By now you’ve heard that the real estate market is back and that there really isn’t much for sale. You look around your neighborhood and there aren’t many for sale signs and when one goes up, it seems a sold sign appears the very next day. So what’s a buyer to do? As my old grand pappy from Georgia used to say, “Cecil, when it’s time to buy, we buy.” OK, so I didn’t call my grandfather, “grand pappy,” but he was from Georgia and his wife, my grandmother, was Cecilia and he did have a way of putting things. He also had a firm belief in the fundamentals. Supply and demand dictates market value and owning that which is in demand, was always a sound investment.
My Grandpa Jack was a stock guy. He didn’t like bonds, never thought they kept up with the market as a whole. He also didn’t completely understand technology, or new technology anyway. If you couldn’t touch it, he was wary. That’s not to say he didn’t like Big Blue, IBM, because he did, but that was back when they made something. In his day, he liked companies like 3M; he liked the railroads like Norfolk Southern; goods had to be transported after all he reasoned. He liked energy and he liked retail. I wouldn’t exactly call him a gambler, but he did like his margin account. During the depression, his affinity for risk caused him to lose most everything, but not his house. My grandfather firmly believed in real estate but not as a speculative investment, that’s what the stock market was for, rather he viewed real estate as a safe haven for his money and shelter for his family.
My grandfather didn’t move a whole lot. In fact in his 89 years, I think he only bought three homes in his lifetime, selling two to climb into the next one. A home to Grandpa Jack was security. It meant shelter; a roof over his family’s head. My grandfather spent many years on the road and away from his family. Having a home to call his own meant his family was safe and gave him a place to come “home” to.
If you’re home shopping along the Ventura/Los Angeles County line today and are in the $750,000 and below price range, buying a home probably feels like an exercise in futility. But patience and calm is what your Realtor should be counseling right now. There is little doubt we are firmly in a seller’s market and prices are rising. The inventory is low because people are buying property as quickly as a home comes on the market. This notion that low inventory is the reason prices are rising is self-evident. It’s like saying the ocean is wet or snow is cold. Of course low inventory is fueling appreciation, duh… Are prices up? Yes, but if you’re a buyer, finding the right home should always be the focus. I started by telling you about my Grandpa Jack’s belief in the fundamentals and right now the fundamentals indicate real estate to be a sound investment, a long term investment. I’m telling my buyers, don’t get caught up in the hype of speculation and most importantly, don’t panic. Yes it’s a seller’s market, but the right home is out there. It may not be out there this minute, but it’s out there and with the help of your Realtor you’ll find it and when you do, it will be great.