Spring is around the corner, interest rates have dropped and ownership opportunities are more favorable for buyers than I have seen them in the 21 years I have been in business. The housing inventory appears to be leveling out and more contracts are being negotiated. We should see more closings in March due to the market stimulation taking place now.
If you are renting, the rent is not tax deductible and you only have the security of a lease. When you own, you have a tax break and a life-time investment, not to mention the "American Dream."
I have had several calls recently from folks wanting to buy up or down and they are concerned about pricing. It's a great time to buy up or down! If you are buying or selling within the same geographic area it is a wash. If you sell when prices have declined, you will in turn buy at a lower price and vice versa.
Other calls have addressed pricing and just how much should I be willing to adjust. Well, how much will it cost you to carry your property another six months (payments, utilities, insurance, maintenance, taxes, etc?). Consider this amount and really think about lowering the price and getting it sold while market conditions are favorable. This may be the only window of opportunity in 2008. You should also put a plan of action together by gathering rental information (what would your property rent for and what is the demand?). Consider being creative if need be and offer short term leases for people in transit, they may even barter and allow you to keep the property on the market in exchange for renting short term while they are relocating, building or learning the area. You can offer an encentive if they decide to buy your property.
For those who are afraid to go ahead and buy what they have their eye on because they are concerned that the price will decline or something better will come along - When you rent, you throw your money away! How much longer will you be throwing out that money? At least another four to six months, right? Well, take that amount and add it to what you are considering negotiating on (in your mind) and you will feel safer proceeding. A house is to be your home and a long term investment, prices do fluctuate in a normal market, don't get hung up on what next month may bring and end up losing more money by continuing to rent.
For those that have so many friends, family members, etc in the business and you don't know who to select to assist you - Real Estate is for most the LARGEST investment in your life like your HEART is the most important organ in your body. When you need HEART surgery, do you call your neighbor who just got out of med school or the general practitioner? Keep that same thought process when you are handling the LARGEST investment in your life and the right answer will arrive!
Get rid of the tunnel vision and put that creative cap on! As my Grandma says, "It can't rain all of the time, the sun will shine again." In my 42 years, I have had some personal downpours and she has always proved to be right.