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Is now a good time to buy your first home?

Jonathan Weaver, MVI’s HUD-Certified Housing Counselor, discusses the current housing market and how it impacts first-time homebuyers.

There is no shortage of pessimism about today’s housing market in the news and on social media. The past few years have been challenging with fluctuating interest rates and home prices, especially for first-time homebuyers who are new to the process. 

So, is now a good time to buy your first home? Whether or not you should buy a home is often impacted more by personal financial factors than broad economic factors that are largely out of your control.  

The reality is that if you have that perfect home that just went up for sale, now is a good time to buy for you. While average interest rates are higher than the past few years, currently 6.32%, they are not unusual. Over the course of the last 30 years, the normal time period for a fixed-rate mortgage, interest rates have fluctuated greatly depending on economic events and policy. 

The Federal Reserve’s goal in increasing rates is to calm the homebuying frenzy that existed prior to this year and so far, it seems to be working. The good news is that during a slowdown, we tend to see more assistance programs that benefit first-time homebuyers. We have also begun to see more sellers offer closing cost assistance which was not part of the conversation a year ago.

First Front Door, which opened on March 15, is a grant program from FHLBank Pittsburgh that offers downpayment and closing cost assistance to first time homebuyers. It provides $3.00 in assistance for every $1.00 you contribute, up to $5,000. As part of the program, you must receive housing counseling which MVI can help with. 

Just because your perfect home is up for sale also does not mean you are financially ready to pursue it. If that’s the case, it is a good time to position yourself for the next time the opportunity arises – working on building good credit, reducing your debt-to-income ratio, and finding a realistic budget that allows you to save. 

If saving right now is not an option for you, maybe it is time to find that new job that pays a better wage so that when your perfect house becomes available, you are ready and not trying to scramble to get your finances together.  

Mon Valley Initiative is here to talk you through your options and make a plan. Reach out to me at 412-464-4000 ext. 4008 or jweaver@monvalleyinitiative.com. We also have our next Homebuyer’s Club coming up on April 27 at 6 PM – you can register to attend here.

If you would rather look for a new career first, contact our Workforce Development & Financial Coaching team at 412-464-4000 ext. 4000 or abell@monvalleyinitiative.com.

Mon Valley Initiative