Should I buy now?

With mortgage rates sinking again to record lows, prospective homebuyers may be tempted to think about committing to a property. But is it worth taking that leap? According to U.S. News & World Report, there are other factors to consider before signing on the dotted lines.

“There is no rush to buy for the interest rates because we don’t see rates moving very quickly or very much from this year to next,” Redfin chief economist for the District of Columbia area Nela Richardson told U.S. News. “The housing market is not one where anyone should feel an urgency to buy now.”

Richardson’s observations come on the heels of Freddie Mac’s latest weekly mortgage market survey, which finds that the average for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is down to 3.66 percent – the lowest since May 2013. If you’re considering buying a home because rates are favorable, though, here are a few things to think about:

1) How long you’ll stay in the house. The break-even point varies from four to seven years depending on geography as well as the home itself.

2) The security of your job. Are you worried about becoming unemployed in the next six month? Do you worry that you may need to relocate? If your ability to make payments or remain in your home is in question, this is not the time to buy – regardless of rates.

3) Your down payment. Putting less than 20 percent down means you’ll need to buy private mortgage insurance, which could be more costly than a higher rate.

4) Whether you’re emotionally prepared. If you’re not at a point where you’re ready to own a home and you’re not sure you’re prepared to settle down, then buying a home is not in the cards for you.

5) Whether you’re financially prepared. Do you have a steady income, good credit and money in the bank? If not, now is not the time.

6) Your local housing market. Conditions need to be favorable to you here and now.

Have more specific questions? Get in touch.

Dreaming of San Francisco? Cece Blase offers local advice to San Francisco buyers, sellers and owners– and feeds the dreams of those who wish they could live in Tony Bennett’s ‘City by the Bay.’ Call 415-577-0809 or email cblase@paragon-re.com. www.ceceblase.com