The housing market is looking healthier. Here are six reasons why now is the time to jump into the market.
1. Uncle Sam is willing to help. First-time buyers (defined as anyone who hasn’t owned a home in the last three years) are entitled to a maximum $8,000 tax credit; interest rates are at record lows; and the Federal Reserve is doing its best to make mortgage loans available.
2. People have to live somewhere. About 800,000 new households are formed each year in this country, ensuring that the housing market will tighten, even if the economy doesn’t soar.
3. Borrowers leverage their investment. If you put $10,000 into the stock market and it earns 10 percent, you’ve earned $1,000. If you put $10,000 down on a home and its values increases 10 percent, you’ve made $10,000.
4. When prices come back up, you’ll have instant equity. In parts of the country where foreclosures have driven down prices, better times will mean the price of the home you buy will rise rapidly.
5. Mortgage costs stay the same. If you get a fixed-rate mortgage, the monthly payment stays the same – while everything else, including rent, goes upward.
6. You own it. There is something comforting in the notion that your home is your own. You can paint it any color you want, let the dog run in the back yard and hang a swing for the kids in the front.