More Links

Are you looking for an experienced agent to help you buy or sell a home? Contact Jim the Realtor!

(760) 434-5000

Carmel Valley
(858) 560-7700


Just in Time for Weekend

The company that hosts this blog sent out this missive today:

Dear Client,

Regrettably, effective immediately MediaLayer, LLC shall be closing its doors permanently.  This decision was not made lightly. After a full review of present circumstances this was the only viable option.

Current clients are urged to take immediate action by backing up necessary data and begin executing a transition plan.

All MediaLayer vendors and business partners have been notified via e-mail or other correspondence. Thank you for your patronage over the years. It has been a pleasure serving you.

I’ll get a new host ASAP!

Posted by on Jul 2, 2015 in About the author | 1 comment

Second Half of 2015

We have entered the second half of 2015 with a full head of steam – in the first half of 2015, NSDCC detached-home sales were up 5% YoY!

Is there a natural cooling off in the second half?  Not really.

Second-half sales have been influenced by mortgage rates recently.  We had a resurgence in the second half of 2012 when both rates AND prices were declining – sales were 14% higher than in the first half.  Once we bounced back over 4% in mid-2013, sales cooled down until rates dipped back into the threes in January of this year.

Here are the half-year stats, starting with a reflection back to 2007, the previous high point of the median sales price:

# of Sales
Median Sales Price
Median Days on Market

Lately, rates AND prices have been trending upward, which suggests market slowing, plus the inventory is picked over!

Currently, two-thirds of the NSDCC houses for sale have been on the market for more than 30 days, and unless those sellers get aggressive about pricing, sales are likely to taper off as rates and prices stay flat or rise for the rest of 2015.

Posted by on Jul 2, 2015 in Jim's Take on the Market, North County Coastal, Sales and Price Check | 0 comments

Little Feat

Little Feat is an American rock band formed by singer-songwriter, lead vocalist and guitarist Lowell George and keyboardist Bill Payne in 1969 in Los Angeles. Although the band has undergone several changes in its lineup, the music remains an eclectic blend of rock and roll, blues, R&B, boogie, country, folk, gospel, soul, funk and jazz fusion influences. Guitarist Jimmy Page stated Little Feat was his favorite American band in a 1975 Rolling Stone interview.

Lowell George met Bill Payne when George was a member of Frank Zappa’s Mothers of Invention. Payne had auditioned for the Mothers, but had not joined. They formed Little Feat along with former Mothers’ bassist Roy Estrada and drummer Richie Hayward from George’s previous band, the Factory. Hayward had also been a member of the Fraternity of Man whose claim to fame was the inclusion of their “Don’t Bogart Me” on the million-selling Easy Rider film soundtrack. The name of the band came from a comment made by Mothers’ drummer Jimmy Carl Black about Lowell’s “little feet”. The spelling of “feat” was an homage to the Beatles.

Posted by on Jul 1, 2015 in Wednesday Rock Blogging | 1 comment

Coat of Nicotine

I was going through some old photos last night!

Back in the day, Mike Anthony and I bought a duplex in the College Area.  The lady in the back house had been there for 20+ years, and was a serious smoker.  We don’t think she ever opened a window – the nicotine on the walls was thick enough that we could scrape it off with a knife.

After we scrubbed it down, my brother Dave and his friend came over to paint with a rented spray rig – and it took three coats to cover it.

He and I had a dispute over him spilling some paint on the hardwood floors, and ended up in a fist fight in the backyard!





cadillac seville

The last photo is of my all-time favorite, the triple-black 1979 Cadillac Seville.

Posted by on Jun 30, 2015 in About the author, Jim's Take on the Market, Remodel Projects | 5 comments

SD Case-Shiller Index – April 2015

Buying decisions that caused closings in early 2015 were stimulated by mortgage rates in the mid-to-high threes. Now that rates are back over 4%, and NSDCC inventory is about 18% higher than it was at the end of April, we should see the appreciation rate flatten out for the rest of the year.

Here are the San Diego monthly changes for 2015:

M-o-M chg
Y-o-Y chg

“Home prices continue to rise across the country, but the pace is not accelerating,” David M. Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, said in a statement.

Posted by on Jun 30, 2015 in Jim's Take on the Market, Same-House Sales | 0 comments

Website Traffic Up

A fluff piece attempting to reveal something interesting, but they just want you to know that traffic at has been growing since NewsCorp started advertising it:

Summer is officially here, and just like the heat waves sweeping through much of the country, the real estate market shows no sign of cooling off any time soon, according to a preliminary analysis of June data for®.

“Our early read of real estate trends in June suggests good news ahead for the U.S. residential real estate market, especially in the hottest markets with healthy growth in supply,” said our chief economist, Jonathan Smoke, who conducted the analysis.

Based on data for the first three weeks of June, the median list price increased to $233,000, up 7% year over year and 2% over May. Median days on market is still at 66 days, down 7% year over year and flat month over month. Helping create more opportunities for buyers, the listings inventory is now growing faster, at 4% over May but still down over last year.

More and more Americans are spending time searching for the perfect home, our data show. On, traffic and searches continue to set new highs in June, Smoke said. Unique users for the month are now on pace for at least 40% growth year over year, he found, while visits and searches are expected to be up more than 50% and 30%, respectively.

June 2015

Posted by on Jun 30, 2015 in Jim's Take on the Market, Market Conditions | 3 comments

Did The Staging Work?


More notes on staging and its effect on sales.

Staging delivers a great first impression – it’s probably worth it for that.  But staging is just a component of the overall package needed to sell a house – especially for top dollar.

Examples from the weekend:

1. An agent called me on Saturday morning to tell me her client was gushing over the home on Via Mariposa, and they were going to make an offer.  But nothing happened, so I pinged her on Sunday morning.  She got back to me on Sunday night, and said her client re-considered, and decided not to make an offer.  In her case, the staging wasn’t enough.

2.  A lady asked me at open house, “I wonder what this house looks like without the staging?”  Some buyers want to see beyond the staging.

3.  Kayla said, “I’m not a big fan of the blue/teal color combination”.  The staging will have a different impact on different people.

4.  An example where staging really paid off was with the out-of-town buyers. There were multiple out-of-towners viewing homes via FaceTime, Skype, and video – the staging has to have a positive impact when you are looking at a small screen from afar. The eventual winner at Via Mariposa was one of them – a family member saw it in person, and online photos and video did the rest.

I am comfortable with buyers making informed decisions based on video/FaceTime actions.  People trust the smartphones for everything else in life, might as well use it to buy a house!

Staging got the ball rolling, and got buyers engaged.  But the rest of the house had to look sharp, and the price had to be attractive too.  There were about 20 showings of that house over the first four days on the market, and we had three written offers.  For seventeen buyers, the staging wasn’t enough.

After offers are submitted, the end result doesn’t just happen by itself. I’ll take the credit for giving every buyer a fair opportunity to step up and pay top dollar for the home, and guide it over list price.  It’s the talking to people that makes the sale!

Posted by on Jun 29, 2015 in Jim's Take on the Market, Listing Agent Practices, Tips, Advice & Links | 5 comments