Navigating changing market conditions

September 27, 2022 — Written by Kerry Melcher

los angeles neighborhood

Real estate has always been about location, location, location. But today, all I hear is recession, economy, inflation — terms that definitely have less appeal.

For the past three decades, I’ve been helping people move in and out and onto their next chapter(s). I’ve seen and navigated a lot within the real estate industry. Here’s my take on where we are today.

Current state

Over the years, I’ve seen a wide range of real estate conditions, but unlike big market turns of the past, this time we’ve swayed quickly from one extreme to the other. In just two short years, we’ve seen outsized home price appreciation in most U.S. markets, followed by a swift decline in housing demand. The whiplash of these fluctuations, and the uncertainty about what happens next, can be hard to wrap your head around.

That initial upswing in home prices was exciting, and many homeowners made plans for their next move. But now, selling your home might mean you’ll fetch a lower price than you would have a year ago. Even though your home may have appreciated far more than expected over the last couple of years, seeing a price drop in just a few days can feel a bit shocking — like you missed out on a bigger return. But unless your home has depreciated to less than when you bought it, you’re not in the red — and that’s important to remember.

If you’re a buyer, only months ago the biggest obstacle was dealing with bidding wars and the potential heartache of losing out on what you thought was the perfect home. Today, the focus has shifted to uncertainty around mortgage rates, and whether now is the best time to buy. Indeed,  the state of the economy is top of mind for everyone. Even though none of us can predict what will happen next, that’s okay. The truth is, markets are cyclical, and today’s market is trying to find out where it will land (albeit a bit dramatically).

Making your move 

If you’re a seller or a buyer (or both!) currently stuck in the loop of dreaming, hoping, anticipating, and dreading, here are some tips to help you get past the worries and move on to your next chapter. 

Tip #1: Don’t worry about finding the “perfect” time to sell or buy; it doesn’t exist. The perfect time is what works best for you and your life. Some factors, like a growing family or a new job in another state, are an easy call. But other reasons require you to dig deep. Will a move improve your day-to-day life? Will you gain more time, be closer to friends and family, or be nearer to activities that bring you joy?

Tip #2: Research your financing options. Whether you’re getting a new loan, refinancing, or looking to lower your payment, there are many different mortgage options. A mortgage calculator can help you figure out how much you can afford in just a few minutes. There are also rate buydowns, which can help you lower your rate. Talk to a lender about what your options may be.

Tip #3: You have more control than you think. While supply is still constrained, it’s much different than it was a year ago. As more housing inventory enters the market you may have more options if you’re buying. Use this time to take a breath and set your own pace. In the absence of bidding wars, you have time to get to know the neighborhood, look at different housing options, and weigh your trade-offs like monthly expenses, commute time, and schools.

Lastly, don’t get discouraged. Know what’s important to you – it’s your biggest superpower right now, and it will help unlock your ideal scenario. 

While you can’t always count on a hot housing market, you can count on the certainty of a cash offer from Opendoor. We look at your home details, recent listings in your area, and current market conditions to make an offer. The ability to sell your home without the stress of staging, short-notice home visits, and fretting over contingencies is real. And if you’re buying, you can visit homes on your own schedule and get help buying any home on the market. 

When it comes to finding your home, the old saying “it’s the journey, not the destination” is only partly true. Your home is the all-important destination, and your journey there can be seamless and stress-free. 

This content is meant for informational purposes only and is not intended to be construed as financial, tax, legal, or insurance advice. Opendoor always encourages you to reach out to an advisor regarding your own situation.