Profile picture for zippy2009

I am thinking of buying a home in the raleigh/cary area. Is it a good time to buy a home?

  • February 02 2010 - Cary
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Answers (5)

It depends on your situation. The rates are low but so is inventory. So you need to be more than pre-qulaified today. I have a [Promotion removed by Zillow moderator. Please see our Good Neighbor Policy for information.]
  • May 09 2014
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It is always a good time to buy a home; especially for the reasons first listed. 

You need to determine if it is a good time for yourself!  Recent history has proven that home ownership is not for everyone!

Good Luck!
  • February 02 2010
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It is a good time, and you've gottten good answers so far .Let me try and simplify for you - there are 3 reasons.  You haven't said, so I will assume you are a first time Buyer - and please forgive me if I'm wrong.

Reason 1 -Tax Credits. It is time to act NOW to buy.  The Tax Credits ($8,000 1st time, $6,500 repeat) expire April 30, 2010. You have to be under contract on your home by that time. You will have until June 30 to close.

Reason 2 - Low Interest Rates. Rates are at a 40 year low, and they're held low by the Government right now. But the government will stop this at the end of March. If rates rise 1%, you've lost 12% of purchasing power.

Reason 3 - Good Home Prices.  If you're buying under $300,000 then prices are at least stable, and probably rising - the home will apppreciate.  If you're buying above $300K, the higher you go, the more prices have dropped. And our area is stable enough economically that prices should not decline for much longer even in the higher ranges. 

Here is what you need to do to act now.

Step 1:  Get pre-qualified for mortgage financing.

Changes in the mortgage rules have made it more important than ever to make this the very first step you take.  A great mortgage lender will make sure you're qualified for what you feel comfortable spending, and tell you any steps you need to take financially (saving for closing costs, downpayment, etc).  Note I said "what you're comfortable spending" - you will probably, based on your income, qualify for more than you expect.  You'll want to know how much you qualify for, should what you decide you want in your home bumps your price range up.

Step 2: Search for Homes Online.  Using the price range you're comfortable with, search online for homes.  Of the 100's of results you'll get - pick out 5 to 10 homes that appeal to you from the pictures and write down why they appeal to you. 

Step 3: Find a Realtor

A qualified Realtor will help you from the pre-qualification all the way to closing.  Using your list of appealing homes, we'll help you decide what features you're looking for. We'll help you answer the questions about "what type of home do I want?" - in features, location, etc. We will ask you questions you may not have considered but are important to your decision. We will tell you whether you can get everything you need in the price range you're comfortable with, and we'll tell you honestly whether you need to spend a little more to get what you want.  A qualified Realtor will be able to guide you through every step of the process - not just be the person that shows you homes.

Using a Realtor as your Buyer's Agent costs you nothing as a Buyer.



In my opinion - it really is that simple. Get pre-qualified, get an idea of what you like, and find a Realtor. At the same time, any expert Realtor can suggest several qualified mortgage lenders for you to speak with, and any qualified Realtor is willing to sit down and sift through the 100 "possible" homes to decide what you do and don't like right off the bat.
  • February 02 2010
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Now is a great time to buy with lower than usual rates and prices starting to stable off.  Depending on your price, style of home and features you would like in your home may help you determine if Cary or Raleigh may be a better fit for you.  Be sure to find a local agent knowledgeable about the market to assist you and they can answer all of your home buying questions.  Having a buyers agent working for you can be a tremendous asset.  Good luck with your home search and feel free to contact us with any further questions.
  • February 02 2010
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Profile picture for Tracy Santrock

It's a new year and a new real estate market. I've seen a flurry of activity in the past week.  I'm incredibly bullish on the Wake County NC real estate market for 2010.  The consensus on the market is that we have hit Bottom and are poised for recovery in 2010 which will be clear from the numbers below.   

What is going on with the Triangle real estate market in general?

Interest rates continue to remain low, the US housing market seems to be picking up in a number of areas in the country, the stock market has recovered ~20% in 2009, inventory is declining, and the government extension of the 1st Time & Homebuyer and repeat buyer tax credit will help jump start the market in Q12010.  Experts around the country predicted the Triangle NC housing market would be the last into the market downturn and the first to recover from the market decline.  Based on what I'm seeing this philosophy could hold true.  

Our residential real estate market depends on supply and demand as well as the amount of money available. There are a couple of factors at play here that could impact the recovery or at least extend the recovery into the 2nd half of 2010:  

  1. Tightening of underwriting standards
  2. Higher than expected unemployment rate 
  3. Families that are relocating from other areas are bringing less cash/equity with them which is effecting the affordability of housing, especially in the high price ranges.   

How do sales this year compare to the banner years?

2006 was a banner year in Wake County and the peak of the real estate market.  Since that time period sales have declined year over year with the exception of Q42009.  In 2009 85% of all home purchases were less than $350k which demonstrates the impact the 1st Time Homebuyer tax credit had on the Q42009 numbers and the biggest spike in home sales since the market declined in 2006.  

I thought I'd include numbers from the MLS that indicate the change in the market year over year in Wake County for your reference.  Comparing Q42009 Wake County numbers with Q42008 Wake County numbers the changes are quite dramatic:

  • YTD homes sales are now off by just 26% 
  • This is the 1st November in memory that home sales exceeded June/July closings
  • Supply of homes on the market is generally off during the 4th QTR but declined 39% compared to Q42008
  • Number of homes under contract are up a respectable 15% 
  • Average Days on Market has also stabilized at 83 DOM but could use some improvement during 2010

What about the supply of inventory for Wake County in particular?

  • The average supply in the Wake County area is running at 7 months supply. This number is up from the glory days but getting closer to market stabilization with 6 months supply of inventory. 


What about market appreciation? 

Fortunately, in this area, we have not had the run up in prices experienced around the rest of the country which has helped maintain some stability in sales and pricing.  Typical appreciation rates in the Triangle ran 3-4% consistently over the past several years.  However, most appraisers that I work with are discounting home prices 10% from last years numbers. This means that anyone that purchased in 2006 or after will have difficulty breaking even on their homes if they have to sell in this market.  This is the first year in real estate I've had difficulty with appraisals and having sellers bring cash to the closing table.  While this must be difficult for many homesellers to swallow it pales in comparison to other areas in the country like Florida, Arizona, and California. 

With the recent price reductions, decline in inventory, decline in new construction inventory, and tax credit extention/expansion for repeat purchases I believe the Triangle market has great potential in 2010 for buyinng a home!

  • February 02 2010
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