Will I live long enough…?

 Posted by at 6:30 am
Mar 242011

A student recently asked if I thought she’d live long enough to see a return to the “good days” in the real estate market. It was both funny and not. My reply was that I’m sure any of us will. Things will improve, certainly, but I’m not sure we’ll ever have those boom days again for a long, long time.

Ironically, MREIS (Maine Real Estate Information System) issued a monthly press release the same day. In February of this year 482 homes were sold across the state–2.43% less than a year ago. I’m not sure that’s a statistically significant number (we’re only talking about 12 less houses), but the trend is clear.

Looking at the three month “rolling average” by county is certainly interesting. Piscataquis County continues to be a bright spot, with sales UP 15.5%! Penobscot County is down 9.63%, Somerset County is down a whopping 26.32%.

Of course as I’m fond of pointing out–if you are interested in buying or selling it’s important to realize that you create those statistics when you buy or sell. The statistics do not have to “create” you.

Mar 132011

The things you can find on the Internet! If you haven’t noticed, I’ve changed one “widget” in the sidebar on the right to connect to local information. Because of the rural nature of our area, some of the items may not be particularly helpful, but I thought the local information would be more important and useful than national real estate news.

Some additional sites you may find helpful:

Redfin.com: In addition to listings, this site offers information such as how long a home has been for sale, its last sales price, and its current value. (These value computations on sites of this nature can be significantly inaccurate.) It also provides virtual tours to listed homes.

Trulia.com: Like Zillow.com, which offers satellite views, Trulia’s “heat maps” show how hot or cold an area is based on prices, sales, and popularity among its users.

?Google Maps and Bing.com/maps: For a bird’s-eye view, even 360 degrees in some cases, these amazing map sites offer a virtual perspective of available homes that’s truly hard to beat.

Walkscore.com: Is an interesting site that rates any address based on the walking distance of its nearby stores, restaurants, schools, parks, coffee shops etc.

SchoolMatters.com: A Standard & Poor’s company, this site offers parents (and potential home buyers) an objective rating of public schools and public school districts by region, including test scores and demographics. GreatSchools.net offers similar info and ratings on private schools based on region.

HUD.Gov is the official website for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (H.U.D.) This site lists HUD homes and provides information for home buyers, including financing options and home buying programs available through the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).

Maine State Housing Authority offers a wide variety of information including details regarding a great loan program for first time home buyers.

Homeloans.va.gov: This site houses information about government home loan programs specifically for veterans.

You’ll also find links to a number of sites in the sidebar to your left by scrolling down the page. Happy searching and learning!