Happily Chugging Along

Happily Chugging AlongI’ve always found it a bit curious when a home can sit on the market for months and months without having all that much interest and when it’s finally under contract, the flood of phone calls come in with people inquiring about it and/or wanting to look at it.  I had three calls today on two of my listings that are under contract by people wanting to look at them.  One of the callers actually challenged me by saying, “I just drove by it and I didn’t see a sold sign.”  As always my answer is, “It’s office policy to not place a sold sign on a property that’s under contract until the buyer’s loan is fully approved.”  He begrudgingly accepted my response but I could tell he was still a bit irritated. Both of those homes weren’t shown that much before I finally had them under contract so I guess our market is still on the move with a number of buyers out looking.  I think part of it is a rightful fear that mortgage interest rates are going to be going up after the first of the year.  I see the stock market took a plunge today after the comments made by the head of the Federal Reserve.  Some of the most minor changes in economic forecasts can certainly send the stock market in sweeping directions.  I’m just glad we live in an area I enjoy referring to as “Middle Earth”.  Middle Earth is where the bulk of opinions are pretty much of the middle of the road type to where balance is created.  The rest of the Nation can have great swings in their home prices as well as economies, but here in Middle Earth we just seem to keep chugging along.  I’ve mentioned to both long term resident buyers as well as fly-ins, the fact that our home valuations don’t fluctuate in broad percentages either up or down, but rather simply chug along.  There’ve been times when both buyers and sellers have argued with me over this fact, but most of the time I’m right in my predictions.  The big issue we have now with valuations is there being a greater turning away of buyers from homes that’ve not been kept up to date with all the modern conveniences most expect.

I can’t believe how many buyers walk away from a good home for the minor reason of not having a dishwasher. Time and time again I tell them, “If there’s room to install one, simply get it installed at a later date.”  That statement is usually not good enough because they want it now.  With that said, the end valuations of those unimproved homes are much less than if a given buyer would have the money and time to make those improvements themselves and have exactly what they want as far as color, style, and quality.  It’s too bad this is happening because there are some really good homes out there that are getting the “fly-overs” by buyers who don’t understand core values.  There are always those home flippers doing the once over’s on homes in attempts to make quick bucks, but they normally don’t pay keen attention to detail as well as quality of materials used.  Buyers of those flipped homes oft times soon discover how flimsy at best the improvements were made.  I’ll never forget a home I was called out to look at by a young gentleman who was interested in selling his home due to a change in marital status.  After a really close look,  I took a deep breath and informed him that he paid far too much for his home when he purchased it.  I thought he’d be angry at me for speaking so harshly of his home, but he just looked at me and said, “It didn’t take me long after I moved in to realize I was taken to the cleaners”.  I really don’t like seeing buyers or sellers being taken advantage of when it has anything to do with real estate.  Perhaps it sounds like to much to ask, but wouldn’t it be wonderful living here in Middle Earth for us all to be of the fair and equitable mindset when buying or selling real estate to where we’re all in the end happily chugging along?

Joe Chodur

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