Real Estate: Buy or Sell in 2010?

Real Estate: Buy or Sell in 2010?

SF Bay Area Realtor Deborah Lopez 299x300 Real Estate: Buy or Sell in 2010?

Deborah Lopez

I think we’re all thrilled to be starting a new year and here’s hoping that it’s a good one!  While we expect the San Francisco real estate market to continue to be challenging, there is no question that this is the season to be buying. 

And if it is the season to be buying, it is also the season to be selling.

by Deborah Lopez, San Francisco Realtor

So when people ask me “Is this a good time to sell or buy”, my answer is absolutely!

Low Interest Rates, Low Prices, Tax Credits

Buyers are currently blessed with a perfect combination of historically low interest rates, lower prices and a first-time and a move-up buyer tax credit. 

Government programs are keeping interest rates low but they will most certainly go up in the future.   Every 1% increase in interest rate reduces the amount of home you can afford by about 10% due to the increase in monthly cost.   Before rates go up and the tax credit expires (April 30, 2010), anyone who has been thinking of buying a home should be working with a Realtor®. 

Even if you cannot buy your “dream” home, owning something as the market recovers will allow you to build equity and not lose ground.

What About Selling Your Home?

As for selling, my advice is always the same:  if your life will be better, then do not wait.   If your house is too small or too big and you can buy something more suitable, you will never lose money in the long run.  Why not be comfortable in a house that fits your needs while you wait for the market to recover?  

If you stay where you are and the value of your property increases, so will the value of the properties you want to buy – there is no gain in waiting.   Go ahead – move your loved ones while the buying opportunities are good and you will recover any losses as your new home appreciates AND, most importantly, your life will be happier in the meantime.   

All of the families that I helped make a real estate move in 2009 are thankful that they are in their new homes.  

What if You’ve Fallen Behind on Mortgage Payments?

And please, if you are facing hardship and falling behind in your mortgage payments, call a Realtor® today so that you know your options.  The short sale process is getting easier and you will do less damage to your credit negotiating a short sale than allowing your home to go into foreclosure.   You may be eligible for a loan modification.  Or, you may be able to hold on to your property by moving out and renting it.   

But be sure to talk to a Realtor® and your tax advisor before you make that decision – there are many legal and tax ramifications.  

You need to know the facts to make the best decision and we are here to help.  Consulting with a real estate professional will help you plan for the future, know your options and I hope make 2010 a Happy New Year.

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