Jim Valentine: The new year mindset

Another new year is approaching with its promise of good fortune and sorrow. While we never know what a new year will bring, there is always the hope of wonderful things. It’s funny how the stroke of midnight on Dec. 31 represents such an eventful crossover to a new frontier when all we do is inhale in one year and exhale in the next. Nothing else changes, but mentally and emotionally people often experience monumental changes. Some years are want to be kicked to the curb while others are hoped to be repeated.

Real estate in 2018 is one of those years that we would like to see repeated. Interest rates moved around a bit but remained at a very affordable rate. Housing prices rose to help those that were trapped in their home during the recession but not so much as to be unaffordable to most. Prices soared in 2018 to a high level where they tapered off, and even backed off, as those that were a little too ambitious in their pricing given the spring selling euphoria adjusted to reality.

Lenders enjoyed the year as they could help buyers secure their home, and with the increase in property values, they could also finally refinance many homeowners that had higher rate loans without and equity in their homes for many years due to the recession. As the market gained strength new loan programs and policies were implemented opening the homeownership door to many people that otherwise were locked out because of the losses during the recession.

There was a lot of pent-up demand in 2018, which initially drove the market. As the overall economy gained strength and the confidence of the public, many people developed a buy mindset versus their old safety of a noncommittal rental attitude. Some buyers in 2018 were those innocent victims of the recession that were finally able to rehabilitate their credit in time to catch the market and buy a home once again.

Looking forward to 2019, we see new subdivisions getting approval, new lots being manufactured, the building industry expanding and interest rates remaining affordable. So many people benefited from the strong economy that those pulling the proverbial handles behind the curtain and loath to rock the boat. It seems as if we will enjoy a smooth strong economy for a while. In Northern Nevada, there is nothing on the horizon that would rock our market, which is driven primarily by California refugees. Those folks are finally able to retire and find their way to our region to enjoy our quality of life.

Northern Nevada lost many good people this year, every community. The Carson Valley lost a disproportionate amount of good local citizens, born and raised here, that were great contributors to the community. It was a very difficult year from that standpoint and certainly one that needs to be kicked to the curb, looking for joy, laughter and love to fill our hearts in 2019 as we always remember those that contributed to making Northern Nevada the wonderful place that it is for all of us to enjoy.

Our advice: In Northern Nevada, we have four good seasons, and our housing market is like that as well — there is something for everybody. From entry level to ultra custom, we have a home to suit every taste and budget. While we don’t know for sure what type of market the New Year will bring, it is a given that the joy of homeownership, with the stability and investment benefits that it offers, is a worthy goal for 2019. Get a good Realtor to guide you through the process and get started. You’ll be spending next Christmas in your new home.

It’s time to remember the past, embrace the present and create the future. Organize your wants and needs, get a vision and make it happen in 2019. If you do that there is one thing you can count on in the new year, you will be a happy homeowner. When it comes to choosing professionals to assist you with your real estate needs … Experience is Priceless!

Jim Valentine, CDPE, SFR, RE/MAX Realty Affiliates, 775-781-3704. dpwtigers@hotmail.com


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