Spring Real Estate Guide 2011: Optimism and Opportunity vs. Dome and Gloom – CNBC

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Wading Back Into Real Estate
CNBC.com | March 14, 2011 | 09:01 AM EDT

Another spring, another burst of hope for a real estate market recovery. And, so for many, to list or not to list — that is the question.

It may be hard to believe, but real estate prices have been falling for five years now in America.

For-sale signs on lawns come and go like weeds, foreclosure signs cast a pall on neighborhoods, and unfinished buildings turn into landmarks.

For some, houses have become a ball and chain, choking mobility; for others, a financial time bomb, threatening bankruptcy.

What’s all the more frustrating for many homeowners is that while their biggest financial asset—and retirement nest egg—sits in limbo, the stock market has come roaring back.

Amid all the doom and gloom, its hard for many to think of real estate as anything other than a money pit; for some, however, it is an opportunity, and, hopefully, a well of profit to be tapped.

It’s the optimistic, even opportunistic, side we’re focusing on in our annual special report, “Investor Guide to Spring Real Estate” and CNBC’s forthcoming series of reports by “Realty Check'” blogger and TV correspondent Diana Olick. “Opportunity USA”.

We plan to help you decide if the residential market is for you.

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