How You Can Take Advantage of the Current Housing Market
buying-a-home | Read Time: 4 minutes
By Jeffrey M. Ruben, President, WSFS Mortgage | Published: October 2023
Homebuyers are currently facing numerous challenges in the market, the two main challenges being home inventory and high interest rates. The lack of inventory is creating a competitive market for sellers, with many homes being sold over asking price. In fact, since 2020, the median home price has increased 26%. Inflated home prices combined with high interest rates, which currently sit at more than 7.5%, are leaving many prospective buyers feeling the need to put their homebuying dreams on hold.
While the current housing market might not be working in the buyer’s favor, there are ways to take advantage of it and achieve your home ownership dream. Here are a few ways you can expand your real estate portfolio, despite the tough market.
Make Your Dream Vacation Home a Reality
If you’re in the market for a dream vacation home, now could be a good time to get started on making it happen. With summer having just ended, now is a great time to start weighing your vacation home options to ensure you have the best vacation setup for 2024. Whether you prefer mountains or the beach, demand in these areas continues to be strong – which means it might take longer to find your must-have property. Give yourself time to assess all options, including a new-build. The off-season is the perfect time to complete a new-build or renovations on an older home, as many vacation-destination communities only allow construction during the off-season. While this might seem like an odd rule, it ensures that your vacation time is uninterrupted by construction noises and, if you’re interested in renting your property out, it allows you to have your property complete in time for a full 2024 rental season.
Build the Perfect Primary Residence
New-builds aren’t just a good idea for vacation homes, they are a great route for primary residences as well. While the timeline for searching for and buying a new home, especially when there are fewer to choose from, can fluctuate wildly, building a new home can provide more certainty around how long you will have to wait to move in. New home construction also provides more cost certainty. While building a new home is typically more expensive, high existing home prices have narrowed that gap. Building a home with a locked-in price gives you better cost certainty that fits within your budget. Plus, many home builders partner with preferred lenders that know the area, the quality of the builders’ work, and can work with you directly to find the best financing options for your budget.
Leverage All Available Programs
Whether you’re buying or building, financing is likely a part of your real estate conversation. Make sure you research all of the financial programs that are available to you. There are specialized government programs, such as FHA, for first-time homebuyers, as well as lenders’ programs designed to assist with upfront costs while providing educational resources. Some lenders also offer homebuying programs designed to help individuals and families of varying income levels find an affordable home through down payment and closing cost assistance. Do your due diligence by researching programs offered by your lender and state, local, and federal agencies that may be able to help you financially.
While the market will continue to fluctuate and create uncertainty, buyers should feel confident in finding or building their dream property. Expanding or establishing your real estate portfolio can be daunting; however, buyers do not have to make decisions alone. Realtors and mortgage advisors, like those at WSFS Mortgage, can help guide you through the homebuying and financing process.
About the Author – Jeffrey M. Ruben
Jeffrey M. Ruben is the President of WSFS Mortgage. He joined WSFS through its acquisition of Array Financial, a full-service mortgage banking organization, and Arrow Land Transfer in August 2013. Jeff formed Array and Arrow in 2005, having previously held senior executive roles at financial and legal institutions.