It’s time to buy your first home! Hooray! This is a big deal and a major milestone in your life. It’s definitely not something to do on a whim. As a first-time n=home buyer, there are a gazillion things you should know before you take the plunge. We want to make sure you have all the information you need to make a smart decision, not only on which home is the best choice for you, but also on which financing option will best fit your unique situation.
We’ve hit the bottom and we’re on the way back up. That’s the news from the latest Case Shiller index, which guages home prices across the country. Across the U.S., home prices rose an average 5.5% this past November, when compared with prices one year ago.
Some population centers are doing very well in the price rebound. Las Vegas, Phoenix, Miami, Tampa and many cities in California are experiencing healthy price jumps in housing values. Many of these areas were hit hardest after 2006, and homeowners there must be breathing a sigh of relief that the worst is behind them. Detroit is also doing very well with price increases. Although many homes here are still ridiculously undervalued (in some areas you can buy several homes for less than the price of an average automobile), the prices are moving up. Up is the direction we are looking for. The one exception is New York City. It was the only city of the 20 cities in the Case Shiller study that showed a price decline in November, year-over-year.
Here is a litte info from the Case Shiller report:
“The November monthly figures were stronger than October, with 10 cities seeing rising prices versus seven the month before.” says David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “Phoenix and San Francisco were both up 1.4% in November followed by Minneapolis up 1.0%. On the down side, Chicago was again amongst the weakest with a drop of 1.3% for November.
“Winter is usually a weak period for housing which explains why we now see about half the cities with falling month-to-month prices compared to 20 out of 20 seeing rising prices last summer. The better annual price changes also point to seasonal weakness rather than a reversal in the housing market. Further evidence that the weakness is seasonal is seen in the seasonally adjusted figures: only New York saw prices fall on a seasonally adjusted basis while Cleveland was flat.
Regional patterns are shifting as well. The Southwest – Las Vegas and Phoenix – are staging a strong comeback with the Southeast — Miami and Tampa close behind. The sunbelt, which bore the brunt of the housing collapse, is back in a leadership position. California is also doing well while the northeast and industrial Midwest is lagging somewhat.
“Housing is clearly recovering. Prices are rising as are both new and existing home sales. Existing home sales in November were 5.0 million, highest since November 2009. New Home sales at 398,000 were the highest since June 2010. These figures confirm that housing is contributing to economic growth.
Higher prices are good. That’s pretty much common sense. They give homeowners confidence and can encourage home buyers to take action before prices rise. However, everyone like a good deal and hates to know they waited too long for the best value on buying a home. Rising home prices mean they waited too long, right?
Not necessarily. It actually depends on who you listen to and where you want to live.
Kiplinger recently release their slide show 12 Cities Where Home Prices Have Fallen Most.
Cities where you can still get a good bang for your buck when it comes to buying some property. In Toledo, for example, you can buy a super-nice house for a super-low price.
In Louisville, KY, prices have fallen about 26% since the peak of the market in 2006. Lots of deals there. The other cities to make the list are: Columbia SC, Springfield, MA, Baton Rouge, LA, Scranton/Wilkes, PA, Greensboro, NC, Memphis, TN, Omaha, NE, Knoxville, TN, Philadelphia, PA, and Portland, ME.
If you’re looking for a great low price on a home, these are some cities to check out. Of course, as a I mentioned, Detroit is stock-full of great homes for incredibly low prices.
Plus, downtown Detroit is undergoing a full-fledged business boom right now that has no signs of slowing down. Come join us. Or buy a home anywhere. That’s fine too.
While the home prices and mortgage rates are still low. If you wait too late, you’ll be sorry.