Homebuyers: Is now the time to buy, or are you better off waiting? This is a tough question, and the answer to it depends on the client.

In fact, every time we get in touch with a new buyer that we’ll potentially work with, we have a 30- to 40-minute face-to-face meeting in our office. This gives the buyer the opportunity to see if we’re the right fit for them as their agent, and gives us the opportunity to learn more about them: What are they looking for? What gets them excited about a house? What’s their price range? How will their life change if we find for them what they want?

During that time, we can really come to understand whether or not it’s the right time for that client to buy. If you’ve never been in contact with us, we can’t really give you the best advice to help answer this question. That said, I’ll do my best in a general sense.

The market is currently giving us a little bit of a head fake. Had you asked me what was going on in the market in August of last year, I would have said that prices are flattening out or falling in many areas, and that we’re starting to see signs of a shift toward a more normalized market where homes will still sell for fair prices, but we won’t see these massive 10% to 15% appreciation rates year over year.

“If you know that you want to buy in the next one or two years, buying now will likely result in you getting the lowest monthly payment.”

About a month ago, however, we noticed yet another shift. Buyers are starting to feel comfortable with the new market norms, and with interest rates being at a 14-month low and employment as strong as it is, we’re actually starting to see home prices rise. In fact, the last three homes that my team and I have sold actually sold for not just above asking price, but also more than the last home sold.

So, if you’re a buyer who is waiting for prices to fall or are concerned that the market is going to crash (causing you to hesitate on the market), you may find yourself waiting longer than you expected. It is my personal opinion that we’ll see the market consistently appreciate year over year in the Orange County/Los Angeles area for the next one to three years.

Ultimately, the questions for those who are considering waiting are: Do you want to buy a home? And, more importantly, can you afford to buy? How long can you wait before buying?

If you know that you want to buy in the next one or two years, buying now will likely result in you getting the lowest monthly payment. But again, every situation is examined on a case-by-case basis. Generally speaking, though, if you’re thinking about buying, it may be a good idea to do so sooner than later, or you risk paying more over time.

For those who are thinking of buying a home and would profit from a face-to-face conversation with my team and me, feel free to reach out to us. We can learn more about each other and better illuminate whether or not now is the right time for you to get out in the market.