Wednesday, April 5, 2006

I’ll Trade You This Fine Block of Cheese For Your Stinky Old House

Author: Nick
Category: Money

I think that’s the sort of offer you’d see if the housing market were exactly the opposite of its present situation. While a chunk of gouda may not get you a gooda house, many signs are finally pointing to a cooling housing market. How cool are we talking about here? I have yet to see two financial analysts make the same prediction about where housing prices will be a couple years from now, but some indications of a small to moderate decline are already popping up. An article at Kiplinger’s Personal Finance hits on what I’m already seeing in this area.

The days are over when you can slap any home on the market and sell it for more than asking price. Now you have to find the pricing sweet spot and work harder to reel in a buyer.

Bad news for the many homeowners looking to sell a year or two from now, mixed news for homeowners looking for assessment drops to lessen their property taxes, and definitely good news for people like me who will be looking for a house soon.

While single-family homes and townhouses may weather the storm well, condo prices are sure to take a dive. For evidence, you can look about 1,000 feet from our apartment at a poor little end-unit condo that’s been on the market since we moved here six months ago. Constructed in 2002, it cost its current owners just over $220,000 to buy then. Half a year ago, the list price was $450,000 for 2 bedrooms and 2-and-a-half baths. A while later, the price dropped to $415,000. Still no takers. As of today, it’s sitting with a mouth-watering “Reduced!” sign at an asking price of $390,000. Now maybe the owners were crazy for asking for $450,000 when slightly smaller townhouses across the street are selling for that much, but at least there hasn’t been anybody foolish enough to fork over that amount.

My curiosity is eager for that bad boy to sell and show this town that the days of insane housing prices are over. I predict a final sale price of $375,000… if it sells in the next few months. If not, then the floor’s the limit!

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