If you decide to wait, what are you waiting for to know when it is time to make a move? Are you watching for specific data or just a “gut feeling”?
Many people jump in or out of an investment with a serious lack of due diligence. Many of these decisions are based on emotion, the media or the opinion of a friend or relative. How do we know who or what to believe when facing major decisions that not only involve money but can also affect our family, our time and even our livelihoods?
Who should you listen to?
Let’s begin by analysing some common sources most people use as their due diligence to understand the difference between sentiments versus true verifiable statistics. Knowing the source is so important, as many are biased. Realtors want positive sentiment among buyers, gurus want to sell courses, wholesalers want to sell properties and the media needs to sell ads.
We have become a media based culture. Television, magazines, the internet and the newspaper have become our sources of information to which many people base their opinions. It is of vital importance to take a step back and consider these sources and how manipulative they can be and how disconnected the information can end up as it can be “spun” in a certain way to sell more of their product.
With so many conflicting headlines and opinions... what is a real estate investor to believe? You may be among the many Canadian investors who are confused these days about the future of the housing markets in North America. Obviously you are not alone, as the news media seem pretty confused too.
When working at NASA, building the International Space Station, Daryl experienced firsthand the distance between news media and reality. “Turning on the evening news after a day of work at the Johnson Space Center, I would hear a reporter talking about the next shuttle launch or other event. I couldn’t believe how often and how much the media got it wrong. Often the truth bore no resemblance to their story. How could this be?”
“Maybe the story was rushed to air, maybe the reporter was not very knowledgeable about the subject matter, or maybe the story was given some ‘spin’. And the lesson I took to real estate, was that the more people there were between me and the raw data, the less reliable was the information.”
In real estate, the situation is compounded by the simple contradiction that the news speaks to a national audience, while housing is really a local market. You know this yourself, if you have ever read city by city statistics in this magazine or elsewhere. While prices are climbing steadily in Vancouver, the Maritimes are suffering an economic and housing setback. While Las Vegas prices are falling, Boston real estate is climbing again. Real estate is not a national market, so we look beyond national headlines and started digging deeper to find information relative to our investments.
For the complete story of Risk or recovery, pick up a copy of our September issue, on newsstands till Sept. 12.
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