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Category Archive: ‘Thinking of Buying?’

Who’s Selling?

Yesterday we wondered if there was a possible threat of a baby-boomer liquidation sale in the coming years, and we had a load of comments – thanks for participating!.

Can we get a feel for what’s happening now?  Here’s a check of the 67 NSDCC houses that have sold between $750,000 and $1,000,000 in the last 30 days.

These are the years when the sellers purchased:

Years Purchased
Number of Sellers

Only a couple sold for less than the price they paid, and there were 3 short sales too (no REO listings).  The newer homes in Carmel Valley bolstered the more-recent stats too.

About 36% of the sellers bought their home prior to 2001, and are probably baby-boomers (or older). Most will at least be empty-nesters by now, and could be candidates for the ‘downsize and travel’ crowd. If their numbers increased, they would most likely be offering older fixers upon which flippers can feast, and eventually be sold to those looking for a substitute for new homes, which are in short supply.

Posted by on Oct 24, 2014 in Jim's Take on the Market, Market Conditions, North County Coastal, Thinking of Buying?, Thinking of Selling? | 16 comments

New Homes = Larger Premium

The higher-priced new homes help to accelerate the values of existing homes.  All sellers have to do is undercut the price of new tracts nearby - if there are any! HT to daytrip for sending this in from the

Southland new and resale house prices

Builders have piled in to pricey ZIP Codes — bidding up land costs there in the process — and polished their projects to a high gloss to woo wealthy buyers with cash or good credit.

“Builders have been focusing very heavily on the move-up market as opposed to entry level,” said Bradley Hunter, chief economist at housing research firm MetroStudy. “There’s a simple reason: That’s where the profits are.”

Meanwhile, projects aimed at the middle of the market remain scarce, and overall home building is off about 60% from a decade ago. The shortage of new lower-priced product is one factor making Southern California among the toughest housing markets in the country for middle-income families.

New homes have almost always sold at a premium. They come with bells and whistles — including energy-efficient appliances and often a warranty — that a decades-old house can’t match. But that premium has hit new highs this year.

In January, the gap between median-priced new and resale homes in Southern California peaked at $151,000, a 41% premium for a new house. And although it has eased a bit since, it has been larger than $100,000 in nine of the last 10 months, compared with an average of $38,000 over the last 25 years, according to CoreLogic’s figures. The same trend is playing out nationally, though in less dramatic fashion.

Higher-end home builders see this dynamic too, and they’re gobbling up what land is left. Luxury builder Toll Bros. acquired 3,200 lots in Southern California this year when it bought Shapell Homes, part of its plan to expand from its East Coast base into higher-growth markets. Now Toll is working on five new communities, from Santa Clarita to Carlsbad, in prime spots with good schools. It will start selling homes next year, said Jim Boyd, head of Toll’s California operations, and expects to do well.

“I think the market is pretty strong,” he said.

Read full article here:

Posted by on Oct 13, 2014 in Builders, Thinking of Buying? | 1 comment

Be Sharper on Price

Wendy Lari in her new home. After buying the home in Mission Viejo, husband Thomas Lari wanted to rent out the old family home of the past 12 years. But Wendy wanted to sell the old home so the family would have enough cash to fix up the new one. They reached a compromise: Give me 60 days to get it in escrow, said Wendy Lari. If it doesn't sell by then, we'll rent it out. The home went up on the market in late April for $850,000. As time began to run out, Wendy Lari decided she had to drop the price.

Nobody is dumping on price – just be reasonable. From the

Thomas and Wendy Lari made a pact.

Thomas wanted to rent out their old home. Wendy wanted to sell it so they’d have money to fix up their new one.  So he gave her two months to sell it. If she failed, they would become landlords.

In the end, she met the deadline – just barely. But it took two price chops totaling $15,000.

“I was a little bit disappointed,” Wendy Lari said of the final price of more than $800,000. “We knew that (our original price) wasn’t overly realistic, but we thought we’d give it a shot.”

Reality is setting in for home sellers across Orange County.

