I've talked with a few buyers lately who seem to share some hesitancy about actually buying a house in today's market. Is the house going to be worth less next month? Is there going to be a better home available if I just wait for it? What else can I do to make sure I'm getting the best possible deal?
These are all valid concerns and should be considered. However, I think that in many cases there is so much talk about housing in the mainstream news, people are becoming more nervous than they need to be - as if they're afraid of making a mistake.
First of all, if you love the house, can afford it, and are looking forward to living there - go ahead & buy it. The current market downturn is a temporary cycle, and if you're planning on living there for a few years it won't make much of a difference. Phoenix is still a destination city, with all forecasts pointing towards long-term growth and price appreciation.
Secondly, a better home may come available if you wait. But you also risk losing the home you're considering. I've seen several occassions this year where a buyer took a few days to think about a home, and it sold to someone else in the meantime. Again, if you love the home, you love the home. If you're not sure about it, then it probably isn't the right home for you.
As for getting a good deal, it is a buyer's market right now and you should feel happy with the deal you're making. That being said, not every seller out there is in a position where they're being forced to sell; many of them will simply refuse low offers, preferring instead to stay put until they receive an offer they like. Some sellers, on the other hand, are in a more desperate situation and will accept lower offers. You probably don't know which type of seller you're dealing with when you write your offer. You may never know which type of seller it was, or whether you could have offered less and still had your offer accepted. But if you are happy with the home, happy with the price, and thinking long-term, then it doesn't matter. Buy the home and don't look back. If you're investing or trying to make a short-term profit, well that's a different story altogether...