Today's market benefits two groups of buyers: first-time buyers, and buyers moving up. It is an excellent market to buy, especially if you don't have a current home to sell. For this reason, we're seeing a lot of first-time home buyers opting to buy instead of rent. Since these first-time buyers are not having to make contingencies to sell a home before buying another, they are able to use that negotiating power elsewhere (price, for example).

Even if you have a home to sell, it's a very good time to move up. It may take a little while to sell your current home, and you won't get for it what you would have gotten even a year ago. But, remember that you'll also be paying considerably less for the home you'll buy if you're moving up. For example, let's say your current home is worth $250,000 on today's market. If you move up and find a larger or nicer home for, say $350,000, you'll be saving a lot of money in the long run by buying now. Depending on area, you're looking at a roughly 5-8% drop in prices for the past year. That percentage difference for savings is much higher for the more expensive house - in other words, that 5-8% loss in selling your house will be more than made up in buying a more expensive house now rather than later.

Many buyers are using this opportunity to move up, since prices in the next couple of months seem to be about as low as they're going to get. We've seen a lot of past clients coming back to us to move up, as well as buyers who have been sitting the fence waiting for prices to get as low as possible. This is a great time to buy with Charleston's strong buyers' market.

In short, today's market is ideal for first-time home buyers and buyers looking to move up. On the other hand, it's not beneficial for buyers looking to downsize or liquidate assets. So, if you're considering downsizing, it would be better for you to wait until the market picks back up. Less than a year from now prices should be well on their way back up, and you should get considerably more money for your home than if you sold now.