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Should you buy during a crisis?

Posted by Scott Van Voorhis October 15, 2013 09:09 AM

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More than a few buyers have apparently gotten cold feet as the deadline for a cataclysmic default on the national debt edges ever closer.

The National Association of Realtors warns that a default could kill the housing market, noting that some buyers already putting deals on hold or backing out as economic Armageddon approaches.

And yes, if Congress and President Obama managed to blow this one, we could very well wind up in a full-blown Depression.

Yet investors - at least as measured by bond and credit default swap markets - don't appear to be overly flustered.

These savvy investors are betting this is just another Washington horror flick, keeping everyone on the edge of their seats before it is predictably resolved at the last minute.

In fact, for savvy home buyers, the turmoil in Washington and ongoing government shutdown may not be such a bad thing.

Far from it. In a hotly competitive market like Greater Boston where too often there are multiple bidders for every half decent house, a crisis like this can be a godsend for buyers with cooler heads.

Most obviously, the default drama will clear out those buyers who have less tolerance for risk, as well as those who simply get suckered into a high state of anxiety by the cheap political antics taking place these days on the national stage.

More practically, there are a whole bunch of federal workers across Massachusetts who are temporarily sidelined by the government shutdown - not to mention the legions who work for various government contractors.

Of course, trying to seal the deal and nail down a mortgage has also become more difficult in recent weeks with the government closing shop.

But I'd rather be in the pipeline now than waiting for things to clear, on to get stuck in the inevitable backlog when the lights go back on.

I say don't let a good crisis go to waste.

What's your take? Buyers, how are you handing the debt default crisis?

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About boston real estate now
Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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