Is now a good time to buy a new home? - KSWO, Lawton, OK- Wichita Falls, TX: News, Weather, Sports. ABC, 24/7, Telemundo -

Is now a good time to buy a new home?

Lawton_The Lawton-Ft. Sill area will get 10,000 new residents due to Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC), and they all will need new places to live.  This weekend's "Tour of Homes" may just be the perfect place to house hunt.  The Lawton Homebuilder's Association will spotlight new houses throughout Comanche County on Saturday and Sunday, and builders and financers say Lawton is a great buyer's market for new homes.  Even if you are not new to Lawton, they say it's a great time to invest in a new home.

There will be 46 houses on display on the tour, and most were built over the past couple of years.  Prices on homes built in the past haven't risen, and low local mortgage rates makes it a great time to buy new.  Home builder Steve Barnes, on the board of the association, says that area builders haven't raised prices since 2006, so homes built recently that haven't sold remain at their original prices.  However, similar homes currently being built will be some $30,000 pricier.  "As these homes are sold off, and new homes are being built on today's, and 2009, material labor costs, these homes will exceed 10 to 15 percent - at a minimum - above what these are right now," said Barnes.

Financiers agree.  "People today have as good a deal as they would have had a year or two ago," said Bancfirst President Doug Meier.  "With the costs going up they probably could find a deal on homes that are already built."  He says that interest rates on mortgages are higher than a few years ago, and now are historically low.  "In Lawton we're fortunate enough to have national and regional companies - banks that are sound financially," he said.  "The rates now are at a 3-year low."

Meier says that mortgage lenders in Oklahoma typically are more traditional and conservative with their lending practices.  "Most of the banks in this state did not enter into the sub-prime lending, and stayed to the fundamentals that we've all grown up with in banking," he said.  He says that the avoidance of sub-prime loans has paid off for bankers and borrowers in the state.  "There's going to be some homes bought next weekend at some good prices," he said.

Barnes says that waiting to buy a new home isn't a good idea.  He says prices won't go down, and won't offset changes in interest rates.  He says that if you wait then the deals will be snatched up and you'll be left buying at 2009 prices.

For more information about the Tour of Homes visit www.lawtonhomebuilders.com.
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