The American Dream: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. For many people, home ownership is an integral component to all of those three aspirations. It is also a huge financial commitment, and what with market volatility and the threat of a global recession, is now a good time? And how does one know?

According to some experts, the “right time” to buy a home is whenever what you want is financially viable. This is true, especially when you can treat the purchase, even in part, as a growth or investment opportunity. Despite temperamental market fluctuations, prices are pretty much always on the upswing, so things are probably only going to get more expensive. That’s why now is probably the best time to jump if you’ve been considering buying a home. 
There are other advantages to owning your own place as well. If you are or are planning on raising a family, a solid home base without the regulations of rental units can be really gratifying. It is advised to plan on staying in a newly purchased residence for at least seven years: in that time frame, you should get a good return on investment and justify the time, effort, and resources employed in its purchase. A good financial advisor can help you with the details of individual affordability, mortgages, and financing.
Speaking of time, what is the best time of year to buy a home? There are definitely seasonal fluctuations that seem pretty reliable: back to school, where most people already want to have that residential stability, is a great time to find relative bargains. Weather and tourism, all specific to a location, also play into inventory levels and listing prices. It is said that overall, the best time of the year to buy is the day after Christmas when the masses are presumably relaxing, enjoying their holiday haul, and basking in a post-Santa glow. But this is a generalization, anyway, and might or might not necessarily pertain to any specific property upon which you have your eyes set. That said, if you’re not burdened with such seasonal obligations, it can’t hurt to keep an eye out for that day.
But what if you’re not ready to buy, now or ever? Or, are you uncertain about the permanence of home ownership? Hey: buying isn’t for everyone! And that’s totally okay. In fact, in some states, astronomical property taxes alone can be a good justification for renting. And you have to admit that it’s nice to just call the super and have repairs made at no extra expense. If you find a good rental situation, you needn’t feel obliged to pursue ownership.
But if you are in the buying state of mind, the strategizing detailed above can definitely be worth the effort. Keeping in mind all those variables, one thing might stand out above all else: keep your eyes open to any potential property. Ones that might not pass muster with the masses doesn’t mean it’s not right up your alley. And sometimes, you can really luck out with places that are off the beaten path. But it’s not always “location, location, location.” Timing, circumstances, and placement are all factors to be kept in mind.

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