When Will the California Housing Market Hit Bottom?

By: Kari Shea

Many people are in search of a definitive answer about when the California housing market will hit bottom. Are you biding your time before you buy a new home? Sitting around eagerly anticipating another drop in housing prices? Well, while you are sitting around waiting, somebody else is likely scooping up that lovely beach house in the San Diego suburbs you've been eyeing.

Analysts are all over the map when they try to predict the bottom of the housing market tumble, and that's because it's anybodies guess. Plus, there is no guarantee that mortgage rates will not increase, which can easily offset any potential savings you'll see from a hypothetical drop in the price of the house you want. Mortgage standards are also on the rise. Lenders are becoming increasingly more discriminating about the credit history of potential buyers. So, if your credit is less than perfect, playing the waiting game might really burn you in the end.

If you really wanted a sandwich for lunch, would you stand outside for hours, just in case they dropped the price by fifty cents? Any potential drop in housing prices can easily be negotiated when you are buying your home, anyhow. Sellers are often eager to move their properties in the current market. Rather than sitting like a silent spectator on the sidelines, try negotiating instead. Then, you'll get the house you want before someone else does, and you'll still walk away knowing you've gotten a great deal.

By buying a new home, you are actually doing your part to aid the market's recovery. As home buyers stop feeling squeamish and start realizing that the market is theirs for the taking, the housing market will begin its steady upward climb. It's only a matter of time before real estate investors and private home buyers alike start to swoop in and scoop up the numerous short sale and foreclosure bargains on the market today.

Once those properties are in short supply, home prices will steadily begin to creep up. Prices will normalize as the nation's homes start the inevitable process of gaining equity once again. For all we know, we could currently be looking up from the very bottom we're trying to predict. In fact, The National Association of Realtors predicts a slight increase in existing-home sales for 2008.

Potential buyers might think that twiddling their thumbs while carefully watching the "For Sale" sign in the front yard of house of their dreams is a wise financial plan. However, they are likely not the only ones watching to make sure that sign is still there every morning. Once the first surge of buyers starts to show confidence in the market, it's only up from there. We are likely to only see the bottom of the California real estate market in the rear-view mirror. Wouldn't you rather see the inside of your new home instead?

The only person that can know when the time is right to buy a new house is you. Don't let the media's negativity prevent you from buying at today's great prices and low mortgage rates. Your family is sure to enjoy their new home for years to come, and it won't be a decision you will regret in the long run.

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