Five reasons to buy a home now

 The tax credit expired, but it’s still a great time to buy a home thanks to low mortgage rates and motivated sellers. Here are five reasons why now is a great time to buy:

1. Low mortgage rates serve as an equity shock absorber. When buyers borrow at today’s record-low rates, they start building equity as soon as they close. That means they can absorb a few ups and downs as the still-recovering housing market gains traction.

2. Houses are in move-in condition. Homeowners continue to spend on maintenance and repair, according to the Harvard Joint Center on Housing. As these houses enter the market, they stand in marked contrast to tattered foreclosures.

3. Terrific houses are coming on the market. Foreclosures are finally starting to clear the system, and they are being replaced by some very attractive properties.

4. Appraisal regulations are finally aligned with market realities. Fannie Mae has adjusted its appraisal guidelines, giving appraisers more flexibility to set values that reflect the current market.

5. Plenty of programs. Many programs that encourage middle-class families to buy homes still exist, despite market downturns. Buyers who qualify can get a big boost by combining one of these programs with today’s low mortgage rates.

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