Monday was the 115th running of the Boston Marathon. It was a day filled with a unique combination...it was a perfect day for spectators and a ideal day for the runners.
When it's sunny and pleasant, thousands and thousands of spectators line the 26.2 mile route.
Those days are difficult for the runners because the winds are typically off the water and at their faces. Additionally, if it's been a long, cold winter as this one was, the runners are training in adverse conditions. The sunny, warm day of the marathon is a challenging day.
If it's a cool, rainy day, it's great for the runners, although as you would expect the attendance of spectators is down significantly.
This year, was the exception.
The runners ran with the wind at their back the entire race. A record was set for the fastest time.
I started thinking about this analogy in terms of real estate.
In today's real estate market, buyers have the wind at their backs.
They are in the driver's seat, they have historically low interest rates, they have housing prices that have dropped in our local west of Boston market since spring of 2006, and sellers who are being much more realistic about the 3 P's of real estate in today's market...Price, Price and Price.
Let's put it in perspective by checking out these national averages...
1989 2011 % difference
Bread $.67 $2.49 371%
Gas (per gal.) $.97 $3.75 386%
New Car $15,350 $28,400 185%
Existing Home $94,000 $173,000 184%
Mortgage Rate 10% 5% (50)%
Monthly Payment $825 $934 11.2%
The cost of home ownership in today's market is low.
Right now, the wind is at the buyers' back.
The wind is changing...interest rates are rising.
The consumer can wait for the head wind or take advantage of the tail wind and enjoy the priceless benefits of home ownership.
The 2011 Fannie Mae National Housing Survey shows that 4 of the biggest reasons people buy a home have nothing to do with money:
1- A place to raise and educate their children
2- A place where their family will feel safe
3- To have plenty of living space
4- To have control over the space where they live.
If you were to make a list, what non-financial benefits would you and your family would gain from owning a home?
Your answers should be the determining factor about whether purchasing a home is right for you.
Don't allow money to be the only factor in making the decision that's right for you.
In factoring in the finances to your decision, remember that for the time being, the prevailing factors have the wind at your back.