The real estate opportunities of a down economy


I was just in Nevada doing some shooting for my HLN TV show. While there, I was startled by what was going on with real estate in Las Vegas area, which is perhaps the worst real estate bubble bust area in the country.

I went by one real estate agency and was surprised by what I saw. Normally, you might see colorful fliers with cutesy language about how great this or that house is they have for sale. But in Las Vegas, all they were talking about was “was” and “is.” “This house was $600,000 and now it’s $100,000!” They also talked about the square footage and gave you a picture of the exterior, but none of the interior, probably because the insides really needed some TLC!

What struck me is that we’re so many years into the bust and sellers (read: banks) have reached capitulation. The real estate market is re-establishing itself in a mold where it doesn’t matter what it was worth, it only matters what it is worth now.

So the opportunity out there is phenomenal, especially if you’re in the market for a second home. But one word of caution: You need to take your time. That’s one thing you have the luxury of at this point. Get to know the neighborhood and even the street before you buy.

While eating out in Las Vegas, I heard somebody at the next table talking about wanting to buy real estate because it was such a deal, but they were never going to live there. That’s not a deal in a resort area. If you’re buying somewhere across the country, make sure it’s a place you would enjoy living in as well.

For first-time homebuyers, make sure your credit is good before buying a home. And second home buyers, expect to pay cash or least a substantial down-payment in cash.

Note: Today’s show is a Best of Clark repeat originally aired August 5,  2011

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