Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Veterans and Home Loans: Is it a good time to buy?

Veterans have one of the greatest benefits. A VA Veterans Home Loan. Many advantages of that, including no down and less mortgage insurance. But is it a good time to buy a house? Certainly there is an extra incentive of the $8,000 first time home buyer credit that veterans can qualify for also.

Since the invention of real estate agents, there has always been the phrase, "Now is a good time to buy." And real estate agents have always bought into the notion that home prices don't fall. They did this big time in 2005-2006. The truth is, real estate prices do fall and they fall sharply. So no matter what year it is, now will always be a good time to buy a home if you are a real estate agent.

But how about you? Is this really a good time to buy? Is any time a really good time to buy?

You and your family are really the only ones that can determine that. There are many factors that you need to consider. There are three very important factors. Do you really need to buy a home, can you afford it, and does it matter over time if the price goes up or down.

If all those are set, then you are good to go. Now is a good time to buy a home.

Having your own home is good, but many people get buy with an apartment or a rental home. The tax deduction is good, but not great. There are more headaches that come with being a homeowner than a renter.

Can you afford it? You need a place to stay, so you will need to pay rent. Will the rent be the same as a mortgage? Does a mortgage payment take such a big bite out of your wallet that you will need to pinch pennies? If you can comfortably make a mortgage payment, then it is indeed a good time to buy.

What if your home goes down in value? Does that matter? One of the falsehoods of home buying is that you are making an investment. You should not look at it that way. You should look at it as being in a home for a long period of time. Whether the house goes up or down, should be secondary. If you need a place to live and you can afford the payments, why should it matter? You have to pay rent anyway. If you can comfortably buy a home and not worry about home value, it is a good time to buy.

But you also need to do a reality check. Is your job stable? Do you have any unforeseen circumstances that may come up? You may be forced to move or downsize if your income and situation is not stable.

Forget about the hype of real estate. One should buy a home because it provides a comfortable long term place to live in your current price range. It should not be looked upon as a future ATM. Those that did that, got themselves in trouble.

Military veterans who are thinking about buying a home should consider it very thoroughly. Now may be a good time to buy. Next month may be a good time to buy. Any time can be a good time to buy if it fits you financially!

>>Learn more about VA Veterans Home Loans

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