I thought I had seen it all

The veteran Realtors and loan officers in Solano County may have thought and even told clients over the years, that they had seen it all.

There are only a few benefits of being over 60 if you are lucky: grandkids, your kids no longer need financial support, and you have seen it all and have learned from your past wins and losses.

I was one of those guys who thought I had seen it all as of February 2020.

I remember my first experience with the economy. I was one of those teenagers who was always running on empty. I ran out of gas once in San Francisco while waiting in a gas line. Mary and I had to push my car to the pump in 1978.

The one thing none of us have ever seen is a pandemic.

Buyers and sellers of homes across America are sitting on the fence and waiting for the recession to end and the inflation fears to subside. Nobody has previous experience with a pandemic and although we have seen the government spend more money than it brought sin over the past 25 years, the $6 trillion is a new record for spending on stimulus to help businesses and citizens this past 24 months.

Because I have no previous pandemic experience, I am not certain about what comes next.

One thing I and all the real estate pros know is homeownership is a hedge against inflation, and locking into a fixed-rate house payment protects our clients from rent inflation.

Mortgage rates have come down a full 1% in the past 45 days. Homebuyers with 720-plus FICO scores can lock in loans with an APR below 5%. Longtime real estate brokers and loan officers know renting is a losing proposition because rents have gone nowhere but up over the past 30 years.

Three quotes from legendary investor 91-year-old Warren Buffett, who thought he had seen it all, says it all:

• “Trust in American ingenuity. American magic has always prevailed, and it will do so again.”
• “Don’t invest in something you don’t understand.” I say buying a house and becoming a landlord is easy to understand.
• “Seize an opportunity while you can. Don’t pass up something that’s attractive today because you think you will find something better tomorrow.”

Jim Porter, NMLS No. 276412, is the branch manager of Solano Mortgage, NMLS No. 1515497, a division of American Pacific Mortgage Corporation, NMLS No. 1850, licensed in California by the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation under the CRMLA / Equal Housing Opportunity. Jim can be reached at 707-449-4777.

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