“Renters are increasingly recognizing the benefits of homeownership,” said Donald Byrd, President of the Johnston County Association of Realtors. “In addition to its many social benefits - such as providing a stable, safe environment - the financial benefits of owning a home are even more apparent to renters now. In some areas of the country it’s cheaper to own a home than it is to rent. Homeownership also is one of the best ways to build financial security over the long term. In most cases, the benefits of homeownership far outweigh the benefits of renting.”
The 2013 National Housing Pulse Survey, which measures consumers’ attitudes and concerns about housing opportunities, found that Americans’ outlook on the housing market is improving. Nearly four in 10 Americans (38 percent) identified an increase in activity within their local housing market in the past year, compared to just 22 percent who reported a slowdown in activity. Respondents were also less concerned than in the past about the drop in home values and foreclosures.
The survey also found that more than two-thirds of those surveyed said now is a good time to buy. The Johnston County Association of Realtors believes that despite a recent rise in mortgage rates and lower home inventory levels, affordability conditions remain favorable for buyers.
“It’s a seller’s market in many areas of the country,” said Byrd. “However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t still opportunities for buyers. Home prices are still very affordable for the typical buyer. Buyer traffic is also up from this time last year, so it’s evident that people want to be homeowners.”
JCAR has a few tips for renters or move up buyers looking for a new place to call home. First, know your credit history and understand how the credit system works. Next, do your research. Home inventories are low in many areas and sellers are receiving multiple bids, so it’s imperative to be ready to make an offer when you see a home you like. Then, identify neighborhoods that you like and think about what you need and want in a home.
“Most importantly, contact a Realtor® in your area,” said Byrd. “Realtors® are the most trusted resource for real estate information and can give buyers the advantage they need in today’s market.”