Home Buying in 92109>Question Details

BeachBrokerB…, Real Estate Pro in Encinitas, CA

Is NOW really the time to buy?

Asked by BeachBrokerBill, Encinitas, CA Mon Oct 18, 2010

Just read a couple of blog comments saying NOW is the time to buy....is it really? Based on what? Low interest rates and what else? If it is true, why aren't more people jumping in the pool?

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Craig’s answer
Mack, I take my own counsel, that is all. You've invested in real estate for 30 years while interest rates fell from great heights and asset prices rose accordingly. Your confidence during this easy period led you to keep buying right through the peak of the bubble. I've been investing for about 20 years always looking to learn from more experienced people, but I can usually see the difference between brains and luck. There are thousands of mini Mack's out there right now who entered the real estate market after all the easy money had been made and now are deep underwater. They were born at the wrong time to become real estate geniuses.

There are good times to buy assets, when the news is so bad that prices are depressed, and you just have to hold your nose and jump in. Now is not one of those times. Loans are really cheap but real estate is nothing close to it. The reverse - cheap houses and expensive loans - is a much better time to purchase, and that's how it was when you got into the market, Mack. You believe your long experience makes you immune to mistakes, I think it's made you overconfident. There's still a reasonable chance that buying today will work out okay but it's nowhere near as certain as you believe.

Last word from me. All this nonsense about how renters are paying their landlord's mortgage, like some kind of serfs? Give it a rest. Owning a home is a huge commitment. I've been on both sides and prefer to own, but renting is a lot cheaper. Homes cost a ton of money over time that is not captured in any price/rent calculations. You have to want it, and not wanting it is no reason to feel shame. A serf is basically someone who is stuck in their situation with few ways out. Frankly, that is every landlord who bought during the bubble. Their only choice is either continue shelling out thousands a year to subsidize the rent payments they receive, which don't nearly cover their cash costs let alone depreciation, or sell at a large loss. Renters today can just move to the next subsidized home and continue the American tradition of labor mobility. We are going to see a lot more renters in this country going forward. There's nothing undignified about that.
7 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 14, 2010
BEST ANSWER
Beach,

The "right time to buy" is based on an individuals personal needs and the opportunities that are available to them at a specific time.......

The perfect opportunity is not created by interest rates and inventory alone......as was demonstrated during the "strong market," buyer confidence and the strength of the economy were major factors.

What the consumers are telling us with their inactivity is that this is neither the "Perferc Storm" nor the "Bridge Over Troubled Waters" for buyers.

Respectfully,

Bill
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 19, 2010
As Bill stated, this is really a personal decision. That is blatantly obvious and agents who have been, for the last few years, spouting the Now is a Great Time to Buy! nonsense sound foolish. Great for who? How many people bought several years ago when they were told what a great time it is to buy and are now sitting on houses that are upside down?

No agent at any time should be telling people that it is a great time to buy. We should be stating facts, including the real possibility that prices will continue to decline for years to come and that increasing interest rates and shadow inventory (which is very real) are going to drive down home prices further. I am actually trying to talk some first time homebuyers (that I have been working with for over a year) out of purchasing because they are planning on moving out of state in a few years. If they took my advice, that would obviously suck for me, but I still think its right for them.

I know some people who bought very successfully when rates were in the teens because the prices were outrageously low and when rates came back down, they were able to refinance with great interest rates and home values were often doubling, tripling or even more. Things are not always so clear cut as the RE industry tries to make it seem.

Many people still aren't buying because their employment situation is shaky or they know that being tied to a house that is possibly still depreciating when they may need to move in the next few years will put them in a terrible situation like so many people are dealing with now. Not everyone is in a position to stay in the same home or 10 years or more in our increasingly mobile society.

Our job is to help people make an informed realistic decision, so that they are able to do what is in their best interests, not in OUR best interest.
6 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 21, 2010
How many times do agents have to keep repeating the same things (over and over and over) before they realize that no one else is listening?

Why would/should anyone take seriously anything that has been said for years now? How do you all think sellers feel when they were told a few years ago that NOW IS A GREAT TIME TO BUY!?

Oops! Well.....okay maybe NOW IS A GREAT TIME TO BUY!
Keep repeating it over and over to yourselves and maybe you can convince yourselves that you are all experts.
Meanwhile it makes the RE profession look like fools.

