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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Oops, I did it again!

“The most profound statements are often said in silence.” (Lynn Johnston) from Jack's Winning Words Blog.

Given the saying above, I suppose I was really profound yesterday, since I had no post here. Once again, it was due to being too busy with my real estate business. That’s a good problem to have and one that looks like it may be the case for a while.

All of a sudden I’ve got buyers and sellers coming out of the woodwork. I suspect that the cause is somewhat the same for both – pent up demand. Buyers who were setting on the sidelines out of fear – fear of losing a job or just fear about where the economy is going in Michigan – have finally overcome those fears and decided to get on with life and buy that new house. And sellers who hesitated to put their homes on the market have finally said “it’s time, I’ve got to go.” Most sellers have read enough in the papers and seen enough on TV to have adjusted their expectations on pricing, so that is making my job a bit easier. At least if they are also planning to become buyers of something smaller, it will be a wash on price – get less and pay less.

I’m starting to see the anticipated downsizing surge from aging baby boomers, as well as a down-scaling movement from people who are dealing with the economics of jobs that pay less and trying to get out before they get into financial trouble and foreclosure. One of the interesting challenges for both of those groups is that they are now competing with younger buyers, many of them first-time buyers for the smaller houses that they are all seeking. Unfortunately the builders haven’t been building many small houses for the past few years (decades), so they are harder to find, especially with the features that the downsizing boomers are looking for in a house.

These movements may reinforce the move of people back into more urban settings that I reported on last week, since that’s where lots of the well-kept older and smaller houses are located and that’s also where one can still find walkable communities. One interesting scenario locally is the thought that aging boomers may end up trading places with the up and coming Gen-Y set who bought and fixed up many of the smaller homes in trendy places like Royal Oak. The Gen-yers are about ready for their McMansions in the country, just as the Boomers are ready to retire into trendy little homes in urban areas.

For now, I’m just happy to be too busy to have too much time for posting to this blog. Got to run, it’s another busy day in real estate!

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