Q.I am wondering if now is a good time to buy a house. I know prices are down quite a bit from last year and sellers are anxious.
A. If you are looking for a place to live, buying a home instead of renting usually is the better choice. Home ownership is one of the last remaining tax shelters for individuals in that mortgage interest and real estate taxes are tax-deductible.
If you are looking to make a big score in real estate investment, I would be cautious before jumping in. The huge, double-digit annual appreciation that real estate enjoyed in the past 15 years is unlikely to occur again in the near future. There is a general oversupply of homes for sale and a shortage of demand. It may take many years for this downside of the real estate cycle to complete.