November 16th, 2008 11:42 AM by Manuel Couto, CRS, CRB
I am back!
Yes, it's been too long for my random thoughts on the market. I have been busy listing and doing paperwork on the many foreclosures hitting the market. Most are fraud cases where the owners scammed the bank and never lived in the home, very few are hard luck stories with adjustable rate mortgage horror stories, and even less are due to death or divorce. .. but it is a normal real estate cycle that I have seen before. I remember the old Real Estate Prayer from the 80's. "Please Dear Lord, let this cycle rebound and let me remember to save some money this time" The abuse of cheap money, the greed of Wall Street and the mismanagement of Our money on the market has really really created a Perfect Storm.
There is a Light at the end of the tunner. I see hope and windows of opportunity. My phone activity the last 30 days has almost tripled. Buyers feel that the homes are now affordable and they want to take advantage of the low prices and low interest rates. The only problem is ... they are looking at foreclosures and short sales more often than the owner occupied home, or the rental properties in better condition. They are price shopping rather than value shopping. BUT they are shopping, which hopefully leads to sales.
There are some GREAT priced homes on the market today. Vacation homes (unless you are on the strip at the NJ shore) are down to values not seen since the mid 80's, Urban centers have values down to late 70's and mid 80's with low interest rates, and purchasing home repair supplies have not been easier with sales and discounts all around.
If you are a buyer and you are reading this blog. PLEASE take my advise on two items.
1. Get approved for a loan subject to the appraiser only. This makes it easier and faster to close on the home of your dreams and makes it easier to take advantage of the low interest rates. ASK your mortgage rep about what is required on the property condition. Foreclosed homes are sold AS IS, and while you are willing to put in in a kitchen or a new boiler, the bank may not be willing to lend on such.
2. Work with a REALTOR®. A REALTOR® is a member of the National Association of Realtors® and follows a strict code of ethics. He/She has access to the local market and has the tools to keep you posted faster and easier than you logging in and searching daily.
That's it.. A light at the end of the tunnel.