Nationally, the number of foreclosures in May reached the lowest point in three years. That’s not necessarily the sign of a recovering marketplace, however, as industry analysts and observers explain that that low number almost certainly indicates a backlog of defaults waiting to be processed. But lost in all the angst about the rough state of the housing market is what may be for many people a pretty substantial silver lining: some really outstanding–and in some cases even historic–opportunities to buy property or purchase a new home at very affordable prices and rock-bottom interest rates. It is not entirely certain if the real estate marketplace has truly hit bottom, but it is pretty close. With most eyes on a 2012-2013 recovery, housing prices could go a little lower yet, but there is starting to be value in the housing market if you are a savvy shopper. Interest rates are about as low as you are ever going to see them, and if you can afford it, right now might actually be an ideal time to be looking at real estate. The key there is “if you can afford it”. Just because the market is accommodating does not mean that you should ignore what makes good financial and personal sense for you. Some folks are starting to think strategically about buying. If you are one of them, be patient and make the most of this unique opportunity. Good advice at a time like this is to think about it this way: if you are considering buying a home, put in a bid that will make you smile if you get it accepted.