The Richmond, Virginia metropolitan region of Long & Foster Real Estate met today for a Town-hall gathering. Several hundred local real estate agents, brokers and sponsors attended this special event which spent much of the morning commenting on the state of the company and the realities of real estate in our market sphere. The most important message I took away from all this is, of course, that with the amazingly low interest rates available to consumers today, and the apparent stabilization of real property in our area, it is perhaps the most affordable time in our history to purchase a home. So what is everyone waiting for?
Well, first, this premise presupposes that one has a relatively stable/secure job, ensuring enough confidence and providing proper financial wherewithal to make the next step into home ownership – or to make a move-up purchase. This is without a doubt a HUGE obstacle for anyone to see beyond, and if you’re risk adverse, it may not be manageable. But is the risk any greater today than four years ago when lenders were literally giving away mortgage loans while home prices continued to skyrocket through the heavens? Honestly, I just don’t get it!
Secondly, the media seems to have cornered all futures in real estate. I think it is too easy to pull the media card whenever our woes exceed rational justification, but you have to admit there are no headlines out there promoting the long-term benefits of the current interest rate. As a fellow realtor mentioned this morning, we should be shouting about the best kept secret in the real estate market – low interest rates are far better than any tax credit the government can offer. Just do the math! But hush; don’t tell anyone, it’s a secret. Maybe then the public, and possibly the media, will take note and make a step toward home ownership and a sound life’s-investment.
I can’t say what it will take to help people feel better about real estate, but my business tells me that the housing market continues to improve. Someone must be feeling better about things, because the difference between what is going on today over just a year ago is astounding, and our numbers/statistics reflect this notion. The caveat to this observation is that we need to continue looking forward and forget about what’s in the rearview mirror. The years of 2005-2007 are thankfully gone. There is a new reality out there now for all of us to observe, just ask your REALTOR®. The honest truth is always plain to see!