Over the summer, market watcher became nervous as mortgage rates crept up more than a full percentage point and home sales stalled. In mid September, however, the Federal Reserve announced it would continue its efforts to keep rates down. It worked. The average 30-year fixed-rate home loan rate dropped to 4.32% last week, according to data from Freddie Mac. With the Fed’s plan likely to continue into the market stabilizes, it’s a pretty safe bet that rates will remain low for some time.
If you’re buying a home this fall, in the off season, here are a few tips to keep in mind.
Hold Out For Lower Prices
With the peak season passed, sellers with property still on the market will be eager to sell. In fact, according to National Association of Realtors, home prices fall by an average $7,000 after Labor Day.
Find a Fixer-Upper
Fall is a slow time for home sales but also for contractors, according to the Census Bureau, and home and garden stores. So when it comes to deciding to make an offer among fewer properties, remember that you can also get repairs at a discount. Consider that it might be worth it to buy a home that needs minor or aesthetic changes, like a kitchen upgrade or central air system, when home stores and builders will be discounting their inventory. The right repairs and changes could even end up adding value to the property.
Take Advantage of the Season
Summer’s a comfortable time of year, when houses and neighborhoods are primed for home sales. Shopping for a new home during the fall may not be as easy but it will present a unique opportunity to get a good look at a property. Want to know if the gutters work, how much you’re going to have to rake and if there are any drafts? Fall is the perfect time to view a house under those less than desirable conditions.
Photo Courtesy, Henrik Sundholm.