The 2019 Fall Housing Market & You: 4 Tips
If you’ve been to HomeGoods lately, then you’ve seen the signs: autumn is here!
The shift from summer to fall means that kids are back in school, vacation-time has come to a close, and pumpkin spice has declared ownership of our souls once more.
But what does it mean for our local housing market?
If you’re anxious about what’s to come — apart from chunky-knit sweaters and, *gulp*, Christmas shopping — here are some tips for you!
1. CHECK YOUR AC UNITS
Okay, so this probably isn’t news to you, but despite the fact that summer is on its way out, it’s still been hot as heck here in SoCal, and there is speculation that this could continue through October.
If your HVAC has been hanging in there so far, then you’re one of the lucky ones! But it still may not be a bad idea to have your favorite local AC technician come out to perform a check-up (some home warranty companies now offer this as a service).
This is especially true if you’re thinking of listing your home in the coming month or so, because no one wants to tour a home that feels like it’s located on the corner of Hellfire Ave. and Surface of the Sun Dr., right? Plus, your HVAC is one of your home’s most important systems. In an area as dependent upon a working AC as ours, a faulty HVAC system can be a turn-off that buyers have a hard time ignoring.
2. MORTGAGE LOANS: KEEP AN EYE ON THOSE INTEREST RATES
I’ve said this so often that I probably say it in my sleep at this point: Home prices and interest rates have an inverse relationship. When one goes up, the other comes down.
Currently, interest rates are low, which is good news for everybody! Buyers are charged less interest on the money they borrow to purchase their new homes, and sellers can command a higher price for their properties.
However, this may not last forever.
That means that if moving has been on your mind, it may make sense to do so sooner than later.
If you wait until the first of the year (as many folks tend to do around this season), you may end up selling your home for less money, AND you may end up with a higher interest rate when you purchase your next property.
3. LEVERAGE THE LOW INVENTORY
When kids go back to school and the holidays begin looming in the distance, people are — not surprisingly — less inclined to move. This isn’t necessarily the best strategy, but it is the most common tendency nonetheless.
This means that, generally speaking, fewer homes will be going up for sale between now and January 2020. While inventory has increased in other parts of the nation, here in our area, it is still quite low.
However, whether you are a buyer or a seller, you can use this VERY much to your advantage.
If you’re thinking of selling your home, your property will have FAR less competition this time of year.
And if you’re thinking of buying, you’re much less likely to end up in the position of duking it out with other hungry buyers when you find your perfect home, since properties may not be as likely to receive multiple offers in the fall/winter seasons.
4. TALK TO YOUR INSURANCE GUY/GAL, BECAUSE FIRES.
Like the rest of you, I’m really hoping we don’t end up having a repeat of the Woolsey Fire this year, but it’s never too early to prepare, especially if your home backs open space, or if you really have your heart set on a home with a view (which will probably back, or at least be near, open space).
For the current homeowners among us, refresh your memory on wildfire preparedness by checking out this site: https://www.readyforwildfire.org/
If you’re shopping for your new home, and it happens to be located somewhere near open space, call your insurance guy/gal before you write an offer with your agent. They should be able to tell you what the fire hazard potential looks like for that particular address, and whether it will affect the cost of your coverage.