First-Time Homebuyers Leap at Good Deals

Suni and Ashwin Raghu are under contract on a four-bedroom, 2.5-bath home in Long Hill, N.J.. The expectant parents, who looked at close to 70 homes in the course of their search over the past three months, were a bit surprised to find themselves at this juncture. Six months ago, says Ashwin, they didn't think they were ready to enter the ranks of homeowners. "It was an opportunity," he says. "It's a good time to get in, rather than wait it out. I think home prices are about as low as they can get. And the interest rates are very low."

Buying a home is a big commitment. And for those who have never made it, it's daunting. Given the problems in the housing market during this recession -- from bad mortgages to declining home values -- many potential first-time buyers are hesitating when it comes to dipping a toe into the waters of homeownership. (See "How to Shop for Your First Home.")

But more and more are eagerly signing on the dotted line.