Happy New Year Everyone! This is a perfect time of the year to reflect back and plan for the future. As I look back over 2008, the thing that keeps coming to mind is "The Day the Phone Stopped Ringing!" Literally! I was having a little slower than average year with about 20 sales when suddenly, around September 1, 2008 no one wanted to look at real estate, no one wanted to sell real estate, no one even wanted to talk about real estate.
Things have improved, somewhat. Since Thanksgiving 2008, I've been busy. I showed property the day before Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve (two different clients) and even to three different clients this week and just about every day in between. My phone is ringing like crazy. Buy I'm not selling property. People are skittish! Buyers are not writing and when they do, the offers are so low that the sellers aren't biting. And sellers are wanting more for their property than they will probably get. It is tough to make a living in real estate these days.
The other striking thing about 2008, was how difficult it was to work with the banks. My first canceled contract came the first week of January in which the bank simply changed its mind about giving a mortgage for a two family property because it was in a neighborhood zoned low-density residential. It was sad as the family had everything packed and were ready to move when the bank backed out. Some of the other frustrations came from banks requiring two appraisals on properties owned less than 6 months and a few incidences of the appraiser acting more like an inspector. Some of the bank changes are good. An individual should have a job and a history of paying their bills on time before a bank loans them a ton of money. That only makes sense.
There was, fortunately, more to 2008 than our financial crisis. I got to work with lots of wonderful people. I got to help young couples like Megan & Ev, Marci & Paul and Lynn & Jason purchase their first homes. I helped several families transition from a long time residence to something new. And I worked with numerous investors that decided they liked the return on real estate much better than the stock market. I guess more than anything, I feel like I made lots of new friends this year as I assisted them with their real estate business. It's not been an easy year, but very rewarding, if not financial.
I'm headed to North Carolina for a little R&R with my husband, Jim, but best wishes to you and yours for the New Year. Please don't hesitate to call if I can assist with your 2009 real estate needs.