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Real estate expert's advice to homebuyers: 'Don't buy' your American dream home now

If you're house-hunting in Buffalo, Cincinnati, Atlanta or Tampa, don't rush your decision or chance for more purchasing power, says realtor Sam DeBianchi.

Prospective home buyers may want to pull the breaks before thinking about closing a deal, because one former real estate reality star is sounding the alarm over buying your American dream home at this time. 

"Because rates are so high or higher in general, people are trying to add all of the bells and whistles into their purchase, naturally, because they want to roll it all in. They want to come out of pocket too much," former "Million Dollar Listing Miami" realtor Sam DeBianchi said on "Mornings with Maria" Monday.

"I think, as a buyer, you need to maybe put your expectations [aside] and," she continued, "Don't buy the American dream home right now. But think about that American dream home in the future."

Last week, the average mortgage interest rate for 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages rose to 6.77%. The previous week sat at 6.64%, and a year ago, 30-year mortgages averaged even lower at 6.32%.


The average interest rate for 15-year mortgages for the week ending on Feb. 16 also rose to 6.12%. Credible reported that as the economy continues to stay strong, it’s unlikely that mortgage rates will drop substantially anytime soon.

DeBianchi argued that potentially higher rates will follow residents into the hottest housing markets of 2024, according to Zillow, which includes places like Buffalo, New York; Cincinnati, Columbus, and Cleveland, Ohio; Atlanta, Georgia; and Orlando and Tampa, Florida.

In cities on the list, the real estate expert further advised: "Buy maybe your second home first. Buy the property that later on, if you can't make a big killing when you sell it, maybe you can hold on and you could rent it out and it will cash flow… I like investigating the Airbnb markets, because if it's popular on a short-term basis, it's generally popular also on an annual basis. And if it's popular on both of those bases, it can also sell for that much more of a premium."

"You have to break crumbs at the table and really understand what is your seller wanting to do and learn the mindset of the seller," DeBianchi added. "Is it a matter of [if] they're trying to move out of state? Are they more motivated because they want a bigger home and try to work with the emotions of the seller? Buying and selling real estate is all about strategy."

However, people may feel persuaded to move to popular housing markets, as those areas are likely to experience stable economies, strong job growth and rising home values, the realtor pointed out.

"It's a great opportunity for people if they're looking to relocate, if they already live there, or if you're also looking as an investment, these could be great places to investigate," she said.


Despite market volatility and looming rate uncertainty, DeBianchi encouraged those hoping to complete a transaction in 2024 to stay "creative."

"Seller financing is something that buyers should really go out and try to obtain, especially if they have enough money, but they can't show enough money. And I'm seeing that more and more often, and I'm seeing a lot more sellers flexible and open to the creativity of providing seller financing."


FOX Business’ Christopher Murray contributed to this report.

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