Timing the Market as a Buyer

There's always the thought that timing the market to when it's at its lowest point, or at least at a discounted value, is the right time to jump in and buy. Even if you could get it right, is it actually worth it? The trouble with this strategy, is that there are just too many factors to consider.

How much drop are you expecting? Will that drop be recognizable? At 1-3%, there's so many variables when comparing houses, you likely won't even notice. Is a higher drop even likely to happen?

What if you wait for the drop, but in turn, prices go up? Specific to right now, in the Charlottesville area, prices are mostly still going up despite what the news is telling us.

How will you know when you've found the bottom? Suppose you did find the bottom, or at least are satisfied with the current declined prices, will you be able to find the home you desire before the market shifts again?

What did you lose while waiting? If you're renting and throwing $2000-$3000+ away each month, and you time everything right, did you actually save money?

What other circumstances can you not account for that may come later? Such as an greater interest rate. An interest rate drop that then floods the market with buyers and further drives up prices, just like 2020 and 2021. 

Predictions are always made from industry "experts" about the housing market, and that's exactly what they are...predictions. Their opinion, whether right or wrong, should not be a motivating factor to your home buying decision. I urge you to look at your own circumstances and decide what's right for you.  If you have motivations and desires to move, you're secure with your finances, intent on staying at least 3 years in the home, then think about the longer-term picture and dive in. Follow the market, stay well within your budget, and when the right house is there, go for it.

The availability of homes (referred to as "inventory") is slim and likely will be for quite some time. Finding the home for you may not come around too often, so when it does, it's best to act instead of quabbling over a POTENTIAL price change coming in a few months. You're buying for the long-term, not the short-term. Short-term market fluctuations should not affect your long-term home plans, which is why you should buy when the time is right for you and your family. Timing the market is not only extremely difficult, the risk does not outweight the benefits. 

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