The listing agent can tell you how long it is taking a bank to respond to offers. Many listing agents of foreclosures work regularly for a given bank and have an idea of the pace of offers and counter offers.
A good strategy for negotiating is to have your buyer's agent look at the recent history of homes sold by the bank you are buying the foreclosure from. If you look at the last 10 or 20 sales from that bank, you will get a good idea of what they expect and how to approach them in negotiations. All banks do not work the same so make sure you and your agent figure out how the owner (bank) of your particular property normally operates.... more
Unfortunately, none of us have a crystal ball. We can all speculate, but who knows who's going to be correct. It could easily be a few years before they start going up again. In the mean time, the values may (or may not) continue to go down. With foreclosures on the rise, the latter may very well be the case. But then again, the Washington, DC metro area has an incredibly strong economy, which helps local real estate values tremendously.
Some things to consider:
If you are buying a home to live in long(er) term such as 5+ years, then you're buying a "home", not a short-term investment and you should be alright. Property values always go up eventually and it's one of the safest long-term investments you can make.
If you're going to live there for less than 5 years, then you're treating real estate as a short-term investment and you may or may not want to buy something now.
For my opinion, check out this blog post, which I just wrote today - http://realdiablog.typepad.com/weblog/2008/01/the-bottom-of-t.html... more
No none can answer that question with certainty because no one can predict the future. You are doing just that - betting. Perhaps you're right and it will, but maybe it won't and interest rates go back up due to the weakened dollar, etc. You would then end up paying more per month for the same property or be able to afford less than previously.
The local market has gone down about 25% from the peak in 2005 and has been holding fairly steady since earlier this year (2007). Even if I were a betting person, I would say prices going down another 20% is a bit on the unrealistic side.
Feel free to contact me if you would like to see the data and stats or discuss things more.... more