Spring is here, or at least in Fort Collins, Colorado, where it’s 70° today on March 9, 2017.
The home buying season is heating up (as well as the weather), and I’m asked daily, “will the appreciation in home prices slow down?”
I wish I knew because I would advise my clients to either buy anything you can right now OR ‘take your time, no one else is looking.’
I won’t be saying that last part for a while. But if you have great credit, some down payment and you’re willing to offer a few thousand more to compete, you should be buying. If you’re selling a home, do the cosmetic fixes, clean up the front yard, and don’t necessarily take Zillow’s estimates as the unvarnished truth. Be willing to listen to advice from your real estate agent when she tells you to pay attention to the comps she sent you three times.
We are wading in unchartered territory. The market hasn’t seen this type of appreciation in quite a while. But now some sources say that Investors doing fix n’ flips may be a little less willing to pay thousands over for a house that needs too much work to make their efforts worthwhile. That leaves it available for first-time home-buyers or DIY’s who will occupy the home and fix it up as money and time allows.
Per Realtor.com, the median list price for a home for sale in Fort Collins is $389,000. The closing price is $343,000. In Loveland, median listing price is $362,0000 and $320,000 closing price. In Greeley, the median list is $282,000 and closing price is $239,000. For those of us living in these areas even in just the past five years, these are astounding numbers.
It’s All About the Price Range
But, what you do still depends on price range. The lower end of the market price-wise demands an aggressive buyer ready to take a few chances in securing their first home. If interest rates stay under 5%, we may still maintain a strong seller’s market. As it creeps up to the average 6.9% we had in 1990, that may shift and sellers will be the ones making concessions to get their house under contract.
The Federal Reserve has maintained that they will be raising interest rates as soon as next week or at least sometime in March. And they won’t stop there.
Northern Colorado remains the coveted place to live for many people but there will come a time that rising home prices and lack of choice will deter many buyers. We just don’t know when that will be. Just like we can’t predict the weather in Colorado. A few hours ago, I was in shorts and T-shirt on the Poudre Trail with my dogs—now I’m closing windows and looking for a sweatshirt.
I can easily adapt to the weather here. It’s not always that easy to adapt to housing markets.