We hear all the time about how now is good time to buy real estate. For many of us this is true, but for others, careful preparation is needed. Here's financial planner Ross Marino. This week's question was about buying a new home. Be sure to consider whether you might stay in the home for at least a few years. Buying a home, then trying to resell within a couple of years could be expensive. If you're a renter, don't assume you can afford a home even if your current rent is the same as a mortgage payment. There are many more expenses in home ownership, than renting. There are tax benefits for some people and building equity is great. Paying off a home, or even leaving it as an inheritance, is also great. Is now the time to *buy real estate? Your guess is as good as mine. But rates are at historic lows, and prices in many areas are well below levels from a few years ago. The Housing Affordability Index, from the National Association of Realtors, was at an all-time high. That means, according to this index, housing has never been more affordable since the index was created in 1971. If you need a home, and can afford it, this doesn't sound like a bad time. Just in case you're wondering, many banks and mortgage companies are still in business, and they're loaning money. It's true. If you don't believe me, just call a local office in town and ask. They'll be happy to take to your call.
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