“Stay alive as long as you live”
Bloggers are an interesting bunch. Correction: GOOD bloggers are an interesting bunch. They post regularly, often for years, even when no one is reading. They just keep going. But here’s the thing: some of the busiest folks I know still carve out time to blog. My sister is a classic example. Check her our out at The Blog That Ate Manhattan. She is a physician in NYC and she is also affiliated with a med school there. She runs a busy practice, does research and publishing, raises two kids, and seems to post weekly two to three times. Add to this the fact that we lost mom in December and our sister Frannie in May and one could understand a lapse. That was my excuse, anyway. The last year has been a blur for our family. And the RE biz for me has been as all-consuming as ever. Excuses. Sister Peggy is my new inspiration.
My Last Post was in March 2010. Here’s a Random Recall of last 16 Months:
I’ve had probably close to 50 closings since my last post. That is 50 transactions, each with their own unique challenges, sets of buyers/sellers, inspections, reviews, revisits with contractors, lenders, appraisals, rounds and rounds of negotiations, walk-throughs, closing table pageantry, hugs, and the occasional tears. Bills, Fees, License Renewal Classes! To say we age in dog years in this business is not complete hyperbole.
I won Best Realtor 2010 in Athens in the Athens Banner Herald’s “Readers’ Choice Awards!” I finished 2010 as the #2 agent in our office, the largest firm in the Athens area, and I reached the Circle of Distinction in our local association of realtors. Also was awarded a President’s Circle Plaque by Coldwell Banker Corporate (still not sure what that indicated but I was happy).
Last time I posted, the majority of the market was dominated by homes sales in the 100k to 200k range. Now it is driven by the 30k to 120k range. However, the over 200k market is decidedly busier than last year and the luxury home market (400k+) has gotten a bit unstuck (mostly in Oconee County).
Foreclosures have continued coming but it’s a bit better here than nationally. The cumulative and evolving effects are rapidly becoming clearer. Over a million last year and a million more coming. HUD owned houses are popping up everywhere (There’s an app for that!), and word on the street is it is going to take 20 more years to sort that all out. Cash buyers are descending on distressed properties, and who wouldn’t? Deals are crazy! A 3/2 four-side brick for 59k? 25 Condos on ATL HGWY for 17k a unit? Almost fully rented? Are you kidding me? Talk about cash on cash return! Speculative builders are snatching up developed lots at fire sale prices (more on that in another post). Fully a 1/3 of the nation’s RE transactions have been cash purchases, and their still coming…
Interest rates continue to be at staggeringly affordable levels right now. Money has never been cheaper for as long! Ironically, buyers have never been more hesitant to pull the trigger on purchasing. Lenders are treating even the best buyers like they just got out of prison for embezzlement, but dealing with their requirements is a small price to pay for taking advantage of cheap money and cheap home prices.
And…the real estate profession continues to surprise and awe. It is a good feeling to be part of and successful in a real estate market that continues to challenge resolve and steadfastness. This is a ride you can’t jump off once you choose to jump on, I’ll tell you that. What’s the poker term, All In? I will refrain from any DNA analogies but RE seems to be in one’s fiber after a while…and that’s fine with me.
“Pluck the thistle of doubt and plant in deep and fertile ground the rose of hope.” J.W. Fanning