New York real estate has lost so much value over the past year that any rational investor should recognize that the market is bound to have under-valued opportunities there for the picking. Unfortunately, as Gary Keller pointed out in Realtor Magazine, the inherent irony of a buyer’s market is that the buyers are often too afraid of paying too much-precisely at the wrong time.
Buyers were most eager to clinch the deal last summer, when New York City real estate was at an all-time high, and smack in the middle of a seller’s market. Fear controlled the market then: wait too long and the profit train leaves without you. And fear still runs the game today: this time, the fear of overpaying. This type of buyer, who buys obsessively in a seller’s market and is afraid to pull the trigger in a buyer’s market, belongs to a category of investors convinced they can predict market tops and bottoms.
Those that think it impossible to outsmart the market instead go in for the long haul: not necessarily buying at the very bottom or selling at the very top, these investors do well over time by making calculated decisions, weighing risk and expecting a predictable, calculable return. They also depend on experts-not cocktail party chatter or talking-heads on TV-for advice. Seasoned agents and experienced mortgage professionals are the ones living in the market every day and can give the well-rounded perspective only an insider can have, and know how to sail through turbulent times.
What goes up does come down. What’s down now will eventually go back up, and nowhere is that more obvious that home values. Timing the peaks and valleys of the real estate economy is an unrealistic only way to wealth in this business is equity buildup through mortgage debt paydown.