Buy, Sell, Or Hold?

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Is this the time to buy, sell, or hold on to your property? Is the glass half full or half empty?

The answer is; it depends on you and your point of view.

The Wall Street Journal recently ran an opinion piece that headlined, "The Housing Crisis is Over". The article cited the basics of economics: supply, demand and affordability. As demand soared, the supply went down and affordability for many was not possible. Builders overbuilt. We are now in a stage where there is a good supply, demand has waned, and affordability is back. As with any cycle, the buyers are and will be coming back.

If you own your home free and clear, or are comfortable making your mortgage payment and live within your means, there never was a housing crisis. If you speculated wildly with the hopes of making a fast buck, or tried to live beyond your means, you have firsthand knowledge of the housing crisis.

Real estate as an investment strategy has traditionally paid dividends to those with patience and common sense. Fortunately, the Rim Country has not been burdened by the high default rates other parts of Arizona have experienced where speculation, risky financing, and greed ran rampant.

There are great reasons to buy now. The selection of homes is great and mortgage rates are reasonable. A 30-year fixed rate is hovering between 6 percent and 6.5 percent. As a buyer of real estate or stocks, it is difficult to pick the exact bottom of the market and if the Wall Street Journal article is correct, we are there and will start climbing up again albeit at a reasonable uphill rate.

If you are thinking of a second home, do you think there could be a better time? My old boss and mentor, Harry McDonald had a saying, "The turtle only gets ahead when he sticks his neck out!"

For many contrarians, executing against the parade has paid great dividends.

If you want to sell, why wait? Your home may be worth less that it was in 2005, but chances are that the home you will want to purchase will have also come down in price. An experienced real estate agent knows the tricks to help sell your home faster, such as home staging, effective advertising, and the appropriate marketing strategy.

As with any investment decision, investigate and seek appropriate financial counsel.

Ray Pugel is the designated broker for Coldwell Banker Bishop Realty. For more information, call (928) 474-2216.

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