I’ve noticed that for the past two years as the economy slumped, people have been very cautious about their housing plans. If you don’t have to sell right away then many people are not selling. Others are opting for the safety of renting until they decide what the best move is based on employment prospects or a neighborhood they are interested in.
If you are thinking about, here are 8 reasons why buying in 2011 is a great idea.
- Choice. We are still clearly in a buyers market. Currently we are sitting about 7.1 months of inventory, which means that it would take 7.1 months to sell all the homes currently for sale based on the last 12 months of sales data. Anything over 6 months is a buyers market. What this means for buyers is that there are many homes to choose from out there, and they are all competing for your purchase dollars.
- Buying Up. Because of the number of homes for sale, the low interest rates, and the dip in housing prices, it is a great time to buy more house than you may have considered a few years ago. Cheap mortgages and competitive prices means buyers can buy a nicer home for the same amount of money than before. Once these rates begin to rise, we may never see them this low again.
- Quality. With so many homes on the market, sellers are going the extra mile in today’s market to get their homes noticed and sold. This means buyers have a greater chance of finding a home in a desirable neighborhood with more upgrades. Sellers are putting their best foot forward when they hit the market to offer buyers irresistible homes with up-to-date appliances and decorator touches. Many times a buyer can find a re-sale home with a new roof, new AC, and new water heaters or siding as well as updated kitchens and bathrooms. Builders are also offering higher quality homes for low prices to buyers wishing to purchase new construction.
- Tax Breaks. At least for now, home owners can write off their mortgage interest on their taxes, write off real estate taxes, claim homestead tax exemption for property taxes, and get a break on any capital gains when they sell. This can make a very nice deduction on the average home owners tax bill that a renter can never get.
- You Own It. There’s nothing like the feel of owning a home. Instead of living with the things they don’t care for, the homeowner can change it to match their desires or needs. And if they’re young enough and plan to stay in one place, it’s a wonderful feeling to look down the road and know that they have a permanent place to live paid for before retirement.
- Community. People who own in a neighborhood vs. rent feel differently about the place they call home. There’s pride in ownership and it shows in neighborhoods where there are fewer rentals. People also tend to stay in one spot longer, get to know each other, kids grow up together, families are more likely to become involved in community activities, and neighbors tend to keep a watch out for potential crime. Neighborhoods where a majority own their home are, generally speaking, safer and more outgoing places to live.
- Space. Homes with larger square footage are more rare on the rental market. When considering the square footage a homeowner can get vs. what you will pay in rent for the same square footage, the homeowner will be paying less per month, and now that is even more true because of low interest rates. This often means a 3500 SF homeowner could be paying less per month in a better neighborhood, even including property taxes and insurance, than the renter will be paying for a 2000 SF home.
- School Choice. Many parents wish to live in a certain school zone. Even within a school district there are schools which are more popular, or have better reputations than others and people want to live in neighborhoods zoned to those schools. Rentals are not always available in the neighborhoods of the most sought after schools because the neighborhoods have very few homes for rent or perhaps the neighborhoods do not allow homeowners to rent out their homes when they move. With so many homes on the market for sale, it is a good bet that buyers can find a home they love within the desired school zone.