Monday, June 23, 2008

A Place for Your Stuff

OF COURSE! You need to buy a place - NOW - a place for all your stuff!

 I love this bit by George Carlin. And, in reality, it's got some real truth to it. Everybody needs a home, "a place to hang your hat", or, as George Carlin says it "a place to keep your stuff". But, should you buy or rent? Buying is the best choice for almost everyone. The alternatives are (1) renting your entire life, or (2) being a bum. With either of the latter two choices, you will not have control over when you have to move your stuff, or how much time you'll have to get it moved. But, buying a home is not just about finding a long term storage solution for your stuff. It is about how you live your life; and it is usually the largest single financial investment of your lifetime. So, to get to the REAL answer about buying or renting, there is much analysis that should be done. It's very personal, and it's about timing.

When I say timing, I don't so much mean TIMING THE MARKET, but the TIMING WITHIN YOUR LIFE. If you are trying to time the market, however, the general concensus is this is a great time to buy! Inventory is high and prices are the lowest they've been in a very long time. Plus, loans are still available at low rates. There are also some wonderful programs available for those buying their first home. It's true that the predictions are for the prices of real estate to be stagnant for some time in most areas, so many people remain unmotivated to buy now. However, there are discussions of inflation - which causes loan rates to increase. Even if the prices of real estate remain the same, if the price of borrowed money costs you more next year, then you will have done yourself a disservice by waiting. Your actual costs will be higher, even though the cost of the home has stayed the same. If you'd like to be buying now, but your financial house is not in order, work on that. Call a real estate agent you trust who can recommend a course of action for you and help you get in position to buy. As for financial advice, some of my favorite books on the subject were written by David Bach: The Automatic Millionaire and The Automatic Millionaire Homeowner. These are not "get rich quick" books - they include practical advice, and give you financial priorities and tools for actually getting things in order. Go to for information on David Bach's books, some great calculators and other investment tools. David Bach is not quite as entertaining as George Carlin, but I'll recommend him all the same.
For a personal analysis of whether now is a good time for you to buy, or whether you'd be better off renting, please call me. And, once you've made the decision, check out the HOME SEARCH option from the home page of my main web site P.S. We sure will miss your perspective, George!

Read about George Carlin:
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