How do you know when it's time to buy?
Josh Alexander asks:
Should I buy real estate in a down market? Our area has seen a drop in home prices, so is now the time to buy?
Frequent commenter Kevin R, meanwhile, writes in response to the "asking price" poll:
I'm a renter looking to buy. I was convinced that home prices would continue to drop this year and in to next year and decided to hold off buying. Wouldn't you know it, a great home with a close to reasonable price came on the market. In spite of my previous decision to wait, I put in what I thought was a fair offer on the home only to be outbid by someone offering more than listing price.
While I said "yes" to answer this poll (as did half of voters), seeing the growing number of "Under Contracts" makes me wonder if asking prices are indeed too high. People are buying these homes right? Granted, I can't know what the contract price is until the home actually closes, but the point is that it looks like the market is moving. Am I missing the boat? I'd be interested to hear what other buyers on the sidelines are thinking and seeing out there.
Normally, the answer to "is it time to buy a home" is "it all depends on you" -- meaning, are you financially ready. Real estate professionals like to say you can't time the housing market. But it's not hard to see why some folks are worrying that prices will continue dropping if they do buy and start rising if they don't.
I've seen a lot of conflicting answers to Josh and Kevin's question. What do you all think?