Magazine article Sunset

To Buy or Not to Buy: That Is the Question

Magazine article Sunset

To Buy or Not to Buy: That Is the Question

Article excerpt

You've seen some of the choices Westerners face when they want to buy a house. But you're still wondering if now is the time to take the plunge and buy your first home, or to sell your current house and trade up to something larger. Will prices continue to drop? Will a single-family home continue to be a lucrative investment? We turned to the experts for help in answering these questions.

The biggest news of 1993 is that a combination of slightly lower prices and very low mortgage rates has made homeownership a more realistic possibility for many families, even in California. "This is a lesson that housing prices do equilibrate," says Stephen Levy of the Center for the Continuing Study of the California Economy. "The California premium over the rest of the country has been shrinking, and it continues to shrink. Affordability is as good as it's been since the 1970s."

Bradley Inman, real estate columnist for the San Francisco Examiner, agrees. "The big change is the new range of choices open to the first-time buyer. In 1988 and '89 it was gridlock. People's only option was to gamble 40 to 50 percent of their income on a mortgage, betting that their income would rise. Now the housing gridlock has ended."

The big variable, of course, is the state of your finances and your job security. William Fulton, editor of the California Planning and Development Report, says he believes that recessionary fears are still preventing many Californians from entering the market. "California's economy is still too weak, and while prices in inland areas have fallen, coastal areas arc still too high. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.