I haven't done a housing blog for awhile. The whole scenario is pretty much playing out the way I expected. Besides, I'm beginning to think the commercial boom is even more dangerous.
I am amazed by the relentlessness of the real estate people, their level of denial and spin.
For instance, when it was pointed out that 2000 real estate agents had succeeded in selling less than 100 houses, someone popped up to say that the 2000 figure included all the Central Oregon.
Well, that's different, then. 2000 real estate agents sold more like 150 houses! No worries!
Real estate people constantly refute the bare facts with tiny little fig leaves, and the media says, the emperor isn't naked, he's clothed splendidly!
Gravity will assert itself.
I have a different take on it, anyway. While most of the bubble busters were talking about what a pathetic sales figure 82, or 92, or 102 was, I was completely amazed by the opposite.
There are still 100 damn fools who will pay current prices!
If I walked into a store and every item was discounted, and came back a week later and every item had been discounted again, why would I buy?
Here's how I would do it if I was in the market, and possessed a down payment and knew I could get the credit.
I would watch the daily price changes on the Bend Economy Bulletin Board, and when I noticed that 10 to 25% of the changes were up, I'd start shopping. I'd identify, say, 8 or ten houses I thought I might like, and I would watch to see if any went down in price further. Then, I would make a firm, solid offer at say 15 to 20% below asking price to each of the houses left, and take the one that accepted.
I think you'll have to wait maybe a year, or a year and a half. If you're worried about missing the boat, just keep checking the BEBB.
I can't think of any reason to buy right now. Well, one reason, and it's a lousy one. That you just have to have that one house above all others.
In business, I've learned never to respond to that impulse. There is ALWAYS another opportunity, always another product just as good. To me, this is the height of immediate gratification that you'll have to pay for the 30 years.
If by waiting a year, you can managed to save 20k or 30k or 50k, you will shave years off your mortgage. Years and years. Just fucking wait!
There was a recent article by a NPR correspondent moving to Bend.
He was surprised that it was as expensive to live in Bend as it was Portland. Hey, you accepted a job without checking out the town? Strike One!
Then he went to real estate people for information. No one else was mentioned, no evidence that he spent any time researching the fact himself. Not only real estate people, but Becky Breeze! Who told him: "There's never been a better time to buy!" Strike Two!
Then he goes ahead and buys probably the most overpriced house on the market, a westside 'cottage.' Strike Three!
Maybe the real estate people are right. Maybe this market will just keep rolling along. As long as they have the media on their side, they might just be able to keep fooling people.
2 days ago