Monday, March 23, 2009

A Positive Perspective

Guest Post by Len Montgomery and Photo by respres

In these days of gloomy of prognostics, I feel it is important to find and acknowledge as many positive aspects of our economy as possible. In doing so, we can offset the pessimism that seems to follow the mainstream media news. In this spirit I would like to share some of the facts that have been skimmed over, or totally overlooked, concerning North Carolina.

Let me begin with our state’s population. North Carolina saw more newcomers to our state versus loss of residents than any other state. For every 100 people who moved away, we saw 180 people move here according to, a moving services website. Now I do not have the exact numbers of the comings and goings, but it has been a significant enough change that the federal government has announced that North Carolina, along with South Carolina, Georgia and Florida, will each receive an additional seat in the House of Representatives.

A good number of those relocating are buying homes. Our office gets a fair number of client relocation referrals. The typical family relocating will finance their home. That means there will be inspections, repairs, insurance, appraisals and a plethora of other services that may be required in the process to approve a home mortgage. Real estate generates a tremendous cash flow into our local economy over and above the cost of property.

With a growing population, new housing will be a necessity. In fact, just this week, Washington reported that new home starts increased over 22% in February all across the nation, with the exception of the west coast. This is still below last years new home starts, but is a very positive step. New housing is typically followed by new shopping centers filled with grocers, banks, restaurants and merchants of all sorts peddling their wares. And who will work, manage or own these new businesses? Sure, some will be big corporations. But more will be folks right here in our own communities.

With a growing population, new jobs are created. Or is the population growing because of the new jobs? Either way, we acquire a larger tax base to draw from for our state and local governments. Spreading out the tax liability helps to hedge off tax increases.

Many of our local residents have been watching the housing market carefully, waiting for the market to hit bottom and so they can swoop in and take advantage of great opportunities. Well, I don’t have a crystal ball, but I feel confident in saying that the time to act is now. Are homes at the lowest prices we are going to see? I don’t know. But I can promise that by the time we’ve all figured out that we are at the very bottom, home prices will be going back up.

One last observation to share: the glass is half full. That’s right. I said it. Although there are many naysayers among us, every fiber of who I am sees the best for our state. I was at a meeting this week where the keynote speaker kindly informed the group that she has chosen not to participate in the recession. What a novel idea! I have adopted this philosophy myself. We have a choice, we can change our attitudes and we will see a change in our results!

Len Montgomery is a REALTOR for GMAC The REALTY Team in Greensboro/High Point/Winston Salem area. Website: or call at 336-812-8128.

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