Wednesday, July 20, 2011

How is the real estate market?

That question has replaced “how are your girls doing?” as the question I am most often asked. It doesn’t matter where I am or what I am doing, people always want to know about the real estate market.

These are some of the headlines from just yesterday regarding the market:

“A Bright Spot in the Housing Market”
“Why the Drop in Foreclosures IS NOT Good News”
“Optimism in the Housing Market”
“Housing Market Could Take a Generation to Recover”
“Freddie Reigns in US GDP View, but See No Double Dip for Housing”

Whether they are trying to sell more newspapers, get more viewers for their TV shows or increase the hits on their website, everyone has an opinion on the housing market. Here is mine.

The question is which market are we talking about? Real estate markets are local down to a very narrow area. Central Illinois real estate didn’t ever get as hot as Las Vegas or Phoenix, and as a result we have not had the level of “correction” they are going through now. We build primarily in Peoria, Bloomington and Champaign. I am constantly amazed at how different those markets are in both good and bad times. Within those communities, certain subdivisions sell better than others. We spend a lot of time and effort making sure we are building the right home in the right subdivision in the right town.

Ask the family in Las Vegas who spent $600,000 on a home that is now worth $400,000 how the market is. Then ask a recent client of mine who had multiple offers on his home in Morton in the first ten days on the market. You will get two completely different answers, both of which are right.

We believe there is always a market for high quality, fairly priced homes. That combined with excellent customer service is what we strive for. While things are generally slower than they were a few years ago, we are still busy. We continue to build and have had time to catch our breath and look at all aspects of the business going forward. We have added staff, worked with our suppliers and sub-contractors, and looked at ourselves to see what we can do to become the best custom home builder we can be.

And my girls, they are great. Olivia is nine and starting fourth grade. Campbell is six (and a half she will tell you) and starting first grade. They keep us busy with soccer, golf, dance, and everything else. They don’t know or care how the real estate market is…

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