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There’s a Pony in the Poop! by Jeff GustafsonWe have met and talked with just about every builder in the Spokane area over the past several months. And there is no doubt that builders are just trying to keep the fires burning while we work our way through this downturn. Fortunately, there has been some weeding out in the industry which in most cases has been perceived as a good thing since what is left is the “best of the best”. How does one recover from such a dramatic change in conditions? And I don’t just mean custom builders, remodelers and their subs, I mean families in general. How do we turn things around? Consider this: One of the strengths of us in a free society is that we have the ability and freedom to adjust to our conditions, and (excuse my French) find the pony in the poop. That might mean that we have to do some things differently but that isn’t so bad. It is good to look at things from different perspectives from time to time because that is part of staying on top of your industry, your business, your marketI worked for a Fortune 500 company for 22 years. And every year the company would change the pay plan. Now in the beginning, people would moan and grown through the first quarter of the year about “how unfair the plan was” and, as a result, lose three months of productivity. It happened every year. I didn’t like losing three months of productivity and so I would sequester myself for a weekend as the plan came out and dissect it so that I could find the pony in the poop. Once you realized that they were just shifting around the normal 12% for sales to make sure that all products were continuing to grow, you would find the pony (the products that were paying the highest commission) and then develop a plan to get those products in front of the clients. It worked every year and we historically were always at the top of the heap come year end.What do we have today in the housing market? Homes are affordable, builders are making the best of deals and interest rates are at all times lows. Does anyone see the pony? You should see a million dollar race horse! As I was working through my early years in business, it was nothing to stretch yourself a bit to get into that nicer home because you figured at “34, 37, 42 etc.” your income was going up and so with a fixed mortgage you could afford to bite the bullet. But today things are even better. Homes have dropped measurably and along with that interest rates are as low as they have been in over 50 years. The only question that is still left is; what is the market going to do over the next few years? My money is on the market recovering. This downturn was the result of some terrible policies demanded by congress along with some pretty loose interpretations of the law (it still amazes me that there has never been a clear explanation as to what really happened here). I can only suspect that it must not be in the current “in control” party’s favor because if it were on the shoulders of the previous administration you can bet they would have exposed it for all it was worth. But that is a separate matter. You and I have to keep our eye on the ball and figure out a way to take advantage of what is going on here.What do we mean by “homes are affordable”? Spokane has always been an affordable area to live. And with the latest housing downturn that has only made Spokane more attractive. There are a significant number of homes on the market which means there are probably some great bargains available. And, to be honest, there are probably even some great deals to be negotiated with the custom builders as well.That leads us into “builders are making the best of deals”. That means that if you have ever thought of buying a custom home, today is probably the best time in the past 50 years to go have a discussion. Ask what is possible. Find out what alternatives there might be to get you into that dream home. There could be significant incentives aside from some builder programs. And what about a partial build? Maybe you can do some of the rest at a later time when you can better afford it. There are lots of options. You just need to discover what they are. And finally, interest rates are at all-time lows. So the opportunity is just there for the taking. Search on the Internet for mortgage calculators and see for yourself. A $200,000 home with a 30% down will leave you only an $800.00 a month mortgage payment. My goodness, look around. And then if you decide to make your payments in two installments each month you can cut off as much as 5 years on your loan payments which equals some $20,000+ over the life of the loan. There is definitely a pony in the poop and I suggest highly that if you have ever thought of building then you should contact one of our builders today and see what they have to say. We have not only filmed them but we have filmed their homes and talked to the residents of those homes and even filmed the homeowners on occasion and so we know what they have had to say. We know our builders build quality homes and that they come highly recommended.The Builders Blockshttp://thebuildersblocks.comArticle Source:

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