Last week’s article drew much attention from readers all over the country. The article’s intent was to create interest and educate the public about military veterans’ issues, and from the feedback it worked. Follow-Up on SW Florida Military Veterans.
We have limited space, so it’s impossible to clarify every detail, but there are a few points worth mentioning. Last week we said ” People don’t realize that if a veteran or active duty military is foreclosed upon, or does a short sale, they lose their military benefits forever. That’s a pretty steep price to pay. Remember, we, the United States, are the ones moving them around. They don’t have a say, and yet they suffer all the consequences.”
We should clarify this. If a veteran has a VA loan and has a short sale or foreclosure on that loan, they will lose their ability to get another VA loan. If they are foreclosed or do a short sale on a conventional loan this will not affect their certificate of eligibility. They are still entitled to their other military benefits.
This week we’ll touch on some new items as they pertain to real estate. Did you know that per the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) active duty military and their families are protected from eviction if they lease a house or apartment and cannot make rent. Service members also have the right to terminate a housing lease when they receive Permanent Change of Station orders or when they are deployed to a new location for 90 days or more.
There is also protection against default judgments against anyone in the military. This is especially important in SW Florida. Often I am asked to attend evictions and lockout proceedings against former owners or tenants on behalf of a bank foreclosing on the property. Before a court can enter a default judgment against a military member for not responding to a lawsuit or appearing at trial, the plaintiff who is suing the Service member must provide the court with an affidavit stating the defendant is not in military service.
Imagine someone working here in SW Florida and being called up to serve and being deployed overseas to Afghanistan or anywhere else the military needs them. They receive regular military pay during that time, not the regular pay they might be accustomed to. Just imagine if they came home and the landlord or bank evicted them while they were gone. How would you feel if this happened to you? For the privilege of serving our country, many service members returned home only to find their houses were foreclosed upon and sold to someone else. That’s quite a kick in the pants.
The SCRA creates rights for our Service members, like the right to terminate a lease if they are called, protection against foreclosure, health insurance protection, motor vehicle lease protection, and so on. There are many details that cannot be explained in a short article like this. I would highly recommend Service members contact their local AFLA office or visit http://legalassistance.law.af.mil A quick and easy way to read up on this act is go to www.Military.com and type SCRA in the search box. From there you’ll be able to read up on the entire act. This information is important to Service members, landlords, real estate agents, and the public in general.
I’d also highly recommend agents and lenders take the Military Residential Specialist course. There is so much more information you’ll learn that will not only help your business, but will also help educate the public and Service members as to options in dealing with military and their benefits. If you’d like more information on this course, feel free to contact me at Brett@Topagent.com
A few weeks ago I met with several military leaders including Brigadier General Earl Jakes pictured above, the civilian assistant to the Secretary of the Army from Texas, and others as we talked about the course and ways to improve the education of agents and loan officers. We hope industry has a better understanding of protecting and meeting Service members needs, because I can assure you, our military is protecting and meeting our needs.
Recently I had the opportunity to attend the Military Residential Specialist Program and I learned some very interesting things all agents should know in learning how to better assist our veterans.
I must admit, even though several members of our family served in the military, I didn’t have a full understanding of the needs of veterans because I personally didn’t lead that life. This class has helped shed a light on some of those things.
I’ll share a few facts many people may not know. When someone is active duty military, they tend to get moved around quite a bit. Each member must find housing. Some rent, some buy. They get orders for periods of time, but you can just imagine how up in the air their life is. Many have a family behind they care about deeply, so housing is important.
Because they never really know where they’ll be for great periods of time, making housing decisions can be difficult. If they buy today, they may need to sell in 2 years. What if the market declines due to base cutbacks or other economic factors in a community? We don’t pay them a lot for their service, and they may not be able to afford the loss. Many around here in SW Florida understand what it’s like to be stuck with a property that isn’t worth what you paid or what you owe.
People don’t realize that if a veteran or active duty military is foreclosed upon, or does a short sale, they lose their military benefits forever. That’s a pretty steep price to pay. Remember, we, the United States, are the ones moving them around. They don’t have a say, and yet they suffer all the consequences.
Here’s another scenario. Let’s say a doctor, lawyer, pharmacist; anybody really is now in the Reserves. A Reservist can get called up for duty, just like many were for the Iraq wars. When you get called up you leave behind the pay you were making and only get the pay the military pays you. People tend to live a lifestyle depending on their job, so if you’re a doctor making a certain amount, and all of a sudden you get called up your pay may be cut 50% or more. Your bills don’t go down 50%, they remain the same.
