Is Now the Time to Buy Your First Home?

Real Estate Agent with Harry Norman Realtors

This could be the best time in a generation to be a first-time home buyer.......Don't buy your first house now unless you're willing to lose 20% of its market value in the next several years. Maybe more.

That simple question is about as simple as Ford or Chevy? Blonde or Brunette? Vanilla or Chocolate? If you ask 100 people, you are likely to end up with a small margin of difference and compelling arguments will be made for each position. In its usual fantastic way, the WSJ dives into this question with a well written article and video...

....It's been a scary few years for the housing market. But at some point, the nightmare has to end (please?). Is now the time? Should first-time home buyers consider jumping into the market? After all, home prices have fallen 34% from their 2006 peak and mortgage rates are hovering at or near record lows.

On one side are those who argue that homes are more affordable than they have been in decades, based on how much monthly income a mortgage consumes and whether owning is less costly than renting. An uptick in home buying by investors already is under way, they say—an indication that those who wait may miss out on a good buying opportunity.

On the other side, pessimists insist that the housing slump is far from over, and that prices will continue falling—perhaps as much as 20% or more. Excess inventories, they say, are the problem, and some estimate it could be four years before the market absorbs all of that extra supply.

I know I'm in this business, but I think a well educated, well qualified buyer with reasonable expectations will do well to buy at this time. I think broad stats can be misleading, analysis of micro markets and micro segments is required - we see this clearly in Atlanta. Despite the national blood bath around it, the Atlanta housing market has several areas doing well.

The video is worth a few minutes....I'd welcome your opinion on this.


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Mike Purkey
Wichita, KS

Hank, great post - thanks for sharing the vidoe as well.  Folks would do well to keep in mind that housing prices will not always go straight up - but that is not necessary to make it a good investment.

May 14, 2012 01:12 PM #1
Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366
Dry Rot and Water Damage Mobile - 916-765-5366 - Placerville, CA
General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage

There are several reasons for the first time buyer to get into the market, there will always be reasons to wait. If you do wait, when will you get in Hank?

May 14, 2012 05:14 PM #2
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Hank Miller

Associate Broker & Certified Appraiser
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