Interesting articles coming out now, my favorite is “The Freefall is over”. To call what we have been though as a nation a recession is putting it mildly, but that we are beginning a recovery is likely. I remember in school, (not going into how long ago that way), simple economic indicators would tell economists how the country was fairing. Well folks the little needle has moved a little to the left! The “freefall” of equity loss has stabilized; I found it interesting that the doomsayers have reported of $4 Trillion loss of equity. Actually how much of that 4 trillion was inflated?

Is your home worth as much as it was before the bubble? I know my own home is up in value, not by much but still up from 2004. If I had sold it during the bubble I might have made a bundle, but you know what, I love my house. I would also have bought at an inflated price and might be in serious trouble now. There is a great web site out there www.zillow.com that you can type in the address of your home and it will give you the statistics. A great chart will show values for 1 year, 5 years or 10 years, in dollar amounts or percentages. I don’t believe zillow is right about estimate of value, there are too many intangibles that software can’t compensate for.

Anna Maria Island has been spared, at Sato Real Estate we felt the freefall, and we winced when we heard of a foreclosure or another property going short sale. We advised our clients to take their properties off the market if they didn’t have to sell. We were blunt and honest about pricing homes, telling many what they didn’t want to hear. Revamping our style to include talks of owner financing, preapproval letters and 20% down. Our rental department has flourished as folks have turned to rental income to help offset the costs of a second home.

We will be the first to recover; our beautiful white sandy beaches and the gorgeous warm waters of the Gulf will always be the destination of many. Tourists, retiree’s or second home buyers are out there and they are looking!

Debi Varelis

Sato Real Estate