Recent real estate market and home pricing news is still not fun to hear. Many analysts have predicted that we would enter a double-dip in home prices. While one definition of a double-dip requires dropping below previous lows, and that hasn't happened yet, there is still a very large "shadow inventory" out there. Those are the homes 90 days late or more on mortgage payments, but not yet in the foreclosure process. The most recent Standard & Poors Case-Shiller Home Price Index showed that 19 of 20 city composite recorded higher annual returns in October 2012 than in September.
This could suggest that there are cities rebounding from a bottom. More interesting, they are for the most part the cities that participated in the boom. One insightful positive note that Case-Shiller identified is that our average national home prices are back to what they were in late 2003. No doubt, unemployment is contributing to our national pricing pressures, but there's another factor. Buyers are nervous about "pulling the trigger" on a purchase, believing that if the price is good today, it should be even better tomorrow. There is another approach, and it's being used by many smart buyers to move into the home of their choice in most any market. It's making your own bottom. While you could wait 3 months to a year, and there may indeed be another 2% to 5% drop in home prices in your area, interest rates could be rising at the same time. Instead of trying to find that one single perfect home for you, spend a bit more time and find two, three or in the case of the Las Vegas Real Estate Market, that might be 5-10 different homes that work for you. Once you have identified the homes that you would be happy with, make an offer on the one you want the most, but consult a real estate professional for a Comparative Market Analysis. You've just created your own market price bottom, and even if things soften a bit before a turn-around, you're going to be in good shape. If you can't get home #1, make an offer on choice #2, #3 and so on...
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