I’m a bit confused. Just two weeks ago, Matt Woolsey’s latest real estate list in Forbes placed Seattle as the 8th best real estate market in the country. Now this week, Forbes writer Joshua Lipton pens an article titled Selling Your Home In A Down Market, which highlights the difficulty many people are having in selling their homes. So where did Mr. Lipton find the example of this phenomenon that he chose to highlight in the article? Believe it or not… super-special Seattle!
When Doreen Cardin first put her house on the market, she was hopeful that the house would find a buyer right away. Cardin’s husband, a mechanic, was unable to work. The loss of an income had proven tough for the young couple, who live 20 miles north of Seattle. They needed the money.
So they first spent some cash fixing up their three-bedroom, 1,600-square-foot house, with a new coat of paint, carpeting in the family room and flooring in the bathroom. They hired a local real estate agent and put the house on the market for $300,000.
That was five months ago.
There have been a couple of offers since then, but those both fell through. The Cardins have now hired a new realtor, slashed the price down to $279,000 and even thrown in a $5,000 buyer’s bonus. Doreen Cardin blames the lack of real interest in her house now on the cold weather, which discourages people from visiting open houses, she says, and also a more general sense of financial unease in her community, as people face new challenges like higher gas prices.
The couple recently moved into her parents’ home. They’re starting to consider whether they should rent their house, at least for now.
Okay, so it wasn’t technically Seattle Proper, but 20 miles north puts them roughly in Lynnwood / Mill Creek area, which I’m certain is being included in Mr. Woolsey’s definition of Seattle for the “Best Housing Markets” piece.
So I guess the question is, if the Seattle market is so great, how can there possibly exist people like the Cardins, who put their home on the market in Spring (the best time of the year for home sales) at 80% of the median single-family price in Snohomish County, and still haven’t sold? Hmm…
I liked the comment from Grvetti the other day that calling Seattle one of the “best” housing markets is like calling “the last part of a ship to sink ‘temporarily the most driest.'”
(Joshua Lipton, Forbes, 11.29.2007)