A Housing Debate: Will 2010 Be a Time to Buy?
I'm having a bit of a debate with myself, but it's the type of debate that I think the CAPS community could provide quite a bit of insight on. The big question:
Would it be wise to buy a home in 2010?
I don't mean as an investment; I mean simply as a place to live. But even if I view it as a "place to live"; I still think it's important to analyze it on a broader perspective as you never know what life will hold in store for.
From my perspective, the case for buying would be that interest rates are as low as they are going to go right now and by 2010, most of the severe carnage in the housing sector will be over and done with, so one would want to buy while they could still get good financing.
The case against buying to me would be that many are predicting that interest rates will skyrocket at some point in the not-so-distant future and this will further supress housing prices. Moreover, I don't think anyone expects a swift housing recovery with prices rapidly moving upwards any time within the next decade.
So does this mean it's good to get in during 2010 while the getting is still good if an ideal situation arises? Or might it be better to wait it out and continue to be a renter for the next half-decade or so?
In case you're wondering, I'm having this debate with myself because I might like to own a home (condo/townhouse/row house) at some point. I currently live and work in the Washington, DC area, but I've thought about moving to Baltimore where the cost-of-living is much more bearable. I really like the row houses up there and if I were to find an employment situation that would allow me to stay long-term, I might consider it.
However, even if I want a home to live in, I don't want to necessarily want to stay tied down in one place for the rest of eternity, so I wouldn't want to buy a home and then incur huge losses by selling if a job opportunity awaited me somewhere else. At the same time, I don't think I'd ever buy a home if I had to pay an 15% interest rate or anything absurd like that.
This is all speculation for me at the moment and maybe the course of events insures I continue renting for the next five years, but I am still curious to hear others thoughts on this as it seems to have some relevance to me on both a micro- and macro- economic level.