Ridgewood Real Estate Blog : December 2008

2009 Will be a terrible year in Real Estate

Now that I have your attention...

Carpe Diem; 2009 will belong to people who seize the day and the year.

2009 will prove to be a difficult year for The United States and for its people. There is plenty of bad news to bathe yourself in if you are looking for it. The economy is terrible, people are losing their jobs, foreclosures are at new heights. Fear is gripping our country. What will it take for us to return to normalcy? When will the public sentiment turn towards optimism? FDR said, “We have nothing to fear, but fear itself.” in the same inauguration speech in 1933 he said, “Only a foolish optimist can deny the dark realities of the moment.” Let’s dissect this with an eye on the Real Estate market.

Real Estate is still the best investment.

Everybody has to live somewhere. They aren’t making any more land. Prices have dropped considerably in our area. Homes that just two years ago may have been out of reach for the average homebuyer have now come back in play. In a typical Real Estate cycle home prices and mortgage rates move in the opposite direction of each other. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, home prices were low but mortgage rates were near 18%. Right now we are in the perfect storm for a homebuyer. Prices have come down drastically and mortgage rates are near all-time lows. What is happening right now will probably not happen again in our lifetime. So, why are we afraid? We are afraid to make a mistake! Nobody, I mean nobody wants to buy a house today and then see it lose value. Then the question becomes; should I wait until the market “bottoms” out before I buy? Do a quick google search on timing the Real Estate market and you will find many opinions. Fortunately most of these folks have some kind of “Real Estate System” or book to sell you. Many people who try to time the market miss out on building equity because the only way to tell the bottom is when prices start to rise again. The Real Estate cycle only becomes clear in retrospect. Buying a home is not like buying a stock. You should plan on living in your home because you like the neighborhood and the amenities of the home. Any equity that you build should be a bonus, not the reason you purchase. The longer you stay in your home; the more likely it is that you will make money. We all know people who bought their house 15 years ago or more. Very few of those people are complaining that they bought their house “at the peak”. They may have spent more than they wanted to at the time, but looking back it was a great investment.

What are our dark realities?

One of the realities that we face is that unemployment is rising and credit markets have tightened. There are a percentage of our neighbors who are “underwater” in their current homes. Their homes are mortgaged for more than they are worth. Some of our neighbors will lose their homes to foreclosure in 2009. Others will be proactive and decide to sell the home that they can’t afford before they lose it. A short sale may be the answer. When someone owes more than their house is worth they may still be able to sell it. In a short sale a homeowner can sell their home for less than what is owed on it and have the bank pay for all the closing costs; including the Realtors fee, transfer tax, attorney fee, back taxes and possibly more fees. A short sale is a complicated process, make sure that the person representing you has the experience necessary to navigate through the waters.

Final FDR thought.

“This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper.” This quote reminds me that life is cyclical, the economy is cyclical and Real Estate is cyclical. We are citizens of the greatest country in the world. We will endure, revive and prosper once again. 2009 will belong to the proactive. Don’t be fearful; get off the sidelines, this year will bring us innovations that people would have never thought possible just a few short years ago. That is what adversity does to people. More small businesses will be created because people have lost their jobs. When times are good we have to be careful of complacency. I believe that we, as a nation, are ready for the challenge. Go and seize the day!

Get Educated. Get Empowered.

For more information on this or any other topic, call Sal Poliandro, Realtor, Marketing Advisor,

Short Sale Specialist ePRO, SRES at 201-259-2187, or visit our websites: www.SalAndDawn.com or www.shortsaleguy.org

Sal can be reached by snail mail at RE/MAX Properties 73 East Allendale Road Saddle River, NJ 07458

Get Educated.  Get Empowered.

For more information on this or any other topic, call Sal Poliandro, Broker Associate, Realtor, Marketing Advisor,

Short Sale Specialist and CDPE, Certified Distressed Property Expert

ePRO, SRES at 201-957-7650, visit our website: www.BCHomeTeam.com 

Follow me on Twitter: @salanddawn

Sal can be reached by snail mail at RE/MAX Properties 82 East Allendale Road  Suite 4B Saddle River, NJ 07458

Comment balloon 4 commentsSal Poliandro - Bergen County Realtor • December 23 2008 01:12AM
2009 Will be a terrible year in Real Estate
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Now that I have your attention… Carpe Diem; 2009 will belong to people who seize the day and the year. 2009 will prove to be a difficult year for The United States and for its people. There is plenty of bad news to bathe yourself in if… more