Falling home prices? Inconceivable!
A reader had a bone to pick with a blog post last week about declining local home prices -- such an artfully crafted picked bone that other readers weren't quite sure whether it was meant seriously or with tongue in cheek:
"My husband and I bought our home in 2007 for $450,000 in Baltimore County, made some major upgrades (granite counterstops, fancy faucets, painted, new carpets, new fridge -we even planted a tree)," wrote Beverly Banzer. "We have had another child and were planning on moving this Spring due to an addition to the family (WOOT WOOT) We are going to put the house on the market for $750,000 next month. When we sell, we are going to use the profits as a down payment on our dream home - (a bigger home in Baltimore County) This article about decrease in home values is ridiculous and makes me mad. it is like some people don't understand real estate values at all. it is local, local, local. My home has been every well taken care of and how could it LOSE value? Give me a break. Stoocks are roaring, gas is up, food is up. Why would this type of article come out about housing? Why does the media hate the housing market so much. Come armed with facts about prices, Ok!!"
Frequent commenter Jaded shot back: "Beverly: Sarcastic vs. delusional? I can't tell. Whatever the case I have a bridge in Brooklyn that I'd love to sell you!"
Sparky enjoyed it either way: "'We even planted a tree.' LOL."
"Too bad it wasn't the tree of knowledge," Adam joked.
Beverly roared back to defend, or more likely "defend," herself:
"We Banzers (and lots of our neighbors and others we meet on the street) are a pretty wealthy bunch. It has almost been like money is dropping from the sky. So - tell me - why would housing prices be down. Someone will pay $750,000 for my house. My realtor has told me so in fact."
Some readers took Beverly at face value.
"A good friend of mine had a very nice home for sale in Harford county," zang commented. "He started at $450,000 eighteen months ago. He just closed at $295,000. I don't know anyone that has sold a house in the last two years for the price they wanted. Don't let some fast talking, slick Willy of a Real Estate Agent blow smoke up your skirt, girlfriend. You might want to get professional help from someone to present your home in it's best possible light but don't expect to get your asking price."
Beverly thanked zang brightly for the suggestion but said she's all set where staging is concerned: "We will have cookies laid out and others baking in oven for our open houses. We are going to offer free sodas and coffee and also have 'Million Dollar Listing' on all the TV's as people go from room to room. There will also be some baloons and a quote from Ben Cardin printed out when he said there was never a better time to buy a house. ... Our actions will help us wealthy stay wealthy, especially in our neighborhood. So - if you want to feel weatlhy also and show people that you actually are and can pay a lot for a home - come see us!! "
But frequent commenter Darwin Rules, who has been predicting a return to 1999 prices for pretty much as long as this blog has been around, took the cake:
"Beverly you are wasting your time responding to these fools," Darwin wrote. "Only the few of us with clear heads and clear vision realize that the events from 2007-2009 were just a hiccup, and that Ben Bernanke, with his Princeton education, has led the U.S. back to prosperity with the best of days still ahead of us! Imagine, all we had to do was hit the 'Push here to print Trillions button' to restart the party! My only concern is that you still seem influenced by the naysayers around you. From the description of your home, especially with that wonderful tree, I fail to see why you would accept any less than $1,000,000. In fact, if you serve lattes and capaccino's at your open house, I would prepare for an all out bidding war to the seven figure prmised land!! I am soooo envious!!"
Oh, you guys. Are you trying to get me to do a spit-take on my computer screen?
UPDATE: One thing I should mention for the kindhearted among you -- Beverly's email address is the same as the address used by a frequent commenter who posts under a variety of names, generally tongue-in-cheek. So I don't think there's actually a Beverly Banzer trying to sell a Baltimore County house. (Nexis shows no one by that name anywhere in Maryland.) But the thing about a good parody is you're never absolutely certain if you're being had.