1) Interest rates are at historic lows.Â Rates are hovering around 4% for 30 year fixed rate loans.Â By locking in a rate on a purchase now, you protect yourself from inflation (which many experts say is inevitable).Â Â
2) Prices are lower than they have been in years.Â
In fact El Cerrito's median priced home is about the same as it was in 2003.Â While prices could soften a bit more, there are some great deals to be had in El Cerrito right now. SeeÂ how median prices have fared since 2000 .
3) Buyers can negotiate property condition issues more fairly.
Those of us who went through the boom times working with Buyers purchasing homes found that if adverse conditions were discovered during a buyer's inspection process that Sellers often refused to perform repairs orÂ negotiate to offset the costs ofÂ defects.Â Â In today's more balanced market, sellers are often willing to compensate buyers for deferred maintenance, pest control reports, foundation issues and older obsolete systems.Â
Â 4)Â It's a great time to buy up!Â If you own a smaller home in the local market and are looking to buy a larger home its a perfect time.Â Even though the sales price of the home you are selling may be lower than you hope, you can more than make up the difference on your upward move.Â When prices do rebound, and they will, the gain in equity is much greater on a more expensive property.Â For example if a property valued at $400,000 increases by 3% the equity gain is $12,000 while the same increase on a $700,000 property is $21,000.Â Â Clients who bought up during down periods looked like geniuses when prices climbed.Â
5) El Cerrito is a great place to live. With gas prices high, El Cerrito is a commuter's dream, with two BART stations, easy access to the Bay and San Rafael Bridges, and a good local transit system.Â The views can be unsurpassed.Â It has great community spirit, is safe, close to shopping, restaurants and UC Berkeley.Â