Forget the headlines -- if you are truly shopping for a house, be ready for a lot of frustration!
FYI - I just rented a 600K pool home in Granada Hills for 2K a month. There's no way I could of come close to affording that on a mortgage and I have excellent credit, 10% down and 6 figure documented single income. My plan is to wait-and-see what happens. I'm sitting contently on the sidelines. I run the risk of a hot-buyers market in the future, but I'd rather have that then settle for a condo or small home seedy area and be to far underwater to get out in 5 years.
The tide will definitely turn someday. That's guaranteed. But will it turn in 3 months, 6 months, two years? Who knows. But I think desirable areas like Sherman Oaks will only float down, not fall off a cliff (except for foreclosures and desperate idiots like the townhouse owner). I believe if you find something you love and can afford it, buy it. You'll regret not buying if it floats down another $30,000 (a nice piece of change, but not the Great Depression) but you really, really loved it, and now it's gone.
Even though that statement is true... All it does is allow someone to shoe-horn you into an overpriced house.
That line is what the brokers tell the agents to say when their out in the field.
I don't have time to write another 5000 character dissertation as to why it's a bad time to buy, but here are some things to look up.
GDP vs. HSG or Housing Valuation
House value based on Price to Earnings Ratio
My personal prediction is we are approx 1/4 to 1/3 through the housing slump.
Buy now and be sorry.
Here's a sample of recent headlines on cnn.com
â€¢ Moody's eyes Fannie Mae downgrade
â€¢ Home price plunge accelerates
â€¢ Mortgage applications slide again
â€¢ Insuring your home against disaster
â€¢ White House to veto foreclosure bill
â€¢ January foreclosures up 57%
â€¢ House mulls $15B mortgage bailout
â€¢ Foreclosure bill faces Senate test
â€¢ Foreclosure aid plan under attack
â€¢ Subprime loans defaulting before resets
â€¢ Don't forgive debt, postpone repayment
Kate... sound like a good time to buy?
Most of the what I read are predicting prices will continue to drop through the year in LA County until they reach a more realistic level. This seems reasonable considering the most communities have dropped in LA area from 2-20% this year. Take a look at Zillow.com's Quaterly Reports... http://www.zillow.com/quarterlies/QuarterlyReports.htm