An Interesting Retort From a Commenter
Thought I'd post a nice comment in full from local blogger and Realtor Eric Rojas. Like I tell my wife, disagreement is good, it provides more ideas rather than just agreeing with one idea...
I might disagree with your "waiting game". There is no guarantee the right deal will be there for you later. I personally have offered on a foreclosure (lost in a multiple offer) and have won a multiple offer short sale for my clients on another place this month.
Meaning, many preceived the prices as agood deal and jumped. This is still very rare, even in our worst months here after Red October.
You did acknowledge people could jump if it's a steal. But finding the combo of good location, good building, good price is still tough... especially if you don't write and offer.
I know of sales happening now that are $50K less (give or take) than previous sales on units for sale simply because the buyer wrote an offer (did not have to wait and compete when the price finally would be lowered).
Anyway, I'm biased here, but also put my own money where my mouth is. Making an arbitray decison when it's better to buy based on the current market is like trying to time any market. I think if a home is what you want and you have a good understanding of the location... and you can afford it... take a shot.
If you were in the market today (say renting and needed a place for your growing family) you'd wait another 6 months even though a great house becomes availble?