By Gary Shapiro | Digital Free Press
Recent news has put a slight cloud on the economy and housing. For those of you who may be uncertain about the wisdom and timing of buying or selling, I’d like to offer a seasoned perspective.
The world is full of pessimists and optimists. What are you? That’s your choice. After five decades as a Scottsdale Realtor, I’ll admit to being an optimist. Candidly, the pessimists don’t last in the biz.
I’ve never been a fan of the prophets of doom, the naysayers and the predators. Do you for a moment think you’ll stop getting texts, calls and letters from people wanting to buy your home? If anything, their prospecting efforts will increase as they attempt to capitalize on your fear.
Yes, real estate is cyclical. There have always been some bumps and grinds. But, in the long run homes in our area will be worth more tomorrow than they were in yesteryear.
Yes, real estate is local. The factors impacting Arizona are different than in Illinois or Michigan. Yes, people love living here. Our newcomers are tired of cold weather, hurricanes and tornadoes, other natural disasters like flooding, and hefty property taxes.
Yes, interest rates are more expensive than what we’ve become accustomed to. But, they’re still lower than previous rates that eclipsed at 21 percent years ago. We’ve been spoiled.
Yes, recent property appreciation rates have been unrealistic and unsustainable. So, here’s some reliable information so you can make strategic decisions.
Home prices in Arizona have always been governed by what I call “Shapiro’s Law of Sunshine.” It says as long as the sun shines here and it’s snowing in Buffalo, we’ll be okay. Very few homeowners keep their mortgages for 15 or 30 years. Rates change routinely and it’s common to refinance an undesirable loan.
Most people I’ve talked to in the past 50 years fall into the category called “Coulda, Woulda and Shouda.” It stands for “I could have bought more property. I would have bought more property. I should have bought more property.” It demonstrates their admission that real estate continues to be one of the most important investments anyone can make. If they had it to do over again, there would be no hesitancy.
The prophets of doom have always predicted bubbles bursting and depreciating home prices. Don’t buy into it. Instead, we can all live with more modest and sustainable appreciation rates.
Real estate is traditionally an illiquid asset. It’s important to think long term.
The flippers and other predators aren’t going away. They’d like you to believe they are offering you the highest possible price, the best terms, and flexible possession. None of them are making offers with the thoughts they will lose money. They’re in it to make a profit at your expense.
Here’s my seasoned advice. Stay calm. Associate yourself with trusted advisers who have your best interests in heart and rely on their advice.
It’s your choice to accept or reject any negative news. Good luck.
Editor’s note: Mr. Shapiro is a Realtor and longtime local community advocate.