October 21, 2008
Writers Block Can Be A Good Thing
I really have no idea what I'm going to write about today. I've been sitting here for going on 20 minutes pondering several different topics, but nothing has yet popped into my conscience and said "Here I am! Pick me!" Rather than waste even more time waiting for a revelation, I decided to just start typing. So instead of wasting my time, I guess it could be said I am wasting yours with pointless drivel. The most ironic thing about it is that you're still reading it.
Today has been like a whole lot of other days I've had in recent months. I bid on a few deals that the noteseller flatly refused to consider, despite the market we're in right now. Nothing new there...apparently there are pockets all over this country, according to my notesellers, where there has been either no home value depreciation or actual price appreciation in the last two to three years, despite what every media source on the planet has to say about it. Even more amazingly, these American cities all seem to coincide with where the noteseller's property happens to be.
I've been quite critical of the NIMBY (Not In My BackYard) syndrome in past blogs. In other words, as much as anyone reading this wants to disagree, I can almost guarantee that real estate prices have dropped where you live, opposed to price levels of 2-3 years ago. This means that if you sold your house for $250,000 in late 2005, IT IS WORTH LESS THAN THAT TODAY. There...at the risk of ticking off a whole lot of prospective customers, I can at least go to sleep tonight knowing I've gotten that 2,000-pound boulder off my chest.
I will give you one example from literally dozens over the past few months: A single-family residence sold for $185,000 in early 2007. This property is in the midwest and is a very attractive property. Seller estimated the property was worth even more than it sold for in March 2007. ($195,000) Knowing this was virtually impossible, I hoped for a value of at the sales price, but even then was doubtful of that possibility.
Our property value came in today at $142,000. Yet one more in a long line of properties where value has dropped precipitously. Of course, the seller will tell us the person valuing the property didn't know what he/she was doing, that they obviously don't know the market, that they (seller) know a (realtor, appraiser, whatever) that will tell us the property is worth what the seller told us it was. Yep...what we have here is a nation of idiot appraisers and realtors who are severely under-estimating the values of thousands of properties nationwide. These would be the same idiot realtors who can't sell similar properties after months, and in many cases, years on the market. These would be the same idiot appraisers who can't provide recent comparable sales because there ARE NO recent sales. Just because I want something to be so doesn't MAKE it so. The market is the market is the market is the market.
Let me be clear. If you don't have a buyer that will pay what you want to sell something for, YOU CANNOT ESTABLISH A MARKET VALUE. I can list my 2002 Chevy Suburban on craigslist for $35,000, but I promise I won't get a single phone call from a prospective buyer. How can anyone say what something is worth if they don't have someone who would be willing to pay that price? I know the people who need to read this never will, so I appreciate your willingness to tolerate my antagonistic verbosity. (reference www.dictionary.com if I just lost you)
So there you have it. I started out with nothing to write, and went off on quite a rant. I think I better do myself a favor and have a topic before I start writing next time. Otherwise I might find myself getting critical of, oh, I don't know...government bailouts of banks with distressed assets? Emergency meetings of OPEC called to cut the supply of oil because they aren't getting the prices they want anymore? Daily stories telling of thousands of job cuts in household name companies?
Yeah, I think I'm going to go out back, blow bubbles, sing songs, and chase rainbows. After all, what do I have to worry about? MY house has doubled in value in the last two years...it IS my backyard, after all...
Make it a great day.
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