Not to be left out of the fun had in attempting to persuade unsuspecting buyers to enter the collapsing housing market, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) has seen fit to present a similar, albeit far smaller, web campaign entitled "It's A Great Time To Buy".
As with the National Association of Realtors recent "Buy Now" campaign, the NAHB literature is filled with a myriad of half truths and scare tactics.
The following is a list of questions and answers published on the campaign page:
Q: AS A FIRST-TIME BUYER, SHOULD I WAIT UNTIL PRICES GO LOWER TO BUY A HOME?
If you continue to wait, you may never be able to afford to get into the housing market. Even as home prices are currently moderating – or even falling in some areas – rents continue to climb. The best way to build household wealth is to own a home. Once you become a home owner, you are able to take advantage of the generous tax deductions that homeownership offers, and you begin to build equity in your property. As your property builds in equity, you can use those gains to sell your starter home and afford to move into a bigger house.
Q: IF I WAIT TO BUY A HOME, WON'T PRICES GO DOWN EVEN LOWER?
A: Timing the market isn't a great idea.
All the market fundamentals show that now is a good time to buy – prices are down, interest rates are affordable, there are lots of homes to choose from and you can bargain with sellers.
If you try to wait and time the market until it hits rock bottom, you are likely to lose out. Just as no one can accurately predict the peaks and valleys of the stock market (name one person who sold their tech portfolio in April of 2000), the same holds true for housing. If you sit on the fence and wait for the absolute best deal, you could end up literally waiting for years. And most likely, your guess on market timing would be wrong. But if you choose to buy now, you will not only be in the driver’s seat during the buying process, you will also reap the gains of price appreciation once you become a home owner. Remember, those who purchased homes in the early 1990s during the last big economic and housing downturn came out as big winners.
Q: ISN'T IT BETTER TO "PLAY IT SAFE" AND KEEP RENTING UNTIL THINGS ARE MORE CERTAIN?
The best way to “play it safe” is to actually buy a home. And here’s why. Studies show that owning a home is the best way to build household wealth. The sooner a person owns a home, the faster they begin to build up equity and wealth. When you buy a home, you are also purchasing price stability, knowing that you will pay the same monthly payment for the life of your 30-year mortgage.
Now consider the current rental market. During the past few years, many rental units have been converted to condos. As a result, there are fewer apartment rentals on the market. While home prices have been moderating, rents have been going up. Each year, your rent can easily go up a minimum of 5 percent to 10 percent. Where is the economic security in knowing that it is possible your rent could surge 30 percent in three years? You don’t receive any tax benefits from paying rent, nor do you accumulate any price appreciation, as you would if you owned a home of your own.
All of the economic fundamentals show that this is a good time to buy a home and that there is upward pressure on rental apartments. The real risk isn’t in buying a home, it’s continuing to rent.
Q: SHOULD I INVEST MY MONEY IN THE STOCK MARKET, OR USE IT TO BUY A HOME?
A: Buy a home.
Thanks to the concept of “leveraging,” purchasing a home is by far the best long-term investment. Leveraging means putting down a small amount of money to earn a big return.
For example, say you use that $10,000 to purchase a $150,000 home, and the house appreciates five percent during the first year. That means after one year, the house would be worth $157,500 – a gain of $7,500. Your annual return on your $10,000 investment would be a whopping 75 percent.
By contrast, putting the same $10,000 in the stock market and posting a similar 5 percent gain would only net a $500 return on investment.
And as a home owner, your savings continue to grow in two ways. Every year, a greater portion of your monthly mortgage payment goes to the principal, reducing the overall loan amount. Second, your home appreciates over time, making it one of the very best financial investments. Not only is homeownership a stepping stone to a future of financial security, it also helps to build neighborhoods and strengthen communities. It is truly the cornerstone of the American way of life, and the fulfillment of the American dream.