It’s Time to Purchase Like It’s 1999

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With prices falling on everything from houses to boats, if you're lucky enough to have money in the bank, there are definitely bargains to be had.

(MONEY TALKS NEWS) If you’re one of the nearly 10% of Americans currently out of work, life is challenging, to say the least.

But if you’re one of the 90% still employed…and have money to spend or invest, you can find the bargains of a lifetime. Or, to paraphrase “the artist formally known as Prince,” you can purchase like it’s 1999. 

We recently left our headquarters in recession-battered South Florida seeking deals on things like houses and boats: we didn’t have to look far.   

“This boat, in the condition that it’s in, would have sold in a minute for a million, million and a half dollars, two years ago. Today, I’d look somewhere between 500 and 800 thousand dollars” said Sully Sutherlin.

Sutherlin’s company is the largest online seller of used and salvaged boats in the country. And he says prices on boats both big and small are back to where they were 10 years ago: literally half the price.  He showed us around one of his personal boats: a 74 foot power catamaran that features amenities like a four staterooms and a “garage” that houses a speedboat. In a few weeks he’ll try to sell the boat at the Fort Lauderdale yacht show, as well as on his online auction site, usauctions.com. So if you’re in the market…

And yachts aren’t the only thing priced like it’s 1999. Foreclosed homes in former boom markets like California, Florida and Nevada are also reaching prices not seen for 10 years.

“You can buy homes right now for about 200-thousand dollars, that were at one time, selling for close to 500-thousand dollars. So basically you’re buying homes in late 90s prices” Earl Lawrence tells Money Talks News.  Lawrence is a South Florida real estate investor who buys foreclosed properties, restores and sells them. He currently owns more than 150 homes and rental properties.

While some of the biggest bargains are found in hard-hit areas like South Florida, other deals can be found nationwide. Air travelers, for instance, are finding low ticket prices and less croweded planes as fewer business travelers vie for seats.  Hotel rates are also down…especially luxury hotels.  And it’s easier to drive a hard bargain as well, as luxury lines like Cadillac, Mercedes, and Jaguar have seen sales slip from 25 to 50% this year.  Used car prices have also run into a ditch thanks to heavy discounting happening at dealers nationwide. 

Even stocks are on sale. Despite a huge rally from March lows, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is still well below where it was 10 years ago.

So whatever floats your boat, whether it be spending or investing, if you’ve got the money, now could very well be the time.

Stacy Johnson

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