What to do with this SQUIRREL-LY Market…

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I talked with a lender today who called the market “squirrel-ly” and I thought that was a perfect analogy.  You’ve seen these little guys trying to decide whether or not to cross the road, darting around looking terrified.  Well, that’s kind of us these days, and justifiably so.  HOWEVER.  You know there’s always an ‘HOWEVER’  if you talk to me.  Here it is:  Real estate is local.  That’s 1001 times I’ve written that.  But it’s true and it’s important.   So the however leads to: It’s not time to run and hide in a cave.

Yes the rates have gone up, but you can be sure that lenders are working on ways to make it so that you can get into that home you want.  Are some folks going to fall out of the running temporarily?  Yes, but they should not give up.  There will be ways.  

Meanwhile, remember that here in our market in the Raleigh NC area (the Triangle), we were the last ones to fall when the market crashed back in 08.  And we were the first ones to start lifting off of the bottom as well. Why?  Because of demand.  Supply and demand is a huge factor in real estate and here, demand is crushing.  So…why is the market feeling slow right now?  I call it the holiday doldrums.  If you’ve ever been sailing and struck by the doldrums on a hot summer day, you know it’s excruciating.  You sit there, bobbing in the middle of the river or waterway or ocean, praying for just a little breeze.  But you get crickets.  Well we’re having the ‘between Memorial Day and July Fourth’ doldrums.  Think about it.  This happens every year.  People are thinking about vacation, graduation, vacation, vacation, vacation.

So what do we do when it happens while rates are climbing the ladder in ADDITION to vacation?  Well, we pay attention!  We most DEFINITELY have some of that hitting out market right now, because a little bit of rate hike can equate to enough increase in house payment that some buyers have to tap out for a little while.  Buyers are scared right now, because of the unpredictability they face.  So caution is the order of the day.  What do you do?  TALK TO YOUR LENDER.  Your lender is going to be your financial guide all the way.  And if you’re close to the edge, maybe waiting is the way to go.  Or ask about some other loan program that might work better for you.

But for sellers?  Don’t panic.  Bob around in the river or ocean and ride out the doldrums.  I promise after the 4th things will pick up.  Look, we’ve had vacation, graduations, more vacations coming…people are distracted from home buying.  Yeah, if it makes you feel better, lower your price and test the results.  Chances are, you won’t see a difference.  I am telling you, it’s this way every year.

What is GOOD that’s happening now is that buyers have a bit of breathing room from the race to multiple offers, and they have a break from excessively high due diligence fees, in some cases.  No way that’s a bad thing.  And IF the market continues to stand still or slide, then we’re going to see the needle swing away from a strong seller market to something favoring buyers more.  And remember ideally, the needle stands straight up between buyer advantage and seller advantage, to something more reasonable for everyone.  I guess whether or not you agree with that statement depends on whether you’re a buyer or seller, or neither.  But a fair market is better; trust me on that one.

For now, there’s a change in the weather with regard to real estate and it’s way too soon to jump ship (unless you need to cool off).  We will surely see some buyers fall out of the race for now and we will see some homes sitting on the market longer…for now.  We still have the huge corporations either here, or coming here, and people need housing.  And we have the aircraft manufacturer coming to Wake Forest too.  So demand is still crushing our supply.  The market may ‘fall’, but remember we’ve been in an abnormal market for a long time.  What we might be seeing is a normal market coming into view.

Just remember that this is a time for creative problem solving and a time to reestablish patience in the real estate process.  Homes will still sell; buyers will still find a house, people will still be able to live. 


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Well, the news just gets worse and worse.  We find out that interest rates have risen again, that gas prices have risen again, inflation is the worst in 40 years, food prices are through the roof, and now, if we can get the things we need, they will have experienced ‘shrink-flation’.  Have you heard that term?

It means that bread slices will be so small they’ll be like crackers…or so it will seem.  They’ve already shrunk way below what they once were, so we’ll see.  Packages of dried beans will look like a bag of M&Ms, a can of tuna will be teensy…you get the idea.  But you’ll PAY the same…or more.  

Lenders are laying off personnel because loan applications are down and real estate agents will see progress for buyers slow or even stop. Many new agents will not be able to make it in the biz at all.  And buyers will drop out of the purchases.  Sharp rises in rates make a huge difference in payment and ability to qualify for the loan in the FIRST place.  You know I’m already riled up about my first time buyers and first time move-up buyers, most of whom are pushed out of the market altogether.

Listen, I TRY to find positive in everything I can, and in this situation I realize that this will pass.  It has to.  Meanwhile the agenda to save the planet seems to be hurting everyone except the wealthy.   You know, the enemy of the state who don’t pay taxes, we’re told?   Who can afford an electric car?  Oh THOSE people.  And we pay for the electric charging stations they use for free.  Think about this stuff.  Solar panels, windmill farms, electric cars won’t matter if people are starving or done in by astronomical crime increases.  If I wanted to take over a population with my military might, this is how I would do it.  Just like what is happening.  But I digress.

