Home Buying in 19119>Question Details

Kristina, Home Buyer in Philadelphia, PA

Mount Airy west sales price decreased by 33% compared to last winter. Should I wait to buy a house there?

Asked by Kristina, Philadelphia, PA Thu Feb 26, 2009

I saw a house in Mt Airy West that I love. However according to trends on this website sale prices in Mt Airy West dropped 33% compared to the sale months last winter. The median listing price in Mt Airy West was 425K but the median sale price just 207K. If the market continues to go down the house that I buy right now can go down too. There were no sales on the neighboring streets - last sale of a comparable property was in the summer 08. Then we still did not know anything about the crisis...So I cannot compare the house price with the recent sales. The house is priced to match the sale prices last summer but with the market going down I am becoming scared to pay this price. Also the owner payed a more for the house in 2006 than he is selling it for now so he might not be willing to negotiate. However I don't want to make the same mistake as he did- to overpay. What should I do in these uncertain times?

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Eager Buyer and Underwater,

Your screennames seem ironically similar in their wit. How are either of you aware of the Philadelphia market. I realize that South Carolina and Texas may be suffering from the current crisis, but this is certainly not the case in every market.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 26, 2009
Also, West Mt Airy "median" sales prices can be very, very deceiving. There are homes which are in the sub $100K and you have homes which can be worth over $1 million. It just depends on what section of West Mt Airy you are talking about.

So you really can't go by median sales prices until you narrow down the size, style and sometimes the steet of the properties.

Hope that helps,

Terrence Charest, e-Pro
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 26, 2009
There are several things to consider in your decision, some of which you had hit upon. No one really knows if or how much further prices will go down. The other thing to consider is what the government is willing to give (up to $8000 tax credit with NO repayment) by the end of November of this year. Also, you would need to consider that the mortgage loan rates may not get any better as well.

I really wish I could say one way or the other on how the prices will be affected in the furture. Unfortunately, seeing the future may work for some people, but it is always blurring. You have to decide on whether you should do this or not. If everyone based their decisions on "What if?" then no one would be doing anything. Just do what you want or need to do.

If you are planning on living in the home for the next ten years or so, if you have a decent downpayment and if you are not getting an Adjustable Rate Mortgage loan, then I would say buy the home. If you are planning on buying a home which is a short sale (the owner owes more than what will be gotten from the sale), then I should warn you that the process may take several weeks if not months to go through.

I could discuss this further, if you wish. Just give me a call.

Terrence Charest, e-Pro®
Century 21 Associates
905 Easton Road
Willow Grove, PA 19090
Cell (Preferred): 877.614.1494
Office: 215.659.5250
Fax: 215.659.5550
“Century 21 is the number one franchise site on the Internet”
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 26, 2009
Thanks for all answers. I asked the question because I was about to make an offer on the house in Mt. Airy WEST and when I found trulia I realized that this neighbourhood went down somewhat and still might continue in this trend. So I am seriously reconsidering how much I will offer. I do not have a crystal ball to see the future of real estate in Phila but I do not want to make the same mistake that people did 2 years ago- they overpayed for these houses and now they are loosing a lot of money. So my safest bet is to make a low offer and try my luck. Just hope that somebody will HAVE to sell even for the lower price...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 27, 2009
If anyone knew the answer to this, they'd be very rich. You are asking us to look into a crystal ball that doesn't exist. If there's a house that you like, is priced right, and you can afford it, I'd say to buy now. My only exception to this would be if you are moving down (from a more expensive house to a cheaper). If that's the case, I would wait for the market to turn around. I
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 26, 2009
No reason to buy now. Prices will go down.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 26, 2009
You should wait. The prices could easily go down another 33%.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 26, 2009
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