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Lets Reframe the Real Estate Story

Things change.   Who works for whom?

When I started Homebuyer Associates the concept of working only for home buyers was a foreign concept in the real estate business.  Foreign to the point the industry fought me on the concept.  The industry didn’t want its little secret (agents don’t work for you) made transparent.

Our approach prevailed and 10 years after I started Homebuyer Associates, the department that regulates real estate agents said any agent could be a buyer agent.  I refer to those agents as pretend buyer agents.   I intentionally use the word “pretend” because agents most often say they are “acting” as buyer agents.  We don’t pretend.  We don’t act.  We are Excusive Buyer Agents.

Things change. Is the laptop/smart phone the new office?

Ten years ago potential clients would ask where our office was located.  The traditional real estate system would tout that “They knew the area because they had an office nearby.”   I always asked our potential client to ask the agent if the agent’s knowledge stopped 8-10 or 12 blocks from their office.

About that time I sold my company office building in Shorewood and downsized.  We were serving clients in a 4-county area and I had encouraged agents who worked with Homebuyer Associates to work from anywhere with their laptop computers.  It wasn’t about the office location; it was about gathering information for clients to help them make an informed purchase.  Now many of the larger firms are consolidating and downsizing their office space.

Things Change.  Is it about housing or is it about money?

Homebuyer Associates was started with a business philosophy committed to help home buyers make the best buying choice possible based on the information available.   I counseled – and still counsel – to buy based on information not emotion.

The real estate bubble and economic downturn have made it clear to me that buying a home is now not only about an informed choice but a choice of how to use your money wisely and how to build wealth.  It’s now about more than finding the home, negotiating the purchase and closing the purchase – it’s about how best to use your financial resources.

Most real estate experts (whoever they are) believe that home ownership will never again yield rewards like those provided from the late 90’s to mid 2000’s.  To this I say, amen.

We should move away from the premise that housing is a significant money maker.  I would prefer to think of it as shelter and a forced savings account (wealth accumulation).  According to Robert Shiller, home prices increased 1.1% per year after inflation for much of the 60’s – 90’s and then to the mid to late 90’s increased to 4%.    We know what happened next.

The unusual world was the late 90’s to 2006.  The norm is what preceded that period – a home as a place to live with modest appreciation.  That’s ok.

Things change.

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Homebuyer Associates
1835 N. Riverwalk Way
Milwaukee, WI 53212
Phone: 414-254-4129