by: Diane Vespucci ~ Re/Max Realty

I am always surprised by what the year brings. Tucked somewhere in a normal, mundane week lies some surprise, maybe nice, maybe nasty. It keeps me thankful when it’s good, and often grateful for life after the bad. So despite palm reading, astrology and fortunes told many times, I’m terrible at fortune telling.

Most of us can’t predict the future, and that may be a good thing, but what we can do is look at past results and hazard an educated guess at what the future holds. We are still often wrong.

Let me take you to New Years’ past, when the fore-tellers were predicting a rise in the housing market in the spring. That was 2007. The market was already crashing in a very big way.

2012? This was when people predicted Lincolnville would take forever to rise from the ashes of the downturn and homes were selling for under $100K. There are investors out there still kicking themselves, a few I know personally.

And let’s not forget my favorite, “interest rates are rising in the next few months”. That one – unfortunately – is probably true now, but it wasn’t true when we first heard the warning. There were several years of 3.5 to 4% rises and falls.

In real estate, like in life, the stakes can be high when you’re gambling. In the stock market, it’s difficult to play what they call the “short” game. That’s for those with deep pockets for losses, little fear and a lot of savvy. Investing in real estate, whether for your personal home or for long term gain via investments is not a good short game and is best when not played like one. The market for long term players may bounce a little here and there but in the end, it’s usually a good investment. Over a 5 to 10 year period, on average real estate rises 3% to 6% a year, and that doesn’t take into account the tax breaks along the way. Most importantly, it doesn’t take into account the way it feels to own a place to call your own.

My prediction for the future? Invest wisely. You won’t regret it.

Here’s to hoping only the good surprise await you in 2019. Happy New Year!