I remember with clarity 1986...
It was the final year of my 20 year career, as a U.S. Army Officer and the beginning of my career as a Real Estate Broker - and that was 29 years ago! I worked for a terrific firm (Mount Vernon Realty) in the Northern Virginia, Southern Maryland, and Washington, DC marketplace. Leaving my Staff Officer job at the Defense Intelligence Agency and jumping into the civilian business world was quite a rush! Let's see... hang up the uniform and go to Nordstrom's for pin stripe suits, button down oxford shirts, power ties, and wing tips... Check!
The real estate market was on fire and I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. 1986, 1987, and the start of 1989 were a Realtor's dream. Then February of 1989 happened. Listings stayed on the market longer. Some strange things called "short sales" and "foreclosures" entered our repertoire. Prices started dropping. Oh, oh, what was this all about? A few years later, by 1993, we were back in a climbing market once again.
I moved to Palm Coast & Flagler Beach, FL in 2001. It was a shock to leave my market of Great Falls and McLean, VA, where $Million dollar+ sales were routine and I was managing an office for Century 21 New Millennium (the highest producing C21 company in the world). However, from 2001 to 2005, things were hot as a pistol here as well. I recall our monthly office sales meeting at my Flagler Beach Re/Max office in December, 2005. I said, "Can anyone else feel "something" happening, or is it just me?" Well, that "something" was the beginning of the worst real estate crash in US history. From late 2005, all the way through 2012, we were in freefall. It was crazy. The "depressed sales" dominated over 60% of all we did! Ouch!
However, since the beginning of 2013, we have righted ourselves... leveled out... and started a slow, steady climb out of the hole. It's a safe bet that, barring a cataclysmic disaster, 2015 and the foreseeable years beyond should hold more of the same. That is a slow, steady upward real estate trend. Inventory is available. Mortgage rates are low. Foreclosures and short sales are way down. Oh, and here's the statistic I always love: Many of the real estate agents who bailed when things got tough, are scrambling to re-activate their licenses. As a consumer, I'd ask you to consider asking your Realtor if they remained active and productive during those really difficult years. You're better off with a battle scarred veteran of the real estate wars. Been there... Done that... Got the T-shirt!!!