Whenever someone I have just met learns that I help people buy and sell real estate for a living, the next words out of their mouths are usually “Geez, not a great time to start selling houses.” (I’ve been successfully selling houses in Southeastern Pennsylvania for 4 years). We all see the reports in the news about how terrible the market is. We’ve all seen the house down the street that’s been on the market for over a year without an offer. We’ve heard the stories of unfortunate sellers who had to bring a check to the settlement table to repay their mortgage. While these unfortunate situations do occur, they are a small microcosm of the big picture.
Typically, real estate appreciates in value at a constant rate with small fluctuations caused by current events. From 2004-2007 there was an unnatural amount of buyers in the market. Lenders were approving people for adjustable rate mortgages without verification of assets, credit, or employment and for amounts larger than the person could afford. With many more buyers in the market than houses to buy, prices were driven up astronomically until September 2007 when the “bubble burst” and many people who had purchased during that time could no longer afford their monthly payments and were foreclosed on by their banks. When this happened, obtaining a mortgage became very difficult with very rigid restrictions and the number of buyers in the market became unnaturally low while the number of sellers became unnaturally high.
Locales that experienced the biggest boom in Real Estate from 2004-2007 will be the slowest to recover because of the sheer volume of homes affected. We won’t know where the bottom of the housing market is until it starts to creep up again. I do know that we are at or near the bottom and there are good indicators in Southeastern, PA which tell me that the recovery is well underway. If you’re waiting for the bottom of the market to purchase a home, you won’t know until it’s too late. Credit restrictions have eased, and people are buying. Have you seen today’s mortgage rates!?
People need to buy and sell homes when big changes occur in life; the birth of a child, a new job, a promotion, getting fired, marriage, divorce, remarriage, retirement, death. These changes will always be a part of life and dictate the need for a new living situation. People will always need to buy and sell their homes. Getting the job done may not be as easy as it was in the middle part of the decade. It will require more work on the part of your Realtor, but they should be up for the challenge.
In the marketplace where I work, sellers can expect to receive the same amount for their home that they would have received in 2004. If you purchased before then, you’re in good shape to make a profit on your investment. Many sellers saw their neighbor’s home sell for much more than current market rates during the middle of the decade, and still have those delusions of grandeur.
Factors that have no effect on your home’s value:
- What you paid
- What you need
- What you want
- What your neighbor says
- The cost to rebuild today
- What it would have sold for 3 years ago
A home is worth what a buyer is willing to pay and a seller is willing to accept. For sellers and buyers, enlisting the help of a Realtor early in the process will help you gauge whether current market conditions will benefit your goals; both short and long-term. There has never been a better time to buy a house. There are many on the market to choose from and mortgage rates are amazing. These factors, along with the unavoidable human need to enter the market make me optimistic for the future.
Michael Cosdon is a real estate agent who helps people, like us, find and sell homes with precision, sensitivity, and respect. The real estate market crashed in September 2007. Michael was licensed in October 2007. Nobody has more experience selling houses in this market than he. With his approach and personal attention to the three ideals of precision, sensitivity, and respect he has successfully helped hundreds of people with real estate transactions and advice in this economic market. He as offered to give us his professional advice, suggestions, and tips, here at friendlysuggestions.com! For more information about real estate please contact Michael via phone, email, or visit his website at:
phone: 215-340-5700 x152 email: firstname.lastname@example.org