If you’ve read my rants about real estate in So California before, then you know I feel it is highly overpriced and I wonder how many people in this area can afford to be both homeowners and purchasers of food and clothing.
I do understand that 6 years ago, when we moved out here, prices were much lower. Since then they have skyrocketed to double their price.
But let me tell you a tale for this Friday.
Last weekend, my husband and I put in an offer on a house.
I won’t tell you the sales price, because it sickens my stomach and makes me cringe. But, this I will reveal: We bid way lower than the asking price.
You see, we’ve been renters for a long, long time, and now we have two children, and we work hard, and we want our own home. And chances are we won’t be moving out of this area for quite some time, so we have to suck it up, as they say, and deal with these inflated, ridiculous prices.
At the same time, we have to be realistic and, well, sensible.
We took a look at a property that had gone on the market a few weeks earlier. The house at that time had 5 bids total. The first two were full price, but, ahem, both potential buyers backed out.
The next three were 100K below asking price. The seller, at the beginning, didn’t even acknowledge those offers.
So we came up 25K from the lowest bidders. We knew the house needed a ton of work: new roof, new windows, updating in every room, new floors (because the blue carpet would not have matched our furniture, of course, though it would have definitely hidden any stains and spills).
The house was built in 68; it had not been touched since. I mean this literally. The seller, who actually had nothing to do with the home, had inherited it, and lived in a different state. He countered at 25K less than the asking price, or 50K higher than our offer.
We took another tour and declined to re-counter.
First, there had been a water leak, and the upstairs bathroom, which was located directly over the downstairs bathroom, had a hole in the floor: You could stick your finger through it and wave to the person downstairs.
Termites had chewed their way to happiness in every room. I mean, these were fat little guys with wings, and they were still living there.
One long foundation crack ran from the garage through the hallway and out the dining room wall.
The fireplace was cracked.
The house had a beautiful view, but that was about it. The rest of it needed to be gutted and fixed.
We may be facing a recession, as some reports say. We aren’t shopping as much, we’re losing our jobs, things are tough all over, we are eating a lot of pasta and beans, but I’ll tell you this: In our neck of the woods, sellers are not dropping their asking price. At least not quickly enough to really matter.