Our new readers wouldn't have noticed that we missed doing last month's newsletter. And if you did notice, we apologize, but it was for a very good reason. WE'RE VERY BUSY! What's keeping the team busy is 9 new listings, and working through 4 sales. We sold our 42 Acre estate in East Haddam in 11 months, our Tolland listing in 2 weeks, our Westbrook listings in 90 days and our fabulous Ivoryton/Essex listing in just 60 days.

Certainly, this news does not relate to the news the mainstream media peddles on a daily basis. To be fair to big media, I will share this link to a positive story on the Real Estate market that I read in the Wall Street Journal titled The Real Estate Crisis is Over: CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE

There are some that see this market as an opportunity and some see it as the sky is falling. The latter is cause by the media is doing what Noam Chomsky has been studying and writing about for years: manufacturing consent! For those unfamiliar with his work, there was a 1992 documentary film titled Manufacturing Consent. The exposé illustrated his message of how government and big media businesses cooperate to produce an effective propaganda machine in order to manipulate the opinions of the United States populous. It was an eye-opener. Chomsky continues to put out great work and you should be aware of his book Media Control: The Spectacular Achievements of Propaganda. Its happening now and those who are frozen in fear are products of media and government manipulation through big media that is controlled by the very few. I believe the media played a big part in the Bear Stearns failure...but that's just my opinion.

If one reads the same thing over and over and hears the same things over and over, we tend to begin believing it even it its not true. If we all stop like deer in headlights, the talking heads speaking constantly of the apocalypse of the economy will eventually be right. Back in the 80's I remember hearing the media screaming that making money in real estate was over. And were they ever wrong. Many of us did all right in upgrading our homes to better ones based on increased property values. Real Estate has ups and downs like the stock market. Its cyclical. More important its local.

This is exactly the kind of market which one can make money. Mortgages are at historical lows, housing prices are adjusted for the times, and the choices one has in every price point abundant. On the low end, the foreclosure market is brisk. Working with first time home owners excited that they can finally afford a home, they've quickly discovered if you snooze you lose. My client put a bid in for one of these home to later learned it went for $5K more than asking price. When she asked to see the other 6 homes on that were on the market in that price range we were surprised to learn they all had sold!

Some say that prices will drop further. Others say it has hit bottom here. The sages of stock market investments buy on the way down as they can never really tell where or when it will truly bottom which is why they buy when its moving down...and they make money on those buys. Are you in the real estate market for a flip? You can make money if you know what you're doing and buying well under market on an REO (Real Estate Owned - or - bank owned) home for instance. If you're looking for a primary or second home you're planning on being in for the next 5 or 10 years, don't wait. Make your best deal and enjoy. Some sellers that are very motivated are really selling a ridiculously low prices to get out from under. I have one seller offering a 1 week sale on a brand new 3,200 sf home with hardwood and tile floors, granite kitchen, etc. for $535K. This was a $650K value just 12 months ago. How much lower do you think it can go?

Here's the bottom line. If you're in for the short term for the buy and flip, you can make money if you know what you're doing and buy the right product at the right price in a good location. You are in the riskiest place here and if you're new at this game...think hard before you dive in here. Those who are experienced are at it whole hog.

If you're want to buy a home you plan on being in for a while. Stop worrying and pull the trigger! Why wait to buy when the market turns and you're competing for the house you want. Your home will appreciate when the market recovers from this cycle.

If you're selling, make sure the whole house is in order and pristine inside and out, target your asking price just above your goal (assuming its in line with current appraisal values) and you should prevail.

Now that I have prognosticated to this degree I hope I wasn't pedantic to the point of boredom. I just felt this needed to be thought about and put out there. Now for the numbers. We reporting on the first 4 months of the year and just residential single family home data for our 23 town service area:

New listings fell from 2,121 to 2,022, a drop of 4.6%<br/>Waterford & Salem reported lower average list prices at -14% followed by Niantic/E. Lyme & Chester at about -8%. All other towns move up or down slightly.
The number of closings fell by 158 when we compare it to last year for the same period which about a 21% drop. Sales volumed dropped as well as you might have guessed by about 27%.
The average list to sale price is between 8 and 10%. Not only has the average list price been adjusted for the times, the negotiating range has increased. If that doesn't spell out for you that homes are now priced accordingly then nothing will convince you. Its never been a better time to buy when you consider the historically low interest rates. One reason for sellers to have made such price adjustments and have been negotiating is that bank appraisals are tough! One very experienced appraiser told me that they're not allowed to look at comps older than 4 months or in other words when the lending crisis hit. The average time on the market of home priced right and being prepared for sale accordingly is about 3 to 6 months. We've been able to best that average in most cases with our better marketing and customer service, although we have our exceptions to that.