Lions and Lambs

07 Mar
March 7, 2009

You’ve heard the expression “March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb”. Well, March certainly came in like a lion blanketing the northeast with a major snowstorm. So, if the expression holds true it will go out like a lamb bringing us warm springtime weather. In the real estate world there’s another expression that the spring market really begins in late January or early February. But it’s not too late if you are thinking of putting your house on the market.

Housing inventory is finally beginning to decrease for the first time in several years. When the glut of foreclosures and short sales inundated the market, private sellers could seldom compete with the low prices being accepted by banks. In December, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced a 30 day moratorium on evictions. It was done for a number of reasons not the least being the good PR they needed by not evicting folks during the holidays and cold weather. The moratorium was extended twice but it appears that it will not be extended again. However, both Fannie & Freddie are putting in place programs for qualified homeowners and tenants to remain in the property on a month to month basis while the house is marketed for sale.

For sellers, now is a good time to put your home on the market. With inventory down there is less competition. Spruce it up, do a little landscaping, and price it right. Be realistic, and your home will sell. For buyers, the time has never been better. Real estate follows the laws of supply and demand. For years the supply was low and the demand was exceedingly high. As a result prices skyrocketed out of control and creative lenders allowed people to take on mortgages they really shouldn’t have. We know what happened. People lost their homes, the banks were overwhelmed with inventory and the formula changed; exceedingly high inventory and a very low demand. Prices plummeted. The banks began to sell off their inventory because the interest rates dropped and there were good deals for wise buyers. There are still a lot of foreclosures on the market, but the numbers are getting smaller. Real estate is also cyclical and it won’t be long before the inventory shrinks and the buyer demand increases. Prices and interest rates will go up. Don’t be left behind and regret not having made the decision. Buying now assures you that in just a few more years you’ll be building back your nest egg. Be a lion. Fire your landlord. Stop making his mortgage payment for him and begin to experience the satisfaction of home ownership and tax deductions.

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