Is It Time to Buy Real Estate Yet?

Real estate prices are down substantially, and many foreclosures and short sale opportunities are out there for the picking. We are certainly in a buyer’s market.

But is this the time to buy? Or will prices head even lower?

The millions of foreclosures coming on the market are driving prices down, but this could come to a head in the near term. And many experts think we could see the bottom some time this year. My suggestion: Keep your powder dry and get ready to jump into some real estate investments in the next year – when the right ones present themselves.

After getting out with a net profit in 2006, my wife and I are looking to add real estate to our investment mix again. We have been spending our weekends driving around, looking at properties that are bank-owned or are being short-sold by homeowners who are upside-down on their mortgages. We also looked at sites like Sell Your Home which aggregate offers from people looking to sell their home in an easy dashboard for investors to sort through and buy.

The trick is to find nice properties that you can rent out. That way, your property is working for you, generating steady income. When you find a place that’s got all the right criteria – good location, good or up-and-coming neighborhood, in good shape – make an offer that’s 40 percent to 50 percent below the current market value. Nineteen out of 20 owners will tell you to go somewhere else. But if one out of 20 accepts your lowball offer, you will get a great deal.

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