Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Real Estate Roundup

Since the last weekend of June, I have had the sum total of exactly one visitor come and look at my house, and I use the word "visitor" instead of "prospective buyer" advisedly since that one person came during an open house and seemed more attracted by the balloons out front than by the house. The only question for me now is how much I want to take off the price of my house - $20,000? $50,000? More?

Given that scenario and the dismal housing market, I have come to the following decision: I'm taking my house off the market. I'm not moving to Portland. At least this year.

Another victim of the Bush Administration?

As much as I want to move, as enthusiastic as I am about Portland, and as excited as I am about the opportunity to transfer, I don't want to give up the equity I've earned in this home, and I don't want to start down the slippery slope of dropping home prices. No reason to buy high and sell low.

My situation is unique - my job here is secure, and the offer to relocate to Portland will still be there this time next year. I may as well take advantage of my advantage and wait it out for a year. The real estate market may very well be better under President Obama. Speaking of which, it's probably better that I vote here in Georgia, a potential swing state, than in solidly Democratic Oregon.

I've got the Red State Blues (hey, that sounds like a country song - I should copyright that line). But at least U.S. District Court Judge Marvin Shoob ruled that the City of Atlanta was right in banning concealed handguns from Hartsfield Airport, even though the NRA wingnuts are still allowed to carry concealed handguns on MARTA and in restaurants that serve alcohol.

But at least I still have a nice Zen Center at which to practice.

At least I still have my options open.

At least I still have my health (cough, cough).

However, I still have the Unsellable Condo. Believe it or not, the contractor is still repairing all of the damage caused in six months by the previous tenants. I stopped by today, and he was very nearly done - just a little touch-up paint, and put back one toilet that had been taken off line in order to re-tile the floor. It's been a month, and still we can't get the stains off of the carpet despite two shampooings and a variety of spot removers and cleansers. Nest step is Stanley Steamer and, if that fails, replacing the carpet. At this rate, I'll be lucky to have a new tenant in by October.

Please don't anyone tell the manager of the Portland office about my decision to postpone the move. He's on vacation this month, Switzerland, and will be disappointed to hear the news. I want to tell him personally when he gets back. I did discuss the situation with corporate management here in Atlanta, and they're completely supportive - in fact, they had their own reservations about me relocating during this sour economy. There are things you do in prosperous times and there are things you do in hard times, and they're not necessarily the same things. After our conversation. we all shared a collective sigh of relief and decided to wait a year and see what happens.

So it looks like I will be occupying Atlanta for about as long as the U.S. will be occupying Iraq, another 18 months or so. To Portland, 2010!

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