By Amy DuBose
San Marcos Area Board of REALTORS®You can get your news from many sources – TV, newspapers, Web sites, radio – and that’s a good thing. But what’s not good is when the information you’re given isn’t accurate or doesn’t apply to your situation.
It’s important to consider the sources of your information, and look for any agendas. Remember, nothing sells like bad news, so when you hear, for example, that “real estate everywhere is in trouble,” don’t just take it at face value.
So many sites
If you’re checking out a site on the Web, is it reputable? Do the writers state opinion or fact, industry tips or personal experience?
Is the content produced by real estate experts? If so, are they local?
Also, keep in mind that different sources may offer different information on the same topic – maybe even completely contradictory information.
So what’s the story?
Casual observation of real estate information can certainly lead to misperceptions. Furthermore, statistics can be manipulated to indicate almost anything. A figure taken out of context can lead to a less-than-accurate portrayal of the actual situation.
Take the following hypothetical example: You hear that home prices are down 5 percent over the past year. So, what does that mean for you? Are prices down 5 percent in the U.S., the state, the city? What have prices done in your neighborhood? Is that the average price or the median price? Are the price trends the same for high-end homes and starter homes alike? And if your home is worth 5 percent less than a year ago, what is its current value compared to when you bought it?
The Texas difference
You have, no doubt, heard some startlingly negative news about real estate markets. If you look into it, though, you’ll see that Texas markets are among the healthiest in the nation.
How have we managed to avoid the problems plaguing many other parts of the country? The most significant factor is that we never saw the unrealistic appreciation and speculation that occurred in parts of California, Florida, Nevada, Arizona and other spots.
We also have a strong and diverse economy, including sectors that are still growing, such as professional and business services, education, healthcare and government. In fact, did you know that Texas has the second-largest economy in the nation, by GDP?
What about jobs? Well, the numbers indicate that statewide, we actually gained 222,990 jobs from November 2007 to November 2008. That’s an increase of 2.1 percent of the labor force.
There are so many variables in the real estate world, and what’s going on in Los Angeles, Phoenix, or Miami has little in to do with what’s happening in our neck of the woods.
Because the industry is so localized, I strongly believe that it’s to your advantage to have the services and opinions of a local expert at your disposal. And it won’t come as a shock to you that I recommend a Texas Realtor as that local expert.
Look, the real estate market in Texas isn’t as bad as you probably thought … but hey, don’t believe it just because you read it here. Get another opinion. I encourage you to ask a Texas Realtor. Together with your Realtor, you can pour through all the information available and make the best real estate decisions for you.
For more information about real estate in Texas, or to find a Texas Realtor, I invite you to visit TexasRealEstate.com.Email | Print