Expert tips to navigate an uncertain real estate market

The median home price is $407,100, the highest ever recorded
Published: Oct. 17, 2023 at 11:00 AM AKDT
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(InvestigateTV) — Limited inventory and reduced buying power due to high interest rates have plagued home buyers in 2023 according to a recent report by Bankrate.

The same report predicts that home prices will continue to grow through the end of the year by three to four percent.

Cherry Dale, a financial coach with the Virginia Credit Union, said it is imperative for would-be home buyers and sellers to do their research, specifically, on their local real estate market.

After local research, Dale said sellers and buyers should take a hard look at their own financial picture as they navigate the current market.

“I highly suggest you pull your own credit and see where you are as far as your credit score, and what debt is out there and what your debt-to-income ratio is,” Dale suggested. “All of these things will impact you when you’re getting ready to purchase that house.”

Dales said first-time home buyers should consider attending a seminar to help them better understand the process. Real estate 101 classes are readily available in many markets.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has a list of agencies that offer resources and counseling for potential home buyers.

Dale offered several more steps to take to prepare for buying a home:

Research interest rates, potentially with multiple brokers

Ask mortgage specialists about “lock a shop” where rates are locked for a specific period of time

Find a team to help with the search

“One of the things we highly suggest is to get a team on your side. You want to have a realtor on your side that is licensed. that’s doing this full time. That’s focused on your needs and your wants,” Dale said. “You want to start looking around for a loan officer from a financial institution that’s going to help support you.”