Before the financial crisis, mortgages were easier to obtain without hefty down payments or high credit scores and property prices were moving upward, making homeownership a seemingly good investment. However, today’s buyers need to more carefully consider their finances, current lifestyle, and the lifestyle they want five years from now before making a purchase. “I tell everyone, ‘Make sure you like the place you are buying, because you may have to live in it for a long, long time,'” says Washington, D.C.-based Realtor David Getson of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. He says buyers should consider renting if they plan to temporarily or permanently leave the area in the short term. Others say buyers need to make purchase decisions with their retirement goals in mind, and they also need to consider their long-term job security. Mark Goldstein, president of Rockville, Md.-based Capitol Funding, says unless they plan to stay put for six years or more, purchasing a home does not make sense right now for many would-be buyers. | Read More