Don’t Let Winter Freeze Your Assets

Don’t Let Winter Freeze Your Assets

Is winter the “off season” for your real estate plans? PJ Wade explains why waiting for the spring market may be the more expensive thing to do.

Real estate may be the furthest thing from your mind at this time of year, but keep three key real estate realities uppermost in your thinking, or 2019 could be an expensive year – in more ways than one.

#1. “It’s always the right time to buy or sell real estate- when the right property or opportunity appears.”

There’s still a tendency to think about real estate according to seasons. This 20th-Century leftover didn’t help much then and it doesn’t now in our full-on lifestyles. When buyers wait to join competitors in the highly-competitive spring market, they often pay more than necessary. Savvy buyers know stepping “outside the box – the spring market – may give them an edge and make their offer appear to have more value to sellers. While everyone else is freezing their assets til spring, consider breaking away from the pack and searching out sellers who are determined, perhaps out of necessity, to sell at this time of year. With less buyer competition and committed sellers, your real estate professional may be able to negotiate a deal that carries extra financial benefit for you.

#2. “Credit card debt delivers two solid financial hits that are hard to recover from.”

• Carry a credit card balance and any ‘great deal’ benefits you achieved may disappear into heavy interest penalties
• Credit card debt limits mortgage size and. therefore. the value of home that is considered affordable.

Billions will be spent online and in stores before the end of 2018 and billions in credit card debt will drag consumers down as 2019 unfolds.

Will those purchases be worth limiting the location and size of real estate you can afford to make yours in 2019? Times have changed, but has your spending pattern changed? Does out-of-date spending have you buying things that are non-essential to demonstrating your love or affection for another or to maintain an expensive lifestyle? The new reality is people don’t wait for someone to buy them gifts anymore. When something online or in stores catches their eye, they buy it. Instant gratification is now a way of life. But impulse buying for yourself or others, can limit your future. Think before you click or swipe. Ask yourself, “Is this really the best way to send the message I’d like to communicate?” and “Isthis purchase really more important than realizing dreams?”

#3. “Professional insight is essential.”

Since it is “out of season” with little or no buyer competition, you may feel that you can handle the search on your own. Don’t kid yourself.

Doing this without significant professional insight and experience may lead to your undoing. The good news is that this advice is all around you and most of it available at no charge. Real estate professionals are in the business of matching buyers and sellers at any time of the year.

Not to blow our own horn, but RealtyTimes.com is a real estate information mecca for those who want to create achievable goals. My column, “Decisions & Communities” is packed with tips and realities for buyers and sellers (and real estate professionals, too). For instance, smart home technology is high on gift lists this year, but this is still emerging technology, so be sure you buy what makes the most sense. My recent column, “Smart Homes: Backed-Up Your Fridge
Lately?” will help get you started. If there are other real estate topics you’d like explored let me know: pjwade@thecatalyst.com.






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