La Maya and her compañera, La Bethulia (you’ll have to really know your Bible to figure out what modern name that one alludes to!), are in the market for an investment house, which they would like to rent to a couple of their nieces. Their money is in hand. Their loan is preapproved. They have made bids on two foreclosed houses, and they’ve lost out on both of them!
How? They’ve been nosed out by other bidders. The latest was a nice little place in a choice middle-class neighborhood of quiet, beautifully kept homes. Price was, astonishingly, under $200,000 in the normally pricey North Central area between Third Street and Third Avenue. Though the bedrooms were tiny, the house had been cherried out, with expanses of very nice tile and a huge, drop-down dead GORGEOUS kitchen (you would not have believed!). It appeared to have a new roof, new double-paned windows, new everything. The front yard was xeriscaped and required only a light clean-up—Gerardo’s crew could have restored it to its pristine glory in under two hours. The back needed some work, but nothing crushing. The pool had been drained, wrecking the plaster, and so it needed to be replastered—probably around $4,000 to $6,000. But if it didn’t need new equipment (given that the previous owners had replaced everything else, chances are the pump and filter were fine), even with that cost you would get a very nice, ever-so-much-more-than-livable house in a sweet neighborhood for tens of thousands of dollars under the normal market price.
Two other buyers swooped down on the house at the time La Maya and Bethulia went after it. They actually bid up the price above the asking price!
Dang! Does this sound familiar?
Maybe our property values will return to something more or less normal during our lifetimes, after all.