Category Archives: real estate market

It’s A Buyer’s Market, After All

A year ago, I started filming what was to be my last episode of Property Sluts while I was at the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. You see, shortly before heading to Orlando we placed a bid on a small ranch house that we thought we’d top off with a second story. A chain-smoking window had lived in what we termed The Smokin’ House for decades, so it smelled like an ashtray, and her brother-in-law had started building a “master bath” in the middle of the family room (without a permit) in the hopes of passing off that space as a master bedroom. It was a wreck.

Needless to say our bid was low. The night before we left town our agent called with a counter offer. As I remember it, we tried to put him off until we got back because nerves are running high before a family trip even without the pressure over whether to pay more than we intended for a house.

But we caved and countered. They accepted.

Shortly after our return and another tour of the house with a professional in tow, we cancelled our contract.

Thank goodness.

The house sold 2-3 months later for less than what we would have paid.

I was giving up hope for finding a house. We talked about renting. And then we saw and bought Casa de Renovation and I finally got to finish my video, the all-singing Property Sluts finale featuring an all-star cast on mombloggers, It’s a Buyer’s Market, After All.

I heard a real estate report that said prices are down the levels last seen in 2000, so the buyer’s market continues. This stinks if you want to sell, but if you’re ready to buy, you’re in luck.

Selfish Mom:
We’ve seen houses big and some houses small,
We’ve seen moldy basements and shower stalls.
Though the market is weak, sellers price like it’s the peak, but it’s a buyer’s market after all.

MacaroniKidNYC, Honest and Truly, Jen Rab, SAHM Reviews, and Dancing Hot Dogs:
It’s a buyer’s market after all,
It’s a buyer’s market after all,
It’s a buyer’s market after all,
It’s a buyer’s market after all.

Sweet Life, Rock and Roll Mama:
Interest rates are low, but the prices are high,
Even for estate sales where the owners have died.
The recession isn’t nice, you may need to cut your price
Cuz it’s buyer’s market after all.

Classy Mommy, Me:

Same Old Shannon, French Foodie Mom, A Savings Wow:
The housing supply now exceeds demand,
So if you want to sell give your buyer a hand.
Though it’s hard to admit, makes you feel like sh*t, it’s a buyer’s market after all.

How about it? I’m trendy! Updated 11/7/11

small foyer wiht original tileAs someone who generally avoids the local mall, I’m surprised when I see myself all over a trend story. Case in point, the Wall Street Journal‘s piece earlier this week, “Blueprint for a new American home.”¬† The story notes that today’s homes are more practical and less aspirational. Meaning, there is more of a focus on how family members live in and utilize the space in their home.

Gone are the days of the fancy white-carpeted living room that no one is allowed to lounge in.

And those grand foyers? Generally seen as a waste of space. (Not to say I wouldn’t mind a few more square feet in our place where you walk in the front door and are practically forced up the stairs.)

Also, those outrageously large bathtubs? A thing of the past. High-end showers and steam rooms are where it’s at now.

DH and I generally consider ourselves “function over form” types and it seems like such an outlook is finally cool.


new tumbled edge foyer tileWe will bump out the foyer area just a bit with this new tile.

¬†Updated to add: It turns out the old tile was placed directly onto the existing wood floor. As much as I like the tile we selected (but have not yet purcahsed) and I know that the wood won’t hold up to wet, dirty shoes in the long run, we are going to try to salvage the original floor in the foyer. It will save us money now and we can always tile later on.

Casa de Renovation

A quick recap of our journey to renovation presented for your viewing pleasure.

Home Values Drop

When we started looking for a new house in the summer of 2010 and failed to find one, concerned friends asked if we were worried about the market rising in 2011. They worried we would lose out on the best values and interest rates.

We were only slightly concerned. We felt that at best, the Spring Market would bring slightly higher (1-3%) housing prices and interest rates, but given the overall sluggish economic recovery and the vast inventory of foreclosed houses that had yet to come on the market, we wouldn’t be hurt by waiting.

Plus, at least in our area, many sellers initially list their homes hoping for the best, which is a nice way of saying they think it’s 2006. Ultimately, they get a reality slap, and 3-6 months later they lower their prices by 20% or so and then sell within weeks. So, the houses we saw last fall and felt were overpriced? Based on their closing times and prices–we were right.

We’re feeling good that we waited, but now some forecasters think the we haven’t hit bottom yet, and that the housing market’s lowest dip will actually take place in 2012. Yikes.