The last few years have been a whirlwind for the real estate market across the US. Following the market crash, housing prices plummeted, interest rates fell and people wondered if they’d be able to keep their homes or if the value of their homes would ever go back up. More recently, the market has started to level out. Home prices have begun to go back up, but interest rates on mortgages are still relatively low.
If you’re thinking about dipping your toes into the real estate waters this year, here’s what you need to know about the market.
What’s Happening in 2016
One thing that is happening in the real estate market in 2016 is that home prices are continuing to go back up. Kiplinger reported that home prices increased by 6.4 percent in 2014, by 4 percent in 2015 and are expected to increase by 3 percent in 2016. That’s not as large of an increase as a few years ago, but is still better than before.
According to Realtor’s Field Guide to Quick Real Estate Statistics, more than 5 million homes were sold in 2015. Around 32 percent of buyers were first-time buyers and nearly 87 percent of buyers worked with a real estate agent to buy their homes. The Internet plays a big role in the buying and selling of houses, with 44 percent of buyers finding the home they eventually bought online.
Atlanta, Georgia was named as one of the best metropolitan areas for homeowners in 2016, according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle. The area’s low property taxes, strong appreciation of home values and low cost of energy all played a part in it making it to the third spot on the list.
Words You Need to Know
You might encounter a number of unfamiliar terms when you start the process of buying a home or getting a mortgage. Here are few common terms and what they mean:
- Adjustable Rate Mortgage: Also called an ARM. The interest rate on an adjustable rate mortgage changes over the life of the loan, depending on the market rate. You can end up paying more or less each month, if rates increase or decrease.
- Closing: The final step before you can become a homeowner. During it, you sign documents, pay all the fees and costs associated with the sale and walk away with the keys to your new home.
- Conventional Mortgage: Your basic mortgage. It can have a fixed or adjustable rate. If you have great credit and a large down payment, this is probably the type of mortgage you’ll get.
Are You Ready to Jump In?
If you’re ready to start the process of buying a home and need financing to do so, the first step is to get prequalified for a mortgage from a lender. We’re happy to answer any questions you have, define any confusing terms and get you on the path to owning a home. For more details, contact us today.