I realize that the ‘news’ is sensational, that things are never as bad as the ‘news’ would have us believe, and at least for now, I’m okay.  Still there are some things hitting me in the face every time I open my refrigerator or go to the dreaded grocery store…or God forbid, fill up my car with gas.  Having said all of that, let me encourage you to consider these things:

  1. Amazon is here, with all of the employees having bought or trying to buy homes.
  2. Google is here, with all of the employees having bought or trying to buy homes.
  3. Facebook, excuse me, META, is coming, with all of the employees trying to buy homes.
  4. The aircraft manufacturing plant is coming, with some portion of 1800 planned employees, needing homes.
  5. Interest rates be damned, people have to have homes.  
  6. We could all stand to stop eating so much we are an obese society.  So maybe we cut back.
  7. I wish I could get solar power, but I’m in a townhouse.  But I’m thinking about that little issue.  Right now, no dice.
  8. Last year we had 70 people every DAY coming here to find a place to live….It’s gotta be more now.  
  9. We are in holiday doldrums…that’s between Memorial Day and July 4.
  10. My cats don’t seem to notice any of this stuff.
  11. My interest rate was I THINK 17% when I bought my first home, and I had perfect credit.  BUT home prices were reasonable, too.

What I am saying is that homes will still be bought.  The problem for my first time buyers is that there is NO PRODUCT they can begin to afford.  What a travesty that a first-time home has a 4 in the first number on average and a THREE on the low end.  That’s just crazy.  

Try to think of a way to get into a home even WITH rising rates, and don’t lose hope.  That’s the worst thing to do.  I talked about creative problem solving once before; we’re going to have to do that.  And don’t swallow all of the panic that’s being pumped onto us right now.  That’s on purpose, and we don’t need that on top of everything else.

How Do You Like Me NOW?

I got up early.  Thanks cats.  I have the most comfy throw I use to cover up with at night and my cats confiscate it during the night.  I wake up chilly and cramped into a small corner of the bed and my cats? Well they look INCREDIBLY comfy and snoozy on my little velvet throw.  Warms my heart.  You cat people know exactly what I mean.

But I’m up.  Up before 5 today, and cleaning out ONE THOUSAND emails from my iCloud account. Unsubscribe to one, ten more rush in.  It’s open borders even in the email world.  But you know, you can’t help but read the titles, no matter how hard you try not to, and that gets you thinking.  Oh, it gets about 15% of us thinking.  The rest are just mules on the cart path it seems.

OH HOW CAN I SAY THAT???  Wellllll, here’s how. (here I go again).  I heard a talking head (one of the 80 percent) on the ‘news’ hack hack hack cough cough, saying that “Americans are taking the economy in stride.”  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?  If that’s true, the smooth brains have actually taken over completely.

I’m not taking any of this crap in stride.  I don’t use OTHER PEOPLES’ MONEY to make ends meet; I use my own.  It’s just me, what I EARN by working.  So no, there’s no taking anything in stride.  PARTICULARLY because this is senseless, deliberately inflicted pain on the middle class by a bunch of greedy entitled assholes.  They’re millionaires many times over, and nah, they don’t really know how we feel.  How could they?  Most of them have never hit a lick at real work in their entire 110 years in politics.  Don’t get me started on that. You know how it is when you see your bank account bump up…remember those days?  It’s a good feeling.  Imagine how you would feel when it bumps up by several hundred thousand a day because you have stock in the company (pharma, renewable energy) that you are forcing people to use.

Is there anybody else in the room here?  Does anybody out there look beyond the end of the nose and actually think about things?  At all?  Oh yeah, all of the smooth brains rushing to get into politics.  THOSE folks get it.  That’s the reason to get into “government” now.  Get elected, take your money.

The middle class are the backbone of America.  We are the workers, we are the consumers. And we’re as gullible as two year olds.  And the puppet masters love that about us.  Once we fall, America falls. That’s elementary.  Better start using that gray stuff inside your skull for something besides ballast.

I have had zero internet for a month now (way to go Centurylink), so I’m not watching TV, or at least contemporary TV.  You can get the oldies on antenna TV which is mostly what I can watch if I bother to turn on the thing.  And I was thinking…there I go again…that I don’t really need it.  Even for weather.  If I go out and my hair frizzes, the humidity is high.  If it gets wet, rain.  If not either of those, I go buy something to plant in my garden.  And I don’t have to hear the freaking idiots trying to either parrot what someone ELSE said, or talk the same worn out tired ‘party line’ crap…or try to get me worked up about something I can do nothing about.  When I fill up my car with gas, I know whom to vote for in the next election and whom to kick out.  When I buy food, same thing.  For those of you who are ‘taking it in stride’, those free food lines are going to dry up folks, and soon you won’t be able to buy gas to drive anywhere.  PAY AFREAKINGTENTION.  

I’m hearing it will take 5 years minimum for this crap to flush down the toilet.

And one more thing.  Stop having babies if you can’t afford the babies.  That’s Michael Jackson folks.  And that, my friends, is the reason for all of this crap.  Too many people. Think about that for a second.  Oh no!  I said it. hahaha.  Well that’s actually being talked about these days: Overpopulation.

You can’t make this crap up.  How many times do you think humanity has destroyed itself?  That’s your question for the day, and yeah, that’s two.

Okay three.  I’m using my personal hotspot for internet.  And wow, it’s great.  AND cheaper.  Imagine my surprise that I can live without the greedy big dogs.