If any person wants to become a buyer instead of a renter, their first step needs to be to contact a local and trusted mortgage broker for a free pre-quailification. If you do not know any mortgage brokers you should ask family and coworkers for referrals, you can email me if you would like the names of a couple of great mortgage brokers, but please do not use online companies. Once you get prequailifies you will know whether you can or can not obtain a mortgage, if you can not, they should be bale to tell you what you have to do to be able to obtain a mortgage. As far as buying in this market there are lots of variables. It depends what city or town you are interested in, even what neighborhood within that city or town and what type of property and what price range you are looking in. While homes needing lots of work continue to free fall, homes in good condition and under $249,900 are remaining steady. The key is to find a property that suits your needs and is priced at or below market value. If you can do that, you should be ok buying right now. There are incredible deals right now as the amount of buyers has decreased as it is winter afterall and buyers always decrease this time of year no matter the economy. No one knows what the spring will bring, eventually interest rates will go up so now you can get them at their lowest point. Foreclosures will continue, the banks have slowed their pace so not to flood the market, they will continue this policy which is causing new foreclosures to be in worse shape than those of even a year ago, as the owners are not paying the upkeep on them as they know it eventually will go to foreclosure. So yes now is teh time if your finances are secure, if you find something that suits your needs and you are getting it at or below market value.