Buying a home is the biggest financial decision many people make. As with any major decision, a key question to answer before proceeding: Why?
Perhaps your why is a larger home to raise children, or have a yard, or get to a better school system, or in the time of COVID-19, to find a home office. There is no right or wrong answer, merely the best one that fits each individual circumstance.
“There is an emotional side to home ownership, particularly in the United States – it’s often baked into people’s vision of the future or part of the American dream,” said Tom Figgatt, president of Portolan Financial in New Orleans. “And it does feel good to own your own house; you can feel like it is a home and not just a temporary dwelling.”
The benefits of home ownership don’t come without costs and limitations. For some, renting may be a better option. The pros and cons of buying a house should be considered as you think through the process, and before a decision is made.
One recent significant consideration: The COVID-19 pandemic lit the housing market like a bottle rocket. Home prices rose in early 2021 at the fastest pace in 15 years. The most affordable homes rose 16.5% year over year. Too, homes are being snapped off the market with Usain Bolt-like speed, sometimes sight unseen.
The boom in sales and buying is expected to continue for several more months, at least. It’s great for sellers, provided they have found a home they can afford to buy. It’s not so great for those who may not be able to afford a down payment, or who can’t act fast. Buyers well positioned to make an offer can find their dream home; they just have to act quickly. In this housing market, there is no reward in hesitating.