Now that we’re deep into the fall season amidst higher interest rates, some home buyers seem to be weighing their options and waiting until next spring to jump back into their home search. Even so, the Boston area is seeing signs of a vibrant market––it just looks a little different.
Our economy in Boston remains strong, especially with an influx of buyers relocating here for work. Properties are continuing to sell quickly––if priced right. And those who have significant cash savings are opting to sidestep the high interest rates for now, by taking smaller mortgages or avoiding a mortgage altogether.
Where is there opportunity for buyers?
So, why enter the market as a buyer right now? If you are waiting out interest rates, you are not alone––that means any drop in interest rates will likely resume intensive buying competition. Especially given the expensive, competitive spring rental season in Boston, this fall and winter may present an opportunity to invest in ownership with less competition and to begin building equity, knowing there’s an option to later refinance into a cheaper mortgage once loan rates drop.
Interest rates are still historically low. If buyers can afford a higher monthly payment, consider buying now and refinancing later when rates go back down. As Susan Kelly, loan officer at Fairway Mortgage, says, “marry the house, date the rate.”
Given the current fall market, buyers may have opportunities that they won’t during the more competitive season:
- Purchasing with a lower down payment.
- Purchasing with a contingency to sell an existing home.
- Adding a full-inspection contingency to really size up a home.
There are also some financing strategies available to buyers:
- Have the seller pay a credit to lower their interest rate for the first two years (a “2-1 buydown”).
- Get the best rate they can now––whether with a jumbo or smaller loan––knowing they can later refinance to a lower rate if and when mortgage rates drop.
- Take an adjustable rate mortgage now, with a rate that starts low––knowing that if rates drop in the next year or two, they can refinance.
How do we maximize exposure for sellers?
We still consider this a seller’s market, given the limited homes for sale. However, sellers should be prepared for things to look somewhat different moving forward. For example, it’s less likely a home will receive several competing offers within the first five days. We may plan for multiple weekends of open houses and cater to buyers’ schedules with private showings.
Our listings are still receiving multiple offers, but rather than 10 offers well above asking price with waived contingencies, it’s more likely there will be two solid offers and they may include a home inspection and financing contingency.
Careful timing, attractive pricing, and attention to detail are more critical than ever, and our team is here to help you think through the most strategic approach. Reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.