10 Things to Consider Before Buying Your First Home

The Market
The real estate market is constantly shifting, so when you think you’re ready to buy, you need to get a good sense of where things stand. ©Andy Dean/iStock/Thinkstock

Since the advent of the Great Recession in 2008, the real estate market has bounced back and forth between a buyer's and a seller's market in many areas. Have you ever wondered what those terms really mean?

A buyer's market is when there are more houses for sale than there are buyers for them. That happened early in the recession when, after the boom in new home sales, suddenly there were more new homes than builders could sell. The buyer's market continued as the recession lingered, people lost their jobs, foreclosures peaked and housing prices tanked.

The opposite, a seller's market, occurs when fewer houses are on the market than there are buyers. The run up to the recession was a booming seller's market in most areas of the U.S. With several buyers often bidding for the same house, home prices kept reaching new heights.

Talk to a real estate agent in your area who can help you understand the market and how it's currently impacting buyers.