Thursday, August 28, 2008

Knitting Wisdom

Tuesday I found out that my office is closing. I just moved to this office after my old company closed the office I was at. I had barely moved-in and now I am faced with the decision of where I want to go. I thought that I really looked into the situation carefully the last time I moved. I interviewed with a lot of company's, asked for referrals and took my time carefully thinking about what I wanted and where I should be. My current manager came very highly recommend - but through no fault of his, in fact he is credited with decreasing the debit by a whopping $250,000 , the office is closing. The office was huge - and literally vacant most of the time, because most agents are working from their homes or on the road. It doesn't make sense for a business to hold onto a building when no one is there most of the time. I only go into the office for client meetings and office meetings. During the summer when my kids are home I work from home.

Regardless of the reasoning and logic of the decision I am still left thinking, "Now what do I do?".

Wednesday I went to a class about REO's - real estate owned, aka, bank foreclosures. Most everyone has heard of the glut of properties ( we don't call them homes when they are owned by the bank), the most common myth is that these houses are the greatest deals in Real estate. They aren't. REO's are a difficult to buy and often a complex and mysterious process. Even following the banks specific instructions ( you must go to special web sites to down load extra forms), there is till no guarantee that you have a bought the house. Have you ever tried or rather been lured into bidding on EBay? The opening bid was $1 or $10 or some amount super low and the auction was open for 10 days. So every day you carefully watched your item and every day you imagined how great it would be to get "it" at such a great price. Then the last day arrived and suddenly bidders showed up. The last hours came and you were out bid over and over again, and the price kept going up until you thought, Hey, I could have just bought this thing a week ago and been done. But now your caught up in the bidding and wanting to win. You lose the bid and the final price is at least a typical sales price or more. Was that a deal? I don't think so.

REO's are a lot like EBay. They start out with a great teaser rate and the offers roll in, fast!. I saw one property the day it came on the market and by noon the next day it had 30 offers. A week later there were 50. Why did they all want the house? It was great and they were dreaming. I tracked the close and sure enough it sold $50k above list price. It sold at market price, - what houses typically go for in that neighborhood.

Well, the prediction is that this REO and short sale market will remain strong right into 2011. That's three years of this nonsense. Which makes me think - Is this what I want to do? I started out wanting to help people, believing that my honesty , integrity and determination were valuable talents and needed. Real estate agent are very optimistic people - and a lot of them are really nice. Everyone in both offices I worked at were generous with their ideas, energy and time. They were sincere and kind. I am always told to never , never give-up, and since I am not a quitter I buy into that mind set, however, there must come a time when the writing on the wall is clear enough to say - move on.

Usually when my mind is full of life's' thoughts like these I busy myself with cleaning or gardening or knitting.

And I have been happily knitting my "Free Pattern" sweater. I have a back almost finished. Knitting is slow because my hand still aches, but I take breaks and massage it and then readjust my hold on the needles, which seems to help. I found a few mistakes and I almost took the whole thing apart. But I decided that the yarn creates these small holes and that I was going to have to live with this special feature. I have carefully counted rows and stitches and I am on track with the pattern so I should be okay. Because when I look at the whole piece it is really quite nice and I love the yarn.

Well now I think I may have stumbled onto a thought.

Knitting wisdom for today - look at the whole piece not the holes!



Kim said...

So sorry to hear that your office is closing. As for REO's, it's like anything else,"if it seems too good to be true, it probably is." The days of the good old fashioned realtor who helped people find a wonderful home will be back. It took a while to get into the mess the market is in and now it will take time to get out. Knitting is a good antidote for all the crappy stuff.

Deborah said...

Hey hon, sorry to hear what you are facing with the office closing. I know you have some tough decisions to make and it will all become clear to you when you give it all the thought that you need. Hang in there. I totally agree with you when it comes to the writing on the wall. Keep up the great job with the knitting!

Krissy said...

That is crazy with the REOs. I hate EBay just for that reason. I'm glad that you have knitting to help keep yourself centered. I'm sure the market will get back to it's "normal" self, eventually. Until then you seem positive about hanging in there.

Shameka said...

I have an idea... since there will be REO's going on for the next 3 years, why not work on the other side of the fence for the bank? You will have a steady stream of business. Or better yet, become a Notary Public. Just sit in on the closings, identify the buyer's an seller's signatures, and get your closing fee, go back home to your kids, and be happy!!! Just a thought.

Holes?? What holes?? The knitting looks great. keep it up. You will cherish that sweater because of all of the diligence.

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