Hey Michael, as I was putting together our itinerary for this weekend’s open house visitations, I noticed
, which practically screams, "motivated seller"! Just think, for a few thousand dollars more (just as I wrote that I thought,
Thisis what buying real estate does to you: You start to toss off phraseslike "a few thousand dollars more" as if you’re talking about pocketchange
) we could have eight more bedrooms than we’d have in the
.What would we do with 12 bedrooms and 4.5 baths? I smell a familyreunion … or a bed-and-breakfast. Either way, I smell a lot of pancakes!
Yes,it’s on a main street. Yes, it’s way too big for us. But it’s hard toresist the temptation to look at a house that’s going for $261,000 lessthan what the current owners paid just two years ago.
But the point isn’t how much the seller paid for it—it’s what we canafford! And we can’t afford $700,000 for a house, even if it comes with12 bedrooms and all the pancakes you can eat. Though I have to say, ifit ever comes down to a decision between two similar houses, each withpluses and minuses but one that features free pancakes, I would choosethe one with free pancakes. I would also accept free waffles.
True enough, but if they're willing to knock off $100,000 from theiroriginal asking price, if we wait long enough, maybe they'll knock offanother $100,000. There I go again, tossing off big numbersnonchalantly!
You’re right that there are some pretty drastic reductions out there. Inmost cases, alas, the biggest discounts are for houses that
we can’t afford
aren’t really even houses
.But I am not sure we have yet hit bottom. Not that I care too much—likeI said, we can afford what we can afford, and trying to time thereal-estate market strikes me as about as foolish as trying to time thestock market. But banks and lenders do care, because all this priceuncertainty can make it
hard to appraise a house
. Which is important, as we are learning.