Things are changing
Ashley and I were sitting on the couch this morning, sleepy-eyed, but trying to make the most of our few moments together without child interruption as we sipped our coffee. You see, life has changed quite a bit for us this past month with having a newborn.
I’ve been saying this since our two-year-old was born. Having babies is a young man’s sport. And I don’t feel like a young man these days. The ongoing interrupted sleep is taking its toll on the both of us. For example, on Tuesday I was doing a brick workout preparing for my next triathlon, which is this weekend. A “brick” is where you put two of the three triathlon sports (swim, bike or run) together in one workout. Tuesday, I swam almost a mile and then intended to run a 10k. I was doing really well, too, especially since I had worked legs the day before and hadn’t had enough sleep.
But as I neared the 3-mile mark, I suddenly felt a twinge on the back side of my leg, and it felt like a cramp was coming. I stopped, waiting for it to subside. It did not. At that point, I realized it was not a cramp, and that I had strained something.
Injuries like this are not the norm for me. But I’m not used to training without proper rest. And when you do not let your body recuperate, things break… or strain as in this case.
As Ashley and I sat there talking, we thought about how different things are for us. You see, all four of our children are in very different phases. And all have very different needs. And those needs are putting a pretty big workload on us at the house — especially with the newborn and the toddler, who is full on in the terrible twos. (I don’t like calling this period “terrible.” Two is a great age. I think we should call it the tremendous twos, because it takes a tremendous amount of effort to get through and because you have a tremendously curious, energetic and emotional child.)
But as we thought about how much things have changed for us in such a short period of time, we realized that we have already been through these stages before with our other children. But because of the time between them, what we need to do feels so unfamiliar, and frankly, daunting.
Suddenly, I snapped to and realized it was column morning. I looked at Ashley with wide, tired eyes and said, “I have no idea what I am going to write about today.” She smiled and suggested I relate our conversation to you and compare it to how the market is changing in such a short period of time. And I thought that was perfect.
You see, we saw the effects the mortgage rate increases had on the market this last month. There was a dramatic change. One of my agents told me it was like the buyers dried up overnight. She only had one closing last month, and that was me buying a distressed house through her. And she typically does a lot more volume than that.
Another one of my agents told me she was having to educate her sellers. You see, they listed a house and didn’t get any offers in the first week or in the week after that. They got scared and wanted to do a price reduction. That was when my agent, who is very experienced, stepped in to educate them, and I think you should hear her advice.
You see, we have grown accustomed to multiple over-list priced offers only days after we list a house. It’s been going on for at least the past two years, but that’s not normal, and we’ve never experienced anything like it.
But that’s not what is happening now.
The market is returning to something that we have been through together and is what is more normal. You will list a house, get a few showings, and then expect an offer at list price, or maybe below, within the first month. In other words, your average days on market will be about 30 days. This is what a normal market looks like. And that is the stats the MLS is showing right now for the past 45 days.
But just like with baby stuff, it feels unfamiliar because it has been so long since we have experienced it any other way. And like with all change, there will be an adjustment period. But in my mind, I don’t see this as the market crashing. At least not yet. It’s just an indicator that the mortgage rate increase cooled the market, and we are entering a new normal. Don’t be afraid of it. Just be prepared, and don’t overextend yourself expecting quick closings. Instead, be patient and plan on deals taking longer to close.
Joe and Ashley English buy houses and mobile homes in Northwest Georgia. For more information or to ask a question, go to www.cashflowwithjoe.com or call Joe at 678-986-6813.
Great analogy Joey.