People need to understand the burden placed upon our military. Not only do the serve our country, but they risk their life, and do so many times for less money than they could make back home. Unemployment is 7% higher for veterans returning home than it is for the general population, and we all know unemployment is too high anyway.
The largest employer of veterans is the postal service. What is the number one thing our government is trying to cut right now? You got it. In addition to cutting the military, we’re cutting the postal service. Somehow we’ve got to do a better job protecting our vets.
As a real estate professional, we need to encourage a vet to use their benefits. Several agents shudder when they see a buyer come in with an offer with VA financing. Actually, VA loans are easy to do if you know what you’re doing. An offer with a VA loan shouldn’t be looked down upon; it should be treated equally with other financed offers. I understand cash is king and the seller only cares about their own sale, I just think we can portray these offers in a more positive light.
SW Florida a Hot Bed for Military Veterans
SW Florida has in excess of 250,000 veterans living among us. Veterans are 9.5% of Florida’s population. They served our country well. The freedoms we have today can be directly linked to their efforts. Some of our military were spit upon when they returned. The public has turned off on them in the past, and will in the future.
They may not be a cash buyer. They have certain needs other buyers may not have. Let’s at least try to give them a level playing ground and an opportunity to enjoy the good life SW Florida has to offer. They’ve earned it.
If you’d like more information on the Military Specialist Certification, give me a call. I’d love to share with you how you can learn to better serve this segment. Call Brett Ellis 239-489-4042 or email Brett@TopAgent.com
Prior to 2007 homeowners who had a short sale or foreclosure were subject to pay income taxes on any amount of forgiven debt. So let’s say a homeowner in 2006 had a mortgage of $400,000 and decided to sale as a short sale for $200,000, that homeowner would have had income of approximately $200,000 according to the IRS. Assuming this put that homeowner in the 25% tax bracket, this homeowner would owe an additional $50,000 taxes to the US government. Keep in mind, perhaps none of this money went into the pocket of the homeowner, it was simply forgiven debt. The same would be true for a bank foreclosure.
Back in 2007 the US government signed into law the Mortgage Relief Act which provided homeowners who used their home as a primary residence relief up to $2 million for married couples and $1 million for individuals from any shortage being treated as income by the IRS. In the previous example above, the $200,000 would be free from being treated as income as long as it was their primary residence. The lender must formally forgive the loan.
The US government is giving homeowners until December 31, 2012 to complete a short sale or foreclosure. Starting January 1, 2013 any debt forgiven, even on a primary residence, will be treated as income by the IRS and subject to taxes.
A homeowner doesn’t always control when the bank will take back a home or when the bank will complete the foreclosure transaction, so they cannot guarantee they’ll make the December 31 deadline.
A distressed homeowner does control to a greater extent the execution and timing of a short sale. While there is no guarantee the bank will agree to a short sale, or that the buyer will wait around long enough for the lender to agree, it is generally known the seller has more control over their fate in a short sale than a foreclosure.
Time is running out for many sellers as we have 11 ½ months to complete the short sale. Some short sales go smooth, and others are a bit trickier. Sometimes we have to sell it 2 or 3 times if buyers walk. The bank may respond right away, or it could take several months for the banks to complete their analysis depending on who the lender is, whether there is a 2nd mortgage or equity line involved, and especially if mortgage insurance is involved.
Most people just think the banks are slow, which is true. However, the process can be more complicated as the 1st lender may be due money back on certain losses by a private mortgage insurance company. This takes time for all to evaluate, and it must go in steps.
Some loans are guaranteed by FNMA or Freddie Mac, and there are governmental programs in place the lender must follow. A popular program you may have heard of is HAFA (Home Affordable Foreclsoures Alternative) Program. If the home falls under this program, certain procedures and timelines must be followed. Sometimes it takes time just to see if the loans qualify for this program. There are other programs as well.
This is why a seller should decide soon if they may need to sell their home due to hardship. The decision today could save thousands in taxes for years to come. Waiting too long could cost a seller big time.
A bankruptcy may be a solution to avoid such taxation after 2012, so we wouldn’t be surprised to see bankruptcies rise next year from sellers who miss this deadline.
The good news is lenders have beefed up their short sale department staffs the last few years and are equipped to handle more sales today than they were 5 years ago. We’ve had much success completing short sales, although the buyer must be educated that the bank will take some time, and they may counter the accepted price with the seller a bit higher.
