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Real estate pros and cons of selling before buying

Rent-back plan can buy time to uncover real estate bargain

When homes were appreciating at a fast clip, first-time buyers couldn't buy fast enough. They were afraid of being priced out of the market. Many were. Repeat buyers -- homeowners who wanted to trade up or down -- didn't want to sell their current home before buying a replacement. They were determined not to miss out on equity buildup. In today's housing market, there's little chance that home prices will skyrocket in the near future. On Oct. 26, the Standard & Poor's/Case Shiller home-price indices showed deterioration of growth rates in both their 10- and 20-city composite home-price indices for August compared to July 2010. At the end of November 2010, Moody's Analytics forecast a continued decline in home prices through the first half of 2011, noting that some areas will do better than others. HOUSE HUNTING: Now is a time when you can sell your home first, rent for awhile if necessary, wait for the right home before you buy and, in some places, buy at a lower price...

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