So What's GM Got To Do With The Real Estate Market?!

Real Estate Agent with Allen Tate Realtors Chapel Hill, NC 919-819-8199

They are BORED with us! Can you imagine! The US housing market is the acknowledged solution to the ENTIRE world’s economic crisis and they are BORED with us! How do I know this, you ask? They bought GM today. Or, more correctly WE bought GM today.

Now, I am not here to talk about whether this is right or wrong. Franky, I don’t know and  I don’t care. All my energy goes to caring about one thing and one thing only…REAL ESTATE. Now I know that seems irresponsible to some of you but I’m only one person. I have friends, family and clients that I care about and for whom I MUST protect my time and my energy.

I voted, like I HOPE everyone else did, and my expectation is that those who won election will do what we HIRED them to do and make the right decisions for our country. As for me, I can only do what I am good at and that is REAL ESTATE.

Now before you say I am abdicating my responsibilities as an American or just being naive, let me promise you that I do pay attention to current events and politics. I know what they are doing and from my distant, spectator seat I am disgusted. I want “THEM” to make decisions that will move us forward and, frankly, put my Sep IRA back on track. Being a realist I am fully aware that this is the problem many of us have and the only answer right now is for me to work hard, really hard, to rebuild my retirement. And, don’t get me wrong, I am grateful for A LOT!

So what does GM have to do with this? Everything. The government has moved on…moved on to the next problem on the laundry list of our shared issues. We have gotten all the help we can expect from the government where housing is concerned. They are done with us. They gave us an $8000 tax credit to get first timers (or something like them) into the market. They have held interests rates down artificially for quite awhile …why… because a healthy housing market is fueled from the bottom up. If new folks aren’t coming into the market, nobody can sell to buy up, right?

So what happened last week when it was OBVIOUS that GM would go bankrupt and we would buy them? Hello. Interest rates went up. There is only so much money to spread around and we’ve had our chance. There is no more. Interest rates are going up and we need to work with what we have. I’m cool with that. Really. The great majority of my career has been when interest rates were over 9%...sometimes really over 9%. We have gone from a home affordability index that allowed 50% of folks to get into the housing market to an affordability index that allows 75% of folks to get into the housing market. How bad can that be?

So now, it’s all about me… me helping sellers to understand how they can succeed in this market and me, helping buyers to understand how to profit in this market. It’s pretty simple. Sellers have to PRICE right and Buyers have to understand the COST of buying. What else is there? I mean now that GM is my latest purchase, what else can I do?

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SarahGray Lamm is a licensed, full time, residential real estate professional in the Triangle area of North Carolina with over 100,000 hours of experience. She specializes in serving the real estate needs of home sellers, home buyers and investors in Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Durham and Northern Chatham County and is proudly associated with Allen Tate Realtors, the Carolinas #1 independent realty company.

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Comments (12)

Dean Moss
Dean's Team - Keller Williams Realty Partners Chicago IL - Chicago, IL
Dean's Team Chicago IL Real Estate Team

Hey, Sarah -

The "Laundry List" is quite long - and no one, not even BO, has a magic wand.  JMcC wouldn't have had one either.

The GM thing not only impacts thousands of employees and their families, and their ability to pay their mortgage and buy a new home down the line.  It is iconic.  Around the world, the face of GM is the face of the U.S.

GM did poorly.  They failed to keep up with their customers needs and tastes.  They took the market, and our loyalty, for granted.  The management thought the banquet would go on forever, as did the unions.

But, of course, it has not!

Remind you of any other industry you AND I are intimately a part of?

Everyone of us is interdependent, interconnected.  It is all important stuff!

Keep the faith!


Jun 01, 2009 03:14 PM
Lane Bailey
Century 21 Results Realty - Suwanee, GA
Realtor & Car Guy

Actually, the financial crisis is WAY deeper than housing.  It is the idea that we (the government, businesses and individuals) can deficit spend our way to prosperity.  And apparently that lesson is yet to be learned inside the beltway. 

