(Source: Wall Street Journal)

Is it the right time to buy a house?

Weak but positive glimmers in the housing market over the past few days have left many renters wondering if they should finally take the plunge into the housing market.

Your age and stage of life, the thickness of your wallet, your appetite for risk and local market conditions all play into the rent-or-buy equation. Although no one’s circumstances are identical, here are some reasons to buy — or not to buy:

BUY BECAUSE:

  1. The government wants you to.
  2. Prices will eventually recover.
  3. Your investment is leveraged.
  4. Distressed properties offer instant equity.
  5. Mortgage costs can be fixed.
  6. It’s yours.

DON’T BUY BECAUSE:

  1. It’s expensive and hard to move.
  2. Your money is tied up.
  3. Foreclosure devastates your credit.
  4. Owning has unpredictable costs.
  5. Home prices could fall further.

Read June Fletcher’s article “Should Renters Jump Into the Housing Market?” in the WSJ (March 31, 2009). 

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