Since buying is an individual decision based on individual circumstances, maybe we should just stop cheerleading the buying and do our jobs: providing great service to those who choose to use us, not trying to convince people one way or another whether or not now is a great time to buy.
5 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 12, 2011
Time to buy or not time to buy?
a. Who are you?
A first time home buyer in your new home 5 years or more?
Time to buy. Buy low sell high works here too.
b. Outgrown your home and time to move up?
Time to buy. You get the square footage you need to feel comfortable, at mortgage rates that do also.
c. Just bought a great no money down cd set off of late night TV and your ready to do the deals and
get your first Lamborghini with the cash you take!
Dont Buy. Why? This is a market so fluid and volatile that your chance of success is low.
Chance of getting eaten alive? High.
What do you think?
5 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 3, 2010
Here is the greatest answer of all time so that BBB can finally delete this question:

It will never be the best time for everybody to buy.

It will always be the best time for somebody to buy.

End of story.
4 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 4, 2011
I hate to be the wet noodle in this little buy everything love fest.... but this IS NOT the time to buy.

Higher interest rates equal four very important things (warning, this is going to be rant-like).

1. Prices decrease due to lack of demand (people who want to buy can't afford the interest payments for the property they want. One that at one time was perfectly affordable at lower interest.). Higher interest rates mean a tightening of the credit market... which makes it even HARDER For people to get a loan they want. As interest rate increases, so does the default risk. This can mean a SIGNIFICANT decrease in housing prices, but a HUGE increase in housing value (fire sale anyone?!). After the initial price shock from decreased demand, those who buy at this time will see a MASSIVE increase in value due to the inflation hedging nature of real estate.


2. Those who CAN afford to buy real estate ARE EQUAL OR BETTER OFF with higher interest rates. People tend to forget the deduction of interest on mortgages from income taxes, as well as depreciation deduction if the property is used for income. Those who are high net worth individuals would prefer higher tax write-offs than an extra couple of dollars(rent - mortgage- RE taxes) from renting out that same property after buying. For every dollar that is put into interest, up to 50 cents of it is given back from tax write offs and other deductions! For a wealthy individual who's income is only from investments (the real wealthy), this can be a big deal!

3. Higher interest rates tend to do 2 things:
1) Force people to rent
2) Force rent prices up due to increased demand (less people can buy, so they rent... but the amount of places to rent is limited at any given time, this means more competition to get that rental!).

4. Higher interest rates generally mean higher inflation, which again means higher rent that can be put into risk free bonds at higher rates (for 30 years!). But what most people don't understand is that as soon as inflation falls off (finally subdued by increased interest rates), it falls off DRASTICALLY(Another shock!), which means people can begin to afford houses again! (That $250k house that you bought at $200k during the price shock has suddenly increased to $400k and so did your rent income during that time.
And now there are PLENTY of buyers due to the lowered interest rates at the start of the next cycle.

But since you bought during the start of high interest rates, you have the following:
A substantial profit from the land itself
A substantial amount of of fixed income risk free bonds (some of which are tax free!) that surged in prices as interest rates fell. You smartly bought them using the income from your properties during this time period.
Plenty of money to buy at the perfect time during the next cycle!



But if you don't believe me, I have some great properties in Manhattan you can buy right now! :)
4 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 3, 2011
I am by no means an economic expert but I am pretty sure that when interest rates start to rise, there will be further downward pressure on home prices.

Some of the people who did the best in the RE market were those that bought in the 80's when there was double digit interest, bought when house prices where ridiculously low, and then refinanced when interest rates went back down to reasonable and house prices began to rise. That may or may not have been a unique circumstance and I am not sure we will ever see property values rise the way they have in the past but I get tired of the sense of urgency that so many agents like to create and I'm an agent. Makes you wonder what the average buyer thinks, especially since the same advice has been spouted for years, unfortunately to many people's detriment.

