How's Real Estate in *Your* Neck o'the Woods?

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SagerXX's picture
SagerXX
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How's Real Estate in *Your* Neck o'the Woods?

Hey all --

Just wanted to get a little reality check out there in the far corners...  I'm wondering how real estate (residential and/or commercial) seems to be doing wherever you are.

Around here (about 2 hours north of NYC, near Poughkeepsie) residential is hard to read.  There are a lot of for sale signs, but there were a lot of those before things got hinky.  This area (New Paltz) was in the process of turning over to a certain extent -- a lot of the locals around here grew up in the area and there was a fair amount of expansion in the 70s-90s as the younguns grew up, got married and bought houses to settle down in.  Now a lot of them are selling and either moving into retirement communities or going down to Florida (like the couple we bought our house from in '05) or wherever.  So there was a fair amount of property changing hands as it was and I'm not certain it's forced or distressed selling.  In fact, a small but significant new starts are popping up, FWIW.  The wife & I are looking to sell (assuming things cohere a bit longer) come Spring, so the few positive signs help buck us up a bit.

Commercial real estate seems to be on a bit of a down.  More vacant storefronts than there were a few years ago, although it's not crashing.  Most local small businesses (including ours) seem to have the attitude of "we're hanging in there, we think we're okay, we're just hoping things pick up."  Our personal experience there was not to re-up our lease on the storefront our Pilates studio was in (in the nearby town of Rosendale) this past July -- the studio is now run out of our home (plus our main vein in Westchester County), so we are certainly not helping things from the landlords' perspective (we're just lucky our biz doesn't require a commercial space!)...  

The various larger local malls do *not* seem to be thriving however, especially the Galleria in Po-town.  Everytime I'm in there (just bought some shoes at DSW a while ago) it's d-e-a-d dead.  It makes me uncomfortable to be in there, frankly.  Spooky.  Sad, I guess, too.  The only place that seems to be doing business is the...drumroll please...food court, including such culinary notables as Wendy's.  What's *that* say about our poor nation?

SO:  how the heck it is where you're at?

Thanks in advance for the 411...

Viva -- Sager

SagerXX's picture
SagerXX
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Re: How's Real Estate in *Your* Neck o'the Woods?

Dangit.  I guess you can't edit the original post in a thread...

The next-to-last sentence in the second paragraph reads "In fact, a small but significant new starts are popping up, FWIW."

It should read:  "In fact, a small but significant number of new starts are popping up, FWIW."

And I was an English major...[wry grin]...

idoctor's picture
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Re: How's Real Estate in *Your* Neck o'the Woods?

Here in the Midwest it is not too bad although the land lords I know have been dropping the amounts on their commercial rents to try to keep businesses from leaving. Houses are mixed but down overall. Big houses are hurting. Some empty spots in strip malls now. No growth that I can see. We never saw the boom in housing to begin with.

Friends of mine in Arizona said it is awful. The only thing they saw a lot of cars at was all you can eat buffets. The Home Depot & Mall traffic was down right scary (down).

Roundhouse's picture
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Re: How's Real Estate in *Your* Neck o'the Woods?

Here in Central Eastern Washington, all I see is For Sale signs, some have been up over two years.  Building permits are off nearly 60% from '08 and raw land (which was selling like crazy) is dead.  From what I hear, the banks are a big part of the problem (ya think?) so when two parties agree on a price, the bank refuses to loan that amount, fearing they will soon be underwater on the loan (or so I've been told)

Our kids tell us it's worse in Seattle/Tacoma area but I've no personal info to share, only their observations.  Another son is in Calif, near SF and says the commercial market is tanking bigtime but again, I have nothing to compare it to personally.

Without a hint of sarcasm, I wish you luck selling your home.  Around here, it almost requires a cash buyer.  Hopefully, lending will improve by spring for you.

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Re: How's Real Estate in *Your* Neck o'the Woods?

Sager - I'm not too far from you here in Southern CT. It is VERY very hard to tell what the market is doing. I've been looking at homes for the past couple of months. I have seen some buying and I have also seen some pretty steep haricuts on some homes, but in general, it's hard to tell. I haven't seen too many for sale signs spring up in the past month or so. Realtors keep telling me people list year round, but then you look at the charts Chris has been popping up(from calculatedrisk), and it looks like sales and listings fall off a cliff in the 2nd half of each year. I've been trying to find foreclosures, but it seems those are primarily in the larger population cities(50K+) of CT. The suburbs and more rural areas seem to be doing ok. I think the 8K tax credit helped to prop up the market a bit over the summer. We'll see what happens now that the program is winding down, or not, if it is extended.

The local malls seem to be pretty full as far as stores go. There's some empty storefronts here and there, but nothing to the extent that I was expecting earlier this year. I know the office vacancy rate for SW CT is over 15%. But then I see traffic on the highways as worse as it has ever been. Even the trains are full. That's the story from CT!

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Re: How's Real Estate in *Your* Neck o'the Woods?

Hi SagerXX-

I've been watching the Real-market for a few years and had been commenting on the sprawl going on around all the smaller cities in the early '00 - 07 and now that has all but stopped here in southern MN.

