Lancaster County PA Realty Check: No "Blood in the Streets"

No "Blood in the Streets"

French RevolutionMeyer Rothschild, 1744-1812, the founder of the Rothschild banking dynasty, was famously quoted for saying, "Buy when there is blood flowing in the streets!"  He meant, buy when no one thinks there will ever be a market for real estate again.

Many buyers is today's soft housing market seem to have bought into this frame of mind.  I keep hearing from buyers, "I'm looking for a real estate investment, but only if I can STEAL it!"

Not all or even most sellers are desperate to sell at this moment.  Even if they were, they have high mortgages to cover in many cases.  There are more listings on the market than normal, but there is no glut on the market in most locations.  For these reasons, most real estate prices have been softening, but by no means collapsing.

Greedy low ball buyers risk never finding a deal that they can recognize as a good value.  They can waste many hours of their real estate agents' time.  They can offend sellers to the point that no one wants to deal with them.  But they're unlikely to end up owning a good investment unless they become more realistic.

Right now is a great time for buyers to find great deals in real estate.  Unusually good values are available.  But (thank goodness) there is no blood in the streets!                                            


Brian Schulman offers expert real estate consultation and services in Lancaster County, PA.  To contact him, visit



Brian Schulman offers expert real estate representation for buyers and sellers of homes in Lancaster County, PA.  To learn more, visit

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Comment balloon 10 commentsBrian Schulman • September 23 2007 08:06AM



I don't think there's going to be blood in the streets either, at least not for our markets in PA. It's amazing sometimes how people in our market buy into the national media hype about how bad the market is and then try to relate it to ours. It does make for some interesting conversations though. Still, it's a great time to buy so I'm not complaining.

Posted by Andrew Trevino, Wilkes-Barre Homes For Sale (ADT Real Estate) over 11 years ago
Brian, I have often said in this market, it is a great time to buy. Many people make a ton of money when the market is depreciating. Since the market is cyclical it will come back. I think in some parts of the country there is a little blood in the streets, look at all the foreclosure's .
Posted by Missy Caulk, Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate (Missy Caulk TEAM) over 11 years ago
I agree with Missy that you have to apply the Rothschild quote figuratively.  And in contemporary terms, this is the panic that Rothschild was talking about.  Foreclosure rates are high and no one is certain whether or not they have reached their peak.  The "silver lining" is the belief that once we hit bottom, things will turn around.
Posted by Eric Kodner, Wayzata Lakes Realty: Twin Cities, Madeline Island (Wayzata Lakes Realty: Eric Kodner Sells Twin Cities Homes) over 11 years ago

Great post Brian,

Love the graphic and the history quote.  We can and should all learn from what has happengraphed in history

While no one can accurately predict the future, we can all look back in history to try to better understand what lies ahead.  The economic indicators do not fare well for our country and especially our industry.  It's not a matter of if we go into a recession, it's a matter of when.

When it happens, and I personally think we are about 6-8 months into our next one, the blood will start to flow.  Jobs will be lost, homes will be listed, inventories will rise, the buyer pool will shrink, money will dry up (more than it has already) and we will all be astonished by how bad it really can get. 

Posted by Fred Miller (National Real Estate Pages) over 11 years ago

Andrew, I agree that our markets are not as bad as some areas of the country.  Sellers are not about to give up their properties for pennies on the dollar.  Still, there are great values out there!

Missy, you're certainly right, it's a great time to buy.  Even though there is a lot of pain in some areas of the country (including yours, I imagine), Rothschild was speaking literally of blood in the streets.  So far we have had at least a somewhat orderly housing market.

Posted by Brian Schulman, Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552 (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA) over 11 years ago

Brian - I never heard that quote from Meyer Rothschild, but I really like it and how you tied it into our current market.  I do believe you have one heck of a point that shouldn't be ignored by consumers or us professionals.

Posted by Jason Sardi, Your Agent for Life (Auto & Home & Life Insurance throughout North Carolina) over 11 years ago
Eric and Fred, there's no question that there's pain in the housing market, and that it may get worse before it gets better.  My point is not to minimize the seriousness of housing market problems - it's about the counterproductive attitude of some buyers seeking to capitalize on those problems.
Posted by Brian Schulman, Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552 (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA) over 11 years ago
Jason, Rothschild is said to be the father of international banking.  He had the trust of the king, who invested his own fortune through Rothschild.  Rothschild bought properties for practically nothing during wartime, when there literally was blood in the streets.
Posted by Brian Schulman, Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552 (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA) over 11 years ago
The expression in DC is "When there's a dirty bomb in Georgetown."  I think a lot of buyers want to wait until the market is bouncing along the floor, but the floor keeps moving, and you never know when the high bounce is coming!
Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) over 11 years ago
Patricia, I never heard that expression, but it definitely has the same meaning!
Posted by Brian Schulman, Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552 (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA) over 11 years ago