When is the best time to buy real estate? When buying real estate for investment, smart money does not buy at, or near, the top of the market. Smart money buys real estate at, or near, the bottom of the market.
Historically, real estate often runs in cycles of approximately 7-10 years. Real estate often goes up (sometimes dramatically) for several years, tops out, goes down for several years, hits bottom and then starts going up again, beginning another 7-10 year cycle. It's a bell curve (shaped like a hill). And, when you are considering investing in real estate, you can simply figure out where you are on that 7-10 year bell curve and that can tell you in what direction real estate values are likely to go, and for how long.
note: this is the average historical method and does not take into account prolonged or dramatic upward or downward swings (bubbles or crashes).
If you are investing in real estate for a relatively short term gain (such as 3-7 years) and you buy at or near the top you could see the value of your real estate go down and you would historically have to wait approximately 7-10 years to see it regain its value and/or establish new highs. If, on the other hand, you are buying real estate to hold it for a long period of time (such as 20 years or more) you need not generally be overly concerned with these up and down 7-10 year cycles.
And when it comes to highly volatile New York or California real estate all normal timing and logic goes out the window!
For real estate investment timing:
1. try to buy at the low end of the current 7-10 year cycle
2. try to sell at the high end of the 7-10 year cycle
3. if you are in the wrong part of the current 7-10 year cycle, and can wait, a little patience can pay off handsomely
4. real estate is not a highly liquid investment; getting in and getting out takes t-i-m-e
5. in a real estate bubble or crash it's better to be safe than sorry
6. New York and California real estate often does not conform to the typical cycle (and thus may defy timing as well as logic!)
Alan Korber is a real estate investor with over 25 years of professional experience who wisely diversifies into other investments. He is also the creator and publisher of the Korber Strategy, a simple and successful stock market investment strategy which can produce annualized returns of 50%-100%. His website is http://akorber.r8.org
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