What’s Going On?

Where do I start? Should I introduce myself and give a brief resume highlighting my 25-plus years in real estate? Should I just dig in and give an overview of the real estate market, put on a Swami hat and predict the future like so many politicians, pundits, economists and real estate executives? It will not soothe those who are living in this quagmire that we refer to as an economic meltdown, sawtooth recession and-or near depression. How can I start my first blog?

These questions have been stimulating thought for the last several months. I determined that I could incorporate my 25 years experience in real estate to write this blog, be informative, enlightening and helpful and, yes, I can put these thoughts into a blog format. I have had experience in writing as I co-authored the book, “Targeting the Over 55 Market.” I also hosted a live radio show on CBS radio entitled, “Real Estate Talk” for 10 years. I have been a top producer for most of my career and have been a featured speaker nationwide. I am hoping that my achievements, longevity and practical experience in real estate will help me make sense of this frenetic housing market so that readers can make informed decisions regarding housing.

Each blog will deal with a specific topic on real estate or related issues. I will offer opinions that may or may not be the opinion of Delaware Today, welcome comments, and stimulate debate and discussion. I also look forward to hearing what’s important to you, the readers and to “blogging” and sharing information.

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Let’s get started. Statistics are a bit of a cloud. We all know how important clouds are, but it seems that some are transparent, some translucent and still others opaque. Like studying clouds, it is somewhat difficult to interpret just what we are seeing.

Statistics can be used to defend a position or just the opposite. Often, they are manipulated just enough to prove the position of the one who is generating the statistic. I always felt that a statistic is only helpful if it directly affects the outcome of my situation. I don’t mean to downplay the importance of statistics or sound narcissistic, but if the statistic does not affect your current situation it is of little use.

For instance, saying that the real estate market is still in a decline is as accurate as saying that the temperature in America is 60 degrees. Real estate is local, so when a general statistic is quoted by various national media, there should be a local expert stating how it is affecting the local area. When one keeps reading and hearing bad news, they start believing bad news. Is the market “bad?” NO! The market is the market. It is different, but not “bad.”

There has always been opportunity in chaos, and these times are no different. Will people lose money on their properties? Perhaps they will lose money. Or maybe they will make money, depending on where they purchased, when they purchased, the condition of their home and whether they established equity. Will buyers be able to purchase homes? Yes. The inventory, in fact is the highest in years, the mortgage rates are the lowest in my 25 years in the business, and the opportunities are everywhere.

There’s good news for investors, as well: Renters are increasing, thereby giving investors a large pool of tenants. The answers lie in the information. The information can be obtained FREE just by contacting a Realtor and getting an analysis. It is as simple as that.

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Many questions are buzzing around, mixed with misinformation and doom-and-gloom scenarios. Rumors are circulating that the market will never recover or that the recovery is years away. Home values will continue to drop. Banks have a “shadow inventory” of homes ready to dump on the foreclosure market. These are but a few—and all FALSE.

There are areas of the country that are thriving and pockets where there is a housing shortage. There are areas where homeowners don’t even know what a short sale is or why it exists. It’s local, I say. Local. Are we recovering? Every day we hear and read information that runs counter to a recovery. Some true, some speculation. It is slower than previously thought or expected. What seemed to be the eighth inning of a very long and arduous game may, in fact, go into extra innings. Hold tight, though. This too shall pass. We will come out on the other side of this economic disaster wiser and stronger than when we went into it.

Delaware is certainly not insulated from what is going on nationally, particularly in the employment and business categories. We lost two assembly plants and had Bank of America take away many of the previous MBNA positions. Home building squealed to a halt, especially in Kent and Sussex counties, creating many unfinished developments waiting for their communities to be completed. That said, the now vacant GM plant could be producing cars within two years. Banks are renegotiating loans for developers or selling them at a reduced price to new builders. We could have new homes ready in the late fall.

In the future, I hope to put a local spin on the national numbers. National numbers do reflect the economy as a whole, and I intend to cull through them to report how they affect our local market. If you have a subject or opinion on the blog, please state it and I will do my best to address the question or comment.

Thanks for reading.

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