Recently a friend asked if now is a good time to buy a second home in the U.S. Like a lot of Canadians, he feels this is bound to be a great investment. After all, U.S. home prices have dropped by half, on average, from their peak of a few years ago. In addition, the U.S. dollar is now in the lower half of its range of the past seven years, from 90 cents to $1.30. If you buy now, you might profit from a rise in the price of the house, and a rise in the U.S. dollar.
However, nobody can predict future U.S. dollar values. For that matter, you can never know if the real estate market will rise, fall or go sideways. That's why it's better to take a portfolio approach to real estate purchases, just as you do in buying stocks. Before you buy a second home, in the U.S. or anywhere else, look at the economics of buying a first home.
By Pat McKeough | Sun Feb 27 2011
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