Just a quick piece of advice for anyone considering buying real estate in trouble areas (e.g. Florida, California, New Jersey and so on) - when bubbles burst, the price decline rarely ends in 6-9 months. This bust has way further to go. Do not even think of buying until the following conditions have been met: 1) Total massacre in all real-estate related stocks - blue chips down 75%+, second tier stocks down 95%+, third tier stocks down 98%+ or delisted due to bankruptcy. 2) Spillover into the conventional banking sector - one or more major banks taking a huge annual loss due to real-estate related losses. 3) Incredibly negative sentiment not just to real-estate stocks, but to housing itself. Magazines like TIME or Business Week running covers on how it's time to be a renter etc. Market rumours of a major banking bankruptcy due to RE losses. 4) Politicisation of the RE industry and crash - governments attempting to prop up or rescue the sector, arranging bailouts and so on. 5) Loads of average joes getting completely wiped out on their homes/mortgages. Entire streets full of foreclosed properties, being sold at seemingly absurd and irrationally low prices. 6) Experienced and successful value investors starting to get tentatively interested in purchasing real-estate (this normally occurs before the bottom though, so it's a leading indicator rather than a good timing signal). Non-RE corporates starting to buy distressed RE companies and assets. 7) Serious difficulty in getting a mortgage for most properties, without a hefty deposit. 8) Former cheerleaders and raging bulls like Oldtrader, Convertibility, Smart Money and Hydroblunt finally throwing in the towel. 9) Former RE bears finally starting to say that the worst may be over, and buying a bit could make sense. 10) Social discord and unrest e.g. widespread confrontations with police due to squatting in foreclosed properties, rioting, protest marches, widespread hatred of banks & mortgage companies. 11) Realtors falling below lawyers and politicians in terms of popularity with the general public. Remember how tech stocks looked by mid 2002? That's the kind of total slaughter and overwhelming bearishness you want to see before thinking of getting back into real estate. The RE stocks will bottom first, but actual real estate could take a lot longer. Just to give some idea, here was how long it took to really bottom out and turn back up after previous real estate busts: California 1990: 5 years UK 1990: 3-8 years (depending on region) Hong Kong 1996/7: 7 years US 1929: 10-15 years Japan 1990: 14 years Berlin 1990: 14 years Buenos Aires 1999: 7 years I am not aware of any major real estate crash which bottomed in less than 3 years. We are only about 9 months or so into this one, so I would wait at least 2 more years before looking to buy. There are still interesting non-bubble sectors of the US. For example, Texas and parts of the Mid-West could be a good buy during the weakness over the next year or so, based on the good outlook for the oil and agriculture industries. And metro Detroit is having a once in a generation real estate depression - some houses are now literally cheaper than the cars being produced on the assembly lines there. The intelligent real estate investor should focus on these segments, not on the areas that are blowing up as we speak.