This is the $64,000 question that real estate professionals, investors, and mortgage professionals would like to know. The truth is nobody can accurately predict the return of the real estate values market. Like everyone else, I can’t predict the end of this crisis either, but what I can do is tell you what will have to happen to facilitate that change. The answer is quite simple: America must reinvest in herself once again. Without an investment, real estate is as worthless as the Dollar is today.
Think back, or read a history book, about how families in the ’40s and ’50s used to buy homes. Young couples lived with Mom and Dad during the “courtship” prior to getting married, until they had saved 20% to put down on their “dream home”. They made an investment in America, (i.e. the American dream). In the years that followed we have devalued that investment in lieu of credit and the easy access to it. Property values rose artificially and our nation became addicted to credit.
The value of the dollar has been demolished due to the same principle. When we place value in assets based on their ability to be easily bought and sold versus the value that has been invested in the asset, we devalue its worth. For example, two years ago I could have bought an $800,000 house (and I assure you that I cannot afford a house that expensive). The owner of that asset (the $800k house) placed value on his asset based on the availability of buyers like me who could buy the home. The problem is, this homeowner probably had less than 5% invested in the home. Where do you think that homeowner is today?
Had he put 20% down on his home, he would then own a valuable asset in which he has a real investment. This outlay of cash forces him to buy and sell his home in the same manner he would move an $800k investment around in the stock market – very carefully. Thus, the home has REAL value. However, having bought the home with little or no money down, the asset became disposable and so follows the real estate market.
So, as I said earlier, I cannot predict when the real estate market will bounce back, but I can tell you what needs to happen before it does. America needs to reinvest in herself by getting back to solid buying and selling principles. This strengthens home values, which encourages investors who employ builders who employ carpenters, painters, real estate agents, loan officers and so on. America was built on the “American Dream” which has turned into the “American Nightmare”; she can only be rebuilt by hard working Americans, not by Wall Street.