Saturday, March 24, 2007

Here's To Real Estate Blogs

The Los Angeles Times today printed an interesting piece on real estate blogs. In it Brad Inman (Inman News) was quoted as saying, “some of the best reporting this year has been from the blogs.”

I guess that’s kudos for all of us here. My favorite quote in the article was from a reader of the Housing Bubble Casualty Blog who said, “you were one of the influences that saved me from buying in Los Angeles”. It made me wonder where that person is renting now.

According to Adam Rappoport, San Deigo Broker, “bloggers see the same statistics we all see, but they interpret them differently.”

Read the article for yourself, and let me hear your view. Personally, and this has been said many times before; Real estate is an ever changing business with ups and downs like all others. Its also a very local marketplace. In my area alone, there are neighborhoods within blocks of each other that are enjoying quick sales with offers at or near asking, and others that are holding inventory 3 or four months old.

I guess my answer to the question “is it a good time to buy?” is: That depends on your point of view. If you are looking for a quick way to make money with real estate, it might not be a good time. If you are looking for a home to raise a family, and a place to call your own – then it’s a great time. As far as bubble casualty blogs and the like, these people are the ones who didn’t buy when they could and now are regretting it, while justifying their stalling on unforeseen market conditions. Those are the people who resign themselves to renting forever. As a landlord myself, I love those people – because they pay all my bills for me and If I want to give myself a raise… Up goes the rent.

The people who actually are experiencing a bubble are those who never should have bought in the first place. They are the folks who sat in front of a loan officer who offered a great deal on a loan they could barely afford, and took the deal. Of course, without realizing that they’d end up owing more than they thought, and wouldn’t be able to make the payments 5 years down the line. That truly is just shoddy work on behalf of the mortgage industry, and a spotlight on the fraud that takes place in it.

Advice for buyers; seek out a mortgage planner – who will lay it all out and show you how much your investment really is. And, if you have to lie about your income or debts to get a better deal, don’t. (aside from being illegal, you’ll only end up with a home you can’t afford.)