Should I buy a home now or within the next 6 months?

Your Questions Answered

At Ashlar, I firmly b that an educated home buyer or seller is best equipped to make their own decisions. That’s why I take time out of my day each and every day to answer someone’s real estate question.  And, when I think the answer can be useful to you as well, I share it here.  So without further ado:


Should I buy a home now or within the next 6 months?

Actually just did a stats video that helps explain the current state of things in Hillsborough and Pinellas County.

The answer depends on you. Mainly, how you’re feeling, your goals, your time frame.

It’s never a NO BRAINER time to buy, even in retrospect. Comparing to previous markets it’s not actually useful because you can’t take action on it, and besides that people who say “Aw man I missed out” don’t know or remember what conditions on the ground were.

When we had 2.5% interest rates (2020 – 2022) , the problem was you had to pay $30,000 – $60,000 more than asking price due to extremely high demand. Before that it was ‘prices will never stay this high’… from 2014 – 2020 with not a lot of good renovations. Before that (2007-2011) you had to have immaculate credit, extensive work history, sizeable down payment, and even then you just might not get a loan, and if you did buy your house would immediately start going down in value.

Currently interest rates are still within 20 year norms (3.5% – 7%). 2% – 3% is actually the outlier and I will be surprised if we ever see that again in our lifetime, because it has such a huge obvious negative impact (inflation).

So if that is that case, what’s a buyer to do and when there’s not really any way of knowing what the market is going to do?

Well, here’s the thing. Generally speaking the market 6 months from now will carry the trend that we’re currently experiencing. Which is, interest rates bouncing around, more inventory than we’ve had in years, buyers having a wider selection than they’ve had in quite some time, and the ability to slightly negotiate on many homes, net effect being overall downward pressure on home prices. Real estate just doesn’t move fast, especially retractions and slowdowns.

The other thing we can usually know with some certainty is long term. So 15, 20, 30 years from now, looking at historic trends houses will likely be more expensive than they are today. Reason why is simply that as overall population continues to increase the demand on homes naturally rises (eventually).

The really hard impossible to predict part the medium term… 1, 2, 5 years from now where will price be? That is hard to predict with any certainty.

But that’s the economics and market side of it. Here’s the other realities:

You have to live somewhere. So your choice is paying someone else their mortgage, insurances and profit to live there, or buying your own place and paying your own. The main benefit to renting is leaving quickly. You will rapidly spend more than a mortgage payment and closing costs, plus there’s not cap on how much rents will rise in the next few years.

But the most important reason is emotional. There is an intangible but extremely real value to buying a home that is your own in a place you want to be. Yes, you have to maintain it, fix stuff here and there, mow a yard, etc… but it’s *yours*. I can not describe the happiness that is to be found in owning a home in a place that you want to be.

Yes there is a risk that the market will move against you, but here’s the thing. I can pretty much guarantee you that in the course of your life the real estate market will 100% move against you. It is always moving, always in an up or down cycles, sometimes it’s moving up, sometimes it’s moving down and each one has its problems. It’s impossible to predict when those turns are coming, and to what extent they will rise and fall.

So my advice is sure, be aware of where the cycle is as that is critical to negotiating in the current market, but make the decision to move when are ready to make a positive change in your life. Then look for a home within a comfortable budget that best satisfies your criteria. The alternative is to live somewhere you don’t want to be and put off moving to where you believe you’d be happier… and that’s a pretty rock solid recipe for unhappiness.

Kyle Sasser

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