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Posted by on Aug 18, 2012 in Bottom Talk, Bubble-Era Pricing | 14 comments | Print Print

Camping Out for New Homes

Hat tip to Another Investor for sending this in, from CBS San Francisco:

SAN RAMON (CBS 5) – Would-be homeowners have been camping outside a new subdivision in San Ramon, some of them for weeks, in hopes of buying a home this weekend.

A new phase of homes in the Gale Ranch community will go on sale Saturday morning, with asking prices starting around $700,000.

“We’ve been here for more than two weeks. We have camped here day and night so that we are number one on the list,” said Komal Dutta.

“For new homes, lines, lotteries, luck of the draw, very competitive, very stressful,” said Bill Clarkson of Golden Hills Brokers.  Clarkson, who is also Mayor of San Ramon, has worked in the area for 34 years. He said the market hasn’t been this competitive since before the housing bubble burst.

“Inventory has been shrinking since February. We’ve seen San Ramon have up to 250 homes on the market. It’s dropped to around 70 or 80,” Clarkson said.

Accoring to figures from the real estate website Redfin, low interest rates are shrinking housing inventories across the Bay Area. In the San Francisco market, there are currently around 4,000 homes on the market, 57 percent fewer than there were last year.

Some buyers are hiring people such as Maria Shier to wait in line when new homes come on the market.

“They hired me to be here 24 hours a day,” Shier said.

Dutta is doing the waiting herself, along with her children. It’s an investment that she said is worth the wait.

“We enjoy it,” Dutta said.

14 Comments

  1. And yet insiders will still get first pick.

  2. So why don’t they raise prices to match demand? Or hold an auction?

  3. Thank you Daniel for the article from the Oklahoman. He outlined the haves and havenots.

    A paragraph from the article:

    A postmodern narrow coastal corridor runs from San Diego to Berkeley, where the weather is ideal, the gentrified affluent make good money, and values are green and left wing. This Shangri-La is juxtaposed to a vast impoverished interior, from the southern desert to the northern Central Valley, where life is becoming premodern.

    Read more: http://newsok.com/victor-davis-hanson-there-is-no-california/article/3701688#ixzz23vOzt0Dl

    What’s going to go wrong? The rich are going to stop supporting a government who insists on catering to every need.

    Someday a coalition will rally up a few million dollars and start running ads telling people to starve the beast.

    They will encourage everyone to stop paying their income and property taxes to get the attention of a government run amok.

    It will force some tough decisions for the unions, but they will be slow to listen and act, and in the meantime it will be everyone for themselves.

    We’ll be on a fast track to Mad Max/Road Warrior. The rich will be behind their gates in their compounds, chuckling.

    Go long on personal security firms, and delivery services.

  4. “starve the beast”

    Cash transactions, hard assets, no debt, I highly recommend it.

  5. The guy is a Stanford history professor who has a big parcel of land in the central valley. Some of his articles are eye opening.
    http://pjmedia.com/victordavishanson/

  6. Honest, I have never heard of the guy, or his writings. He is calling it Road Warrior too!

    http://pjmedia.com/victordavishanson/california-the-road-warrior-is-here/

    A snippet:

    High-Speed Madness

    Take the new high-speed rail project, whose first link is designated to zoom not far from my house. An empiricist would note there is already an Amtrak (money-losing) line from Fresno to Corcoran (home of Charles Manson). There is now no demand to use another lateral (getting nowhere more quickly?). There is no proof that California public agencies — from universities to the DMV — can fulfill their present responsibilities in such a way that we would have confidence that new unionized state workers could run such a dangerous thing as high-speed rail (e.g., if we can’t keep sofas and washing machines out of the local irrigation ponds, why do we think we could keep them off high-speed rail tracks? Do we think we are French?).

    If one were to drive on the 99, the main interior north-south “highway” from the Grapevine to Sacramento, one would find places, like south of Kingsburg, where two poorly paved, potholed, and crowded lanes ensure lots of weekly accidents. Can a state that has not improved its ancestors’ highway in 50 years be entrusted to build high-speed mass transit? Can a state presently $16 billion in arrears be expected to finance a $100 billion new project? Can a state that ranks 48th in math field the necessary personnel to build and operate such a postmodern link?

