MADNESS IN THE HOUSING MARKET

The little altercation on our cover may be a slight exaggeration. At least for now. Nobody’s really slugging it out over “for sale” signs. But next year?

A few facts for future shock effect: In August of this year, 2,085 people in Dallas County sold their homes – 66 percent more than did so in August 1977.

The total sales in August, $111,838,395. And that’s up 81.5 percent over last year. The average price of a house was $53,639.

That little 3-2-2 charmer with built-ins, WBFP, CH/A and fenced yard you’re living in isn’t a house, it’s a growth stock. You know about the squirrels in the attic, the odd chugging noise the furnace makes, that unsettling give in the floor of the shower, and the rumors about what the neighbor’s kid has been smoking. Should you live with this knowledge a year or two longer, in hopes of tripling your investment instead of merely doubling it? Or should you sell now, and move up to that 4-3-2 with quarters, pool, and loads of extras?

Well, above all, don’t panic. Our indefatigable staff has been out in the jungle of Dallas real estate, finding out why people are making fools of themselves, and uncovering a few helpful hints to the buyer and seller. If we only fuel the madness in the market a bit more, that’s your fault, not ours.

Oh, and by the way. That 4-3-2 you’re about to buy has a leak in the garden room ceiling, the drain in the tub in the master bath backs up, and there’s a funny smell in the fireplace when the wind’s in the east. It’s a steal for $249,500.

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