Sweeping One Size Generalities, Statements Don't Fit The Real Estate Market.

Real Estate Agent with MOOERS REALTY ME Broker License 106759


The media has a tendency to report for the nation at large. 

Efforts to made sweeping statements that houlton maine paradegeneralize and apply for the entire country distort reality in many areas. There are so many extremes, unique markets within that huge nation.

     With 50 states, broad brush statements that reflect the nation are not accurate and mislead. It boils down to not being like that everywhere and a feeling of disenfranchisement can permeate. In one blog post I read today on Active Rain it's indicated that one out of four homes is worth less than is owed on the four walls.

     Boy, that is not a statement that applies to Northern Maine. Aroostook County did not have the foreclosure rates that happened in say a Detroit Michigan or parts of Florida. The Maine banks were making conservative, quality loans BEFORE the recession that hit other areas. Many homes are paid for. Not mortgaged to the hilt. Not saddled with grotesque, ready to pop at the seams equity lines.

Folks are not way over extended. People don't live day to day 20 minutes away from financial ruin. They have untapped equity lines with cobwebs and dust from lack of use. The lines set up for peace of mind if disaster hit but never utilized because savings are in place. Their standard of living below their means so funds are squirreled away for a rainy day. And reading that one in four statistic can send an alarm thru an area where the real estate air raid siren does not need to be activated...and does not apply. But think of the anxiety caused because the panic headlines are broadcast anyway.

It used to be the headlines of upside down folks in other states were a concern, but not a worry for you personally. You thought "I'm in okay shape" if everything went black for a spell. You were brought up to plan for it, expect it, anticipate the ups and downs. But now we all have deeper jitters, worries because all of us will have to bail out the folks that did not live within their means. Those that never learned a life lesson on picking yourself up by the bootstraps, planning for set backs. Or taking care of your family without expectation the government will catch me, help me, fix it. Or that I am entitled, deserve the best others can provide with a permanent out stretched hand playing "beat the buffet" that others put on. Folks that brought no covered dish to the pot luck supper. Just arrived and stayed long with a large, bottomless appetite. It's the Titanic, late at night and have you taken a life boat count and done the math if an iceberg happens by the bow? Not planning for the unexpected, the unpleasant does not make it go away or not happen.

    The Maine real estate house prices are lower than many other areas which helps. That average figure for a price tag in Northern Maine is in the $80,000 bracket.

Everything is so much lower, reasonable, down to earth and affordable here in Maine.

The ability to save money, to say no to everything going is another part of the equation. Getting the home paid for is a daily goal. There is an awareness that owing money is not fun. Not something you want to burden your kids with if something happened to your job or health. And it made me think further that the same logic of the "one in four" Americans living in homes worth less than is owed, means those same folks are upside down for reasons other than situations like the auto workers face, or our friends in Florida that took a major real estate set back, hit. Maybe that other household purchases are made are in the same unbalanced state. The cars they drive are worth less than is owed. Their high school kids drive better cars than mom and dad with seven year loans on them to prove what? The money saved for their maine moose catkid's college accounts is less than it will cost, and on and on.

    It may be not just be real estate market oriented but the way some follksrun their financial lives. If the average American, another media headline, is carrying $17,000 for credit card debt, maybe the economy spotlights the loose financial reins on the household spending. The recession is the smypton...the poor personal spending habits or addiction is the bigger illness, the cause of the cracks, aches, pains. I remember reading the Bearstein Bears books to the four kids when they were little and one in particular called "The Galloping Gimmees". Maybe not everyone else read that one, remembered the lessons of over indulgence and paying the piper if drunken sailor spending becomes a daily occurrenceor need, compulsion. Maybe living in Maine meant our outdoor recreation all four seasons was the fun were did not have to pay for living in "Vacationland".  Money was not the end all, in shorter supply and handled carefully is the lesson we learned, saw demonstrated.

     When you grew up, do you remember parents being on the brink of financial disaster? Was the money brought in to the household coffers spent as fast as it came in? Beyond the income stream? Were your parents conservative and did you feel secure that there were savings and you were aware that a mortgage burning party was a goal you saw worked at, achieved?

Maine REALTOR Andrew Mooers


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  1. Tim Ludemann 11/25/2009 03:11 AM
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Geoff ONeill
John L. Scott Medford - Medford, OR

These statistics make the buyers sit on their hands waiting for a better price.  At some point they realize that the prices are going up just a little, and they had better get moving.  This is an opportunity to educate your clients on the local market, and show your value by pointing out the great values.

Nov 25, 2009 01:36 AM #21
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


Great blog post!  When I took writing classes, one of the no nos was "glittering generalities".  The media specializes in them to sell the headlines, and unfornately many believe them.  Thanks, and Happy Thanksgiving

Nov 25, 2009 02:46 AM #22
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Paul..you hit the nail on the head at the chain reaction...the damage inaccurate one size fits all sensationalizing can do. Ratings over truth, due dilegence to think of the snowball damage panic and no guts, no glory headlines cause.

Nov 25, 2009 02:48 AM #23
Tim Ludemann
Ochopee, FL

well deserved feature...the press loves to be broad and it makes our job a little challenging explain and managing the clients expectaions...enjoy the fact you don't have foreclosures better yet short sales...do you have chinese drywall?

Nov 25, 2009 03:11 AM #24
Krystal Knott
LIV Sotheby's International Realty - Breckenridge, CO
Breckenridge CO Real Estate & All Summit County CO

Andrew your post is so true.  We work in a 2nd home market in the Colorado Mountains, over 70% of the properties are owned by 2nd homeowners.  I can't tell you how often I hear from potential clients that they are waiting because they heard on the news that we need to brace for another drop in the real estate market.  It is so hard to get them to understand that the news is generalizing and that we are not in that category.  Insighful post!

