Time to Buy Real Estate?

I know better than this. Perhaps I just need to talk it out.

I have planned to retire to Mexico or Cuba, depending. I want to live cheap and retire early. On the other hand a crash of the real estate market in the US might open up possibilities.

But that crash has just started. It is not time to buy yet.

But darn it, last week the cutest little house came on the market. I know the house as it is right next door to where I grew up. The owner is a F of a F and wanted 300K for it. Now it is on the market is at 280K.

I suppose I might as well wait. I do not need a house just now. I can wait and these market conditions will reward waiting in spades, right?

I will be home in December. I suppose I will cut a new power of attorney and perhaps make an offer if the place is on the market. No reason to hurry. Another cute house is always coming on the market.

Right? (Darn I still want this house. At my age I want to nest. Talk me out of it.)

IIRC, foreigners may not own land in Mexico.

As for US real estate, figure how cute it is, and is it going for significantly below what it’s worth to you. Also, winter’s coming so there will be more room to negotiate.

Offer $150k cash and see what the response is. The US real estate is going to suck big time for at least the next 2 years. Remember that little sub prime mortgage headline that shook things up say in the April timeframe. Well, those foreclosed homes take about 6 months to start showing up on the market, which is well pretty much any day. A helluva lotta people are saying there are 5 houses in their neighborhoods that have been on the market for a while and not closing.

Then of course, those aging baby boomers are going to start retiring, and the only asset they have is a big ass house that hopefully still has some equity.

It’s gonna get fugly in the US property market. The Fed can only give some liquidity and Bush can only give a bandaid headline.

Foreigners can own land outright in Mexico, as long as it’s not within 50 km of the ocean (and 100 km of the boarder). If it is, the land must be held in a trust, and leased for 50 years at a time.

I’m confused - is this cute little home in the US or Mexico? Will you be living there or are you talking about buying it for later retirement? If the latter, can you rent it out in the meantime?

If you will be moving to the area for good in December, it certainly is not too early to start negotiating for the house purchase now. Seems you’ve been overseas for a while, tho, no? If that’s the case, you may wish to keep your options a little more fluid when you re-establish yourself this side of the pond(s), and rent a while before committing too many resources to one particular course of action.

I am assuming that the house is in the US, but where? Some markets are better than others. Some sub-markets are better than others. How distressed is the seller?

How much do you want the house? If its the only place that you have ever wanted to live in then you might want to consider buying. How much do houses turn over inthe neighborhood? In mine, there are rarely any houses on the market. So if you miss a chance, it might be a while before you get another one.

If its just a situation where you think its a nice price on a house you like, you can probably wait. There is a bit of room to run in the downturn.