When is the best time to buy a house? With so many homes on the market and a sluggish market, now might be one of the best times in recent memory to buy a home. While buyers have the advantage in today’s real estate market, they still need to be savvy in order to get the best deal.

Throughout history there have always been business cycles of recession and recovery which correlate to great real estate markets and soft markets. In other words, the direction of economic activity eventually changes so now that the market is down you have to be prepared for the market to recover. Many times in these past cycles, the world economy started to recover well before anyone really realized that the recession was ending.

If you keep a watchful eye on the news even when the statistics show high unemployment and it looks like a vicious downward cycle that will never end, the economy could actually be on its way to recovery. In the Caribbean, we are directly influenced by the world economy and as things get better in the world investors will return to the island and we will get back on track.

So here are some things I urge homebuyers to keep in mind while the market is soft and it is a buyer’s market with a lot of property on the market and good deals all around:

* Don’t try to time the market: when home prices are low, it is very tempting for buyers to wait as long as possible in the hopes that prices will decline even further. This strategy can be detrimental. Once a home is priced to what the current market will bear, buyers will make offers. It is best to make an offer based upon the prices at which similar homes in the market are selling for. In a buyer’s market, there are more opportunities for negotiations, but making an offer is the right step. If you find a great deal on a house that has great future potential if you wait too long you might miss the opportunity and the market may climb and the owner may raise the price. So now is the time.

* Take your time – to a degree: the increased supply of homes on the market gives homebuyers a great opportunity to evaluate a variety of properties. However, this does not mean that homebuyers can procrastinate. Don’t be a ‘wouldof couldof shouldof.’ Be a proud owner of a great house at a great price. If you find a great deal go for it.

* Homes are selling: properly priced homes are selling. There is property selling for realistic market prices and buyers are getting great deals that they will be proud of in years to come.

* Watch the mortgage rates: while it is true that mortgage rates have risen over the past few years, the increase has not been so dramatic as to significantly impact a monthly mortgage payment. Be sure to watch the rates and do the math carefully, because changes in mortgage rates are not necessarily cost prohibitive.

* Negotiate on the incentives: Sellers eager to move their homes may offer a variety of incentives such as cars, boats furniture, and other deal sweeteners. Before accepting an incentive, make sure it makes sense.

This is one of those moments in history where a savvy investor has the opportunity to do very well in real estate. I wish you all great success in your real estate hunting. There are many skilled Coldwell Banker agents throughout our affiliates in the Caribbean, who can help you make your dreams a reality. So call them and get your piece of Paradise!