Jun 01, 2009 03:17 PM
Lane Bailey
Century 21 Results Realty - Suwanee, GA
Realtor & Car Guy

Dean, I will have a post coming out that will address a couple of common mistakes in your comment... 

Jun 01, 2009 03:21 PM
Lisa Wetzel
RE/MAX Realty Affiliates - Carson City, NV

Sarah - It's pretty interesting, what is going on and what will happen to all of us.  I'm concerned and nervous for the first time in years and years!

Jun 01, 2009 03:21 PM
Charles Stallions
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services - Pensacola, FL
850-476-4494 - Pensacola, Pace or Gulf Breeze, Fl.

I just don't believe in big government and I thought Barrack would be different. I don't know if they can print that much money. I heard today that for the first time since world war II that America is having to buy their own bonds and that China is actually backing off.

I agree that Real Estate would have been the way to go but even NAR helped carry it the way it is going. I think we have gone too far and there is no turning back regardless of what happens next.

There will be a civil war of some kind and it is not far away. When the working class gets too much put on their backs they will rise up.

Jun 01, 2009 03:33 PM
SarahGray Lamm
Allen Tate Realtors Chapel Hill, NC 919-819-8199 - Chapel Hill, NC
Realtor - 100K Hours of NC Real Estate Experience

Thanks for the comments everyone! I really mean it when I say the only control I have (and beleive ANY of us have) is to do the work we know best. I simply cannot burn up the precious brain cells I have by pretending I have the ability to voice an opinion that would single handedly get us out of a mess it took years and years of greed, selfishness and irresponsibility to get us into.

In the mean time, allowing myself to get depressed about the state we are in is supremely unproductive and does not benefit me, my family or my clients!

Best of luck to all of us!

Jun 02, 2009 12:03 AM
Mike Saunders
Retired - Athens, GA

Sarah - and the irony is that this is National Home Ownership month. Don't know about you, but sales are down in this area again, even with the tax credit and low interest rates.

Jun 02, 2009 12:41 AM
Tom Boos
Sine & Monaghan Realtors, Real Living - Grosse Pointe Farms, MI
Providing the very best of service to Sellers and

In Michigan and the entire Great Lake region, GM has everything to do with the housing market.  Long after the rest of the country kisses the recession good-bye, we will still be reeling from the crushing effects of the partial demise of the American Auto industry.

Jun 02, 2009 05:26 AM
SarahGray Lamm
Allen Tate Realtors Chapel Hill, NC 919-819-8199 - Chapel Hill, NC
Realtor - 100K Hours of NC Real Estate Experience

Tom- Yes, I agree GM has everything to do with the housing market, one way or another...I am sorry for what you all are going through..

Jun 02, 2009 12:50 PM
Marchel Peterson
Results Realty - Spring, TX
Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro

SaraGray, I was showing new homes today and the new home sales person was talking about interest rates going up.  I finally asked what they were going up to and I was told 5 1/2%.  One of our first homes was bought during the Carter years and our interest rate was 12.5%.  That was with getting bond money.  The people down the street from us had 18%.

Jun 02, 2009 03:56 PM
SarahGray Lamm
Allen Tate Realtors Chapel Hill, NC 919-819-8199 - Chapel Hill, NC
Realtor - 100K Hours of NC Real Estate Experience

Hi Marchel! I hear you about interest rates...I started my career when they were 18%! Hard to complain about 5 or 6 or 7%...but in  a recovery, when the gov't has been artificially holding down rates to spur recovery it might have been nice to see it work! If folks are afraid to buy, whether it is bad advice or waiting for the bottom or just plain fear of having no job... as I have written about before in a's only a buyers market if you actually buy! Cheers!

Jun 03, 2009 11:13 AM
Sheldon Neal
Bergen County, NJ - RE/MAX Real Estate Limited - Maywood, NJ
That British Agent Bergen County NJ

SarahGray - I have just left almost all the recent gloomy financial headlines on the shelf, and have just focused on what I do best - like you - help people with their real estate needs in this market....thats really all we can control right now - our own actions.

Lets hope for the best somehow round the corner !!

Cheers !

Sheldon :o)

Jun 15, 2009 02:26 PM