In this modern information age, you can learn just about anything on a particular subject. While access to information is usually a positive development, things can get a bit crazy if you get overloaded with it. Look long enough and you can find two pieces of information offering exactly the opposite views on a subject. Obviously, that doesn't really help you make a choice.
In real estate, the information offered in the media is usually uniform. For the last six or seven years, everyone with any brains at all has reported the real estate market has been hot. Now, many of these same pundits are suggesting the market is cooling off. Some are even predicting a crash in the market.
As a potential buyer or seller, how should you evaluate the information being produce in the media? The simple answer is you should ignore it. The problem with these reports is not the accuracy. Instead, the problem is they are reporting national trends in real estate.
National trends are great and all, but they have little or no application to your specific area. Consider the following if you do not believe me. The real estate market for the last few years has been reported as hot, hot, hot. In Colorado, however, the market has been flat throughout this time. If you were considering buying or selling in Colorado, the information being provided for national trends simply did not apply to you.
If you think Colorado is the exception, it is not. The state with one of the worst appreciation rates over the last four or five years, for instance, has been Texas. Put in practical terms, this means homes in Dallas, Houston, Denver, San Antonio and Houston have not followed national trends. The only real estate trends that matter are those in your local markets. Never rely on national data.
If you are considering buying, you have to be very careful when considering real estate trends. If it looks like a seller's market in your area, you may make the mistake of not buying. Even in a seller's market, buying a home is better than renting. Every day you are in the home is a day you are growing your personal wealth through equity accumulation. Don't stay out of the market simply because you feel it isn't the right time.
It is easy to get caught up in real estate trends since they are plastered in front of your face on a daily basis. In truth, they really should not play much of a role in your decision making process.
Raynor James is with http://www.fsboamerica.org/buyer.cfm - home buying information.