Rather than holding out for the big price gains seen a year ago, most sellers are cutting their prices to get their homes sold.

The average price cut for homes under $1 million was $15,500 this summer, according to figures from Brea housing consultant Pat Veling of Real Data Strategies. A year earlier, the typical price cut was under $3,000.

Put another way, buyers are paying 97 percent of sellers’ original asking prices this year, vs. 99 percent – almost full price – in the summer of 2013.

“It seems like 80 percent to 90 percent of the sales are reductions,” said Bart Smith, an agent with Evergreen Realty in Orange. “(Sellers are) overpricing them. They’re looking at listings and not at closed sales.”

Wendy Lari thought she was in the ballpark when she priced her home at $850,000 last April. A similar home in the area had sold for $844,000 two months earlier.

Time was running out to find a buyer when she got an offer for $828,000. That deal fell through.

But just as it did, a real estate agent made an offer equivalent to $835,000. The agent wanted to pay $814,500, but would forego her $20,000 commission. That deal closed.

“I was a little bit bummed, but it wasn’t horrible,” Wendy Lari said. “If you go in thinking that you’re going to get 3 percent to 4 percent more than the last sale, that’s not going to happen.”

She listed April 29, 2014 for $850,000, and opened escrow on July 2nd for $814,500 with no commission to buyer’s agent?  She didn’t give it away! (she had paid $460,000 in 2002).  P.S. the realtor who bought her home has it for rent on Zillow, asking $3,500/month.

Read full article here:

Posted by on Oct 6, 2014 in Market Conditions, Thinking of Buying?, Thinking of Selling? | 4 comments

Truthful Home Reviews

The real estate industry favors sellers, and buyers are under-represented.  Here at the blog I’ve done my best to help educate buyers, and give you a fighting chance.  Here’s someone who wants to take it further:

An excerpt:

No one is fighting for the people buying houses. Everyone in the business is driven by one thing and one thing only: closing sales.

If houses get sold, brokers on both sides get paid and the world keeps spinning. Ads flow to listing sites, inspectors get paid, mortgage brokers get commissions and home improvements continue.

No one is incentivized to STOP you from buying a home.

No one is trying to PROTECT the buyer from making a bad decision (I know, brokers are supposed to … but they don’t get paid unless you buy!).

This becomes super apparent when you look at the descriptions of homes.

Everything is “charming” and a “compound” and “gorgeous” in the descriptions, but when you go see them they are “depressing” and “dark” and “small”!

So here’s a super simple idea: reviews that tell you, in brutally honest fashion, if you should move into this house or not.

If it’s a fair price.

If it’s a horrible block, if it has a bad landlord, or if the methadone clinic is hopping at 3pm when your daughter gets home from school!

Read full article here:

Posted by on Sep 3, 2014 in Thinking of Buying?, Why You Should Hire Jim as your Buyer's Agent | 11 comments

Sunday Open House

If you are looking for a newer home in the Encinitas school district – this is the best deal in town!

The house is practically new (built in 2012) and is full of premium upgrades like handscraped hardwood floors, stainless/granite/expresso kitchen, downstairs bedroom suite, central A/C, 3-car garage - plus a great night-light view!

I will be having open house on Sunday, July 6th from 12-3pm:

3478 Corte Fortuna, Carlsbad, CA 92009 – $879,000






Come by Sunday 12-3pm!

Posted by on Jul 5, 2014 in Jim's Take on the Market, Thinking of Buying? | 6 comments

Big Ocean View

Clemens view

Thankfully the fire in Carlsbad has subsided, and we can get back to real estate.  Check out my new listing of the former model in Spyglass Hills that has the full 180-degree ocean view, big yard, 3-car, new carpet & paint, and loads of builder upgrades:

Come by the open houses Saturday and Sunday where we will be having the All-American BBQ and get your photo taken by the drone!





The seller says that it is Catalina Island we see in the video – and he is a Naval officer, so he should know. Come by and see for yourself:


Posted by on May 16, 2014 in Thinking of Buying?, Thinking of Selling?, View, Why You Should List With Jim | 10 comments