Jill Moylan of Home Advantage Realty
How’s the market? It’s a question Jill Moylan of Home Advantage Realty is asked almost daily. “Real estate values have not continued to appreciate at the rates we saw five and 10 years ago and, yes, in many areas, home values have dropped from historic highs,” she says. While that’s frustrating to home sellers, it makes for a very attractive market for buyers, especially with historically low interest rates. Consider a mortgage on a $300,000 home. At today’s interest rate of 4.25 percent versus a rate of 7.25 percent that was prevalent just a few years ago, a home owner will reduce monthly payments by more than $500 and save more than $200,000 over the life of a 30-year loan.
Despite the shift in appreciation and value, homeownership remains high on the list of the best investments most Americans will ever make. Earlier this year, a Pew Research Center study found that “even as a five-year slump in house prices drags on, eight-out-of-10 Americans say bricks and mortar remain the best long-term investment.”
Of course, no one can accurately predict what will happen with home prices next month or next year, any more than one can predict the value of a high tech stock or the price of gold. But a home is not a stock or a bar of gold. It cannot be valued solely on its most recent cost or selling price, and its true worth is not reflected by its most current appraisal.
“A home differs from any other investment we make and serves as a central point in our lives,” Jill says. “We live in our homes. We bring our newborn babies home, and we raise our children in them. Our families’ play in our yards, we garden there, and we have dogs and cats (and sometimes chickens). We welcome grandparents and neighbors to our homes for cookouts and holiday dinners. We celebrate birthdays and anniversaries and gather to remember loved ones.
“We record special moments in our homes in photos and videos and play them back over the generations. We can›t do that with our Google stock, and we don’t build memories with a bar of gold. Our homes are where we spend our lives,” she continues. “Regardless of the market, they remain the place we call ‘home.’ So, all things considered, when I’m asked, ‘How’s the market?’ I try to remember, there›s no place like home.”