Every home I have bought in 25 years has been because I liked the location, I liked the property, and I liked the house -- in that order. My house is where my kids sleep at night and I retreat from the world. How do I describe this to the person who wants to know which subdivision, street or house type is the "best investment"? Maybe too much focus on the "investment value" has skewed too many people to think future value, rather than current value.
ATTENTION FUTURE HOMEOWNERS: If you are currently looking to purchase a primary residence to live in for awhile, please keep in mind, you're buying a home not some piece of stock for your investment portfolio.
Stop thinking of the place where you and your family will live for many years to come and where you will be making memories that will last a lifetime as some piece of stock that is to be traded on the market for maximum return on the dollar.
Don't get me wrong, I think it's absolutely vital that a whole laundry list of matters need to be considered before making, quite possibly, one of the most expensive purchases in your life. However, having said that, how much it's going to appreciate by next year so that you can cash-out and get something better should not be something that affects your decision on whether or not to buy a particular house now.
I'm sure that the media and all the government spinners want to have you believe that the market is rebounding and it's going to be a banner year next year. I assure you, that's a pretty lofty dream. I'm not trying to scare you from ever buying but please know that it's going to take awhile for our market to start to rebound and that means that if you buy a home today, you may not see any appreciation on it for some time.
However, if you are buying a home where you and your family plan to live for awhile (several years), then it doesn't really matter what the market does today, tomorrow, next week, next month or next year.
If you are able to purchase now, you are going to get a great price on hopefully a halfway decent property with a low rate and for many (at least most of my buyers) for less than what you are paying in rent for that dinky apartment. Furthermore, that low rate that you're getting is going to be fixed whereas that rent payment you're making every month is subject to increase every year.
So if you are looking for a place to live and raise your children and build a life, think about whether or not it has enough space for the kids to play and grow into. Definitely think about whether or not you can handle the maintenance. On that note, I just want to say three words: HOME PROTECTION PLAN.
Think about whether or not you can see your kids playing with the other kids on the street and whether the local parks and schools are walking distance from your home. Think about whether the local community is an established one with sufficient businesses that you and your family will need to use on a regular basis.
Stop worrying about how much the value has declined in the past few years. All of the properties on the market right now have declined in value the past few years. Quit worrying about whether or not you'll be able to sell it for a profit in a year or two. If that's your plan, than I strongly suggest you keep renting.
Quit worrying about trying to "steal" the property for 25% less than list price. Make a fair market offer and be ecstatic that you got a decent property (hopefully) at a good price. Quit worrying about whether or not you can nickel and dime the seller to death over some minute matter. More times than not, you just end up pissing them off and they'll take one of those other multiple offers they got that you are so relentlessly fighting against.
Buying a home that you're going to live in for many years and raise a family and make a lot of memories in is not some commodity that requires at least a 30% return on your investment in order for you to purchase it. You're buying a home, not some piece of stock.