The Time to Buy Real Estate: a Buyers Market

By: Craig Berger

After several years of inflated housing prices, the bubble has burst and more homes are on the market than ever. With prices being slashed and interest rates being lowered, the time to buy a home is now more than ever. Whether in a high cost area, a suburban complex or a rural region, there is a home somewhere in the country that you can afford.

Why Now Is A Buyer's Market

Within a year, median-housing prices plummeted 4.6 percent, with the national home-price index experiencing the single largest drop in 20 years. In California and Florida, prices dived 10 to 12 percent. On top of this, there was around 10 months worth of homes for sale this past January.

What all this translates to is that now is an excellent time to buy a home. With so many houses flooding the market, you can choose from an incredible selection. Many homeowners are struggling to make mortgage payments, meaning they wish to sell quickly and cheaply. Even high cost areas have cut prices, which means you can find a great deal in an expensive area.

What You Need To Buy A Home

For the last few years, lenders allowed buyers with subpar credit and unstable income to take out a subprime mortgage. Now, with the housing market declining, lenders have reverted to the old standard. Those with secure jobs and good credit should be able to acquire a mortgage to buy a home without problem, but those who are not financially steady may need to wait a while.

Are You Ready To Buy Real Estate?

Before you buy a home, look at what you can really afford. Search for online calculators that help determine the total cost or how much you can take out for a loan. You will also need cash for moving expenses and maintenance, in addition to the title charges and closing costs, which is typically 2-3 percent of the price of the home.

Understand the market you want to buy in before you make a purchase by thoroughly researching the area. As they say in real estate, location, location, location. Find homes in nice neighborhoods with decent school districts, job growth and low crime. Keep an eye out for construction that could increase or decrease the value.

For the best bargain, you want to buy a home that is lower than its valued price several years ago. Learn the price of other houses in the neighborhood and figure out how much the land itself is worth versus the building.

Negotiating a lower price is perfectly acceptable, especially considering most housing prices are inflated already. Lastly, buy if you are planning to live there for quite a while. Housing bubbles take a while to deflate, so buying and selling right away will not net you the kind of profit you could earn later. As soon as you have established what you can afford and where the best prices are, then good luck bidding on your new home!

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