Agent's Perspective - Is Now a Good Time to Buy?


If you have been sitting on the sidelines waiting to buy real estate because of the extremely competitive, now might be the time to make your purchase. With the exceptions of a few prime locations, Peninsula real estate is becoming more attainable. Prices are still very high compared to a couple of years ago, but we think market conditions are a little more balanced. Sellers are slowly realizing that they need to price their property right in order to attract a buyer. There are fewer and fewer multiple bidding situations. 

So is now a good time to buy? That depends. We know that isn’t really an answer, but there are some questions you first must answer before you can decide if buying real estate is something you should consider. Probably the first thing you have to ask yourself is how long do you plan to be living in the area? What is your employment forecast like? Real estate is directly related to employment. Not only do you need to consider job security, but you need to consider what the employment forecast in your field looks like in general. Employment on the Peninsula is very strong. Over the long term, due to population growth and strong job market, most feel we will continue to have steadfast appreciating market values. 

For a quick real estate analysis of a property’s value, we always look for three primary things: price, terms, and appeal. The price is not always the most important thing to consider. Terms; is there any special financing available, perhaps with the seller? Long term interest rates are still at historical lows, that alone creates positive “terms”. Terms and interest rates are often the most important factor. Appeal; is the neighborhood good? Do the schools have high test scores? Are the homes in the area well kept? If you can get two of these three things in your purchase, you should probably go ahead and make an offer to purchase. 

The great weather we have in the BayArea adds to the desirability and quality of life. The home prices are very high here compared to most other areas of California, but the desirability is also very high. 

When you look at rental prices the difference between buying verses renting is often the down payment. It is impossible to try and time the market. Over the long term the fluctuations in the real estate market have less and less value or importance. It is far more important to make a reasonable purchase if you are able; the sooner the better. 

Lock in a 4%-5% fixed rate loan and hold on to your property. You always need a place to live and, believe me, five years from now you will be happy you purchased when you did.