Happy New Year! I hope your holidays were joyfully spent with family and friends and that the New Year brings you good health and prosperity. I am really looking forward to what 2009 has to offer and happily, I am not alone!
There's a tangible return to optimism.
Here's what one previously cautious reader had to say . . . "Julie, still enjoying your updates . . . and still scared about what lies ahead. Meanwhile, guess what? We're in escrow to buy a place . . . (Yeah, I know; I don't listen to my own advice.) It's a real dump, the classic fixer-upper but it's got what you guys call 'great bones,' and it's in a nice part of The City . . .'
Their logic for taking the plunge?
They are looking to live in the property for at least five to 10 years, this will be their home and they were able to get a good price from a very motivated seller. Plus, the ridiculously low interest rates these days made it incredibly affordable!
"Even adding a homeowner's line to the monthly mortgage," my reader added, "we're only going to be paying a few bucks more than we now do for rent." Wait, it gets better. Charles goes on to say "I don't have any data to support my hunch, but my opinion - and it's only my opinion - is that more folks around the country are going to get lured back into the market because of increased affordability as well as the low interest rates. That's not to say housing prices won't continue to slip but hopefully, we're approaching the turning point. Six months from now, I'll know whether I was right or simply offering another useless opinion."
Hey Charles, I think your opinion is right on the money! Furthermore, I think that those of you who step in and take advantage of today's market are going to be well rewarded down the line.
Congratulations Charles on seeing the upside potential of our current real estate market and thanks for your revised forecast and optimistic viewpoint.
Please keep me posted.
Julie Gardner, has been writing The Perspective for 15 years and has published more than 600 essays. She is also a frequent contributor to the Sound Off column in the Real Estate section of The San Francisco Chronicle.