Investing in a home on the course...for life

         The Wall Street Journal Report "Your Money Matters" in today's  (Monday) edition features an essay that should be of interest to those contemplating purchase of a second home or relocating to a permanent home.  Contributing Editor Dave Kansas sees a warming trend in the housing market through the comments and actions of others.  He says most of his "risk-taking friends" are not headed into the stock market but rather into real estate, sensing the current housing market as "the perfect opportunity to find something at a bargain-basement price."  But Mr. Kansas' friends are no fools rushing in:  He reports they have no desire to "'stretch too far in making a purchase...They want to be doubly sure before making a move."

         As if to validate the point, a Golf Community Reviews reader wrote me yesterday that he and his wife are beginning

Buying your dream home on the course soon?  It matters not if you time the bottom of the market exactly.

to look at Pinehurst as a possible retirement venue, but they are a good seven to 10 years from relocating permanently from their Michigan home.  This strikes me as absolutely the right approach:  Recognize that we are in a strong buyer's market, do your homework until you remove all doubt about the property you are interested in, and then make a commitment only if reason indicates the deal is bulletproof, keeping in mind that whatever you buy is likely never to appreciate the way properties did in the decade before 2006.

         And as I have written here ad nauseum before, if you are buying your dream home on the course to live out most of your retirement days, not to flip it in a year or two, it doesn't matter whether you buy at the precise bottom of the market or a little after the market starts to come back.  As Mr. Kansas sums up his article, "it's about buying something that you can touch, feel and see -- and imagine holding onto for a long time."

         The article is posted at wsjonline.com.  If you cannot access it, drop me a note and I will email you a copy.