More excellent advice from James Bednar over at New Jersey Real Estate Report:
For those set on buying? The same four or five things, every time.
Just like you will not pay yesterday’s price today, a seller will not sell for tomorrows price today. If you want a deal, you’ll find it accompanying distress.
You’ll never find a bargain if you are set on one single property. If you absolutely must own 831 Pretentious Boulevard, Haughtyville NJ, you can pay asking to do so. If you want a bargain, you’ll need to have an open mind and disregard those things others won’t. Boomerang formica, velvet flocked wallpaper and green carpet? Money in the bank.
Given the property, the numbers need to make sense, period. They either do, or they don’t, there is no gray here.
Time horizon needs to be long enough to ride out the market. 5 years? Too short. I don’t want to hear anything less than 7. A ten year horizon starts to sound sensible.
If you buy, tune out of real estate completely, don’t track the market, ignore the news. The market will get worse, and you’ll tear yourself apart for not waiting.