Nov 25, 2009 03:18 AM #25
Bob & Carolin Benjamin
Benjamin Realty LLC - Gold Canyon, AZ
East Phoenix Arizona Homes

Love the photo of the moose and the cat. Good post.

Nov 25, 2009 03:29 AM #26
Dave Murray
DMTX Realty, Coldwell Banker United, Realtors - Austin, TX

The media has a tendency to report for the nation at large. 

You said a mouthful right there. What we have here in Central Texas is very different than the rest of the nation. You wouldn't expect anyone to make assumtions on our market based on other parts of the country, just as we wouldn't the other way around.

Nov 25, 2009 03:31 AM #27
Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

Nice post Andy. Everything is subject to interpretation and the local tribal customs.

You need a "Objects are further out than they appear" in that side mirror! (wink)

Nov 25, 2009 03:47 AM #28
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Thanks goodness we have pockets of the country where people are not backed up to the wall, between a rock and a hard place and life is good, easier, saner, healthier. Financial health is just as important as mental and physical health. If you work three jobs to make ends meet and pay off high rate credit cards, that will make you old, tired, worn out and sick quickly.  Don't believe everything you read about the economy either. You could hold back or jump forward at the wrong time if you depended on just the media. Where does the voice in your head, common sense and your gut feeling come in?

Nov 25, 2009 03:57 AM #29
Chris Olsen
Olsen Ziegler Realty - Cleveland, OH
Broker Owner Cleveland Ohio Real Estate

Hi Andrew -- Great points.  All real estate is local.  Here in Cleveland, there is a particular price point in a strong-selling community where 50% of the homes are under contract and limited supply, while 10 miles down the road is foreclosure city - making up 80% of the inflated inventory for sale a rock-bottom prices, so one cannot extrapolate and say all of Cleveland is in the dumps, it's not.  Generalities does more harm than good in the real estate market and the NAR furthers this garbage when the publicize national averages and stats.

Nov 25, 2009 04:28 AM #30
Michael Myers
King-Rhodes & Associates - Cherokee Village, AR

Read national statistics on anything with a grain of salt and for amusement purposes only. Just call it Zillow news or Zillow stats. Who really cares? At the end of the day, it's somewhat interesting and you say to yourself "wow" or "hmm", but what really matters is what's happening in your back yard and the rest is just fluff for cocktail party conversation.

Nov 25, 2009 04:59 AM #31
Ted Tyndall
Davidson Realty Inc. - Saint Augustine, FL
I will help You find the Home YOU want to Buy

The problem is we get customers in from out of state that think what they have read on the Internet is the Bible.

Nov 25, 2009 09:02 AM #32
David Monsour
Keller Williams Keystone Realty - Gettysburg, PA
ABR - www.realty-insights.com

My reading of this post is well timed.  I had this exact conversation with someone at a local pizza joint that I frequent for lunch.  I get salads though.  I wish more people had the goal of freeing themselves from their note and owning outright.  It feels so good to own a car outright, a house must be amazing.  I wouldnt know.

Nov 25, 2009 09:47 AM #33
Russ Ravary ~ Metro Detroit Realtor call (248) 310-6239
Real Estate One - Commerce, MI
Michigan homes for sale ~ yesmyrealtor@gmail.com

Great post and great info about your local area.  We don't have an average price of $80,000 here in Metro Detroit

Nov 25, 2009 01:20 PM #34
Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth

Hi Andrew. I can so relate to what you say about Maine compared to the rest of the country. Real estate is local and local within a local area. Our North Texas area has been like 180 degrees out of phase with the national numbers. Happy Thanksgiving.

Nov 25, 2009 01:24 PM #35
Sharon Alters
Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308 - Fleming Island, FL
Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL

Andrew, you are preaching to the choir and you are so right. Our local market has not been hit as hard as an area 15 miles away. Like Lenn said, contact a local Realtor for local stats, we know them.

Nov 25, 2009 02:16 PM #36
James Lyon
Vista Pacific Realty - Sacramento, CA

Statistics can be widely manipulated and the same set of numbers can be used by two opposing points of view. I guess you just have to be smart about what you read and believe.

Nov 25, 2009 04:24 PM #37
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Statistics can be massaged. When I worked in radio, arbitron ratings. You could be number on with 12 year olds drinking mountain dew or the 85 years old using Denture-grip. It used to be the 18 to 34 year olds were the target and broadcast one bullet to hit the most of the market. Now niche, surgical strikes with 22 calibre marketing to attract.... tractor beam customers back to the primary website. You want to sell them something..to put food on the table, shoes on the kids' feet. Happy Thanksgiving!

Nov 26, 2009 09:07 AM #38
Leslie Helm
Tennessee Recreational Properties - Jamestown, TN
Real Estate For Trail Riders

Hi, Andy. Congratulations on the feature! I relate to much of what you say about your area because it is alot like that here in Tennessee. I have to read posts to know what's going on out there in the world of real estate because we don't have many foreclosures or short sales here, or mortgage fraud. It's tremendously comforting to live in a place where values are still values and to work with buyers who appreciate this area for all that it has to offer.

Nov 28, 2009 02:43 AM #39
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Leslie..you are so right and hit the real estate head of the problem we have in the country reporting dire situations where viewers, readers could think EVERYWHERE EVERYONE is up against it, 20 minutes from foreclosure and end of the world in every sense. Scaring folks with the sharp stick in the eye headlines. Think your horse country in TN is similiar to ME.

Nov 28, 2009 03:58 AM #40
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