By Geoff Ramsey, CRS, GRI
President, Greater Chattanooga REALTORS®
Most renters say homeownership is one of their highest priorities for the future and they are thinking more about purchasing a home now than in past years. Given that information, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Americans overwhelmingly believe owning a home is a good financial decision.
Renters are increasingly recognizing the benefits of homeownership. 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.
A 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. Greater Chattanooga 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 most areas of the Chattanooga region, however, that doesn’t mean there aren’t still opportunities for buyers. Buyer traffic is also up from this time last year, so it’s evident that people want to be homeowners.
Greater Chattanooga Realtors 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. Realtors are the most trusted resource for real estate information and can give buyers the advantage they need in today’s market.
For more information about buying or selling a home, contact Greater Chattanooga REALTORS® to speak with a REALTOR®.
Greater Chattanooga Realtors® is The Voice for Real Estate in Greater Chattanooga. A regional organization with more than 2,000 members, Greater Chattanooga Realtors is one of some 1,300 local boards and associations of Realtors® nationwide that comprise the National Association of Realtors®. Greater Chattanooga Realtors service Hamilton and Sequatchie counties in southeast Tennessee, and Catoosa, Dade, and Walker counties in northwest Georgia. For more information, visit www.gcar.net or call 423.698.8001.