The Way To Lose Is Simple...
From CHRIS COURSEY & THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
"I used to claim the title of the only person ever to lose money in the history of Sonoma County real estate."
"Not anymore. Thursday's story by Mike Coit said the number of home sales in the county hit a 10-year low last month, and the median home price dropped 7.7 percent from a year earlier. Which means I could have plenty of company in my real estate misery."
"It's actually pretty easy to lose money in Sonoma County's housing market, and it always has been - except, perhaps, for those few crazy years between 1999 and 2005 when annual appreciation was hitting 15, 20 and even close to 30 percent."
"The way to lose is simple: Buy high and sell quick.That was how I lost money. And I did it not once, but twice."
"The first time was in 1981. We bought a place near the fairgrounds for $69,000 (Our mortgage interest was something like 11 percent, if I recall correctly.) Three years and two kids later, when we needed a bigger house and a quieter street, we sold for $72,000."
"After subtracting the real estate commission and other costs, the transaction was a net loss.In 1989, another go-go time for Sonoma County real estate, my ex-wife and I settled our divorce when I bought her half-interest in our house in the Junior College neighborhood. The price was based on the value of the place at the time. When I sold it four years later - during an ebb in the market - it went for $15,000 less, and I was on the short end again."
"I tell these tales not to seek sympathy, but to illustrate an important point: Real estate prices wax and wane. There's no guarantee that housing is a good investment. And there's always a risk of losing money."
"The median, even at 7.7 percent below last year, remains prohibitively high for many would-be buyers. Likewise, it remains lucratively high for homeowners who purchased their property more than a couple of years ago."
"Me, for instance. I bought my current house in 1997 for the then-median price of about $220,000.In other words: If and when I sell, I'll no longer be able to say I lost money on Sonoma County real estate. And all I had to do was stick with the market for a quarter-century or so."