Best time to buy a home? 65% of homeowners say right now

Contrary to headlines announcing falling home values, foreclosures and other consumer blues, there's now news that many homeowners are happy with their current homes and think this is a great time to buy a home.

According to a recent Pew Research Center Social & Demographic Trends survey, 90% of participating homeowners view their home as a comfort in life instead of a burden, even as market values drift downward.

These happy homeowners also tend to give high marks to their community for cost of living and available cultural activities, and though 79% say it's a bad time to sell a home in their area, 65% feel it's a good time to buy there.

This trend squares with this week's news that February home sales were up 5.1%, the biggest surge since 2003. As for the folks who regard themselves as burdened homeowners, nearly half (45%) say they're likely to move in the next five years but expect to have a rough time doing so.

Nine in ten of these burdened owners say it's a bad time to sell a home in their area, and are staying put for the present in communities they gave fair-to-poor marks for cost of living and cultural aspects. So, it's still mostly home sweet home for many owners around the country, and those looking to join their ranks can find great opportunities in the search well-priced properties

Tom Kraeutler is the Home Improvement Editor for AOL and co-author of My Home, My Money Pit: Your Guide to Every Home Improvement Adventure. He delivers home makeover tips each week as host of The Money Pit, a nationally syndicated home improvement radio program.

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