Why Now Might Be the Time to Get Into the Housing Market

Rising unemployment, sluggish real estate values and uncertain economic times may not seem like criteria for buying a home, but upon closer inspection it could prove to be the winning combination. Here’s why.

Tightening Credit Standards: Credit isn’t as easy to come by as it once was, and it’s expected to get even worse as banks attempt to cut losses. Even if home prices remain stable, rising interest rates could add hundreds of dollars to monthly mortgage payments. Consider locking in prices by obtaining a low fixed-rate mortgage before rates rise. It’s one of the best ways to protect your family from an uncertain economic future.

Taxes and Insurance: The lower price of a home benefits buyers in more than one way: taxes and insurance expenses are also lower. In fact, buying in an area that caps tax increases will likely lead to savings for years to come as you fix the cost associated with home ownership.

Better Negotiation: It’s a buyer’s market, so sellers are more likely to entertain flexible options or other creative ways to make a deal work. Distressed homeowners are searching for ways to seal the deal, and banks are even getting in on the act. While the media has made a big to-do about private partnerships to help eliminate toxic assets from the banks’ rosters, the sad fact is that the average offer from institutional investors is only 30 cents on the dollar. Short sales, option contracts and other lowball offers are increasingly entertained by both sellers and banks.