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What have you learned so far?

Yet another year stretches ahead full of clean-slate potential. What are you going to accomplish in the remaining 353 days? Are you determined to make this a pivotal or springboard year, or are you going to wait and see how things turn out?

If you don't stop to decide what can be achieved during the additional 8472 hours in 2011(first posted January 12), the days will speed by, stuffed full of largely-irrelevant “must dos.” You may miss out on accomplishing something that really matters.

There are many ways real estate can make a difference for you and your family, including providing cost-effective, safe shelter, but all these opportunities require forethought, conscious effort, and strategizing to achieve full benefit. Luckily, experienced real estate professionals can contribute the necessary strategies to move you from where you are to where you'd like to be, literally and figuratively. The clearer you are about your needs, resources, and goals the easier it will be to achieve progress.

You don't have to know how to accomplish your real estate goals, just be ready with a truly open mind to explore possibilities with those who do:

  • Do you want a summer or winter get-away property, but don't want to put all your extra cash into this second home? How practical is buying with family or friends? Experienced real estate professionals know how to make co-ownership work. They can anticipate problems and protect your interests while searching out the best property fit.
  • Do you have university-bound children who will need financial support for a few years? Why not consider buying a condominium or house, (depending on real estate values near the chosen university) for your keen student to share with peers. Residence costs will be cut while equity in the property increases. After graduation, the property could be sold to cover most, if not all, of the tuition debt.
  • Would you like your first house to include rental space for help paying off the mortgage? Would an in-law suite make enough difference, or should you consider a two or three-unit property? Or, perhaps a small apartment building is surprisingly within reach, particularly if you team up with another buyer? This is one example of how what you don't know may hold you back financially.
  • Are you keen to buy an international property to use now or later? The more you understand about what you could afford and how, the easier it is to fully appreciate opportunities and to avoid scams. Once again, don't reinvent the wheel. Search out knowledgeable real estate professionals ready to protect your interests and accomplish your goals anywhere in the world.

Most of this information and strategizing is offered free of charge. Perhaps that's why it is so often overlooked or ignored by consumers.

Real estate brokers and salespeople know that buyers and sellers can accomplish more than they realize. These professionals are often limited by the experience and knowledge of their clients. When you make plans and goals contingent on the extent and quality of your real estate knowledge and experience, you may shortchange yourself. Can your knowledge really compete with that of real estate professionals who have worked through hundreds of transactions and financing arrangements, and have spent years evaluating properties? They also have back-up resources in their brokerage and through their peers. What's your knowledge back-up?

Real estate professionals have always shared an amazing amount of their knowledge and experience free of charge. Sellers and buyers are given opportunities to learn a lot of real estate information and to have decision-making clarified before they spend a dime. As fee-for-service becomes more commonplace, consumers may find the free ride is over. Don't wait until then to discover the true value of professional real estate expertise.

Ready to decide that 2011 will be your real estate springboard year?

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