Business and Real Estate: The dream is still alive and well

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This is the first column for the new year of 2019 and I hope everyone had some enjoyable and relaxing holiday time with your families, friends and significant others and hoping that your New Year in 2019 will be healthier, happier and more prosperous.

Based on the current demand, purchasers are still out there this winter looking and searching for that perfect “white picket fence” of a dream home. But let’s be realistic, finding that letter-perfect home is getting much harder these days, due to our still very outrageously low inventory (that is slowly increasing), especially below one million dollars.

The demand in that segment of the market is still quite strong and healthy, assuming sellers have priced their homes correctly. I still see overpricing, where the sellers and their agents are just, “tailgating the market” and aren’t where the current pricing structure has been trending.

Again, I am not saying that the market isn’t crashing, but is softening and making downward adjustments for the reasons of higher interest rates and that maximum allowable $10,000 state and local tax deduction; and also, the increase in real estate taxes for about 30 percent of Nassau residents for the 2019-2020 tax year.

With the craziness of the stock market (worst December since the Great Depression), many more people have cashed out, staying in cash for the moment.

People appear to be very nervous, but maybe some of the smart and shrewd ones are still putting their money where their mouth is jumping right back into the market (looking at the 1000+ gain in the DOW on Thursday, Dec. 27.)

Buying on the downside appears to be a safe path to take, but we’ll see how this progresses going into 2019. However, it’s an amazing time to take some of the cash and instead of the stock market, how about putting a down payment on your first home, investment or vacation pied-a-terre.

My son is purchasing his 3rd property, an investment out in Southold. If it was located in Nassau it would be at least double in price, but his idea is to rent it out one to three months or more per year and to pay all his expenses, as his mortgage will be paid down in the long run.

There is nothing more secure than being able to touch and feel your real estate, whereby the stock market, being as volatile as it is lately, one has very little control over it; since the majority of us are tiny little fish in the huge pond. But owning real estate has mostly positive attributes and potential losses are not as dramatic in the short run as investing in the stock market.

The learning curve of investing in real estate, to me is a much more pragmatic and logical entity, whereby stock investments over the last 20 to 30 years has been a very emotional environment and, many times, logic has been thrown out the door; but holding the long term, will always make you a winner, if you invest carefully.

Look at the current economy, interest rates historically still very low, our unemployment rate the lowest since 1969, and everything appears to look fantastic, right?

Unfortunately, the word, “uncertainty” steps into the arena of investing, and with the partial shutdown of our U.S. government, trade wars still unsettled and pending, issues with our southern borders, GM closing plants and laying off thousands of workers, terrorist attacks around the globe, you have to wonder, where is the good news?

It’s there on page 5! Buying your primary residence, investing in quality real estate and/or fixing and flipping properties is what I call a much safer path to pursue if you are not a stock picker or well versed in the stock market. Hopefully, things will settle down in 2019, but now is the time to strike, while the “coals are hot,” and beg, borrow and steal from whomever (only kidding) to secure some real estate.

The dream is still alive and well, especially with millennials and other groups, who still feel owning a home is pursuable and still part of the American dream. There is a superb article by Patrick Sisson for the Urban Land Institute about the top 10 emerging trends that will influence and shape real estate in 2019: https://www.curbed.com/2018/10/10/17959984/real-estate-trends-2019-housing-affordability-investment.

You have some choices and you can look at the world two different ways, either with fear-fanaticized expectations appearing real or face every day and rise. Being positive and believing things will always get better and improve is a mindset that only a few practice and believe wholeheartedly in the concept; while everyone else “heads for the hills” because the “doom and gloom” scenario is the easiest path to take as human beings. When things get tough, the tough get going and dig in for the long haul.

Nothing can stop the man or woman with the right mental attitude from achieving his or her goal, but nothing on Earth can help the man or woman with the wrong mental attitude. — Thomas Jefferson.

Philp A. Raices is the owner/broker of Turn Key Real Estate at 3 Grace Ave., Suite 180, in Great Neck. He has earned designations as a Graduate of the Realtor Institute and a Certified International Property Specialist. Receive regular “FREE” updates of sold homes in your area and what your home would sell for in today’s market or search on: www.Li-RealEstate.Com He can be reached by email, at: Phil@TurnKeyRealEstate.Com, or by cell: (516) 647-4289.

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