23 December 2008 0 Comments

Future geeks of America unite

Geeks in the makingBraving adverse flight conditions both my brother and his son made it to Bend yesterday – toting gamer mags and an extra xbox 360 controller across the country Gavin was clearly excited to hang out with his cousin. It wasn’t long before the two boys plugged in and got to it – Halo 3. Our world soon got smaller as they immersed themselves in another. The best part was seeing them talking to one another via headsets – as they sat, um, right next to each other. The headsets came off shortly after they were made aware of the situation. Should be a great week ahead.

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1 November 2008 0 Comments

The warmest Halloween + the thinnest Real Estate Section

Two interesting things happened this weekend – The first time I can remember a Halloween night being so unseasonably ‘warm’ in Bend & The first time I have ever seen the Bulletin’s Real Estate section being so thin, so thin that both sections had no inserts, not a single sheet in the fold. Why even have two sections?

MummyGranted, we’ve only lived in Bend for 8 years, but since I can recall Halloween nights have always been a bone chilling expedition and at times thwarted by scattered showers. To boot, this years Halloween fell on a Friday night, TGIF + H.

My sister cruised over to hang out with Max and I, so we popped in a Mel Brooks fav – Young Frankenstein. Max had never seen it and thought it was pretty funny ‘for an old movie‘ LOL. It was a fun evening of trick-or-treats, movies, drinks , and little Halo 3 (toward the end of the evening). Laurie and Ana came back w/ a boatload of candy from what was obviously a well executed high fructose corn syrup run.

This morning I cruised out the front door to pick up Saturdays paper. On Saturdays The Bulletin (our local newspaper) runs their Real Estate Section – which has been getting thinner and thinner over the past six months or so. Today it was the thinnest I’ve ever seen.

Skinny Real EstateI remember when that section was super thick, I mean fat. Full spread ads by brokers, full page ads by builders, agencies, etc. Granted, they were making money hand over fist. I too encouraged my home builder clients to advertise in The Bulletin in addition to our other cross-media venues. Why not? The market was hot, they were making record profits, and everyone – at the time – was in the red ocean. The Bulletin was loving it, selling ad space like there was no tomorrow at fairly high prices, no doubt making record profits as well.

Well, not any more, and not for a while. I’m thinking we’ll see that section staying pretty thin for some time. There really is no incentive to advertise – What’s the incentive to buy a home in an overpriced market when you can just wait for a foreclosure or short-sale? It’s harsh, but true. This market is overpriced – even when moving here we thought – ‘Really, you want that much?’.

If you’re going to try to sell your home (or homes) in this market, place a classified. In the paper sure, but for sure online, it’s free. Less is more these days, and it’s apparent now that less should have always been more – but living in a  100 sq. ft home takes the adage to a whole new level.

The Real Estate Market is still alive and well in other markets though. I have friends selling $2,000,000 – $4,000,000 condos in NYC no problem – for a medium sized residence in the The Big Apple that makes sense. Granted, we’re talking two completely different markets, but $1,000,000+ for living in the heart of downtown Bend? That’s funny.

Regardless, over time I hope to see those pages fill up again with home prices more in check with reality. And a return to a cool, crisp, Fall evening for Halloween would be nice too.