It's a tough crowd out there. Some days I feel like Rodney Dangerfield with a real estate license. When people ask me what I do for a living and I tell them "I'm a Real Estate Broker," I often get that dreaded, awkward "Oh, ok" response. That’s alright – I know I’m not alone. Real estate agents get a bad rap every now and then. But, is it too much to ask for some good PR and positive reinforcement once in awhile?
Recently, I attended an event where three investment specialists told a room full of people the best places to invest money. Not one of them was a proponent of home ownership. Was it because these guys represented companies that invest in commodities other than real estate? Perhaps. Nevertheless, the common theme was that home ownership is a dream we inherited from our parents and our grandparents, and the reasons for investing in a home back then are no longer applicable today. AND, home ownership is one reason why the unemployment rate stays so high. What?? Really?? I mean -- we all know how unemployment has negatively impacted the real estate market. Yet, on the other hand, has owning a home actually helped to stabilize the already inflated unemployment rate? Kind of a stretch in my opinion. Sure, it's true that someone might not be able to accept a job in North Dakota when he or she is encumbered by a home in Missouri. But, come on -- our current state of affairs is much more complicated than that!
I prefer to look for the silver lining and turn negatives into positives. Recently, it was announced that our world's population has hit the 7 BILLION mark -- the United States in 3rd place behind China and India. That's a lot of potential home owners in our future! Home inventory will eventually decrease and prices will increase. I think everyone agrees that longer term ownership make the most sense right now anyways. So, do we live in a more transient society where people rarely stay in one home for 50 years like in previous generations? Yes. Are there pros and cons to owning and is it better to rent in some cases? Yes. That being said -- with all the positives to home ownership, it sure seems to me like real estate is still a sound investment. But what do I know -- I'm just a real estate broker.