Q: I am in the market for a two family home in the New York metro area. After reviewing home prices in the newspapers and speaking to a broker over the weekend, I realized that homes are exorbitantly priced in my target neighborhood.

This makes me wonder whether now is a good time to buy a home. I am concerned that if home values are on the high side, and I buy in at the high end, the value of my home would drop if there is a “market correction” — if such a thing exists in the real estate market.

What do you think?

A: I think it’s always a good time to buy a home if you buy one at the right price and on the right terms.

Prices are sky high now in New York, as they are in Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Boston. But there are always bargains to be found. Fixer-uppers aren’t much in demand now, as many home buyers lack either the time, capital or expertise to take them on.

Real estate tends to be cyclical, so you can bet at some point in the future prices will level off or drop somewhat. But no one knows when, or if, prices will go down. By waiting, you could be missing a good opportunity.

Why don’t you find a reputable real estate agent who can help you look around at what’s available and then make your decision.

Feb. 28, 2001.