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Archive for August, 2011

For Rent: 4BR/2+1BA Townhouse in Durham, NC, $1,325/month.

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For Rent: 2BR/2+1BA Townhouse in Durham, NC, $1,050/month.

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For Rent: 3BR/2+1BA Townhouse in Durham, NC, $1,100/month.

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For Rent: 4BR/2+1BA Single Family House in Durham, NC, $1,290/month.

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A new era of austerity at home…

In the last three years we’ve spent 862 billion dollars in stimulus, repaving America, for the most part to spend our way out of a depression. Frankly and from where I’m standing, it hasn’t worked. Official unemployment numbers are still hovering just under 10%, housing isn’t recovering and is lingering in the basement, our credit rating is downgraded to AA+ and the stock markets have all but sold off any gains realized in the last eight months.

So what is the answer? I think; austerity at home and at home. On the home front; create a budget, pay off credit cards, pay down your mortgages and carefully improve the capital in your home. If you don’t have to move, then don’t. If you move then seek ways to creatively do so. Rent your current home so not to incur a loss and capitalize on the fact that others can help you build equity in that investment vehicle.

Looking at a broader scope; the US must eliminate deficit spending and a staggering debt; the debt deal reached didn’t go far enough, instead of cutting 2 trillion, Standard and Pores really wanted to see numbers approaching 4 trillion dollars in cuts. In addition to deficit reduction, the US must reduce outstanding debt; yes that’s right, we need to buy it back. Unfortunately to make this work the Federal Government is going to have to find capital and cutting will only go so far, the logical solution; the tax code needs to be corrected to find additional revenue sources and those NOT paying taxes will have to start doing so.

So, the trillion dollar question remains…will Washington be able to do what needs to be done?

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No doubt about it this business is tough. One develops a thick skin or rather should develop a thick skin when hoping and hauling and schlepping shacks.

A friend referred me to a friend who happens to own a very nice “mchome.” Four bedrooms, two and a half baths, nice neighborhood, fairly nicely appointed but on a rather busy corner. Still a saleable home. So I was asked for a market analysis which I diligently performed. I struggled with comparables which were coming in around $240,000 for this home. More likely the home would sell in the mid to high 230,000’s in this economy. The seller wasn’t happy, I was below an appraisal of a year ago. Well go figure. High appraisal means bank makes more moola right?

I looked at the house across the street….RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET, which sold for 199,900 plus $3000 in consessions. I looked at an identical home, same neighborhood that sold for $236,000. Yet, other agents procurred the listing and the price, $280,000, in an economy with no appreciation and in a real estate market that is now being called DEPRESSED. Come to think of it, I’m a bit depressed. Oh well…NEXT.

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