10 Reasons To Buy a Home – WSJ.com
10 Reasons To Buy a Home
Enough with the doom and gloom about homeownership. Brett Arends explains why owning a home is a good thing.
By BRETT ARENDS
Enough with the doom and gloom about homeownership.
Sure, maybe there’s more pain to come in the housing market. But when Time magazine starts running covers that declare “Owning a home may no longer make economic sense,” it’s time to say: Enough is enough. This is what “capitulation” looks like. Everyone has given up.
The Sept. 6 cover of Time magazine: This is what capitulation looks like.
After all, at the peak of the bubble five years ago, Time had a different take. “Home Sweet Home,” declared its cover then, as it celebrated the boom and asked: “Will your house make you rich?”
But it’s not enough just to be contrarian. So here are 10 reasons why it’s good to buy a home.
1. You can get a good deal. Especially if you play hardball. This is a buyer’s market. Most of the other buyers have now vanished, as the tax credits on purchases have just expired. We’re four to five years into the biggest housing bust in modern history. And prices have come down a long way– about 30% from their peak, according to Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller Index, which tracks home prices in 20 big cities. Yes, it’s mixed. New York is only down 20%. Arizona has halved. Will prices fall further? Sure, they could. You’ll never catch the bottom. It doesn’t really matter so much in the long haul.
Where is fair value? Fund manager Jeremy Grantham at GMO, who predicted the bust with remarkable accuracy, said two years ago that home prices needed to fall another 17% to reach fair value in relation to household incomes. Case-Shiller since then: Down 18%.
I wrote a blog about avoiding the herd mentality. I think avoiding the mass media’s portrayal of real estate market conditions would be wise as well.
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