Every year, millions of Americans make the leap from renting to homeownership. Is it a good time to join their ranks?
The answer, as always, depends on your own financial situation – but a few factors suggest that it's a good time to buy.
The first is cheap mortgages. Home loan rates are near historic lows: Last week, the Mortgage Bankers Association says, the average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is just 4.28 percent. For a 15-year home loan, the average is 3.64 percent.
Another good reason to think about becoming a homeowner is property affordability. House prices have fallen for 17 straight quarters, real estate research site Zillow.com reports. Since the peak of the market in 2006, prices have slid 25 percent, on average.
In addition, Zillow notes, 27.3 percent of the homes sold in September were sold at a loss – bad news for sellers, but good news for buyers.
So should a young person thinking about homeownership pull the trigger? With mortgages cheap and homes more affordable than they've been in years, now does look like a good time to become a homeowner.