There are currently 213 single family homes on the market in Worcester. That does not include Condominium/Townhomes of which there are 132 combined. The single-family home marketplace continues to be Worcester’s main supply.

This Week in Worcester: Real Estate: December Home Buying Opportunities, and How to Get There for the Spring! 1

Excitingly enough, if you check This Week in Worcester’s Open House Guide for December 3rd, you will notice that all 5 of the homes are New to Market. People actually choose to list in December?! What misguided attempt is this? Quite the opposite. Data from the National Association of Realtors, Realtor.com, and consumer spending trackers show that routinely despite the misgivings of weather, we still continue to transact houses in the winter months.

Many undoubtedly heeded my stark warning that “Winter is Coming…” and probably have had enough of my Game of Thrones puns; but there was a nice uptick in the October and November closings across the brokerages.

This will continue through December and January and then there will be a lull, February to March as people wait for the spring market. The last of the buyers and sellers are clamoring for that final seasonal sale and hopeful for a deal.

Here’s what to do if you’re looking to buy in the spring but not quite sure if you’re ready. Download the “MyFico” app on to your phone. Update all your data into the app, and allow it to track your scores and pay attention to the simulator. You’ll want to be in the comfort range of 700 (give or take) to receive a prime (hassle-free) interest rate and APR. That way should anything detrimental happen during your purchase process, because “Life Does Happen,” you won’t be knocked out of the running to purchase your dream home.

The more time you have to plan for the purchase of a home and to save, all the better. However if you’re on a 6-8 month timetable, i.e: buying in the spring then the best advice I can give is to meet with a lender and Realtor® *now* to discuss your financial picture as it relates to qualifying and what to expect in the spring. If you should fall short, don’t feel bad; it’s a relatively painless process to improve your stats and there’s helpful people and tools with which to do so. Your lender may have some options available but I also strongly suggest checking in with Casey Chaffin, who is a true credit whiz and the best in the business. Casey is honest, straightforward, and the services are quite reasonable. You can find out more at http://www.chaffincreditconsulting.com/ regarding the analysis, restoration, and improvement possible. Couple her services, the advice of your lender, and the monitoring given to you through the “MyFico” App and you will be well on your way.

Keeping low balances on your revolving debt, paying your installment loans on time, and as always do not, under any circumstances make major purchases prior to closing on your home that could negatively impact your “DTI” or debt to income quotient. This number is a significant part of a lenders picture of you, and if you were to buy $20,000 interest only furniture at Rotman’s because you just got the big house of your dreams, you could very likely have sunk the dream of owning that big house because buying what is essentially a Kia’s worth of furniture on credit is going to trash your DTI.

The past few months have been a bit of a bumpy ride for buyers. Many sellers have been reticent to put their homes on the market as they do not want to be a buyer in a low-inventory market. Dragging their heels to market we now see many new listings in December. Many of us believe with good indicators that as we crest a year of low inventory people will finally realize that climbing values, aggressive buyers, and millennials aren’t going anywhere and that it is in fact time to list. If we all put our houses in the pool, everyone comes out a winner. There really is a home for everyone, but we have to bite the bullet and get our home ready, declutter, paint and then go. Agonizing over it for six months isn’t going to make it any better and with the looming changes to the tax code, it could actually be less advantageous to wait. Rip the Band-Aid off! Home prices are predicted to continue to rise with as much as a 6% annual increase in many areas.

Indicators are pointing to more of an equilibrium with regard to buyers and sellers in the Central Massachusetts market place come mid-2018 as sellers realize that the time to delay is now over, and that we are not in fact in a “bubble.”

If it is your intent to make a move, I would start identifying with your Realtor® what you need to do in order to be market ready for the spring. Any necessary capital improvement projects to your home will ensure a more timely sale, for a higher value, and the time to start planning is *now.*

Lead photo credit: https://precondo.ca/

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  • This Week in Worcester: Real Estate: December Home Buying Opportunities, and How to Get There for the Spring! 2

    Allen Greenman is a near life-long resident of Worcester and has been a practicing Realtor for several years. Allen currently manages the Worcester office for ERA Key Realty Services, serves on the board of directors for Preservation Worcester and is engaged in our community. He is happy to serve both buyer and seller clients when needed. You can learn more about Allen by visiting: www.GreenmanRealtor.com