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To buy a house...or not..that is the question

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by LindaZ, Sep 25, 2008.

  1. LindaZ


    Jul 29, 2007
    Wilmington, NC
    I don't think it have escaped anyone that the U.S economy or market or whatever you want to call it, is a bit rocky right now.

    I'm not afraid to say that I have no idea what is going on. Okay...with that said, we did notice the drop of house prices.

    Which is of course, a bit tempting to say the least. We live in a rental house right now. The rent is about what we would pay for mortgage around here, with current prices. Actually I think the mortgage would be less but then there's insurances..and stuff like that.

    But...here's where we need some insight from some older and more experienced folks...

    Why would it be bad or good to buy a house right now?
  2. If you plan on staying there 5+ years, I would definately say buy now. House prices are down and it's a buyer's market.

    I'm guessing on the 5 years, but I wouldn't buy one if you were only going to be there 1-2 years.
  3. If and when the economy rebounds you would be in good shape. My Daughter and her husband just settled on a new house in Wilmington NC.Shop around,it's a buyers market.Ask for the Moon from the Sellers you might just get it.How long you plan to stay in NC. has a lot to do with buying or renting.you will need time for the turn around if you buy.
  4. It's hard to predict if the real estate market has bottomed out yet but everything comes in cycles including recessions. I've always made out like a bandit basically thru sheer luck buying low and selling high. I would talk to some pro real estate agents to determine if this truly is a good time to buy in YOUR area. In general it's best to own a home and with a conventional mortgage pay off part of your principal without penalty when you can. Renting makes sense to certain people and their particular needs but you are lining the landlords pocket and paying off their mortgage..........


  5. LindaZ


    Jul 29, 2007
    Wilmington, NC

    Well...the real estate agents are dying for us to buy a house. LOL... we actually have two that are very eager to work for us.

    I understand what you are saying about the time. I think that is what irks us right now, not really knowing if it's going to be 2 or 5 years.
  6. adaml


    Feb 21, 2006
    My real estate professional friends tell me that while it's a great time to buy because prices are so low, the real problem is how much more difficult it is qualifying for a mortgage.

    If you have really good credit and 20% for a down payment you're probably OK, but otherwise it maybe tough to get a mortgage.
  7. LindaZ


    Jul 29, 2007
    Wilmington, NC
    Right, we do have good credit and the 20% down payment, a paying job..well at least one of us does. Only have a car loan.... We're probably ideal buyers but... we're a bit scared of this whole thing that's going on.

    And not knowing if the job would extend the contract longer than 2 years.
  8. Cleo68


    Jul 7, 2008
    Bedford, MA
    As you know, we are trying to sell our home in NC. We've gotten two very, very low-ball offers. As we are doing a short-sale, it is up to the bank whether or not they will accept one of them. The house was just finished being built in February and we moved in the last day of February. These people both made an offer for $60,000 less than what we paid for it! It was actually pretty insulting. But it's out of our hands. Here's a link to our listing (mods, I'm not trying to advertise here, just help out the OP who happens to live in the same state - feel free to delete if you feel it's necessary). http://www.realtor.com/search/listi...ae51cc9f3&lid=1103305053&lsn=6&srcnt=6#Detail

    On the other hand, we are moving up to the Concord, Mass. area and are strongly considering finding a rent-to-own situation. Since we can't afford to buy right now, I would ideally like to find something that's also for sale, so we could eventually buy it if we wish. This will give us a chance to "try out" the area before committing to it. If we do choose to commit, we can always make upgrades later (these are very expensive communities).

    Would you consider a rent-to-own (I'm not talking about our home - I'm sure there are tons in your area)? I think tons of people are doing this right now. We may even do it with our home if we don't sell in the next couple of months. At least we'd be earning some money toward our mortgage. There are so many relocations in this area, renting is quickly becoming the option of choice with people moving out...

    Just a thought. Good luck with your decision.
  9. Yeah, not knowing how long is the one factor you have to consider.

