The real estate market meltdown was much more severe and has lasted much longer than even the most bearish housing market observer would ever have predicted. Rather than values taking a dip, they've taken a double dip in many places; and the housing sector drama has infected the job market and the entire world's economy.
Yet, there are some very shiny silver linings to this whole mess -- a handful of ways in which our mindsets, habits, behaviors and approaches to money, mortgage and even life decision-making -- have been changed by this real estate market debacle. As I see it, here are the five best things about this otherwise terrible housing recession:
People now buy for the long term. Even Jeff Lewis, that reality TV house flipper extraordinaire, has declared that he's tapped out of the flipping business for the foreseeable future, trading in his real estate wheeling and dealing for the design business.
Recently, he mentioned having lost six homes in the real estate market crash. While Lewis flipped homes as his business, just five years ago, many Americans -- homeowners and investors alike -- took a short-term view on their homes, buying them with the idea that they could count on refinancing, pulling cash out or even reselling them anytime they wanted, at a profit. more...