There was a wonderful article in the Wall Street Journal this week, that actually listed ten reasons TO buy a home. As you can tell by the title, we have come to expect that every article will result in calls from clients who have decided not to go forward with a purchase. Therefore, we were thrilled to get some help from the WSJ.
You would not be surprised by most of the reasons, because you've heard them all before. There were a couple of arguments that were particularly good, however, in the way that they were phrased. One was the perennial issue of whether a buyer should buy before the market hits bottom. All real estate professionals know the answer to that--you cannot predict the bottom, so you should just get somewhere near it and not worry. The article, however, quoted a talking head as saying two years ago that prices had to fall another 17% to reach where they should be, and that the Case-Shiller Index in those two years showed prices down 18%. That's pretty close to the bottom.
The other points I really liked were really variations of the same theme---you get a better home when you buy. That's because better properties get sold and worse properties get rented, but it's also true because you can't (or won't) personalize a rental the way you can or would your own place. It's a version of what I've been saying--that you have to like where you live--but it gives some concrete reasons as to why buying does a better job of providing that.
Low mortgage rates, big inventory, fewer taxes, long-term growth--all of these ideas were listed as well. Let's hope that some of you take the plunge after reading the paper!