3/1/13 Condos in the Milwaukee market – Rent or Buy?

The Wall Street Journal suggested that your smartest resolution for 2013 would be to get into house hunting. The late November article quoted the Zillow chief economist’s observation that buying – even over the short term – is worth doing because prices have bottomed. In 75% of markets, renting is now more expensive than three years of home ownership with a 30-year fixed rate mortgage.

Zillow and Trulia both report increased unique visitor traffic, as much as 50%, to their sites. More buyers are out there looking already this year, online and also in person, too. In Milwaukee, condo units sales year to date are even with the last two years, even though inventory of available units has been lower. Another indication that the housing market is in recovery?

balance

While Washington waits, you may not want to.

If you’re thinking of testing the waters yourself, soon, remember that the other game pieces are still in place: a decent credit score and a down payment. Rates are still historically but lenders still aren’t relaxing their standards. Before prices begin that upward turn in the housing cycle, it’s more important than ever to make the extra financial effort to qualify for a loan. Keeping track of required documentation – tax returns, pay stubs, bank statements – is a necessary first step in those preparations, and very often, the second, third, etc. one too, with updates along the paper route required before and after lender pre-approval.

When you want to see what your dollar will buy, call me. I’ll arrange no obligation appointments for you to view multiple properties to compare and offer you the latest information about current market conditions and what you’ll need to know about a purchase versus a rental.

You’ll be better prepared to make your move when the time comes.

Paul on the condo tour