Often the term "Contrarian Investor" is heard in reference to a maverick such as Carl Icahn, Warren Buffet or even George Soros. These mavericks understand the concept of buying low and selling high. In this time of financial upheaval, this term can be applied to a savvy homebuyer. Not a speculator, but a homebuyer. Someone who will actually live in the dwelling being purchased. For the long term. Right now, in many areas, the perception is that homes are dropping in value even if they are not. A smart homebuyer will recognize this as a buyers' market. Just like car dealers that want to get rid of the old year models from their showrooms to make way for the new, many homeowners will accept legitimate offers and terms because they fear nobody else will come along.
Everyone needs a place to live. And even though utility costs may be going up, and the perception is that homeowners will take it in the chin, the unspoken fact is that renters will also pay more. So doesn't it make sense to take advantage of low mortgage rates [not record lows as promoted by some, or rates tied to Fed rates as falsely advertised by others] and low home prices while both are low? This is the best of times and the worst of times. But if you take the optomistic view and look at home purchase opportunities now, you may be able to smile broadly later. Because you will be one of the smart investors.