Tuscany Real Estate

Homebuyer Checklist
what you should ask the seller or the listing agent when you're interested in a home?
Juggling buying and selling
Always sell before you buy. It may sound like common sense, but if you're like many sellers, you probably started attending open houses before you even thought about what it would take to sell your current home.
Choosing a mortgage - knowing your options
Most people assume they'll get a conventional 30-year, fixed-rate loan and overlook many other options.

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Tuscany Real Estate Services
1451 McCarthy Blvd
Milpitas,  CA  95035
When is the right time to buy?

Dian Hymer

Some buyers will tell you that the best time to buy is during the winter holiday season. Is this good advice?

There are fewer buyers looking then, so there is less competition from other buyers. Also, although the selection of homes for sale may be lower than at other times of year, those who are selling are usually motivated.

An added benefit of buying during the winter months is that you may have a chance to see listings while it's raining. This makes it easier to spot a leaky roof or a serious drainage problem.

Other buyers, however, prefer to do their home buying in the middle of summer. There's often a seasonal slowdown in home buying activity during July and August. Prospective buyers, as well as agents, take vacations. So, this too can be a time when the competition from other buyers might wane temporarily. And, if you want to relocate before school starts, this is the last opportunity you have to make the move.

The reality is that homes sell all year long. While, there is some fluctuation from one quarter to the next, it's less than you might imagine. Other factors, such as interest rates and general economic conditions can have more effect on a buyer's decision to buy than the time of year.

Most buyers prefer to buy when interest rates are low. Low interest rates make housing more affordable. The lower the monthly payments, the easier it is for buyers to qualify for mortgages.

All other factors being equal, you can afford to buy a more expensive house when rates are low. A more expensive house usually means a larger house. If low interest rates enable you to buy a home that will suit your long-term needs, you'll probably stay put longer. Moving less often is one way to save money.

Interest rates are currently at a 40-year low. Today's low rates are responsible in part for the strong housing market. Nationally, inflation-adjusted home prices increased 5.7 percent in 2001 over the previous year. This was the seventh year in a row that prices increased. Last year, homes sales hit a record high, which could be surpassed this year.

The strong housing market has caused many to wonder whether the housing market is a bubble poised to pop. If so, is now a good time to buy? Usually, it's best to buy when prices are low. In many places around the country prices are at an all-time high.

A recent study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University suggests that housing will remain strong. This will primarily be due to a shortfall of sufficient housing to keep pace with the high rate of household creation expected over the next 20 years. The study did not rule out a temporary drop in home prices. But, if there is a decline in prices, it will probably be short-lived.

HOUSE HUNTING TIP: The best time to buy is when you have the financial wherewithal, when you find the right home, and when you have a high degree of certainty that you won't need to sell soon. Buying for the short-term is risky because prices could level off, or even decline, as the housing market slows, which it will at some point.

THE CLOSING: hould you wait for a better time to buy? It's almost impossible to time markets. Also, it's often not easy to find the right place to buy. So, if your finances are in order, and you're buying for the long run, plan to buy when you find the right home at an affordable price.
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