Real Estate prices across US – Great mapping tool

I just got this today and thought it was fascinating, and I think you will too.

You can move your mouse across most cities in the USA and by clicking on the little house you can then see the median price and the drop/gain in prices.  As you check on the median prices and the average increase or decline from the previous year, you will note that the Houston Market is very strong compared to the majority of the nation. Unfortunately, the Katy/West Houston area is not defined on this map but I will be happy to share that we have been in the # 1 and # 2 position for hottest markets in Houston for the majority of 2007 and 2008. Katy is still very strong and a wonderful place to purchase property and to raise a family.

To see the map click HERE.

As reported on my blog and in my newsletter, houses are being gobbled up now in some markets. In fact, many buyers are purchasing properties in depressed areas, sitting on them and waiting until the market conditions improve. This tells us that there is promise, after all we all need a place to live !

If you are sitting on a stagnant or decreasing IRA or 401K, did you know that you can move those funds (without penalty) into a Self-Directed IRA plan with a trustee/custodian and purchase real estate? Sound interesting? This a fabulous way to have more control over your retirement accounts as well as have the liquidity to move into the real estate market. I know, there are nay sayers who feel that the real estate market is too risky.  Well, have you seen your stock holdings lately? Risky is too soft a word for what happened to many of us. The interesting thing is while many stock holdings have lost up to 50% of their value, most real estate markets have held firm – with the exception of the speculative markets of California, Florida, Nevada and Arizona. These are markets that were unrealistically inflated by speculation and needed a correction – much like the dot com stocks several years ago. Of course, these are the only market we hear about in the news so everyone thinks the entire nation is up for a Fire Sale. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

When I speak about real estate investing, I am not speaking about speculation. That is a very risky enterprise and not a place to put your retirement funds. There are many solid real estate investments out there. In fact, the Warren Buffett’s and Donald Trump’s of the world are already adding to their portfolios. 

I am happy to share more information about Self-Directed retirement accounts and how you can take control of your nest egg. Good Luck and Happy Investing…

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