3 Tips for Those Entering the Housing Market in 2024

3 Tips for Those Entering the Housing Market in 2024
Topics Affordable Mortgage ProgramsMortgage RatesMortgage Types

The housing market has seen large fluctuations in recent years – first with record low interest rates early in the pandemic, followed by bidding wars, increased housing prices, and interest rates significantly higher than where they were just a few years ago, but most recently beginning to moderate slightly.

A National Association of REALTORS survey recently ranked the Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington region among the top 10 markets with the most pent-up housing demand. The good news for those starting or restarting their home search is that the housing market is expected to improve in some areas this year.

Here are tips to help you in your housing search.

Focus on What You Can Control

Housing inventory and mortgage rates are expected to improve slightly in 2024, but with so much built-up demand in recent years, it is important to focus on what you can control to put yourself in the best position to purchase your desired house.

When you’re ready to start your search, identify the right lender for your needs, one with local decision-making and knowledge of your desired area. Work closely with your lender, who can answer any questions you may have as well as share details on things such as first-time homebuyer programs and affordable mortgage programs.

Ensure you also know the key dos and don’ts for the mortgage process – such as watching your credit usage closely and building your nest egg for a downpayment – so you can quickly work with your lender to put in an offer when the time is right.

Buy or Build?

Many consumers were priced out of the housing market in recent years, so it is important to consider your options when it comes to getting the home of your dreams.

If you’re struggling to find a house that meets your criteria, building a new home is an alternative option that can provide more cost certainty. Building a home is typically more expensive than buying an existing home – although the gap has narrowed in recent years – but can provide the opportunity to get the features you want without costly remodels or repairs for an existing home.

Regardless of whether you’re building a new, custom home, one in a builder’s community or continuing your search for an existing home, it always a good idea to speak with your local mortgage lender to help you weigh your various financing options.

Evaluate Your Financing Options

Many homeowners bought or refinanced to record low rates early in the pandemic and have been reluctant to move as a result, but with interest rates expected to see some improvement in 2024, they may be more inclined to make a move.

In addition to options for purchasing or building a home, many lenders have programs for veterans, first-time homebuyers and more that offer more flexible terms as well as programs that can help with downpayment and closing costs for those who qualify.

Staying focused on what you can control and working closely with your lender throughout the process can help ensure you know all your options and are prepared to make your move when the time is right.

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