The question that I am asked most often is: IS THE MARKET BETTER OR GETTING BETTER? The answer is yes and yes, and of course there is a BUT! What is better, is that prices are much more affordable and consequently we are seeing more demand. The market will continue to get better over time in direct relationship to the improvement in the economic environment. The economic news I read and hear is that it is anywhere from this year to 2014. We are fortunate to have the stability of the Navy and other government influences with jobs and salaries in our Hampton Roads area. BUT it is the other major employers and small businesses that need to get back on track to make the economy start to go. I do not see the real estate market turning around this year and 2014 is probably when it will happen, in my opinion.

The other question I get is: CAN THE GOVERNMENT HELP THE REAL ESTATE MARKET? They have not so far. None of their attempts have made more than a small dent in the problem and most have done nothing to help. Such as the $8000.00 rebate to first time home owners. It did help sell some homes. The idea was that if the first time home buyers purchased properties, then those sellers would move up. Never happened, the first timers purchased mostly repos or bank owned properties. Unfortunately, most of the people who purchased these homes are now in a situation where their homes are “underwater”. They owe more than their home is worth.

One possible help to “underwater” home owners is a program that will allow them to refinance on their ability to pay, income and credit score; not on the appraised value of their home. This will allow them to take advantage of the lower rates and will save them some money. That is the program that needs to be in place for homeowners and it could stop a number of foreclosures.