Aug 242010

"It’s no wonder these houses aren’t selling. Just look at that crack right there."

Sales of previously occupied homes plunged last month to the lowest level in 15 years, despite the lowest mortgage rates in decades and bargain prices in many areas.

According to the National Association of Realtors, July home sales fell by more than 27 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.83 million. It was the largest monthly drop on records dating back to 1968, with sharp declines recorded in all regions of the country.

According to annalists, the poor economy, a stagnant 9.5 percent unemployment rate and the expiration of tax credits in April are responsible for the decrease.

Or are they? Some individuals, including contractor extraordinaire Mike Holmes, believe the slump is the direct result of poor house construction and under-qualified, fly-by-night contractors.

“Just look at this poor craftsmanship,” said Holmes on the set of his HGTV home improvement series Holmes on Homes. “It’s no wonder these houses aren’t selling. Just look at that crack right there. Something’s off. We’re going to have to pull the tile and floor joists and the roof.” According to Holmes, “minimum code just isn’t enough”. He then went on to rant about “vapor barrier”.

Prospective home buyers seem to echo what Holmes is saying, however. Cincinnati resident Martin Silver has put off purchasing a new house in the past year. “Mike’s right,” said Silver. “These new houses are crap. I’m holding off in hopes that Mike and his crew can come fix my current home. Please help me, Mike. My toilets don’t work, my kid has leprosy and a ‘contractor’ just charged me $25,000 to put up a bookshelf that has since fallen over on my cat Mr. Twinky Toes.”

On hearing of Silver’s plight Holmes added, “Do I have to do this all myself? How many more people need to suffer before something’s done?”

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