BRAZOS VALLEY — Some experts say that it’s a decent time to buy a home in Aggieland. But, there are complications within the housing market that have arisen lately.
"If you have the ability to buy a house now, and you can find one that you want, and get it, you’re probably better off to do it now," said Jim Gaines, an economist with the Texas A&M Real Estate Research Center. "Two reasons: one, it will be more expensive next year, and it could be a lot more expensive for the same house. And two, the interest rates will be a lot higher next year.”
Gaines noted that mortgage rates are just slightly above three percent at the moment. By next year, he predicts, they could exceed four percent.
At the Brazos Valley Affordable Housing Corp., Executive Vice President Paul Turney said home loans are currently much easier to get approved for than in years past.
"I just found a local lender that’s taking credit scores as low as 620," Turney commented. "And it’s been a while since I’ve seen that.”
Jim Gaines said this trend in lending won’t be as welcoming in the near future, as he predicts lenders will become more selective once again.
While the Brazos Valley market is not as dry of inventory as cities like Austin, where Gaines stated home buyers are bidding well above a property’s listing price, bidding is still competitive in Aggieland.
"You’re going to have to be prepared if you’re going to have to get into a bidding war," he said. "You don’t have the luxury of time. You don’t have the luxury of going and looking at the house four or five times.”
Both experts said that many factors have made properties more expensive, like the rising cost of lumber and building materials, and increased demand versus decreased supply.
Ultimately, they suggest that purchasing a home now with that low interest rate on mortgages is worth consideration.