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November 03, 2008


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The same is true with the economy. Years ago, when the economy was booming, something like 70%+ of people thought the economy was performing poorly.

Sometimes it makes you just want to go bury your head in the sand.

I agree it's similar where we live. There are homes that have been on the market for months and months, with little or no adjustment in asking price. But, on the other hand, properties will move fairly quickly if they are priced correctly. We sold our house after about 3 weeks on the market.

I think if people do their homework and get to know the market they will be better prepared to sell or buy at the right price. Of course, if you aren't planning to move it may not make a difference, unless you also are planning on borrowing against your equity.

One of these days when I have time I'll send you a summary of our experience of buying and selling a home in this market.

Facing facts, a substantial percentage of US consumers are in denial or clueless on a wide range of personal finance issues, including property values. I don't see that changing any time soon because our political leadership is in the same situation. Most voters think that as well except for the people they vote for. And on it goes .....

rwh -

You got it. Houses priced right sell, and they sell quickly.

The funny thing is, the "right price" is going DOWN not up, so each day one of the many houses sitting on the market at far above market value sits, the "right price" is less and less.

Sell that house listed at $300k for $190k today or $160k in six months. You could have sold it for $220k last year!

Ah well, whatever. I'll sit here for a couple more years before jumping in.

For any given topic it seems that 60-80% of Americans think they are above average.

Jim --

Ha! That's a great perspective! ;-)

Not to say that the point of contention isn't true but I think a better source could have been used than Zillow - I'm sure there are a ton of them out there. Zillow isn't all it's cracked up to be. A good amount of their home values are completely wrong or out of date.

Jim ha ha, I've heard that before. Everyone thinks they're a great driver for example. I am sadly very aware of my underwater status, house prices in LA and especially the low end have absolutely crashed.

I've got to agree with mrm. Zillow is garbage in my book. They've got my own home listed twice (how they think there are two separate homes with the exact same address is beyond me). Difference between the two (I kid you not):35K. At one point the difference between the two listings was 50K. They list my home as worth 30K less than what I paid for it. Which by no means reflects the actual market value given recent activity on my own block. Of course they also had it once listed as worth 70K more than what I paid for it, which is also completely off base. I could honestly sell it tomorrow for what I paid for it with little difficulty, given that it'd be quite under the going rate for the best units in a two block radius of me and my unit is bigger and better than all of those by a wide margin.

No sign of housing crisis here in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Cary. Homes aren't moving as quickly since there are fewer jobs being created in the area, but price declines haven't been significant. A $200K home bought five years ago is selling at $220K today. If you live on the water, lake, sound, or beachfront, those homes are selling fast and continue to be built.
In NC, there are two types of homeowners, those on the waterfront, and those not so lucky.

Mark --

NC et al tended to overbuild. The thousands and thousands of vacant homes born out of this will drag the whole market down below 2003 or even 2002. Just takes time. No place is "different"


Your point is well taken, however, my recent experience is it works both ways. The value of our house may have dropped in the last year or two; I don't really know that because we didn't try to market it until this fall. But the house we bought certainly dropped in value because the owners cut the price significantly to sell it, while we ended up selling our place for more than the asking price. We only paid 3k more for the new place than the place we sold.

It was an unusual situation that we were able to "buy up" into a neighborhood we wanted to live in for several years but previously couldn't afford. We sold our house for considerably more than the assessed value and bought the new place for significantly less than assessed value. At least this time we felt we knew the market well enough to realize this was as good as it was likely to get for us.

rwh --

sounds like you're in a good place. in NC you always have the simple fact that what you pay in rent, a mortgage costs less (typically).

CO is nothing like that. Mortgage payments are double rent on the exact same house.

Zillow's data is a rough gauge of prices. I don't think its bad data in general but when you look at Zillow I'd take it with a grain of salt. Their 'zestimate' will have a margin of error, so make sure to look at the 'value range' of prices too. e.g. one house has a 'zestimate' of $211k and the value range is $180-224k. The $211k figure may be off, but the price is probably more likely to fall somewhere in the $180-224k range. Sometimes they may have poor or faulty data on individual houses, like they have no listings at all for a couple properties I know of.

Better price data is available from Realtor association:

Their latest data covers up to 2nd quarter 2008. Looking at that report: Over 70% of cities have seen homes lose value in the past 12 months recorded. But over 60% of cities are still positive since 2005.


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