Jeff’s Carlsbad Blog for First Time Home Buyers

Is Now a Good time To Buy?

Posted in House Hunting by Jeff Dowler on July 23, 2007

I get this question alot, from first time buyers as well as more experienced folks. It’s a good question.

And I’m not going to answer it!

I’ll give you some things to think about, but I am not going to tell you YES or NO, since I can’t. It depends on you, your personal situation, and your goals.

There is lots of inventory (bet you already knew that), so from that perspective it is a good time to be looking, since there are choices. Plus you likely won’t have to make a rush decision for fear that there won’t be anything to buy (on the other hand, do NOT assume that homes will stay on the market forever). And you may have an opportunity to negotiate, and perhaps even obtain some concessions along the way.

Interest rates are pretty good right now, and have been for some time. Yes, they have gone up a bit, but if you look back several years ago they were quite a bit higher.  But we don’t know where they are going to go or if they will stay at or near the current level. A bump up in rates can cost you thousands of dollars in your mortgage payments, and off-set any savings you might obtain through negotiation.

Homes in many areas have slowed in appreciation, or have even lost value as compared to a couple of years ago. This sort of thing is part of the typical real estate cycle and really no different than what has happened in the past. And so you have to consider what your goal of buying a home is. If it is to make money in the short term, then you probably are not going to be able to do that. But if the goal is to have a home to live in for a number of years, with side benefits of tax advantages, building equity, and improving credit, then the decision to buy now could be right for you.

No one has a crystal ball, although I am often asked about it.

You have to weigh all the pros and cons of your situation and goals to decide if now is a good time to buy. Given the market conditions, I think it is…for some people. Sure you can wait to see if things changes, and they might – ut maybe prices will go up, or rates will, or both. But whether you wait or not, there will always be that decision that must be made.

My best advice:

  • be as informed as you possibly can be about the local market conditions
  • fully understand your financial situation
  • have a top-notch mortgage person to advise you (I can provide some suggestions there)
  • work closely with a knowledgeable agent who knows that local market conditions and can share with you the pros and cons
  • do your research

I can’t tell you what the right decision is – YOU have to decide. But I can give you the information you need to make those choices or suggest the things you must consider.

Is it the right time to buy? Yes….and no. It depends on you.


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