Heres the Good News...

by : Joe Pinto

This must surely be the only good news out there, with oil going as high as $120 per barrel, food prices rising every week, and even being rationed out in some cases (one large chain rationed rice!), so it is good to know that someone is getting a break.

Well, lately it has all been good news for prospective house buyers - and here is yet more! If you are planning on buying a house this year, at the moment the realty market is setting record highs, in inventory and in price!

The choice both in houses and conditions of sale are certainly in the buyer's favor. The inventory that you can choose from of available houses for sale is at the highest it has been for twenty seven years. One realty report says that the inventory on the books at the moment would normally represent eleven months of listings!

Added to that is the fact that the prices has been falling by so much and for so long that the accumulated discount in house prices is the biggest for thirty eight years. This has got to be the time to buy!

Of course, there are large amounts of skepticism to overcome when buying a home. Where to go for a loan? After all the horror stories - and let's face it, we know that they are true! - there has to be some hesitation in parting with your hard-saved down payment.

One sure way to feel safer about buying a home is to get a fixed rate mortgage that you can afford and that will not increase for several years. This is why it is called a fixed rate mortgage; the rate of your interest is fixed, or locked in, for the duration of your mortgage.

You can choose the duration period yourself; you may find that the lowest rate is for a period of one year, which is not very secure; however, while the rate is reasonably low it is wise to choose to pay more and lock in for ten years or more. This way you will not have to worry about your monthly payments increasing until 2018!

There is one way of hedging your bets against your future security: if you buy a home with a basement, it will offer you a second income if you ever need it. Basements are easily converted into suites that can be rented. Even if you buy a house with an unfinished basement it can always be converted by you after you move in. This will also increase the value of your home.

If you have no experience, you can look up on the Internet and get many photographed directions (and text) for how to finish off your basement. Some hardware chain-stores offer free classes and these have included 'Finishing Your Basement'.

This really seems to be a good time to buy a property, and with a fixed rate mortgage and the option of receiving a rental income, you should be hurrying along to visit your realtor!