Monday, November 25, 2013

Take Your Time to House Hunt, Love HOAs and Support Immigration Reform.

This article in The Atlantic a few days ago really caught my attention. It's entitled, "What Will Happen to Grandma's House?"

The thesis is that gazillions of aging Baby Boomers will be trying to downsize and sell their homes in the coming years, and a lot of them won't have buyers. As in, about a third of them.

The Captain has alluded to this possibility before in predicting the future of the real estate market. It's one of many factors suggesting that it could be a really, really long time before the housing market takes off again. It's demographics, supply and demand. Oh--and a crappy economy, where security in good-paying jobs is something Boomers tell Millennials *really did happen*.

Driving through suburban neighborhood after neighborhood along the Front Range in Colorado, you'll see that so many of them seem old as tattered books, with a lot of older people living there and few young folks moving in. Architectural styles are kind of dated. Many have deferred maintenance. Proximity to good public transportation is rare to non-existent, and cars are required for the most routine tasks. But the same is true, and worse, in other places across America.

How cool is this?
That's a lot of oak-cabineted kitchens with black refrigerators, sixty-percent furnaces gasping away, settled foundations, failing cast iron sewer lines and more what-not that goes with older homes. Along with, no doubt, homeowners associations with seriously underfunded reserves. And Colorado, along with other cities in the West, Southwest and the coasts, is one of the good places to be with a pretty good outlook.

Buffalo and Schenectady? Hmmm.

We can't do much about demographics, but we can try to tweak supply and demand.

First, support immigration reform. Immigrants buy houses. Lots of them.

Second, love your HOA.

Third, the house you want at the price you want to pay is out there.

For Boomers, someone said to take out a reverse mortgage before it's too late. But the Captain would never go that far.
Out with the old and in with the new!