Monday, February 05, 2007

Spring Buying Season Starts Today

It's the day after the superbowl.

Today typically this marks the start of the spring "buying/selling" season for real estate. I guess if you're in the market this is probably a big deal.

I don't know if I can really add anything new on this topic so I'm just going to repeat myself to anyone who has been reading along.

If you are trying to sell, and have any profit, cut the price immediately BELOW the latest comp's lowest price. You are in a FALLING market, and will need to be ahead of the curve, not behind it.

If you need to sell, and find yourself saying or thinking one of the following please seriously reconsider some market fundamentals:

-this place is different
-everyone wants to live here
-the downturn is the media's fault
-i'm not going to "give" my house away!
-as soon as the (insert foreigner, californians, babyboomers, new yorkers, martians) get here with the buckets of cash and thimbles of brains the market will pick up.
-there is a bubble in (insert: california, nyc, florida, etc) but NOT here!

The ONLY things holding the markets up right now are:

-sellers unwillingness to sell/take a loss (meaning low volumes),
-mortgage FRAUD...I really need to make a separate post on this -- think "cash back" at close neg amort, "liar's loans", etc etc etc
-inflation (your house is only going up in price because the dollars are getting less valuable)

If you think that your house is a good inflation hedge, think again. Home prices are so far out of whack with incomes that they can't keep increasing. Wage inflation in the US is not keeping pace with monetary/credit expansion. Result: people can't afford homes where they are expected to work. *temporary* solution -- low rates plus ingenious (stupid) lending products and practices keep the party going until NOW.

If, on the other hand, you're thinking of buying residential real estate, God be with you. The only thing that will keep values up is a collapse in the US dollar in my opinion.


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