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How much do these two four-bedroom houses cost?
Clue #1: They’re in different cities.
Clue #2: The house in the big picture on top is in Youngstown, Ohio, which is listed by the National Association of Realtors as the cheapest metro area for housing in the U.S.
Clue #3: The house in the little picture on the bottom is in Saratoga, Calif., which is in the San Francisco Bay area, which the NAR says is the metro area with the most expensive housing in the country.
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Hmmmm. Which to buy? On the one hand, just the 5% commission on the Saratoga house would be enough to buy the Youngstown house four times over. On the other hand, it's a long commute from Youngstown to the Bay Area. On the other other hand, the most you can possibly lose on the Youngstown house is $49,900. Tough call ....
BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.