Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Day 854

When I met with the real estate agent this afternoon, I got a dose of reality that I wasn't expecting. I've known for some time that real estate prices are falling in Dallas, but I had no idea how far they had actually dropped. When the agent showed me a comp list of what similar properties in the area were selling for these days, I was shocked. I had actually been inside a few of the houses on the comp list and never dreamed that they would ever be priced so low. Let's just say that if I sold my house just before the market peaked, I could have made 40% more than I would probably make today. I've owned the rent property so long that I'll probably still make a small profit if I decide to sell. I understand now why there is so much talk these days about people being underwater on their mortgages. If you bought in 2005 you'd be selling at a loss today.

Hindsight is always 20/20. I would have been much better off selling the rent property years ago, rather than convincing myself that I could always sell the place later, after a succession of renters provided me with an income for a while. Like many others, I used to think that real estate would never actually fall in value. I never planned on modern houses coming back in fashion either. My place use to be a very desirable rarity for people who liked such things. Now modern houses are so commonplace in Dallas that the rent property is just another modern house without all the amenities of the newer ones.

I liked the agent though and will probably use him to list the place. I wasn't even insulted by how little he thought my place was worth. Hey, how can you not like a guy who loves Citroen automobiles and wears a vintage Hamilton Ventura watch? The guy had an encyclopedic knowledge of Dallas architects too, and said he had enough mid-century modern furniture stored away that he could stage the place without charging me anything extra.

If I haven't learned the perils of hanging on to things too long by now, I probably never will. The house isn't the only thing I should have sold a long time ago. I had a beautiful vintage Vox Mark VI guitar in the storage warehouse that got totally ruined when water leaked into the room one Summer. Some of my favorite Bulova Accutron tuning fork watches are no longer repairable because I waited too long to restore them. Now most of the Accutron repairmen are dead and the supply of spare parts is gone. Nothing lasts forever. Apparently nothing is valuable forever either. Ashes to ashes and dust to dust, or so the saying goes.

Bella is today's Dalmatian of the Day

Watch of the Day


  1. We're looking to buy at the moment and the asking price of most we've viewed has been ~10-15% below what the vendor paid 5-10 years ago.

    I also have a habit of hanging onto things for too long!

  2. When they first began to appear on ebay the Timex Sinclair computer was bringing some real money. I had all the pieces, including the 64kb memory extension, but by the time I got around to listing it, all the people who apparently wanted to collect one had made their purchases. Ah well, it's sort of sentimental. I did things on that people said couldn't be done!