ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Your opinion: Don't believe all the news about the real estate market

As we continually hear news about how bad the real estate market is, I wanted to share some good news as well. Case in point: Our market is currently up close to 20 percent year-to-date for the same period in 2004, which, at that time, this same ...

As we continually hear news about how bad the real estate market is, I wanted to share some good news as well. Case in point: Our market is currently up close to 20 percent year-to-date for the same period in 2004, which, at that time, this same market was heralded as "the best year ever" in real estate sales.

Yes, it is true some markets are going through an adjustment, and while our market is only slightly down by less than 6 percent over last year, we must look at the bigger picture. Locally, as an example, home ownership continues to be the best opportunity for most people to increase net worth, and one where appreciation over time of home values is significantly outperforming the S&P and Dow over the same period.

Has the market changed? Certainly, but with change comes benefits. This change has created a market in which it is arguably one of the best times to buy a home in the past

40 years, including interest rates for a 30-year fixed mortgage are below 6 percent, inventory is high making for a great selection for buyers, and in some cases there are great incentives to buy being offered. Unfortunately, this good news rarely makes its way with the public.

Additionally, something I as a REALTOR® am, as all members of our local association are, very proud of the fact that we recently attended our national convention in New Orleans at a time when many other industries are pulling out of that area and moving their conventions elsewhere. Not only did REALTORS® push an estimated more than $35 million into the New Orleans economy, but REALTORS® spent more than 8,300 volunteer hours in rebuilding efforts in the area.

ADVERTISEMENT

Because of these efforts, here are just a few of the impacts REALTORS® had:

- The New Orleans Public Library will open 3 months earlier than expected.

- The children at St. Joan of Arc School can learn on the

20 computers we set up, along with the books we secured from other closed schools, and will enjoy a new blacktop play area.

- 535 students from De La Salle School have a fresh, newly painted environment in which to learn.

- Seven new homes are framed and many more new homes have siding, roofing and porches, thanks to our work in the Musicians Village with Habitat for Humanity.

- Four homes that were damaged in Katrina are now painted for their elderly owners...and these signs of renewal are encouraging others to return and rebuild in the St. Roch neighborhood.

- $100 of nutritious food was provided for every Realtor volunteer hour spent at the Second Harvest Food Bank.

ADVERTISEMENT

- More residents will be able to enjoy City Park and the Botanical Gardens, plus, the Park has $15,000 in new equipment it can continue to use.

So while I certainly appreciate everything the media does to help keep the public informed and educated, I strongly feel a story of success, community support and professionalism, which is what being a REALTOR® is all about, should make its way to that same public. It is information like this that is the very reason I am so humbled and proud to call myself a REALTOR®, and to be a representative of one of the greatest trade organizations in this great United States.

Braham is president of the Fargo-Moorhead Association of REALTORS. E-mail dbraham@lresrealty.com

What To Read Next
A couple of bills introduced quietly would help feed students in public schools
Mikkel Pates set the standard for agricultural journalism during his 44-year career in the region, working for Agweek, The Forum and the Worthington Globe.
The administration at Theodore Roosevelt National Park is bent on getting rid of the horses, which means getting rid of vital living history and a major draw to the park.
Fargo city commission hand-wringing over northside Red River crossing is short-sighted