Move.com recently published a study that was subsequently printed by the Seattle Times. It reported that 1 in 20 people plan to buy a home next year.
When I read the headline, I thought that was good news. Apparently though, 1 in 20 is lower than previous years.
People are citing falling prices as the primary reason for their reluctance to buy.
I laughed because I remember in 1998, when my husband and I were contemplating buying our first home. We were worried because prices seemed so very high. My father-in-law gave us an interesting piece of advice. “Home prices are like a wild rushing river. There is no easy way to jump in. You just jump in and hope that you eventually keep up with the flow.”
I don’t know if that was good advice or not. He’s a doctor, not a financial advisor.
But we did “jump in” and it did turn out fine. We lived in that house for many happy years.
A few years ago a good friend was contemplating buying a home. But she was worried because housing prices were falling.
She got a piece of advice that WAS from her financial advisor. He said, “Don’t confuse your home with an investment and don’t confuse your home with line of credit. You should buy a house for the pure reason that you want to live in it for a long time.”
She did buy a condo and she has been happy with her purchase, even as housing prices fall. Falling housing prices do not lessen the feeling she gets when she works in her own garden. Just like rising housing prices didn’t increase the happiness my husband and I felt when we were finally able to buy a dog because we weren’t renting anymore.
I guess the point of my rambling post is directed to that 1 in 20 who are going to buy a home next year. There is so much talk about is it or is it not a good time to buy a house. Only you can decide that for yourself. And when you are making that decision, don’t do what so many consumers did for the past ten years – don’t think of your house as your retirement plan and don’t think of your house as your credit card. Think of your house as the place you want to grow a garden, own a dog, paint a wall, raise a family, or meet a neighbor.
I think if more people buy houses with that in mind, our economy will strengthen and stabilize over time.
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