We all need the basics to survive but trends have changed in the last few years, for example:
- The movement toward healthy eating is an epidemic that is taking hold.
- Everyone is looking for discounts even if income levels can afford fancy designer labels.
- Shelter is downsizing, even the McMansions, a symbol of upward mobility have given way to smaller carbon footprints with attention to energy conservation.
Of course this is all relative to what your lifestyle and expectations are but I believe all of us are paying more attention to how we spend our money and the benefits we get for our investment. I think there are more people willing to spend significantly more money on healthy food because of the belief in the long-term health benefit. I think given that most budgets have shrunk less money is being spent on clothing but when it comes to shelter some are still stuck with the view that a home is principally a financial investment. In my opinion that will change. Given that housing prices are the same as they were in 2002-03 in the Hudson Valley, no one is predicting they will fall much lower or rise much either for a long time. So what’s a person to do…. buy or not buy, sell or not sell for the next 5 years?
Life goes on, and people still want a place to call their own, to live and enjoy family, to become part of a community and to put down roots. We need to buy homes so we can invest in our dreams – not to use as a piggy bank or part of our stock portfolio. We need to sell homes so we can move to another shelter that is suited to our new circumstances, not because it has appreciated enough and we can “cash in”. In my opinion people will only wait for so long before they move on, often by readjusting their expectations. For the last 6 years its been hard on just about everyone. The good news is we are now buying and selling for the best reason, because we want to. We are not waiting anymore.