Years from now we will look back on this time in history as the sale of the century! Virtually everything is on sale. Let’s look at where your best opportunities are:
New cars. The recession has caused consumers to turn from spenders to savers especially in the area of big ticket items such as automobiles. As a result, auto sales have declined a breath-taking 35%. In response, auto dealers have slashed prices and also offer an array of additional incentives including low down payments, low to zero interest rates and employee pricing. Recently several dealers even offered ‘buy one, get one free!’ Of course, you had to buy an SUV at thirty-something thousand dollars and they gave you a compact car worth thirteen-something thousand…but still a great deal.
You are unlikely to ever get better pricing on a new vehicle. Even better, the government is now guaranteeing the warranties on General Motors and Chrysler vehicles.
Housing. As a result of the subprime debacle, home prices all over America have fallen providing homebuyers a once in a lifetime opportunity to buy a home at a great price. While housing opportunities are plentiful, there are three areas of particular interest.
- New construction. Over building and declining demand has created an abundance of new houses available at very attractive prices. “If you love the idea of having everything brand new, then now is the perfect time to buy a newly constructed home”, says Edward Anderson of Gibson & Anderson Construction, Inc.
- First-time homebuyers. First-time homebuyers have a unique opportunity that ends December 1, 2009. As part of the stimulus package, you can receive a tax credit of 10% of the purchase price up to $8,000. To qualify, you must not have owned a home in the past three years. Remember that a tax credit, unlike a tax deduction means dollar-for-dollar cash in your pocket.
- Foreclosed homes. It is estimated that more than 3 million homeowners have lost their homes to foreclosure. The banks that own these foreclosed properties are under intense pressure by the federal regulators to get these properties off their books. In order to do so, they have to significantly discount the prices thereby providing you another great opportunity.
With historically low mortgage rates and lenders once again doing deals, now is an excellent time to buy a home.
Merchandise. Virtually all businesses have been affected by the recession. You can now visit any mall and find great sales on just about everything. Reassess your wardrobe, determine your new clothing needs and use store sales to buy at bargain prices.
Stocks. The stock market has been crushed over the past twelve months in a ‘take no prisoners’ freefall. As a result, much of the risk has been rung out of the market providing you with a unique opportunity to buy at low prices and benefit handsomely when the economy rebounds. Use free cash flow to invest in stocks over the next several months. If you are not contributing to your company retirement plan or have been avoiding stock mutual funds, begin now.
It’s always good advice to find an appropriate balance between saving and investing versus spending. With income tax refunds soon to hit your mailbox, now is a good time to revisit your plan.