Everyone knows that the most important factor in real estate is "Location, Location, Location." Even the most novice person on the streets has heard this well-known saying for years and years. As simple as it sounds, the reason this saying is so widely known and applied when discussing real estate is because the statement is TRUE and always has been.
Well, it has always been applicable until 2008, when suddenly it appears that all real estate can be discussed on a nationwide basis and lumped together as a single unified commodity. The truth is, and I understand that I'm preaching to the choir for the most part, there is no national housing market. The "national housing market" being discussed and lamented for the past several months is actually made up of thousands of very "real" individual neighborhood markets in your communities and mine, where the true market values should be and normally are determined by, you guessed it......Location, Location, Location.
Now, I am not ignorant enough to think that our economy does not have serious problems or that the real estate industry is not suffering from mistakes made during the boom years of easy loans and soaring demand. I know that the high number of foreclosures, short-sales and bank-owned properties have a tremendous impact on neighborhood markets, and has drawn attention at a national level. However, I do believe that the overwhelming fear and lack of confidence has been increased by misrepresenting the problem with a constant barrage of news on declining "national housing" prices. The truth is most of us will suffer to some degree during these challanging times and many will suffer more than others, but it also true that some bold individuals will flourish because they make wise choices and take courageous risks based on the actual conditions in their specific location, not based on national averages.
Part of our role as real estate professionals is to help communicate to the public and educate the public that real estate is local, has always been local and will always be local. The news about the market in another part of the country does not universally apply in our communities. It is our role to find out what the market is doing in our specific community. This may require us to focus even more intensely on even smaller segments of our communities....even down to neighborhood levels.
We need to be able to accurately advise our clients, buyers and sellers, on their realistic options. In today's market, those options may not always be in our immediate best interest, as agents, for all neighborhoods, but in the long term we will all benefit from a market that operates on the best local information and facts. The challenges and opportunities are all unique to the location.
We still buy and sell real estate based on Location, Location, Location. In fact, one of the first questions agents ask of their buyers is, "Where are you interested in living?"