Many saw the peak when it was occurring. Many will note the bottom as it occurs. We aren't there yet--but we are closer than we were a year ago. ;-)
As for Kurt's example, if you need to sell when it drops to $275k, not only did the house drop in value by $25k, but you also lost your closing costs of 2-3% of the original purchase price, plus you paid 6% commission to sell the house. So, the 10% or so drop in value actually results in about a 17% plus loss of cash.
In addition, in Kurt's example, the $325k price in five years assumes appreciation (which is unlikely in this market for quite some time) and even with such appreciation, you would still only be close to breakeven after considering real estate commissions on a sale in five years.
Only buy if you have enough money to take a big cash loss ast the bottom is not in sight.
your characterizations of sowal real estate lend me to believe you would be calculating opportunity cost in the middle of your vacation....