US housing recovery is facing an obstacle: Not enough homes are for sale

  • Article by: SCOTT MAYEROWITZ , Associated Press
  • Updated: May 1, 2013 - 1:36 PM

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Beth Heinen Bell and her husband, Christian, are sick of renting.

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georgepaulMay. 1, 1311:13 AM

Is the Strib a Michigan newspaper, or a Minnesota newspaper? Someone seems to have forgotten.

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antisuburbsMay. 1, 1311:22 AM

Tell me about it! try finding a condo in downtown Minneapolis at a reasonable price right now. you can't!

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carlbsMay. 1, 1311:23 AM

It makes sense to remodel in this market if you plan on staying in the home for a while. It should have been apparent to the Hart's that they wouldn't recoup the cost of the reno if they sold right away. In any situation, you shouldn't expect to recoup ALL the expenses of a reno. Just enjoy it.

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martiankingMay. 1, 1311:24 AM

My wife and I would like to sell our house, but we took a huge hit in the price fall, especially in the city of Minneapolis where we live, that we would still not break even if we did sell. let alone having any money from the sale to buy a new home. That is the main reason most people are not selling. Secondly, my income has not increased, as most Americans have not, during this recovery period. Most of that money is going toward executive pay and corporate dividends. That is a fact.

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kalimotxoMay. 1, 1311:59 AM

martianking, as a first time buyer last year, I didn't face the same issue. But I would like your opinion, and any others from people in your situation. You say you can't sell because you won't make what you paid (are paying). Fair enough. But I assume you won't be living on the street after selling? You'll buy another place? In that case, surely you're not expecting other homes to stay level, while yours appreciates to the point where you'll accept an offer? And if not, then why not sell for less, and buy for the same? Why wait until you get a price high enough for you, when you then will have to pay more to buy the replacement home? Surely it averages out, or am I missing something?

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stribboogerMay. 1, 1312:02 PM

Good. After a few more years of shortage maybe my house value will regain enough value so that my mortgage will no longer be underwater.

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FrankLMay. 1, 1312:05 PM

This article hit the point I have been trying to make, prices are below the replacement value of homes. That is why people won't list their homes, even the ones not underwater on their mortgages. Going through the Parade of Homes one can see the builders are using lots of low end contractor grade materials and trying to hide it with a glitzy appliance or front door.

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FrankLMay. 1, 1312:11 PM

kalimotxo, many move up buyers tend to go into a new home and as the article states, prices are below the builder's cost. Thus, a seller runs the risk of ending up with less home for the same price than what he just sold. So most sellers are staying put.

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wallwallMay. 1, 1312:21 PM

stribbooger- You are absolutely correct. I remember in the mid 90's having realtors coming up to the door telling us what we could get for our house if we we're to sell. Now that the value is in the toilet why not prop up the construction business and built some more. In the same time keeping the interest rate around 3%, while I've collect around $7 in interest in 10 years on my savings account. Boy have things changed in this country .

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espietzMay. 1, 1312:32 PM

kalimotxo, say you owe $250,000 on your house, you paid $280,000 for it and it appraises for $230,000. Are you really going to try to sell it at a loss? Don't forget you have to pay a realtor about 3% to sell it. Can most people write a check at closing for $26,900? (loss plus commission). Not even including the closing costs that the buyers usually pays. That check at closing is cash out of pocket, you can not finance that. That's a situation many people are in, and hence why many are not selling. It's not right or wrong, it's just reality. The old adage holds true, "The best time to buy is when you have nothing to sell."

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