Las Vegas Lunacy: Part 2

Susan Walsh

It seems I touched a few nerves out there with my story of Katieand her search for a good deal in the Las Vegas real estate market.

I thought, given today's foreclosure numbers, that I might address a few of the many many responses I received to the blog.

To put it all in perspective, RealtyTrac today reported that Nevada continues to lead the nation with the highest state foreclosure rate. One in every 23 homes in Nevada is in some kind of mortgage trouble. That's six times the national average. I spoke to RealtyTrac's Rick Sharga this morning, and mentioned Katie's story. He wasn't at all surprised to hear of the feeding frenzy going on and said it was not just investors, but many first time home buyers as well.

Now I want to give a shout out to AE on the blog. Trust me, it's not the first time I've been called a "downer," and usually not so politely either, but you try reporting on the biggest crash in housing history, and see how you do. I'm guessing you haven't watched any of the stories I've done on all the investor opportunities today's market affords.


And I'd like to know where exactly in my last blog that I said anything about Katie's experience being a bad thing?

Crazy? Yes.

Bad for Katie? Sure.

Negative? No.

There's nothing we want to see more than competition in the hardest hit housing markets.

How else are we even going to approach a recovery? Sure, Katie was looking for a good deal and didn't get it, but that's simply a function of the war zone that is Las Vegas today. After the bombing comes the inevitable anarchy and the inevitable opportunity and opportunists.

I'm glad LizardKingInc has found a way to profit as well as get the homes into the hands of owner-occupants. Given how buyers like Katie are being ignored by the banks, I think it's helpful to have the investor middle-man doing the dirty work, even if it will cost Katie a bit more.

As for her going to a builder, I'm honestly torn. We need to see the home builders recover as well as the overall market, but I hate to see a good potential foreclosure buyer have to go to a builder. Inventories may be low in Las Vegas right now, but there are more foreclosures coming to market every single day, and I have no doubt that the banks are holding on to many more than we know, letting them loose slowly so as not to flood the market and push prices lower.

I make no apologies for being ticked off at Katie's Realtor. As a mortgage banker type I know wrote in:

Makes me insane. It would be sweet justice for banks to somehow black list her and refuse to lend to any client doing business with her. I would love for one of her clients to come to the closing table and say, “I didn’t get as much money as wanted on this sale, so I am not giving you your commission.”

Questions? Comments?