Load your pockets with cash and take a post midnight walk through (Central Park for New Yorkers, which is where I was living when I first saw this suggestion) and you will have more risk than you could ever imagine, your own life even as has been the case much too often.
From a high level (i.e. you do not get much about my personal business, this is for example only) I have been looking to buy a home since I moved to West Virginia at the end of 1998.
I moved to the Jacksonville region in August 2003, and to Greensboro August 2008 (something about August, my birth month a few years ago).
All I could see in all of those years, prior to 2010, was one huge bubble stretching thinner and thinner. Late 2009 my relationship with a lady convinced me that even if the bubble was not at maximum peak it was time to get serious.
The incentive got me, I bought a house out of foreclosure in March 2010. I did get a deal, and any regrets have nothing to do with the market or financing.
Prescience is another question. I have to say that the past couple of months I have seen foreclosure properties coming on the market that, even without the incentive, would be a bit better of a deal for a number of reasons.
The point is, risk taking includes assessment of the market, and all of the skill, intelligence and smarts cannot compensate for the benefits of pure dumb luck.
I was heavily into oil E&P in the 1970s and 1980s. One IPO by a friend (who will not be named, not even the state) filed bankruptcy in late 1985. His explanation was that jackup rigs (land drilling company) looked too cheap to pass up at 20 cents on the dollar in 1984. Sadly, they looked even cheaper at a nickel on the dollar in 1985.
I do hope the parallel with the past / current? recession is not lost on those who have read this far. We / BB&T does have quite a war chest of retained earnings and a number of other resources. There is a lot of risk, and those who pay too much and / or buy too early will take a lick. It will be interesting to see how CMA does with SBIB. I make no predictions, except it will be interesting.
Our guys want to make money for all of us, that is how they make their money in the final analysis. The money in that war chest could be paid in dividends which would be sort of like putting it in a mattress, but we might miss one of the few opportunities in a half century.