Smaller cities that missed the housing bubble have also missed its burst, and people are actually making money off the sale of their homes. [NYT]


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  1. sleze69 says:

    Come on, Ben. Non-subscription articles, please.

  2. This is how the market is where I am. Both houses on my block that sold this past year sold for initial asking price in under a month, one FSBO. Both profits for the sellers, both showing a nice, slow-and-steady rise in residential home prices. Most of the local market is like that, with the traditional pockets of particularly poor property values (impoverished urban neighborhood), particularly good property values (rapidly developing northwest corridor along newish road), and gentrifying nooks (old victorian mansions, cheap)!

    The one place we have seen some of the “housing bubble” problem is in ugly McMansions in tracts of ugly McMansions where people, mostly young professionals with two kids and oppressive student loans, bought far more home than they could afford to keep up with the Joneses. But most people there are still being able to sell out rather than get foreclosed out (at least so far; we’ll see as the ARMs adjust).

  3. hypnotik_jello says:

    @sleze69: What are you talking about? Link works without subscription

  4. noquarter says:

    I keep seeing these articles on the housing bust/crisis, and I keep waiting for it to actually affect home prices. It seems like it’s all talk.

    Here in DC, the average house price went from roughly $500k to $450k. I eagerly await the return to more affordable levels that I keep reading about.

  5. bohemian says:

    We have actually gained value even with most of our rennovation not done. If we get about 10 grand worth of upgraded finish work done we could jack our house value about 40 grand.

    I have noticed lots of houses that went on the market early winter are selling and asking prices have gone up since the fall. It probably also helps that builders have slowed new housing and asking about 80 grand more for a partially finished house of the same model as ours.

  6. rewinditback says:

    Im fixing to buy in the next 6 months… its insanely stressful reading crap like this (its up its down its up its going way down, its on fire, its bursting)… What a nightmare to read, regardless if there’s truth in any of the speculation.

  7. raleel says:

    My town is one of these smaller towns… Richland/Kennewick/Pasco/West Richland, WA. Housing prices have been sane over the last 15 years, no bubble to speak of. Notably, housing is plenty affordable, $100 or less a square foot. Granted, you lose some quality of life things (no metropolitan conveniences), but it’s a pretty nice spot if you want to have kids and have easy access to a few cities.

  8. humphrmi says:

    Towns that missed the bubble aren’t the only ones avoiding the crash, depending on when you bought. I’m only six years into my house & mortgage and I’m a long way from being upside down. If I sold today, I’d still make a huge profit, even though a price crash has already hit my town (suburban Chicago).

  9. sleze69 says:

    @hypnotik_jello: Still not working for me :(

  10. falc says:

    hey fellow consumeristers, i need your advice. should i refinance my 10 year ARM (of which i’m in my 2nd year) which is at 6%? I think we planning on staying in the house for a long time >10 years. Is now the time to pull the trigger to get a 30-year rate? or should i save my money on the refinance and see what happens in 8 years?

  11. noquarter says:

    @falc: I don’t know enough about ARMs and refinance costs and all that to give good advice, but the Washington Post said today that they expected the Federal Reserve to (probably, maybe) lower rates again soon:

  12. humphrmi says:

    @falc: On one hand, as we’ve seen, ARMs suck. On the other hand, rates are going down. Pick one.

    If it were me, seeing all these people in ARMs going bankrupt, I’d count my blessings and giterdone with a nice 6-ish fixed 30.