Paper Money - Paper Tales

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Penn Quarter Conundrum

This excerpt taken from a session of the Washington Post's "Real Estate Live" Q&A with Maryann Haggerty seems to say it all...


The Lovely Penn Quarter, D.C.: (Q) My friends and I came up with the idea last year that we could make a living by buying condos, living in them for two years, selling for a big profit and repeating. The appreciation would be more than we could make by working and the profits would be tax free. What could be better, right?

So I bought my first condo in Penn Quarter at the end of last summer. Now all my friends have decided to hold off. They say that they aren't sure real estate is "it" anymore. But I'm counting on my condo to appreciate significantly over the next two years to help me pay down some credit card debt I've been carrying for a while.

My condo hasn't really gone up in value since last summer, but I'm thinking the market is just taking a healthy breather before skyrocketing again. Should I be getting worried at this point or are my friends just being chicken littles during the market's pause in appreciation? I don't want to own my place if its not going to increase in value soon. Help!

Maryann Haggerty: (A) You, my dear, are a real estate speculator. In a normal market, no one would expect that owning a home for just two years would provide enough appreciation to cover the cost of selling, let alone to live on. But I'm assuming that you have a very high tolerance for risk, and that's why you decided to take this gamble. And it was a gamble, not an investment, right? You knew that?


  • This guy is the greater fool

    By Anonymous darren in Gainesvillefl, at 8:55 AM  

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