Hello Ms. Glink, I heard your show on Talk of the Nation and thought you had a lot of interesting things to say. My husband and I are looking at buying a home in St. Paul. We’d be first time home buyers and will be living off my teacher’s salary for the next 2 years while my husband finishes grad school. Do you think it is a smart time for us to buy? Also, with all the talk of the big run-ups on the west coast, little mention was given to our area in Minneapolis /St. Paul. Has this area also seen a big run up in prices? What factors should we consider before making such a huge decision? Thanks so much for any advice!!!

Minneapolis/St. Paul has not experienced the same kind of run-up as in other parts of the country.

Again, as I pointed out on NPR, the question you have to ask yourself is this: How long am I going to live in this house? If the answer is 5 or even 7 years or less, then you should certainly consider renting. If you’re going to be there for 5 to 7 years and then move to a neighborhood in a great school district (unless that is where you’re going to buy now), then it may be just fine.

What you’ll want to do is find a terrific real estate agent who really knows the local market who can introduce you to different, affordable parts of the area and who can advise you on what’s happening on a local, local, local basis.

Thanks for listening to NPR. Good luck. (PS: Check out my book 100 Questions Every First-Time Home Buyer Should Ask 3rd Edition. You’ll find it helpful, I think.)

June 27, 2007.