“The issue is the Bend market,” David told me. “We can’t pull the trigger and move until the market corrects in Bend because if we move now, we’ll get less for our house than we would have six months ago.” I understood what he meant. The Bend market had softened a bit, but I asked, “well, isn’t the house you’re trying to buy at a lower price than it was six months ago, too?” “Yes,” he said, “but we need to get top dollar for the house we’re selling.”
David’s situation is one that I’ve heard far too many times in recent months. A family wants to move. They have a location lined up. Sometimes they even have a specific house lined up, but they can’t get the same offers on their current house, and they’re afraid of leaving money on the table, so they wait. They wait and wait until the market corrects in their area and they feel the offers will be where they should be. The problem is in most cases, the market where they’re moving has already corrected, too.
There is a lot to say about micro market trends. One area of the country or state or even county might be more resilient or more affected by larger market forces like interest rates or stock markets. Some areas swing wildly and some hold steady, but most markets that reflect each other’s characteristics function similarly. For instance, if you’re looking at the market in a medium or large lake town that is primarily a tourist hub in California, that market will likely parallel a similar style market in Washington state or Idaho or Oregon. Larger urban centers on the west coast have similar market trends as well. This is not a shock as we know during the pandemic, people wanted out of the cities and therefore city markets were affected similarly even though they were hundreds and thousands of miles removed. During economic downturns, tourist hubs see quick decreases in value as people sell their second homes. All of this leads to the potential mistake that David and many people like him make: they forget that although they may get less for the home they are selling, they’re also likely buying a home at a discount.
This is where TopHap comes to the rescue once again. Using TopHap’s incredible heat map features, you can see very quickly what the trends are in a broad area. If you’re moving from Bend or Portland or Seattle, you can see if the market to which you’re moving is acting in a similar fashion. If it is, then you need not worry too much about the sales price of your home if you’re looking to buy in your future area. A ten percent discount on your sale price will likely be paralleled by a ten percent discount on your purchase price. There are naturally nuances to be understood with capital reserves, cashflow, and other basic financials, but understanding the nature of the two markets you’re involved with should absolutely take away your fear of missing the absolute peak of the market. And remember, if you are looking at a similar style market but waiting for your market to recover before you make your move, you’re also likely going to miss the softer market in your soon to be new area, meaning higher prices, higher property taxes, and potentially less housing stock to pick from, so check out TopHap and educate yourself before you miss a great opportunity.