What You Need to Know About Buying a Home in 2023

What You Need to Know About Buying a Home in 2023

If you plan to buy a home this year, you won't deal with typical circumstances. While the extreme market conditions characterizing the last two years are settling down, the market is still far from stable. So here's what you need to know about buying a home in 2023.

Flattening home prices

In 2021 home prices shot up 18.2%, followed by a generous 9.6% bump in 2022. However, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) predicts median existing home prices will increase by just 0.3%, and new homes will rise by 1.3% in 2023.


Stabilizing mortgage rates

Mortgage rates more than doubled in 2022, from approximately 3% to more than 6%, further driving up the price of buying and owning a home. In contrast, the 30-year fixed mortgage is expected to average between 5.2% and 6.8% in 2023, according to recent predictions by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Mortgage Bankers Association, and the NAR.

More negotiating room for buyers

In recent years, the home-buying process was characterized by fierce bidding wars, which left little to no room for buyers to negotiate. However, that's about to change. With the supply of available houses on the market creeping closer to matching the demand, buyers will have more negotiating power. They can stand firm on personal preferences, like home inspections and a lower price.


Tips for buying a house in 2023

If you plan to buy a new house this year, here’s how to prepare for and ensure a smooth process. 

  • Get your finances in order. Take a good look at your finances at least six months before shopping. For example, how much money do you need to save for a down payment? How much can you afford to spend on a monthly mortgage payment?
  • Boost your credit score. Work on paying down debt, always paying bills on time, and lowering your credit utilization in the months leading up to your search.
  • Understand your mortgage options. Depending on your personal circumstances, you may benefit from a mortgage backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), which only requires a 3.5% down payment, or a VA mortgage, which requires nothing down. Similarly, a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage may be in your best interest, or you may prefer a 15-year adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM). Make sure you know your options well to make an informed choice. CRCU's knowledgeable Mortgage Loan Officers are here to help you with any mortgage questions. You can reach them Mortgages@crcu.org or call 281.420.3746.
  • Shop around for a mortgage lender. Look for a lender that offers the kind of mortgage you need. You'll also want to compare the loan estimates you get from different lenders, looking at the rates, fees, estimated closing costs, and anticipated monthly mortgage payments.
  • Get pre-approval before starting your search. This way, you’ll know exactly how much house you can afford, and sellers will regard you as a serious buyer.
  • Move quickly when you’ve found a possible yes. The market may be cooling down, but it's still competitive. If you want to buy a home this year and have your finances worked out, making an immediate offer on the home you like is a good idea.