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If the housing market were human, it would look like it just wrestled a few alligators after running an obstacle course through a snake pit.

The market is beaten and bruised, but still emerging from the recession, which is why Greg Rand, a real estate veteran and author of Crash Boom! from Career Press, wants people to know about five new trends that could help them beat the housing blues.

“The market is made up of buyers and sellers,” Rand says. “It’s just people who are trying to figure out how to buy low and sell high. The secret to making sure your real estate doesn’t turn into a money pit is to watch the trends so you can predict where the prices will rise and where they won’t.”

Rand’s five trends to watch include:

Short-Term Pain – Show me a market where home prices are back to 2002 levels, and I will show you a market that is overcorrecting.

Overdevelopment – One of the reasons the market is overcorrecting is overdevelopment and speculation, as is the case in Florida. Another reason is that the job base has eroded, like in Detroit. Isolated, explainable, short-term distress is the secret. Find your Florida.

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs – Track employment trends to see where companies are moving, and you will see a harbinger for long-term housing demand.

Lifestyle – Nothing drives migration patterns long-term more than the pursuit of happiness. Look at climate (the Carolinas), leisure trends (Colorado) and cost of living (Texas) for triggers on where the market may shift.

Responsible Government – Look at the state government. Does the state and city in question reward or punish risk-takers? Are you likely to suffer if you succeed there? If so, find somewhere that appreciates entrepreneurs. There’s nothing worse than putting your money on the table, only to have it redistributed.

Greg Rand is the CEO of OwnAmerica, a regular Fox TV news contributor, host of Rand on Real Estate on 77 WABC Radio, popular media commentator and author of Crash Boom! from Career Press.

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