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Let’s face it, many Realtors you talk to just want to make a deal. If you’re buying, it’s the perfect time, and prices and incentives will never be better. If you’re selling, there’s no time like the present, better act now before the market slows down again, bla bla bla. It seems like, no matter what the question, the answer given is tailored to move you toward doing something, anything, as long is it means making a deal. Well, consider these answers to some questions YOU may have about the Bakersfield real estate market and what it means to you:
Q. How’s the market these days?
A. It depends. Some parts of Bakersfield are showing emerging strength after a prolonged slowdown. Other parts, not so much. If you’re thinking of buying or selling, consult your Realtor for detailed info about the areas and price ranges you’re most comfortable with. Strong local knowledge based on intensive research of the micro-markets in Bako is critical to making the best decisions.
Q. Why hasn’t the market accelerated as much during this economic recovery like it has in the past?
A. The Great Recession was one of the worst downturns in the economy that most of us have seen during our lifetimes. Many homeowners were forced to bail on their homes and take a giant hit to their equities, and the sting of those times is still present and reflected in the public’s buying behavior today. Is this a bad thing? It depends. Prices have come down so much in recent years that many people who could not afford to buy a home now can. Also, sellers wanting to move up are in the catbird seat, with plenty of homes to choose from at very good prices. It’s bad for those who counted on their home equities to fund their retirement years. Lower prices have put a big dent in their plans. The good news? Prices are starting back up again.
Q. Will my home sell if I list it?
A. It depends. Where is your home located? What’s the price? What have other homes in your neighborhood sold for in the past 3-6 months? What is the condition of your property? Does it show well, or does it need some sprucing up? Are you realistic about all these factors and willing to listen to sound advice from a professional Realtor, appraiser, and the buying public? If so, the answer is an enthusiastic, “probably.” If you’re planning to hold out to get the price you could have sold for in 2006, then sadly, no, your property will not sell. Have a candid conversation with your Realtor about your specific neighborhood and what you can realistically expect should you decide to sell.
Q. I’m considering buying a house, but I’m afraid I missed the boat and prices have already risen. Should I be worried about another “bubble.”
A. It depends. How much are you throwing away in rent right now? If you can get rid of your rental and buy your own home, at about the same payment (considering the tax advantages), then why not? Likely price appreciation, low interest rates and the family stability that comes from owning your own home could make buying now the perfect choice. If you’re the type that lays awake nights planning your fast get-away, continuing to rent may make more sense for your situation. If you DO plan to buy, talk to your Realtor and take advantage of his or her knowledge. It can save you thousands and make all the difference in the long run.
So long for now.