Friday, September 5, 2008

Have you Been Waiting Long?

Working from a home office gets kinda lonely. So I try to get out as much as possible with the kids after work. I should also note that I am one of those folks who will strike up a conversation with just about anyone. (When I actually worked in the office, I was often the keeper of secrets when my coworkers needed to vent or sought advise.)

While at the pool in Folsom one afternoon this week I struck up a conversation with the mom sitting next to me. Turns out, they had moved into the area a year of course I had to ask if they bought a home yet. They hadn't, and were also waiting!

It was like we had this instant bond, since we both felt a) everyone thought we were crazy by waiting and were tired of the "its a great time to buy" advise, and b) we were so happy to have someone to talk to since we can't really express our opinions with other parents who are homeowners (telling them we think prices will continue to deteriorate is not a good party topic).

It was a welcome relief for me to actually meet another family, just like ours, continuing to wait. Since almost everyone I know who wanted to buy a home has has now bought one in the last 6 months, I was starting to feel a bit like a hold out. My mom & her boyfriend, my dad & his wife, my babysitter, some parents we know from our kids school, several local bubble bloggers, even my real estate agent! (Of course the blog party back in April was great too, cause I got to meet other in the same situation as us.)

In any event, I may be alone at work, but I am not alone as I wait (even if it seems like it at times).

There is also a thread on the Sac Bee Blog today about someone who is waiting.


Paul said...

Of course you are not alone. There are at least two of us still waiting! ... The pundits say that is the problem, too many of us are waiting and not buying, but like you point out, more are buying than are waiting. I don't see true capitulation in real estate and it looks like true capitulation is a long ways off.

Jacob said...

When every day is a great day to buy, then no day is...

There are many people waiting, but even if they all bought tomorrow, there would still be excess inventory. Something you still don't hear much about.

The first year that I wanted to buy was 2004. I was ready, had a good downpayment saved, but prices seemed really high to me.

I heard something on the radio which was so strange, I still remember it. Someone asked if they should save money and buy in a few months or a year, to get a better downpayment. And the response was that homes were appreciating by $3000 per month, so unless you could save more than that, you better buy now.

That seemed like a lot of money, and I didn't understand how homes could appreciate that much when very few people even make that much money per month after taxes, let alone save that much.

Somoething seemed really fishy to me then. So I decided that one of the following had to happen:

1) Prices level off and hold for many years, giving me time to save money to catch up and buy something nice.

2) Prices come crashing back to earth, then level off and stay put for many many years, allowing me to buy at any time during those years, or also wait and continue saving.

3) Prices would keep going up and up and I would just never buy.

Well now #2 is happening, which was the best option for me.

Back in 05/06 I thought 08 would be a good time to buy, cause things would have worked themselves out, but prices were/are too sticky on the way down.

At the beginning on the year I thought 09 might be good, but now I am thinking 09 is going to be bad and 2010 will be better.

I am waiting for foreclosures to peak and start to decline each month. And I am waiting for the Alt-A reset tsunami to pass.

Subprime has mostly run its course, but we still have a lot more $$ in Alt-A, even if the volume of defaults are lower the money will be higher.

sacramentia said...

I just got a call about a home where the owner wants to sell and stay in the property and rent. Sounds like the owner is reading too many of these blogs. That sounds like capitulation to me - what do you guys think?

Husmanen said...

I too stay off the topic of home purchase with current homeowners, especially those that bought on/around the peak. Just not good taste as I was so close myself.

But the camaraderie with those in the same boat is instant. Our next door neighbor is also renting and we trade info./data, sources, gossip and criteria. Actually, we have a good laugh sometimes as we have eyed the same homes many a time and come to about the same conclusions (bid/no bid, criteria match, price). We hint that we are actually competitors, but then laugh it off as there are and will be so many to choose from.

Oh, I actually throw out the good taste constraint above if enough buttons are pushed, but that only happens once and a while and usually never twice to the same person as the data keeps confirming the trends and prices.

Buying Time said...

"I just got a call about a home where the owner wants to sell and stay in the property and rent."

Seems kinda odd to me.

So you heard about this because they wanted you to buy the home and rent it to them?

sacramentia said...

yep - should just sell them a put.