As many have said, the appropriate time to buy is an individual decision but agents need to stop acting as if the largest investment decision of most people's lives is an urgent one just because we say so.
4 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 3, 2010
I never imagined we would be reaching almost 300 comments on this question. I have gone through the answers and thumbs upped 99% of them just as a "thank you" for your participation (some of them I had already thumbs up, so I couldn't give you 2 thumbs up. Sorry!). Anyways, there was definitely some spirited debate back and forth and a lot of really good insights. I really appreciate the handful of buyers who commented and their perspective as it helps answer the question as to why so many are on the fence or not jumping in the pool despite the chorus of realtors chanting it "NOW is the time to buy" in the background.

We'll have to check back to see if 2011 ends up being the bestest-estest time to buy! Good luck to you all!

BeachBrokerBill
DRE#01775528
4 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 27, 2010
My opinion in whether or not it's the right time to purchase a home. Yes, people can use the fact that interest rates are low blah, blah, blah, but if you really need a place to live and can truly afford it then do it. Everyone needs shelter it's just whether or not you want to buy or rent. I remember in the early 80's I was paying over 17% interest on my home. When interest rates dropped we refinanced. Enjoy, Penny O'Brien with RE/MAX Benchmark
4 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 24, 2010
Wow. According to the Case-Shiller Index, values in San Diego are UP 11% since January 2009. Court may be right, or may be using the wrong methods for valuation, or might simply just not feel like buying, I don't know.

The fact is, "nobody" buys at the "right" time. "Everybody" misses out on all the best deals. During the tech boom of the '90s, "nobody" bought Microsoft or Amazon or whatever low, they all bought it at the top.

"Nobody's" buying right now, really, because "nobody" else is. They're going to wait until other people buy, in which case, they're going to buy above the trough. Some are going to wait and wait and wait, interest rates will be over seven, and values will be up 20%, but that's just the way people are.

Certainly, people have been hurt by the crash. But, it's a funny thing - most people who bought and can afford to keep up their homes, maybe refinance, are pretty darned happy that they're homeowners, and not renters. Because homeownership, in the end, isn't just about how good a deal you made.

Go figure.
4 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 19, 2010
Not yet... buyers as demand decreases (and it has per the San Diego Association of Realtors & Mortgage News Daily reports) and inventory increases, those buyers willing to "stick-it-out" could benefit from a dip in sales price. Rates are still super low, therefore a WIN-WIN for buyers!

Buyers you have the potential to get more for your dollar! A decrease in listing price(s) started over two months ago in certain areas of San Diego; be ready to "pull the trigger" and have your loan conditionally approved with a direct lender!

Now that gasoline is $4.00+ per gallon, it will be interesting to see what will happen this spring/summer when sales & demand typically increase. If you are serious about buying plan ahead and have your financing ready for this summer!

Lucia Islas-Villanueva
Sr. Mortgage Banker
Point Mortgage Corp.
(619) 993-1067
3 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 12, 2011
There are deals in all parts of the state that we will not see again in our lifetime. Thats for sure
3 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 13, 2010
I think the other question is "what will you do with your money if you don't buy?" Will you get a better return renting? In your savings account? In the stock market? Don't forget to calculate the difference in a possible higher interest rate and higher home prices by next year, 2 years, 3 years etc. And that's on paper. There are always non-monetary reaons: rent is too high, got married, need a larger home, going to have a baby, etc. Honestly, it's always the right time to buy for somebody and always the wrong time to buy for somebody else.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 5, 2010
- in this case, I tend to believe the opposite- that the data does not always fit the narrative because of some flaws in the data.

That really doesn't make much sense. Because cars occasionally run red lights, you only cross on the red?

- Anyone who works with statistics will openly admit how easily manipulated the data is and how it can be interpreted to fit a desired conclusion.

The US Census Bureau is unlikely to have a pro-Realtor bias.

- When I was talking about people who bought during double digit inflation when home prices were very low I was talking about people I actually knew. There are a number of them.

Let's look at the story you reported, Joan. The overall message is: smart people bought when prices were low and interest rates were high, and sold to people when falling interest rates pushed prices up. It's a good story. But if you take out "interest rates," the story correlates with the data - they bought when prices were lower, and sold when they were higher. The story would correlate with the data if you had written, "they made money by buying in the '70s when interest rates were low and selling in the '80s when interest rates had gone up."

So, in fact, interest rates do not have any relevance in the narrative. Simply put, for people who don't want to read much further:

Year Avg Price Med Price Int Rate
1975 $39,242 $42,525 9.2%
1980 $64,708 $76,425 14.4%
1985 $84,275 $100,992 12.7%
1990 $122,275 $148,992 10.1%
1995 $133,433 $157,600 8.2%

What do interest rates have to do with this?

