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March 18, 2008

Comments

rev_matt_y

I put more of the blame on the realtors. We've dealt with realtors who REALLY steered us wrong in terms of comps, pricing, presentation, etc. Of course, I've also looked at houses where the owner was clearly totally unreasonable and/or a complete slob.

Eli

I agree wholeheartedly. Most, if not all, of the current economic problems we're having are caused by human stupidity. I've run into similar situations on a smaller scale with cars and other things I've sold. Put a little bit of actual effort in, and you'll be successful.

Great post. Best of luck finding a house!

Lisa B

Wow, our agent mandated a long list of stuff we had to do before we listed, down to "Go get a plant and put it here ..." She said I had to scrub the grout on the bathroom floors with a toothbrush (It looks great now!) Of course, we went with an agency that specializes in upscale properties ... our house is near the bottom of what we will list. A lot of the people go with discount "we'll put your house on the MLS for cheap" agencies who don't do any coaching.

I'm also not supposed to ever be in the house when potential buyers come looking. Sometimes I only get a half-hour warning, so I try to keep the place as close to spotless as possible at all times.

I'm really motivated to sell my place, and the real estate crisis has not affected my area (Durham, NC) to speak of. Maybe some people don't bother because they keep hoping something will save them before the house sells? Like maybe they have no idea what they're going to do once the house is gone, so they are forestalling the inevitable until the las possible minute>

Cam

I was in Ft. Myers Florida from mid 2003 to late fall 2005. So I went through "all" the hurricanes. Also the housing boom. I bought a 2 BR 2 bath house with a 3 car garage and a pool in Lehigh. I bought it before all the craziness in the real estate started to happen, for around 130k.

I had a standard fixed rate loan (100%), because I was planning to stay in SWF. I should have got a interest only loan. I only stayed one year, and sold it for 220k. Wilma actually went through between the time I sold it and the time it closed.

I was not a native of SWF and wanted to get back home to Indiana. Florida is great for vacations but living there wasn't really working for us with small kids and so on.

We sold our home to a nice guy from CT and had $239k on it. We had the craziest realtor in Lehigh working for us, and he was nearly 100% responsible for the near 99% inflation of real estate prices in Lehigh in one year timeframe.

A couple months after we left the bubble burst so loud we heard it from Indiana. This agents office collapsed and he laid nearly everyone off, and he has since sold it (for what I don't know) and left for Tennessee, the next big boom. No doubt he's doing well, crazy realtors always do, don't they?

I have no doubt that many people in SWF have a way too casual attitude about showing houses. These houses may be leftovers from the bubble. They've probably had them listed for well over a year if not two years+ and no longer care, "just another showing"

When the bubble was going gangbusters during that last year, everyone was cashing in. The big thing in the office where I worked was getting home equity lines of credit and using it to buy cars, harleys, boats, other houses and flipping them, so on.

We engineered systems for buildings and one of the project managers for a high rise condo we worked on bought a unit pre-construction for $150k and sold it "at the table" when the building was released for occupancy for $600k+. Not to shabby! Now, I don't know if the people that bought it were intending to flip it themselves or not. There were investment groups buying up units like crazy, flipping them, cashing in. Eventually condo projects were started with bylaws saying you were legally required to live in the property for 1 year minimum.

I knew a guy who, on the side, was investing in single family homes. He started small doing the rental thing, then started flipping houses. We rented one of his houses at his cost while he fixed it up to flip. Eventually he played the game and got his family into a really nice $500k house near the river by McGregor Blvd. I believe he paid cash for it. After that he quit the game, just in time.

pete

Your aversion to cracker asses and "ethnic" vegetables aside, I agree with you! We live in Orlando, are pre-qualified, have a 20% down payment for our price range and can not find a home. We have looked for a year.

Just Sunday we looked at an 1100 sf, moldy house with a 20-30 year old kitchen and bathrooms for $220,000! Owners and realtors just shrug when you mention this. They believe they can put it on the market and it will sell, one day...

We may move out of state for this very reason!

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