According to many real estate reports, chances are that we will never see mortgage rates and house prices this low again in our lifetime. Here are seven reasons why now is not just a good time, but a great time to buy:

1.  Mortgage rates are the lowest they’ve been since the 1930’s, which means you can afford more house now than you will be able to afford when the rates go up (and they will go up!) For every 1% increase in lender rates, your buying power is decreased by 8%, which means that if you can afford a $300,000 house now with a 4.00% mortgage rate, you’ll be able to afford a $276,000 house at 5.00%. Moreover, when it gets to that rate, chances are that house prices will have gone up, too; you’ll be hit by two fronts.

2. It’s a buyer’s market. The supply exceeds the demand. Unfortunately, that supply includes a lot of foreclosures and short sales, which has brought house prices down. With this scenario, the buyer has a lot of choices and negotiating power.

3.  Reports indicate that lenders are loosening credit standards; this will improve the mortgage credit conditions.

4.  For those who quality, homebuyer assistance is available, which makes it affordable for more people to buy a home. Check with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) or the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) for information on available assistance.

5. It’s cheaper to buy than to rent a comparable home. Besides, you build equity in a home purchase– not so for a rental.

6. Investing opportunities abound. Warren Buffet told CNBC that houses are a better investment than stocks. He went on to say he’d buy “a couple hundred thousand single family homes” if it were practical.

7. As mortgage rates go up, so will home prices. Those waiting for the market to improve before selling their home will miss out on getting more house now than they will in 5 or 6 years. You may take a loss on selling your home now, but chances are you will more than make up for the loss by buying a bottom-priced house at a great mortgage rate.

2012 is said to be the year to buy and/or invest. There are some great deals out there. Why not make them yours?