No short sale is complete until the lender(s) sign off and everybody agrees to the terms. Short sales are a way to bring otherwise underwater overpriced property to the market at today’s lower prices. Education is the key for everyone involved. The agents involved, both buyer agent and seller agent must be competent in handling complex short sale transactions as both buyer and seller must be educated about the process.
Sales are already heating up this season, so 2012 could be an interesting ride. We’ll keep you posted on news affecting buyers and sellers in the SW Florida real estate market.
Because we are writing this article this week before official numbers are released, we decided to go inside the numbers and focus on listing inventory and sales data. According to preliminary numbers researched by the Ellis Team, listing inventory rose again for the 3rd consecutive month.
Lehigh Acres has been holding fairly steady while Cape Coral is seeing the largest gains in inventory. Fort Myers is inching higher ever so slightly.
What’s interesting is the distressed sales market. We track a variety of graphs. One graph not shown here because it’s a little tangled and hard to read in newspaper format shows large drops in distressed sales in Lehigh Acres, Fort Myers, and Lee County overall. Cape Coral has held steady at 50.45% of all single family sales being distressed. Lee County stands at 48% distressed rate in November.
We have included a Foreclosures Vs Short Sales graph that is a bit easier to read. It fairly well shows the history of the foreclosure and short sale market in SW Florida. As you can see, the height of foreclosure sales was in June 2009, while the height of the short sale market was March 2011.
Banks revved up their short sale departments to handle an increased load. It can be said that potentially each of these successful short sales may have saved a corresponding amount of foreclosures, so it was in the banks and the markets best interests to sell these homes as short sales rather than as foreclosures.
Going into 2012 we’re going to continue to watch the listing inventory and the mix of inventory. Traditional sales are on the rise as a percentage of all sales, although many homeowners are not selling at today’s bargain basement prices.
Speaking of bargain prices, many buyers are calling wanting to buy homes for investment and expecting 2009 prices. It seems like sellers are always the last to recognize when prices are dropping and buyers are the last to recognize when prices are rising. Why is that? Could it be selective hearing or denial?
We can definitively say that investment homes in Cape Coral and Lehigh acres bottomed in 2009 and have risen since. Buyers today can no longer pick up a home for $35,000 in Lehigh unless it has major problems. $70,000 is more common place for the low end now, so essentially prices in the low end have doubled.
Sales are flat in December versus November; however we are expecting sales to pickup in season again. We’ve had no trouble selling homes. The biggest challenges we’ve faced are closing these homes. Lately we’ve been encountering title issues, mortgage re-disclosure issues due to any delays, and buyers not waiting patiently for the short sale approval. We’re getting short sales approved within 60 days in many cases, but buyers are impatient. Going forward the industry will have to do a better job educating buyers as to what the realistic expectations are for approval and closing time frames on short sales.
We’ll also watch foreclosure inventory as we are expecting a few more in the 1st and 2nd quarters of 2012.
We’ll keep our eye on the SW Florida real estate market for you, and whether you’re a buyer or seller, we hope Santa is better to you this year than he was last year. The market is looking up, and we hope your holiday spirits are too.
From time to time we get calls asking about the best time share deals in Florida. According to Wikipedia, “A timeshare is a form of ownership or right to the use of a property, or the term used to describe such properties. These properties are typically resort condominium units, in which multiple parties hold rights to use the property, and each sharer is allotted a period of time (typically one week, and almost always the same time every year) in which they may use the property.”
The Ellis Team doesn’t handle time shares in Florida as they are kind of their own specialty, although there are a few timeshare places at Fort Myers Beach. What we do see more of in SW Florida are rental companies that will assist a homeowner and rent out a condo or home by the week while the owner retains full ownership of all 52 weeks of the year.
We have several condo projects and cottages in SW Florida that rent very well by the week. A Buyer can purchase a home or unit and place it in the rental pool and produce very good income while allowing someone else to manage the property and rent out the unit. The owner can even use the property so many days per year per the IRS and still claim it as an investment property. We encourage you to speak with your tax advisor on those regulations as they pertain to you.
Unlike a property owner who owns all 52 weeks, a timeshare owner is only concerned with one week. One advantage of a timeshare is its ability to be traded for other like kind properties all over the world. We’ve talked to several people who own a timeshare say in Orlando and love visiting there, but they also enjoy the ability to trade it for weeks in Hawaii, Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, and all over the world.
