The Rainbow at the End of the Housing Recession

By
Real Estate Agent with DPR Realty LLC
http://actvra.in/dlk

The Rainbow at the End of the Housing Recession

It is easy to become gloomy about the prospects for real estate -- especially since we are in the 5th year of an epic retracement.  In my home state of Arizona, there are communities that experienced price declines of greater than 50%.  Some on the order of 75%.

Over the Rainbow

Yet what I want to discuss here is The Rainbow at the End of the Housing Recession.  Please understand -- I don't want to make light of the structural problems we have in our economy, such as the choking amount of federal and municipal debt and the high level of unemployment.  As a society, we have our work cut out for us.

But I am a contrarian at heart.  So as the economic downturn wears on, I want to begin to look at the glass 'half full'.

To do this, it is useful to be a student of history.  Think back to all of the other slow growth periods during our Nation's history.  We have weathered many of them.  Did you know that there was a serious recession during a portion of the 1950's -- a period that most Americans consider a time of spectacular growth?

Of course, there was the Great Depression of the 1930's.  But you know what is interesting?  If you go back and look at the magazine covers and articles during that period, you realize that Americans didn't spend all their time thinking about how bad things were.  It was a rough period, to be sure, and for many they were horrendous times.  But did you know that the Empire State Building was constructed and opened during the Depression?

 

Empire State Building

There were people in school; at the movies and plays and concerts; people were playing baseball; they were having picnics and going to the beach.  People fell in love, got married and had children.  They still went to their house of worship and had family dinners and played cards and wrote letters and enjoyed one another's company.  

Sound familiar?

Here's the most important part to remember.  Many of our most important companies (and employers) were born during a recession or depression.  Innovation and ambition doesn't look at the calendar.  The spirit of achievement should not be underestimated.

During the bad economic times of the 1970's, no one realized the incredible growth that was going to spring forth from companies such as Intel, or Microsoft or Apple. Likewise, most of us today can not say with certainty what the major companies or industries of tomorrow will be.

Who knows what will cause the next economic leap forward -- but it is coming.  That is the way of the world and of Human Progress.  It might relate to biotechnology... it might relate to Space Exploration... it might relate to new developments in energy or 'green' technologies or transportation.  I don't know what it will be -- I only know it is coming.

And just as in every other period of our history, those who have the foresight to think ahead and buy assets when they are on sale, will be enriched.  In my golden years, I fully expect to be sitting around a pool, or at a card table, and hear a conversation that goes like this:  "Remember the depression in Arizona real estate?  If only we had bought everything we could get our hands on.  Why were we so afraid."

Some things never change.

Is the Rainbow at the End of the Housing Recession upon us?  I am honest enough to say "I don't know."  But it's coming. 

======================================================================

The author, Eric Crane, is an Arizona Real Estate Agent and Investor (and a fan of Judy Garland and Rainbows).  To speak with Eric about real estate investment opportunities in the greater Phoenix metro area, please call him at 602-327-8475 or email him at ericcrane@hotmail.com

* Image of Judy Garland obtained via a Creative Commons License on Flickr.com, through the courtesy of AZRainman.  Image of the Empire State Building obtained via a Creative Commons License on Flickr.com, through the courtesy of Swami Stream.  June 10, 2011.

The Rainbow at the End of the Housing Recession

 

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  1. Hosai Nasir 06/10/2011 04:15 AM
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Topic:
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Location:
Arizona
Groups:
Active Rain Newbies
Addicted to Active Rain
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"Whacked"!!!
Tags:
economic rainbow
end of the housing recession
arizona real estate
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Ambassador
1,255,485
Robert (Vegas Bob) Swetz
Commercial & Residential Real Estate Agent
REALTY ONE GROUP - LAS VEGAS, NEVADA 702.443.7156

Hello Eric and this is a great post! I love the movie and I love Judy Garland because she was born in the same state as Vegas Bob.

I really don't want to rune your positive post and there is some light showing at the end of the rainbow. The plans of the United States Government getting rid of the middle class people is working, and December 2012 is right around the corner ...

and in my opinion this will be the bottom!

There is very large group of "Religious" people are there that are scared and waiting until after 12/22/2012

"Good Day"

Vegas Bob

PS - I have over 30 groups at Activerain, I wish you would join some ...

June 10, 2011 09:14 AM
Rainmaker
374,862
Eric Crane
Greater Metro Phoenix Arizona
DPR Realty LLC

Thanks so much for your comments.

Anne and Andrew -- you are right that you can not paint every real estate market with the same brush.  "All real estate is local."  Although, to be sure, it took a beating in a very diverse group of markets (in a way we hadn't seen in a while).  Andrew also makes a very good point that whatever the dynamics of the market, there is an opportunity to be found and capitalized on.

Aida -- I vacation often in California and love the diversity of your State.  I remember during the bust in the 90s I tried to convince my spouse to buy a property near the beach in one of the Orange County communities.  We did not and regretted our inaction.  An investment that 'got away' at that time.

Bob -- I have enjoyed your posts ever since I started on ActiveRain a couple of weeks ago.  I will definitely look at your groups.  You make a good point that timing is important.  The analogy I would use is this... we have been on a long trek through the desert.  For so long we have been walking, that many of us feel we will never again make our way out.  We don't realize it, but the ocean is just over the horizon.  We can't see it yet, and we have several more 'days' of walking through the desert.  But the turn is coming.

My approach with real estate investment, by the way, is to scale in.  I am not trying to pick THE bottom.  Rather, as long as good properties are cash flowing, build a portfolio over time and then be positioned for the better times in the next cycle.

June 10, 2011 10:56 AM
Rainmaker
578,613
Barbara Altieri
REALTOR - Fairfield County CT Real Estate
RealtyQuest, Fairfield and New Haven County CT Homes for Sale and Real Estate

Eric -- I absolutely agree with your 'card table' prediction.  Years from now many people will look back on this period as being THE time for making real estate investments and an opportunity missed.  Scaling in is excellent advice.  The national media surely adds to the 'stall' we are in by reporting doom and gloom around the clock. Real estate is local, right down to the neighborhoods!

June 11, 2011 10:50 AM
Rainmaker
446,670
Jeff&Grace Safrin
SpousesSellingHousesTM
F.C.Tucker 1st Team Real Estate

 To segway on your above responses...recently our NAR president encouraged us to blog these local differences and counter the illogical sweepin generalizatins of negative press. I agree!

great post Eric

sincerely,

grace

June 11, 2011 11:51 AM
Ambassador
1,255,485
Robert (Vegas Bob) Swetz
Commercial & Residential Real Estate Agent
REALTY ONE GROUP - LAS VEGAS, NEVADA 702.443.7156

Hello again Eric and very good! What I tell clients is prices may go down some more, but if you find a home you really like in a area you like with a great interest rate ... "Pull the Trigger"

VB ;o)

June 11, 2011 04:10 PM
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Rainmaker
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Eric Crane

Greater Metro Phoenix Arizona
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