The real estate market is recovering, and mortgage interest rates are at an all-time low. Is now the time to buy a home?

According to Steve Cook, former vice president of public affairs for the National Association of Realtors, there are other issues at play. A number of hurdles stand in the way of potential homebuyers and their dream homes, including a limited inventory of homes on the market (with rising home prices as a result) and tight lending standards.Home prices are rising—great news for sellers—but are we facing another housing bubble like the one that got us here in the first place? And how long can the Fed keep interest rates this low?

“This has been a topsy-turvy recovery,” Cook says. “Instead of being led by a strong demand for housing, as in virtually all former housing recoveries, this one is being led by a shortage of homes for sale.”