Is there a best time to become a first time home buyer?

Posted By on May 7, 2019

In a discussion with my son Taylor last week, the subject of homeownership came up. He is single and currently rents, but like many millennials, hasn’t been in a big hurry to "put down roots" as have previous generations. DollarHouseOn the other hand, being that his career is in "planning" and "economic development," regularly talks housing and homes. Now that he is approaching 30 years old, the idea of home ownership vs renting is weighing heavy on his mind.

I’ll admit, I am biased toward homeownership … but then I like owning, working on and managing real estate as a long term "investment" (BTW, that’s probably a bad term when talking home ownership). So I put my "bias" aside and tried to look at his situation, his interests and how much he really wants to be tied down with the expenses and work to take care of his own house  … even though poorrichdialI’d like to eventually see him in his own home someday (although something I think would be better to "share" with a partner). Katelyn and Drew are homeowners and are dealing with remodeling updates in their own home. It’s a challenge even when you are living there to know if updates are a smart move or just an expense – interesting link.

After we had the discussion, I started to read a few more articles looking at the pluses and minus of buying real estate to live in. I quoted him the "live there for 7 years" number that I remembered (which is now stated at 5-6 years … likely because of more efficiency in writing mortgages — no points, lower costs) and then started to thing about economic ups and downs. The later is something Brenda and I never considered when we bought our first house in 1982. Back then, I just assumed inflation and real estate would just continue to rise steadily over time; it has for us, just not "steadily."


The chart from Case-Schiller gives pause to pondering when to buy if you do not necessarily "love" being a homeowner or need to move from a rental place. Of course trying to pick the lows and highs of any market is a Fool’s Errand. Still, the long bull markets for almost all investments gives one pause to if this is the best time to buy real estate unless you know you are going to live in the same place for a long time.

Are we in another housing bubble?

Shiller warned the world about the two big bubbles that devastated our economy over the last 20 years: the dotcom crash in the late 1990s and housing crisis from 2007 to 2009. That — and the fact that he’s a Nobel Prize-winning economist at Yale — means when he talks, people listen.

A few months ago, Shiller warned the world again about a potential housing bubble. As the graph shows, since 2012, we’ve been seeing the third biggest housing boom in modern U.S. history.

Food for thought … LINK.


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