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Can’t Live in Stocks

As Jim Cramer asked one day: Can you live in those stocks or bonds you purchased – that paper that was Fannie and Freddie which is now worth nothing? Cramer talked to Pulte Homes Inc.’s CEO about the housing market and espoused a good reason to buy property – you can live in it.

However, don’t dismiss the idea that it’s a fail-safe investment vehicle even if you’ve bought a discounted property. The property can be taken away if you lose your job or can’t make your mortgage payment. The paper is just paper and the home is just a loan until you start building equity and eventually pay it off.

The lack of regulation in the real estate market pushed it over the edge and then tumbled into all other aspects of the U.S. economy. If oil didn’t drop due to demand destruction or the pressure to stop oil buying speculators, then the recession would have taken a deep hold on the U.S. economy and extended the housing trough even further - right now, the down trend in the economy is predicted to last 18 months.

Just recently, Erin Burnett of CNBC said that a Middle Eastern wealth fund was not looking to get back into the stock market but instead buy real estate.

There are now sovereign wealth funds buying up American landmarks and property. The stock market is still too unstable, but real estate looks like a strong investment for the long term for many investors from overseas. I’d say that’s a good sign to start taking a closer look at some real estate deals—when there’s panic in the street, then you become a buyer not a seller. This could be a very tough position to take on right now, but if you’re comfortable with a certain amount of fluctuation, then it’s a risk that might reward you handsomely.

With the huge numbers of foreclosures on the market, there’s no way to tell when the housing market will turn around, but most say 18 months from now, which is close to early 2010.

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