Once you own a timeshare you simply pay the weekly maintenance fee each year and then you’re free to use the unit on your selected week, exchange it for a different week within your association if permitted, rent it out, or join an exchange service like RCI or VRI to exchange it for nice place elsewhere. While you pay a yearly maintenance fee on your timeshare, there can be significant cost savings when exchanging your unit. Perhaps you own a 3 bedroom unit. You may be able to exchange for a week of a 2 bedroom unit and another week’s use of a 1 bedroom unit, or both during the same week.
You can even exchange credits on your time share towards use on a cruise. Depending on how nice your unit is, where it is located, and which week you have will determine how much credit you get towards exchange to another timeshare or cruise.
Timeshares can be great for those that like to travel. Years ago timeshares were selling upwards of $30,000 in the Orlando area. With the economy being down it seems prices have come down and now you can own them for much less.
In fact, we’re aware of an owner of a 3 bedroom unit at Cypress Pointe Resort at Lake Buena Vista in Orlando willing to sell their unit for $2,000 plus closing costs. It is a 3 bedroom unit week 43 rated as Emerald and is close to Disney. It can be exchanged for a 2 bedroom + a 1 bedroom unit or used as a 3 bedroom unit. Cypress Pointe Resort offers lots of amenities for kids. While we do not list or sell timeshares, simply call our office 239-489-4042 if you’re interested and we’ll put you in touch with the owner and you can deal directly.
If you’re looking for a condo on Sanibel, Captiva, or Fort Myers Beach and would like info on investing and what it would take to purchase and how much income you could derive from it, we can help. Simply give us a call.
Banks are contacting customers who are past due or in financial trouble and offering owners or tenants up to $20,000 in relocation assistance to move out of home and hire an experienced agent to sell the home as a short sale. Banks are also offering owners money to agree to a deed in lieu foreclosure in some instances as well.
There are several advantages for taking the bank up on their offer. If you let the property go to foreclosure, you’ll be evicted without relocation assistance. Additionally your credit will suffer more in a foreclosure than a short sale or deed in lieu. The owner is more in control when actively pursuing a sale through an experienced agent than giving up all control to the bank and the legal system.
A short sale is a commonly used alternative to foreclosure. Generally, when putting your home on the market, the goal is to market and sell your house for an amount greater than any and all outstanding liens against the property. Liens include all mortgages, escrows and fees on the property.
If you can no longer afford to make your mortgage payments and your house is worth less than you owe, a short sale allows you to sell your house at the current fair market value. You then have an option to move to a more affordable situation. In a short sale, the investor or owner of your loan must approve the sale because they are entitled to repayment of the loan and will be receiving less than the amount owed.
If you have additional liens on your property with other lenders, such as a home equity loan, all investors must come to an agreement in order to complete the short sale. This process takes time, and an experienced agent is required to navigate and negotiate through these challenges.
Another alternative is a deed in lieu of foreclosure. With a deed in lieu, you voluntarily transfer ownership of the property to your investor to satisfy the amount due on your first mortgage. In some cases, you may be eligible for a deed in lieu without first attempting a short sale of your home. A deed in lieu generally takes about 90 days, depending on your situation.
In either a short sale or deed in lieu you may be responsible for paying a deficiency. There are many factors that determine this, such as if the home was your primary residence, what state you live in, your financial situation, etc. Sometimes this can be negotiated with your lender.
In any event, most lenders agree it is much better on your credit report and they are likely to lend you money in the future faster if you agree to a short sale or deed in lieu instead of a full blown foreclosure.
If you’ve been contacted by your lender, it may be at least worth considering your options. Don’t throw away documents sent to you by your lender. If they make you an offer call your attorney for legal advice or an experienced real estate agent for advice on the program and assistance selling your home.
The banks really don’t want your home back. They’d prefer that owners pay their mortgage payments. When that’s not possible, it may be less expensive to offer the occupant relocation assistance and get on with the process of selling the home before it gets to the costly foreclosure process. Once the home gets into foreclosure, the costs mount, the credit suffers, and owners lose options.
If we can help, call us at 239-489-4042. Each situation is unique and it takes time to look into each program. The good news is we have past experience with many of these programs.
People are surprised to learn fixed interest rates are at or below 4% for 30 yr mortgages. Because of this there has been a refinance boom which should throw some disposable income back into the economy. It did the last time we had a refinance boom. Not everyone can take advantage of this bonanza though as some are upside down on their mortgage. Owners might be happy to know there is a government program that allows homeowners to refinance even if their first mortgage is up to 120% of current value, and if you have a second mortgage or equity line it can be subordinated to the 1st. All good news if your rate is 6% or higher. It’s possible good news even if your rate is in the 5%+ range depending on the home value. Check with your lender for details.
