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Dollar buys 4X more house today than 6 years ago

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POSTED April 16, 2011 3:07 a.m.
The dollar just isn’t buying what it used to.

Spend $290,000 today and you could have bought a 3,984 square-foot home located on Woodbine Avenue in the Woodward Park neighborhood on an 8,500-square-foot lot with six bedrooms and three bathrooms plus a three-car garage.

Just six years ago that wouldn’t even buy you an 850-square-foot house with two bedrooms (actually the secondary bedroom is just big enough for a baby crib and a dresser) a stone’s throw from the railroad tracks on a 3,458-square-foot lot with no garage. You also got no sidewalks or no curb and gutters.

What was the selling price in 2005 of that 60-year-old gem on Goodale Court? It was $310,000.

And it gets better.

That $290,000 house today costs hundreds less per month to buy thanks to interest rates that are still below 5 percent.

The drop in values and mortgage rates over the past six years is why anyone who has bought during the past three years - including when prices were $50,000 on average higher than they are today - made smart moves.

And now that rents are starting to show signs of creeping up again at the same time interest rates do, those who bought may also have protected themselves fairly well against the impacts of inflation when it returns. Housing typically takes a 30 to 35 percent chunk out of paychecks. By securing stable monthly house payments that a 30-year fixed rate loan allows plus the fact property values are still in the tank for tax purposes, home buyers since 2008 will be in a better position financially as opposed to renters especially those who are in apartments.

Conjecture? Actually it isn’t. It follows the same course of previous housing rebounds. The real trick is timing when you buy,.

While everyone keeps looking for the proverbial bottom, it is becoming clear that buying now - or even if you bought three years ago - will put you in a much stronger position than many who are still renting when inflation returns to normal.
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