13 March 2008

Is Now the Time to Buy? Taking Advantage of the Housing Slump

Despite the current downward trend of the housing market and the tightening of credit standards by mortgage lenders, many in the industry agree that now may be the perfect time to buy for those who have been waiting for bargains in the housing industry. Record numbers of unsold houses sitting on the market, plus a record number of foreclosures, mean that there are a number of properties that just a few short years ago may have been outside of your price range that you can now comfortably afford. How can you as a smart home buyer take advantage of the current housing market and get the home of your dreams without worrying about losing your shirt?

What goes up must come down. We are seeing this age old piece of wisdom come true in the housing sector as years of rising housing prices have finally come crashing down to more affordable levels. Thanks in part to an oversupply of housing on the market and strengthened by the sheer number of foreclosed houses showing back up on the market - the time is right if you can afford it to consider making the jump and buying a house.
Not only does the current soft market appeal to bargain hunters, but also to the aging baby boomer population.

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There are millions of Americans who are approaching retirement and they are looking to sell their house in markets where real estate prices are still packing a punch and moving to areas that are more affordable for their retirement years. It is these two groups who are poised to take the most advantage from the current situation.

Have you had your eye on a house that has been on the market for awhile but thought it was too expensive? Now is the perfect time to put your haggling skills to work. As houses sit on the open market for longer periods of time the owners become more desperate to sell and usually are willing to entertain reasonable offers. You may find that it is possible to knock tens of thousands off an asking price by just working with the realtor and "naming your price."

Got good credit? Use it to your advantage! The mortgage industry is tightening the reins on lending, but for those with good credit they can still get incredible deals on home loans.

Shop around - as the pool of those who are eligible for a mortgage becomes smaller, mortgage companies become more competitive for your business.

Many mortgage companies are eager to take on home buyers with good credit and stable finances to help offset some of their weaker credit customers on their portfolio. If it isn't fixed rate - forget it! No matter whether you are buying now, or considering it for the future, remember that fixed rate mortgages are your best friend no matter what you might hear otherwise.

Don't get caught up in the adjustable rate trap and find you have payments you can't afford down the road. Most mortgage companies now are pushing fixed rate loans - but if they aren't, demand it or take your business elsewhere.

The market for housing may be soft, but like all things it will come around again. Now is the perfect time for those who have held off buying a new home or moving to consider taking the plunge to take advantage of low housing prices and a competitive mortgage marketplace.

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