Real estate prices here still forbiddingly high


To the Editor:

Before the economy took a tumble, homeowners checked the weekly sales of nearby real estate rather than the Dow Jones Averages, to see how much their net worth had increased. It was a joyous experience by those that owned a home, as well as the real estate agents who were reaping high sales commissions.

Then, the economy faltered as well as the real value of one’s real estate here on the Vineyard. Due to the distortionary government policies that mandated loans to marginal borrowers and required only low down payments, real estate prices went out of whack. Today, real estate salespeople should counsel present property sellers that they cannot expect to secure those over-weighted prices of yesterday.

Personally, I would love to purchase a home here in Edgartown, but the prices of the real estate here are still overpriced. So, like so many of us, we do not even glance at the real estate offerings as they are still unrealistic.

Looking over the real estate offerings at the lower end, we find a seller of a two-bedroom home at the end of a dirt road is seeking $750,000. A building lot can be swept away for a mere $500,000. There are a multitude of foreclosures, but it is difficult to secure financing on a piece of property that you cannot fully inspect until after the sale. Most foreclosures require $10,000 down and the balance in 10 days. Try to find a local bank that will process your application for a home mortgage in less than 10 days.

So, until local home sellers and the real estate sales people wise up and become more in tune with current values, house sellers are going to be stuck trying to sell their homes. As an employed person with savings in the bank for a 25-percent down payment, I can afford to wait a little longer for that ultimate purchase. On the other hand, can those homeowners who want to sell their homes have the same luxury of waiting another two years or so before the economy somewhat improves?

Michael Murphy