Posted By Alan Donald @ Sep 9th 2011 7:45am In: Renters

Dilemma - Woman ThinkingYou are renting. You pay on time. Your landlord loves you! You know it may be a good time to buy...but you have heard all these horror stories about people who bought and got burned... What should you do??

1. Keep renting. Pluses: Flexibility to move - after the lease expires. Minuses: You are paying someone else's mortgage but not building up your net worth. Your rent may go up in a year. You cannot customize the place to your taste. And they give you a hard time if you want pets/visitors, etc. ...

2. Purchase. Market conditions are very favorable, the affordability index is high (super-low interest rates, prices are low and very negotiable), tax benefits of owning a home (lower your tax rate).

If you plan to be in the same city only 3-4 years you may be thinking that the market may also be soft when you leave, but the fact is that in many markets across the country (including Mt. Pleasant, SC), the peak of the inventory already happened back in 2007 and the number of available listings has been declining slowly ever since. 

Although prices are still soft because of the high level of supply and low absorption rate, it is very likely that in 2-3 years time we may be back in a "normal" real estate market.

Also, if you sell a home and it has been your primary residence for 2 of the last 5 years before you sell it, any gain you make on the sale could be capital gains tax free. So you could live in it for four years, then rent it out for up to three additional years, sell it, and still get the tax free benefit...this would give you a window of seven years to get the full benefits and yet sell in a more balanced market...

Hindsight is always 20/20. But we strongly that those who decide NOT to buy during this low price market cycle will regret their decision looking back in time...

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