Should You Try to Time the Market?
In today’s changing market, in which real estate and homes for sale seem to sell quickly and are at peak prices, many potential buyers are eager to “wait it out” until prices drop substantially. One problem with attempting to time your purchase to the business cycle is that no one can accurately predict the future. Another challenge is that interest rates are generally higher during a depressed market and income may not be keeping up because less overtime is available and bonuses or commissions are down. With higher interest rates and lower earnings, fewer people can qualify for a home purchase than in more prosperous times.
Why You Should Not Wait
Plus, “timing the market” generally works best for first-time buyers. People who already have a home usually need to sell it in order to buy their next one. If a “move-up” buyer wants to buy a home during a depressed market, that means they usually have to sell one during the slow market, too. If a seller wants to sell his home to take advantage of a “hot” market when prices are fairly high, they generally have to buy their next home during that same hot market.
It tends to equal out.
Finally, the business cycle can change over time. Since 1983, we have had two fairly long expansions with only a slight recession in between each. You would not want to wait nine years to buy a home, would you? You could miss out on a substantial amount of appreciation by waiting, and end up paying much higher prices.