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Back with another question or two. As you may recall, I asked last week about whether to consider a seller's counter offer. As it turns out, we decided to say "no" to the counter offer of $325. Our offer was $300. Now, the seller's realtor has come back saying that she'll give up some of her commission (apparently she's a friend of the home owner) and we can purchase for $310. The assessed value (by the town) is $310. The current list price is $335. Comparables indicate that the price is "in the zone". The realtor's (buyers agent) opinion is that the comparables indicate $315-ish. The house is in the Boston MA suburbs.

New questions:

1) Should we jump in and buy our first house or will prices come down so much over the short term that it's worth giving up on this house and waiting? (Or maybe just staying where we are with our low offer and seeing what happens?)

2) And, to what extent should we factor in possible job loss? I have no reason to think that layoffs are in our future. But as I listen to the news and hear from friends about their companies, it gives me reason to think. Is there any insurance that we can purchase to account for this possibility? We don't plan on purchasing PMI as we have 20% to put down. The State of MA, however, does have some sort of free insurance for those who do have PMI. Should we consider putting less money down?

I know full well that no one has a crystal ball (or at least one that works for this purpose) but since this is all so new to me, I thought I'd ask for input.

We can afford the payments, including taxes and insurance and the repairs that need to be done. We like the house. It has everything inside that we want with one exception and that's central AC. And it is in what we consider to be a nice location. The downsides are that it's a bigger lot size than we'd been looking for but too big is better than too small, right? And the tax implications don't seem to be huge. The only other down side is that the house was originally one story, and an addition was added for a second story. This leaves the house a bit funny looking, not awful at all, but I wonder if a potential buyer will, 10+ years from now, have the same reservation.

Thanks for all advice!
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