Advice for first-time homebuyers in 2024

I was recently asked to give advice for first-time homebuyers in 2024. Markets across the country are incredibly varied. We have national trends, and there are many niche markets, like NYC, that sometimes sit outside national trends. Even within NYC, for example, there are myriad niche markets carrying different levels of price negotiability, competitiveness, and inventory supply.

Although it’s impossible to give catch-all advice to first-time homebuyers in 2024, one main concern purchasers have is mortgage interest rates: how high they are relative to 2020 (when they were historically low), if/when rates will decrease, and whether to press pause on purchases for now.

Since this is a far-reaching concern, it’s possible fewer purchasers are shopping in your specific market right now. This can mean less competition for you.

Look at costs to purchase in a robust market when the norm is ten competing offers after two open houses, resulting in properties trading for 20% above asking price, versus a tamer market in which prices are not spiking and interest rates are a little higher than people want.

It might be worth sketching out these costs/benefits so you can comfortably participate in a higher interest rate environment. And this could position you well during an opportune time when competing purchasers are on the sidelines waiting for rates to drop!