The real estate market in Whatcom County is hot.

According to a Bellingham Herald article in the first quarter of 2018: median home prices sold jumped 15.6% to $425,000 and Whatcom County, median prices rose 10.9%. We have a healthy economy, live in a desirable area, and interest rates are still low. Figuring out how your family will become home owners may seem like a daunting task, but don’t fret! Here are some tips for mapping your journey to home ownership.

Start with Your Guides

Buying a home is a big deal. It will likely be the largest purchase you ever make in your life. It can also be very intimidating. Thankfully, there are two key professionals you can enlist to help you on your home buying journey.

  1. A real estate agent
  2. A loan officer/mortgage broker

Your perfect team will help you in every step along the way. They will use simple language you can understand, have fair terms, and be attentive. WECU’s loan officers take the anxiety and uncertainty out of the process.

How Much Home Can You Afford?

When you’re considering how much house you can afford you should factor in a few things:

  1. Your household income
  2. Monthly debt obligations
  3. Your down payment

A combination of these three factors will determine how much of a payment you can afford. When considering a total payment, make sure to include property taxes, mortgage insurance, home owner’s association fees, and homeowner’s insurance.

Figure out When You Want to Go Shopping

If you were to go to most real estate agents today and ask them whether it is time to buy a home right now, the answer they usually give you is “yes.” The truth is- it is not true that every time is the right time to buy. There are better times of the year to buy than others. Here are some general rules of thumb when it’s best to go shopping for a house.

Go House Shopping When No One Else Is Shopping

People don’t like buying homes in a few instances:

  1. During the holidays
  2. In January, right after the holidays
  3. Over long weekends (Labor Day, Memorial day etc.)

Over the holidays or in winter, you’ll typically have less supply but you’ll also have fewer buyers. Fewer buyers can mean less competition, and less bidding up of houses. Long weekends are a great time to go house shopping and make a quick offer because other people on the house search might be out of town, therefore you will have less competition.

We Can Help

If you have questions, contact a WECU loan officer today to discuss how we can make your dream of homeownership come true.