Realtor Q and A: Timing reflects buyer's goals

Q: How do I know it's really the right time to buy a home?

A: This is a question that gets asked a lot, lately, and the answers vary from some technical analysis of how the market has fared over recent years, to how home prices perform over the long-term and a lot of discussion in between. Mostly it centers on a potential buyer's concern with real estate as a prudent investment, and I think that's where it gets really muddled. The question you need to ask yourself is "How am I defining '`investment'?" If you try to compare the purchase of a home to the performance of an investment portfolio and that's all you are measuring in your decision, it may never be the right time for you to own a home. The return is more intangible than you can measure on a balance sheet. It's closer to being an investment in you and your family.

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