Every day we are bombarded with statistics and data. Housing starts are up, housing starts are down; more job losses, unemployment is improving; foreclosures, short sales, housing inventory, interest rate movements and much more. It’s enough to make your head spin.
There’s an old saying that claims: “All real estate is local”. It infers that national numbers are good reference points, but that individual communities (or even pockets within communities) can have strikingly different realities. When prices are falling nationally, there are some places where prices are holding steady or rising as an example.
I believe that even that old saying is too broad. Buying a home or structuring the financing of a home isn’t a local phenomenon….it is a personal one. It’s the same as the economy. Even though we have been suffering through a national downturn, many are having their best years ever. Unemployment, foreclosure, even homelessness are tragic statistics and things to be aware of. But, for those not in those situations, you need to make decisions that will best serve your PERSONAL goals.
To that end, it is a great time to buy a home, for the reasons touted in this space regularly:
- Low interest rates make more house more affordable
- Tremendous available inventory
- Home prices are in line with income levels once again
It is also a terrific time to sell. I heard an agent say just last week that there is NO INVENTORY available. He further explained that properly priced homes are selling almost immediately and the only homes on the market more than 30 days are ones that won’t sell because of unreasonable seller expectations (and agents who aren’t strong enough to deliver the truth to those sellers). A strong statement, yes- but one worth taking into consideration as you ponder your PERSONAL situation. And remember, sellers become buyers. They get the advantages buyers are enjoying as well.
My advice is don’t be a sheep following media hype which analyzes data that reflects the past (and not the present or future) or looks at national numbers or assumes that your job, credit standing or savings are in jeopardy. YOU need to look at your individual life and decide for yourself.