Editor’s note: This is a transcript of the audio file.

Home prices are low and so are mortgage rates. So does that mean you should buy a house now? I’m Holden Lewis with your Bankrate.com Personal Finance Minute.

Houses are more affordable now than a few years ago because interest rates and prices are both low. Nationally, Fannie Mae predicts that home prices will fall a few more months, and stabilize at the end of the year.

But keep in mind that real estate is local. Prices could be falling in your state overall, but rising in your target neighborhood. And no one knows when interest rates will rise. But they will.

Before deciding whether now “is the time to buy a house,” ask yourself if you’re ready. If you have a stable job and you know you’ll stay put for at least the next three years, you might be in position to buy. If not, it’s best to play it safe. And keep renting.

One other thing. Don’t think of home buying as a real estate investment — at least, not as a short-term one. Lots of people lost money by thinking of their houses as investments.

For more real estate news and tips, visit Bankrate.com. I’m Holden Lewis.