by Steve Harney on March 22, 2010
If you are considering whether or not to purchase a home in the near future, let us discuss why this might be the optimal time to do so. There are five excellent reasons to buy a home now instead of waiting until later. Let’s go over them quickly in this post.
1.) The Homebuyer’s Tax Credit
The federal government, in hopes of stimulating the economy, has made available to eligible first-time homebuyers a tax credit of eight thousand dollars ($8,000). The tax credit also makes six thousand five hundred dollars ($6,500) available to eligible move-up buyers. This tax credit is scheduled to end this spring. The home in question must be in contract by April 30, 2010 and you must close the transaction by June 30, 2010. To see if you are eligible, you can go to http://www.federalhousingtaxcredit.com/home.html
2.) Low Interest Rates Currently Available
The Fed has announced that they will be definitely exiting their plan to purchase mortgage-backed-securities. That plan has lowered interest rates on a 30 year fixed rate mortgage by two full percentage points since its inception in October, 2008. Almost every expert believes interest rates will increase immediately once the Fed backs away. Some, like Morgan Stanley, believe rates can return to the seven percent level that existed before the Fed involvement. What can that mean to you? In the adjourning graph, we can see that even if prices continue to soften, the change in interest rates could dramatically increase your monthly costs.
3.) Location, Location, Location
There is a tremendous selection of properties currently available. More and more buyers are seeing the opportunities that exist in today’s real estate market. As more purchasers enter the market, many of the best values (determined by price, location, or both) will be gobbled up first. This is an opportunity for you to purchase that dream house your family has always relished.
As the Washington Post reported last week, waterfront properties are at bargain prices:
For investors, second-home buyers or retirees who have been sitting on the sidelines for years, 2010 may be the time to dive into the beach market. Prices are now almost back to 2001 levels, and buyers previously priced out of this market may now be able to afford their dream home. In addition, the sheer inventory of available homes is quite favorable to a beach buyer.
4.) Real Estate Has Always Been a Good Long Term Investment
Though prices in many markets will continue to feel downward pressure in 2010, in the long term real estate will eventually return to historic returns. Even in the past decade, real estate was a better investment than the stock market as shown by the table below:
5.) The House Is a Home First and an Investment Second
In our culture today we are moving away from extrinsic values (power, money and prestige) and moving back toward more intrinsic values (wanting meaning in our lives). The home has always been a place where friends and family gather to share our live experiences whether at a party or over a simple dinner. We may be too focused on the cost of a house without taking into account the cost of delaying a return to the more fulfilling experiences a home brings with it.
What does this mean to you?
Only you truly know. But if you have a desire to settle down in your own home and enjoy everything that comes with the homeowner experience, this is probably the time to act.