These last 5 months have seen dramatic changes in the real estate market in the
Puget Sound region. Home prices are down, mortgage interest rates are up, equity
has been lost. Fortunately, for homeowners, equity continues to increase year over
year, though it has slowed its rise. Buyers also have increased leverage when
putting in an offer.
Additionally, if invested in stocks as most 401Ks and IRAs are, the stock market
has recently wiped away all gains for 2018. What if you’re on the cusp of retirement
whatever that means in our current era? And, what exactly will the first full
year of new tax laws dictate come income tax filing season just around the corner?
For those still interested in getting into their first home or upgrading to a larger
place, market conditions continue to swing in favor of buyers. Generally, multiple
offers are the exception rather than the rule, foregoing inspections is a thing of the
past (thank goodness) and there’s more to choose from when searching for the right
home making an acquisition more likely at less than the original asking price.
Here are 3 ways to design your future that may or may not include homeownership:
- If you are considering purchasing a home, now may be a really good time to buy
especially for homes on the market during the holidays. These months have been
historically busiest for me because there’s value in shopping for a home when
everyone else is steeped in holiday busyness. Pounce now, because sellers, in
our current cool-down, want to sell. Plus, there may or may not be another interest
rate hike by the Federal Reserve in December. Time to hedge your bets.
- Older homeowners or those thinking of retirement in the next year may want to
consider selling the house and moving to places where the cost of living is lower.
A recent survey listed Missoula, Montana and Boise, Idaho as two of the top
places where Seattleites are relocating to ease the pocketbook and the stress level
that comes with our ever-growing city.
- If it’s time to leave work and the big house, consider living abroad. Increasingly popular, smaller countries where Americans are moving to include Portugal, Spain, Costa Rica, even France. There’s a country for every taste, of course, but a lower cost of living, better health care and a much higher quality of life may be just the thing to spark an entire re-write to the next chapter of your story.
Whether it’s time to buy a home, move up, downsize or relocate across the country
or the world, there are ample resources to get every question answered. The search
- and research - should be part of the fun, adding to the anticipation for just how
life could change in, as of yet, unimagined ways.