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Copyright © 1999 Realty TimesAll Rights Reserved.
Will The Real Estate Market Crash? Oh no, the sky is falling -- or at least realty prices are destined to fall over the next 25 years if we are to believe an assortment of economic seers and soothsayers.
Worth magazine, discusses such forecasts in its newest issue ("Will the Roof Cave In?" February, 1999), forecasts which essentially suggest that realty prices will drop as the population ages and the housing supply increases.
There is considerable logic and reason to support such a view, but before selling your realty portfolio and moving into a tent let us consider that economic forecasting is something less than an exact science.
For example, two of the world's leading economists -- Nobel prize winners in 1997 -- recently had their predictive skills tested in the marketplace. The result was
Mortgage RatesNational averages as of January 29, 1999:
30 yr. fixed: 6.61%15 yr. fixed: 6.23%1 yr. adj: 5.71%
Get today's rates
a discomforting rumble across the financial world from a hedge fund known as Long-Term Capital Management.
Economics is often called the "dismal science," a description which is at least half right. Economics is not a "science" in the sense of biology or physics, rather it is an effort to better understand such issues as pricing, spending, financial behavior, inflation, deflation, employment, commodity pricing, wealth, and a host of related issues. Policy decisions and
Wondering What Your Home Is Worth?Let me show you.
Giving Your Home To The Kids You paid $10,000 for your home many years ago. Now it's worth $200,000. And you plan to put it into your son's name, because you fear it might go for medical expenses, or you don't want challenges to your will, or you worry about your estate "being eaten up by taxes."
You got the idea from some folks at the senior citizens' luncheon You're going to try their arthritis medicine as well. Seems like a good idea, right? Wrong.
There may be times when putting your home in your children's names is just the right thing to do. But suppose you give the house to your son and:
His job goes belly-up and he declares bankruptcy. Some of the equity in his own residence is protected, but your home is available to his creditors.
He is found liable in an automobile accident, and a judgment is placed against all the real estate he owns.
Your Home's Irresistible Lures Can Lead to Lawsuits If you are a property owner, you had better be prepared for the latest in a long line of litigious opportunities. Your neighbor may have wandering children who enter your property, lured by a potentially dangerous manmade object, building, or hole. If they are injured or worse, you could be sued for having an "attractive nuisance" which caused the uninvited problem. Never mind that the children weren't supervised by their parents; you are still liable for providing an "irresistible" lure and have left yourself open to litigation.
An attractive nuisance can be any manmade object that presents an irresistible attraction and hidden danger to young children, and it is your responsibility to see that your property is properly secured and maintained so that a curious child does not get hurt.
These laws are meant to protect children from flagrant abuses of property ownership, such as those yards that are poorly maintained or stocked like junkyards with rusting jagged metal, broken glass, and tomb-like refrigerators. But attractive nuisance liability is extremely broad. It also extends to the
What Is a Seller's Market? A lthough predictions for the first quarter of 1999 are that home sales will slack off slightly, that means that the nation is still in its second best home selling economy of the past few decades. Both the National Association of REALTORS® and the National Association of Home Builders announced record sales for 1998 and are optimistically cautious about 1999, but experts already agree that nothing appears on the horizon to slow sales for spring. This year may mark the most active home buying season yet.
If you are planning to buy a home soon, and your area of choice is enjoying an economic boom, you'd better get ready for stiff competition from other buyers. There may be more buyers available than homes for sale. In some areas, supply just can't keep up with demand - that is a sellers' market.
What is a sellers' market? A sellers' market is the manifestation of conditions that favor the seller over the buyer. There are fewer homes for sale than there are buyers. Prices tend to rise, and homes sell quickly, often with little bargaining.
A sellers' market can blanket an entire city such as Dallas, one of the top three relocation destinations in the country. During some periods of 1998, the D/FW Metroplex had as little as two months inventory of homes for sale on hand.
CONTINUED >>>Local Market Conditions
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