I spent yesterday talking with a few media outlets including CNBC’s Squawk Box, ABCNews.com, Yahoo Tech Ticker, Reuters, Smart Money, Money and Forbes about housing and our Buyer Bonus Sales Event.
When I sat down to speak with Aaron Task at Yahoo Tech Ticker I shared with him why today’s interest rates, inventory in many parts of the country and home affordability across many markets make now the best time to buy a home.
More than 150 people commented on that interview and I read what everyone had to say. Most disagreed with me. I understand why. It has been a very tough few years for most Americans considering the financial challenges we have endured. The recession, job losses, foreclosures, falling home prices, individual debt and so much more have made these last few years one of the toughest economic times in our nation’s history. It’s understandable why many people are still feeling stress and uncertainty.
Some of the comments were pretty tough:
“Strong buyer’s market? He’s killing me with his humor… he should do stand up in Vegas.. that was really funny…”
“Face it, folks, if we need record-low interest rates and a $8,000 incentive to keep the market alive, it is a HORRIBLE time to buy. If it was a great time to buy, we wouldn’t have to prop up the market. Why would anyone listen to a Coldwell Banker person anyway? RE people always say ‘now is the best time to buy’! What a clown.”
“Any idiot can sell real estate. Realtors didn’t see the collapse coming, but yet they hype the recovery every year. What this hipster really needs, is an Atomic Wedgie.”
Wow! Criticism is one thing, but a wedgie is another.
When I do these TV or video interviews I don’t normally get time to go in depth into each point. So yesterday I didn’t properly explain that homeownership is not for everyone. For example, those who may have lost their job or fear losing one, those who may not stay in their home for at least a few years and unfortunately those who don’t have the equity in their homes to afford to move.
I am not advocating that everyone can or should be buying a home right now. Purchasing a home is a serious commitment and investment that is a deeply personal decision.
But understand that last year more than five million homes were sold and the National Association of Realtors and others are calling for at least that amount in 2010. Those who are interested in homeownership, those with good credit, those with stable jobs and those with savings and income to support homeownership should speak to their local real estate professional about the opportunity they have today.
But everyone needs to do their homework. Here is what you need to spend time looking at:
- Home prices in your market – While so many are obviously hoping to buy at the lowest possible level, there is no way to know what the future holds. In most markets around the nation, prices have stabilized and in some even rising. But real estate has gone back to being an ultra-local market and you need to spend time with an agent learning what is happening where you want to live.
- Amount of homes on the market –From a national perspective, the National Association of Realtors just reported that there are 3.89 million homes for sale. This is down nearly 15 percent from the high in July 2008. This still equates to a buyer’s market in most locations. But each community is different.
- Tax advantages to homeownership – After you utilize a rent vs. buy calculator to determine if buying is smart for you, talk to your financial advisor about the tax advantages you would enjoy. Determine if these incentives work for you.
- Interest rates – There is no denying that mortgage interest rates are near an all-time low.
I have spent more than three decades in this business because I believe in the American Dream of home ownership. In spite of the challenging economy, I stand by my words that a home is one of the smartest long term investments that a person can make. I look forward to hearing from you.