You’ve sat out of the housing market for the past year as you wait for the market to hit bottom, though you possess the wherewithal to purchase a home now. You are new to the real estate market and have no recollection how previous market trends panned out. One question lurks in the back of your head: should I buy now or wait?
Clearly, there is no pat answer to this sort of question, but one answer does apply: timing isn’t easy to gauge and it shouldn’t be your only consideration when buying a new home.
Some real estate advisors are telling people to wait out the current slump and only jump in when prices hit bottom. What they don’t tell you is that it is virtually impossible to predict when the bottom prices have been hit. In fact, if you wait a month or two you could find out retrospectively that the housing market already bottomed out.
A better approach would be for you to find the house you want today and go ahead and buy it. If you have the funds available for a down payment and you are eligible for a mortgage, then negotiate your best deal for the home and jump in. It is still a buyer’s market, so negotiate a price to your advantage.
Another reason to purchase now are the low interest rates on mortgages, currently averaging 5.76% on a 30-year fixed rate loan. That figure is expected to rise, perhaps to as high as 7% in 2009. Take advantage of an attractive interest rate now to save hundreds on your mortgage payment.
Finally, when searching for a home always remember that location trumps everything else. Accessibility to stores, medical help, culture/arts, and schools are very important points to consider when buying a home. Good schools especially are prized since those markets are where buyers will pay a premium to live according to CNN/Money.