At a recent lecture at the New York University Club, millionaire hedge fund operator John Paulson, who is often touted as an investment genius, enthusiastically urged members of his audience to buy real estate--now! Echoing the September Forbes report, Paulson stated that “this is the best time in 50 years to buy a home,” and he maintained that securing a 30 year mortgage with record low interest rates is a wise and safe investment.

While there are those in the real estate field who disagree with Paulson’s views, there is an increasing number of factors chester county real estatewhich supports his advice, among them reduced house prices, increased negotiating power, very low interest rates, and the rapidly growing availability of Chester County real estate.

Those considering the purchase of a home should be forewarned, however, that lenders have tightened their requirements for qualifying for a mortgage. Generally speaking, applicants who want a 30 year fixed loan at a low interest rate must have a credit score of at least 720, a well-paying and secure job, money for a down payment, and a financial situation which makes buying Chester County real estate feasible. Pre-approval for a loan is a must before making an offer on any home.

1. PRICES: Prices of Chester County real estate are generally lower today than they have been in many, many years and do not show signs of increasing quickly, so it is possible to get more house for the money than in recent years. Buyers should be prepared to occupy their homes for 5 to 10 years to see any significant gain, but most realtors agree that spending money on a monthly mortgage payment is far wiser than putting it towards rent. The substantial addition of foreclosures and short sales also provide an opportunity to buy at a (often greatly) reduced price

2. NEGOTIOATIONS: Because homes currently on the market are extremely slow to move, sellers are generally more than willing to negotiate with a potential buyer in matters such as price, financing, repairs, closing costs, occupancy time frame, and the like. Buyers definitely have negotiating power right now.

3. INTEREST RATES: Interest rates are currently quite low, and buying Chester County real estate now at these rates can result in substantial savings and/or purchasing power. For example, if you’re looking for a loan around $400,00, each point decrease gives you $50,000 in purchasing power, and with 20% down, the difference between a mortgage payment for a $425,000 home and one worth $525,00 is only $32!

4. AVAILABILITY: As the economy worsens and unemployment rises, the number of foreclosures and short sales increase greatly, resulting in an abundance of available homes for sale. Buyers have a much wider selection in terms of location, price, and size from which to choose and can often obtain features they have been unable to afford in the past. What used to be a “dream house” may now become a reality

So, is now the time to buy Chester County real estate? For many the answer is a resounding “Yes”!