Chris Griffith: Thank the buyers of distressed real estate


How does one eat an elephant? The answer is one bite at a time.

There were so many distressed properties on the market at one time that is was almost insurmountable to believe that it could ever be behind us.

In a market full of short sales and foreclosures there is a flip side to all of the hardship that has been going on. The enormous pain and suffering that comes from short sales or foreclosure sells more ad time than the stories of the people who are quietly purchasing the distressed real estate.

Most of the time, the general public doesn’t hear about the silent little victories that happen every day. All of those tiny bites off of the elephant are actually beginning to add up.

I found a comment online the other day from a young woman named Michele sharing the joys of fixing up her first home. It read in part:

“We were outside staining the front deck, heard a honk and a woman says, ‘I just wanted to tell you how amazing the house looks, it’s come a long way!’ Little does that woman know she made my day. I can’t wait to post the ‘after’ pictures. About only two weeks until it’s all done!”

I’ll spare you the darling emoticon hearts at the end of the paragraph that only made it that much cuter to read someone’s excitement for daring to take a bite of the elephant and becoming a first-time homeowner.

Real estate is selling and it’s not just investors out there taking another swipe at making a quick buck.

For every person with a hard luck story or who was just a crappy gambler who doubled down when they should have folded, there is someone like Michele who is jumping into the real estate game and helping to clean up the mess.

There are every day, regular home buyers who muster the credit and the courage to take their shot at home ownership now that it has become affordable for them. Lucky for the rest of us who live here, they’re absorbing the excess real estate and brave enough to take on beat up properties that would otherwise be an eyesore.

Home ownership isn’t a tragedy for everyone. There are plenty of people carefully investing in their future and just beginning their lives. They aren’t rejoicing in someone else’s loss, they’re simply making their own way and making room for their adopted pets, maybe a baby or two down the road and, as fringe benefit to the rest of us, they’re rebuilding communities that have seen more than their share of struggles.

The rest of the homeowners and residents in the vicinity really should be grateful that they’ve chosen to invest in Southwest Florida and do a large part to help the area stabilize. They’re providing a service we desperately need and a means to an end of the distressed real estate market.

It probably wouldn’t hurt one bit if more of us shouted “good job” from the street when we drove by or at the very least welcomed them to the neighborhood they’re helping to revitalize. If you’re really lucky your new neighbors just might invite you over for some elephant.

Don’t forget to bring your tools.

- - -

Chris Griffith is a real estate agent at Downing-Frye Realty Inc. in Bonita Springs. If you have a question about local real estate or Bonita Springs, e-mail her at

© 2010 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Related Stories

Comments » 0

Be the first to post a comment!

Share your thoughts

Comments are the sole responsibility of the person posting them. You agree not to post comments that are off topic, defamatory, obscene, abusive, threatening or an invasion of privacy. Violators may be banned. Click here for our full user agreement.

Comments can be shared on Facebook and Yahoo!. Add both options by connecting your profiles.