Now may be the perfect time to invest in your local real estate market!

Some economists believe that the housing market is on an upswing. With lower interest rates available and lower home prices, now is the time to gauge your local real estate market. It may be the perfect time to buy if you're ready for a home that is a little bigger or you're ready to invest in real estate. However, some experts predict another crash in the housing market, invest carefully.

Location, location, location

shutterstock_127728257 The biggest factor of your local real estate market is your location. While some cities have thousands of homes at low prices on the market for months, the real estate market in other cities is quite competitive. Experts calculate the number of properties for sale in a specific area as well as the prices of those homes and the market activity to determine if the surrounding real estate market is thriving or in a slump. You can research your local real estate market data at websites like DQNews .

Ask a real estate expert

shutterstock_167842049 It's helpful to have a real estate agent by your side when you want to buy a new home. These professionals can tell you what the real estate market is like for the type of home you want to buy. An agent may tell you that the average sale price in your city is skewed because several larger homes recently sold for $500,000 or more, which offsets the average real estate sale price. That may have no realistic impact on the prices of two-bedroom homes which are hovering around $100,000.

Real estate agents can create a comparative market analysis (CMA) to compare homes with the features you want in areas you want to buy. This tool helps home sellers price their property and it can help you determine what an appropriate offer price would be in your local real estate market.

Talk to investors

shutterstock_171648764 If you want to buy an investment property, hire a real estate agent who is experienced in investment properties. Although the housing market is improving in many areas of the country, economists are split on whether it will continue to improve or go into another slump. Investing in a foreclosed home so you can repair it and resell it may or may not be a good idea right now - it is up to you to do the research and view the statistics of your own local real estate market..

If you do plan to buy a rental property, research your local rental market to determine rental rates and vacancy percentages. In addition, talk to other investors; many real estate agencies also invest in rental properties. Ask your agent for referrals of investors to speak with before buying.

Knowing your local real estate market will help you make a wise decision whether you want to upgrade your residence or start a real estate investment portfolio. To look at real estate for sale in your area, enter your zip-code above.