Unless you’re omniscient, the chances of you perfectly timing the market when you buy a home in San Francisco, are slim to none. But, if you try to be kind of, almost, or close-enough to perfect, you’ll be able to buy when it’s a smart time to buy real estate in San Francisco and sell when it’s a smart time to sell. It’s called buying in the zone.

Right now (and for the past couple of years), we’ve been in that strategic zone for buying a home in San Francisco, whether a condo in Noe Valley, a Soma loft or a Bernal Heights single family home. No matter if you’re a first time buyer or a homeowner looking to trade up into a bigger home in a new neighborhood, ideally, you want to buy when the market is down and/or interest rates for home loans are low. Well, guess what, folks? Both are true right now and it’s kind of unusual to have them together.

But back to home buying in the zone… this weekend Kathleen Pender’s Net Worth column in the Business section of the Chronicle offered 11 Tips on Saving, Spending for 2011. #2 is Don’t be Greedy and is directly about this point of trying to buy in the zone rather than trying to time the market perfectly.

“If you’re thinking about purchasing a home but you’re waiting for further reductions in price or interest rates you’re setting yourself up to miss a great opportunity. Don’t be greedy. If you find a home you like, that you can afford (and only you can make that determination – not the broker) and you can get 30-year, fixed-rate, fully amortized financing for anywhere near 5%, go for it. The market can move on a dime and those who wait will be left in the dust.” – Rick Harper

Is buying a home in San Francisco on your resolutions list for 2011? If so, there’s no time like the present to get pre-approved for financing and begin the house hunt. And, if it’s not on your list but you have good income, stable employment, and think you want to stick around San Francisco Bay Area for the next 5 +/- years, maybe it should be.

Be, do, have.

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