.:[Double Click To][Close]:.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Best Time to Buy

Best Time to Buy

Best time to buy - According to the National Retail Federation, tens of millions of American jobs depend on the retail industry. So what can you do to help the economy? Shop, shop, shop! And the good news is you don’t need to spend big bucks if you buy at the right time. Scroll through to see what time of year is best to purchase staple items.

Airplane tickets

Let’s face it – we’re all looking for a deal when it comes to flights. Unfortunately, it seems airfare is constantly increasing (read about 2012 air travel predictions. Whether you’re traveling to San Diego or Boston, consider these travel tips before you take off.
Athletic apparel

Need some new running shirts or yoga pants? You’ll feel more like exercising when you have the right apparel. Find out why exercising is so important for your health.
Cars

Although a new car will always set you back a bit financially, you can get a good deal if you shop at the right time. Find out which 2012 car gets top marks from Consumer Reports .
Cell phones

Interested in a new Windows phone, Droid or iPhone? Read reviews on Siri, the iPhone 4S’ big draw.
China

In addition to fine and everyday china, you can also find deals on used china on eBay or Craigslist.
Chocolate

This one might be easier to guess, since a certain holiday in February usually brings out the chocolate-buyer i
Football gear

Have kids who play football? You’ll want to take advantage of the best time to buy football equipment. Desperate for NFL tickets but don’t want to pay top dollar? Shop in this month.
Fragrances

Fancy a new scent? Whether you’re shopping for yourself or a loved one, you’ll be sure to sniff out a deal when you wait until after this holiday for sales on perfumes and colognes.
Furniture

New furniture usually hits stores twice a year, so your best bet on a deal is right before then, as stores look to move out old items.
Golf clubs

Although you’ll find deals around Christmas, even bigger discounts can be found in a certain springtime month. Mark your calendar for the top 10 golf tournaments to watch this year.
Houses

In today’s housing market, you can get a deal at just about anytime of year, although there is one season that offers the best bargains. Read what experts are saying about the housing market in 2012.
Jeans

According to Marshal Cohen, industry analyst for the NPD Group, a certain month can bring great deals on jeans. How often should you wash jeans? An article in the Washington Post discusses the pros and cons of washing irregularly.
Jewelry

Although you will find deals around certain holidays, like Christmas and Valentine’s Day, there are better sales at other times of the year.
Linens

There’s nothing like a new set of bedding to cozy up to after a long day’s work. Wondering what thread count you really need? Find out now.
Outdoor toys and playground equipment

Playground equipment, like swings and slides, can be pricey, as can outdoor games like bocce ball and croquet. Don’t cut corners on quality though – these items are likely to last a long time if they’re built well to begin with.Outdoor toys and playground equipment

Outerwear

The price of outerwear, like jackets and coats, varies. If you’re prepared to buy last year’s styles, you’ll likely get a much better deal. You might still be better off buying a known brand, like The North Face, Columbia or Mountain Hardwear.
Pajamas and slippers

Give new pajamas or slippers as gifts or treat yourself to a new pair
Plants

Love to garden but can’t afford top dollar for plants? You’ll find major discounts if you wait a bit. Consider subscribing to a gardening magazine, like “Better Homes and Gardens” or “Lawn & Landscape” for ideas.
Sandals

Good news! Sales on sandals should be arriving soon. Get shopping to make sure you’re all set for that first heat wave. Check out what the Farmer’s Almanac says about the weather in 2012.
Shoes

Although sales on shoes vary by type, there is a general rule of thumb for finding the best bargains. What does shoe designer Christian Louboutin have in stores this year?
Skis

Thinking about hitting the slopes? Buy skis instead of renting and you’ll save money in the long run. If you want a snowy adventure without the speed of downhill skiing, consider snowshoeing.
Swimwear

If you’re prepared to wait before buying this year’s styles, you’ll get a much better deal. Want to show off your new suit? Head to one of the top beaches in the country
Televisions

A certain important football game often spurs people to purchase the latest TV and thus, retailers mark down their price. What technology giant is set to release their first TV?
Toys

A Conventional wisdom says that you need to stay in a home a minimum of five years to ensure that you recoup your purchasing costs. But with some markets soaring, this advice doesn't always apply.

It's All About the Market

Market conditions play a huge part in any decision about when to buy. Housing market values have varied widely from region to region in recent years. While the Florida market has seen meteoric rises in home values, Ohio has seen its real estate prices go into negative territory in the last year.

Do not buy high and sell low - if your market is softening or has hit its peak and is heading south, you may want to wait on your purchase.

The magazine Smart Money has created a worksheet to compare the costs of renting vs. buying using market appreciation calculations to determine at what point you come out ahead. Plugging in the price, down payment, your income bracket, interest rate, and current market appreciation rates, the worksheet will break out what you will gain.

For example, say you were to buy a $400,000 house in Boulder, Colorado and you estimate the market will soften from the current 11% appreciation to about 9 percent annually. If you stayed in the house three years, you would recover $88,750 in equity at the end of that period; if you stayed five years, you'd realize $120,360.

It's All About You

The top three reasons people file for bankruptcy are change of job status, divorce, and unforeseen health expenses. If you face any of these challenges and don't have a financial cushion, this may negatively impact your ability to pay a mortgage. Big life events dictate your readiness to buy now or to wait for a little more stability.

Signs you should not buy right now:
Will you be moving within the next five years?
Will you be having kids soon?
Will you be making a job change?
Have you recently filed for bankruptcy or is your credit score below 630?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, or you are experiencing other life-changing events like illness, marriage, divorce, or breakup, you may want to wait.

Your Financial Future

Aside from life events contributing to your decision, getting your financial house in order before you begin your home search is key. Even with all the programs available for buyers with a low-or-no down payment, if your debts are growing steadily and you don't foresee an increase in your income, you are putting yourself in greater financial risk by taking on a mortgage.

With only a few exceptions, many loans for people who are still repairing their credit or recovering from bankruptcy carry higher rates than those available once your credit is in better shape. So the question comes down to this: Do you buy now, before prices appreciate higher than you can afford, but do so with an expensive loan? Or do you wait and repair your credit, then get a favorable loan, and pay more for your home?

That's the sort of analysis you need to go over with a financial counselor or mortgage broker before you start hitting open houses.

Ways to Cushion the Blow

On the other hand, if you are willing to buy a home that needs a bit of work and, over time, you can afford to get it done, your home could appreciate faster, strengthening your financial position. If you are willing to take on a roommate or renter, you can also soften the expense of a mortgage, which almost always costs more than rent. Buying a home is a risk, and it's worth asking yourself hard questions about what you're willing to do to protect yourself from getting in over your head.

If you answered "no" the life-change questions, and have the down payment or equity from your current home, you still need to look at interest rates and at how buying affects your taxes. You can't time the stock market, but you can time interest rate hikes, as they are a little easier to predict. If they are going up fast, you can jump in before they rise too far; if they are already high, you will have to calculate how refinancing in the future affects your budget.

What to Do First

If you are anxious to get moving, be patient. You have a few things to do first:

Go to open houses - get the lay of the land
Talk to a mortgage broker to get pre-approved
Interview agents (You may want to find an agent at the same time as you look for a mortgage broker - a good agent can recommend reputable brokers and help you make sense of the terms of the loan)
Review credit report and scores with mortgage broker to determine if any repairs are needed
Use Zillow.com to find info on neighborhoods that interest you and then use the Home QandA feature to ask current homeowners

No comments:

Post a Comment