Real Estate Investing Basics

Would I, Could I, in a House?

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your home castle

With the Fed cutting the Fed Funds Rate to, er… 0 to .25% (Free money—Wee!) and mortgage interest rates and housing prices falling like St. Nick down the flue—well, not quite as quickly, and for the mortgage interest rates, not quite as steep—somebody’s gotta take advantage. Could it be me?

I’m not a homeowner. Right about the time I contemplated buying my first home (about three years ago), the home values started to tumble like an Olympic gymnast. Then right when I thought they’d leveled, the gymnast sprained an ankle and couldn’t seem to put on the brakes. So like so many Americans, I jumped on the scaredy-cat bandwagon and opted to ‘see what happens’. Whatever that means. (I know, I’m terrible for the economy.)

And while I felt guilty for not helping out the economy by taking a devalued (and sorely disrespected) home off the market, I kind of felt secure in my cozy little apartment. I know what my rent will be every month, I know if I lose my job I’m only committed to making payments for 6 months or less (Mom, Dad? We’re home!), and if I am forced out of this Detroit job market, then I could certainly relocate (you know, to India) without consequence. And especially in the winter season it’s a little bit like an all-inclusive resort (sans the bottomless buffet): My sidewalks are shoveled in a snow storm, and my grass is cut in the spring.

And yet, here I am, having a staring contest with the thought of homeownership again. And here are low down payment FHA loans, low interest rates and low housing prices trying to make me blink. The proverbial stars are aligning and it may finally be the perfect time to buy a house. I don’t know about you, but the thought of no longer sharing a paper wall with a family of five whose bedtimes seem to sync up with New York’s nightclub schedule kind of makes my heart go ‘pitter patter’.

Right now, on a 200K home (hmmm, at this rate, maybe I could buy the Ford mansion—just kidding. No disrespect, Ford fam. I love my Ford Fusion.) with an FHA loan, I could get in the door for around $7K down. Not too shabby. I could get a long-term interest rate of around 5% and maybe even have enough left over to buy a snow blower (and a lawnmower for spring).

Stay tuned for updates. As the constellations of housing prices, loan programs and interest rates collaborate to create the perfect buying environment, my house hunt will begin and I’ll certainly be taking you with me.

Photo Credit: Erik Charlton

    Replied about 11 years ago
    When rates go back up, and then up some more, you will kick yourself; especially here in Chicagoland. Detroit? The crystal ball isn’t so crystal clear. I guess I’ll go with what Realtors always say -location, location, location.