By Julia K. Pham, CFP®, AIF®, CDFA®, Wealth Advisor featured in Kiplinger 

The last several years have been confusing for potential home buyers. Here are four key questions you can ask yourself to help decide if you’re ready.

Deciding whether to buy a house is one of the biggest financial decisions you’ll ever make. Not only is it a huge financial decision, it’s an extremely emotional one as well. Anyone who has put in an offer, experienced a bidding war and lost a house or who finally got their dream home can agree that the process can have great highs and frustrating lows.

The last several years have been increasingly confusing for potential home buyers. After the pandemic, a low interest rate environment coupled with low inventory sent home prices soaring.

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Meanwhile, inflation rose to levels we hadn’t seen in 40 years, and the Federal Reserve began their aggressive policy-tightening campaign.

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From March 2022 to July 2023, there were a total of 11 rate hikes, and now in 2024 while inflation has slowed and the Fed has indicated it will be cutting rates later this year, the most recent reports show that inflation is proving tougher to bring down to their 2% target.

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The average rate on 30-year mortgages has been between 6% and 7.5% this year, which is more than double what rates were a few years ago.