Religion, sex and money are all deeply personal decisions. A coined answer to the original question is almost impossible. Having sold and invested in Real Estate for the past 20+ years, here is MY view on the subject:
An improperly trained agent is as dangerous as a Buyer or Seller transacting Real Estate without proper representation; maybe even more dangerousâ€¦
A good Realtor is worth his weight in gold, or at least silver. A good agent:
1. Cares about his clients and watches out for their money as if they were his own.
2. Is extremely well trained and up to date on Real Estate Law, Methodology, Trends, Statistics, Economics, etc.
3. Is ethical and has a good moral compass.
4. Is a good reader of people and knows how to debrief his clients. He asks the right questions in order to determine the exact, unique needs his clients have â€œright nowâ€.
Things to consider about Real Estate and todayâ€™s market:
1. Plenty of inventory with a plethora of Bank Owned properties available for sale in many markets. Banks are not subjective sellers; they are not in the business of owning Real Estate and want these properties off their books asap, which COULD mean exceptional deals for the savvy investors. My investors have bid as low as 33% below fair market value (which may be different from â€œappraised valueâ€â€¦ appraisals are still coming in too high) and got the deals approved. (Now you understand the value of a good agentâ€¦ What I can do to present these offers correctly, stay on top of them and garner bank approval, no one else can do, unless they have 20+ years of experience and an enormous amount of training, not to mention the ability to think outside the box and be a â€œdog with a boneâ€ as Iâ€™m often referred to).
2. Although it is now a lot harder to obtain a loan, those few fortunate investors who qualify can get money at a very low cost.
3. Instead of speculating where the prices are going next, I endorse a different approach: do your analysis of the particular property you are considering buying. Add up all the costs involved: Principal, Interest, taxes, insurance, hoa dues, property management costs and any other expenses associated with that property. Figure out how much rent you could charge for that property. Establish a realistic fair market rent. Subtract all your expenses from that figure. If you come out close to even, or you make a bit of money on it, go ahead with the transaction. When you figure in the depreciation on your taxes, your actual figures will be even more glowingâ€¦ Someone else will be paying for your asset, while the value of your asset is going up (you have to look at it long term, not as in next month, or even next year).
4. If you are concerned with buying at the very bottom of the market dip, you have to be very much in tune with the market. Quarterly absorption rates are a good indicator of these, but there is true danger of missing the boat on the lowest prices, for no matter how careful or analytical you are, by the time the figures present themselves, it may be too late.
I hope this helps. BTW, I am not available for hire, as I am fully booked for the foreseeable future. I will, however, answer your questions, whenever the time permits. There is a reason they call it REAL estate: all the data is public; you donâ€™t have to rely on BS from CFOâ€™s spewing â€œdoctoredâ€ data about their corporationsâ€¦ Also worthy to note:
1. The richest people in the world are deeply invested in Real Estate.
2. Everyone needs a roof over their head.
3. Real Estate is cyclical and we are currently in a dip.