I’m neither financial adviser nor fortune teller

Johnny Carson as Karnak.

A longtime friend of mine called to say she and her husband were thinking of renting out their apartment for a couple of years and buy another one so as to have a garden.

They contemplated spending $1.5 million or less.

So far, so good.

Eagerly, I began sending them listings, a couple of which interested at least her.

Then she spoke to her financial adviser.

In her telling, the adviser said it wasn’t a good time to purchase real estate.  Really?

I don’t pretend to be an expert on stocks, bonds, life insurance, retirement accounts or the proper strategy and mix of such products.  But I do fancy myself, along with many other brokers, to be something of an expert on the real estate market.

Although I don’t believe the adviser knows nothing about real estate, I rather doubt that individual reads a dozen real estate blogs and articles in a wide variety of news media every day.

I don’t think that my friend’s adviser sees literally dozens of apartments every month, exchanges useful gossip with real estate brokers and monitors monthly and quarterly housing market reports from the general (the U.S.) to the specific (mere neighborhoods).  Moreover, does that person understand the flaws of the various reports, especially Case-Shiller?

I started to express this opinion, then held my tongue, realizing anything I said would undermine not only my trustworthiness in the family’s mind but also, perhaps, our friendship.

So, I didn’t suggest to her that I had to be better informed than her financial adviser, at least when it comes to real estate.  What I don’t understand is why her financial adviser pretended to know more than any real estate professional with integrity has to know and discuss, including the future (with appropriate caveats).

As I have maintained forever, there is a right time and a bad time to buy a new home.  The right time is when the purchaser needs or very much wants to move and is willing to stay put for several years.

I promise to stay out the financial adviser’s business if he’ll stay out of mine.

Tomorrow: Weekly Roundup

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Malcolm Carter
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Senior Vice President
Charles Rutenberg Realty
127 E. 56th Street
New York, NY 10022

M: 347-886-0248
F: 347-438-3201

Web site

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