The fact remains, homes are now more affordable for more people than they’ve been in years. And today’s historically low mortgage rates make monthly payments much easier to work into the family budget. Prices may have bottomed out indeed. The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indexes show that nationally, home prices are 3.6% above levels a year ago. For buyers who expect to live in their home a while, many observers feel this is clearly a very smart time to purchase.