A loud “Amen!” with regard to reducing your exposure to “variable-rate or interest-only loans”, but damn, even we’re not as bearish as financial consultant, and author (Sell Now! : The End of the Housing Bubble), John Talbott:
“According to San Francisco’s LoanPerformance.com, half of all Bay Area home buyers used interest-only loans to make their purchases last year. With so much of their income already relegated to their mortgage payment, says Talbott, even a small rise in interest rates will push many to — and beyond — their limit. For others, a divorce or job loss will spell financial ruin.”
“The problem, he says, is that home prices are way overvalued — just as Internet stocks were during the 1990s before that sky collapsed. As evidence, he points to the growing discrepancy between Bay Area home prices and rents, an indicator commonly used by economists to determine a property’s true value.”
“People should protect themselves, Talbott says, by divesting themselves of any investments in real estate, including stock. They should sell their vacation homes. They should get out of any variable-rate or interest-only loans. They might even consider selling their primary residence, investing that money in something other than real estate, and renting for awhile.”
Here’s what we say: if you won’t be able to afford your “investment” (i.e. property) should interest rates rise and/or the market turns, then now might be a good time to either consider selling, or to reconsider any irrationally driven (e.g. “prices always go up” or “if you don’t buy now, you’ll be left behind forever”) urges to buy.
Otherwise, just don’t worry about it (too much).