When I look at this picture I feel this huge rush of fear go through me; an avid rock climber would probably feel excitement and proud father might see a strong young man. My point being that every single person that sees this picture will have a unique perspective. The same is exactly true about our national economy AND the Lake Norman real estate market.
The news this morningof the dramatic drop in jobs last month is one more argument for the “R” word…recession. The truth is, we will probably hear pundits reactions for the rest of the day and each will have a slightly different perspective on this news.
Franklin Roosevelt’s first inaugural address was given during the depth of the 1933 depression at which time he said:
“This is preeminently the time to speak the truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly. Nor need we shrink from honesty facing conditions in our country today. This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself–nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed effort to convert retreat into advance….”
Is this not equally true today?
But how can a home buyer or seller determine the truth about what is best for them personally?
On the one side they read and hear constant news about the housing crisis, the sub-prime mortgage meltdown, record foreclosures and even locally about our “severe” drought. At the same time, almost every real estate ad you see has neon flashing lights screaming Buy NOW!
Let’s go back to the picture of the rock climber. Every single potential home buyer or seller needs to understand that their circumstances are unique and therefore their interpretation of the real estate market needs to be made based upon their own specific needs, timing and desires.
Step one for home buyers and sellers:
- Determine first and foremost, is this an investment or a home for your family?
- Make your own list of pros and cons of buying, selling or relocating including your timing and your motivation (Why you are going to buy or sell: a dream home on Lake Norman, job relocation, downsizing, trading up, retiring, divorce?)
- Ask yourself and your family how long you intend to live in your new home.
- Write down the financial facts to be considered: income, monthly payments, current interest rates, $ loss or gain if selling
- Find a Realtor who will “speak the truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly.”
- If you are selling, study the recent sales with your Realtor and face the reality of the value of your home at this point in time and plan accordingly. If you are going to take a loss, plan for that upfront. While it is never easy to loose money, you are far better off planning for this possibility in advance.
- If you are a buyer, remove the fear, “the unreasoning, unjustified” fear that paralyzes so many and look at your own personal goals. If you are making an exciting move to a waterfront home and plan to live there for many years, forget about the short-term drought and the ups and downs of the economy and look at this Lake Norman housing market as an opportunity to buy when there is an unprecedented selection of homes from which to choose at reasonable prices.
- However, if you are planning a short-term stay perhaps it is best to rent since it may take several years for the market to get its momentum back. Or, if you do buy knowing it will be for brief period, buy in a price-range and neighborhood that have historically strong sales and try not to buy brand new construction unless the subdivision is nearly completed.
The bottom line is that the current real estate market in Lake Norman should be seen differently by every single buyer or seller depending on their own perspective. It is not all good or all bad. Buyers and sellers need to seek out the best real estate counseling possible in order to make their own determinations of what is best for their specific wants and needs.
As FDR went on to say in the same speech:
“Small wonder that confidence languishes, for it thrives only on honesty, on honor, on the sacredness of obligations, on faithful protection, on unselfish performance; with them it can not live.”
Is this not what every Realtor should strive to provide?
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