In the past few weeks, I’ve seen a lot of experts on TV, radio and online tell Americans 2015 is the year to buy a home. These stories are more than your typical “how to accomplish your New Year’s resolutions stories”, as they actually cite reasons for their claim. If you’ve been reading our Austin real estate blog, you know there are a lot of reasons to buy a home in Austin in 2015. Namely job growth, steady rent increases and a strong real estate market that’s expected to continue. But, why do experts say 2015 is the year to buy a home in Austin?
Lower Down Payment Loans Available
You don’t need 20% down to buy a home anymore. Conventional lenders are now issuing loans with as little as 3% down, and the down payment can be a gift. If a generous family member wants to help you buy a home (we all have one of those, right?), you won’t have to put any money down. Historically, most loan programs have required the borrower to come up with the down payment. Down payment gifts are opening up doors for those who don’t have the money saved.
Credit Qualifications Easing – More People Will Qualify
For a while, home buyers had to have pristine credit in order to qualify for a mortgage. If you have less than perfect credit, FHA loans offer a 3.5% down payment for borrowers with credit scores of 580. Traditionally FHA loans have been fraught with expensive fees, but recently announced fee decreases have made FHA loans more affordable. Conventional lenders are also easing their credit qualifications so more borrowers can qualify for conventional loans as well.
There are many different loan programs out there for all types of buyers. Our recommendation is to work with a reputable mortgage broker who can help you determine which loan program best fits your financial goals. Need a list of great lenders? Email us at info@11OaksRealty.com.
Builders Ramping Up Supply – More Choices
For the last two Springs, builders have had very little inventory for buyers looking for a move-in ready, new home. We would take buyers to new neighborhoods and unless they wanted to wait nine months to build, there were no options. That seems to be changing. Most builders are recognizing demand and starting inventory homes before they have a buyer. Though you don’t usually see many choices, there are still a few new homes in every neighborhood at any given time. It seems future buyers will have more choices than recent home buyers.
Interest Rates Remain Low – But Are Expected to Rise at Some Point
I know, I know. We’ve been hearing this same story for years now. Interest rates are not going to be low forever. The fact is, though we’ve seen small increases throughout the last 8 or so years, Interest rates have always floated back down to historically low levels. Interest rates remain low as we head into 2015, but experts predict interest rates will eventually rise. Whether that will be in 2015, 2016 or beyond, no one knows. My advice – take advantage of low interest rates now while you have the opportunity. Then you don’t have to worry about where interest rates go.
More Jobs Created in 2014 & Job Growth Expected to Continue
Austin created 39,100 jobs in 2014 and is expected to add 69,400 new jobs in 2015 and 2016. Austin’s job market continues to remain strong and even those who move to Austin without a job don’t have too much trouble finding one. This has increased buyer confidence and motivated many renters to become homeowners. As Austin rents continue to rise, I would imagine more renters will start their home search.
Think 2015 Might be the Year for You to Buy a Home in Austin?
Our team loves helping Austin home buyers find the right homes in the right neighborhood for them. And, we’re pretty good at it. We know the market and neighborhoods well and can help you get a great deal on your next home, even in this strong real estate market. Check out our Austin Home Buyers page to learn a little bit more about our team and how we work. Then, email us at info@11OaksRealty.com, call us at (512) 827-8323 or fill out our Buyer Survey to get started. And, remember…hiring an Eleven Oaks Realty buyer’s agent costs you nothing. Our fee is paid by the seller.