For those of you who follow the real estate market, you are probably well aware of the price of homes in Ventura County. Even those who do not closely follow real estate have probably heard a few times over the past year or so about someone who put their home on the market that received multiple offers above asking price within the first week. Some out there may argue that the housing market is at an unsustainable level and cannot continue at this pace for much longer. We speak to many people ourselves who tell us that they will wait until the market crashes before they seriously consider buying a home. For those who may be looking to buy a home sooner rather than later, below are 5 reasons that we came up with why buying now is just as good a time as any.
Low Interest Rates
For quite a few years now, interest rates have been at historically low levels. And of course, a lower interest rate means a lower monthly payment. Bankrate.com currently shows that interest rates in Ventura County range anywhere from 3.5% to 3.8% on a 30-year mortgage with 20% down (if the borrower has good credit). No one knows how much longer these low rates will stick around, but most everybody believes that they have to go up at some point. When they start going up and how fast they will increase remains to be seen. For those who are able to utilize conventional financing, there may never be a better time to buy properties with bank financing.
Lending Standards Have Loosened
If you remember a few years back, it was difficult for even those with the best credit to sometimes find a bank to lend them money. Over the past few years, the lending standards have slowly come back to “normal.” If you have good credit and a steady income from your job, you are in a good position to get a mortgage from a bank. Lending is not as available as it was before the market crash, but that’s probably a good thing for the health of the overall economy. We have also seen several options for non-owner occupied financing on top of the usual owner occupied loans.
Use of Technology
With the amount of technology available in today’s society, it is possible to buy houses without ever leaving the comfort of your home. While this is not advisable in most cases, it can be done. Before the internet became widespread, buying a home could be a tedious and time consuming proposition. Below is a list of some of the tasks that you can now do from home.
- View neighborhoods using Google Street View
- Get new listings sent to your email automatically via a real estate agent
- Use sites such as Redfin or Zillow to research prices in any given neighborhood
- Check out the latest mortgage rates and apply for loans online
We could go on-and-on with that list, but we’re sure you get the picture.
Real Estate information
Related to the paragraph above, there is now a multitude of information out there for anyone to learn whatever they want about real estate. There are websites, podcasts, blog posts, eBooks, etc. that people can access for free. Those looking to buy a home no longer have to rely 100% on a real estate agent to educate them about buying a home. We believe it should be your responsibility to learn at least something about the home buying process before looking to buy a home. Always remember that no one will have your best interests at heart more than you do.
Real Estate Has Historically Risen In Value
If you ask 100 real estate “professionals” about the current state of the Ventura County real estate market, my guess is that well over half of them will say that prices are too high and a correction is imminent. While no one can predict the future, evidence supports that all real estate goes through cycles, so real estate prices go up and then they go down. When they will go down and by how much remains to be seen. What we are pretty sure of is that if/when they do go down, they will come back up at some point. Historical trends show even with these ups and downs, the average price of Ventura county real estate goes up over the long term. That means if you buy a home and plan on living in it for the long term, even if housing prices drop, they should go back up. The last housing market crash was one of the worse in the history of the real estate market, but once again prices are near or at what they were before the crash. While others may have a different point of view, our opinion is that it is never a bad time to buy an owner occupied home if you have a high level of certainty that you will not need to sell it within the next 10 years.