The state of the economy and the housing market continues to be an important topic, as well it should be. I must admit that it is good to hear people discussing the economy instead of just pretending that everything is just fine and dandy.

The main thing that troubles me is the hyperbole and gossip I hear. There are some out there that promise you that there has never been a better time to buy real estate. Faithful readers know that those companies and people will justify any market conditions to make the claim that there has never been a better time, so always think twice when you hear that promise.

And, there are people who think the sky is still falling just because we are not in boom times. For people who are scared by that, they might be missing an opportunity that is right for them. For people who see a falling sky as a good thing, they sometimes assume every homeowner is desperate and ready to give their house away at a steep loss.

Another phrase I often hear is “The banks do this” or “The banks do that.” Never forget that every bank is different and don’t assume that one bank’s actions means that all banks will do the same thing. In talking about bank-owned properties, remember that every bank is different, every asset manager within those banks is different, every local market is different and every property within each market is different. I warn people about assuming what a bank will or will not do in this economy.

When thinking about the housing market and whether to buy or sell a home, I always urge people to look at their own financial circumstances and life goals in relation to both the local and national economy. It might make sense for you to buy or sell or right now. Or, you might be better off renting a home or holding on to what you have.

One thing I think we can all agree on—we are not in a boom time. But does that mean we are still in “bust” mode? It is hard to tell. But, just because this isn’t a boom time doesn’t automatically mean it is a bust. We just might be somewhere in the middle between boom and bust.

And, for people with a long-term perspective…that middle region in the cycle just might also be considered…normal.