In reality, it is a pretty good time to buy a home. It is not a great time to sell a home. If you can wait, it would be wise to wait until the home prices in your area have leveled out. You do not want your home value to decrease rapidly due to the negative effects of the economy. Most home prices have stabilized since the price crash in 2008, but not all areas across the country will recover at the same time.
It is also important to consider how long you will be in the home that you are about to purchase. If the market continues to drop and you end up moving and selling in a year, you may have been wiser to wait a bit longer. You could end up selling your home for less that you paid for it. This would leave additional money to continue to pay on. It is more important to be sure you can afford the home you are buying rather than worry just about market conditions.
However, if you plan on being in the house for several years, you will have time to wait for the housing market to begin to increase in value again. This means that the risk you take in purchasing your home is a lot less than if you were moving very quickly. It is also important to consider the current interest rates. If they are low and predicted to go up, it ma be a great time to lock in the lower rates and buy a home, especially if you are planning on staying in the home for several years. If this is the case, you are more likely to come out ahead. If you make a down payment on your home, and borrow at a set interest rate with an affordable payment, you should be okay no matter what happens to the market. Take the time to find the best mortgage options you can qualify for, and then choose from among the different loans.
In order to gauge if the market is soft in your area, you should look at a few factors. You should look at the average time a home is on the market. You should also compare the current home prices with the prices that similar homes were being sold for a year ago. Ask a few real estate agents their opinions on the current housing market as well. In a soft market housing prices will have dropped, as well as sales, so the houses will be on the market for a much longer period of time.