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I think if you are waiting for housing to drop even more than it has in the last year then you may well end up renting for longer than you had planned. But now is a great time to get out there and look at homes where sellers are willing to negotiate some pretty favorable terms.
Another advantage that you might want to consider is the natural real estate trends for this time of the year. In general the market is a little slower this time of year, which allows you as a home buyer a unique opportunity that enables you to take a serious look at properties, ask lots of questions and still have time to do your homework without the pressure of worrying that the house will be sold immediately. This may not be the case in springtime 08.
In answer to your question on mortgage+renter or just mortgage. I have have done both. In this area, there are many great ways to find and rent to other easy-going reputable professionals. Disclaimer: You should never plan on over buying a house in hopes that you can pay your mortgage with a renter's income (even though we have all done this :)
Contact me and I would love to give you more advice on some of your other questions, I have had a lot of experience in buying and selling. ( I am currently selling my home at 23817 Ne 61st street, Redmond Wa., but these comments to your post are not meant to to market my property). You can contact me by using my listing info to write me.
Shiva - Great advice by everyone! You should really get with some friends and/or family who have purchased before in down times and see how they benefited or not from that time. If anything get with a professional you trust and get some data thrown your way for the past 6 months on current homes active, sold, and pending for sale to see where the market is going in Redmond/Sammamish. Who knows when the market will bounce back, who knew when it would crash.....could be in 1 year, could be 5 years, or could be 10. Depends on a lot of variables, but I say this as a bias statement so please don't take this the wrong way. I'm firm believer in buying real estate and waiting, not waiting to buy real estate. That's just my opinion, and again I'm skewed a bit.......but it's proven to work for me financially over the years. Basically it all depends on what exactly you want to accomplish.
waiting to drop? the price drop hasnt even hit seattle yet, but it will. the economy in the region is strong, but not immune to the national credit situation and pending recession concerns.
Buy! If you are looking to purchase a home that you will be in for a number of years, you would benefit greatly to take advantage of the amazing buyers market right now. You will be able to get alot of house for less than you could a few years ago...and when the market begins to accelerate (as it always does) you will be in a very good equity situation. Home prices in King county rose over 1% last year-you dont read that in the newspapers ...not gloomy enough :-) Also...the seattle market has insulated itself more than the rest of the country due to our incredible job market and lack of land to sprawl to. My best advice to you would be find a home with a minimal commute and in a desireable neighborhood.
As Warren Buffet always says, when a known "good quality" stock price falls...buy more of it!
hope this helps, best of luck to you.
Great advice from many different points of view. Who knows where the market will be in 6 months, 1 year, or 10 years. The bottom line is interest rates are at an all time low and if you want to own, go for it! I am bias, a little too, as I have a home for sale on 1.3 acres in Issaquah. If you are interested take a look at 15418 231st Ave SE Issaquah, Wa 98027. We love this home but are moving to Northern California. The market down there has really dropped but we are still going to buy. Again, rates are great and everythings gonna be alright!!!
For anyone looking to purchase a home in the Redmond/Sammamish area, I would like to say that there were 4 homes in my neighborhood that were on the market, all of which have sold in under 2 months! Interest rates are good, school district is really good and Microsoft (both Redmond and Issaquah campuses) are extremely close. The trend here seems to be people are "simplifying" and are downsizing abit. Looking for close amenities so they don't have to burn alot of gas, and close enough to work, that many are actually riding their bicycles. Our home will be officially on the market in about 2 more weeks. We have a great view of Lk.Sammamish, extremely close to Microsoft and shopping, etc. Our home is just under 2000 sq.ft., 1500+ sq. ft. of cedar decks, quiet neighborhood and best of all...private beach rights! You can see some pics of our home. Address is 910 207th Ave NE, Sammamish, WA 98074. Lot size is 10,000 sq.ft. The home will be move-in ready! Wish us luck.
Let me try to answer your specific questions and I will probably go over the text limit, so this will be in two postings.Posting One:There are a lot of excellent builders on the Eastside. With any builder you need to make sure the builder has a good portion of his development sold, that all sub-contractors have been paid and there are no leins on any homes in the development. Builders have had a very difficult time in this economy.Resale homes versus New Construction. There are some incredible new construction prices out there, depending on your price point, depending on the lot size. Prices are very negotiable, builders need to sell, so they are offering many incentives, such as buying down your interest rate, paying closing costs etc. Buy NOW! There is no reason to wait. Interest rates are excellent and there is a lot of real estate inventory on the market. Many homes at great prices to choose from and a good agent can help you negotiate the best price.What to look for in a new home partially depends on what you want in a home and a good investment for future resale. For instance a 2 bedroom, 1 bath home may not be a good choice for long term investment. Also, I may get shot here, but Split Entry homes are dificult to resale and do not typically hold their value. We would probally want to negotiate seller paid closing costs.Cont.
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