EUGENE, Ore. -- Terry and Lindsey Chen have been working for years to buy their own home -- and all that work is about to pay off.
"The prices are so low," Terry Chen told KVAL News. "The interest rates have dropped to such a point that we figured this is probably the best time for us to buy."
It's a big decision for this young couple, one they feel was helped by the slumping economy.
"I think we've gotten more house than we could have a couple years ago," Lindsey Chen said. "This is kind of one of the upsides, I guess, of all the terrible things that have gone on."
Mortgage broker JR Irwin said the real estate market is like a perfect storm.
"You've got the lowest interest rates we've seen since the 1930s," Irwin said. "You've got a very good supply of houses."
For the Chens, the government's $8,000 tax credit for first-time homebuyers made a big difference.
"We're in the price range to where every thousand dollars makes a difference," Terry Chen said, "and $8,000, I think that was enough to kind of put it over the top in the direction of, 'Yes, let's go ahead and do this.' "
If you're thinking about buying a home, Irwin suggested you ask yourself four questions:
- How is your credit?
- How stable is your job?
- Are you going to be a long-term resident of where you live?
- What kind of hosue can you afford to buy?
According to Irwin, government guidelines for loans now keep buyers pretty much within their limitations.
Real estate professionals can help, too.
Realtor Ben Mondragon Jr. has been working with the Chens through the twists and turns of buying their first home.
"The last thing I want the buyer to do is be married to a house payment," he said. "So just because you can afford it doesn't mean it's going to fit into your lifestyle."
Finding a split-level house in south Eugene solidified the Chen's decision to buy.
"We found the right place at the right time," Terry Chen said. "It's a no brainer."