Why is it a great time to be a buyer or seller in the great State of Texas right now? Because the rates are low, and values are stable!
"Donna, Did you say the values are stable? But, I thought values were down across the entire country. That's what the National news tells me whenever I turn on the tv!"
Yes, I said values are stable and, in many places, values are up.
According to the main Texas real estate magazine, Tierra Grande's January 2009 issue, home prices in Texas are UP 1.4%. Granted, 1.4% doesn't sound like very much since 2007's values were up 4.8% and 2006's values were up 5.6%, but to be up in today's market, even a little, is fabulous news!
This is another example of learning your local market and not listening to the national news.
As a seller, that means you shouldn't be taking a loss on your home unless you have owned it only a couple of years as average closing costs to a seller are around 8%. Your house will need to have appreciated at least this amount to break even.
As a buyer, this means that you can buy a house today at basically the same price as last year, but have a much lower mortgage payment as rates have dropped considerably over last year's rates. On a home priced about $200,000, you could be paying upwards of $235 less a month (rates were at 6.75% and now at 4.875%).
Why wouldn't you want to buy TODAY with all that savings?!?!
With this great news for buyers, that means all you sellers who are on the fence about selling should be hopping off. There are buyers for your homes, and when your home sells, you'll also be able to take advantage of today's lower rates as well.
It's a WIN/WIN for both buyers and sellers right now.
I hear it all the time that sellers want to wait and see what happens with property values, and they'll try to sell when they see values go up some more. The bigger of the two main problems with that is if your value is going up, so are the houses you're going to look at to purchase. But, not only are the values going to go up when you finally decide to sell and buy, but rates will also go up and that just ruined not only your buying power, but also the buying power for the people who would be looking at your home to puchase as well... double edged-sword!
My professional opinion for every seller in Austin, Dallas, Houston, or anywhere in Texas, *thinking* about selling is to get your house on the market now to take advantage of the stable values and lower rates or you'll kick yourself later when you're trying to buy a house next year when rates are back up into the 6+% range.