If you’re like me, it was pretty incredible to see what happened in the housing market in the last 12-18 months. Iowa’s housing market has always been pretty steady (and resilient, even during and after the crisis of 2008). But if you talked to anyone buying or selling a home in the Cedar Rapids area recently, it felt as if our market had morphed into something you hear on the coasts – feeding frenzy, escalating home values, and competing offers driving prices up.
Despite the market, if you’re at a stage in life where you’re ready for a new home (getting married? Growing your family? Moving to a better location? Ready to downsize?) – you might be fearful of starting the process.
Bottom line: In 2022, the market is expected to stabilize, and it will be a good time to buy.
Let’s go through a few common fears, and what you can do about them.
1. Will I even be able to find a home?
Yes, inventory in the local market is low (but expected to start increasing again!). I have still been able to find my clients homes that check all their boxes, even in this market. How? I network with local Realtors to learn about homes that haven’t hit the market yet, I have access to the MLS of all properties as they come up for sale in your desired neighborhood, and I can get you in to see houses in a competitive time, and eventually make a competitive offer.
2. Will I pay too much for my new home?
A lot of us are still stinging from living through the 2008 housing crisis, and the uncertainty of a global pandemic. The truth is, homes in the Cedar Rapids area have steadily appreciated in value during the past 15 years (despite .5% drops in 2009 and 2013). Home values in the area have increased, but I help my clients negotiate competitive offers with the long game in mind so they don’t panic and get into a home they can’t build equity in.
3. Will mortgage interest rates go up this year?
Inflation and an uncertain global market will increase rates this year. But, rates have been so low, for so long, it’s easy to lose perspective. Predictions point to mortgage interest rates this year could reach 4%, which is still low.
4. Will it be hard to maintain or repair my new home with the current supply chain?
If you’re a newer home owner, home maintenance can feel like a steep climb. To start, make sure you get a home inspection pre-purchase, and rely on your Realtor (me!) to negotiate larger-ticket items for you before you take possession. (Negotiating a home warranty is a good idea, too). Next, the rest is pretty do-able: Find a plumber and pest control company to keep on speed-dial (it’ll come in handy, I promise – bonus points if you have an HVAC company on speed dial, too – furnaces and AC units always break when you need them). Try to build savings just for maintenance, and look long-term for ways you might want to improve your home.
5. I’m worried the process will be too complex, and my life is too busy right now.
As a father of 2, who is currently working and renovating a 90-year-old house, I understand 100%. The most exciting times in our lives also tend to be the busiest! This is where having an experienced Realtor you can trust comes in. I’m here to make things simple, do the heavy lifting behind the scenes and make your needs the priority, and take you through the process one step at a time.