The silly season

Purple crocuses with closed bloomAh Spring, when a young man’s thoughts turn to love. Actually that was last year when the thoughts poked out like brilliant crocus blooms, the baby was born in January and now you’re looking for a house for the growing family. Who wants to trek out in winter’s cold, but it’s different when the temperatures warm ever so slightly.  The same insane desire to run out and pull weeds in the garden (I know, what sort of madness is that?) means even the most recalcitrant begin peeking at BlueGill (hat tip to Kris Berg) on their phone during lunch. During any year the real estate market picks its peppermint scented carcass out of the Christmas slump (Hey, Jesus had a hard time finding room too) and dons the spring spandex of improved fitness.  This being 2013, there is another layer of extreme real estate going on.  Limited inventory.  Oh my gosh. I’m going to tell a story on a client.  I don’t have their permission, so I won’t use their names.  If you recognize them, or think you recognize them, this could be a great blackmail opportunity. Clients X & Y, a married couple, were looking for a house.  After much searching, they found one they liked, albeit a short sale.  We weathered the short sale process and lo, a star appeared in the east.  Hold it, that’s the Christmas bit again.  And lo, a payoff approval appeared, and there was much rejoicing.  The inspection was scheduled and on the day thereof, didst the agent rejoice, for the inspection brought good tidings of great joy, which was that the house was basically sound.  I think the angels sang. And there were seemingly wiser men who journeyed from not far away at all, and they didst say unto the buyers, beware, lest you have excessive upgrade and maintenance.  X & Y didst listen to these men and backethed out of theirest contract. And lo, it came to pass that the market began a turn around, even as they were signing their rescission papers.  And woe to those who had forsaken the paths of ownership for unto them was now a market priced beyond their preapproval rate. And now they wait.  They wait for the combination of stars in the East to align, being bearers of tidings of increased income or conversely, a slide into another mini-recession based on gifts of massive foreclosure dumps by the banks. It seems the banks may be bearing gifts for the buyers.  Articles in the paper show a 30% increase in foreclosure activity over the past month, which means in about 5 months, there will be inventory of the cheap variety. The skies opened and the buyers sang, “Hallelujah.” And for you?  If you are a seller, the time to put your house on the market is now.  We are still seeing multiple offers on properties, but that will not last long.  If you are a buyer, you might consider waiting just a little while.  Yes, you’ll have to jump through bank hoops to buy an REO (bank owned), but you can come out with some good bargains as long as you don’t mind a musty smell until you’ve given it a good cleaning.

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