, released their much-anticipated report this week that confirmed what many already assumed: the housing market seems to be headed down. In fact, the report indicates that housing prices have fallen more now than they did during the Great Depression. This depresses many people.
Actually, for those who see good in the bad, beauty in the ugly, this news should be somewhat celebrated. If you are a seller it means it will be a harder time to sell, and you will need to price your home accordingly or you will accrue market time with no offers. BUT, if you do price and market properly the silver lining is that there will be buyers out there, so look at it as a chance to sell your home (it just may not be for the amount you anticipated). If you do not have to sell and do not have much/any equity in your home, you may decide to wait a bit.
If you are a buyer this is really your time. The biggest challenge will be the lenders, of course. But if you have an experienced mortgage broker and you make sure you are prepared before you shop, you will be the proverbial kid in the candy store. Short sales and foreclosures (lender-owned properties) will be your best bet for your dollar, and negotiating power will likely be strong, as distressed properties are not going away any time soon.
The bottom line is this: if you work with a great mortgage person and truly understand the programs out there, as well as the loan amount for which you can qualify, you are off to a great start. Spend time really visiting the properties that fit your needs, and gathering information about neighborhoods, amenities and floorplans. If you play it smart you will likely end up with a home purchased at a great price, which will accrue equity as the market heals. Good luck!