I am not a real estate agent, so I can't/won't make a forecast on housing prices. Nor am I an ecomomist, but I will make a forecast on interest rates :-) I think what we are seeing right now with the fed lowering interest rates to calm the turbulence in the financial markets is more important to you than the cost of the home.
The fed is on a temporary mission to inject liquidity and pump some growth into the economy to counteract loses that are looming with sub-prime mortgages. This temporary lowering of interest rates gives you a great window to buy.
With your time horizon of 8 to 10 years, getting a lower interest rate is far more important than the relative price of the home. The lower interest rates available today will provide you with a lower total cost of ownership in the long run. Historically, interest rates are still very low. The fed's actions today are temporary (in my view) and my crystal ball says they will have to do a dramatic about-face in the future to slow down inflation and salvage the value of the dollar. Oh, inflation...not only will your total cost of ownership be lower if you buy today, but if inflation takes off, you definitely want to own. Inflation will drive up the price of homes.
Just one home stager's opinion.
Preferred Staging... more
You certainly can try to put the deal together yourself, I believe you would not get the outcome that you desire. A buyers agent will be able to help you determine what the property is worth and will help you structure the deal to meet your needs. Many people seem to believe that the seller will pass along the savings if they don't have an agent. In reality it will probably end up costing you much more because of the mistakes you will make in putting together the deal. Many banks will not negotiate they will only accept or reject offers. You may have to submit several offers before you reach a level that the bank will accept. Since the seller pays the commissions you have nothing to loose by hiring an agent. I suggest visiting the following website to find a buyers agent. The Real Estate Buyers Agent Council (REBAC) has an on-line directory that will help you find a Buyers Agent that has earned the ABR (Accredited Buyers Representative) designation. An ABR has experience and speciality training to help you with the purchase of a home. http://www.rebac.net/MembershipDirectorySearch.aspx Good Luck!... more
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