As all Las Vegans have learned, “What goes up must come down!” This has been a brutal reality here in the Las Vegas housing market. Values from a few years ago have plummeted to less than 50¢ on the dollar. Some neighborhoods are experiencing reduced values of ten years ago while others in disrepair have declined to values comparable to the 1970s.
Yes, this is frustrating and depressing, yet there is some good news out there. More and more homeowners are taking responsibility and talking with their lenders. Owners are strongly requesting a refinance or loan modification. With a reduced interest rate or forbearance on a portion of the principal balance, the homeowner will move responsibly forward through this recession and be part of the solution.
The inflated values, my friends, will not be back any time soon. This is just my professional opinion. I do not have a crystal ball. Moderate steady growth will be the course here in the Vegas Valley for the next three to five years.
The upside is that residents in Las Vegas are beginning to look at ways to CREATE value, rather than consume. With good reason small grassroots organizations, such as HomeFreeNevada.org, are partnering with EnergyStar, NV Energy, the Springs Preserve, and Southwest Gas to educate homeowners on how they can cost-effectively retrofit their homes to become more energy efficient. By leading the way with cost-effective home improvements, we are investing wisely in the homes and keeping energy dollars in our pocketbooks.
Retooling the market is a homeowner-by-homeowner process. Whether a longtime resident or a recent purchaser of a bank-owned property, each homeowner can elect to have a HERS (home energy rating system) test performed. Using a thermal imaging camera, the technician can advise the homeowner where energy gaps exist. Effective January 11, 2011, this will become mandatory for purchase of a home.
Improved insulation, caulking, and upgraded windows are all part of the solution. On the sliding scale of your budget, you can improve the energy efficiency of your house and seal the envelope of your home. Saving energy is what it is all about.
It’s a desert out there. The desert tortoise has an indestructible shell for protection from the environment.
Isn’t it time we did the same?