"I was listening to 'The Today Show,' which led me to be to believe [real estate] was still slow nationwide." - As Market Steadies, Home Buyers Face Competition, MarketWatch
Don't get me wrong, I love the Today Show. And Barbara Corcoran, the Today Show Real Estate expert, has tons of helpful tips. While it's important to have this kind of high-level advice if you're dabbling with the notion of buying or selling of home, it is even more important to filter this information down to the local level.
Think about your finances. Jean Chatzky, the Today Show's financial expert, has excellent insights and tips to manage your money. But most people would turn to a certified Financial Advisor to plan major investments, retirement, and savings strategies to suit personal needs. And what about your sources of news? You may read the Wall Street Journal or Boston Globe for certain news and information, but if you want to know what's going on around town, you would turn to the Arlington Patch of course.
This idea of the macro (broad-based) and the micro (hyper-local) goes for a real estate as well.
Micro considerations in real estate might include access to downtown, school rankings, median home prices, single-family home sales, and the variety of services and amenities available. Keep in mind, many of these criteria not only vary by town, but by neighborhood as well.
Macro considerations might include broader-based nation-wide or even state-wide trends, including job growth, foreclosure rates, interest rates, etc.
Real estate is an investment, and requires a strategy that takes into consideration the history, characteristics and future outlook of the local real estate market. Family, friends, Barbara Corcoran, Zillow, Trulia - all of these can be helpful sources of real estate information. Just be sure you have the right filters in place, and find an experienced REALTOR® to help you make the most of both the macro and micro trends.
To heed the words of Al Roker, "That's what's happening around the country, here's what's happening in your neck of the woods."