First-hand Look At How Markets Differ Around U.S.

Having just completed a move from one part of the country to another, it’s easy to see the contrast in the real estate market from one region to another. The area we left in the northeast was flooded with homes for sale. In our travels around town and around the entire region, we had been encountering an alarming number of real estate “for sale” signs. The experience we had just before moving out of the area ourselves was that the same homes were on the market for months or even a year or more. It surely had all the signs of a distressed market.

Where we now live in the southeast U.S., we are seeing very few “for sale” signs in front of homes. The numerous homes for sale where we lived before suggested a kind of “we need to get out of here” feel to the market whereas people seem much more content to stay where they are around the area we live in now. Surely, this is anything but a scientific study, but going by the “feeling” we got from the northeast and from where we are now, it’s easy to reach the conclusions that the real estate market is hurting worse in some areas than in others.

We visited this area almost two years ago before we decided to move here and even then this area felt more “alive.” It was more vibrant. It seemed like there were more people out and about doing things like shopping and going out to eat. That was something we picked up on right away and we preferred that atmosphere over the one that seemed to dominate the area we came from where people seemed to be more focused on cutting back, trimming expenses and working harder to make ends meet.

Surely, the economy of the entire U.S. is in tough shape these days and where we are now is no exception. Perhaps the people here just have a different reaction to it, or perhaps the economy here is just a little bit better than it is in the area we left. I strongly suspect that the real estate market here is not quite as bad as it is where we came from. If the homes for sale in this area were languishing on the market as long as they were up north, I would expect that we would be seeing a lot more signs in front of homes around here.

Having lived in the northeast all my life, I think I had a pretty good “feel” for the area and the accompanying atmosphere. Although we’ve certainly been through recessions and touch economic times in the past, there seemed to be a lot more “gloom and doom” going around these days compared to the past. I’m happy to report that people here in the southeast seem a bot more upbeat about things. Maybe it’s just that the way of life is a little more relaxed down here and the pace of life is a little slower. I have to say it’s a refreshing change and I also would add that I’m looking forward to the milder and nearly snow-free winters here in the south.

Although politicians make empty promises (when will people learn?) and economists differ regarding what the future holds, it is nice to be living in an area where people seem to be taking things in stride a bit better and acting less pessimistic about what’s coming. Even if there are terrible times ahead, I’ve come to believe that it’s better to worry less about it now instead of compounding and extending the worry and anxiety by focusing on bad things that have not even happened yet.

I’m not suggesting that people should not prepare for hard times ahead – quite the opposite! I think it’s prudent to be prepared for future uncertainty, but maybe a lot of folks could add a few years to their lives by worrying a bit less while they make their preparations. Who knows? Perhaps things will turn around and we’ll come out of this recession (or depression) sooner than we think. You can’t blame a guy for hoping!

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