Susan Ormont - RISK VERSUS REWARD: A SIMPLE GUIDE FOR INVESTING IN REAL ESTATE

new practices of selling homes by Video Tours and Floor Plans, followed by safe private visits by appointment only and open houses with scheduled private tours. Safety immediately became a priority. With the opening after Phase 1, we experienced a Hypermarket jump in real estate sales. This major jump in actvity felt like a Spring Market in the Summer. Everyone was "free" at last and anxious to settle their real estate issues. It especially immediately became competitive in the Multi-Family and investment category. It did not take more than a few weeks for the action to calm because of the July 4th holiday. The normal pattern of real estate sales especially in the more expensive communities is that after July 4, people start to be in Vacation Mode going to the Cape (even many agents) and the market slows down to only the most serious buyers who need a home before the school year begins. Some agents and owners become less accessible, and therefore, their listings drag. This summer, I believe, may prove to be different. We expect more activity, especially because many people may need to sell some of their investments, and towards August and September, we anticipate an increase of short sales and forclosures especially outside of the Metro area. Also, there will be people who still need to transition homes before the school year starts. Even with the fresh activity, inventory of more expensive homes and condos in towns such as Brookline and Newton seem to be sitting longer on the market as consumers question what is happening in the economy and are more cautious in spending top dollar. When properties sit longer this suggests that buyers see them as over-priced, and that the economy may be dropping a bit. The question is are we moving gradually to more of a Buyer's Market, and sales then often go below asking. So, in one volatile season, an area can experience three transitional markets due to economic and health concerns. Buying investment properties does not seem to me to be seasonal. It can be year round, whenever a good opportunity arises. It

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