'Great time to buy' a home? Weigh in
Lots of you had something to say about real estate agent Creig Northrop's opinion in this week's Q&A that it's a great time to buy -- and sell. "I'm a barber and now is a good time to get a cut," shot back one reader.
Sounds like a poll. Or, rather, two polls. Weigh in:
As commenter Josh says, the bears and bulls have battled it out for years with prognostications about where prices are headed. ("Thus far the bears are up," he writes.)
On a related note: Personal Real Estate Investor magazine's September/October issue features Baltimore as a city, or possibly region, worth investing in. (For cash flow, not for big price gains -- the magazine quotes a market analysis firm called Local Market Monitor forecasting possible price declines for a year, followed by modest increases.)
Here's my plea to newbie or out-of-town investors eager to pick up a few homes cheap enough to put on a credit card:
Please, please don't buy without doing a lot of homework. A depressingly large number of investors before you have found out the hard way that the hot new neighborhood they bought three homes in wasn't so hot after all, or that a few blocks can make a big difference in what a property will sell or rent for. Investors were a significant share of the people getting foreclosed on early in the bust -- bad for them, bad for the neighborhoods they'd bought in.
For everybody's sake, make sure your budget includes enough not only for the property you're considering, not just for the insurance and property taxes and the like, but also for upkeep. If you're so strapped you're not maintaining your place properly, that's a drag on the neighborhood, too. I hope you'll want to be the sort of investor who aims to do good while doing well.
Folks, what recommendations and/or requests would you make to real estate investors considering Baltimore?