Despite the real estate roller-coaster of the past few years, homeownership remains the bedrock of financial and familial security. Having a long-term investment that provides the satisfaction and pride of ownership beats just about anything else you can do with your savings.

When the market exploded several years ago, the expectations of many consumers grew too high, too fast. Homes became more commodities than investments, and now markets and attitudes have been forced to realign.

Conditions today make it an opportune time to secure your future. Home prices and interest rates are still low, and tax advantages are abundant.

You just have to get past all the negativity in the media. All the bad news has drained consumer confidence. And frankly, you can’t underestimate the effect of intangibles such as confidence and expectation on the real estate industry.

Real estate transactions are unlike any other financial transaction. The demand and desire for homeownership doesn’t expire like other flashy investment instruments. The inherent value of a stock can be calculated by a formula of company profits, earnings ratios, performance history, fund managers and so on.

However, a home’s value is ultimately determined by what a buyer is willing to pay for it and the security and well-being that owning your own home provides.

Honestly, there’s hardly been a better time to make your move!

Paul Suding, a real estate agent with Cool Santa Barbara Homes and Village Properties, is president of the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. He can be contacted at or 805.455.8055.