Wednesday, June 25, 2008

It's Getting Personal

When we first moved here in the Fall of 2006, we didn’t really know anyone in the immediate area. Over the last year and a half that has changed. I have been continually surprised at what a “small town” this is. Everyone seems to be connected somehow (so-and-so’s doctor is so-and-so’s brother in law etc.).

The more roots we put down, and the more we get to know the people who live here, the less I like to blog about local real estate conditions. Without any ties to the community, it was easy to feel righteous about my quest for affordable housing.

But all that has changed. Now when a home gets listed on the MLS, I know people who live nearby. I know what these comps are going to do to their home values. For instance, in yesterday’s screen scrape, I saw a home for $157 a square foot. Last year I would have been elated …but instead my heart sank. It is the exact same model as my friend’s.

6 comments:

Jacob said...

Its tough to see friends in a bad situation. But what can you do? Be there to confort them as needed, but dont make foolish decisions for yourself.

sacramentia said...

Look at it from their perspective. They might be thinking "We lost a bunch on paper, but at least we aren't renting."

JOATMON said...

The loss or gain only is fixed at transaction time. We all have the freedom to spend what we want AND the responsibility to spend within our means. So as long as they can afford their monthly payment (I recognize that's a fat chance for most Taxifornia purchasers after 2003 or so), then any loss (or gain) is meaningless until they need to sell. I moved to the SF Bay Area in 2005 - with buying 2x the price of rent, it didn't make sense to purchase. That was a benefit when I had the opportunity to exit to Nevada last fall. Did I buy there? Yes. Do I expect home prices to continue to decline where I live? Yes. Am I living within my means? Yes. Satisfied overall? Yes. Do I feel bad for my former neighbors that bought a condo for $375K that they've had listed for 9+ months and the list price has been chopped to $250K? Yes. But they signed their name to the deal.

Aidian said...

Funny, I had similar feelings... finally closed yesterday on first home... and when I was talking to some co workers about the deal I got I was suddenly sorta guilt wracked.. "yeah, we got it for 143k. sorry about your equity."

Buying Time said...

Congrats Aidian.

I sometimes wonder if the neighbors will all hate us when we move in, for that very reason. "I just signed a deed that means 300k in neighborhood equity has instantly vanished."

sacramentia said...

Joatmon - the only problem is now you live in Nevada.

Anyways, the neighbors will be jealous and upset with you, but isn't that half the point of suburban neighborhoods like Serrano :)