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Shopping for a home? It's prime season for house hunting

SUSAN FELT Hattiesburg American
IF YOU THINK the window of opportunity for buying a new house has closed - think again. It is still a perfect time to shop around. (Rankin Ledger file photo)

IF YOU THINK the window of opportunity for buying a new house has closed - think again. It is still a perfect time to shop around. (Rankin Ledger file photo)


Wooed by historically low housing prices, tax incentives and enticing interest rates, people once again are flirting with buying a home.



Whether they're first-time purchasers, second-home buyers or investors, the housing market's slide can have an upside, experts say.

A housing market top-heavy with foreclosures and short sales is helping drive the jaw-dropping sales prices, but wading into the real-estate market is not for the faint of heart.

"There are good opportunities, but you have to be very cautious," says Jay Butler, director of Arizona State University's Real Estate Center.

An estimated two-thirds of homes for sale are lender-owned properties, says Bob Bemis, CEO of Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service. Foreclosures and short sales - properties that are on the market for less than what the homeowner owes - have accounted for the majority of listings and help create the unpredictable climate, according to Brett Barry, real-estate agent with Realty Executives.


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