Rents are continuing to increase to the point that in most markets, it is significantly less expensive to own than to rent. Even after you factor repairs into the equation, the low interest rates, principal accumulation due to amortization, appreciation, and tax savings lower the monthly cost of housing.
Low inventories coupled with strong demand cause a rising effect on prices. Another reason for higher values is that builders, especially in certain price ranges, have not ramped up new home starts to keep up with the demand.
Recently, the Federal Reserve announced that they intend to start raising rates. Most experts agree that higher interest rates are a foregone conclusion; it is just a matter of when it will happen.
A $300,000 home today could cost considerably more one year from now. With a 20% down payment, if prices go up by 3% and the interest rates increase by .5%, the principal and interest payment at 3.625% would be $1,094.52 for 30 years compared to $1,198.05 at 4.125%.
The question is not necessarily “can you afford the additional $103.53 more per month that you’d have to pay for the home during the 30 year term?” More importantly, “How would you feel about having to pay more because you weren’t ready to make a decision and what would you have spent it on if you didn’t have to pay a higher payment?”