- Mack, you keep trying to paint me in a corner acting as if I am shouting from the rooftops "DON'T BUY!"

Well, you are shouting at agents not to shout from the rooftops, aren't you?

- I figure its my job to be as informed as possible but its not my job (and so for not within my abilities) to act as if I KNOW that this is the best time to buy.

Well, now you are better informed.

Joan, you seem like a person with a strong moral and ethical code, who would serve her clients well, except that you seem to over-compensate for the failings of your profession. Two wrongs do not make a right - to be the best agent you can be, don't over-compensate, get it right.

Best regards,
3 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 4, 2010
@Mack: "The data does not always fit the narrative, usually because of some flaws in the narrative."

Actually Mack, of course there can always be flaws in the narrative but in this case, I tend to believe the opposite- that the data does not always fit the narrative because of some flaws in the data.

Anyone who works with statistics will openly admit how easily manipulated the data is and how it can be interpreted to fit a desired conclusion. Nationwide median prices are pretty meaningless to me. When I was talking about people who bought during double digit inflation when home prices were very low I was talking about people I actually knew. There are a number of them. Just a few, admittedly not statistically significant. They made out very well by buying at the time when the market was seemingly horrific. So you can stick to your national median figures - I have my personal contacts who were actually a part of that market and when I have talked about that with other people, they all seemed to know people who bought then and did really well. People who buy now may also do well in 20 years. I don't believe they will short term. Maybe now is a great time for people to buy, assuming they are in a position to. But there may be more pain before there is gain. Maybe not, but there are a lot of things that are indicating most markets are going to be at best stagnant and at worst, declining for the next several years.

Mack, you keep trying to paint me in a corner acting as if I am shouting from the rooftops "DON'T BUY!" and I have never said anything close to that. Only that it is a decision obviously based on individual circumstance, that we as agents need to stop creating a sense of urgency for a decision so huge, and that for some people it is the right time for THEM to buy and for some people, it is most definitely not.

I get just as frustrated with the naysayers as I do with the cheerleaders. Its okay to tout low interest rates and lower housing prices but its also okay to make it clear to people that home ownership carries a lot of responsibilites and costs that first time home buyers may not be aware of and if there is any possibility that they may need to move or sell in the next few years they may find themselves in a tough situation. I certainly don't go around to all my buyers and say What?! You idiots! Why would you want to buy in this market?? But you will also never hear me state Now is the time to buy!.

I figure its my job to be as informed as possible but its not my job (and so for not within my abilities) to act as if I KNOW that this is the best time to buy. The reason so many buyers are skeptical of the BUY NOW nonsense is because they have been burned by the market when they bought at a time when realtors were saying the exact same thing.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 4, 2010
Ron, based on the latest unemployment figures posted today, I have a really hard time envisioning rising prices in most markets any time soon.
As stated many times, the only people for whom it is truly the right time to buy are those with stable jobs. Unfortunately, that is an increasingly lower percentage of the population. Until that improves, RE will be a tough business for most of us.

House prices can lower dramatically with interest rates staying low and there will still be a significant segment of the population that will be unable to obtain and/or afford a mortgage. Buying opportunity has little to do with it, employment opportunities are what people are craving.

I realize that these are separate issues: If you are able to buy, is this a good time to buy? vs. can I buy if I want to buy? but I think it really comes down to just doing our job- helping people be realistic about the costs and responsibility of home ownership, being realistic about short term resale and what they can or can't afford. A commission is not worth convincing people who maybe shouldn't be buying (for various reasons) to buy when it may be contrary to what is in their best interests.

I get concerned when agents create this sense of urgency out of a desire to generate business and therefore benefit themselves to the potential detriment of buyers.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 3, 2010
- agents need to stop acting as if the largest investment decision of most people's lives is an urgent one just because we say so.

Well, Joan, we don't.

- Some of the people who did the best in the RE market were those that bought in the 80's when there was double digit interest, bought when house prices where ridiculously low,

Except that the data doesn't support that mythology.

