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JakilaTheHun (99.94)

A Housing Debate: Will 2010 Be a Time to Buy?

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February 19, 2009 – Comments (4)

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.

4 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On February 19, 2009 at 11:59 AM, DemonDoug (48.37) wrote:

2012 at the EARLIEST.  Also median national home prices should be around 100-120k.  In big cities and economic boom areas obviously paying 200k for a home when the median is 120k wouldn't be that bad, but if the national median isn't in that range, it's not time to even consider buying.

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#2) On February 19, 2009 at 1:50 PM, Schmacko (55.17) wrote:

The daily commute from Bmo to DC down 295 can be hellish so if you don't plan on working in Baltimore as well as living there I hope you don't mind giving up time of your life in commuting.

I plan on actively looking for a home again this fall, but I hope to stay within the beltway.  I seriously doubt I'll find much in the DC burbs for 200k like doug says.  However Doug can present all the logical reasons he wants about why waiting is good and my wife can say 'i want a home now' and chances are my wife is going to trump doug's logic. 

I think a lot of it depends on your personal situation too.  We would be looking to live wherever we buy for the next 5 years minimum, and we definitely need a bigger place since we plan on having kids soon and ye olde 1 bedroom isn't going to cut it for that.  Our career field has 90% + of it's jobs in this region so there's not too much chance of us moving for job related reasons either.

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#3) On February 19, 2009 at 2:09 PM, JakilaTheHun (99.94) wrote:

Schmacko,

This hypothetical situation would only take place if I worked in B'more.  No way I'm commuting from B'more to DC.  That's one miserable drive.  I use to do Brooklyn Park (South Baltimore) to College Park, MD and that was miserable enough.

I don't have anything against DC on a personal level; I just don't know that I want to settle here permanently given the absurd cost-of-living.  Though, I think DC housing values still have a good bit of room to fall further; especially in many of the suburban areas. 

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#4) On February 19, 2009 at 2:10 PM, JakilaTheHun (99.94) wrote:

Also, just for the record, 295 is a bad choice to get from B'more to DC.  I-95, while still crowded and possibly slightly longer from a mileage perspective, is vastly superior.  :)

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