We didn’t let falling home prices scare us out of the market

Red home for sale sign on lawn

A new survey found that more than half of all Americans now believe home prices will not begin to recover until 2014 -- or even later.

That’s up from just one-third of respondents who thought it would be that long before property values start rising again in a similar poll taken in November.

The survey was sponsored by a couple of websites that specialize in real estate data -- Tulia and RealtyTrac – and taken by Harris Interactive.

The pessimism reflected in those numbers probably means many potential buyers will continue to shy away from the market until they’re sure home prices have stabilized.

That’s a shame because falling home prices and record low mortgage rates have made houses more affordable than they’ve been in decades.

When we were looking for a home, we were concerned that anything we bought might fall in value after we moved in.

But a home is not just another investment like shares in Google or a 401(k) plan.

A home is where we live.

So we decided to take the leap for some very good reasons.

One is purely financial. Our monthly mortgage payments are lower than what we were paying in rent.

That’s what a 4.79% mortgage rate can do for you.

(See how low mortgage rates are in your city by searching Interest.com’s database of home loans.)

But we also needed more living space and were disgusted with the rental situation we were involved in.

I see homes around our neighborhood that were on the market when we were looking and are still up for sale today.

The majority are too-high priced in my opinion.

Although their ultimate sale price may drag down our property values for a while, I’m inclined to say, “So what?”

Our quality of life is up. Our monthly housing costs are down. And we are in this for the long haul.

I fully expect our house will be worth more than we paid for it long before we’re ready to sell and leave.

Buying now was an opportunity I’m glad we didn’t miss out on because we were too cautious and too worried about what might happen to home prices over the next 12- to 18-months.

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