Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A look back at Groundhogs Day and a Call to Action

Puxsutawney Phil, the Seer of Seers, Prognosticator of all Prognosticators, saw his shadow, thus predicting an extended Winter. Given his stature and fame, I wonder if good ol' Phil would mind giving us his forecast on the country's current economic condition.

Punxsutawney Phil

While we may not yet be able to change the weather, we can unite and strongly influence the economy.

The news relayed by the national media outlets paint a grim and gloomy portrait. This information may speak truths about some markets, however it is not a fair representation of the status of all individual and local markets. As a result of the national media, consumer confidence is at an all-time low. We as a nation can take action to jump start an economic recovery one house at a time.

If you are a homeowner who is still deciding whether or not to sell, here are a few things to consider.

  1. Let's say you want to upsize your home. Now is a great time to do so. Be open to the idea that you may take a loss on the sale of your current home, but by the same account (or discount) you will be receiving a better price on the nice new larger home. When you do the math you will find that your savings on the new home will be greater than the loss on your old one, which means an overall net savings for you.
  2. If down-sizing is what you had in mind, whether to save money or because of financial difficulties, there may be a solution for you, as well. Banks are more willing, now more than ever, to work with you and help you absorb the financial loss and avoid foreclosure.
  3. If you don't have to sell, move or you're not struggling to make your payments then don't sell. It's a buyer's market. You can afford to wait until it's a balanced or seller's market again. You may want to consider refinancing to take advantage of the low rates.

On the other hand, if you are looking to buy a home, now is the perfect time. It's called a buyer's market for a reason. I'll give you three.

  1. Low Rates!!!
  2. Low Prices!!!
  3. Lots of Choices!!!

It's simple. Mortgage rates are at an historical low. Did you know that in terms of your payments a 1% reduction in rate is the equivalent of a $10,000 reduction in the home purchase price? Let me put it another way. The lower rates mean that you can buy more house for the money. With lower prices, it means you get double the bang for your buck. Not to mention you have your pick of homes with high inventory levels.

If you are a buyer waiting for the market to hit rock bottom, I suggest you get off the fence and buy now. There are only a lucky few who can claim to have bought when the market bottomed out and even they didn't realize it until after the fact. The truth is, as you patiently wait for the market to hit bottom you will not know it has until prices begin to go back up. At that point it's too late. You missed it. Bummer. Buying now will insure you of getting a good price, rate and selection. In turn, you will be helping out sellers who may be struggling to make ends meet, avoid foreclosure or take a new job through a relocation. This my friends will help families free up what was once disposable income that can be spent on other goods and services, which will lend to the local economy and begin to spread until the economy is once again headed in the right direction. It's a domino effect and buyer's hold the key.

Still not convinced that now is the time to buy. Well I don't know about all the markets out there. However, I do keep track of what is happening in my local market. (Columbia, SC) From 2007 to 2008 the number of home sales dropped 20.6% in our area. Home prices, during the same time only slid 1.7%. Meanwhile in another market area in SC home sales dropped 19.6% while home prices actually increased 2.4%. There are many reporst coming in from December and ealry January that activity is increasing. For some areas around the country the market may have already bottomed out.

So what are you waiting for?

This is my real world perspective. I'm putting the "Real" back in real estate.

Greg Worley
Keller Williams Realty

1 comment:

  1. It's tough time for a home seller but not for buyers.