Should I Buy Now?
With all the turmoil in the markets and economy today, do you ask yourself if it’s a good time to buy now? You’re not alone. With everything that’s going on (record unemployment, sluggish real estate markets, health care reform, and wars in Iraq and Afghanistan), many home buyers are waiting on the sidelines for a sign that the market has bottomed out or that things are starting to improve. Some of my clients believe that real estate prices will decline even further in the next few months.
But if you have decent credit, there’s probably never been a better time to buy. Interest rates are at or near historic lows (in the low 5% range), prices for apartment buildings, homes and condos have come down 10-20% or more over their peak 2-3 years ago, and there are motivated sellers out there who know they have to take any offer seriously in today’s market.
What’s more, we’ve had several months of an improving real estate picture: the S&P/Case Shiller home price index has risen for the last 4 months, and the National Association of Realtors reported that the number of signed sales contracts to buy homes rose in September for the eighth straight month. These are all indications that the market has bottomed and is starting to move upward.
On top of that, the extension of the first time home buyer credit as well as the credit for homeowners who have lived in their houses for 5 of the last 8 years means there’s free money in the form of a tax credit available to many buyers. So do your due diligence, look at what’s on the market in your price range and take the plunge. Two years from now, it will be the people who bought in today’s market who will look like geniuses.