Saturday, January 28, 2012

Don't believe me? Believe Warren Buffett.

I have followed the real estate market for most of my adult life, have bought and sold many of my own homes, owned rental property, and have sold many homes as a real estate professional. In my continuing quest to be educated about real estate and investing, I have read many books on real estate investing and investing in general. Here are two that I highly recommend:

What I have learned from my studies is that the best time to buy any investment is when it is at a cyclical low, the  prospects for appreciation high, and when there is an opportunity to buy at below current market value. Over the last two years, I have been advising everyone I know to buy real estate due to the fact that we have been at or near a cyclical low, there are many opportunities to buy below current market value, and the interest rates have been at historic lows. I can't stress this loudly or often enough; There will be tremendous wealth created in this market by those who are BOLD enough to invest heavily in real estate right now! Investors and first time home buyers are driving our market right now! They get it! There have been many articles suggesting the idea that now is the time to buy a first home, vacation home,  retirement home, or a move up home. If you won't listen to me, or any of the other voices encouraging everyone to buy now, will you listen to Warren Buffett?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Real Estate Is Still Local

It seems there is always a new headline about the condition of the housing market in America. Many times, the story you read on Friday contradicts the one you read on Wednesday. Here in Tucson, we have made the news as being the sickest real estate market in the country, and the best place to invest in the same month. What should you do with that information?

The national media has one job: Write interesting headlines. It is important to note when you read any story about the housing market, that each market is different. What is happening in southern Arizona is not what is happening in New Jersey or Texas. In Tucson, unit sales have been going up steadily since January, and our inventory levels have dropped consistently over the same period. We have 6 months of inventory, which is a very healthy balance of buyers and sellers.Tucson has tremendous opportunity right now! These are strong signs that we may have hit the bottom in home values. Lets hope the trend continues.

Real estate is still local. Please do not rely on the national or even local media to determine your course of action in real estate. They get paid to sell papers, not homes. If you are interested in what is happening with housing in your area, speak with a local real estate professional that is licensed, actively engaged, and busy selling properties. They will know what is happening in your market, and they will have all of the facts at hand. These decisions are too important to leave to a reporter.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

What would you do if you knew you could not fail?

Here is the link to a great blog post about playing it safe. My testimony: In early 2009, my wife ruptured a disc in her back and was forced to dissolve her home cleaning business. She was also rapidly losing her hearing. A month later, I was laid off from the company I had been with for almost 12 years. Income gone. Inexpensive health care gone. After much prayer and consideration, we moved to Arizona based on a gut instinct that it was what we were supposed to do. The safe thing to do was to stay in a familiar area, with additional family and friends there for support. There was a network of friends and business associates that provided a sense of security. With many connections, we surely would have been gainfully employed quickly.

Yet, every member of my household felt that risking everything and moving to a town where we knew no one was the correct course of action. Family and friends said we were crazy. I have since passed up two different opportunities to move away from Tucson and go back to work in my previous industry. Back to "security".

Maybe we were crazy to come here and are crazy to stay, but what I know is this; we are much stronger and healthier for it. Each of us has grown spiritually, and we have a focus on giving that we did not have previously. We have found a fantastic church. We are in the best physical shape of our lives. My wife's hearing has improved. Our son has many more options both for education and employment. We have met many wonderful new friends, and developed relationships that we expect will last a lifetime. My business is growing fast, and through July I have already generated 140% of the business that I did in all of 2010. I expect to double my business next year, and hire help. I have no income ceiling. We all feel more challenged, engaged, and confident. I am glad we didn't play it safe. Playing it safe is risky. What would you do right now if you knew you could not fail?

Friday, July 22, 2011

High unemployment = opportunity

A WSJ report today indicates that the unemployment rate is up in 28 states. What does this mean for the housing industry? Nationally, it means more of what we have been experiencing. Uncertainty. I believe that we will not see mortgage interest rates rise in any significant way until the economy begins to recover. Without jobs, the economy won't be turning around. So, rates are likely to remain low for the time being. In the Tucson market, we are seeing some stability begin to take shape. We have 5 straight months of declining home inventory, and a general increases in sales activity. This is a good trend for price stabilization. Low supply + greater demand = higher prices. It is still to soon to call the bottom of the housing market in Tucson, but it is sure looking like we are close. There are investors and first time buyers out there right now looking for homes and I am currently working with both. What to do? Buy a home as soon as you can get it done! Rates won't stay low forever, and neither will prices. Speak with a lender today to get yourself qualified, and go shopping! If you are selling to upgrade or downsize, there are buyers out there ready to buy your home. Get it listed! This is a time that we will all look back at later and say "boy, I really should have bought more property when I had the chance"!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Looking to buy a home? Pick the right Realtor.

The people that visit my many open houses present me with a great opportunity to learn. I ask a lot of questions, and listen carefully to the responses. Sometimes, the visitors take the opportunity to tell me about their current or last Realtor. Here are some if the things that I hear; "She seemed too busy for us",  "He didn't explain things very well", "We have to call her to find out about anything", "He kept showing us property that we specifically told him we didn't want", "we must have looked at 30 homes", "She never answers her phone".

When you are ready to start the search for a new home, do yourself a favor and take the time to find the right Realtor. Ask yourself a few questions after you have spoken with a prospective Realtor; Do they seem to understand the current market? After you have spoken with them for a while, do they know the inventory well enough to suggest specific properties? Did they suggest multiple uses of technology (internet search tools, texting tools, quick response codes) to aid in your search? Did they write down anything you told them? Did they ask questions about you? Or did they just talk about their qualifications? Did they suggest a meeting at their office to review/explain the home buying process from start to finish? Do they have an office? If they can walk you through the process smoothly, there is a good chance they will understand the process well enough to assure the details of your transaction are completed timely. These are all things that a true professional  Realtor will do. If they can communicate with you and listen to you in the interview, then chances are that they will do so throughout the transaction. A professional values your time as well as her own. Their job is to ask questions, listen to your answers, and apply what they have learned to get you what YOU want, quickly and efficiently. 

Take the time to find the right Realtor. You will be glad you did.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

10 Great Reasons To Buy A Home Now

Now is an excellent time to buy a home. Do you need 10 good reasons? Here they are. If you need more reasons, just give me a call.