The highs and lows of parenting and real estate.


There has been much talk about this ‘bubble’ that’s been lifting the housing market. As the national prices continue to rise, worrywarts everywhere sit at the edges of their seats and fret about the burst they are sure is to come and splatter house goo all over. Personally, I would be more comfortable with prices that were slightly more stable. It would be nice to be able to tell a potential client what his or her house is worth and know that it will still be relevant information next month. That said, ‘plummet’ is never a word you want to hear as real estate agent, especially in a context such as, “Last week, when the market plummeted, and every single one of my clients decided to stay in their current houses for the next 50 years…”; so I’ve been keeping my fingers crossed for a happy medium.

Today, though, there’s been no medium in my line of sight. On my way home from work this afternoon I caught an interview with Mark Vitner, senior economist at Wachovia Corporation, on National Public Radio. He was discussing projected interest rate change over the next few years. He said they expect a slow rise in interest rates over the next few years, but because they are currently so low, the economists don’t see the mortgage interest rates negatively effecting the housing market anytime soon. Vitner said that interest rates lower than about eight percent are considered ideal and generate a quicker housing market. The rates are currently at about six percent and are projected to rise about a half a percent by the end of the year.

On the more practical, real life side of the market, I believed that over the last few weeks I was seeing more properties last a bit longer, rather than disappearing immediately from the active multiple listing site. I’m thinking now, that may have been a little bit of wishful thinking on my part. This evening I called on a Tempe town home that had been on the market for three days. I was looking to see if maybe it hadn’t yet had any offers. I knew it looked like a good deal, but I was shocked to hear there were five offers on the table and the top two were $21K MORE than the listing price. Oy.

Ah well… I can’t really complain. Better to be an agent in a climbing market than an agent in a plummeting market. I will enjoy it while it lasts. I really consider those low interest rates a nice little silver lining. Sure, you have to pay more for you new home, but you’re getting more for your old home, and all at a fabulous rate.

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