This is my attempt at blogging. I'm still learning about the blogging world, and this is my own personal study hall.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Buying A Home

OK, so that's a misleading heading. We're in no position to buy a home right now for a number of reasons, not the least of which the fact that I still don't have a real job. In fact I have to write quickly because I have to run off to my fake job in a second. I'm giving myself less that 10 minutes, so here goes:

Everyone I talk to about buying a home is infuriated. The houses in our neighborhood are hideously ugly. For some reason, the houses that for years hovered within a $50k range doubled, tripled, and in some cases quadrupled in price over the last four years. And they're ugly. The whole neighborhood was built by the same architect in the late '50s, and the man had a crazy infatuation with split levels. He apparently won an award, in fact, but not for the houses' aesthetic beauty. He won an award for their sturdiness and durability. This is rumor, so I can't say this for sure, but apparently this also means that it costs a lot more than normal to remodel the houses.

So if you buy a house in our neighborhood, you're spending a MINIMUM of $495k for a fixer-upper. That's crazy. There was one house that was going for under $450k, but not only was it a fixer-upper, but it had black mold and no land. Or something. And it was ugly.

I've spoken with a number of people who bought houses in the last year or two and they have told me that they did so because they realized the market would never drop and that if they didn't buy then, they'd get frozen out. And they recognize that their houses are ugly. They hate that fact but they wanted to be home owners, and that was it.

Here's why I'm writing about this. I want to know why it's legal for real estate agents to jack up the prices. How can it be legal for one agent to represent both sides of such a large transaction? How can it be legal (when there are two agents) for the buyer's agent to essentially be working for the seller by earning half of the seller's agent's commission? This is absolutely absurd! Is there another industry where major transactions, in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, are negotiated for both parties by a person who earns a commission based on a percentage of the sale? I can't think of one. I've got to go, but more on this later.


Blogger Koppie said...

In my neighborhood a fixer-upper can go for $1.2 million. Take a house that was sub-divided into four apartments, and re-sell it as TIC's, and you can double your money in five years. That's what my landlords just did, so Yelena & I have to move. (The good news is that we already found somewhere better.)

1:19 AM


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