Just Another Spec House

There are 28 houses for sale in Rancho Santa Fe, 92067 between $7 and $30 million.  There has only been one sale this year over $7 million, which was $7.8 million and you can see it here: http://www.previewfirst.com/mls/video/18745

Here’s one of the 28 for sale, and just what everyone needs – a 15,235sf new house on 5.44 acres in the Covenant…..with its own cabernet sauvignon vineyard: 

West Coast Blues Boogie Tonight

Every year the City of Carlsbad sponsors the TGIF Jazz in the Parks Concert Series.  Tonight they are featuring Rod Piazza and the Mighty Flyers, one of the best blues bands around. The show starts at 6pm at Poinsettia Park, just east of the I-5 freeway between Poinsettia and Palomar Airport Rd. exits, and it’s free! They don’t mind if you bring a jug, or bottle of wine either. Here’s a sample:

How to Double Dip

It could have been that the flippers, all on a good run, decided to go on vacation this week – and didn’t coordinate their plans with each other? If it wasn’t some quirky oddball coincidence, then maybe they’re getting nervous? That’s hard to believe, because this one seems like a no-brainer. A good reminder – be looking when everyone else isn’t:

Foreclosures Direct

This sounded like a big move:

Eric Friedman is leaving his post as senior vice president of default servicing for OneWest Bank, formerly IndyMac, and will become president of PREO, an online marketplace for REO and short sales.  Friedman, who held leadership roles with Fannie Mae and Countrywide, told REO Insider that his last day at OneWest is Aug. 13, and a search for replacement has begun. He has spent 20 years in the mortgage banking industry.

“PREO brings lenders, Realtors, homeowners and buyers together to turn distressed property back into family homes,” Friedman said.


Is PREO just another website that combines foreclosure activity with MLS listings?

No, none of the properties checked were listed for sale, but all were on foreclosureradar.com’s NOD or NOT lists.  Most of them have IndyMac loans on them, and their bid prices are different than the amount owed – and usually well under!  It sounded like they have partnered with the lenders to offer these properties to the public, but not sure if it’s a glorified short-sale, or an actual open bidding process before, during, or after the trustee sale.

The website also mentions that it “encourages defaulting borrowers to allow an inspection and interior photographs in exchange for the promise to relocate within 30 days after a bid is accepted.”

This could be the wave of the future – a website designed and run by insiders to liquidate properties directly to the public.  If the opening-bid amounts are legit, and buyers can get a peek inside the house prior to bidding, it could take off. 

They are realtor-friendly too, put my name down when registering:


Flood Watch

Are the choppy market conditions causing more sellers to give it a go?

Specifically, are new listings on the increase, flooding the market when older reluctant listings are stagnating?  If so, it would sure give buyers another reason to pause.  The new-listing count has been higher than last year, but still historically low – here are the San Diego detached numbers:

New listings Apr May June July Totals
2008 3,984 3,766 3,686 3,721 15,157
2009 2,877 2,775 3,062 3,057 11,771
2010 3,572 3,244 3,460 2,788 13,068

No big flood to report, but the water has been rising due to inaccurate pricing. Not enough are selling, and a backlog is forming.

Today’s active inventory is 8,144 detached listings, and 3,908 attached listings, for a total of 12,052, which is 5% higher than it was four weeks ago.

July detached closings are probably going to be 20% to 30% lower than last month.  There were 2,074 detached sales in June, and so far in July we’ve only had 1,238 actually close.  So far there have been 1,656 detached listings get marked pending this month, so closings are going to be modest for the next few months, unless the short-sales can save the day.  Of the 1,238 detached closings this month, 196 were marked as short sales, or 16%, and 226 as REOs, or 18%.

Psychology of Real Estate

Hat tip to dwip for sending this over, from Yahoo. Full article here, and some excerpts:

For a seller, advertising that you’ve recently painted your house seems like a no-brainer. But in a study that looked at nearly 60,000 residential real estate transactions in Texas, listings that mentioned new paint, new carpet and/or roof work sold, on average, for slightly less than those that did not.

Thomas A. Thomson, the study’s coauthor and the director of the Real Estate Finance and Development Program at the University of Texas at San Antonio, says that buyers aren’t going to be fooled by a problem house simply because it has a fresh coat of paint. “It’s kind of like putting lipstick on a pig,” he says. But even if there’s nothing wrong with the house, an advertisement that touts new features could set off alarm bells. If a seller says everything is new, a buyer might wonder why everything needed to be replaced-and whether there are other defects lurking.

Thomson recommends sellers take the simpler route: Let potential buyers be surprised by the quality of the home, instead of disappointed by how average it is compared with its description.


Do buyers pay more when sellers’ real estate agents are attractive?

Apparently so: Preliminary results of a study from Old Dominion University suggest that, put bluntly, the more attractive a male finds his female agent, the higher the price he’ll probably be willing to pay. Women also seem to be susceptible to attractive female agents, although not to the degree that men are. (Neither women nor men seem to respond much to attractive males.) “I’d like to think I wouldn’t fall prey to it,” says Seiler. “But I think that the people who were in our study would have said the exact same thing.”


A big part of any decision to sell a house is where a homeowner thinks prices are heading. So how do owners feel after the brutal market of the past few years? Surprisingly-perhaps naively-optimistic. A recent survey of 479 homeowners in 20 U.S. metropolitan areas found that people were about five times more likely to say their own homes would see their prices increase in the next 12 months than they were to say their neighbors’ homes would do better.

Robert Shiller, a professor at Yale University, and Karl Case, a professor at Wellesley College, survey homeowners every year to gauge how confident they are that their homes will increase in value. Only once, when the housing market was at its worst in the recent crash, did the poll results slide into the negative. In general, the average respondent figured his home was bound to jump in value in the near future. “People don’t change their opinions that quickly,” says Shiller.

Whether they’ll regret those opinions later, only time will tell. If his expectations are out of whack with reality, an overoptimistic seller could wind up waiting for a higher price that will never arrive. But pessimists should tread just as carefully: An overly downbeat seller could wind up dumping a house at a price far below what it could fetch a year or two later.

Combo Mix

This swings wildly from Carlsbad bikers to a Covenant REO cheapie, hopefully there is something in here that makes it worth six minutes of your life:

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