    We Are Scary

    One of the strangest things about Road Warrior was the ubiquity of tattooed, skin-pierced tribal people with shaved heads and strange clothes. At least the cast and sets seemed shocking some thirty years ago. If I now sound like a reactionary then so be it: but when I go to the store, I expect to see not just the clientele, but often some of the workers, with “sleeves” — a sort of throwback to red-figure Athenian vase painting where the ink provides the background and the few patches of natural skin denote the silhouetted image. And stranger still is the aging Road Warrior: these are folks in their forties who years ago got pierced and tattooed and aged with their sagging tribal insignia, some of them now denoting defunct gangs and obsolete popular icons.

  7. Hanson is a gifted writer as evidenced by the excerpt below.
    Part history, part political analysis, and part memoir, “Mexifornia” is an intensely personal work by one of our most important writers. Hanson is perhaps known best for his military histories and especially his social commentary about America and its response to terror after 9/11. But he is also a fifth-generation Californian who runs a family farm in the Central Valley and has written eloquent elegies for the decline of the small farm such as “Fields Without Dreams” and “The Land Was Everything.”

  8. San Ramon has a lot of big names employers, including the global headquarters for Chevron, so if any area was going to get “hot” in the east bay, no surprise its SR. No matter, SR will always play second fiddle to Danville.

  9. VDH is a great writer and he has his own website if you google his name. I’d give you the link but it would send me to the spam filter again. ;)

    Here’s a great article about the differing unemployment rates, median income and housing prices by (a few select) counties.

    “California’s Boom Masks State’s Uneven Recovery”
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303505504577405221289491972.html

    JtR, the only problem that I see with your theory is that the whole lefty/greenie agenda is driven by the densely populated coast with the possible exceptions of SD and Orange counties. If you think that’s going to change anytime soon, take a look at all the current SF insanity. It will take years before the rest of the state looks that insane, although with Gavin and Kamela as rising Dem. stars, it might not take as long as I think.

    SF just passed a resolution to pay panhandlers to foster shelter dogs if they promise not to panhandle. Seriously. Okay, it’s currently being trialed with a limited budget but what the heck? :lol:

  10. My theory is just that, who knows exactly how it will play out. But I think even those in the “lefty/greenie agenda” group are going to get tired of the tax burden.

    I just want to make sure I get a piece of the action. I’m thinking of expanding:

    Klinge Realty, Sandboxes, Guns, and Tall Wrought-Iron Gates with Sharp Pointy Things on Top.

  11. Opening this year and sure to be fraught with as much fraud as the european model.
    http://www.climateactionreserve.org/
    Jerry is putting he weight behind the issues.
    http://www.opr.ca.gov/s_climatechangefacts.php
    What do they say about the Fed? Same thing here. YOU WILL BE GREEN!
    I’m thinking about buying forest land and threaten to cut it down unless someone pays me not to do it.

  12. @Jim re point 11. Sounds like my house in Johannesburg :D. Electric fences (non lethal), razor wire fence behind that, “Jailhouse” style steel bars on all doors and windows. Movement sensors linked to alarm. Bouganvillia hedge between adjoining property’s
    Result last June:
    Electric fence bridged so as not to trigger alarm, old blankets thrown over razor wire, space blanket used to foil PIR movement sensors, car jack used to bend steel bars on window apart and my wife who sleeps with a gun under her pillow? When she wakes up to find a black gentleman wearing only his underpants in the bedroom having bypassed all the security measures she manages to punch him 3 times while screaming loud enough to wake the dead and he manages to get back outside through the window bars before the male members of the family pitch up. According to the police the burglars have been working their way down our street for the last 5 weeks.

  13. Found pile of human pooh with herbs on it outside window next day, this is “muti” or magic bought from a witch doctorto ensure no one inside interferes with the thieves/rapists.

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