For those who think there is no hope left in the $500,000 range, consider what you can get just 17 miles from the I-5 and 76 intersection:
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We lost a real legend this week, Dick Dale, and his medical story was tragic:
Dick Dale… invented surf music in the 1950’s. Not the ’60’s as is commonly believed. He was given the title “King of the Surf Guitar” by his fellow surfers with whom he surfed with from sun-up to sun-down. He met Leo Fender the guitar and amplifier Guru and Leo asked Dale to play his newly creation, the Fender Stratocaster Electric Guitar. The minute Dale picked up the guitar, Leo Fender broke into uncontrolled laughter and disbelief, he was watching Dale play a right handed guitar upside down and backwards, Dale was playing a right handed guitar left handed and changing the chords in his head then transposing the chords to his hands to create a sound never heard before.
Here is Dick playing at the Fiesta Del Sol in Solana Beach in 2011:
For the first time in recent history – and probably the first time ever – the net migration out of California has not been offset by the international inflow.
The number of people leaving the state is 3x what it was just 4+ years ago!
But the state population is still growing….naturally. Over the last eight years, there have been almost 2 million more births than deaths!
With baby boomers living longer, the birth/death balance should level out eventually, but all those young people need to live somewhere – and only the affluent will be able to purchase a home. (click to enlarge)
The bottom of the range in Carlsbad is around $800,000 these days. Here’s an example – this closed for $835,000 today:
Thanks to SM for sending in this doozy:
In an early favorite for most unlikely real estate news event of the year, the town of Hillsborough has filed suit against publisher Florence Fang, owner of the famous “Flintstone House” at 45 Berryessa Avenue, over her modern Stone Age taste in landscaping.
According to a complaint filed in San Mateo Superior Court last week, Fang has made multiple additions to the property that have put the city in a Yabba Dabba Don’t sort of mood, including:
Beginning in early 2017, Ms. Fang began to install extensive improvements in the yard areas of 45 Berryessa. Some of these improvements involved large statues of dinosaurs and other figures and a sign reading “Yabba Dabba Doo.”
She also made non-decorative additions to the property, including a retaining wall, steps, columns, gates, a parking strip, and a deck. […] Several of the improvements created life safety hazards that require immediate correction.
[…] Ms. Fang installed all of the improvements without planning approvals and without building permits.
City attorneys say that Fang ignored multiple stop-work orders issued since late 2017. The lawsuit also notes that the city fined Fang $200 in 2018 for what it calls “a highly visible eyesore” on the property.
With Fang flouting city orders numerous times, Hillsborough now wants a court to order the removal or reversal of alterations to the property.
Fang bought 45 Berryessa in 2017 for $2.8 million. The bulbous Berryessa home had lingered on the market for two years and had its price chiseled down from $4.2 million.
The house already looked like this when she bought it:Link to Article
This is why it’s important to see properties in person – we are less confident than ever that the online photos can be trusted. From the WSJ:
Real-estate listing photos have always accentuated the positive, but computer-generated imagery of the sort Hollywood uses has now become so cheap and prolific that home sellers are taking out walls, removing ugly paneling and even adding digital swimming pools.
At the same time, photos are more important than ever: Nearly every home search begins online and deals are often struck without in-person showings, particularly among investors who are putting photos through their own algorithms to price homes as they make an unprecedented move into the U.S. housing market.
The technology allows sellers to green browned lawns, stage rooms with virtual furniture like digital dollhouses and even perform full-blown HGTV-style makeovers with clicks of a mouse.
The hazards to buyers range from disappointment when they arrive for in-person showings to blown renovation budgets. That could prove an especially thorny issue for investors, who may need to retrain computer models they use to comb through listings for houses that are good candidates to turn into rentals or flips.
Risks associated with doctored listing photos could spread beyond sight-unseen buyers. Federal rule makers are considering a proposal to open up more of the home-appraisal business to computers that generate property values partly by scraping online listing photos to gauge condition and finishes.
The computer-generated images are so good these days that humans have trouble spotting them. That’s causing problems for regional broker cooperatives, known as multiple listing services, that serve as repositories for property listings and sales data.
At a recent conference for brokers in New York, an executive from property photo-editing firm BoxBrownie.com Pty Ltd. urged agents to post altered photos side-by-side with the originals. However, Peter Schravemade, the Australian firm’s strategic relationship manager, said that labeling augmented images has occasionally gotten agents in trouble while altered images without disclosures have slipped past listing-site overseers.
For $1.60 per image, BoxBrownie will punch up pictures of a house for sale, making dull skies blue, patching lawns and maybe popping photorealistic flames into fireplaces. It charges $2.40 to change wall colors and $24 to swap out flooring. Starting at $64, it will virtually renovate a room to produce a marketing image that looks realistic but nothing like the real thing.
“We’re like Photoshop on steroids,” BoxBrownie co-founder Brad Filliponi said of the popular photo-editing program.
The ease and extent to which images can be altered has brokers and the organizations that police listings wondering where to draw the line on augmented images.
The National Association of Realtors code of ethics requires agents to present a “true picture in their advertising, marketing and other representations,” which extends to listing photos, a spokeswoman said. Donald Epley, a retired University of South Alabama real-estate professor who helped write national appraisal standards, said misleading photos are no different than fudging the square-footage or misstating the number of bedrooms in listings.
“This is a really new technology,” said Denee Evans, chief executive of the Council of Multiple Listing Services, a trade organization. “It’s just starting to bubble up questions as to where is that line.”
Another video I did for potential buyers – these were tract homes that sold in the $300,000s back in the early-1990s. This just closed for $2,400,000: