In these difficult financial times it can be a challenge to find the proverbial “silver lining.” Economic data gets worse and worse, unemployment creeps higher, credit markets continue to tighten and the stock market plunges.
However, this also provides opportunity. This is definitely a buyer’s market. Inventory is high and deals are out there. Rates are low and good financing programs still exist. I would URGE you, however, to resist making the mistakes millions made before you buying outside your comfort level. If you have no money, a new job, limited credit and tight debt ratios, you probably should stay on the sidelines. Save up some cash. Do the math: If you pay $800 in rent and a new prospective mortgage is $1400, see if you can put away that extra $600 each month. How hard is it? Can you even do it? If not, you will be in for a rude awakening about 90 days down the line when the dust settles on your new house purchase. This isn’t to discourage only to educate. Contrary to popular belief brace yourselves not everybody DESERVES a home. Yes, I have heard that spouted a number of times. And I vehemently disagree. At some point in time, people should have the opportunity to purchase. But let’s face it, if you can’t save money and can’t pay your debts then home ownership is a slippery slope.
But for those who are smart, disciplined, committed and READY, now is a fantastic time to purchase. With one caveat: It is a great time if you are planning to make the home your long-term domicile. Who knows what home prices will do? But if you buy a place you like at the right price and the right interest rate, then who cares what prices do in the short term? You’re not going anywhere. And you’re not refinancing out of that great 30-year fixed product. And you aren’t going to be suckered into paying closing costs again to save $50 per month and start the 30-year term all over again.
So if you are on the fence about buying, consult an expert, play with the numbers, keep your emotions in check and make a wise, well-planned decision. Hopefully it will result in being a happy homeowner, not another notch on the foreclosure belt.