Many people are so afraid to purchase a home in today's real estate market due to the possibility that home prices could depreciate by as much as 20% before the next calendar year. So the question is: Is this year a good time to buy a home? There are certain things that make this a great year for home buying but there are also some things buyers should be aware of in the current market.
Low Interest Rates - Currently, interest rates are still at historic lows and based on legislation passed in February and March, the historic lows will continue to secure great rates for those interested in buying a property. There is no guarantee that interest rates will continue to stay as low as they have been. Because interest rates are lower, it's easier to build equity. Most of the initial payments that are made on a mortgage are towards the interest. With low interest rates, people have the ability to pay off their homes faster. Historic rates make this a great year for home buying.
The Tax Credit - Current legislation allows up to 10% of the purchase price (max $8000) in tax credit for new homebuyers. This makes the purchase of a house more attractive and affordable. There are several things that a couple or individual buying a home needs to check to ensure they can get the home buyer tax credit. In order to qualify for the tax credit, a buyer must be a first time homebuyer (brand new or resell) and the purchase must occur after Jan 1 and before Dec 1.
A Cooling Market is a Buyer's Market - Home prices have continued to drop over the last several years. The bubble has burst and bargain homes are on the market. The number of foreclosures on the market are also astounding and fortunately add to the deals available to homebuyers. This creates a wealth of opportunities for new homebuyers who are interested in purchasing a new home at a lower price or want to make a deal on a foreclosure.
It's Smarter to Buy than Rent - Over the course of five years the average person will spend anywhere between $20,000 and $100,000 on rent payments. The money many spend on rent payments could go towards the purchase of a home. If you are interested in a good long term investment and plan on staying in the house for the long-haul, a home is a good buy... even in today's market.
Supply is Great, Demand is Down - There is such a huge supply of homes in many cities that construction has halted in some areas on new condominiums and subdivisions. An overabundance drives down cost. Great supply and low demand also creates more room to negotiate. Several years ago if a person wanted to purchase a home, demand was so high that most sellers were able to get beyond their asking price. In today's market, a buyer can negotiate a price that is well below the asking price due to the overabundance of homes available.
Home Prices Could Continue to Drop - It was the National Association of Realtors who said that home prices have the possibility of modestly declining for years to come. The good news for the economy is: modest declines mean an upward movement in sales. Home sells are rising as many buyers are taking advantage (nearly exploiting) the deep discounts on distressed properties and foreclosures.
Buying a Home for a "Couple of Years" is a Bad Deal - If an individual plans on staying in the home for a short period of time, this may not be the time to buy a home. Unless the home is a long-term investment, this year could be the worse year for home buying.
Global Recession - Economists are not absolutely sure what is going to happen with the economy and there is only speculation. The global recession has the possibility of becoming even more severe. As the recession becomes more severe people lose their jobs along with their ability to pay their mortgage. It is never wise to buy a home in uncertain times.
People should also keep in mind there are never any guarantees in the real estate market. Buying a home is a risk and there is a possibility that the home could depreciate, especially in today's current market. The big question is: Have prices bottomed out? Unfortunately, no one really knows the answer and until a clear answer can be given, buying a home will continue to be a risk.
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