Hello HIB readers. Wow, a whole two weeks without an update. Did you guys miss me?

For those of you who are interested, little Aurora Jane is officially the light of my life. Mom and baby are doing well as we all adjust to our new circumstances. I’m back to blogging, so let’s get caught up.

After all my complaining about the MLSLI Sold Properties tool not working, I was able to get it to work on my wife’s laptop, a fairly generic Dell running Windows XP.  Just for the record, I’ve attempted to get that page to work on at least a half dozen different machines, running Windows XP and 2000, using Firefox, Internet Explorer and the new Google Chrome browser with no joy. I even attempted to run it on one of my HPUX workstations at the lab with no success.

I suspect a subtle bug in the JavaScript, but the guys at MLSLI obviously wouldn’t know a subtle bug in their JavaScript if it painted itself purple and jumped about on a harpsichord screaming, “I’m a subtle bug in your JavaScript!”

That’s a Blackadder reference, for those of you playing along at home.

Anyway, I was able to extract data on sold homes in September and will soon be writing a brilliant post on that very subject. Watch for it here.

Here are some quick hits from my saved links over the last couple weeks.

  • Apparently there will be group art show at the Conklin House this Friday, October 17th.  Artist Sara Furey notes that she’ll be there. She links to the Conklin House Blog. I’m interested in the idea of a Conklin House Blog, but the current iteration is less that useful since it only has one post.
  • Over 5000 people showed up at a recent foreclosure showcase in Uniondale looking for bargains in the teeth of the real estate blowup. The big attraction was an auction of 35 foreclosed homes.

    A warning to bargain hunters, these types of auctions can end up being no bargain at all for the buyer. You are often buying these properties sight unseen and may even be responsible for evicting the current occupants before you can take possession or settling outstanding liens. In this market, it’s generally better to buy a REO (bank-owned home) directly from the lending institution. You can inspect the home and be assured of getting clear title.

  • Realtor Tom McGiveron advises people to Sell Now Or Hold On…For A Long Time. It’s rare to find a working Realtor who understands and accepts what the Case-Schiller housing index says about current real estate market.

    The short version is that historically, housing prices go up about 5% to 6% per year. In the boom years, 2000-2005, housing went up at about three times that rate. Since there was no fundamental reason for house prices to go up that much, except for a lot of bad loans chasing the market, house prices won’t go back up until those unearned gains are eaten up by price drops or  time and inflation.

    Read the whole thing. Tom makes it nice with multicolored charts, graphs and other visual aids. And while you’re there, check his October foreclosure report.