A new year, a new home—why not? Well, if you’ve been thinking of purchasing a home, 2018 is primed to be a great year for finding (and financing) your dream home. There’s been a lot in the news about how 2017 was a fantastic seller’s market, but the field is leveling as we begin this new year. Find out the top five reasons buying a home should be one of your 2018 new year’s resolutions.
- Rates are on the rise.
Mortgage interest rates are still looking good, so don’t fret over rumors about rising rates. But don’t completely ignore them either. It’s true that rates are creeping up, but they’re not exploding. However, everyone is predicting that the year could end with rates inching close to 5%, so the sooner the better for locking in the lowest rate this year.
- There should be more homes to choose from.
It’s been pretty slim pickings across the Wasatch Front, but things are looking up. This means more than just a better selection of potential dream homes—it also means you might have more room to negotiate on price and other perks when you put together an offer.
- Prices are starting to level off.
Rising prices are good news for sellers and a reassuring indication that the economy is doing well. But they’re not what you want to see when you’re looking to buy. Fortunately, all signs point to a stabilization in the market when it comes to home prices. This means that there will be fewer homes going for (or above) asking price, which means you have a better chance of getting the most house for your money.
- Mortgage interest is still a write-off.
While this shouldn’t be the reason you buy, it’s one of the better benefits. In the wake of the new tax bill many people feared that the mortgage interest deduction was going to be a thing of the past. Fortunately, that’s not the case, at least if you buy a home for under $750,000. If you’re a young professional without many tax write-offs, this deduction can be mighty tempting—and why wouldn’t you want to put a few extra dollars in your pocket with an investment that lets you lock in your monthly housing cost and build equity?
- It’s cheaper than renting.
Just like home prices, rents have skyrocketed in recent years. With millennials putting off home purchases, the demand for prime rental real estate has been higher than ever. But, as successful millennial professionals are looking for ways to invest (not to mention how to cut monthly costs), home ownership is looking more appealing. Last year Salt Lake County rents were up 6.5% from 2016, with one-bedroom apartments easily going for a grand per month. It’s increases like these that make mortgage payments look attractive—most people can afford two or three bedrooms for as much (or maybe even less) than they’ve been paying for rent.
Buying a home is a big decision, but sometimes all the stars align to let you know the time is right to act. In 2018, there are a lot of home-buying stars shining in the sky. So if you want to save on rent, find a nice tax deduction, and start building equity in a solid investment, put house shopping on your 2018 to-do list.