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High Rents Keeping Lower-End Hot

rent squeeze

Do you wonder why the lower-end markets are so hot?

I spoke to a potential buyer yesterday who said he wanted to buy because his rent was so high.  He is paying $2,100 per month to rent a 2br apartment in Shadowridge.

He has lived there for less than a year, and the landlord just gave him notice that they are already raising it to $2,400 per month!

Are you kidding? $2,400 per month for a 2br apartment in Vista???

Here are the median monthly house rentals being advertised in the MLS:

Carlsbad: $4,495

Encinitas: $4,500

Carmel Valley: $4,600

Del Mar/SB: $6,400

La Jolla: $8,800

Rancho Santa Fe: $10,250

The landlords will have to endure more turnover, more repairs, and more all-around hassle as they keep pushing rents higher, but they will keep a fire lit under any tenants who can find a way to buy!

These higher rents should keep the lower-end of each market hopping!

Posted by on Apr 28, 2016 in Jim's Take on the Market, Market Conditions | 3 comments

Moving the Rich


Buying a luxury home is expensive enough. Moving into it can be costly, too.

Many wealthy homeowners hire traditional moving companies for household goods and retain specialty movers to handle things like rare paintings, antique furniture and other high-value items.

These “white glove” services cost more because the items may need delicate wrapping, climate control and custom crates, for example. Some companies, such as New York-based Roadway Moving, offer concierge services to help plan and supervise the move, says Roadway CEO Ross Sapir.

For a move from Austin, Texas, to Manhattan, one recent Roadway client requested special vaults constructed to transport his rare paintings, sculptures and musical instruments. The company complied with an additional request that the vaults be sealed so that only the client could open them, Mr. Sapir says.

After five vaults were loaded onto two trucks, the client insisted on following them in his car. “At some point, however, he gave up following and switched to his private jet,” Mr. Sapir says.

Forklifts were needed to unload larger items and the vaults out of the truck to the door of the client’s Fifth Avenue condo building. In the end, this move cost the client about $35,000.

Using photographs from the homeowners’ previous property, Roadway’s concierge can also walk through the new home to mark where the audio system needs to be installed and ensure that closet layouts are reproduced exactly, Mr. Sapir says.

“On the high end, planning is everything,” says Nir Shuminer, owner of New York-based Scanio Movers, which specializes in luxury moves. Wealthy clients value careful packing over speed. While a traditional mover might provide six to eight people to pack up a home in a day or less, Scanio typically sends no more than two or three skilled packers who may take up to three days to ensure that fragile items, such as chandeliers, artwork and crystal, are packed so they won’t get lost or damaged. Scanio recently completed a move that cost the client about $27,000 and included chandeliers, expensive artwork and some historical artifacts.

In addition to the moving company, the homeowner may retain a personal assistant or personal organizer to work on the move. This person may inventory and photograph every item that is packed and oversee the finer details of unpacking so that everything ends up in the right place in the new home, Mr. Shuminer says.

Project managers, such as New York-based NouvelleView, may also perform such tasks as calling utilities, arranging a cleaning crew, and hiring a contractor to wire a home-theater system, says Pamela Muller, the company’s owner.

Helping clients sort through 35 years’ worth of possessions can be emotional, Ms. Muller says. She compares her role to that of a “move therapist,” as clients decide what items to take and how they should be organized, she adds.

Management fees vary based on the scope of the move and services performed, Ms. Muller says. Last year, her smallest project cost the client $7,000, and four other moves cost more than $25,000, she says. These prices are on top of what the movers charge. In one case, the client paid NouvelleView $15,000, a traditional mover $30,000, and a fine-arts specialty mover an additional $25,000.

Read full article here:

Posted by on Apr 27, 2016 in Jim's Take on the Market, Listing Agent Practices | 1 comment

Real Estate Disclosures


The finer points about disclosures.  An excerpt:

When preparing the Transfer Disclosure Statement, the seller sets forth any property defects they know or suspect to exist. Defects to be disclosed in the TDS include any conditions known to the seller which might negatively affect the value and desirability of the property for a prospective buyer, even though they may not be an item listed on the TDS. Thus, disclosures to the buyer are not limited to classic conditions preprinted for comment on the form. [CC §1102.8]

Further, the buyer cannot waive the seller’s delivery of the statutorily-mandated TDS. Any attempted waiver, such as the use of an “as-is” clause in the purchase agreement, is unenforceable as against public policy. The words “as is” are never to be used in the context of real estate transactions.

“As is” implies a failure to disclose something adverse known to the seller or their agent, a prohibited activity. In contrast, “as disclosed” is the condition of the property as known by the buyer when the seller accepts their purchase agreement offer. [CC §1102.1(a)]

Thus, all buyers purchase property:

“as disclosed” by the seller, the seller’s broker and the broker’s agents; and

“as actually observed” by the buyer prior to entering into the purchase agreement.


Brokers and their agents who list one-to-four unit residential property have a duty to all prospective buyers, separate from the seller’s, to timely disclose any physical aspects of a property:

– observable by the broker or their agent on a reasonable inspection of the property; and

– affecting the property’s market value.

A buyer of a one-to-four unit residential property has two years from the close of escrow to pursue the seller’s broker and agent to recover losses caused by the broker’s or agent’s negligent failure to disclose observable and known defects affecting the property’s physical condition and value. Undisclosed and unknown defects permitting recovery by a buyer for the cost to cure the defect or loss of value are those observable by a reasonably competent broker during a visual on-site inspection. A seller’s agent is expected to be as competent as their broker in an inspection. [CC §2079.4]

However, the buyer is unable to recover their losses from the seller’s broker if the seller’s broker or agent inspected the property as a reasonable competent broker, did not observe the defect and did not actually know it existed. [CC §1102.4(a)]

For more on seller disclosures and case law, click here:

Posted by on Apr 26, 2016 in Jim's Take on the Market, Listing Agent Practices, Why You Should Hire Jim as your Buyer's Agent, Why You Should List With Jim | 7 comments

San Diego Case-Shiller Index Feb. 16


February’s Case-Shiller Index for San Diego rose by 0.1% over January.  Our average of +0.3% per month over the last six months is probably what we can expect for the rest of the year, with the next couple of months being elevated (like in 2015) due to the ‘season’.

But the higher-end market dropped 0.3%, and with 459 active listings of NSDCC houses priced over $2,400,000, it’s a buyer’s market there.  We could see more pricing turbulence on the high-end before the year is out.

Here are the San Diego NSA changes:

M-o-M chg
Y-o-Y chg
January ’15
January ’16

Posted by on Apr 26, 2016 in Jim's Take on the Market, Same-House Sales | 0 comments

Price Forecasts Move Higher


The hustle to move up the housing ladder is something people did when they were younger – and prices cheaper.  Those move-ups have gotten you here, and hey, it’s not so bad – especially if it means that to replace your home, it costs two or three times more than you paid! 

Expect the housing-inventory stalemate to continue, regardless of how high prices get – people have no better place to go, they don’t want to bother moving, and taxes plus expenses are outrageous.

This was supposed to be a year of “moderating” prices and a “return to normalcy.”  Instead, upward price pressures have not abated, and red-faced economists are scrambling to crank up their forecasts as price trends at the outset of the buying season knock their protections into a cocked hat.

The culprit? Most forecasters predicted three years of rising prices would encourage more owners to sell, and supplies of homes for sale would catch up with demand, which is increasing as a result of the improving economy and continued low interest rates.

Posted by on Apr 25, 2016 in Forecasts, Jim's Take on the Market, Market Conditions, Sales and Price Check | 1 comment