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Monday, October 11, 2010

North Country Back Roads

The last few days I've been driving a lot of back country roads. Covered good chunks of northern New Hampshire and northern Vermont.

Huge number of houses with for sale signs in front of them. It's at the point where if I drive down a street and the houses don't have signs in front of them, it looks odd.

Now there's a certain number of houses that change hands during normal times. These are not normal times. Behind many of those signs are stories of desperation, failure, and despair. When people have been out of work for months and years, benefits dry up. I know people who take any retraining course available, even if they hate the job the training is for. The do it because it extends benefits. They know the job won't exist anyway.

There are even quite a few places on the lake for sale. I never remember that happening. Usually, places on the water get snatched up quickly. Cottages stayed in families for generations and rarely appeared on the open market. Now there's plenty of choices.

After looking at all those for sale signs, something occurred to me. The place down the road was foreclosed well over a year ago. It's only been listed recently. How many other properties are banks sitting on, not putting out in the market?

Should I be seeing even more for sale signs?

Many the so called recovery is happening somewhere in the country. It certainly isn't here.



  1. It's possible that some foreclosures are in the process of being contested. It's also possible that the banks know that certain properties will assuredly increase in value sooner than others.

  2. I cruised around a bit this morning myself. Saw lots of for sale signs, and many empty properties with no signs...

  3. Stuff is vacant all over. I'm not surprised it's worse around the lake. A cottage on the lake is an extra to a lot of people, and they're just not buying extras right now.

    The economy is in a deep hole. Climbing out is gonna be a long process.

  4. I recently read an artical that banks are holding properties off market and trying to slowly put them back up for sale so as not to overwhelm the markets even further, causing prices to further decline. I believe in the article it said that that the county that Chicago is in had something like 29,000 foreclosures and only about 2,000 to 3,000 were on the market actually for sale. They gave multiple examples of other counties, both large and small, where the same thing is happening. Her in the rural midwest there are tons of empty houses not up for sale yet in my area, but you can tell they are empty and usually have a small notice on the front window etc but they are not yet "up for sale" in the traditional sense. Who knows how long this will go on, the future does not look promising.