Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Hot vs. Not

Just in case you're wondering how to tell an overheated market from the one we're experiencing now, I thought I'd give you a few pointers:

Hot: offer full asking price or more
Not: don't offer anything because you can't afford to buy and wouldn't be able to get a loan anyway

Hot: push other buyers down as you approach the front door of a house for sale
Not: there are no other buyers

Hot: answer the door while you're viewing a property, pretend to be the owner, and tell the agent and buyer that the house is sold
Not: No one would be knocking because the owners haven't lived there since the bank took possession

Hot: can't get the lender on the phone because he's so busy
Not: your lender calls asking if you know of any job openings

Hot: place an offer before the sign goes up in the front yard
Not: consider lowballing after you've seen a sign in the front yard, on the corner, at the strip mall, by the light, with the twirler down the street, and the banner strapped across the second story with the new reduced price

Hot: knock on doors and ask if the owners have thought of selling . . . to you
Not: have too many preforeclosure doors to knock on

Hot: think that being $300 in the red every month is good
Not: have to be $1,500 upside down because your interest rate adjusted up, you can't sell the house, and you don't want to give it to the bank

Hot: buy houses sight unseen
Not: view 20 foreclosed properties before you find one that doesn't smell like rat urine

Hot: have to lower the rent you're asking because there are 10 other investment properties on your street
Not: raise the rent because there are way too many tenants for the number of rentals available

Hot: hear from the media and other naysayers that real estate is experiencing a bubble, but you keep buying anyway
Not: hear from the media that those darn investors caused a bubble that popped and now all real estate sector workers are out of jobs

Yes, I, too, am guilty of many of the hot market behaviors, but I don't intend to make those same mistakes again. I need to remember to hang back when everyone is buying and jump in when others are running away.