Clark broadcasts from his 17th annual Habitat for Humanity build

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Welcome to a special broadcast of The Clark Howard Show. I’m on location today at the site of my 17th annual build with Atlanta Habitat for Humanity.

We’re doing two new homes in Atlanta, marking my 44th and 45th homes as a sponsor. Come May, I’ll be sponsoring another home, my 46th, in Joplin, MO. Special thanks to my Tulsa affiliate KRMG that has bonded with people of Joplin. The good folks of Tulsa will help with the build in Joplin, which is about an hour and half away from them.

As for us, today we have 77 hardworking volunteers on location back in Atlanta. On this, our first day, we’re building all the interior and exterior walls of the two homes. Next we’ll raise them and then start putting roof trusses up.

It’s amazing to think these homes will be built by volunteers in seven short days!

The housing market is ready for recovery

Housing in the U.S. has been through the toughest time over the last five years since the Great Depression in the 1930s. People who used to think the path to riches was buying real estate with borrowed money learned a hard lesson. We’re still dealing with the fallout today.

But the great news is we have more or less turned a corner with housing. Home sales hit an 11-month high in December 2011. Meanwhile, the number of properties on the market is the lowest it’s been since 2005. That’s a clear signal of recovery.

People tend to look in the rearview mirror when they make financial decisions. Everybody thought they would get rich in real estate 10 years ago. Today, however, they think owning a house is a fool’s errand. But that’s not the reality either.

Buying today is a much better plan for your future than it ever was during the heyday of the housing bubble. You have low mortgage rates and depressed housing prices.

Yet all real estate is local and so is the recovery. Give it time and it will happen.

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Editor’s note: This segment originally aired Jan. 31, 2012.

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