...is right now! Yes I am serious. And you should be too. The cost of real estate, low interest rates, and government incentives should make you very serious about buying a home. Include a little bit of excitement in the seriousness and you will be making a strong financial move. It is time to trade your rent payment for a mortgage payment? Does a mortgage payment sound too serious for you? It shouldn't, chances are the mortgage payment on a new home will be very close to the amount you are shelling out each month in rent for an apartment or house. And the last time I checked, the interest you pay on a mortgage is tax deductible. Your rent payments offer no tax benefits. That is not the only reason for buying house right now, I've got 3 more for you.
1. Buyer's Market- Due to the cyclical nature of real estate, either the seller or buyer will have an advantage, distinct or otherwise. As it is, a buyer of real estate in today's market has the distinct advantage. Home prices are as low as they have been in quite some time. Buying a home is about as affordable as it gets. Consequently, your housing payment may not change at all when paying on mortgage instead of doling out rent each month.
2. Low Interest Rates-Trust me folks, they have never been lower. Not in the last 20 years, of which I have spent 10 years in the mortgage business and monitored it very closely. As of August 15, 2011, national lenders have quoted a 3.965% APR 30 year fixed mortgage rate. That is a phenomenal rate. If you don't have a mortgage, get one. If you do have a mortgage, refinance. When? Right now.
3.First-Time Homebuyer Assistance-We all know that out of the mortgage banking crisis has come tougher restictions on getting a mortgage. The requirement of higer down payments and higher credit scores being two of those restrictions. Take a deep breath, that is not the case for first-time homebuyers. Don't have enough cash to make a 20% down payment? You don't have to. First-time homebuyers still have the advantage of using government backed FHA loans. These loans have not changed and require very little down, typically 3% of the purchase price. In addition, you can have less than perfect credit and still qualify for a FHA loan.
You may have asked yourself in the past, Can I get a mortgage? Or, Should I get a mortgage? Right now is the time to pull out your interest rate mortgage calculator. Chances are, the calculator display will say yes to both questions. You may have to turn it upside down, but it says yes.