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REAL ESTATE TIPS: As ‘new normal’ sinks in, be encouraged

I am writing this on March 27. We are a few weeks into this craziness and – like your life – mine looks different than it did a few weeks earlier.

Last night was particularly tough as we had to cancel our Disney World trip which was to occur on April 2. Because of the kids’ summer schedules and school sports schedules, we had to postpone the trip for 12 months – not days or weeks – months. It stinks.

For me, and probably for you, this past week has brought a new perspective as the new normal is sinking in. So this week, I want to share with you encouragement.

Be encouraged because you are able to spend more time with your loved ones than you normally would. Over the last few months, it has become very real to me that our oldest son will be out of the house in two short years and each moment with him is precious. There is an eight-year age gap between my youngest and oldest son and I recognize that more of my youngest son’s “at home” memories growing up will be without his oldest brother than with him. This bonus time alone allows us to soak up family time that we would not normally have.

Be encouraged because we are still blessed. While I may have had to search hard for certain grocery items (it still baffles me how difficult it was to find chocolate syrup for ice cream sundaes!) my family still has food, clean water, indoor plumbing, electric and heat. I don’t have to look farther than my refrigerator to see the picture of the child we sponsor through Compassion International to know that our “worst day” at the Ryder house is more blessed than any given day for our sponsored child and his village.

Be encouraged because interest rates are at an all-time low. They were low before this happened and as of this writing, are still low. If you haven’t looked into refinancing your mortgage, you really should. Doing a straight refinance (not pulling any cash out) could save you money in your monthly payment as well as potentially lower the amount of years left on your loan.

Be encouraged because the housing market is still moving. Like I told my agents right after school was announced to be canceled for a few weeks – people will always need to buy or sell. Moving to assisted living, a death, divorce, job transfer or marriage are all reasons people need to buy or sell no matter what the economy is like. The amount of new and pending listings I see each day in the MLS show me that, at least in Wayne and Stark counties, real estate is still moving.

Things happen for a reason. A few months ago, Andy and I were planning a trip to Jamaica. We had the dates, hotel and flight ready to book but every time he went to pay for the flight, it kept changing the flight time. He was getting frustrated and I was tired so I told him we would just finish it up in the morning. That night, I just wasn’t feeling good about the trip. I really wanted to take the kids to Disney instead. The kids kept asking to go and I figured that we had a few years left with all four kids at home but a lifetime with just the two of us.  So we opted not to move forward with Jamaica and book Disney. Here is the amazing part. Had we booked our Jamaica trip, we would be there right now. Last week my husband told me that Jamaica is quarantining anyone who gets off of the airplane there and the resort we were going to stay at is shut down. We would not have purchased insurance for that trip and may have been out a lot of money. The Disney trip is entirely refundable. I have heard similar stories from other people.
While we tend to think and read the worst, and there are certainly devastating stories out there, the timing of this for some people and for whatever reason, has been a good thing. At the end of the day, no matter how bad anything seems, He is in control. And that should be encouraging for all of us.

So hang in there, my friends. Have hope. Make the most of this extra time you have on your hands. Have a blessed week!

Esta Ryder, Realtor
President’s Club
Ryder Realty, LLC

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