"I have heard a lot about the housing bubble. What is it, and how can it affect me getting a house of my own?"
Market cycles do exist. When loan default rates begin to increase, the lending market will adjust their level of flexibility, which results in more conservative underwriting guidelines.
A "housing bubble" refers to home prices rising too quickly until values are too high. Then, when interest rates rise and lenders tighten guidelines, fewer buyers can qualify for loans. This pushes home prices down.
Be sure to discuss any concerns about a housing bubble with your mortgage professional. In rare cases, consumers get into a loan that will turn upside down and they may owe more than the home is worth for a period of time. Fortunately, mortgage professionals can guide you through the loan process and often can match you with a product that makes sense. In most cases, housing bubble or not, over the long haul your home will only appreciate and will serve you as a great investment.
Over longer periods of time (say, five to ten years), average home prices in large geographic regions have never declined, bubble or not. Owning a home is a long-term commitment and an excellent way to build wealth through tax deductions and long-term appreciation. It should also be a lovely place to live and call your home. You should worry about a bubble only if you are in it for the short haul or are out to make a quick buck.
Pay attention to house prices, the number of homes available on the market, and the average time to sell a home. If the prices start to decline as the number of homes on the market increases and the time to sell increases, it could be an excellent time to buy a home. Sellers will be more inclined to accept lower offers and you could get a great deal on a home.
Many beleive the current talk of a housing bubble is being created by panic amongst buyers and the media. The fact is that home sales, while down from the high levels that were seen in 2004 and 2005 are still very high by historical standards. Interest rates are also very low in comparison to previous historical standards.
If you need to own a house, buy one. If you can afford the payments (and we can help with that), and you plan on living there for a fwe years, it doesn't matter if the prices are rising or falling, over the long run you will build value and put the money you're currently spending on rent to better use. The interest on home loans is also generally tax deductible, although you must consult a tax professional to understand how this may specifically apply to you.
Home ownership is the goal of many people. Unfortunately a lot of people will be influenced by negative press reports. You may have heard that the housing bubble will burst, prices will fall. In the long run people who listen to negative press will lose out on the American dream. Take that step, buy a house, you will never look back!
As new home purchases decrease, many times the market sees home renovations increase, and borrowers are more likely to take our Lines of Credit or Second Mortgages to complete and pay for home repairs in homes of both improving living conditions as well as raising the value of their home.
Some people say that there is a housing bubble but that does not make it true. Over a long period of time housing has continued to appreciate and will do so in the future. As long as you can afford your mortgage payment the ups and downs should not affect you.