Houses for Sale Stand Vacant

Houses for sale stand vacant

Slowdown leaves half of homes on market unoccupied

By Lorraine Mirabella
*[(,0,5614758.story). They settled on their new house in July, still without a single offer on their Bel Air house.

“We didn’t want to lose the house in Sparks,” said O’Connell. “I just never thought it would take this long to sell our house. There was a lot of borrowing from Peter to pay Paul.”

The couple moved to their new house in August, hoping that the Bel Air house would have a better chance selling as a vacant home. At the beginning of September, they found a new agent and drastically reduced their price, by $73,000, to $302,000.

“At some point you’ve got to cut your losses,” O’Connell said. “It was costing so much a month to be carrying three mortgages,” totaling more than $3,000 monthly, including the old mortgage, the new mortgage and payments on a bridge loan.

The price reduction worked. O’Connell sold his house last month and now feels relieved to have that experience behind him.

“It was extreme anxiety, and I was short-tempered,” he said. “It just was hanging over my head constantly. I kept hearing, ‘It will sell, it will sell,’ but when? The hardest thing was, how low do you go with your price, and at what point do you decide it’s costing me money to get a certain price? I had to accept the fact that it’s gone to being a buyer’s market.”

The Lombels feel confident that their latest incentive, offering a buydown on a buyer’s interest rate, will bring an offer. Otherwise, they too will have to lower their expectations.

“In February, we would have to re-evaluate and see where things are, and if we would reduce it more or try another incentive,” Debbie Lombel said. “We were hoping ideally it would be sold by November, and the new house would be done.”](“,0,2387143.story?coll=bal-business-headlines”)

That is such a true article. Of the homes I have inspected since Thanksgiving, almost 90 percent of them have been empty.

I concur, in Florida it has been a bit worse, if the house wasn’t empty then the sellers are moving out of state. I would not be surprised to find out that because of the weakness in housing that we have in fact entered an economic recession.