Debate Info

Rent! Market's still declining Buy! It's a buyers market
Debate Score:11
Total Votes:11
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 Rent! Market's still declining (1)
 Buy! It's a buyers market (4)

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First time home buyers--Is it currently better to rent or to buy in the DC market?

Rent! Market's still declining

Side Score: 2

Buy! It's a buyers market

Side Score: 9
Winning Side!
2 points

A lot of construction that was started recently in the housing bubble is going to be finished soon. People that have held onto their places hoping they don't lose their value will sell as they need the money with the economic downturn.

Finally, potential for future rate cuts make buying housing a bad idea at this point. Maybe inflation will make it better to lock in as the dollar's value drops, but it won't cancel out the oversupply of houses.

Side: Rent! Market's still declining
4 points

I think it primarily depends on your time horizon. Historically speaking, it is a great time to buy. Interest rates are still at historic lows, housing prices have come down, and there is much more selection in the market so you can wait to find the perfect place. But, like your 401(k), you need to have a long term perspective on it and not think short term.

Buying (aka acquiring assets) is always preferable to renting as you can begin to build equity in a place and enjoy the tax write-off in the meantime. Not to mention the non-monetary benefits of homeownership. While the market may or may not be at the bottom right now, timing the housing market is just as futile as trying to time the "perfect" time to buy a stock.

If you're looking for something that you can buy and flip for a $100k profit in a year you may want to look elsewhere. But, if you're looking for a place that over the long term will generate strong ROI and in the meantime give you a place to call your own (and some nice tax breaks), I think you should strongly consider buying. Check out the article below for more info.

Supporting Evidence: WSJ-A Good Time to Buy a House (
Side: Buy! It's a buyers market
3 points

Fear of buying a house because of our dwindling economy will only continue to add to our dwindling economy. If you find a house that you can AFFORD and you like it, don't worry about whether or not it will drop more in price (unless you only wanna live there briefly of course), because in the end, real estate with almost always pay off. Just be wary about what you can afford.

Side: Buy! It's a buyers market
1 point

I think buying in the DC area is better because property value is increasing, due to all the new construction, such as the staduim and other places. DC is tearing down all the neighborhoods which is crime ridden, to make DC more tourist friendly and marketable to future homebuyers

Side: Buy! It's a buyers market
1 point

Go fer it! I just bought my first house a few months ago. Although I'm not in DC, I'm sure I'd have done the same thing. Waiting gives you no advantage unless you want to save up more of a down payment. Houses aren't likely to get too much cheaper at this point. Take advantage of the foreclosure auctions, if you have the means. Continuing to pay rent when you can afford a home is throwing money down a black hole and does very little (if anything) to help your credit. A house--properly paid back on-time--will do wonders for whatever your current credit might be.

Side: Buy! It's a buyers market