Q: Do you think is a good time to buy a new home on the outer side of New York?

A: I think the greater New York area appears to be one of the few places in the country where the market continues to be strong. That doesn’t mean that every neighborhood is appreciating at double-digit rates. But you’re seeing houses sell at a fairly rapid clip, and that’s the sign of a strong housing market.

As for your particular neighborhood, I don’t know if it’s the right time to buy because I’m not there, standing on your corner. You have to spend time checking out the neighborhood, visiting open houses and local retail stores to see what’s really going on.

When it comes to buying a house, a lot of the issues surrounding timing have to do with how long you plan to stay in your home. If you’re planning to be there for 5 to 7 years, you’ll probably do just fine.

On the other hand, if you’re asking me whether you can buy a house today and flip it for double the price next year, I’d have to say you’re unlikely to see that kind of return unless you have a very special property – and you get very lucky.

Published: Nov 7, 2001