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Most recent articles

Flybys

Hat tip to Mr. T!

We all remember Tom Cruise in the Movie “TOP GUN” when he makes a low pass near the control tower and causes an officer to spill coffee down his shirt. Well, here are short clips of the top 10 low pass flybys ever filmed … and of course for nostalgia, let’s see that Top Gun low pass again.

Pay particular attention to the last shown low pass. It is number one. Watch the halo of water around the plane.  It happened during a Blue Angels event over San Francisco several years ago. It was the pilot’s last show with the team and he had nothing to lose.  Many of the boats in the bay lost windows to the sonic blast. It’s a kick to watch. Number 3 was pretty impressive too.

Posted by on Jan 24, 2015 in Military | 1 comment

Multiple Offers Down

2015-01-19 12.35.48

We have demand – the pending-home index is rising! From C.A.R.:

http://www.car.org/newsstand/newsreleases/2015releases/dec2014pending

Pending home sales posted higher on a year-over-year basis for the first time since January 2013 and as expected, declined from the previous month due primarily to a seasonal slowdown toward the end of the year, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) said today.

Additionally, with the specter of a better economy, greater job growth, and increasing household formation, C.A.R.’s new Market Pulse Survey found that many REALTORS® expect market conditions to improve in 2015, as does C.A.R.

• In the fourth quarter of 2014, the vast majority (87 percent) of REALTORS® expected market conditions to either improve or stay the same over the next year.

• More REALTORS® (61 percent) closed a transaction in the fourth quarter of 2014, compared to the first quarter (53 percent).

• In an indication of stabilizing home prices, fewer homes (24 percent) sold above asking price in the fourth quarter of 2014, compared to 46 percent in the first quarter.

• Homes selling below asking price rose from 19 percent in the first quarter of 2014 to 48 percent in the fourth quarter, indicating home sellers’ expectations moved more in line with buyers’ expectations toward the end of the year and competition between sellers attempting to appeal to affordability-strapped home buyers increased.

• More than half (58 percent) of properties received multiple offers in the fourth quarter of 2014, down from 69 percent in the first quarter.

Posted by on Jan 24, 2015 in Jim's Take on the Market, Market Conditions | 4 comments

Cohousing

coho

While we’re considering other options like shipping containers for homes, aren’t the flower children from the 1960s still interested in communes? Indeed – there are 130 cohousing communities in the country! Hat tip to daytrip.

http://www.citylab.com/housing/2015/01/can-boomers-make-cohousing-mainstream/384624/

That communal spirit extends beyond the utility bill. Alexander says daily life among her “true neighbors” is a stark contrast with the suburban subdivisions of her native northern Virginia, where she lived in single-family homes for decades before discovering cohousing.

“I did what everybody did. I was in commuter hell, I didn’t know my neighbors, all that. There wasn’t a choice, or we didn’t know another choice existed,” Alexander says. “Baby boomers are demanding a better way to live. We want to be sustainable; we want community, happiness.”

Joani Blank, 77, lives in Swan’s Market Cohousing in downtown Oakland, California. She has spent 22 years across three cohos and has visited dozens more. Blank says senior citizens struggle with the public perception that cohos are like other senior housing or retirement homes.

“I like living with younger adults. I want to live in a diverse community. That’s the way humans used to live—in multigenerational groups,” says Blank, who founded San Francisco’s Good Vibrations sex shop in 1977.

http://www.citylab.com/housing/2015/01/can-boomers-make-cohousing-mainstream/384624/

Posted by on Jan 24, 2015 in Interesting Houses | 0 comments

Affordable Housing Option

containers

Hat tip to daytrip!

http://www.trueactivist.com/a-shipping-container-costs-about-2000-what-these-15-people-did-with-that-is-beyond-epic

All you need is around $2000 to begin building one of these epic homes – made from recycled shipping containers!

A luxury home doesn’t always necessarily mean thousands of square footage, towering great rooms and gilded toilets. Take these homes for example: to begin building one of these epic houses, all you need is $2,000. That $2,000 will buy you a shipping container. What you do with that shipping container… well, that’s completely up to you. Some creative people have found a way to transform this rudimentary “room” with metal siding into luxury housing that blows us away. These homes are epic.

http://www.trueactivist.com/a-shipping-container-costs-about-2000-what-these-15-people-did-with-that-is-beyond-epic

Posted by on Jan 23, 2015 in Interesting Houses | 2 comments

3.25% Mortgage Rates On The Way?

Need more frenzy food?

This guy thinks we’ll see the yield for 10-year-treasuries at 1.50% (and maybe lower).  Mortgage rates have run traditionally about 1.75% above the 10-Y yield:

In August, Komal Sri-Kumar predicted that yields on the U.S. 10-year Treasury note would fall below 2 percent within six months. The 10-year yield sits just above 1.8 percent, and he projects that U.S. bond yields will tank even more.

If the Federal Reserve decides not to raise interest rates in the near future, the U.S. 30-year Treasury yield will slide toward 2 percent while the 10-year will continue lower to about 1.5 percent, Sri-Kumar, president of Sri-Kumar Global Strategies, said Wednesday.

If the Fed decides to raise rates, Sri-Kumar believes the amount by which rates are hiked will determine reaction in both U.S. bond and equity markets. The federal funds rate jumping by a quarter of a point would not have a “significant” effect on U.S. Treasurys, he said.

He also contended that the Fed is more likely to resume quantitative easing by the end of 2015 than raising interest rates by June.

Posted by on Jan 22, 2015 in Interest Rates/Loan Limits | 2 comments

Big Bombers

Just when you think the McMansion might be dying off….these Santaluz-ish new tract homes range from 4,396 sf to 7,384 sf!

They don’t have the mello-roos listed on the price sheet, and I couldn’t find any mention of it on their website either – which means it’s probably in the $400-$500 per month category?

Posted by on Jan 21, 2015 in Bubbleinfo TV, Builders | 9 comments