I keep trying to tell people that whether this economy is ‘bad’ depends on perspective. Those of us who work hard, save money, live within our means, and mind our credit ratings actually have some great opportunities available to us right now. Sure, there is some uncertainty, but depressed home prices and low interest rates make this a great buyers’ market for people looking at real estate.

In our case, we live in a very expensive area. A few years ago, mediocre townhouses in our area sold for $500,000 or more and home ownership seemed to be completely out of our reach. We were content to live in apartments for the immediate future.

Today though, even decent brand-new townhouses can be had in our area for significantly less. The going interest rate is nice and low (in the 4-5 percent range), and—despite all the media blather about a ‘credit freeze’—credit is widely available for people who have minded their credit scores and don’t present significant risk to lenders.

And I’m not just spouting off either; Melissa and I are very seriously considering buying a home when our lease expires in October—an opportunity that we would not have except for a well-timed economic downturn. We had an initial meeting with a Realtor yesterday and have already started identifying nice townhouses in our price range ($300,000 or less). Even better, as of today we have been pre-approved for a mortgage up to $400,000 (!!). Credit freeze? What credit freeze?

I’m sure I’ll have more on this subject in the coming months ;-).