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House Hunting? It’s Not a Buyer’s Market Everywhere

5/7/2009

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Editor’s note: Reporting from L.A. for the Los Angeles Times, Chip Jacobs recently found that while the median price in Southern California may have plummeted, homebuyers are still engaging in bidding wars in more desirable neighborhoods. Some excerpts from the article:

"Every open house I've been to has been a zoo," said [potential homebuyer Sam] Rivero, who has examined 35 properties during the last three months. "If you follow what the [general] media say, you'd think sellers are desperate to sell a house, but when you get there it's totally the opposite."

So what's going on?

Real estate brokers and investors say would-be buyers misunderstand how the drop in housing prices has affected desirable neighborhoods. Just because an abandoned house in a troubled part of San Bernardino County might be going for $200,000, it doesn't mean you can get a nice place in Sherman Oaks for that amount – or even twice that amount….

…As an example, [real estate agent Tracy] King cited a 1,625-square-foot, midcentury-style fixer-upper in La Crescenta priced at $299,000. Forty people were standing on the front lawn within an hour of its listing, she said. Ultimately, there were 80 bids, 15 of them exceeding $400,000. The winning bid was $480,000.

"What I'm seeing is that perceived bargains are going in multiple offers for more than the asking, and buyers are very disappointed," King said. "Real estate is hyperlocal, so a [regional] $250,000 median price is meaningless here."

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Share Your Thoughts


Are you a potential homebuyer who has been as frustrated as Sam Rivero and some of the others in this story? If so, please share your experiences.





Print Date: 2/18/2020
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