We put our lake place on the market in April and sold it in July with 20 + offers - all but one were contracts for deed. We took the one with the bank loan (which was a couple brothers & wives), who apparently were the only ones with a bank loan. We got that many offers because - if you price it right - you can sell anything! It went for 40K under the taxed value (and the county called us to see why we sold so cheap), but that said - it was as if we lived there free for the last 15 years and we got 100% of our money out of it. So what if the neighbors just found out their property was worth less. . .

One the lighter note - the Mall of America was packed the other day. . . you could barely get through.  It was a scrap booker's convention day. In the past - I have seen soooo many foreigners going through there but none this time. Wish they would hurry up and drop the dollar already - businesses could use a de-valued dollar more than a bail out.

Peace On

EndGamePlayer

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SagerXX
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Re: How's Real Estate in *Your* Neck o'the Woods?
Roundhouse wrote:

Without a hint of sarcasm, I wish you luck selling your home.  Around here, it almost requires a cash buyer.  Hopefully, lending will improve by spring for you.

Hey man -- with any luck, some up-and-coming bankster will think it's a perfect "weekend getaway" house (2 hours from NYC)...and he can use his holiday bonus and pay cash.

As for everybody else -- thanks for your posts.  Interesting to see how different things are in various spots...

Viva -- Sager

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Re: How's Real Estate in *Your* Neck o'the Woods?

Sager ,

    In our part of the world  there  are still houses being built .  My son, the carpenter,  has kept steady work and still there are not enough decent houses for the new people moving in.    Some of the old farm places are over priced and they will sit until  some big wig decides they want a place to come hunt.  Some of the historical houses that have character are over priced as well  because they need fixing  . $130,000 for 3000 sq ft  with an older basement vs.   paying  $150 a square ft . for a newer home .  So Way less for an older one .

  Commercially things seem well enough... a factory is hugely expanding . A total redo on a historical movie theater and   the eating establishments are full.  But I will say ...at good old wal-mart it is not hard to find a parking space .   Many local people  just want to buy from Home town sources  and the big  time shoppers  go to the city  as  it is an event for them.

 The schools are ranked high but have had cut backs  .  Crime has stayed the same . But  we are double the amount of delinquent accounts  such as credit cards and hospital bills.  It is also harder to get people to let loose and give to a good cause.

 Yes very interesting indeed .

 Are you not able to put your place on the market at all yet ?  If you sold  you could move to a small rental until you were able to make the big move.    Hope things will move well for you .

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Re: How's Real Estate in *Your* Neck o'the Woods?

Sager

Here in southern suburban NYC, not too far from you, looks pretty dead to me. 3 bankrupted or abandoned construction projects in my neighborhood and the local condo conversion (high rise) is mostly rental because their sales stalled well over a year ago.

North of me there are several properties on the market for at least several months, but the cheaper houses seem to be moving quicker, even amongst the riverview properties.

Take care

D

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Re: How's Real Estate in *Your* Neck o'the Woods?

Here in the UK reality has yet to set in. Can you believe that house sale prices have actually gone up a few percent in each of the last three months? Rents are still poor though.

Commercial property does seem to be tanking. There are new developments here in Reading that have been empty for several years now. Shop landlords have to let to £1 shops or charity shops, because there are still business rates to pay on empty premises.

New build property is still being built, but not a lot is being sold. Up to now, developers relied on buy-to-let landlords to buy their excess stock, but the rents will no longer cover the mortgage interest, never mind the capital. Instead the developers put the new flats up for rent, which reduces rents still further. I have found that the only way I can let my flats in a reasonable time, is to undercut the rents asked by all other landlords in the building. (I have a big incentive to re-let quickly because I have to pay council tax of over £100 a month on vacant flats containing furniture)

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Re: How's Real Estate in *Your* Neck o'the Woods?

Here in western NY you probably wouldn't notice there has been a recession.  There were a lot of for sale signs last spring, but not much moved.  Prices don't seem to be moving either.  Businesses have not really been badly affected.  A local auto parts store is having its best year ever and a Ford dealership couldn't keep cars on the lot, even before cash for clunkers.  A lot of people locally work for the state, so, given the sad state of the state budget, there could be a delayed reaction when its time for a new budget.  OTOH, things may just go on as they have because the state still needs jails and residential facilities for people with developmental problems, which are the primary state employers locally.

Overall, real estate prices have barely changed in the 17 years we've lived here.

Doug

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Re: How's Real Estate in *Your* Neck o'the Woods?

Here in central VA it is fairly stable. UVA is a sound economic engine. One of our clients is a real estate office. Average DOM is is up to 190, listings outweigh people looking and the vacanicies are heavy. They aren't pessimistic (yet). Another client is a commercial developer, plugging away like nothing is going on around him. Personally, I wouldn't want to be in the market now as a seller.

PS The further you get from UVA the more micro strip mall vacancies you see. One with 15 units by Wal-Mart has 8 vacants.

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Re: How's Real Estate in *Your* Neck o'the Woods?

Interestingly, My wife and I drove to Wintergreen VA. from Amelia VA,where we farm several hundred acres, this past week end.

