The slow and steady recovery of the economy is turning out to be a blessing for the home buying market. As we see 2012 come to a close, people who have yet to purchase their own homes are wondering if the next year is the right time for them to take the leap. The answer is a resounding YES!Looking back, 2012 was a good year to buy homes because of the low mortgage interest rates. People are gaining confidence in their financial capabilities and they have started to reinvest in real estate cautiously. Home prices are down, inventories are low and foreclosed properties are being snatched left and right by eager home buyers.For those of you who are planning to purchase a home, 2013 is still a good year for home buying. While the prices are climbing steadily, you will notice that the median home prices are still lower than before. Single family homes are still over $178,000 – 11% higher than last year but still significantly lower than the prices back in 2007 – before the recession.With the mortgage rates still low, you are sure to get a good deal from home sellers. First time home buyers or those who have lost their homes to the recession should build up their funds to take advantage of both low prices and interest rates.The only blemish on the horizon are the stricter standards imposed by the lenders – a result of the recent housing crash. Despite this piece of intimidating news, this can still prove to be beneficial for people who have maintained a good credit standing and a sizable cash on hand for down payment purposes. They can go into their home buying endeavor as soon as possible.If you are short on cash and you don’t think that you will be approved by conventional lenders, try FHA backed loans. FHA stands for the Federal Housing Administration. Since these loans are backed by the government, the lender has more security in this investment. They can give you approval despite a not so ideal credit standing and lack of down payment finances. This is actually what a lot of first time home buyers are doing. Of course, there is a qualification process like low income, sole provider, etc. You can read more about it in the FHA website.Home buying in 2013 is still very much encouraged – the forecasts can show us that. However, you need to review your personal finances carefully to make sure that you are truly ready for this major investment next year. The real estate market is still in favor home buyers but that does not mean you can throw caution in the wind. Get your finances in order and if you have a steady job to support it, go ahead and buy your own home.