A real estate window of opportunity

Part 1: Stars aligned for first-time buyers

If you are a first-time buyer who has been trying to decide whether to buy your first home, this could be the right time for you. There is a window of opportunity that may be closing soon for some buyers, and here are just a few indications of how the market may be properly aligned for you right now:

1. The lowest interest rates since the 1950s
Interest rates are close to all-time lows, hovering in the mid-5 percent range. When I started in the real estate business in 1978, interest rates were 9.75 percent and soon hit 10 percent. During the 1980s downturn they jumped as high as 21 percent. In the early 1990s they reached 12 percent.