Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth

Posted April 11, 2022 in Real Estate Trends

Scott Hogan, Clark County WA real estate agent

Boxer (and philosopher) Mike Tyson is credited with the quote in my headline. It seems fitting for a column about real estate because plans are always being reevaluated—or forgotten—when changes occur. Those changes may not be as startling as a punch to the face, but rising interest rates and supply-chain disruptions are actively trying to get people to forget their real estate plan.

Plan? What plan? That’s my point—readers should formulate a real estate plan and then adjust that plan (or not) as outside factors change. For example, say a young couple has a plan to buy their first home, then they read that interest rates have risen. Their plan may still be a great plan despite the uptick in interest rates—especially when they say, “We’ll wait until interest rates come back down.” That could be never! Listen to any old-timer (like me) and you’ll hear something like “I remember when interest rates were ____%” and that percentage rate could be in the teens! Compared to the teens, today’s rates are still amazing. Even in the highest interest-rate environments, people need to buy and sell homes, for various reasons, good and bad.

Even for refinancing, interest rates don’t totally  remove the appeal of a new loan. One recent couple told me they were refinancing to pull out cash so they could pay some bills and have money to spend on other interests. The fact that interest rates had bumped up slightly didn’t change their plan.

We are blessed in Clark County to have several qualified experts to help people formulate or evaluate their real estate plan. Consult one or more of the Realtors, mortgage lenders, CPAs, attorneys, or others to help you. Don’t be like the people I’ve overheard saying, “I thought about asking a lender about qualifying for a loan, but didn’t think my credit was good enough.” Don’t assume—call that lender and have them pre-qualify you! The demand for housing in Clark County remains VERY strong. Both the purchase and rental markets have lots of buyers and renters. Anecdotally, multiple offers are still common in most price categories.

Bottom line: just as homeowners have realized for decades, the key is to get into the market as an owner. You will either pay market rent for the rest of your life, or lock in your housing payment by buying a home now. Years later, you will be making the same monthly payment even though the value of your home has increased.

At Clark County Title, we celebrate the opportunity to assist homebuyers to get into the American Dream of homeownership. We are the local title company, locally owned and independent. We’re not a branch office of a mega-corporation. If you have questions or concerns about this column or title insurance, please call! Clark County Title wants to be part of your real estate plan!

From your friends at Clark County Title,