Monday, August 25, 2008

renting again...

Well, after nearly 2 years of unsuccessfully trying to sell our house in Clinton Township, we have accepted another renter.

She seems very nice and her children and dog seem very well behaved. We are hoping this will be a positive experience for all.

The selling process turned out to be much more difficult than what I had expected it to be. I figured our very cute house would be snatched up quickly. All the work had been done on it and there was really nothing more for someone to do other than move in.

But when we first put it on the market, the market started to go on a downturn for housing. It has a lot to do with those loans that were being advertised for the past 5 or so years; 0% down, only interest loans, 4 year ARMS. People who couldn’t normally afford to buy a house started buying houses and quickly went into foreclosure. Other people who thought that they could only afford a small house, after visiting a mortgage lender would be misinformed about what they could afford and would try for the McMansions, only later to realize that not only do they have to pay the high mortgage, but all the utilities to heat/cool that size of a house and continue to afford the lifestyle in which they were accustomed, like a cottage up North, 2 SUVs, a boat, some off road vehicles and snowmobiles, etc.

The other thing that wasn’t working for us was that, when it comes to jobs in Michigan and more specifically the Detroit area, everything touches on the auto industry. When the market is down for automobiles, this area is hit hard. When gas prices rise, and the auto companies are still only manufacturing SUV-type vehicles that get about 8 miles to the gallon, this area is highly affected.

So a lot of people not only lost their jobs, but then lost their homes.

We started asking $164,900 for our place at the end of 2006. It was clear early on that we were overpriced, but we were in competition with other homes in the area that were selling at nearly the same price. We came down several times, but it always seemed like we were playing catch-up – in which we never caught up. In April, we came down to $129,900, which was less than what the house was estimated for back in 2003. This estimate was prior to adding the deck, the privacy fence, fixing the bathroom and replacing the entire kitchen. But we are now competing with bank-owned homes.

We had 21 seperate showings of the house over the course of the year and a half that it was on the market with a real estate company. We had one offer that was a low-ball offer which we countered and obviously scared them away.

Reasons given as to why someone wouldn't purchase the house; no basement and small rooms.

Since our last renter moved out in January 2007, we have had to maintain the house, the cost of two mortgages, the utilities to keep the house going and anything else that might come up. Fortunately we have been able to do this and still live the way we are accustomed to.

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