This post is written in partnership with Canvas Credit Union. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Thinking about taking the leap into homeownership this year? If so, you’re not alone. While my husband and I aren’t quite ready to buy yet, we often discuss our dream home and how to achieve it. The conversations are exciting, motivating, and truthfully — a bit intimidating. Luckily, I’ve got a great network (including the Canvas Family!) of people I trust who work in the real estate industry and have explained recent trends and how we can continue to save to get to that point of confidently purchasing our first home.
The ongoing pandemic has made 2021 a unique time in the real estate industry: Mortgage rates are near record lows, and continued work-from-home options mean buyers have more flexibility than ever. Because of what’s going on in the Denver market, I thought it’d be fun for us to run through the pros and cons of buying a home in 2021 — and, diving into thoughtful questions to consider.
An Overview: The 2021 Housing Market
As a potential homeowner, it’s important to look at recent buying trends. In turn, they can help you determine an ideal time to purchase. In other words, understanding home buying trends can either put you at a distinct advantage — or, on the flip side — motivate you to continue saving. Inevitably, certain factors have influenced the current housing market, like COVID-19. On the plus side, interest rates plummeted to historic lows last year. This is helpful for borrowers, as it means lower monthly mortgage payments and larger home buying budgets.
That said, what I’ve learned from my friends at Canvas is that low rates typically generate more bidding wars, driving home prices up, and even folks to offer well-over asking price. Additionally, we’re experiencing fewer homes on the market, meaning house hunting has become even more competitive. Speaking of which, don’t get discouraged if you find yourself needing to submit multiple offers! Lots of buyers are offering cash offers or way above asking price. The market will eventually even out, and you’ll get into the right home for you. Keep your head up! What is super important before making an offer is getting pre-approved, it’ll make your qualifying offer as strong as possible. At Canvas, their loan officers are happy to contact the listing agent to further strengthen the consideration for your offer to be accepted. More on getting pre-approved, below.
Understanding Your Personal Finances
Ultimately, the decision to buy a house has more to do with your specific financial situation than the economy, at large. For example, buying a house in 2021 might be possible if you have dependable employment/earn a steady income, have money saved, your credit score is at least 620, etc.
With all of this in mind, Canvas can help you determine if you qualify for a mortgage, including how much house you can afford based on your personal finances. Canvas also offers a great mortgage product for first-time homebuyers that helps alleviate the burden of saving up for a down payment.
With their 100% Home mortgage, you can get 100% financing on your purchase (that’s $0 down payment, meaning more money to spend on your furniture, appraisal gaps, necessary improvements, etc.).
To read more about the specific questions to ask as a first-time home buyer, hop over to my feature on Canvas Credit Union’s blog.
Image courtesy of Philipp Berndt.