Prior to the real estate meltdown that brought on the ‘great recession’ a decade ago, real estate values were soaring, and buyers would do anything to get in on the action. Wall Street firmly believed that real estate values would never decline as they continued to create riskier products to stimulate sales, until the whole system collapsed.
I am not predicting future real estate doom. However, in many parts of the country real estate prices have been rising aggressively for several years. Interest rates are up and going higher and wages are not keeping up with housing costs. Will we see another great decline in housing values? Will prices continue to rise? What really is a good time to buy, or for that matter sell and how do you know?
We can never really know what might impact the real estate market and housing values. Just after 9/11, a sizzling real estate market was immediately chilled and stayed cold for many months. Certainly, buyers and sellers could not have predicted that in anyway, or the impact that event would have on the market.
If you want to buy because the time is right for you and your life, do it! Remember that a house or condo is not like a pair of shoes from Nordstrom’s, you cannot return a house at any time for any reason. Yes, in today’s market you could probably purchase in April and make money selling again in May, if the house didn’t fit well or was the wrong color. I would suggest that is now is the time for you to buy. Having said that, you need to be sure that you will be staying in the property for a good amount of time, like 5 – 10 years. You don’t want to make a purchase and decide that you are going back to school on the West coast in a year, or you are changing jobs which requires a relocation, getting married and need more space, moving for any reason.
At today’s prices, in today’s aggressive seller’s market, look for a home that will be your home for life or close to it, so you don’t have to fear a market decline impacting your plans or your life.
The best time to buy is when buying is best for you.