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Author Archive

Drone Strike

dron

Hat tip to bode for sending in this drone article:

http://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com/seattle-police-investigate-drone-strike-on-space-need-1610542798

‘Drone’ really is such a stupid term for what was reported to be a hobbyist quadcopter with a small camera attached. None-the-less, earlier today, visitors to the Seattle Space Needle said such a craft was hovering up around the observation deck when it supposedly impacted the iconic structure. It then flew back to its “base of operations” on the fifth floor of nearby hotel.

Police were called and subsequently investigated the incident that has been dubbed by local media as a ‘drone strike,’ going as far as knocking on the door of the hotel room that people said the ‘drone’ disappeared into. Apparently the unmanned aircraft mastermind was cooperative with the authorities and showed them his toy-like chopper, as well as the video shot from it of people waving at the diminutive aircraft high up on the Space Needle’s observation deck. No impact was seen in the video, and even if there was one it would probably not have even scuffed the massive structure’s exterior paint.

The perpetrator in question was ironically an Amazon employee visiting Seattle from out of town.

People are going to have to get over the ‘drone’ craze and just realize that they are a part of our life now and largely harmless on a hobbyist level. Yes, your visual privacy in your well hedged and high-fenced backyard is no longer guaranteed, nor are the skills of the operators who control these little surveillance copters. The military and high-value targets on the other hand face different challenges when it comes to small remote controlled aircraft.

drone1

Posted by on Jul 24, 2014 in Drone | 0 comments

Zillow-Trulia Merger

zillia

There’s a rumor about Zillow and Trulia merging:

http://www.inman.com/2014/07/24/zillow-and-trulias-share-prices-surge-on-merger-rumors/

http://www.bloomberg.com/video/why-zillow-would-want-to-buy-rival-site-trulia-meCu5DI0SkqsPqojyuGlXw.html

Hat tip to Joe who sent in this take on it too:

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8081176

Realtors aren’t going to like it, but there is nothing anyone can do to stop it.  That it is even possible that an outside entity will be attracting 90% of the eyeballs looking for real estate listings is embarrassing enough.

The next step has to be for the merged company to generate an agent-rating feature, and then partner with the elite realtors to take over the industry.

The realtors left on the outside who think they can keep farming their past clients for a couple of sales per year will find that once their sales history is exposed publicly, their phone will stop ringing.

Posted by on Jul 24, 2014 in Jim's Take on the Market, The Future | 2 comments

Peak Inventory

We should be hitting our highest inventory count for the year right about now.  The last two years saw the San Diego inventory top out towards the end of summer, as unsuccessful sellers packed it in for the off-season:

peak inventory

Asking prices today are quite a bit higher than last summer too, yet the actual inventory count is lower. It is still shocking that these record prices haven’t brought out more sellers.

But what is needed are more sellers willing to heed the market signals.

How will we know if sellers are motivated enough to sell for what the market will bear?

1. We’ll see more sales.

2. We’ll see more fixers selling – there’s always a market for the creampuffs.

3. We’ll see improving SP:LP ratio and average DOM.

We know the frenzy is over, but it hasn’t stopped sellers from pushing their list prices higher.  But sales are sliding downward, which means buyers are more cautious about getting their money’s worth.

The market is fine, and there are plenty of buyers. In most cases we are probably only talking about 4% to 8% difference between buyers and sellers – hopefully with the selling season closing out, we’ll have more realistic expectations help find a way to bridge the gap.

Posted by on Jul 24, 2014 in Inventory, Jim's Take on the Market | 0 comments

JtR and Social Media

While we are at it, here’s another plug for my social-media outlets:

Facebook - Every bubbleinfo.com post gets uploaded here, but that’s about it.  If facebook is your thing, it might be easier to follow the blog here, but no comments though:

https://www.facebook.com/bubbleinfo/

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Bubbleinfo.com

Twitter – I love twitter and have 3,328 tweets, which is at least 1-2 per day.  You don’t even have to have a twitter account – you can follow them here at the blog in the right-hand column.  I usually include my synopsis in the first sentence – if it looks intriguing, click on the link for more.

