My crystal ball for Door County Real Estate 2013 is firmly in the closet right now. Last night, I picked up a copy of People. Flipping through it, I caught my breath. Kate Hudson is pregnant again? There's a great photo of Whitney Houston looking beautiful and well. Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes? It wasn't until I found a picture of Katy Perry with Russell Brand with Katy's 90 year old grandmother quoting "I can't wait for them to have babies!" that I said, "Wait a minute" and flipped to the front cover. November, 2011. Ooops. The moral of reading an old People (and I bet if I went back two years it would be even more surreal) is times have changed for all of those people, and they're changing daily for us, too.
In 2004 or 2005, it was very easy to say, "Well, Mr. and Mrs. Buyer, you've identified a great home for $375,000.00 in a wonderful neighborhood. Two homes of similar typle sold here last month for $425,000.00 As such, this may a wonderful opportunity for you to get some instant equity in your home, because I'm aware of three other contracts pending on higher priced listings in the immediate area. You have a mortgage broker lined up? Wonderful. Let's plan on submitting an Offer right away. According to other Realtors in the area, the appraisals here have even been coming up higher than the listing prices! Notice the words "foreclosure" or "short sale" don't even enter the picture here, because in our market, they did not exist.
Fast forward to the end of 2012 and getting ready for 2013. Our industry has changed in a manner that has become the new normal so quickly that the NEW NORMAL typical conversation would probably be something like "Well, Mr. and Mrs. Buyer, you've done tons of online research on my website, as well as Trulia and Zillow, and you've identified three distressed properties. I don't know what the bank will ultimately accept for them; one has already been reduced 50% off the initial listing price. Are you preapproved? Just prequalified? No, that's just the first step. You really want to be preapproved to have leverage when making your offer, and I can give you a list of reputable local lenders that are familiar with sales in our market. Appraisals have been an issue. We have many homes not appraising out for the listing price because we have been a declining market. Keep searching online, call some lenders tomorrow, and let's plan on looking at some homes in the next week. While you are working with your lender, do not make any large purchases or change jobs. I'll keep sending new listing; my colleague who does BPOs told me there will be four more bank releases in the next two weeks."
My chrystal ball for 2013 Door County Properties is firmly in the closet right now (hidden under a few boxes, and some old comforters, actually). I can tell you current market conditions. I can tell you my hopes for the market, and how 2012 was a stronger year than 2011 because of incredibly low interest rates. I do not know if those rates will last. I do not know if we will lose the mortgage interest deduction. I don't know if your and my taxes will be unilaterally raised. I just don't know.
What I DO know, and am willing to tell you, is if you need a new home, or have been dreaming of a second home, those low interest rates combining with stabilizing prices will mean that smart people with decent credit are still getting great homes at good prices. Will you have instant equity and be able to sell at a profit in three years? Probably not. However, if you want to get your own roof over your head, or buy the waterfront condominium you have always dreamed of, there has never been a better time.
Door County Real Estate for 2013 promises to be interesting. As always, I'll keep you abreast of the latest in market trends and all new listings and price reductions for Door County Properties.