Getting back to the main subject of this article, buyers today can now afford more home than ever before. The reason is simple. A home’s cost has several elements, and the two primary elements are sales price and financing costs. As you can see from the year end sales prices our median home values have dropped dramatically and at the end of 2010 year end average prices were approximately even with 1997 prices.
Everyone rushed to buy in 2005 when in fact they should be rushing today. Prices have moved upward a bit and when year end prices are posted for 2011 they will show an upward trend. Bottom line is they’re still a far cry from the peak in 2005.
Look at the average 30 yr interest rate chart. Back in October 2006 rates were approximately 6.36%. Today rates are around 4%. That’s a difference of about 2.36%. A $200,000 mortgage this year would be roughly $300 cheaper than it was 5 years ago. This fact alone makes housing much more affordable. Combining the lowest rates we’ve seen on record with deep price reductions in our market, it’s no wonder why this is the best time in years to purchase a property. Much thanks to Keith Cloak from Summit Home Mortgage for pointing out these historical rates to me.
The nation’s economy has been stalled for years. Locally our market was hit first, and hard. Because of that our market may be poised to recover sooner. Tourism may get a shot in the arm if the proposed $1 Billion casino is approved at the Forum. This would put Florida on the map for additional tourism and the all important convention and trade show business. We would have our gorgeous Sanibel and Fort Myers beaches, year round sunshine, and now convention business attracting tourism to our area.
I spoke to Lee County sheriff Mike Scott the other day about his thoughts on the casino. Those against bringing gambling to Florida argue it brings crime and detracts from the family atmosphere Florida is known for. Sheriff Scott doesn’t believe a casino would bring crime from a law enforcement standpoint. Judging from my visits to Las Vegas or a seminar I attended in AZ at a casino on an Indian reservation, I don’t necessarily buy into increased crime either.
I do see this as an opportunity to add $1 Billion in construction at a time when our area desperately needs it. I also realize we have gambling in Florida at Indian reservations, so I wonder why the state can’t capture some of that revenue too. Lord knows our state needs the revenue as well. Primarily I think about what increased tourism, conventions, trade shows, and visitors who might extend their stay a few days because Florida has so much more to offer than Las Vegas. Vegas has gambling, but we have beaches, Disney, water sports, nature, and so much more. I can envision vacationers choosing to come here instead of Vegas or Gulf Port MS, or even places like Branson MO.
With housing affordability in SW Florida at all time highs, home prices on the rise which will settle people who may be afraid if now is the time to buy, and a possible economic jolt to our economy, it sure is exciting to live in SW Florida.
Check out what Fort Myers Beach and Sanibel Island have to offer you.
Social media has been the buzz words the past few years and it seems everyone has tried to capitalize and make money from the latest craze. For those that understand its value and proper use, social media can be very rewarding. For those that make freshmen mistakes, the cost can be lost customers and countless hours of wasted time.
Realtors Connecting With Customers on Social Media
The benefits are clear. If done properly, consumers may flock to your content, or you may find yourself interacting at deeper levels with your customers and finding out more about them than you ever would have face to face. Social media opens up a new world where people sometimes feel safer sharing inner feelings and facts about themselves than they do in real life.
Connecting with customers is all about getting to the heart level and learning what’s important to them. You’ve probably heard the old saying, “Treat others as you’d like to be treated.” At the Ellis Team we like to use the Platinum standard which is “Treat others as they’d like to be treated.” We study personality profiles and adapt our communication based upon the way our customers like to communicate. Not every personality profile is the same.
Some personalities are bubbly outgoing social beings that have never met a stranger and are certainly the life of every party. Another is the calculated detailed oriented person who must know all the facts before making a decision. There is also the family oriented person that could talk children and family all night, as well as the dominant director type that makes quick decisions and is in charge. Knowing who our customers are helps us to interact with them on their level. The director type turns off with hours of facts and needless chatter, while the engineer, detailed oriented person would never make a decision without studying it from many angles.
Social media helps us to understand our customers and deliver information on many levels. We also engage our customers. We teach our team that if you can get a person to talk about (FORD) Family, Occupation, Recreation, Dreams you will connect at a deeper level and become friends with everyone you meet. Many of our customers are friends because we care about them as a person, not just a transaction.
