Posts Tagged “credit crisis”

Not for saleI suppose it was inevitable. Whenever there’s a problem, psychics, mediums, gurus, witches, warlocks, and assorted other “New Age” types always amble in and claim to solve them using incantations, spells, offerings, dancing, hand-waving, appeals to “energy” and “balance” and whatever other idiotic but enlightened-sounding hoo-hah they can cook up. So it only stands to reason that they’re now preying on people involved in the real estate market, promising to magically make everything better, as the Boston Globe reports (WebCite cached article):

Enrobed in black and swathed in jewelry, standing in the kitchen of a foreclosed Peabody house, Salem witch and self-described psychic Lori Bruno feels a heaviness, a constriction, and she scatters salt, wafts incense, splashes holy water, and clangs bells in an attempt to expunge it.

“Energy goes into things, and it soaks up,’’ the 71-year-old explains after performing a short blessing on the property, in a cluster of homes on a Peabody side street. “You clear that energy.’’

With the real estate pendulum seemingly suspended midswing — experts predicting foreclosures to rise this year, a continually cluttered inventory, home values in many cases dramatically low, and a national home vacancy rate above 10 percent — some are seeking metaphysical intervention.

But it’s not just New Age cranks and freaks who are in on this racket; there are some Christian exploiters, too:

But when energy or the spirits aren’t called upon? The saints are.

Specifically, St. Joseph, husband to the Virgin Mary and patron saint of carpenters. Sellers looking for help will bury a small statue of St. Joseph upside-down near their realty sign.

“Some people perceive this as a good-luck charm; others see it as something much more divine,’’ said Phil Cates, founder of St. Joseph Statue LLC, which sells kits with 4-inch and 8-inch statues.

I don’t have any statistics to back it up, but my skeptical, ametaphysical intuition tells me that none of this bullshit helps at all.

Here’s the thing about the real estate market — and the same applies to just about any other market, too. It’s in the shitter for the simple reason is that pricing is all out of whack. Buyers aren’t able to get as much credit as they once could, due to the aftereffects of the 2008 credit crisis, and sellers have unrealistic ideas about how much their homes should sell for, because of the housing bubble that burst and caused the credit crisis. This has created a pricing gap which most people simply refuse to cross.

Unfortunately, the real estate market will not improve, until people are willing to cross that gap, and then start doing it. Until that happens, all the New Age bafflegab and metaphysical nonsense in the world, will make no difference at all. The bottom line is twofold: If you’re having trouble selling your house, lower your price; if you’re having trouble buying, find a way to raise your offer. This is the kind of economic compromise by which all markets work. It’s time to stop assuming that real estate is somehow magically different from any other type of market.

Hat tip: Consumerist.

Photo credit: Kerim.

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