Median and Average Sales Prices of New Homes Sold in United States
http://www.census.gov/const/uspricemon.pdf
Period Median Average Interest Rates
1976 $44,283 $48,100 8.9%
1977 $48,983 $54,350 8.7%
1978 $55,792 $62,667 9.6%
1979 $62,750 $71,917 10.8%
1980 $64,708 $76,425 14.4%
1981 $68,825 $83,067 16.8%
1982 $69,300 $83,817 15.2%
1983 $75,458 $89,867 13.1%
1984 $80,017 $97,492 13.8%
1985 $84,275 $100,992 12.7%
1986 $92,233 $112,158 9.8%
1987 $104,675 $127,933 10.1%
1988 $113,350 $138,925 10.5%
1989 $120,383 $148,317 10.3%
1990 $122,275 $148,992 10.1%
The interest rates are from a table I copied years ago, I believe from the St Louis Federal Reserve.

Anyway - what you don't see in the table above is "ridiculously low prices" anywhere; another thing you don't see is high interest rates pushing prices down. Maybe keeping them from rising, but that's speculation, isn't it?

The data does not always fit the narrative, usually because of some flaws in the narrative.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 3, 2010
There is no other time than NOW to buy. That would be like asking is NOW a good time to fall in love or shall we put that off to the future. NOW, NOW, NOW FALL IN LOVE AND BUY YOUR DREAM HOME NOW! Cost of borrowing money is cheap; house prices reflect value. I bought my first house when interest rates were 18%. Today you can get a 30 year mortgage for 5% or less. You can get more house today for that same mortgage payment building equity. Over the past 30 years, return on equity was 5% despite the highs and lows. Are you getting 5% return elsewhere with minimal risk? Ingrid Miles, CBR, REALTOR; Topsfield, MA
3 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 3, 2010
Buy now, save later. Real Estate is all about buying at the right time. Now are the best options in Real Estate in last 20 years. Save later when things hopefully should go back to normal.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 2, 2010
You've probably gotten all the good advice possible by now....but just to add in my two cents.
The right time to buy is such a personal decision...and nobody knows exactly where the market will go for sure.
Web Reference: http://www.oliverindra.com
3 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 2, 2010
We'll be putting our primary residence on the market soon with the intention of making another purchase. we may not be able to sell it for what we could 1.5 years ago but we'll be saving a larger % on the buying end so it makes sense if we can work it out.

We're also negotiating buying another investment property. The current prices and rates help return....

So it makes sense for us but I think that a lot of people are afraid to buy now and have the value go down further. If people are in the market to buy and are worried what the prices will do over the next year because they may have to move - they don't need to be buying.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 2, 2010
Dear Beach Broker,
I really think it depends on where you are. In my local home market, Austin Texas homes are starting to move. The key is price it right and have it in perfect pristine condition. Lately Buyers only want to look at perfectly updated homes. It seems that wel priced good condition homes that need updating are languishing. That said there are some that are updated that still sit, because they are too far from city center or may be smaller than most buyers really want. Each market is different and you need to look at your local market, not the country in general.
Sincerely,
Betina
3 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 2, 2010
"THIS is the bottom, sales prices will surge with the coming spring buying season."


Pending Home Sales Surge Massively, Up 10.4%
Up 10.4% for October, with the index rising to 89.3%.

Analysis: Last month the pending home sales index fell 1.8% (for September).


Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said excellent housing affordability conditions are drawing home buyers. “It is welcoming to see a solid double-digit percentage gain, but activity needs to improve further to reach healthy, sustainable levels. The housing market clearly is in a recovery phase and will be uneven at times, but the improving job market and consequential boost to household formation will help the recovery process going into 2011,” he said.

“More importantly, a return to more normal loan underwriting standards and removal of unnecessary underwriting fees for very low risk borrowers is needed and could quickly help in the housing and economic recovery,” Yun said. Recent loan performance data from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac clearly demonstrates very low default rates on recently originated mortgages, much lower that the vintages of 2002 and 2003 before the housing boom.

David Cooper 1-702-499-7037
http://www.LasVegasWinner.org
3 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 2, 2010
Joshua, may I help you with that?
3 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 2, 2010
ABSOLUTELY!!!

Now is the time to buy. I know I will.

