Buying a house is never an easy decision, but the ongoing housing crisis has only made the matter more complicated. Still, there a number of good reasons for making the jump right now. Dave Kansas of SmartMoney.com highlights the top four.
The housing marketstill looks pretty bleak: There were a record one million foreclosures last year, home prices are still falling in many regions and the number of "underwater" properties is at a record high.
And things don't look much better in other areas of real estate. The number of construction jobs continues to decline, even as other parts of the economy have added jobs. And mortgage rates have moved higher as long-term Treasury yields have backed up during the past few months.
Basically, the real estate market remains a mess.
Real estate encompasses a wide range of markets – homes, apartments, hospitals, office buildings, strip malls, dormitories and other properties. But for our purposes, let's focus on residential real estate, or homes. Here are four reasons to think residential real estate might represent a bargain – with one big caveat.