Home Prices Take a Breather

Prices will continue rising, but more slowly, as the housing market regains some balance between buyers and sellers.

House on calculator, Mortgage Calculator on white background,Home concept,selling home
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Potential sellers take note: You may not have the upper hand in negotiating, even with first-time buyers. Witness Robert Ruppelt, 35, and his fiancée, Sara Shultz, 32, who were recently looking to buy a first home in Tampa. The couple made an offer on a four-bedroom, two-bath home that had been listed at $255,000 but was relisted at $248,000 after a price reduction. The couple countered twice with offers of $232,000 and $238,000, both of which were rejected. So Ruppelt and Shultz walked away.

“We wanted to feel we were getting a deal. We knew we’d be fine if we didn’t get that one, and we didn’t feel a need to rush,” says Ruppelt. Ultimately, they settled on a new home that will be completed this summer for about $265,000. It will cost more than the other house, but the couple like that the home will be brand new and they can pick the flooring and paint colors.

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Patricia Mertz Esswein
Contributing Writer, Kiplinger's Personal Finance
Esswein joined Kiplinger in May 1984 as director of special publications and managing editor of Kiplinger Books. In 2004, she began covering real estate for Kiplinger's Personal Finance, writing about the housing market, buying and selling a home, getting a mortgage, and home improvement. Prior to joining Kiplinger, Esswein wrote and edited for Empire Sports, a monthly magazine covering sports and recreation in upstate New York. She holds a BA degree from Gustavus Adolphus College, in St. Peter, Minn., and an MA in magazine journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School at Syracuse University.