Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Home Purchase: Deal or No Deal?

Deal. If you are contemplating buying a home, now may be the perfect time to make a purchase -- if you have the money and a secure job.

Real estate sales have sagged in many parts of the country as buyers have been frozen in the headlights of the economic downturn. As a result, prices are falling in many markets.

"If I could buy real estate right now, I would," says Amy Bonis, a certified mortgage planner with Alera Financial in Raleigh, N.C. "It's clearly a buyer's market. If you can buy a house that is undervalued, it's like, what shade of green do you want?"

In addition, mortgage rates have fallen near historic lows, substantially reducing the cost of financing for buyers with good credit.

Bonis says buyers who act now rather than wait are likely to see the best return.

"Somebody has to start buying, and when they do, there are going to be more buyers on the market, which is going to cause home prices to go up," she says. "When you stimulate home prices to go up, that affects the economy in a positive way, which raises interest rates. What people don't realize is, by the time they hear that things are better, (their opportunity) is already gone."

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