The real estate market is rebounding stronger everyday. Or maybe it's headed for another bubble burst.
Mortgage rates are headed up soon so you better hurry up and buy now. Or, they're going to stay close to historical lows for the next six months, one year, three years - so take your time getting your homebuying act together.
The suburbs are done. You better sell that sprawling house on the tree-lined street soon! No, wait. People are fleeing the city. The ‘burbs are getting hot. Raise your price - your place could go in multiple offers!
What's a buyer or seller to do when there is so much contradictory information out there? How do you know where to look, what to take as fact, who to trust?
The bottom line is, you can't believe everything you read.
Just today we came upon an article that proclaimed that 20–40 percent of Dallas-Fort Worth homeowners are under water. Interesting, considering the DFW market is hot hot hot, and getting more so everyday.
The most recent information from CoreLogic shows that "the number of Dallas-area homeowners who are behind in their mortgage payments dropped to 3.7 percent in November. That's down from 4.31 percent in the same month of 2012."
Just slightly different from the 20 to 40 percent figure in the article.
And "the number of homes in the Dallas-Fort Worth area that are threatened with foreclosure are down about 44 percent from a year ago, according to the latest numbers from Addison-based Foreclosure Listing Service."
You thinking what we're thinking? Yup. Those numbers don't track. Could be old data, could be an old story (even though it was presented as new and paraded around the Internet), which is kind of the problem. And it provides a good cautionary take for anyone getting ready to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars of real money on a house or risking same by selling. In today's real estate world, you want to make sure you:
- Check that the articles you read and depend on for research are sourced properly and dated so you know the data is current
- Double check anything you use as research with an industry expert (the "new" mantra for sites like Wikipedia: trust then verify)
- Remember that fact is fact and opinion is opinion (quick - Google a few articles on the future of interest rates. Now compare and contrast.)
- Do your due diligence on neighborhoods of interest; clearly, you can be steered wrong simply by clicking on the wrong link
- Don't gamble on faulty intel; if it seems too good to be true, read more, ask more, look deeper
- When all else fails, talk to a Realtor or mortgage lender
You don't want to end up buying something that turns out to be a dud, or selling for less than you can get because Yahoo told you to.
After all, it's your money.