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Despite market woes, best time for big purchases may be now

By Lori Prichard | Posted - Aug. 8, 2011 at 9:59 p.m.



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SALT LAKE CITY -- Plan on making any big ticket purchases such as buying a house or car? Experts say now is the time to buy, because interest rates are extremely low.

Utahns who spoke to KSL said they expect those extremely low rates to rise. It's just a matter of time.

"I'll stay very cautious and careful and cash!" said Ogden resident Jacky Bell.

However, others have jumped at making big ticket purchases.

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"I figured interest rates were going up and Congress was pretty dysfunctional. It had to have an effect on markets," said Fred Tulley, who purchased a new car two weeks ago in anticipation of the downgrade of the U.S. government's long-term debt.

Used car dealer Ben Mitchell says his customers have been buying more out of necessity than from a fear of interest rates rising.

But, he warns, a rise could have an impact on his business.

"Short-term, yes," said Mitchell, owner of High End Rides. "But again, people are going to come back and get what they need to get."

Lately, he says he's been seeing a different kind of customer in the market for a used car and tinkered with his business model to adapt to the demand.

"We came into the market strictly as a high-end dealer," Mitchell said. "We've definitely moved that model over. A majority of our vehicles are family friendly vehicles, a kind of a necessity vehicle."

Jennifer Myrick necessity isn't transportation but housing. The 27-year-old is tired of renting and is ready to buy her first home.

"I'm trying to buy a house and wanting to put money away for my future" she said.

But Myrick says with an uncertain economic future, she may have to act now.

Realtor Brock Andersen says now is the time to buy, and buy for a bargain.

"Rates will have to go up. It's going to make homes a little more expensive," said Andersen, a Realtor with Prudential Utah Real Estate.

Knowing that, Myrick added, "I'm trying to get my house before that happens. But right now, I'm not sure about anything."

Email: lprichard@ksl.com

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Lori Prichard

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