Don't know where you are going to be in five years? Think twice about buying.
That's a pretty good rule of thumb no matter where you live, but especially here in Greater Boston, now pegged as one of the nation's "riskiest" housing markets, a new report finds.
In fact, we are far riskier than San Francisco, San Jose and even crazy, boom/bust Las Vegas, according to the Bloomberg, which teamed up with Zillow to come up with a list of the most historically volatile housing markets.
Boston is No. 4 on the list, with home buyers standing a nearly 30 percent chance of losing money if they have to sell within five years, the Bloomberg/Zillow survey finds.
In fact, New England is generally a risky place for buyers who, for one reason or another, aren't able to commit long-term to a house.
Your risk of taking a bath are the greatest in Hartford, with short-term buyers facing a 36 percent chance of winding up in the red. Providence is No. 2 at 31 percent, according to the Bloomberg/Zillow survey.
In fact, if you don't know how long you are going to be in town for, it's safer to buy in Las Vegas, where your chances of winding up selling at a loss drop to 21 percent, the survey finds.
Right now we are living through what increasingly looks like the third big housing bubble here in Greater Boston in the past three decades.
The first was the run-up in prices during the 1980s, which came crashing down in the early 90s. That was the granddaddy of them all, with prices rising 29 percent between 1985 and 1986, before falling 8.3 percent from 1990 to 1991.
The second was the big bubble of the mid-2000s, which imploded amid the Great Recession.
Now are experiencing the third big run-up in prices. Your guess is as good as mine as how it will all shake out. But buy and hold is by far the best strategy.
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