I advised her that as long as she felt no compelling emotional need to own the roof over her head, was willing to take the (very slight) chance that home prices haven't bottomed out and the (very real) chance that interest rates might be higher whenever she decided to buy, she was perfectly justified in waiting. But I also reminded her that a renter's life may be more unstable, as landlords raise rents when sales are low, and some landlords get foreclosed upon, leaving tenants without much recourse.
"If you look at buying a home as purely an investment, then you need to do a pro-con of known economic factors before you decide if you will buy", I said. "But if you add in the satisfaction and security of ownership, and the uncertainty of the state of our economy, I think the pluses and minuses start to even out. Then it is a matter of looking at what is on the market and seeing if there's a house that's just right for you. "
She thanked me for my time, and said she'd call me again when she decided to buy, "sometime between 2009 and 2012!"