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The price is right ... for homebuyers

With housing prices declining, local real estate experts say homebuyers are in luck.

National housing prices fell 12.2 percent in February from a year ago and have declined for 24 consecutive months, according to First American CoreLogic and its Home Price Index.

Homes in the Bremerton-Silverdale area decreased more than 8 percent in February compared to a year ago, according to First American CoreLogic.

Silverdale Reid Real Estate broker and manager Cathy Doney said home prices have been steadily declining since 2007, but not all price ranges are seeing a huge decrease.

“It’s not a one-size-fits-all kind of thing,” she said.

Bremerton Windermere associate broker Victor Targett said he’s noticed a drop in home prices since late 2006, but agrees with Doney that not all price ranges are seeing a large decline.

Targett said the prices of homes below $250,000 have eroded 25-30 percent, reverting back to 2003 levels.

“Some price ranges have eroded more than others,” he said. “That’s just the facts, that’s the way it is.”

Targett said there is demand for houses and there are plenty of houses on the market for buyers to choose from.

“Inventory levels are good in that there’s a lot of choices,” he said.

Doney and Targett said people trying to sell homes need to be competitive when it comes to pricing if they want to sell the property quickly.

“Price it right when they first put it on the market, otherwise it gets overlooked,” Doney said.

Targett also said sellers should price homes properly for the given environment.

“Have it show well and have it priced well and forget about what it was worth in 2005, 06 and 07,” he said.

Both Doney and Targett said now is the time for people to buy houses because prices and interest rates are down.

“Right now is the best,” Doney said. “It truly is the best time I’ve seen in a long time.”

“Interest rates are at historic lows, which is great,” Targett added.

Doney said people may shy away from buying houses because of the turbulent economy, but she said now is a great time to check out the housing market.

“This is the opportune time to find a good value, no doubt about it,” Targett said.

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