    Be careful with real estate agents and don't let them push you over your budget. Figure out what the maximum amount you want to pay and stick to that.
  10. LindaZ


    Jul 29, 2007
    Wilmington, NC
    Cleo - your house is absolutely beautiful. I'm sorry you have to deal with this right now. That's what we are afraid of in a few years of time.

    We found the cutest little house, 3bdr, 2ba, listed at 180K! It's super charming.... oh the temptation.

    Thanks John, the two ladies working for us are really sweet and prompted us to get pre-qualified to know exactly what we can afford. She found us the rental we're living in right now. I think she gave up on us, knowing we're not rich or investors. She has actually switched over to "mommy mode" rather than eager Real Estate agent. LOL
  11. It's a buyers market right now, both sides of the pond, and if you wait a bit longer prices might drop a little further. If you can afford it then buy. Even if you end up in negative equity along the way, these will only be short term hiccups. In 5 years time property prices will have increased and you will then be in an ideal situation to sell and go up market.

    You can't go wrong, long term, with property. So that you can realise some of your assets for cash in later years and if you can afford to, keep moving upmarket about every 5 years. Long term you will be in a good position to downsize to a smaller property in later years and enjoy some of the cash surplus you'll have left over.

    While you're renting you're only putting money in someone else's pocket - put it in yours for a change!

    Speculate to accumulate and now is exactly the right time to do it.

    Let's face it. If the current situation really does go belly up then we've all lost everything anyway so what do you have to lose?

    Just my two tuppence worth.

  12. Not knowing the time you will be there(2 or 5 yrs.) I would keep renting.House prices are not rising but are declining.
  13. LindaZ


    Jul 29, 2007
    Wilmington, NC
    My husband just emailed me saying that there's a chance of actually getting the contract extended to 3-4 years and could also get a teaching job, if this job fails. And there's more than one Marine lab in this area So...he's saying we want to settle here, regardless of a 2 year old contract or not. And I'm up for that. It's perfect here for us.

    A bit risky though....but no one today who is younger than 50 seem to have a job that is set in stone.
  14. Amarok


    Aug 25, 2008
    Prairie City OR
    I would definitely say that if you were going to be there longer than 2 years you should buy. If you will only be there 2 years I doubt the market would rebound enough for you to be able to sell the home and get money back on it.

    We actually just had this dilemma and decided to buy as I'll be where I'm at more than likely for at least 4 years, then after that I can rent the place out, its a college town. Got a nice little 2 bedroom place with a good size yard and a nice shop for me for $115k. My only gripe is I won't have internet service for 2 weeks! I think I'll be going through withdrawls...
  15. Well, I'm surely not experienced, but if you are going to settle down, there (and it seems like a beautiful area) then buy buy buy! :smile: As has been said, right now is a buyer's market, for the most part. 3 bed 2 bath for 180! Wow! We bought a 2 bed 2 bath for upwards of 300 about 2 years ago, but then, that's the market here in SoCal! :frown: At least with the remodel we got two more bedrooms out of the deal :smile:
  16. Sounds like my daughter,they gave up Money for a life style.They love NC.

    Then make up your mind your staying. Then Buy.Please drive a hard bargin as
    you are in the drivers seat.You don't have a house to sell,you've got 20% downpayment,good credit.Get pre Qualified. And find your dream.(i'm 61 and feel my job is not in stone)
  17. I don't want a home, I like being semi-nomadic!
  18. LindaZ


    Jul 29, 2007
    Wilmington, NC
    I really appreciate all your inputs.... we will think about this real hard the next couple of weeks.
  19. Seneca


    Dec 4, 2006
    I say buy...while the economy is not in good shape...there are deals to be gain. Make sure your credit score is above 700...anything under that will be considers a sub-prime mortgage. We're looking at buying a foreclosed lake home. Sadly the people tore up the place...so it needs a lot of TLC.

    Good Luck Linda, and let us know what you decide.
  20. Seneca


    Dec 4, 2006
    Whoa really? Now that's a deal in California standards. However you can buy a 4 bedroom 2 bath here in Texas for about $150,000 - that's about 2400 square feet. Linda come to Texas! Although you do have to get use to the non-four-seasons...we don't have that down here.
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