Apply FORD to Facebook. In just a few minutes you may find out about someone’s niece or nephew, their child’s soccer game. You might also find out their new relationship status, how happy they are in their job, what they did on vacation, how their sports team is doing, etc. You can hit all 4 FORD items quickly. Social media is an opportunity to engage.
There is no substitute for being face to face with someone and interacting, and many people condemn social media because of that. However, perhaps there is no more efficient way to connect as social media. In real life true communication may mean asking many questions. We call it going 4 or more deep with questions to find out what someone really means. Because people aren’t as inhibited online as real life, true feelings come out much quicker, so in some respects I think social media has improved true communication. Not everyone has the time or skill to go at least 4 deep. However, the downside with social media is you might just learn a whole lot more about someone than you cared to know. LOL
So the next time you jump online and into a social media platform, think about more than just posting random thoughts. Use it as a tool to elicit responses, get people talking, and learning more about others. When you learn and care about others, you become more attractive as a friend or resource, and people will enjoy telling you everything, and maybe even doing a little business with you. And if not, at least you’ll make some true friends.
Good luck and happy communicating. We’ve included a few of our public social media pages in case you’d like to get some ideas. And maybe we’ll become friends too.
Useful Social Media Links:
We’re writing this article this week two days before official numbers are released, so by the time you read this official numbers will have been released. Absent this knowledge, we expect prices in August to be higher than last year and sales to be down from last year, however sales volume may be higher than July.
We’ve included a chart of average year end sales prices which is really an average of prices for that given year, not the Dec 31 average price. As you can see, prices fell from their peak in 2005 through 2009 where they stabilized and actually rose in 2010. In 2011 we’ve seen more gains over 2010.
We started writing articles and advertising back in 2009 that Florida was on sale and buyers flocked here in droves looking for bargains from all over the world. Buyers have been competing with each other for the best bargains and in fact many of these properties have seen multiple offers. As you can see from the year end chart, prices are still very affordable and are on par with 1996-1997 prices. If you look at the attached chart you’ll notice prices in July were up 14.33% over last year and up 19.1% over 2009 prices.
We are fielding calls from buyers looking for foreclosures, short sales, and otherwise good bargains. They just finished reading on a website or watching an older YouTube video how another buyer bought a $20,000 condo or $30,000 house close to the beach and they want to come here and buy the same thing.
If you ask any agent in this market I’m sure they’d chuckle because they’re answering some of the very same calls. This is where the perception that Florida is on sale, which it is, collides with reality. The days of buying newer homes for $35,000 are over unless the home has serious defective drywall issues or is gutted. We still have some inexpensive condos for sale. For instance we just listed a bank foreclosure 1 bedroom, 1 bath condo in Mystic Gardens for $27,900 which is a bargain. These deals are becoming fewer and farther between.
Unfortunately buyers from all over are calling and expecting homes close to the beach or on the beach for ridiculously low prices. While it is true back in 2009 we had some seriously under-priced homes from some of the banks, prices have gone up considerably since then. We’re still well below replacement cost in most cases and we’re not headed back to 2005 prices anytime soon, however we are still a bargain.
Florida Real Estate Bargains
I guess there is a difference between a bargain and a steal. The steals are over, but there are fantastic bargains and opportunities in this market if you’re realistic. If a buyer is unrealistic, they’ll suffer the same fate as an unrealistic seller, which is no transaction. A buyer who fails to buy in this market is just as damaged as a seller who overprices and misses the top. While the bottom may be behind us, we’re still close enough to it that we can see it in our rear view mirror and prices today will look like a bargain years from now.
Remember back in time when someone you know once said “Gosh, I should have bought every piece of property I could get my hands on back when prices were lower?” Well, in the future I’m sure there will be those that say, “Gosh, I should have bought everything I could back in 2010 and 2011. Those were the days when there was little competition from new home builders, interest rates were at their lowest, prices were below replacement cost, and at those prices they actually cash flowed.”
It pays to be an educated consumer, whether you’re on the buying or selling end. Remember, money is always made on the “Buy”, not the sell. Inventory is going down. If you’re truly a buyer, learn the market and step up now. I bet you’ll be glad you did.
It’s kind of funny how humans follow the herd mentality. When everyone else is buying, people feel more comfortable buying at the top, but when things are down, people are scared of overpaying. Back in 2005 you were overpaying, but most felt good about their purchases. Look what prices have done since. The smart money is buying and holding today. Failure to land a property now is a wasted opportunity.