I have talked to a few potential clients recently that have decided to place their projects on hold because of the current housing market. I understand their fears, but I just want to comment on some of them.
To start with, if you think your house is worth what it was last year, you’re probably right! Despite the current bubble popping, a lot of houses retained their value. There is an exception to this: those who want out right now! Let me be more clear: if you are planning on staying in your house, then the value of your house will continue to go up. If you need to sell your house, or you just want to move, then you may have to deal with settling for a lower price due to a the banks not lending any money and the small percentage of homeowner defaulting on their homes.
I think most people realize this, but when they talk to friends, or even the banks, the news is that things suck! I believe this is true, the banks are making things tough on everyone. Eventually this will have to change, and the banks will have to start lending money again. However, those who have lived in their house a long time still have equity. Banks are still loaning secured loans, and your house is a security.
If you want to help this economic crisis, then you have to be willing not to place your plans on hold. If you have been planning on remodeling your home, and you can afford it, then do it! Why wait? The world is not ending, the US is not falling into the ocean, and you still need to enjoy life.
I usually always suggest that clients look at the current cost versus value report: http://www.remodeling.hw.net/costvsvalue/portland.html
This is a great place to find out what the average costs of remodeling are, and what the excepted return and investment is. Of course, like the commercials say, happiness is priceless. So, in these hard times, don’t just sit on your money–spread it around and help the economy get back on it’s feet.