“The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found those dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore.”
Vincent van Gogh, Dutch painter (March 30, 1853 -- July 29, 1890)
Artists take risks. They pursue their vision, often without financial security, facing long odds while stewing in their own self-doubt. When the world tells them "it's not safe," they listen to their own voice despite "prevailing wisdom." They have a vision and they pursue it.
Occasionally, if they're very lucky, they get to look back on their life and see the path that lead them to create a masterpiece. At the time, the path wasn't easy, yet in retrospect, it looks very much like the only viable path to take.
I think in twenty years or even ten years, we're going to hear the collective sound of people kicking themselves because they did not buy a home this year. As their teenage sons and daughters graduate and enter the future job market and begin searching for their first home, they'll turn to their parents and say, "Seriously? You're telling me when I was in middle school, you could get a 30-year fixed for under 5%?"
Too many remain terrified by the last great storm in the housing market. They stand now on the shores of incredible opportunity, but can't shake the vision of all those values sinking into oblivion.
If I could speak directly to your clients, I would urge them to at least explore their local market with a real estate agent. Get out from under the storm cloud of a "national" housing report. Who buys a home in a "national" market? No one, of course. Real estate lives and dies on local conditions, local knowledge, and real data which reflects neighborhood trends and health.
I would encourage your clients: Have a conversation. Think about the future. Who might need a home? Is there an opportunity to "be the bank" when the time comes?
Yes, some people face shaky job prospects. Yes, the banking industry is wary of regulation and has tightened in fear. But right now you probably know of clients who are moderately stable and looking for good investments. I would turn to them and say, "This is the calmest water you're ever going to see. Set sail now and buy a home."
Those that do will certainly be rewarded. As for the masterpiece? It will be the satisfaction of looking back and realizing they bought at just the right time.