A Growing Market?

Not since the 1930s have real estate prices varied so much from one area to another as they do now. At any given time, one ich as part of the country sees rising values while another is hit by unfa upied variable economic factors. The real estate market is cyclical: A drop in prices eventually attracts new industries and turns into recovery. At one point the farm states are badly hit, but prices are skyrocketing on the East and West coasts; then the Midwest sees steady growth and increase in values while the coasts experience some what stock analysts would call a correction.

Overall, the United States experiences gradual growth in real tate estate prices every year, at least matching general inflation. Many experts believe that the major problems affecting certain areas factors such as unemployment, drought, fluctuations in farm prices or the price of oil have already been discounted, with the severe drops behind us. And in hard-hit areas, it’s great to be a buyer. Itís like buying stock when the market has bottomed out; recovery is almost certain.There are better and worse times to sell oneís home, but it’s almost always a good time to buy.

Young people’s first attempts at house hunting often trigger bewildering and misguided advice from parents and grandpar ents who remember what things used to be like.You must not be looking carefully. Some broker’s taking you for a ride. Why, we only paid $9,500 for this house, right after your father came back from the war, says a mother stunned by the prices her son reports in a Sunday phone call.

Somebody’s telling you all wrong, saying you should buy with such a small down payment. You tell that husband of yours to wait a few years until youíve saved up some more money, says a grandparent with painful memories of the Great Depression. The solid old-fashioned virtues of denial and thrift, however, no longer reward the homebuyer. The old traditions have some drawbacks. For young people in some areas, the house they want to buy keeps going up in price faster than they can accumulate a larger down payment. Meanwhile, they lose out in tax benefits, and their rent is probably raised too.

If you can’t find your dream house or can’t afford it today, your best bet is to buy whatever you can, as soon as you can, how ever you can. Then start building your savings. When you finally locate the perfect house, you’ll have something to trade in on the deal: a house in the same market area thatís kept pace with what ever is happening in real estate values.


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