As we kick off a new year, it’s helpful to take a look at where we’re at and at where we’re headed with respect to the housing market. Experts predict that in 2023 existing home prices will fall about 5% on average nationally, and that this price decline could be as much as 10% in markets where home prices saw higher increases in 2022. offers hope for homebuyers in 2023, saying, “There will be more homes for sale, homes will likely take longer to sell, and buyers will not face the extreme competition that was commonplace over the past few years.”

So why is owning a home a good idea in 2023?

In a word, equity. There’s no better time than right now to start building equity through home ownership. One can look to data from 2022 to see how much equity building there was in the Dallas-area housing market recently. According to Zillow, the typical value of a home in the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington region climbed by a staggering 20.4% over 2022. Of course, last year’s white-hot market was something of an anomaly, and Zillow is predicting more moderate gains this year, around 2% between September 2022 and September 2023. While the growth rates fluctuate, they consistently add to the investment you’re making in your future.

What’s the best first step in buying a home?

You’ve probably already made it: deciding that home ownership is right for you. A solid second step is loan pre-approval. Getting pre-approved for a mortgage means that a lender has taken a hard look at your finances and determined what you can afford to pay for a new home, which is crucially important in your search. And when you find that dream home, having a pre-approval letter in hand will let the seller know you’re serious and thus up your negotiating power. Plus, pre-approval may get you in the home quicker, with a shorter closing time given that much of the financial legwork is already done.

How should I select a real estate agent?

Finding the right real estate agent is also key. Look for someone local, who has extensive experience in the area in which you wish to buy, staying away from agents who live far outside the area – that travel time could impinge on any last-minute showings. Do your homework, asking friends, family, and colleagues for suggestions, as well as researching candidates online. You’ll probably want to interview at least two or three agents before choosing the one who best suits your needs. Now comes the fun part: browsing through all of those gorgeous home listings and envisioning your next stage in life in your new home.

If your new year includes a new home, the loan experts at the Decker Group at First United Bank Mortgage are here to help. Contact us online or call us at (972) 591-3097.