Reader Email That Sums Up Housing Mess

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I'll be heading off on vacation next week, so no new posts, unless of course my travels compel me to note something housing-worthy that I see along the way.

And regarding my posts: I want to thank all of you who have written in to the blog. I try to read as many of your posts as possible, but as you might have guessed, my beat is a bit busy these days, and so I can't get to all of them.

I do try to reply to the most urgent questions. Some of you have expressed concern that I'm not being an impartial journalist on the blog...and you're right, I'm not. That's not what a blog is about. You can rest assured that my reports on CNBC TV will report both sides of every story and as many cold hard facts as I can cram into the 90 seconds I'm usually given. The blog, on the other hand, is an outlet for me to take what I know and learn on the beat and offer my own opinions. Take 'em or leave 'em. That's up to you.

Before I go, I wanted to share with you all an email into the Realty Check this week that really sums up our situation in housing. It was titled: "Please Help!!! Confused Potential Buyer"

Dear CNBC,

My name is Kyle. I am a 28 year old car salesman (foreign manufacturer w/ a viable future) who is contemplating purchasing a home. I currently have saved a decent amount of money for a down payment on a home, but with all this negative news in the housing sector I am extremely concerned about putting most of my life savings into a home. I am currently living at home (to save $ for my own home) and am ready (I think) to take a step beyond.

In this chaotic housing market, would you recommend jumping into the market to now (just because I can?) or should I wait a little bit longer for better rates (4.25%?!?!), a cleaner credit report, and a better debt to income ratio (I could pay off my current auto loan). I have no credit card debit, and my only other obligation is a $225/m student loan.

The closer I get to pulling the trigger on a purchase or lease; I seem to get cold feet. There seems to be a lot of conflicting ideas (good and bad) of when would be a good time to buy in this environment. I am also considering renting with a friend for the next year. This scenario would allow me to pay off my car, continue to save, and still get me out of the parent’s house. Would I be missing the bus if I wait for another 6 months to a year to purchase a home??

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Kyle makes a lot of good points, and it's hard to counsel him in today's ever-changing financial environment. I fear that so many first-time home buyers like him are sitting on the fence, with good reason, and that is what is standing in the way of a housing recovery. It will be up to the new administration to jumpstart housing (don't worry, I won't go into my views on how they should do that---been there, done that).

But it will also be up to average Americans to take a chance on our economy again, after bearing the wrath of laughable oversight, reckless corporate leadership and broken market systems. A home should be a place to take comfort and a comfortable, albeit conservative, nest egg. The greatest holiday gift to all of us would be to remember that.

Happy Holidays!


Questions? Comments?