You had to have seen the current housing mess coming from a mile away. As the beautiful blue skies started to give way to dark clouds on the horizon and the sound of thunder rumbling off in the distance alerted some that it was time to put down the ball and go inside, how come we stayed outside and played? Sure, shame on me for selling a $750K condo in the city to someone that only made $38K per year, but hey, he had good credit! And that’s what the lender of the now non-existent mortgage company thought as they processed the loan docs to close the deal, and the underwriters that approved it, and quite possibly the bank that purchased the loan on the secondary market. Heck, it was the best of times, as the song goes, and everyone who was anyone that had worked in a bad housing market continued to comment that they had never seen it so good. Never seen it so good? We work in a cyclical market. Wait a minute…if YOU have never seen it so good in an up market, WE are probably going to experience it never so bad come the down market.
So began our self fulfilling prophecy that all of us in this industry knew was going to come at some point, but we were too busy playing ball and enjoying the sunshine. Hopefully everyone listened to their mother and saved for that rainy day, because sure enough, that day was going to come.
I parked my Mercedes with the for-sale sign taped to the side window in front of my favorite Starbuck’s and grabbed my usual Tall mocha, no longer Grande since I’m now trying to conserve the cash. Upon exiting the store, a man engaged me asking for some spare change in exchange for a cleaner front windshield on my car. I declined the cleaner windshield, but gave him the dollar anyway.
“Are you in the real estate business?” he asked.
“Yeah, how did you know?” I answered curiously.
“Because you’re the fourth realtor today with a for sale sign stuck to the window of their Mercedes!”
Okay, so maybe it’s too late for the ark, but can someone please throw me a life jacket?