There were "for sale" sign several each 1/4-1/2 mile. As we approached Albemarle the incidence of signage decreased. We made this

observation 4 days ago. Being always in the market for arable farm land in central VA. I can say the prices haven't fallen,however,the

closure rate has. Sellers of farms aren't yet motivated sufficiently to reduce price.

 

robie

husband,father,farmer,optometrist

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Re: How's Real Estate in *Your* Neck o'the Woods?

Since I posted this morning I have been outbid on a repossessed flat I was going to buy here in Reading, England. This was originally sold in Sept 07 for £185k. The owners never made any payments after Dec 07, and it was reposessed in April 09. (Seems like a long time doesn't it?)

It was put up for sale in April for £160k but there were no takers. Finally in June it was reduced to £145k and I offered £140k. Someone outbid me but was unable to get a mortgage, so they accepted my offer in August. My solicitor has been working on this since, but due to it being a repossession it does not get removed from the market while under offer.

Today, I have been outbid again. I told the estate agent to let them have it. I am so annoyed!

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Re: How's Real Estate in *Your* Neck o'the Woods?

Sager -

Kind of squirrelly here in SE VA.  Lots of people coming and going with the military transfers in and out.  It is very much a buyer's market and the prices have slipped about 15-40% depending where on the "Ooooooo, nice house" spectrum you are.  The upper end homes have gotten clobbered.  Our neighborhood is typical VA Beach upper middle class - homes were on the market for an average of 4-6 weeks before the implosion.  I can't remember the last time a house sold in the neighborhood going back a year and there have been at least a dozen listings in that time.  We're lucky, we haven't depreciated as much as other neighborhoods and as we have no intention of leaving anytime soon we aren't too concerned about it.

Two stories:

There is a "new" (2 yrs old now) development near us - $1M+ "Estate" homes, from $700K "Manor" homes and from $500K "Cottages".  There are 8 Estate homes, 4 manor homes and 18 cottage homes in the development.  The SE Virginai "Home-a-rama" was held in the Estate home section.  Only 1 of the Estate homes has an occupant - the builder.  5 other families live in the other 22 homes.  There are over 100 vacant lots with no current or planned building.

There is a 5 year old "prime" real estate development just down the road from us.  70 lots on 70 acres so the lots are pretty good sized for this area.  Back in 2004, the builder constructed 5 homes that originally listed for ~$750K.  He sold 1.  5 years latere, there is still one family living in the neighborhood - if 4 empty homes and 65 empty lots constitute a neighborhood.  The homes are now listing for $350K.  There is a new home going up at the far end of the development - just about as far away from the original 5 as you can get.  Listed for $388K.  I don't know if it's sold, but if so, my guess is the new guy didn't like his 'neighbor'.

SagerXX's picture
SagerXX
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Re: How's Real Estate in *Your* Neck o'the Woods?

Thanks to everybody's who has posted.  Seems like quite the mixed bag out there, although evidently lower-end stuff is better off -- as are places which never saw much of a run-up during the bubble.

To answer a question from Full Moon, we can't put our house on the market yet because my other half isn't yet convinced that it's the thing to do -- something similar to the psychological buy-in people experience when they bought a stock at X and it's at X-10 (on its way to X-20). 

My overall plan is to be nimble and as free of monetary encumbrances as possible, so as to be able to move when moving is a good thing -- if folks are familiar with the "Community Building" thread (esp. the Homestead posts) you know what I'm talking about.  But basically, if we can get our equity out asap and redirect it to a life of lower-maintenance living...  

Those familiar with our situation know our small biz has taken a hit to earnings of about 30% in the last year.  Getting rid of the house (and renting) would save us enough each month that we could stay afloat even if another 20% or so came off the table.  And to have cash in hand on top of that would be sweet (we could then invest in a more intelligent way of living).

But as is so often the case, one partner sees one world and the other sees another.  Welcome to the wild world of relationship.  Laughing

Hey, she's come this far (PMs, stored food, et alia)...  I reckon she'll come around.  And Spring (where we are) is when the market's hopping.  We're low-end enough (the upward movement in the RE market is -- according to reports -- in the exact place our price would be...<=$300K) that, barring all heck breaking loose -- which it might -- a reasonable person could think we'd be able to sell.  

This time, I want a flat lot that doesn't require lawn mowing.  (I didn't want a lawn to mow before we bought this place, but I didn't stick to my guns...  See if I make that mistake again.)

Again, everybody -- thanks for your posts.  I hope it goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway -- I trust the people here in a way I could never trust the Media.

VIVA! -- Sager

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capesurvivor
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Re: How's Real Estate in *Your* Neck o'the Woods?

Here on Cape Cod, which I consider the boonies, houses have fallen from their unrealistic highs and are more "normal". They are selling and, while the state faces fiscal problems, it is not the disaster area of some, at least in my little area Of course, They did add a few new little taxes to raise revenue...

Bad time to be in the trades...I had a roof job, house painting, etc. done for what I consider a reasonable rate. People are happy for the work and somewhat fearful of the winter.

I am not going anywhere and may look into solar hot water, depending on amortization time.

SG

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