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Don't Sweat the Hot Inflation News: Here's How First-Time Buyers Can Still Win in Today's Housing Market

nergetic woman taking a break from home fitness routine, cheerfully wiping sweat with a towel, holding a clear water bottle, with bright natural light in the background.

Okay, we know headlines about recent inflation data and rising interest rates can cast a shadow on your first-time homebuying dreams. But as seasoned mortgage lenders, we at The Nick Barta Team see beyond the short-term anxieties. It's important to understand what these figures actually mean for you and how strategic moves can turn the tide in your favor.

Decoding the Numbers: What Inflation Means for You

The January 2024 Consumer Price Index (CPI), a key inflation measure, rose to 3.1% year-over-year. While down from December, it's still higher than anticipated. More concerning is the core CPI, excluding volatile food and fuel prices, remaining steady at 3.9%. All this impacts interest rates – mortgage rates have jumped above 7% – making borrowing costlier.

Consumer Price Index infographic for January 2024 with key statistics: a 3.1% headline year-over-year increase, a core inflation rate at 3.9%, and commentary on unexpected inflation rise due to shelter costs, provided by MBS Highway.

Don't despair! There are powerful weapons in your first-time buyer arsenal, and as your trusted mortgage advisors, we're here to help you make the most of them.

Your Guide to Conquering Today's Market

February 2024 Home Builder Sentiment chart showing a positive trend at 48, with insights from NAHB Chair on market optimism and potential buyer increase if mortgage rates fall, from MBS Highway.
  • Tap into Builder Confidence: While headlines make things sound rough, homebuilders are feeling more optimistic! This means more new homes going up. More home options in a supply-starved market could actually put less pressure on prices. Bonus tip: Builders may offer sweet incentives just to keep things moving – we can help you negotiate for upgrades or closing cost assistance.

  • Boost Your Buying Power with Smart Programs: Did you know that Colorado has incredible down payment assistance programs to ease the cost burden for first-time buyers? CHFA (Colorado Housing and Finance Authority) and metroDPA offer substantial DPA options. Plus, that $25,000 CHFA grant is a potential game-changer! It's an extra chunk of cash you don't have to repay, making your dream a lot closer.

  • The Income Advantage: Knowing income requirements for Colorado's first-time buyer programs is a superpower. Many of these programs have generous income limits, potentially opening doors you never even thought existed. Let's explore which programs match your financial fingerprint, helping you buy sooner than you expected.

Beyond the Headlines: Hidden Wins for 2024 Buyers

The lack of existing homes for sale isn't all bad news – here's why:

  • Less Ruthless Competition (Sometimes): In some areas, a smaller pool of existing homes may translate to fewer bidding wars. While you still need to be prepared, sometimes you have better odds of negotiating without feeling like you're in an exhausting price battle.

  • New Construction = Negotiation Opportunity: Builders need those new homes off their hands! We've seen them offer enticing upgrades or help with closing costs. We can make informed moves as your advisors, potentially scoring extra help for your budget.

  • Knowledge is Your Most Powerful Tool: When you stay updated on trends and know your financial power, you make savvy decisions. Get pre-approved early, work with us to decipher those first-time homebuyer programs, and explore new builds to maximize what your money can do.

A Final Reality Check (The Good Kind)

Owning your first home in 2024 is totally within reach. The game plan's all about informed, well-timed moves. Yes, things may shift as economic circumstances change, but long-term, homeownership has proven financial benefits. Don't hesitate to lean on our expertise for personalized guidance through these market waves.

Don't Let This Dream Fade Away

While obstacles are real, opportunities also exist. With solid insights, financial aid options, and the right mortgage team behind you, this doesn't have to remain just a wish. Are you ready to explore if you qualify? Contact the Nick Barta Team today for a quick pre-qualification that won't affect your credit score. Let's turn your dream of homeownership into a "welcome home" sign!


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*No down payment loans: Closing costs and fees may still apply. First lien interest rates may be higher when using a DPA second. Opinions expressed are solely my own and do not express the views of my employer. Pre-approvals are given to clients who have met qualifying approval criteria, for specific loan requirements, and have been pre-approved by a PRMI underwriter. VA home loan purchases, have options for 0% down payment, No private mortgage Insurance requirements, competitive interest rates, with specific qualification requirements. VA Interest rate reduction loans (IRRRL) are only for Veterans who currently have a VA loan, current loan rate restrictions apply, and limits to recoupment of costs and fees apply. VA Cash-out Refinances are available for Veterans with or without current VA loans. Policies and guidelines may vary and are subject to the individual borrower(s) qualification. Program and Lender overlays apply.

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