Thursday, February 19, 2009

Now's The Time to Buy!

In the wake of the recently announced plan by lawmakers to assist homeowners in the U.S., Larry King last night hosted a variety of real estate and investment types to gain their perspective on the current state of the U.S. housing market. Overwhelmingly most, including opportunists like Donald Trump agreed that now is the time to buy.
Althought they were referencing the real estate market south of the border, much of their philosophy applies here in Canada as well. Currently there is a great selection of properties available for buyers to choose including both resale and new construction, making this clearly a "buyer's" market. With so much competition amongst sellers to attract a willing purchaser, buyers are in a great position to be able to negotiate a price and terms in their best interests. Interest rates continue to remain at near record low rates for qualified buyers, many of which in our market do not need financiaing anyway. So what's holding people back?
Well, right now consumer confidence is hardly going through the roof. More importantly however, buyers appear to be waiting for significant price reductions which may or may not happen. Suppose prices in our market area were to drop 5% or 10%. Most buyers, unless they are investors looking to "flip" the property for a profit are not buying for the short-term. Many in this market are buying for their long-terms needs especially that of retirement. Does the possibility of a 5% or 10% price reduction really matter if you are going to own a property for years? As a panelist on Larry King last night further pointed out, it makes no sense to loose out on a great property in a good location, one that represents good value in today's market on the pretense or under the fear that it might go down in value a few percent in the short-term.
What really needs to happen as many of my colleagues and others point out is to stop listening to the media. They by and large propogate doom and gloom. Whether you are looking to buy a home, car or any other major purchase, there are some great deals out their to be had and borrowed money is still available for most.
If you are considering a real estate purchase, there is no better time than now. Enlist the help of a qualified REALTOR® that is a strong negotiator and will work diligently on your behalf. A buyer client I am working with asked if I would put in a lower offer for him on a property and I said "absolutely." After all it's his money and we are by-and-large bound ethically to follow a client's instructions. Being a creative negotiator is going to be the name of the game in this year's real estate market and no one for certain knows what price and terms are going to be accepted by a seller until you ask.

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Rick relocated to Collingwood from Toronto in 1985 through a transfer with Goodyear Canada. In 1987 Rick was recruited by a major client of Goodyear’s, managing their Canadian business based in Barrie before moving to Chicago in 1992 as Vice President of Sales & Marketing. Upon returning to Canada in 1996, Rick ran an industrial products manufacturing company in Stratford, Ontario. In 1998 Rick returned to Collingwood with his two children. Rick is a licensed real estate Broker with Royal LePAGE Locations North in Collingwood and holds his MVA designation (Market Value Appraiser-Residential). He is an active volunteer in the community serving several years on the Board of Directors with the Collingwood Chamber of Commerce as Treasurer, 6 years on the Board of Directors for the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® of which he is the Past President (2008) and currently serves on a committee with the Ontario Real Estate Association. Rick is a diverse executive manager with extensive experience in strategic planning, manufacturing, finance, human resources and quality assurance management.