Tips for Understanding Your Local Housing Market

Tips for Understanding Your Local Housing Market

Buying or selling a home in your local housing market takes research, but how do you understand your local housing market? Here are some tips to help you out.

Your local housing market is often quite different than the nationwide averages and trends. Local markets do not always follow the trends and when sales are good nationwide, that could mean sales are mediocre in your area. On the flip side, when sales are bad across the nation, sales in your local housing market could be going very well. That is why it is so important to know how to understand your local housing market if you plan on selling your home or buying another one in the area in the near future. Here are some tips on how to understand your local housing market so you can make informed decisions when buying a selling.

Define the Phrase \"Local Market\"
Before understanding the housing market in your area, you have to define your \"local market.\" The best way to do this is to choose the smallest unit of area for which you can find information. Some local housing markets only consist of a neighborhood which may include three or four blocks. In more suburban areas, a local housing market may consist of a single housing development. In a rural market, the local market may be considered the entire county.

Once you have determined what the local housing market is going to be, take some notes about the geographic and political boundaries in that area. Are the houses and properties on one side of the street larger than on the other side? Are commercial buildings mixed in with the local area or is there a clear boundary between the businesses and the residential homes? These and other observations can help you break down your local housing market into an even smaller unit so you can understand it better.

Begin Your Research
These days, it is so easy to go online and research various neighborhoods across the country. Thousands of websites exist where you can find prices of mortgages in various areas, safety statistics, school information and pretty much anything else you want to know about local housing markets. You can even go to Google and find actual maps and pictures of the neighborhoods when doing your research. You can also compare mortgage rates and other fees and charges with various companies from the comfort of your own home. There are so many things you can do before you even step out of your house.

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