The following question was posted on Trulia Voices on  January 7, 2009 and the following is my answer to the question

K asked. I am moving to Cumberland County, PA (Boiling Springs/ Carlisle) and would like to be a first time home owner. Unfortunately my job is a two year term. Is it smart to buy a house, as I've heard I would lose money, especially with houses depreciating?

K. Great question. Most people would say no to you purchasing a home and then reselling it in two years. My perspective is there are opportunities to purchase a home and not lose any money within your time frame. In most real estate cycles in recent years, most buyers that were looking to sell in two years were people that were transferred into the area and had most, if not all of their costs paid by the employer, so they had very little personal financial loss to be anticipated within that time frame.

My recommendation is to review the price range of homes that you are considering and calculate your total monthly housing costs and compare that to the amount you may pay in rent for the time frame. Yes, there are going to be costs in purchasing a home, but there possibly may be some tax benefits, not associated with the $7500. tax credit that may make it beneficial to you to purchase a home rather then renting.

The local market has seen a small decline in the average selling price in 2008 compared to 2007, but in many areas of our market AND a small increase in the selling price compared to 2006. I would anticipate a rebound in our local real estate market in 2009 when you look at some of the home values coupled with the extremely attractive interest rate environment we have right now. Good luck in your search and if you need any additional information, please contact me. Thanks, Don.