Is the housing market heating back up?

Three Tips for Taking Advantage of the Sweet Spot in the Bay Area Real Estate Market
From Tara Nicholle-Nelson

1. Real estate data and markets are local, so get local advice. The Bay Area real estate market is a totally unique animal; in the midst of all the national real estate doom and gloom, Bay Area data showed a 22 percent increase in sales, comparing March to April 2008. Depreciation results were similarly localized - statewide, April prices were down 22 percent over last year; Bay Area prices were only down 17.9 percent, and if you exclude the recently-built-out, hard-to-commute areas of the far Bay Area and a couple of the inner-city areas, some Bay Area zip codes are actually up year-over-year in appreciation.

The moral of the story: Don't take your homebuying (or selling) advice from the national real estate news. Get local information, ideally from a local professional, and use that to fuel your personal decision-making.

2. You can't perfectly time the bottom of the market. Listen, I would be a billionaire if I could predict the day, date and time of the absolute lowest prices of the market, sell all my clients homes in that moment, and then see the values of their homes start to skyrocket the very next hour after they get their keys. NO ONE can predict the bottom of the market with that level of precision, not even you. What happens to those who try to time the market is they end up paralyzed with the fear that their home's value might decline in the months just after they buy, so they don't buy until they realize that prices are headed back up. The problem is, in some markets, once the buyer's market conditions are gone, those at the entry level are priced all the way out by having to overbid in order to compete against 10 other offers on every listing.

Don't take my word for it; 'Money Magazines 5 New Rules for Home Buyers (LINK) came to the same conclusion.

The moral of the story: Get educated about what sort of bargains or incentives the current market dynamics make available to buyers in your local area, and be an aggressive negotiator, but don't kid yourself into waiting for the bottom unless you are willing to miss out on the best buyer's market since World War II.

3. Buy when it makes sense for your life, plan to hold your home long term, and buy soon (if you're in the market, of course). Don't let the market dictate when you buy or even when you sell. Do so when it makes sense for you life, as when you have income you need to offset for tax purposes, when your job moves, when you've finally got the job you've been working toward, or when your family grows or shrinks. If you are buying now, so long as you plan to hold your home at least 5 years (fewer in hotter real estate markets), you should at least be able to ride out this current market trough. But read #2, above - don't wait until prices are already on the upswing before you make a move. Most people I've talked to with real estate regrets lament not buying sooner, not vice versa.

The moral of the story: Buy if you need to buy, sell if you need to sell. But if you need to buy, do it without too much further ado, and hold for the long-term.

Buy the book on Amazon: The Savvy Woman's Homebuying Handbook

For more information, visit or call (510) 910.6713.

About Tara Nicholle-Nelson, Esq., {RE}Think Real Estate Founder, Chief Visionary
Tara-Nicholle Nelson is a study in apparent contradictions. Her fondness for discussing the intricacies of real estate contracts and negotiations is paralleled only by her encyclopedic memory of Six Feet Under episodes. Her Trump-esque mastery of real estate practices and strategies is outweighed only by her Oprah-esque passion for helping women transform their lives.

About {RE}Think Real Estate Founder
Real-estate expert Tara-Nicholle Nelson formed {RE}Think Real Estate in 2006 to feed the informational and inspirational cravings women have when it comes to real estate matters.

(RE}Think Real Estate is a content company that innovates and delivers multimedia knowledge and mindset solutions for women seeking to enhance their lifestyles through property ownership. We are the global resource for savvy women who want the obstacle-crushing information and inspiration necessary to turn their visions of realty into reality. Our raison d'être is to inspire savvy women to{re}think the widely-held misconceptions that real estate matters must be tedious, stressful or impossible. We aim to {re}invent the way women experience real estate transactions and engage with real estate throughout their lives.

The {RE} Think Real Estate books, web tools, events, and other products are all based on real-life experience with women homebuyers, homeowners and investors. The foundation of our knowledge systems is our extensive, neuropsychological research into how women think about, shop for and buy property. Our hope is to create a community and a culture of women who live boldly and joyously - in control of their lives, their finances and their properties.

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