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“Happier as a clam at high water” – As explained to my six-year-old, clams are picked when the water is low (low tide) so that the clam diggers can easily pick them. When the tide is high they are under water and safe…happy. This colloquial expression serves as a perfect metaphor for an ideal economic shift with anticipated results in our different markets. The Feds gauge, measure, assess, project and interject their results in the form of rate changes. What they set determines what direction we go in terms of mortgage rates, consumer confidence, and every vehicle that is traded, bought, sold or borrowed. Some major things have happened in the past few weeks that reveal one glaring realty: the navigators in our economic ship have determined we are on the way up and the bottom is behind us.
The Fed’s stepped out of purchasing mortgage-backed securities & the tax credit program for home buyers has not been extended and there is no indication that it will be. The life-lines are being pulled back, the training wheels detached and we are left to build our economy back the old-fashioned and American way….oursleves.
To go along with the metaphor that titles this entry, the Feds have been throwing clams at us trying to feed our economy. With this shift away from a hand-fed economy what will result?
In the real estate marketplace we have just seen the best month since the bubble burst largely in part to the tax credits fused with the time-tested brainwashing that spring is always the best time to buy & sell. The real estate media moguls are attempting to spin the information the most profitable way with statements like “hurry time is running out” or “the era of low interests rates has gone” which holds true and accurate for once. The next few months will be very interesting to encounter. We really do have historically low-interest rates, incredibly low prices, tons of inventory, encouraging job growth projections and tax incentives to urge the clam diggers to start digging.
The tide is definitely low, but the folks who do the digging have been hand fed and apprehensive to venture back into the depths again that got them in trouble. When you take away a life-preserver it always results in a period of sinking before it causes swimming. As much as I want the successes of the past few weeks to be sustained for months to come the reality is we have to endure another difficult period before we start experiencing the economic momentum we have been waiting for. One thing is certain, when we are unsure about what’s to come, we hoard and protect. That is not the posture of a bustling economy. But we will get there. That opens an opportunity for those who can recognize it.
With loans hard to get and as rates rise while the Fed’s leave the consumers to fend for themselves we all stand at the shore and wait for signs that it is safe to start digging. We are hungry to buy that cheap home or investment but not sure if the timing is right. That hesitation leaves plenty of great properties on the market and the best in the business have no competition in picking up dirt cheap deals.
If you are considering to purchase a home or investment property find a way to do it now. Be creative in your approach to financing these deals and find a way to make it happen. Whether the bottom was a month ago or two months down the road the time is now to make this historically important benchmark the pride of your investing portfolio. Don’t let “if I only would have invested at that time” enter your reflective monologues. Start the process now or you are chasing deals up an incline.
Buyers are scarce, loans are scarce, opportunities are bountiful and in a time where deals should be picked up rather than lay dormant we see a low tide with happy clams. That’s just not right. Feel free to contact me with the great deals as I see them in a land without clams….just deals.