It is physically, mentally, and emotionally taxing to sell your long-time home – especially sorting through all your stuff/junk and throwing out the family heirlooms once your kids convince you they don’t want it.
In February, we will be doing a seminar called Downsizing in 2020 – The Last Move.
Since this post (in July, 2018), existing home sales have mostly moved sideways, and both new home sales and single family starts have hit new cycle highs.
Here is the graph I like to use to track tops and bottoms for housing activity. This is a graph of Single family housing starts, New Home Sales, and Residential Investment (RI) as a percent of GDP.
The arrows point to some of the earlier peaks and troughs for these three measures.
The purpose of this graph is to show that these three indicators generally reach peaks and troughs together. Note that Residential Investment is quarterly and single-family starts and new home sales are monthly.
RI as a percent of GDP has been sluggish recently, mostly due to softness in multi-family residential. However, both single family starts and new home sales have set new cycle highs this year.
Also, look at the relatively low level of RI as a percent of GDP, new home sales and single family starts compared to previous peaks.
To have a significant downturn from these levels would be surprising.
You may have seen the Wall Street Journal’s feature on Papa Doug’s listing that he’s hoping to sell for $10 million more than he paid in 2015. The Reader picked up a few more details – an excerpt:
Manchester finally managed to untie the knot with first wife Betsy, whom he married in January 1965, in 2013. During the couple’s contentious four-year-long divorce proceedings, Betsy unrolled a bevy of anecdotes about her husband’s over-the-top lifestyle.
“As an example of the standard of living that DOUG and I enjoyed during our long marriage, in 2007, we threw a birthday party for DOUG at the Manchester Grand Hyatt,” wrote Betsy.
“There were over 220 guests, and the party alone cost more than $200,000. We then flew to Costa Rica on a private Gulfstream IV jet and went on a week-long cruise in Costa Rica aboard a chartered 165-foot private yacht. After the cruise, we returned home on the Gulfstream IV jet.
“The Costa Rica trip cost in excess of $350,000.”
Manchester married Geniya the weekend before Christmas 2013 in similar style, causing one neighbor to complain on Twitter, “Did Papa Doug Manchester have to disturb all of Carmel Valley with his marriage fireworks last night? My dog barking like crazy.”
Then followed a merry-go-round of high-society party life and eight-figure residential real estate deals, including the purchase in 2015 of the historic Fairholme estate in Newport, Rhode Island for $15 million, which he flipped for a reported $16.1 million in February of 2016
Also, in 2015, Manchester picked up Foxhill, the sprawling La Jolla estate of the late Union-Tribune publisher Helen Copley, from the estate of her son David for about $27 million. He subsequently sunk additional millions into the property for extra bedrooms and other accouterments to accommodate his wife and the couple’s three young children.
Now, with his latest try at homespun marital bliss history, per the court filings, Manchester, father of a total of eight children and grandfather of thirteen, has placed the real estate on the market in two parcels, asking $37 million for both.
“Mr. Manchester’s spokeswoman said he is selling to ‘ downsize,’ reports the Wall Street Journal, which also offers a description of what it calls “an elaborate French chateau-style estate” equipped with “its own four-hole golf course.”
“The estate is about 27,000 square feet and has historic flair, with four-poster beds, gilded detailing, original moldings, wood paneling, chandeliers and stained-glass windows,” according to the account.
“A billiards room is outfitted with plaid carpeting; lampshades have fringe details topped with gold fox ornaments. One of the bedrooms has blue coffered ceilings, blue patterned carpeting, and gold-and-blue curtains with ornate tassels.”
When the tax reform lowered the tax-deductible mortgage amounts from $1,000,000 to $750,000, many thought the purchase market in the low-millions would feel it. But it has turned into our hottest market, mostly due to the push upward – there are only 37 houses for sale under $1,000,000:
The UNDER-$1,000,000 Market:
3rd Week of Jan.
NSDCC Active Listings
# of Pendings
The cost-per-sf pricing there has stayed about the same, but you have never gotten less for your money. When you step up to the next category, the choices have dropped significantly and pricing is red hot:
The $1,000,000 – $1,500,000 Market:
3rd Week of Jan.
NSDCC Active Listings
# of Pendings
There are more pendings than actives in the Under-$1,000,000 category – will that happen next to the $1.0M – $1.5M range?
These are the crimes and attitude required to actually go to jail for real estate fraud:
A former Fannie Mae employee will spend more than the next six years in prison after being found guilty of accepting more than a million dollars in bribes and kickbacks in exchange for selling Fannie Mae-owned foreclosures for less than market value.
Back in January 2018, Shirene Hernandez was charged with accepting bribes for steering foreclosures to certain brokers and even allegedly buying some foreclosures herself at below market value. And nearly a year ago, Hernandez was found guilty of two wire fraud counts that involved the deprivation of honest services as a result of the scheme.
Hernandez formerly worked at Fannie Mae in California as an REO foreclosure specialist and was tasked with the sale of properties foreclosed on by Fannie Mae.
As a sales representative, a position she held from 2010 through 2015, Hernandez would assign Fannie Mae-owned properties to certain real estate brokers and approve sales of the properties based on offers the brokers submitted.
But, court documents showed that Hernandez demanded and received bribes – mostly in the form of cash – in exchange for brokers getting the listings and commissions those brokers earned on real estate sales in question.
Hernandez also approved sales of Fannie Mae REOs at discounted prices to both herself and to brokers who paid her kickbacks.
As part of the scheme, Hernandez also received bribes for approving below-market sale prices of Fannie Mae properties to the brokers, all of which were violations of Fannie Mae rules and federal law.
Hernandez also helped several family members become Fannie Mae-approved brokers, and then steered nearly $80 million in Fannie Mae listings to them, resulting in nearly $2 million in commissions in less than three years.
According to court documents, Hernandez received more than $1 million in benefits from the scheme, including cash kickbacks and equity in a Fannie Mae property she bought using said kickbacks.
And, according to court documents, Hernandez paid for that property using a duffle bag filled with $286,450 in cash, which she gave to her sister-in-law to bring to the closing.
“The crime that [Hernandez] committed was egregious,” the prosecutors wrote in their sentencing memorandum. “Rather than act in the public’s best interests…she used her position to line her own pockets. [She] is unremorseful and unrepentant, and would seemingly do it all again if she could avoid being caught.”
In addition to the 76-month prison sentence, Hernandez was also ordered her to pay $982,516 in restitution to Fannie Mae.
The number of people moving is half of what it used to be.
The gap between who’s left California by major van lines, and who’s arrived, is now at its widest in 13 years.
Every January three major van lines put out data on their state-to-state moving business. Such interstate moves by van lines are a shrinking migration niche for folks with deep pockets. Corporations have shied from paying the pricey tab for professional relocation services. Not to mention that Americans overall aren’t relocating like they once did.
Inbound moves: The state’s real problem. Americans may visit the Golden State, but don’t want to live here. So just 19,196 inbound van moves last year vs. 22,492 in the previous year — down 15%. Last year is 37% below the 16-year average. Census data for 2018 showed the total number of Californians arriving from other states was the lowest in five years.
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