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The house across the street has been empty since the day we moved in. I can’t totally complain, though. The bank-owned property gets groomed every now and then, and I’ve been able to score an extra garbage can to lug out the 10,000 lbs of leaves that collect in my backyard.

The property hasn’t ‘officially’ been up for sale very long, but now it’s going up on the chopping block: a public home auction.

Is this good for my home’s value?

I’m going to cross my fingers, look to the stars and say, “Yes!”

I’m hoping someone scoops it up for a deal — I checked around online and saw ‘starting bids’ of $17K-19K — then fixes it up and moves in. Or, at least, that someone fixes it up and rents it out to awesome people.

When I saw the sign with the dates of a few pre-auction open houses first, I got excited. I really just want a chance to check out the inside of the casa. And I’m interested in seeing how a home auction works. I mean, is a fast-talking host going to stand on a soap box in front of a bunch of cash-heavy investors and homebuyer hopefuls? I didn’t catch anyone over there last Saturday, so I’m hoping I’m around for the next one.

Oh crap … if there’s a next one … I just checked Auction.com, and the property listing says “Bid Pending Confirmation.”

What’s that mean!? Is a sale pending!? I’ll keep you posted!

Yaaay, sort of. Honestly, I’m not really sure what to feel about it, but I guess I’m happier than not that one of the two empty houses across the street is for sale. In fact, I saw three more houses with some Said Real Estate Company sign stabbed into the lawn in the past few weeks. And two days ago, I noticed a For Rent sign on one lawn. Hmmmm.

At Bankrate.com (yes, insert shameless plug), I read that the top 5 housing markets growing right now are:

1. Elmira, N.Y.

2. Pittsfield, Mass.

3. Binghamton, N.Y.

4. Burlington-South Burlington, Vt.

5. Bloomington-Normal, Ill.

I’m sure Lake Worth, Fla., is far from being anywhere near the top of that list. Makes me wonder … Can the real estate market handle more inventory? Is now the time to sell? Where are these sellers going to live? Will they buy or rent? Is this a good sign for my property value? Ugh, the conversations and thoughts of homeowners can be for real lame at times. What’s more, are there people who are willing and, more importantly, able to purchase a home? And, do these people want to buy in Lake Worth’s College Park?

Regardless of the answers to these questions, I’m still happy that one of the bank-owned properties across the street is legitimately up for sale. I’m hoping someone awesome comes and gives it some TLC ūüôā

What’s the state of real estate in your area?

It only took 4 1/2 months or so, but it has arrived.  That is, our first-time homebuyer tax credit check!  It takes less time for a bald eagle to go from egg to feathered beaut.  In less time, we also could have birthed an emperor penguin or a litter of puppies.  Oh well. 

As soon as we got the keys to our new home, dropped off a couple of boxes and got robbed (ahhh, the image of the footprint on my freakin’ pillow remains … at least now I can brush it off as a life experience! ha!), we amended our 2008 taxes to get the $8,000 credit.¬† From our mortgage lender, we heard the checks were arriving in the mail within 4-8 weeks.¬† And, at the time, that was probably true.¬†¬† (Currently, the IRS Web site says: Keep in mind, however, that it is currently taking longer than normal ‚ÄĒ about 12 to 16 weeks ‚ÄĒ to process 2008 amended returns.)

By January, we started asking other people who we knew recently purchased a home and were eligible for the tax credit if they had received any good news.  No.  Well, any news at all?  Nada.  Zip.  So, we put on our Inspector Gadget hat and called. 

IRS: We have you in our system, and I’m seeing that your account has been credited.¬† I’m not sure how long it will be before it’s completely processed, though.¬† Call back in two weeks.

Two weeks later, IRS: Check your mail this week.

And, there it was.  Huzzah!  So, keep your head up First-timers!!


Bye Bye 1515 Condo

Originally uploaded by luvjnx

This 30-story condo at 1515 S. Flagler Drive, got demolished on Sunday morning. ¬†(According to the article, it was the 3rd largest implosion in the US?!) ¬†Happy Valentine’s Day, huh? ¬†It was an eyesore and asbestos-filled, so the people of West Palm Beach were not sad to see it go. ¬†(I’m sure the vultures and rats said otherwise.)

Normally, a construction-related event would not move my arse to get up before 8 a.m. on a weekend, but ¬†I thought this was something I had to see. ¬†We drove over to the island (Palm Beach) and settled just east of the intracoastal, a little south of the Okee Bridge. ¬†Now, I don’t know what weekend mornings are usually like at this hour, but I don’t think it’s as bustling as it was. ¬†Seriously, you would think they were giving away Tiffany bracelets on Worth Avenue or something. ¬†Traffic was backed up and we had to park at least three blocks out, and people, dogs, babies, the news … everyone was up and out to check this out!

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