I sent the following email out today to my friends and clients. It was after I sent this email that I noticed the stock market fell yet again to below 9,000 points for the first time since 2003. It is during times like these that more millionaires are made than during times of prosperity. I think this is because it forces us to become more introspective and take a good look at our spending behaviors and locate areas that need improvement. It also allows people to identify areas of need that may have been overlooked when everyone was rolling in the dough.
So keep your heads up. "This too shall pass."
Much has been said recently about the state of our country’s economic climate so I wanted to share a bit of advice during these difficult times and hopefully clear up a few things, even if only slightly.
Tip #1 – “Spend less money than you make”
As simplistic as this might sound it works. It works in any economic climate both good and bad. If you make $5,000/month and you’re spending $7,000/month then you will soon be broke. One positive thing that is coming out of all of the financial turmoil is that it is forcing many of us to take stock (no pun intended) of our financial situation and tighten our belts when it comes to superfluous spending. If we train ourselves how to operate on a budget now we will be able to enjoy the good times without reservation and guilt when it arrives. If you don’t have a personal budget there isn’t a better time than right now to get started on one.
Tip #2 – “Now is the best time to buy”
Not only does this statement pertain to real estate but certainly the stock market as well. “Buy low, sell high” makes sense to me and there are bargains to be had. If you’re trying to time the bottom of the market then please let me know when it gets here. The most educated financial gurus in the world will tell you the only way to know you are at the bottom of any market is when it is has already passed you by.
Tip (myth) #3 – “But there isn’t any financing available!”
Wrong! This is perhaps one of the biggest myths floating around the media outlets. If you are currently renting and have a credit score of over 700 and can comfortably put 10% to 20% down on a property you are the best candidate to take advantage of our current real estate market. There isn’t a bank in this country that won’t give you a loan on a home right now. Anyone that tells you different has been misinformed. A huge developer trying to get a loan to build a 150 unit high-rise condominium in Dallas is a different story.
Tip #4 – “If you have questions about the stock or real estate markets ask a professional”
Are you curious about what your home is worth in today’s market? Are you unsure of what to do if you have money in the stock market? Should you be buying stock or moving your money around? Most people today are talking about these issues with their co-workers, neighbors or friends and should probably be talking to a professional. Call your financial advisor and request a meeting with him or her. If you don’t have one but are thinking of hiring one give me a call. I’ll be happy to refer you to some top notch professionals. As far as real estate goes if you’re hearing things about the real estate market and want clarification just pick up the phone and call me. Don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions. That’s what I’m here for. And, unlike our favorite politicians, I won’t make up statistics just to sound smart.
Jeff Duffey, Realtor
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
Park Cities Office
Top 5% in Production Nationwide - '06 & '07