Monday, March 15, 2010

Buyers: Does It Matter If Your Agent Can't Afford the House?

SFGate's On the Block blog wonders if it matters to buyers that many agents in the San Francisco area can't afford the houses they're showing.  Should this matter?  What else should matter?  What matters in this area?  Should it matter if your agent has had foreclosuresDelinquencies?  Is simultaneously trying to sell his/her own property?  Is a part-timer?  Used "exotic" mortgage products?  Bought at the peak of the bubble? Lives in a neighborhood where values have dropped significantly?  Still believes prices are "going up"Or...what else? 

Read the SFG post here.

(Note: when looking for an agent's ownership history, property records may be accessed here for City, and here for County; if the property is deeded to an LLC, ownership is more difficult to discern.  Lien info may be researched at the Courthouses.)


Neg60K Lady said...

Agents will always say it's a good time to buy. They're no better at determining market peaks and bottoms than a monkey throwing darts. Agents love to claim the market is on the rise no matter what the evidence. Bubble bloggers will use the same data and scream prices too high. We won't know without the benefit of 5-10 years hindsight.

Neg60K Lady said...

Did a quick search of and Albemarle Gisweb. Here are some properties bought within the last year, including the previous selling price. I would consider them quality houses in desirable neighborhoods.

Fontana: 1632 Appian Way
11/16/09: $398,000
07/13/04: $395,000

Dunlora: 861 King William Dr
11/19/2009: $515,000
07/28/2005: $549,900

Mosby Mountain: 1212 Hatcher Ct
08/05/09: $560,000
08/24/05: $509,950

Aschcroft: 555 Lego Dr
09/23/2009: $750,000
09/03/2003: $603,935

Old Trail: 6635 Woodbourne Ln
07/02/2009: $773,950
07/11/2006: $789,000

Granted you need a fairly high family income (150-200K) to comfortably buy some of these houses. I'm guessing many real estate agents couldn't afford them. That said, there are a lot of people around here who do make that kind of money.

But I'm curious: were these fair prices, or are the buyers "suckers," as many on this board seem to think? What would have been fairer prices in your opinion? The Charlottesvile / Albemarle bubble seems to have peaked sometime in 2006. Even if the bottom isn't for several years, perhaps we won't have 5% interest rates at that time.

NoMince said...

They're all big-time suckas, every last one. That includes you Neg60K! Until prices fall to 1997 levels (before the bubble began), nobody is getting anywhere near a reasonable price. See inflation-adjusted chart: