What do you call a Realtor® that has not sold anything for the past six months? "Hey waiter” is my bet! Mammoth has over 200 realtors and about 10 sales a month. Someone is not eating; in fact Realtors® are starving. The number of sold properties is so low that even the most optimistic are feeling blue. It may not be until 2009 before we see any life in the Mammoth real estate market. My calculations show that, this year, alone, at least $15,000,000 in commissions has NOT flowed to the real estate community due to the down turn in sales. That’s $15,000,000 that is not going into the community for dinners out, home improvements, local media advertising, charitable contributions and the multitude of other spending Realtors® and their families traditionally do.
Coincidently, our retailer store-owners are feeling the crunch too. Look at our retail malls that have so many empty spaces. Merchants have packed up and left. Most limped out of town after being bludgeoned by land lords for higher rents and increased assessments for deferred maintenance on their aging buildings. Many were good friends that have been in Mammoth for years. Not any more!
Most years Mammoth would see one or two foreclosures annually. We have dozens that are about to happen. Many are owners that have loans that allowed them to buy their condo with little or no cash down. Rents sucked last season so the “investments” are upside down. If you have no market to unload the property, then mail the keys to the bank. Let the bank unload the property. At least you stop the pain of thousands of dollars flowing out monthly on a property that will not appreciate fast enough to ever catch up. Your credit will be destroyed but what are you going to do?
The equity in your property at home, somewhere in southern California, used to be the gift that kept on giving. You could just do a refinance and pull out the equity, just like a bank account. Not any more. The “pass GO and collect $200 bucks” game is over. Now you just watch the bills roll in and play the rob Peter to pay Paul game. Oh well it was fun while it lasted.
So is the party over my friend? For some…YES; for many it has not even begun. One of my favorite sayings about real estate, that I invented, is “if you can pay you can play’. Southern Californian’s are rich. You may not be, but trust me, there are so many well-todo, money-flowing, successful folks out there it would make your head shake and ask, “why not me”. They are bullet proof and could not care about the current real estate market in Mammoth. In fact, they have been feasting as the stock market has risen to record heights. Many are seeing average gains in their portfolios in excess of 15% per year. (The gains are really higher but I did not want you to feel too bad about your personal poverty). These folks will be Mammoth’s salvation.
Rich buyers will be in the market soon enough snapping up great deals that will be seen as bargains in just a few years time. The rich do get richer! If you can afford to buy now then make the trip to Mammoth and hunt down that great buy because we may be at the bottom of the low pricing model.
Mammoth has good news that is just around the corner. We have a major developer/ owner, Roger Staubach with Cypress Equities who purchased the Hillside project located next to the new Westin Monache (it is scheduled to open by December 07). It is rumored to be a Ritz Carlton or perhaps a Montage five star resort property. Roger Staubach has a fantastic attitude about development of a project that fits my suggested mantra for builder/ developers that enter the Mammoth market;” build it and they will come…later”. They will not be waiting to see the results of a presales event before they commit to fund and build the project. What a breath of fresh air for Mammoth. They have faith in themselves, their product AND Mammoth. Way to go Roger! I hope other billionaire builder/ developers are paying attention to the new guys in town because they may learn a few new tricks or at least pick up the vibrations of what the correct attitude feels like for a healthy future in Mammoth.
Mammoth’s real estate values will flow at the same level and pace that is experienced in Southern California. We are expecting a soft landing that may not happen during this 08 ski season but should be in place by next season. I do suggest that you buy now if you find the perfect property that works for you and your family because pricing may be at or near the bottom. My new mantra is “Mammoth…For Life”. See you in the market.
David H. Schwartz President ~ Broker Mammoth Realty Center
All questions and comments are welcome using David@MammothAnswers.com. Information is reliable but not guaranteed. The future value of real estate is not guaranteed.