Do Recession Proof Homes Exist?

Buying a home is a huge investment. People spend years saving for a sizable downpayment, usually aiming for 20% to avoid paying mortgage insurance.  A huge chunk of time is spent on researching different housing markets.  During the process, homebuyers examine local factors that will ultimately either drive value into or pull value from a home they could buy there. The huge limitation, however, is that we can’t predict the future no matter how educated we are. When looking at the future most people’s fears are centered around one thing, recessions. So, the big question is do recession proof homes exist?

Understanding Recessions

Recessions can be defined as a prolonged period (usually more than 6 months) with a significant decline in economic activity. The areas of slowdown include the following:

  • Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
  • Real Income
  • Employment
  • Industrial Production
  • Wholesale Retail Sales

Most first time buyers in the market today are old enough to remember the great recession of 2008. This was an especially painful recession because it was catalyzed by the subprime mortgage crisis. This collapsed the housing bubble in the US. This, in turn, dropped the floor out of the housing market, and the value of most of the homes on the market dropped along with everything else.

Common or Rare?

The fear is still fresh for a lot of people. It makes complete sense that this is not a favorable thing when it comes to any form of investment. There is a silver lining and it’s that recessions are common and almost guaranteed. We’ve had a recession nearly every decade for the last 100 years and in some cases even two per decade.

The saying “nothing gold can stay” fits this reality perfectly. Nothing can maintain a state of continual growth. Economies are not perfect and they’re built on some tangible factors and some speculative factors. Any economy will expand to a point and collapse to reset to a point of equilibrium.  The challenge is being able to invest wisely and in turn, minimize the effect of recessions on your investments.

So, Do Recession Proof Homes Exist?

The truth is that there are no investments that are recession proof, including recession proof homes. The great news in that you can choose a home/market that offers the best path to minimizing the impacts of a recession. Here are some very important paths that will provide the greatest amount of protection from recessions:

Homes w/ additional rental opportunities

It’s smart to pursue any type of home with a space that you can legally use for rentals. This includes multi-family/duplexes, homes with carriage houses, above garage apartments, etc. You also don’t need to rule out a home if there are opportunities to upgrade the home for this purpose. You obviously want to pick a market with high demand for rentals.

High Demand Properties/Low Supply Locations

It’s basic economics when you’re considering the relationship between supply and demand. If you’re looking at a market with a huge supply of homes but not a market of homebuyers to buy or rent then demand will be low and so will the value of those homes. Compare that to a market with low supply and an influx of homebuyers based on the local economy and you have demand driving up the value of homes.

Just be careful to know that every market has a ceiling and places like Seattle and San Francisco, although exploding with transplants, will eventually cool.

Rock Solid Job Markets

There are some cities that will still carry a lot of demand regardless of the state of the economy. This demand is driven by locations like New York and Los Angeles being places where there will always be people ready and able to spend money. The accessibility of the area to a large number of jobs, airports, even recreational locations like beaches and mountains can play a factor in this.

There can still be a lot of volatility in high demand locations like these but a prudent homebuyer can find sound homes buying options that are not recession proof but more recession resistant than other homes and markets.

The Verdict on Savannah

The great news for Savannah in that so many people are transplanting here from expensive areas of the Northeast like New Jersey.  Savannah is exploding with demand for both new home and existing home sales. The area is also experiencing growth in a number of job markets including aerospace (Gulfstream), manufacturing, tourism, and the ports of Savannah and Charleston.

Property taxes are a fraction of the cost of other areas of the country and Savannah International Airport is a hub offering direct flights to most of the major cities of in the US. Please reach out to with any questions you have about the area as we’d love to help you find the perfect home and neighborhood to make a safe investment in.

 

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