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Most recent articles

Del Mar Beachside

Now that Spence has been featured on every major media outlet as the prince of real estate, the stuff in his book carries more weight – whether it’s true or not.  He makes the point at every stop that Starbucks is good for real estate values, so…….

The owners of the Beachside Del Mar also own the Del Mar Highlands Town Center.

Posted by on Mar 2, 2015 in Bubbleinfo TV, Del Mar | 1 comment

Inventory Watch – Similar to 2014

This season is looking a lot like last year, with some reluctance.  No flood of new listings, but buyers are more hesitant too:

New Listings/New Pendings 2014
New Listings/New Pendings 2015
2nd in Feb
3rd in Feb
4th in Feb

The New Pendings coming in 10% under last year’s count isn’t a big deal, but it probably means that we won’t be seeing a full frenzy in 2015.

Over the last five weeks the big RSF auction had skewed some of the inventory averages below because they had it listed on the range $10,000 – $36,000,000.

Click on the link below for the complete NSDCC active-inventory data:

Posted by on Mar 2, 2015 in Inventory | 0 comments

Difference Made By Lower Rates

Maybe prices are softer than we thought? By John Burns:

In the last 15 years, home prices have grown 29% faster than incomes, primarily due to falling mortgage rates. Since the monthly payment determines what most buyers can afford to pay for a house, we thought we would show you the powerful stimulus that lower interest rates have on home price appreciation.


A typical family earning $60,000 per year can afford a mortgage payment of $1,800 per month, which qualified them for a $245,000 mortgage in the year 2000 when mortgage rates were 8%—– and qualifies them for $377,000 when rates are 4.0%. In other words, each 1.0% drop in interest rates in the last 15 years has allowed home sellers to raise price 12%+/-.

Since last March, rates have fallen 0.7%, a 9% stimulus to home prices. For all but the most affluent home buyers, payment trumps price, and sellers now have the ability to raise prices again.

Price drives profit, which is why the industry always talks about price. However, payment drives price. In addition to talking about price, please always calculate the payment. It will help you stay in touch with the consumer.

Subscribe to John’s free newsletter here:

Posted by on Mar 1, 2015 in Interest Rates/Loan Limits | 4 comments

Super Pantry

2014-02-09 16.46.15

Read two articles – an excerpt from the first:

Fournier’s new home is about 3,840 square feet. Her superpantry is a perk that her previous home, also in Carlsbad, didn’t have.

In the old home, she didn’t even have a basic walk-in pantry. She kept her bulky Costco items and second refrigerator in the garage. As a result, most of the time, she could only fit one car instead of two in the garage.

“This way, we keep the garage neat and can fit two cars,” she said. The superpantry is a place for the family “to keep our mess organized.”

An excerpt from the second article:

The pantry is super-sizing.

No longer just for storing potato chips and soup cans, the traditional kitchen closet is becoming bigger, more luxe and more multifunctional. Architects, contractors and real-estate agents say upscale homeowners are asking for walk-in rooms that serve as workspaces for everything from food prep to gift wrapping to bill-paying.

These new “super pantries” are becoming more common as American kitchens have become more open, merging with living rooms and family rooms—with kitchen islands serving as the entertainment hub of the home. Now, some homeowners are moving the clutter and clatter of kitchen activities behind the scenes, where they are less visible to guests.

“An open floor plan is great. But not all aspects of the kitchen are great to look at all the time,” says Peter Pfeiffer of Austin-based Barley & Pfeiffer Architects.

A report by the National Association of Home Builders last year showed 85% of respondents put a walk-in kitchen pantry on their “most wanted list,” with 31% saying it was an essential/must have” and 54% said it was “desirable.”

super pantry


Posted by on Mar 1, 2015 in Ideas/Solutions, Local Flavor | 4 comments

Zestimate Tune-Up?


When they first rolled out the improve-it-yourself feature, it turned out to be no more than an opportunity to list your upgrades – because little or no value was added to your zestimate.  I received this by email today:

Hi Jim,

Today Zillow announced enhancements to the Zestimate® home value that allow homeowners to edit their home facts on Zillow and, depending on the new information they provide, potentially see an immediate impact on their Zestimate. For instance, if the square footage of a home is out of date on Zillow, the homeowner can correct this information and see an adjustment in their Zestimate.

Can listing agents use this feature to affect the Zestimate?

We encourage you to work with your seller prior to placing the home on the market to ensure all information on Zillow is accurate. If your seller is concerned about the Zestimate, check the home facts and make updates where needed. We suggest you communicate that the Zestimate is an estimate, not an appraisal.

We continue to iterate on our existing offerings to improve how buyers, sellers and homeowners use the resources available on Zillow. Should you have any questions about the Zestimate, visit


Greg Schwartz, Chief Revenue Officer, Zillow Group

I’ll believe it when I see it!  In the end, the zestimates will likely be more inaccurate as sellers fluff their values to the moon.  But Zillow is learning the ways of the industry, and is now siding with the sellers.  Get Good Help!

Posted by on Feb 27, 2015 in Listing Agent Practices, Market Buzz, Thinking of Selling?, Tips, Advice & Links | 12 comments

RSF Auction Today

The highly anticipated, no-reserve auction in Rancho Santa Fe happens later today.  It was on the market for $36,500,000 back in 2006 and for sale ever since – the latest list price was $22,500,000 last year.

Casa Del Sol — from Concierge Auctions

This is the second no-reserve auction in Rancho Santa Fe by this company.  The first was the gambler’s house, and it sold for $13,000,000 last month:

Any guesses on tonight’s final price?

Posted by on Feb 26, 2015 in Auctions, Market Buzz, Rancho Santa Fe | 8 comments