My goal is to publish today’s current events in real estate – if you like maximum data input, watch the right-hand column, or click here to follow:

https://twitter.com/Bubbleinfo

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bubbleinfo mobile app

Bubbleinfo Mobile App – I think it works OK, though not many people are using it yet.  You can find it at the App Store or Google Play.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bubbleinfo/id836149128?mt=8

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mobiloud.android.bubbleinfo

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Jim the Realtor/Bubbleinfo Youtube account - A complete audio/visual history of the local bust and boom that started when I began receiving REO listings from Bank of America in April, 2008. There are over 1,700 videos with 2,037,056 views – thanks for the support!

https://www.youtube.com/user/JimtheRealtor

This is recognized as the first video I did myself – it has 10,133 views:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=neY1P7UvNHw

The 1,091 subscribers get an occasional video that doesn’t make the blog, like this one:

http://youtu.be/UGMa4RoXnNU

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The Pinterest account doesn’t get constant attention, but it has a decent foundation of real estate-related stuff.  There are 1,359 pins on 32 boards:

http://www.pinterest.com/klingerealty/

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Instagram - I haven’t got around to Instagram yet, though Kayla should put some attention on it in the coming months.

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Thanks for participating – I’d love to assist you with your next move!

Posted by on Jul 23, 2014 in About the author, Drone, Jim's Take on the Market, Why You Should Hire Jim as your Buyer's Agent, Why You Should List With Jim | 0 comments

Realtors and Technology

tech

Hat tip to Richard who sent in this article from msn.com:

http://realestate.msn.com/blogs/post–are-real-estate-agents-an-endangered-species

It documents the usual positions on technology eliminating the need for realtors – with the outsiders expecting our certain demise any minute, and then agents reminding us of the maze of paperwork.

But the last quote was the best:

Elizabeth Perea, a real estate trainer at NYC Real Estate Advisors, sees the force that resulted from the innovation but disagrees that the role of real estate agents would be rendered obsolete by technology. Rather, she thinks knowing how to use social media and integrate technology into work is an essential skill for real estate agents.

Today’s internet tools can make real estate buying and selling more convenient for the consumer. These are ones I used today:

  • We had determined by the photos that a certain house was worth further inspection.  The buyer was out-of-state, so I toured the house using FaceTime so he could see the house and discuss it live. I also recorded a video tour that I sent later by email.
  • Later, I toured with past clients who love their current house but would move if they could find something better.  We saw three houses that were nice but not better; then reviewed Zillow and Sandicor apps in the driveway for additional listings, and then watched a youtube video tour I took of another house – they liked it, and we’ll look at that one tomorrow.

The tools are helpful, but intepreting the results properly is how agents can bring value to the equation.  A good agent can evaluate a home immediately and assign values for positives and negatives.  Being able to pinpoint the actual value of a house enables the rest of the decision-making for both buyers and sellers.  You deserve to start with the facts.

Trying to negotiate a fair agreement between buyers and sellers can be testy – it can be an uncomfortable time for folks, including the agents.  Being crafty at bringing people together can make the deal.

Getting to the finish line is its own skill.  Creating agreement between parties on how to handle the fixits found in the home inspection sounds simple, but sellers take it personal.  We also help the lender, appraiser, escrow, title, termite and related service providers do their job.  Good agents see trouble brewing and find ways to resolve stuff.

A good agent provides convenience in a market that runs 24/7.  I think consumers appreciate the help, and we’ll figure out what it is worth as we go.

Posted by on Jul 22, 2014 in Jim's Take on the Market, The Future | 0 comments

The JtR Clause

The standard C.A.R. listing agreement includes this paragraph 11B:

Seller acknowledges that prospective buyers and/or other persons coming onto the property may take photographs, videos, or other images of the property.  Seller understands that Broker does not have the ability to control or block the taking and use of images by any such persons.  (If checked) BOX Seller instructs Broker to publish in the MLS that taking of images is limited to those persons preparing Appraisal or Inspection reports.  Seller acknowledges that unauthorized persons may take images who do not have access to or have not read any limiting instruction in the MLS or who take images regardless of any limiting instruction in the MLS.  Once Images are taken and/or put into electronic display on the Internet or otherwise, neither Broker nor Seller has control over who views such images nor what use viewers may make of the images.

11B

Posted by on Jul 22, 2014 in About Kayla, About the author, Bubbleinfo TV, Drone | 5 comments

Inventory Watch

The active inventory of houses for sale under $800,000 has risen 20% in the last month – yet the other categories are fairly steady.

