In this economic time many people are wondering - is now the time for me to buy? If you are a 1st time home buyer it is scary enough going through the entire process but then adding economic uncertainity on top of it makes people think twice.
I would recommend that anyone that is interested in buying their first home go through classes that are sponsored by Housing and Urban Development. They are free and offer people an opportunity to ask questions about financing, how to find the right realtor and making sure they have an acceptable credit score.
In the Denver Metro area, we are seeing the average days on the market go down which means that houses are sitting for sale like they were a year ago. Plus with interest rates being at historic lows I would say this is a great time to buy.
If you are a 1st time home buyer don't shy away from foreclosures or short-sales. Some of these properties are total duds and would take lots of money to fix but some of them are very well cared for and because of unforseen circumstances people lost their homes. It may take a while to find the right one but every neighborhood in the metro area has foreclosures and short-sales on the market.
Plus when dealing with banks to purchase these properties it can be very frustrating and time consuming. You need a realtor that knows the ins and outs and can effectively manage the process. By not having another property to sell in order to buy a new one you actually have an advantage over other home buyers. Banks don't want to own real estate but they are overwhelmed with the amount of properties they need to sell not just in the metro area but nationwide. It can be difficult and heartbreaking at times but you can find some really good deals and might get a bigger house than you thought you could afford in that perfect neighborhood that you love.
There are also programs out there for 1st time homebuyers so make sure you are working with a mortgage professional that understands all of the options that you have available and can talk to you about each one.... or as I said previously - take a 1st time home buyers class so that you have a better understanding of the process before you make that leap into home ownership.