It’s like asking a painter if he thinks you should change the color of the interior walls of your Jackson nh real estate. Or, better yet, asking the unscrupulous car salesman if the vehicle you are test-driving would be a good purchase. I’m not saying you won’t get an honest answer, but in any situation you should use your own instincts and intuition and make the decision for yourself. Of course, another great idea is to solicit input from an impartial third party.
There are numerous times in life in which we’re provided information and are left to determine the value of the data on our own. Some of these decisions are life changing. The choice to sell or stay, the choice to buy or rent, even the choice to keep dating or pop “the question” are all game changers and should be made with thoughtful consideration and not necessarily outside influence. I find this to be true when it comes to the constant stream of data we receive from those involved in real estate.
Make no mistake about it, I understand that present company is included in this equation and people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. My encouragement to you is to simply take what you read with a grain of salt and take that extra step to filter the data stream through your own situation.
One of the more amusing things I find when reading industry blogs, articles and magazines is the incredible inconsistency of the message. If you have been reading along with me over the past few months you know that the pattern has not changed. I have lost count of the number of days we find articles in support of buying real estate and articles warning us of impending foreclosures and falling prices. There is truly no wonder people have a diminished sense of trust with real estate professionals. The real crime here is in throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
It is no secret that the lifeblood of the real estate industry is the sale of properties. If nobody buys real estate, nobody in real estate makes a living. This is not just limited to sales agents and brokers, but also directly impacts appraisers, inspectors, lending institutions, attorneys and more. But something I learned a long time ago is that integrity, customer service and a good reputation far outweigh the benefits of any sale.
While we laud the benefits of the current incredible interest rates, increased inventory and numerous aggressively priced homes, those need to be balanced with your own personal needs and current financial situation. Your own personal situation is the single most important factor in how you interpret the constant flow of data you are presented. There are broad, blanket statements made on a daily basis about the real estate market. And this is nothing new. For as long as there have been media outlets, there have been broad statements made about any number of financial, social, economic or even athletic topics.
I was taken aback, in reading the Boston Globe last week, that none of their staff writers picked the Red Sox to finish the season in better than 3rd place. While initially this was a little surprising, it occurred to me that they had all utilized their extensive experience combined with what they saw in Spring training, to establish an informed assessment of the team’s chances. While it may have looked a little “off” to have such a pessimistic view of the season, I quickly realized it was simply realistic. We need to take the same perspective when filtering the constant din of stories and articles about the real estate market.
One of the first things you learn, when you start dabbling in real estate, is it is an extremely local market. Almost nothing you read or hear on a national level will directly relate to your own neighborhood. My parents live in a town in Florida that is seeing sales of 250 homes a month. They live in a town that sees almost 400 homes built every month and enjoys a constant flow of people looking forward to starting their retirement in this small area of the state. This certainly puts the national news stories in perspective.
We enjoy the same sort of environment here in the Mount Washington Valley, though not nearly to that scale. We are fortunate to have a strong second-home market and a very desirable place to call home. And we’re not alone. Just this week, in a story from CNBC, we learned that homes in Midland, TX take an average of 71 days to sell and are only 1% discounted from the original list price (on average). That’s a healthy seller’s market to say the least. In fact, the gist of the whole story was highlighting towns across the country that are enjoying quick sales, minimum discounts and an overall healthy market.
I love that real estate is on everyone’s mind. We are fortunate that the industry we are in is a topic of conversation from the boardroom to the bar room. It is an easy topic to bring up in conversation and many of us in the industry can’t go buy a gallon of milk without a friendly face bringing it up. My caution and our recommendation for you is to simply filter what you hear and read with the lens of your specific town or area. There is a good chance the truth is in there somewhere; the onus is on you to find it!