Monday, March 20, 2006

First-Time Buyers Beware; Not A Buyer's Market Yet

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Advice for first-time buyers is highlighted in a Chicago Tribune story:
Finding your dream home is exciting, especially if you're a first-time buyer. But in today's real estate market, it pays to shelve your emotions and look hard at the facts.

Why? Although the feverish pace of home buying has eased, it's not a buyer's market just yet.

The National Association of Realtors expects 2006 to be the third-strongest year ever for new and existing home sales, meaning there's still enough demand to keep prices aloft.

In the Midwest, especially, the softening could be relatively mild this year--home appreciation never reached the stratospheric levels that it did along the coasts. As a result, pending home sales in January, for instance, were off by just 1 percent from the year before, compared with 13.6 percent in the West, according to the Realtors association.

To find the best value, then, you need to know the fair price. Otherwise, "if you go in unarmed, you're going to overpay," said Mark Nash, author of "1,001 Tips for Buying and Selling a Home" (South-Western Educational Publishing, $16.95).
Advice on what to look for appears in the story. Follow link to the Chicago Tribune.

— The Boy in the Big Housing Bubble