Tuesday, September 13, 2005


Dont' Buy My House

Well, three days on the market, and we had two offers on the house. We accepted one and the inspection was yesterday. Did you know that inspections now run upwards of four hours. Good lord. What 100 year old house can survive that? Apparently ours wasn't too bad, so the sale looks likely to go through.

What's interesting--to you, all of this fascinates me--is that the housing market has really slowed down in the past few weeks. Every time I mention this, people tell me it's because of school. I'm sure that's a contributing factor, but I don't buy it as the only factor. Consider: Portlanders are famously childless. What do we care if school's started? Also, a market doesn't go from blazing hot to lukewarm due to a single factor.

Maybe Katrina is responsible--I've felt odd selling a home during a time of such suffering and homelessness. Maybe once the nightmare has mostly subsided, people will pull out of their malaise. Or, maybe this is the beginning of the end on the Portland housing boom. Hard to say, but things definitely have changed since July.

[Clarification: although it appears that I'm barking mad with my data here--we sold our house in three days but the market's slowing down--I'm not. Our realtor tells us that other homes are now sitting, but due to clean living and good luck, our house bucked the pattern.]


fred said...

Well, as an inside joke, I'm glad to hear that the house passed without too much negativity...:-)

Oh, and congratulations!

Donna said...

In late summer my husband and I were thinking about selling too. We decided to put a new roof on the house since we knew that would bring the value down probably by more than the cost to replace. Anyway, the roofer we contracted said that people in our town were selling down. Many of them couldn't afford to live in our town anymore, or sold the bigger fancier places for smaller homes. We also talked to a realtor and did some online research. We found out that spring and summer are the best time to sell, mostly because of parents not wanting to pull children out of school, but also because of good weather being a little more predictable for moving. We were also told the same thing by our realtor that the roofer told us, less expensive homes were selling but the more expensive ones were on the market for months and a few for over a year. Since ours is in the less expensive category, she was sure she would be able to sell it in under a month. I'm wondering if that is how the market is out your way too and why you were able to sell so quickly.

Jeff Alworth said...

Fred, as an inside compliment, let me say that everyone who looked at the house admired how nicely finished it was--especially the bathroom. (And now, looking at houses, I see why--there are a lot of ugly bathrooms in the world).

Donna, I think all of the factors you cite are right. And what we may be witnessing isn't a bursting of the bubble, but a bursting of the insanity that marked the summer housing market here. Could be that things have just gone back to normal.