There’s a wicked strain of Analysis Paralysis going around.
We’re coming up on an election year. We’re in the middle of an Impeachment inquiry. The economy is all over the place. And absolutely EVERYTHING is subject to change depending on how the dust settles. When people can’t see the future through a dust storm, while they pick apart what everything means, they hold off on major financial decisions like buying or selling a home. We saw it happen as we headed into the 2016 election cycle, and we’re seeing it and hearing it again now.
“We’re putting things on hold,” has become a very popular catchphrase. “Who knows what’s going to happen with the election,” some of our clients say. It seems there is way too much information to process and analyze. So, instead, some of us become paralyzed, at least from a financial risk perspective.
With the benefit of hindsight, holding off on buying a home in New York City back in 2016 was likely the right move, especially if we look at it from an extremely short-term perspective. So, should prospective buyers consider it a lesson learned and utilize the same approach now?
Imagine for a moment that you could go back in time to 2016. When you get out of your DeLorean, or your phone booth, or your hot tub, your memories from the future have been erased. After that, a wizard hands you a crystal ball. You look inside. At first, it’s foggy, but then it becomes crystal clear. It says: In November of 2019, there will be massive inventory of beautiful apartments in New York City; they will all cost at least 20 percent less than they do right now; sellers will offer substantive credits toward upgrades and closing costs; and mortgage rates will be at an all-time low.
Now you’re back to the future. It’s November 2019. And the image from within the crystal ball is still etched into your memory. You call your real estate broker and find out that the entire prophecy has played out the way the wizard’s crystal ball said it would. All of these amazing conditions are intersecting at the exact same moment. The inventory is plentiful and with better amenities than we’ve ever seen. Some developers offer credits that could cover all of your closing costs. Clients are locking into mortgage rates as low as 2.625%! All of these real estate market indicators point to purchasing now.
But so many are still paralyzed. Why? We think there are two possibilities:
A) You are legitimately terrified of risk when there is uncertainty of any kind.
B) You completely agree with our assessment of the situation, but you’re willing to roll the dice and let it ride because you think prices are going to continue to drop.
Whether you fall into category A or B, you’re probably thinking there’s a pretty good chance that we’re not at the bottom of the market. If you fall into category A, you’re trying to avoid buying a property that will be less valuable a year later. And if you fall into category B, you might be “ready to pounce,” but you want to time things perfectly. It’s sort of like being on a gameshow where you have the option to go home with a million dollars or risk it all for the chance at 10 million. Sometimes people don’t make a really good deal because they wait around for too long trying to make the all-time best deal.
Maybe we’re not at the bottom of the market. If we’re not, we think we’re pretty close. But even if we assume that there will be more downward movement to property values, will all these other factors ever converge simultaneously again? Will the concessions disappear? Will borrowing money always be this cheap?
In the final analysis: There are so many positive factors in perfect alignment. If you buy a property in New York City today, your future self could never second guess your decision.