questionsis anyone (other than realtors) making money…

vote-for12vote-against
vote-for6vote-against

We listed our home for sale about a year and a half ago. In the 12 months or so that it was on the market for 15% less than appraised value, we received only one offer. It was for 15% less than the list price.

Obviously, we turned it down. We are instead renting the home out until the market recovers. Hopefully, that'll be soon.

vote-for7vote-against

I did ok on my last house.

j5 j5
vote-for7vote-against

All depends where you live. I'm in southern California, and prices are almost back up to pre-recession levels. Huge sellers market, most homes are gone within a couple days. I'm currently trying to buy my first house and it's just been impossible.

Starter homes in my area are going for 450 to 500 thousand. It's absolutely ridiculous.

vote-for4vote-against

@novastarj: The sunshine tax in action.
I, like most everyone else, would love to live in SoCal where it's sunny and warm all the time. I, like most everyone else, cannot afford the insanely higher cost of living that results from everyone wanting to live where the weather's nice all the time.

vote-for2vote-against

@stryker4526: I am one of those crazy people who actually likes to have 4 seasons in a year. This has left me rather disappointed with my present climate, where winter is nowhere near as long, cold, or snowy as the locals claim. I was told "100 inches of snow in a winter" but nobody told me that this area never has more than 10 inches on the ground for more than 3 days at a time. I have seen grass and 60F in January, which disappoints me.

vote-for4vote-against

Although it's terrible for everyone involved, it would benefit me if it kept going like this for a few more years. I started marriage with 10's of thousands of college-related and job-hunting debt 5.5 years ago. We'll be paid off next spring and can finally start saving up a down payment for a new home.

I don't want to have to buy during a bubble. But the question is - are people losing money now that they're selling their houses or were people actually losing the money/value (and didn't know it) when they bought them all those years ago? If the price was inflated beyond what the value should have been, that is.

vote-for4vote-against

Real people don't buy houses to make money, they buy houses to live in. The crooks who have been trying to 'flip' houses are half the reason we're in this mess.

vote-for3vote-against

@stile99: The statement of "real people" is a bit extreme in this case, although I see where you are going. However it has been generally accepted for a while now that one can generally expect to see at least a little return on improvements on a house - particularly if you buy at the bottom of the market and sell later when it is presumably coming back up. Almost every day on the radio I hear how the real estate market is "improving", yet we are essentially losing $35k on our house if you add the difference between the selling prices and the amount we spent on improvements.

Now, we did not buy our house to make money, let that be clear. However to end up getting no return at all (really, a negative return) on our efforts is a bit disheartening . We can't help but wonder what we would have sold for had we chosen instead to do nothing with our house but live in it and replace things as they fail.

vote-for5vote-against

@lparsons42: You have very good points, and it sounds like you are NOT the type of person I'm railing against. B-) My point is do not spend $10K on a kitchen renovation just because someone makes the claim it will add $15K to the value of your home, unless they have check in hand. Spend $10K on a kitchen renovation because you want to renovate the kitchen. The "this will add x value to your home" is a lie, always has been, and always will be, for the simple fact that you can spend $10K on an all-white gleaming kitchen, but then when it comes to sell the house, the buyer has always dreamed of a stainless steel kitchen. Spend $10K on a pool, the buyer always wanted a garden. That said, I'm sorry the market is such that you're not going to see anything in return for the expenditure, but it isn't just you, it is across the board.

vote-for1vote-against

I bought a few months ago, after looking and observing for 8 months or so.

I'd say that the market here (Atlanta) is tight, but that prices don't appear to be heading up. The supply is low, but that is because anybody that doesn't have to sell generally isn't: the prices are still low relative to what people think they should be. I haven't heard that sellers are making huge amounts of money at this point.

I'm stuck with a property in South Florida, and I'm hoping that when the renters expect to leave (about 2 years from now) that I'll be able to sell for something close to what I bought if for at the end of 2008. Nor not lose too much money. No bets though.

vote-for2vote-against

@stile99: Indeed our investments in the house were things for us, but we did it expecting to at least come close to breaking even. We did our kitchen the way we wanted it (mostly stainless). One bathroom though we ended up tearing down all the way to the studs due to the crazy materials we found as we started on what we thought would be a "new tub & paint the walls" job. We didn't do anything outlandish in any of our work or put in anything that doesn't belong in a middle-class home.

Knowing what we know now though, we can't help but wonder what we would be selling for today had we bought the house and opted to do nothing at all. It is nice to know that my wife and I aren't the only ones taking a bath on the matter. For better or for worse we will most likely be renting at our next location - at least for a few years.

vote-for1vote-against

Now that I have some time to respond properly;
From a tax perspective, removations are depreciating assets. Think of it this way, a new deck costs 5k, but an 8 year old deck isn't worth 5k. Your renovations were enjoyed by you for however many years you had them. Unless you updated just to sell the house, you're not as bad off as you think.

j5 j5
vote-for1vote-against

@lparsons42: After renting our house out for some stint, we decided to put it back on the market. It was under contract in just a week. We even got close to what we wanted for it. I'm not sure if that's an indicator that the market here is recovering or that we just put it out there at exactly the right time. Either way, we ended up making money.