Here in Pittsburgh and across the nation, we’re seeing a huge spike in first-time homeownership. According to a recent study by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), first-time homebuyers accounted for 35% of the existing homes that were sold in June, a trend that’s been building steadily throughout the year.
Are you thinking about buying your first home soon? We have a few tips you should keep in mind before taking the plunge!
4 Quick Facts for First-Time Buyers in Pittsburgh
Despite the global pandemic and economic uncertainty, the number of first-time buyers entering the market nearly reached a decade high this spring. And while there are plenty of motivators that have impacted this surge, home-seekers are also being met with a variety of challenges throughout the process.
Feeling a little overwhelmed? Here are a few fast facts that every future homeowner should keep in mind!
Mortgage rates have reached record lows
As 2020 finally draws to a close, more and more renters are choosing to make the move into their first homes. This is likely because the average monthly mortgage payment, which is hovering around $1,036, has fallen below the median rent of $1,045.
Since last year, the Federal Reserve has slashed interest rates, which has helped make homeownership much more affordable. Currently, the average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is below 3%. To put that into perspective, rates were around 3.7% last year—and that .7% difference can save you thousands throughout the duration of your loan.
The buying process isn’t as hard as you think
Although many current renters want to buy a home, they often believe they can’t afford one or think the process is too difficult. According to a survey by NeighborWorks, 69% of non-homeowners believe that buying a house is too complicated, while 57% need guidance on saving up for a down payment.
Confidence is key when it comes to buying a home, but it’s also easy to feel a little lost. Luckily, there are countless resources out there to help first-time buyers—and you may have more options than you might expect.
There are plenty of programs that can offer help
Believe it or not, only one in three non-homeowners know where to find home buying advice within their community. Here in Pittsburgh, we have a broad selection of non-profits and local resources designed to help first-time buyers—you just have to know where to find them.
As you begin the process of saving up for a home, be sure to consult the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency to read up on state laws and programs. They even have podcasts that can help you learn more about saving for a downpayment and the buying process. You may also be able to secure a low interest rate loan through Pittsburgh’s HACP Homeownership Program or take a class with Action Housing, a HUD-approved counseling agency.
Always work with a top agent
Even if you’re still saving for your big purchase, you may want to connect with a top-rated local agent to get advice and start forming a relationship. Your agent will serve as your guide throughout the whole process, and they’ll always be on hand to answer your questions.
And as a buyer, working with a professional won’t cost you a dime—the seller usually pays your agent’s commission!
Buying Your First Home in Pittsburgh?
If you’re gearing up to buy your first home in Pittsburgh, the Jim Dolanch Team would love to lend a helping hand. We have plenty of resources tailored for buyers just like you, and we’re always on hand to chat about your real estate goals. Feel free to give us a call, shoot us a text, or send us an email!