Joshua Jones
SunState Investments, LLC
602-456-0242
3 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 1, 2010
To buy right now is really base on your account of what kind of money you have.What I mean if your income is sure.Then I would buy.But to buy just be buying,you want to look down the road to see how things may going,then make your decision.So it is really hard to give what is sure advise.I would if the property is worth it .
3 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 1, 2010
Get a copy of "Is it the Right Time to Buy a Home?" on my Facebook page at
Facebook.com/Michael DiamondRealestate

This guide will help you or your party decide if buying a home now is right for you. It also has
Tips to Figure out your Financial Strategy and Home buying Readiness

Hope you enjoy reading it
3 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 1, 2010
I agree that the current real estate market situation regarding real estate values and record low mortgage interest rates is interesting and appealing. I do add the caution that the national picture is not a "one size fits all" as markets vary in terms of the stage of the real estate cycle they are in, lenders desire to lend, and employment. Also important to remember is that everyone's situation is different resulting in different time horizons. I believe the market presents an excellent investment opportunity for those whose time horizon is 5 to 10 years. I believe that anything less than that is pure speculation!
3 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 1, 2010
If you could buy a 4 bedrooms house in foreclosure in Stamford, CT, FOR $230,000- $240,000 I would say: This IS the time to buy.
If you understand that the rates are the lowest in 50 years, I would say: This IS time to buy.
If you could choose locations, prices and conditions for the lowest price I have ever seen, I would say: This IS time to buy!!.
Who knows what is going to happen next year. ? We are living the most amazing buyer market. NOW!!

Any doubt?

Lidia Wainschtok
bilingual Agent
Keller Williams Stamford
Cell: 203-561-2033
Email: lidiaw@kw.com
3 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 1, 2010
In our little area in New Hampshire, the number of sales and the price of homes are starting to go up! Both are up this year over last year. That tells me that it may be time.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 1, 2010
Tips on how to calculates "long term stability",
(1) Is your income stable?
(2) is your marriage stable?
(3) Are people continuing to move to the aria you wish to live?
(4) Are new jobs continuing to move to the aria you wish to live?
I believe we will have A housing shortage in Phoenix AZ. with in two years
because very few new homes have been built in the past 3 years.
This will allow the thousands of homeowners that want to sale but can't
because they are under water to sale. Do you agree?
Web Reference: http://ronshomepage.com
3 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 1, 2010
The right time to buy should be viewed from "Your Economy" NOT "The Economy"
Am I surviving thru these troubling economic times. If my expenses are under control, and I can see steady income for the next 5 years, I might look at houses selling at 50% less than when they were 3 years ago and with interest rates in the 5% range, the lowest in 50 years and see opportunity.

If I am still living paycheck to paycheck, and my expenses are "killing me" or my job and income is risky, this is definetly NOT the right time to buy.

My Las Vegas area has a 15% unemployment rate, BUT there are 795,000 employed works. The glass is 85% full with the people working. They need to live somewhere, BUT, the guru's and the news media that quote them make it feel that everyone is living in a shelter and eating in soup kitchens.

David Cooper 702-499-7037
http://www.LasVegasWinner.org
3 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 1, 2010
Now is the time to buy in south Florida. In the Boca Raton/Delray Beach/Boynton Beach and surrounding market, our prices are at records lows. There are some amazing deals to be had for buyers today.

I get a lot of calls from people thinking Florida is "on sale." Yes, it is from what it was, but you still must be practical. If a house was $ 450,000, it isn't going to be $ 150,000. It may be up to 50% off from where it was depending on the community. Some communities have fared better than others and held their prices.

We are in a boom-and-bust market. Is it a time for home buying in the Boca Raton/Delray market? Yes, if you are in a position to do so and plan on keeping it for a while. This is not a time for flipping houses, in my opinion.

I had buyers out yesterday looking at condos originally priced at $ 475,000 - $ 600,000. They're on the market for $ 249,000 to $ 300,000 today. Brand new, gorgeous! Now, that's a deal!
Web Reference: http://elyseberman.com
3 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 1, 2010
>> Any tips on how one calculates "long term stability"?

Got a dartboard?
3 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 1, 2010
Rhonda writes: "So do you're homework so you get in the right area that is in demand and has long term stability." Sounds good. Any tips on how one calculates "long term stability"?
3 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 30, 2010
Absolutely-- IF you live in Oklahoma.

