Every chance I get, I totally name drop a CNN article I have read. "Did you hear that the Wikileaks guy was arrested?", "YES, I totally read about it on CNN.com". But let's be honest, I clicked on the headline and read the 2 sentences that followed to get the jist, then head over to Perezhilton.com to hear his take on when Lindsey Lohan will get out of a car with out underpants on again. OR if I am feeling really intellectual that day, I may click on the article and read the 3 "quick points" on the top, left side of the page. Score one for a well-rounded 25 year old.
Believe it or not, I actually read this article that was indeed written by someone who not only knew what he was talking about, but also someone with the ability to lose the pretentious editorial voice that sometimes comes through. So, here is a link to the original article which is pretty darn good:
I will, however, give you the lowdown and dirty on what it is actually saying.
"Buying a home now is a no-brainer" form MONEY Magazine/CNN.com
"You are going to regret not buying a house now like Tiger regrets ever going through puberty". By Alexandra M. Chaffee
Question numero uno: IS NOW THE TIME TO BUY?
Answer: YES YOU IDIOT
Question numero dos: IS BUYING A HOUSE A GOOD INVESTMENT?
Answer: Does Disney produce Bong-inhaling tween stars?! YES!
Now, obviously I want to give you good advise, so there is a little side note to these easy questions. Should you buy now? Hell yeah IF you have 20% to put down and a good credit score (don't know if you do? Do you know those REALLY annoying commercials with the band singing about stupid stuff like being broke? That's freecreditreport.com, check it out).
Not to freak anyone out, BUT we are closer to the end of these awesome prices and mortgage rates then the beginning. Everyone is running around as if the world is ending when talking about the real estate market. Calm the F down. It's getting better and better ESPECIALLY in Seattle. This is one of the times we will all look back on and gawk about how INSANELY cheap homes were.
Here's a break down: LAST January, home prices had dropped 28% from their peak (if that's not a shot to the groin, I don't know what is), interest rates were at HISTORIC lows. We're talking, wearing funny underpants, and riding a horse to work, historic (kinda). BUT SINCE January, home prices have declined a bit and interest rates dropped even lower! That is an insane combination. Low prices, really low percentage that you have to pay back the bank. (Also remember, about 30 years ago, rates were in the high teens!!!! Now it is around 4%)
As for question number two: Is a house a good investment? There are a number of great websites that can help you out.
Like I said, make sure you can put 20% of the listing price down and still live comfortably. After the banks really screwed the pooch a few years ago, it is getting a bit harder to get loans. You have to make sure all of your finances are in order. Good credit, solid proof of steady income, etc. etc.
SO that is the run-down. I hope it helped. Check out the actual article. You'll get a tad more information with a few less "awesome" and "amazing" comments.