Following a bitterly cold winter, economists and real estate observers expect Spring 2014 to be the season to buy a new home.
Even before the frosty winter weather set in, observers were expecting to see home sales take off this spring. In a 2014 housing market forecast presented last November at the National Association of Realtors annual conference, NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun predicted that mortgage interest rates – then at 4.16 percent for a 30-year fixed-rate mortage – would jump to 5.4 percent by the end of 2014. Yun also predicted that home prices would rise 6 percent driven in part by a low inventory and flat sales of existing homes.
New Home Sales
Industry experts believe rising home prices and interest rates will spur hesitant home buyers to make their move and buy a new home in the spring before prices rise further. But while analysts predict that sales of existing homes will remain flat this year, the NAR’s Yun predicts new home sales will increase 18.4 percent over 2013. In addition, USA Today reports that Goldman Sachs Asset Management anticipates new-housing starts to increase 20 percent per year for the next several years to meet the pent-up demand for new home sales.
Helpful Spring Buying Tips
1.) Determine your budget: Real estate sites like Zillow and Realtor.com offer helpful mortgage calculator tools that enable buyers to estimate what their monthly payments would be depending upon a home’s cost and the available down payment. Be sure to factor in other costs, including taxes, home insurance and closing costs to get a complete picture of the amount of money you’ll need to make your new dream home a reality.
2.) Check your Credit Report: Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, credit reporting companies Equifax, Experian and TransUnion must upon request provide you with a free copy of your credit report every 12 months. Review your report for any errors or discrepancies, as these can negatively impact the amount and terms of your mortgage, which in turn may affect how much house you can afford.
3.) Get Pre-qualified: In its Homebuying 101 guide, Quicken Loans advises buyers to get pre-qualified for a loan before starting their home search. By getting pre-qualified, home buyers will know up front which homes are within their price range, saving a lot of time and leg work on the househunting trail. Many sellers also prefer to work with pre-qualified buyers, since it provides some assurance that the buyer has the financial capability to move forward with the home purchase.
4.) Do your Research: The internet has made searching for a new home faster and more efficient. In addition, many master-planned communities have welcome centers where buyers can learn about the community’s homes, builders and amenities.
“We don’t sell homes here -- we just provide visitors with information on the community and the Nocatee lifestyle,” says Geri Price, manager of the Nocatee Welcome Center. “Prospective buyers can tour the Splash Water Park, review a map of Nocatee and pick up materials that will help them decide which Nocatee neighborhood and home builder is right for their family.”
For more information on new homes available for sale in the master-planned community of Nocatee, visit the Nocatee Welcome Center or call 1-800-NOCATEE.