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Dig Into Real Estate for 2012: High Unemployment, Foreclosures, & Poor Economy Bring Opportunity in the Housing Market

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Will Rogers is known for his quote: “Buy land, they’re not making it any more…”.  A generation or two later, it proves to be as true as ever.  Tough to housing pricesbelieve, but we’re in the midst of one of the best economies ever for getting into the real estate market.  If ever there was a silver lining in this economy, the real estate market is probably it.  
 
Courtesy of a vicious economic trifecta of high unemployment rates, a high foreclosure rate and regular folks just trying to sell their house under the most ordinary of circumstances, there is currently a glut of properties on the housing market that some experts estimate will take at least a decade to stabilize.  In the meantime, prices nationwide have dropped to levels absolutely unthinkable just a few years ago.  Yet the question remains:  with personal savings at all time lows, and economic confidence a solid notch lower than that, how can anyone benefit from the market today?  Here’s how:

Renting – With record home foreclosures driving throngs of people back to the rental market, the demand for quality rental properties has never been higher.  Investing in one or more of those foreclosure properties (at the right price), will not only make you a hero to the neighbors, but a godsend to a family who is looking for a good house in a good neighborhood to call home.
 
Flipping – Is there still a market for flippers?  Absolutely!  The key is in the buying price and knowing up front what it will cost to repair.  Rule of thumb: never underestimate costs, and never overestimate your renovation skills.  Being a “This Old House” DVD junkie does not a contractor make.   When factoring costs, put together a “Plan B” in case it doesn’t sell as fast as you’d like, including renting it out for a solid monthly supplemental income.
 

Owning – Trust me gang, the dream of homeownership is still very much alive and well.  If your income and/or saving skills over the last few years have allowed you to save the down payment banks are now asking for, then the American Dream of home ownership is all but jumping on your head and shrieking “buy, buy, buy!” as you sleep.  Connect with a quality realtor to find the properties that fit your needs in your price range.  If you are part of the beloved demographic of potential buyers that has actual – dare I say it? – SAVINGS put away for a down payment, the real estate world is literally your oyster.  Dive in!

Housing prices graph from blog.competitivefutures.com

Kristen Hagopian is a Personal Finance Author, Columnist, Motivational Speaker and Radio Talk Show Host with WFYL 1180AM. “The Brilliant Frugal Living Show” airs Tuesdays and Saturdays at 11:00A. She lives fabulously & frugally just outside Philadelphia with her husband and two kids.  Log onto www.BrilliantFrugalLiving.com for more information.

 

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