Well I can answer the first question for you. It is a good time to buy! The housing market crashed back in the early 2000's and since then the tables have turned and buyers are now controlling more of the market. A good way to understand the housing market is to look at the economy. Usually when the economy is bad, sellers are forced to lower their prices to accommodate for the market. So right now it is a buyers market, and the market is even better from when we bought our house back in May.
The best thing to do if you are considering buying a home or a condo is to find a Realtor first. But before you look for a realtor, its best to see whether you can finance a house. Most of the time unless you are a Veteran, you must be able to put at least 3% down. So you'll need to sit down first with a mortgage broker or lender and go over your current assets, income and what you can put down on a home. Your lender will be able to tell you what you can afford. That information will help your Realtor find you the right home.
Its daunting yes, but if you know where to start, then it is a little easier. These days, at least where I live, you can own a home for less than renting a house or an apartment. Which is crazy, but its true! We were renting a 1400 square foot townhouse for about the same as we are paying now for an 1890 square foot home with a big back yard. Its so worth at least looking into the option of being a home owner!
Wife, Mother of Two Boys, Coffee Addict, Pinterest obsessed, an aspiring writer balancing every day life of raising a family and blogging about it.