We've been named by Forbes, Wall Street Journal, Fortune, and many others as the #1 and #2 real estate market in the US, the #1 most recession-proof city in the US, #11 best city for jobs, and the #1 most affordable city. And we have an NBA team now.

I am biased. I love Oklahoma. There are plenty of good reasons to buy now, no matter where you live (low rates, low prices, huge inventory supply), but these have all been explained very well by the other posters. For links to the articles about the OK RE market, click on the blog link below. Thanks!
3 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 30, 2010
Now is the time to buy IF you have all your ducks in a row. You need to have safety nets in place in case something life-changing were to occur. Be sure to have six months to a year of expenses saved up, your retirement accounts maxed out for the year, and yes 20% down for the property you are considering purchasing. Also, make sure that you have taken care of any consumer debt that may be charging you an arm and a leg on interest. IF you have your ducks in a row, right now is an absolutely fabulous time to purchase property. You can still get amazing deals and have confidence that the economic cycle is fast approaching an incline phase and your investment will appreciate. Do your homework on the location and what experts are forecasting for the economy of that location. If everything looks good and you've thought beyond the emotions of impulse buying then I say go for it!
3 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 30, 2010
It is definitely time to buy because just like stocks you want to buy low and sell high. Real estate is an investment and you have to understand that you have to look strongly at the market and what is going on. We've had a few years of this down market and soon having low interest rates and low prices will not last long. Today we are already quoting 5% instead of in the 4% range.

More importantly you need to understand the market you live in and see how the market has efftected it. Not all cities or neighborhoods are the best to buy in at this time. So do you're homework so you get in the right area that is in demand and has long term stability.
Web Reference: http://www.RhondaHolt.com
3 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 30, 2010
Home prices are low, interest rate are low, it can't last forever. Now is a great time to buy.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 29, 2010
Simple fact. The best time to buy is today. "Buy low, sell high" investment 101. It can't get any better. So many deals for ready buyers as far as interest rates and home price. But buyer should always find a good agent to guide him into the process. The pool is large but fear has more impact today on people decision than ever before. For a savvy buyer it is time to purchase the dream house; in few months when the market rebound, it will be too late.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 29, 2010
YES! Absolutely, one of the best times to buy in SAN DIEGO area, in the price range under $500,000.

Khrystyna Chorna
Prudential California Realty
516 5th Ave,
San Diego, CA, 92101
tel: 619-808-7064
fax:619-702-9044
http://www.sandiegodowntowncondos.net
http://www.youtube.com/chornarealestate
3 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 27, 2010
I agree that it depends upon your circumstances and objectives regarding the purchase. Interests rates will likely rise but the abundance of bank owned properties will keep prices bumping along at this level for some time, perhaps even falling slightly. This is very dependant upon the specific locations you are shopping in. Hillcrest for example is always in demand so prices are rising, in less desireable areas prices are still falling. More people are not buying because they don't meet tight lending standards or they don't feel confident enough in their overall financial situation to assume the risk. Cash buyers turning over distressed properties are doing very well!
Web Reference: http://www.lchometeamsd.com
3 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 27, 2010
Hi BeachBroker:

Actually there are micro markets and macro markets.

Macro economy such as that in the entire State and Micro economy such as what is happening around Encinitas, CA.

Also you have to check your own personal situation (Personal Economy) and how do you think your
business will fare 5 years out.

We have in the Silicon valley folks from Google, Apple, Amazon, Ebay, and successful start ups buying out homes all cash down upto $2.5M. The last 6 weeks recorded the highest Sales Prices on record for
San Mateo and Santa Clara county, which indicates C-Level staff at key companies feel the market is improving and jumping in. So if you have worked hard and joined the right company and made them successful, then you are successful and with free cash on hand, it does not matter, as Real
Estate is a long term investment with at least a 10 year horizon you should do just fine.

If you or your clients have to look over your shoulder every month as to how the market is faring, then
it would not be too bright to buy.

The economy overall is improving, we have both local money and foreign money right now buying homes
off the MLS and at Court Auctions. Once the smart money moves into your area it is too late. Also with rising rates its going to get tougher to make money on an investment property as Cost of Money rises.

