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You Can’t Push String

You Can’t Push String

January 2023, the month I annually ask:

For Life:       What am I doing and why am I doing it?

For Money:  Where am I spending money and why? While I may be able to afford it, the question is, do I need it?

In 2023 you may have questions about real estate. But the question isn’t about real estate, it’s about how best to use your money.

Read what I write with a grain of salt, after all, we only make a living if you buy a home. But I’ve never been a short-term investor of money or of Homebuyer Associate’s time with potential clients or clients.

Homebuyer Associates will continue to be the real estate outlier in 2023 this, after founding the concept of Exclusive Buyer Agency 38 years ago.  We remain the only Exclusive Buyer Agent firm in the four-county area.


  At the start I believed transparency, honesty and an approach that didn’t sell people homes (Buy this and    you’ll be happy.) should be the foundation of our service to home buyers.

(By the way, if you need to sell before buying and working with us, we have experience with listing agents.    Contact us and we will give you our opinion as to how best to sell and who best to work with. Like many       professions, all agents are not created equal)


We’ve followed our foundational approach and have made a living long-term. With that in mind what are my thoughts for real estate in the coming year?

1. Rates are now higher, inventory remains low, and home prices relatively high. Remember, all real estate is local. To successfully purchase a home, you need to:

A. Be educated about real estate.

B. Look at and understand the various mortgage programs available.

C. Have realistic expectations.

D. Be patient and follow a process.

E. Understand who works for whom and work with an Exclusive Buyer Agent.

(I call other buyer agents part-time because they sell, they buy, they… We prefer to pick a side (you) to advocate for.)

2. Be aware of “Vividness bias” which is a bias where you confuse competency based on advertising or prestige based on awards. Advertising is easy to buy (we don’t advertise). Annually, a local magazine offers to rate us as the “Best of” (prestige) if we take out an ad. We don’t.

We are good at what we do and won’t be any better if we buy advertising or purchase prestige. You can overcome Vividness bias by looking into what’s important. Go ahead, investigate Homebuyer Associates.

3. “You can’t push string.” If you aren’t ready to buy a home, you shouldn’t. However, you should get honest and transparent information before making that decision.

4. Responding to a University of Michigan survey, 83% of responders said now is a bad time to buy a home. That reads an awful lot like “market timing” for the stock market. I don’t believe in market timing.

If rates are now higher, inventory low, prices relatively high and 83% of poll reponders don’t think it’s a good time to buy…I’m going to investigate buying a home. I’ll be guided by a concept I’ve followed in my real estate life:

If the numbers work, I’ll buy it.

Whether the numbers work will be based on cost, income, length of time to remain in a home and mortgage type.

I used 564 words to say, “Follow A-E above to make a determination about owning a home.”

As always, coffee is our metaphor for decision-making. If you have questions or want to discuss real estate, contact Seamus, Mike, or me.

We will sit and listen and give our opinion to help you decide what is best for you – long-term – because we don’t sell stuff, but we do listen.

Thanks for reading,
Michael D. Holloway

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