Over the last few years – actually, more than that – we’ve seen a lot of people lose a ton of money in their homes. Prices in many parts of the country cratered, and it seems like stories of declining prices were prevalent in most places.
Here in the Chicago area, I’ve seen prices drop measurably over the last 5 or 6 years. There were places that saw homes go off the market very quickly, and have multiple bidders, turn very quiet. As if they were parts of ghost towns, nearly devoid of buyers, with tumbleweeds blowing by. Interesting, because this is an area that has a large corporate and business base, and is quite diversified overall as the center of commerce between the coasts. If it could be like this here, what could things be like elsewhere?
We’ve heard all kinds of stories about houses that could be bought for a massive discount from prices of not too long ago. Places like Miami, Phoenix, and Las Vegas come to mind. Detroit might be the poster child, as there are plenty of homes there that could be purchased on a credit card! Go check real estate listing for that city, on a major site. You’ll find plenty of homes under $1,000. Of course, there’s often a very, very god reason that homes are priced so low.
Anyway, I’ve noticed over here that after some years of falling prices, there appears to be some stability. This isn’t based on a scientific, professional assessment of tons of data, but rather from just a person checking websites here and there and looking at prices within a few different suburban areas. Where there had been steady price declines, there now appears to be a leveling off. In fact, I’ve seen some areas with prices that are surprisingly healthy, given the previous declines.
With interest rates still very low, and prices leveling off, I wonder if the window to purchase true bargain real estate is closing. Is this a good time to buy real estate?
While my interest is primarily for living purposes at this time, there are others who might see this an opportunie time to invest. If one could take out a super low interest loan, and rent out while ensuring the vacancy rate is kept low, a really solid rate of return might be had in this present environment. Additionally, there is the possibility of future asset value increases as well. Sort of like getting dividends and seeing capital appreciation on a stock.
Real estate can be a component to one’s long-term investment plan. Many people have done very well, and have been able to grow net worth this way. There are plenty of personal finance bloggers that invest in real estate, and operate as landlords!
What Do You Think?
Do you see prices stabilizing where you live?
Do you think the window of opportunity to get a low-priced home is closing, or do you see prices continuing to drop?
Have you considered investing in real estate as a landlord?