Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Hide & Seek and a List

After the dancing visions of caviar and champagne on the deck of a Caribbean cruise ship faded slowly into pragmatism I started asking myself questions. How did these people know to make me an offer on the condo? In this day and age of identity thefts any possibility of unauthorized access to what one considers confidential information makes one feel a little paranoid. Should I start locking up my personal belongings? And what is the current going price for condos in my area? Is the $420 offer good, bad, generous or what? If I sell where will I live? Do I want to go house hunting again?

I wanted to first figure out how I felt about the idea of selling but finally broke down and called my mortgage broker a few minutes ago. Turns out the couple interested in my condo and I have the same broker and after they had finished viewing the condo site and floor plans and were lamenting that all the units they liked were gone she mentioned that she had already sold one of those to me (technically, that's not true since I found the property before I found her) They don't have my personal information or anything. They had just asked her if she thought I would be interested in selling and given her a price to discuss. That's better.

I also found out that the last condo of similar specs as mine sold for $459 which means the $420-435k offer isn't as generous as I initially thought. So now I have 3 options - keep, sell at 435, ask for 459. If only there was a crystal ball to tell me which decision would work out better in the long run.

On a much more positive note, I not only got done with my holiday shopping list complete with names & numbers but I also came up with some great gift ideas for a few of them.

$20-30 category:
Gift #1 - $30 - movie pak (blockbuster coupons, m/w popcorn bags and candy)
Gift #2 - $23 - baby pak (Burt's Bees Baby Bee buttermilk bath & soap)
Gift #3 - $20 - coffee/tea lover's pak (2 Ikea large coffee mugs and 1/2 lb columbian or nice tea)
Gift #4 - $23 - starbucks lover's pak (Starbucks mug filled with candy and a Starbucks gift card)
Gift #5 - $25 - spa kit (scented candles, homemade bath salts and a custom CD)
Gift #6 - $24 - kitchen virgin kit (copper-bottom saute pan from Target & bottle of olive oil)
Gift #7 - $30 - cocktail hr gift set (Shaker and recipe book)
Gift #8 - $25 - iTunes gift certificates, Sephora gift cards and Best Buy gift cards

I still need gifts for mom & dad, my younger sister, brother & his family, my two best friends and J. Everybody else is getting something from the above list! That is, the people who are not getting cookies.


At 11/09/2005 3:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

take it and run!

At 11/09/2005 3:13 PM, Anonymous Dan said...

argg, it won't let me edit & I hit enter too fast. I meant take it & run. 30k is 30k and your rent isn't too bad. The bubble's about to go bust and you are better off waiting. Just my humble 2 cents.

At 11/10/2005 8:45 AM, Blogger Madame X said...

I kind of agree with Dan-- the signs all say teh housing market is about to get a lot better for buyers and worse for sellers, and if you can get a good price for a condo that doesn't even exist yet, I'd go for it and then see what your money will get you in a few months.

At 11/10/2005 11:02 AM, Anonymous sarah said...

I kind of disagree with the above commenters. Seattle is supposed to be one of the stable markets with demand far outpacing supply in the downtown area and you have a great location. I doubt very much prices there will go down anytime soon.

At 11/10/2005 5:34 PM, Blogger Caitlin said...

home sales data is pretty public though too. A lot of times addresses and sales prices are published in the paper.

Also the capital gains tax on your sale would count as short term because you've owned the property less than 366 days, so you'd be taxed basically at your marginal rate (or maybe the net would even push you into the next bracket?)

And interest rates are bound to rise even if prices soften a bit

so I wouldn't make the decision based on just the shiny dollar figure.


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