Although it appears that there are great deals to be had, my advice for the average person is to stay on the sidelines and leave investments in the real estate market to the professionals. My reason for this cautionary approach is that I do not believe we are close to a bottom in the market. Second, I also believe that todayâ€™s real estate market is reminiscent of the early 90â€™s. People who bought houses in 1989 and 1990 thinking they got a bargain that they could turn in a year or two were surprised. Then, real estate values did not come back for about five years and I predict a similar story today.
Todayâ€™s market is a little more complex then it was then because inflation is becoming a bigger concern and that means that interest rates will rise. This coupled with the recession we are in (yes I believe we are in one and it will be long and hard for the average American) and the flood of properties coming on from foreclosures will keep the values down for some time to come. Unless you have a significant cash reserve to carry you through three to seven years I would stay away from purchasing investment properties. If however, you are looking to buy a primary residence or even a vacation home then yes it could be a good time to buy?
While as stated above I believe the market will further decline, you will find yourself in a Catch-22. If you wait you may not have the same programs available that are currently offered due to guidelines changing weekly as well as pending legislation that will make getting loans more difficult. In addition as pointed out above, I believe that interest rates will not improve much and if inflation rises so too will interest rates and there in lies the conundrum.
Moral of the story, if you want to buy a new home for yourself I would go for it; sellers are anxious and will bite at any reasonable offer. Even if the market declines you are not going to be selling any time soon and you need a place to live so you might as well enjoy the tax benefits of home ownership. If however you want to get into the real estate investment game I would leave that one for the pros.