Naturally, home prices are a top priority topic for anyone buying or selling a home. Although the recent Fed interest rate hike didn’t immediately push mortgage interest higher, those rates are expected to trend upward in the coming months. Like my most recent conversation with a client, you might be asking some of these same questions:

- Can I still afford to buy a home this year?
- Do I need to save more toward a down payment?
- Will closing costs increase as well?
- How will this affect property taxes?

Those are all excellent questions and hopefully the answers will help put your mind at ease whether you are buying or selling property. The forecast for 2019 is a mix of fabulous and not so fabulous news. Home prices have risen year over year by over 5% in most areas. That will influence more people to put their home on the market. That is very good news for those anxious buyers who have been frustrated by extremely low inventory to choose from and stiff competition for the hoes that are available. The not so fabulous news for home buyers is that sale prices are expected to continue rising, affecting the amount of home they can afford to buy. Even that isn’t such bad news, since the increases are slowing so most buyers will be able to move on that desire to own their home! However, property tax assessment increases do eventually follow those price increases. Down payment options remain flexible, which allows more buyers to use those savings toward closing costs or even coveted renovations of their new home. Real Estate trend surveys indicate most buyers today show a preference for walls over the open concept. A little extra cash in the budget can have you rebuilding those walls quickly in that home located in the perfect neighborhood that just lacked that one thing you wanted, whether walls or some other feature. Weighing all the pros and cons are absolutely essential to making the best decision. Based on your personal preferences, financial and employment outlook and current market conditions, moving into the dream home of your own can really happen this year. As your *local marketplace expert* I’ll help you tip those scales in your favor!

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