The UNDER-$800,000 Market:

Date
NSDCC Active Listings
Avg. LP/sf
DOM
Avg SF
November 25
95
$376/sf
47
1,988sf
December 2
79
$371/sf
50
2,047sf
December 9
72
$383/sf
43
1,954sf
December 16
81
$378/sf
42
1,948sf
December 23
77
$374/sf
49
1,937sf
December 30
76
$373/sf
51
1,950sf
January 6
74
$370/sf
49
1,995sf
January 13
71
$381/sf
44
1,921sf
January 20
72
$384/sf
41
1,877sf
January 27
75
$399/sf
40
1,891sf
February 3
78
$409/sf
41
1,876sf
February 10
82
$395/sf
38
1,927sf
February 17
85
$387/sf
35
1,929sf
February 24
90
$383/sf
37
2,008sf
March 3
82
$397/sf
39
1,942sf
March 10
88
$377/sf
37
2,008sf
March 17
89
$366/sf
34
2,038sf
March 24
79
$369/sf
34
2,031sf
March 31
78
$367/sf
39
2,069sf
April 7
87
$373/sf
32
2,054sf
April 14
97
$380/sf
31
2,000sf
April 21
87
$377/sf
32
2,062sf
April 28
107
$379/sf
29
2,044sf
May 5
114
$376/sf
27
2,046sf
May 12
108
$385/sf
31
2,012sf
May 19
107
$385/sf
0
0sf
May 26
105
$375/sf
34
0sf
Jun 2
102
$376/sf
36
0sf
Jun 9
102
$377/sf
37
0sf
Jun 16
104
$369/sf
35
0sf
Jun 23
111
$380/sf
34
0sf
Jun 30
119
$376/sf
36
0sf
Jul 7
122
$387/sf
36
0sf
Jul 14
127
$388/sf
34
0sf
Jul 21
135
$381/sf
36
0sf

Read More

Posted by on Jul 21, 2014 in Inventory | 2 comments

Doggie Suites

This May 13, 2014 photo provided by A.G. Photography shows a Standard Pacific Home’s interior view of a dog-friendly home. Standard Pacific Homes is

Hat tip to daytrip for sending this in:

http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_26159482/homebuilder-adds-sweet-pet-suites-entice-buyers

Standard Pacific Homes is building and selling homes in 27 developments from Florida to California and is believed to be the first to offer a pet suite as an option in every one.

The most lavish suite is a 170-square-foot pet paradise with a step-in wash station, handheld sprayer and leash lead; tile walls and floors; a designated drying area with a commercial sized pet dryer; a water station; automated feeders; a large bunk-style bed; cabinets for toys, treats and food; a stackable washer and dryer; a French door that opens to a puppy run; and a flat-screen television set.

Standard Pacific, based in Irvine, decided to offer pet suites after conducting livability studies with homeowners. Pets were a constant theme, said Jeffrey Lake, vice president and national director of architecture for Standard Pacific.

Devotion to pets is second-to-none,” he added. “They are family.

The American Pet Products Association reports that 68 percent of Americans own pets and contribute to an industry worth more than $55 billion annually.

Read more here:

http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_26159482/homebuilder-adds-sweet-pet-suites-entice-buyers

Posted by on Jul 19, 2014 in Remodel Projects, The Future | 0 comments

Jumbo Rates Still Better

Last June we had the big panic due to the Fed suggesting they were thinking about possibly raising rates.  Within a month, the conforming-mortgage rates jumped from the mid-3%s to the mid-4%s.

We noted here on how the 30-year-fixed jumbo rates dropped below conforming rates, which I don’t think has ever happened before.

From June 30, 2013:

June 30 2013

A year later and the Fed says they are going to end the quantitive easing in October, and start raising rates in 2015. From the wsj.com:

http://online.wsj.com/articles/feds-yellen-u-s-economy-continues-to-improve-but-recovery-not-yet-complete-1405432838

Those projections, which Ms. Yellen noted as an indication of their recent intentions, show officials expect to raise their benchmark rate to 1% by the end of next year. Many officials have affirmed investors’ belief that the Fed won’t start rate increases until about the middle of 2015.

What happened to mortgage rates this time?

Not only was there NO panic, but rates are actually LOWER today then they were last summer – and jumbo still below conforming:

July 18 2014

While the real estate market feels like it is heading for an off-season malaise, there is going to be some real opportunity for buyers who stay in the game.

The motivated sellers who held out with a too-high price hoping to snag a springtime buyer are starting to realize that summer is going to be over before you know it.  August is only 2 weeks away!

If they can live with less – and some of them can – buyers could reap a double benefit of lower home price AND a 30-year-fixed jumbo rate at all-time lows.

Pay a point, and borrow $1,000,000 with a jumbo fixed rate in the high-3%s!

Work with Jim the Realtor:

jim@jimklinge.com

Posted by on Jul 19, 2014 in Interest Rates/Loan Limits, Jim's Take on the Market, Market Conditions | 0 comments