After the Great Depression of the 1930s, the real estate market looked like a 98-pound weakling after going 12 rounds with Mike Tyson in his prime.However, those market conditions sparked a post-Depression boom that sustained 65 straight years of appreciation in real estate. And according to one expert, it's about to happen again. "This is an unprecedented economic crisis, but it is spawning an unprecedented opportunity," said Greg Rand, a 20-year real estate veteran and author of Crash-Boom (www.crashboom.com) from Career Press. "Real estate prices are at their lowest ebb in years, but anyone with a sense of history in the real estate market knows that those prices will rise as the economy improves and the people who got burned in the mortgage crisis are ready to try their hands at home ownership again. You can't suppress the American Dream, but you can profit from it if you can have the strength and confidence to act." Rand's argument is that recessions and depressions aren't just about economics. There are other forces at play, too. "There is a real and powerful psychological component married to a down economy," he added. "When bulls turn into bears, they create a chilling effect that makes even Joe Six-Pack afraid of the economy. Wall Street loves to track 'consumer confidence' statistics, and the market always fluctuates based on fear. When there's an uprising in the Middle East, gas prices go up to $4 per gallon on the irrational fear that any new regime will say, 'You know, we don't really want all that money from those Americans for this gunk we pull out of the ground.' The prices always stabilize. The real estate market is no different. People act and react out of fear. Only the smart ones see through that haze to understand the historic reality that the prices always come back up." Rand cites five reasons why now is the best time to put your investment dollars into real estate: No Meltdown - There is no housing meltdown. There was a media and Wall Street meltdown. Housing will save us in the long haul. It's Not About The Real Estate - The product at issue is not real estate. It's America. You can own a piece of it, and as far as its long-term value goes, it's better than Apple stock. Flipping Houses is a Myth -The "buy and flip" model is a sucker's bet. It's about building real, generational wealth. Condo = College Fund - Have a kid, buy a condo. If you invest the right way, you can build an investment that is comparable to any of the riskier alternatives investors lose their money on every day. Don't Zoom In, Zoom Out - To understand the stock market you must zoom all the way in and see the pulse of the market, and that changes hourly. To understand real estate, all you have to do is zoom all the way out. If you stand too close you miss the trends, and the trends don't change with the wind. They stay for the long term. "It comes down to the idea that no matter how the markets change, no matter which way the winds shift, people will always need a place to live," Rand added. "That's been true of America since the first log cabin. If you plug into that concept, and leave fear in a box on the shelf, you can be ahead of the curve and ride the wave of the trends that matter."
********** Published: March 10, 2011 - Volume 9 - Issue 47