Since the housing bubble burst in 2007, it seems that nearly every week there has been a new report or set of data on the current state of the real estate market. After years of hearing buzz phrases like “rising mortgage rates” and “foreclosure crisis,” its no wonder that the idea of buying can feel daunting to most people.
But, despite the seemingly endless amount of (often conflicting) information, the last quarter of 2013 just might be the perfect time to buy a home. According to U.S. News & World Report, here are 7 reasons you should consider taking the plunge this year:
1. Mortgage rates are still dropping. Yes, rates are up 1.15% from the historic low of 3.35% in 2012, but this is still an attractive rate for prospective home buyers.
2. It’s cheaper to buy than rent. Studies have shown that monthly costs for homeowners are significantly cheaper than for renters in the 100 largest metropolitan areas.
3. Home prices are relatively low. Housing price trends vary significantly by location, but the average trends across the country look promising. The S&P/Case-Shiller composite index of 20 metropolitan areas increased only 1% this past season, so 2013 could still be a great time to buy.
4. It may be easier to get a mortgage. Less stringent requirements and qualifying criteria may make it easier for prospective buyers to qualify for a mortgage––especially if you have good credit and some savings available.
5. Less competition from home flippers. Because housing prices in some markets are increasing, house flipping has become less attractive. This means less competition from investors.
6. Avoid the cost of rising rent. Renting can be a more affordable option for the short term, but renters continue to face rising rental costs year after year.
7. Invest in your future. Buying a home allows you to stabilize your housing expenses, start building equity, and invest in your future. Even if you end up selling your home in 5 or 10 years, you could profit from the sale and invest that money elsewhere.
This post can be found in its original form on U.S. News & Word Report.