ICFiles
SOC 2

CPA Website Content

Secure File Transfer Soc 2 starts at $1 per month

Join Us

 

 
Financial Calculators
Financial Calculators
 
Federal Tax Links
Federal Tax Links
 
Financial Terms Glossary
Financial Terms Glossary
 
Cartoon of the Month
Cartoon of the Month
 

Is Now the Time to Invest in a Home?

Financial Planning

September 2011

Buy

Is Now the Time to Invest in a Home?

Despite all the economic uncertainty, the news for consumers might not be all bad. Short-term interest rates are low and will likely stay that way well into 2013, based on public statements from the Federal Reserve. Mortgage interest rates have been hovering at or near record lows all summer.

Long-term, fixed-rate mortgage averages, for example, dropped to 4.15 percent in mid-August, the lowest since Freddie Mac began taking surveys in 1971. Rates on 15-year mortgage loans and five-year hybrid loans are also historically low.

What does this mean for potential home buyers? Is now the time to refinance or buy a new home? Rates could go even lower, but there’s not much room left for them to drop, so some experts believe this is an ideal time to take action if you’re in the market for a home.

Low Rates and Low Home Prices

Besides very low mortgage interest rates, there is another reason why buying a home now makes sense – homes are relatively cheap. As if incredibly low borrowing rates were not enough enticement to buy, home prices dropped nearly 6 percent in the second quarter of this year, reflecting a suppressed housing market. Because of the foreclosure inventory, the market is flooded with properties that banks need to sell. Even if you don’t buy a foreclosed home, the large supply of houses on the market drags down home prices in general.

Despite these favorable factors, home sales remain depressed due to the lack of a robust recovery in the housing market, high unemployment and the much stricter credit requirements lenders are imposing. Home sales fell in July and are still well below what they were before the housing bubble popped. Applications for home purchases are at their lowest level in 15 years.

Low Rates Won’t Last Forever

If you don’t have a job and you’re not independently wealthy, low interest rates and low home prices won’t help. In fact, it’s because of high unemployment and the recent financial crisis that these attractive home buying factors exist. And low home prices are certainly not good for current owners watching their equity shrink, keeping them from drawing upon such equity for home improvements and other large purchases.

But if you have topnotch credit, a stable income and the cash on hand to make a significant down payment, buying a home now is a good move. It might be a better move now than in two years because of uncertainty about the highly publicized debt deal Congress reached in August.

Tax Breaks in Jeopardy

The budget deal requires that a Congressional super committee reach a compromise on an additional $1.5 trillion in spending cuts this fall (or combined spending cuts and revenue enhancements). If the committee fails to reach a deal, the current legislation will trigger massive automatic reductions in spending.

Any future budget deal could involve eliminating tax breaks in order to raise revenues, and the popular mortgage tax deduction and other mortgage-related deductions could be open for negotiation. Acting sooner rather than later might mean the difference between getting the full deduction or not; however, no one should buy a home unless they can afford it, regardless of the tax incentives.

Research Your Investment

Remember that the lowest interest rates are offered to buyers with the best credit and the ability to make a substantial down payment. If you are fortunate enough to be well qualified, you might get an even lower rate if you are willing to pay discount points upfront.

Whether you’re planning to buy a new home, be it a second home or a vacation home near the mountains or at the beach, that purchase is an investment – and all investments carry some risk. Just like stocks, home values can go down, so careful research is required before you make your choice. As with all such major decisions, it’s wise to talk to a financial adviser to help you decide what’s best for your unique situation.

Buy

 

These articles are intended to provide general resources for the tax and accounting needs of small businesses and individuals. Service2Client LLC is the author, but is not engaged in rendering specific legal, accounting, financial or professional advice. Service2Client LLC makes no representation that the recommendations of Service2Client LLC will achieve any result. The NSAD has not reviewed any of the Service2Client LLC content. Readers are encouraged to contact their CPA regarding the topics in these articles.

Protected by Copyscape Plagiarism Finder

Dynamic Content Powered by Service2client.com
SEO Content Powered by DynamicPost.net

ICFiles
SOC 2

CPA Website Content

Secure File Transfer Soc 2 starts at $1 per month

Join Us

 

CPA Website Content

 
 
Financial Calculators
Financial Calculators
 
Federal Tax Links
Federal Tax Links
 
Financial Terms Glossary
Financial Terms Glossary
 
Cartoon of the Month
Cartoon of the Month
 
websites for cpas

MyWeb, WordPress Joomla, Drupal
1 Click Hosting
Install free themes

websites for cpas

Click

 
Tax Calendar
Tax Calendar
 
State Tax Links
State Tax Links
 
Track your Refund
Track your Refund
 
Library Articles
Library Articles
 
 
 

CLOSE