2023 brought a mixed bag of opinions about residential ownership. Reading a litany of news articles over the past several months, they range from telling baby boomers to sell their house now before the masses begin to unload, to the short-sighted pundits who proscribe that first timers should wait for prices and rates to come down.
Reality in the Sioux Empire indicates higher prices prevailed again in 2023, just like the last 40 years. We don’t see prices falling in 2024.
There is some validity to affordability, but that is mostly by choice. There is always a home available for any buyer if they are willing to accept features that fit within their financial budget.
The pundits who know little about what they write, focus on one thought, and ignore the full picture. First, homeownership is about lifestyle and the joy we get from memories in the house. Secondly, building home equity offers an enhancement to financial wealth.
The correct answer to whether someone should own or rent, is they should always be invested in residential real estate. The facts are clear, since 1940 real estate has financially outperformed inflation.
I’ve written it before, yet it’s important to write it again, the greatest single asset most people have at retirement is their house. It’s true today, and it’ll be true tomorrow.
Another feature of homeownership is freedom and stability. You have many choices of how to live and what you do with your house, there is no landlord restricting your actions. There is also a comfort factor that comes from a fixed loan with consistent monthly payments; rent, on the other hand, usually goes up. And when the house has no mortgage, you have greater opportunities for a better life.
There are plenty of opinions on what to expect for next year, I have my own, but we all know no one can read the future. What I can say is the same as I’ve known for a long time, in five or ten years your home will be worth more than today, your debt will be less, and you’ll have more equity.
With that said, next year should bring us steady home prices and mortgage rates. Demand for housing in the Sioux Empire is too high for much adjustment, and the Federal Reserve appears to be on hold with interest rate increases.
As the new year begins, we have a choice to think negatively about our future or to live life to its fullest.