Dave Ramsey is a standout among media finance coaches. It’s hard to disagree with his brand of commonsensical counsel that eschews shortcuts and paths to riches that depend on newly concocted strategies. Mesa County readers and listeners who rely on his consistently risk-averse advice learn to avoid high-interest debt while building a solid financial base—a footing typically anchored by the equity most families build through their greatest investment, their home.
As the old year came to a close, Ramsey’s web site laid down five trends that are likely to emerge in the coming year. Mesa County homeowners who have been tracking the national real estate crosscurrents would not have been surprised by any of the five—but would likely be reassured by the continuity they exhibit:
- In the coming year, inventories of homes for sale will continue to be thin. As a result, buyers may need to be more flexible than usual in the features and locations they can insist upon—while sellers may find themselves increasingly in the driver’s seat.
- Prices should continue to rise, which would make the conservative ‘Ramsey Rule’ (house payments should not exceed 25% of take-home pay) difficult to follow, were it not for—
- The continuation of ‘nice and low’ mortgage interest rates, which markedly moderates the effect of the first two trends.
- Online and virtual services will continue to expand what you can accomplish via mouse-clicks rather than actual, in-person activity. But Ramsey does have a warning for sellers about the advisability of resorting to cut-rate virtual services: “Your home is your biggest asset, and you get what you pay for!”
- Likewise, increasingly popular “Risky Buying Options” (like down payment loans or overly expensive rent-to-own offers) rate his one-word review: “beware.”
The Ramsey vision for 2021 is also in line with a projection voiced by government-sponsored Freddie Mac—continuing price rises make a real estate market crash unlikely. Both foresee that sellers in previously less-popular neighborhoods can expect an uptick in buyer interest.
When future trends are continuations of those already in evidence, it’s not particularly earthshaking. More beneficial is the final Ramsey note on how to take control of the trends: “Partner with a top-notch professional real estate agent.”