Remember when everyone was making money hand over fist in the real estate market? Boy the sun was shining then. Now that it is raining cats and dogs in the real estate market, I believe the sun is shining for investors. Sorry to mix my metaphors. I will not go out on a limb and say this is the perfect time to buy because "perfect" means different things to different people. Some investors are looking for income producing properties, and others are looking for an end return on their investment.
With that caveat behind me, I will say this; it is the perfect time to look for/at whatever type of property appeals to you. The market will be flat for some time, so many will want to wait for prices to move up before they buy. I respect that. However, the best properties will be purchased and therefore off of the market first. As prices rise it will be the inferior properties that will be left to choose from. The sellers and developers I am talking to are increasingly willing to deal if you have cash and a quick close. We are emerging from the winter of real estate market cycle and headed into spring. Spring is the time to sew our seed for future harvest. As investors we take on risk, that is just part of the job. That does not mean we need to take on unlimited risk. We can measure risk and take steps to mitigate for present or future risk. If you are concerned that you may buy something too soon, then you may want to take on one or more partners to share that risk with you. Another way to mitigate risk is to only buy when the investment pays for itself in terms of cashflow. The way to make money going forward is to NOT take large risks but a lot of calculated risks.
The market of 2005 is gone forever. It was too good to last and was therefore destined to end. There is nothing wrong with assets that do not double in value every year or two. While the stock market has been trading sideways for the last 6 months I have been buying stocks and selling options against those stocks to lock in a 25% return. In some cases I made 25% and in others I only made 25% while the stock doubled. My point is this; if you protect your principal with risk mitigation, there is nothing wrong with double digit gains. So, while it is raining cats and dogs, let's make hay while the sun shines. I am telling you the future is so bright we will need to wear shades.