It all comes down to whether the business in your area is improving, and the population trend, is
their migration into the town or out of town. Can a town or city hold on to the Businesses, their skilled
and educated workers, their fresh college graduates is the future. If the answer is no, then the future is
bleak for the town or city, no matter what the Macro Economy is doing.

The answer is simple, Yes people are jumping in and in selected areas, the fundamental question is:

How is your Town or City doing?

If the rot continues then one should experience further price declines; this rot reflects both the number of
homes that are facing Short Sales, NOD as well as available Inventory of Available homes that are Regular,
Short and Foreclosed. The rot also reflects what your town economy is faring, if business are shutting down
then more layoffs, followed by more price declines and foreclosures. The rot also reflects if builders overbuilt and there is a glut.

If one sees growth then price increases.

I one see stagnation then dont bother jumping in.

Good luck.
Perry & Ruth
Web Reference: http://www.ruthandperry.com
3 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 26, 2010
I think it could be aGreat time to purchase for many people. If you are an investor it is a great market. If you are renting it could also be a good time to buy. You can purchase a home and often times have a payment that is considerably less then your current monthly rent.
Thank you
Web Reference: http://www.daveandsuzie.com
3 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 26, 2010
It's not "THE ECONOMY" it's "MY ECONOMY" tht determines how and why I make buying decisions. If I feel fairly confident that my income will be steady for the next 5 years, than I can buy a home without worrying about "The Economy"
If I was in a room full of poeple 3 years ago, at the height of the price bubble with interest rates in th 6-7% range, and asked "Is Now the Time to Buy a Home", every hand would have shot up. Yep, the market is going up, because that's what all the statistics and guru's were saying.
Now, with prices are down 50% and interest in the 5% and below, all the statistics and guru's are saying NO!.
Seperate "YOUR ECONOMY" from "THE ECONOMY" and I would being a BUYER if it makes sense for you

David Cooper 702-499-7037
http://www.lasvegaswinner.org
3 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 25, 2010
Real Estate prices have dropped significantly. Interest rates are the lowest they've been in 50 years! This is the most affordable time to buy (comparing average price to income nationally), yet some folks are holding back from buying their dream home. Why? Is it fear? Is it uncertainty? Are we at the bottom? Are we waiting for a parade to tell us the recession is over? These are indeed unsure times. The only way to know for sure where the market is is to have a crystal ball that works or a time machine. Know where I can get one?
3 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 24, 2010
I'm going to stab at it again since people keep answering. Look, buying a home is an investment, just like investing in the stock market. In some regards you are speculating, just like buying stock. Low risk = low reward, high risk = high reward. There will always be those who are cautious, that's just the way it is. But we can speculate all we want, and that's all it is. At some point it's either time to man-up or shut up. (nothing personal)
3 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 24, 2010
Yes, yes a thousand time yes! Now is the best time relative to looking back to buy a home. If borrowing, interest rates are as low as we have seen in 50 years, home prices have hit the floor due to the large increase in foreclosures flooding the market. Couple that with the number of "shadow foreclosures" that will hit the market sooner than later. Add to that the nummber of homeowners that are already 60 days late on their payments and those homes hitting the market as short sales and potential foreclosures ....
To answer your next question... UNCERTAINTY is the reason more aren't jumping in the pool. If YOU are uncertain about the stability of your future income, if YOU are uncertain about your federal income tax bill, if YOU are uncertan about increases in health care costs, if YOU are uncertain about having to relocate and selling your current home at a loss. UNCERTAINTY is crippling our economic recoverynot the housing market.. Real estate agents are like historians...we can only look back with certainty not forward. No one can see into the future but one can speculate based upon indicators. Indicators in the housing market and financial market, tax laws, interest rates, anticipated congressional bills that may affect home ownership all go into the mix. Real estate agents are like any other profession. The good ones are the ones that are knowledgable of all these indicators but only YOU can determine your level of risk and tolerable UNCERTAINTY. My advice, interview an Accredited Buyer Representative that is in the know before you search the first listing on the internet. Andrea Gaume, Accredited Buyer Representative
3 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 23, 2010
It's a buyer's market and most sellers are willing to negotiate from their listing price. Interest rates are at a 50+ year low, so why not buy now? Our local banks in Hilton Head Island, SC and the surrounding communities have money to lend to qualified buyers.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 23, 2010
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