As everyone starts to get geared up for the spring season, there are a few things to keep in mind.
First, the fall and winter were unseasonablyslow, so this spring will be a very busy and very competitive market. In practical terms, this means the best properties will be confronting multiple offers and bidding will be fast paced. Those who wait to make decisions or do not have their financial ducks in a row will lose out.
Second, interest rates are rising. The last few weeks have seen often daily increases in mortgage interest rates. This means the longer you wait, the more money banks will charge you per month for a mortgage. Also, you will be able to afford less house with your money.
Third, buyers unfamiliar with the local market are often surprised with the prices of Philadelphia homes. Homes in this market are typically pristine or in need of a total gut-job, so buying here will not be cheap. An increase in the interest rate of a percentage point or two can make the difference between affording a home you like,one that will take you years to rehab on your own, or not being able to afford to live in the city at all. A $300,000 home is quickly becoming the starting price for hot neighborhoods. Expect that to increase soon, even as soon asthis spring.
Fourth, you can bet residential home prices will continue to climb long-term.Philadelphiais a hot, quickly-growing market with huge potential. We are one of thefastest-growing residentialmarkets in the country with prices increasing 5.54%1. Moreover, there are many factors that promise much large-scale long-term growth such asthe fact that Philadelphia is the number onedestination for people moving from New York City2. (Why do you think Fishtown prices have climbed over the course of a few months?) Brooklynites turning Fishtown into Little Brooklyn is only the beginning.New York buyers are the wild card real estate professionals and homeowners dream of and renters fear. It means there is almost no ceiling to how high and how fast Philadelphia real estate prices can climb.
Fifth, all this means you need to be ready. Have you preapproval ready when you go to meet your real estate professional, and moreover, know what is onyourNeeds vs. Wants List. You may want parking and a three-bedroom in Rittenhouse Square for under 300k, but is that a must? Know what 1-3 features you cannot do without. If your list of needs is longer than that, you couldmiss out on great opportunities.
You should have your finances and needs worked out at least three months before you plan to buy. That way, you will have the best chance of landing that dream home. (It is out there, I have seen it.)
We are very excited to present SPACE & COMPANY, a boutique real estate brokerage dedicated to re-thinking real estate in Center City , Philadelphia. Our business model, characterized by a commitment to our local community, green living and technology, provides a unique perspective for our clients and agents. Educating our agents on quickly changing market trends and supporting their use of the latest technological tools is a priority.
At SPACE & COMPANY we continue to embrace our forward thinking, results-oriented marketing. Things have changed drastically for the real estate industry in the past few years. Given this, we are not content to provide the status quo – we will continue to strive to be a step ahead, offering creative solutions that speak for themselves.