CA renter, a big supporter and blog commenter since the beginning of bubbleinfo.com was nice enough to sit down and talk real estate to celebrate today’s 5th anniversary. I respect her desire for privacy, so you’re stuck looking at me a lot – sorry. She is a valued contributor because her comments on the blog are based on reality – she is sold at the peak, banked the money, and has been carefully looking to buy a home ever since….and is on the street searching regularly!
Thanks to all participants over the years! Jim the Realtor
Nice job, Jim. You’re definitely a voice of calm reason among all the hype and hyteria surrounding real estate. Great unintended touch to the video interview was hearing Tom Petty singing “I won’t back down” in the background. Conincidence?
Thanks Surfer Steve….yes, coincidence but love it!
Jim, just wondering if I have my history right.
Did you post over on Ben Jones blog way back when and THEN you started your site?
I seem to recall getting to know you first by your comments on various sites- (must have been Ben Jones site or?).
This truly the best Real Estate blog out there. Thanks Jim for making it available.
Reguarding the revolution I’m in! I believe all we need is “lawyers guns and money”.
Congrats JTR – You’ve been a sane voice in an insane time. Sure wish more of your specific industry would take note.
Here on the commercial side, its just as confounding, yet in such different ways.
Congrats! Happy 5th anniversary!
Love your website. Happy 5th!
Congratulations, Jim!!! Here’s to many, many more!
Great interview. Question not asked though… how much do interest rates play into your thoughts?
Happy 5th, Jim!
Have you considered slapping some Google ads on your site? Let me know if you want help with that. A little extra money never hurts. 🙂
My take is that CA Renter simply enjoys the process of shopping and all the drama.
Congrats, Jim, on your 5th anniversary! There’s a reason I check into bubbleinfo at least once a day. You’re simply the best…
Congrats Jim! Here’s to a happy 5th.
great site and informative videos….great work.
LM and tj,
We did about 60 minutes on tape and I cut it down to this 9-min version.
On our stroll down memory lane…..I started in September, 2005 with stats to show sellers why they need to sharpen their pencil on list price if they expected to sell.
I was monitoring the tracker, getting 1-20 hits per day, when boom – in one night I got 300 hits!
I traced it back to Ben’s blog, where a commenter had posted a link – we think it could have been CA renter? I had never heard of Ben’s blog, but was happy to be included there.
Of course Ben’s commenters tore me apart for being a realtor, but I hung in and commented there occasionally. CA renter stuck up for me – being from Carlsbad she could see that what I was posting was true.
In November, 2005 she came by my open house on Garboso and put two and two together – that I was the blog guy, and we’ve been friends since.
She did comment yesterday that she thinks that low interest rates are the main driver of this market, and ideally she wants to wait until rates go up to weed out the buyer pool, and get prices to drop further. But we also agreed that it’ll take an unpredictable event in the market to push rates up, something that the Fed won’t be able to control.
I enjoy being the only website on the internet that DOESN’T have google ads, I think it’s cleaner and more readable.
5 years now? Wow!
Thanks for calling it as you’ve seen it. I’ve really appreciated your data with the dose of entertainment that you’ve presented here.
You posted as ‘Carlsbad Jim’ I remember. Definitely courageous to stick around the HBB as a realtor back in the day. I’ve been reading your blog ever since.
Can’t believe it’s been five years. Congrats and I always appreciat your site — great advice and commentary even for those of us living outside sunny San Diego
JTR, congrats on the 5 year anniversary of this site … it is an amazing body of work. In addition to being full of style and humor, your takes on the real estate market have been some of the most accurate and insightful I have seen.
Happy 5th Anniversary! Thanks Jim for the posts and videos, and all the participants for their comments. I have learned a lot from this blog.
Happy 5th Anniversary! I love the blog and learn a lot from this site.
Keep it up!
Also, Nantucket is FINALLY starting to get going. You’ve done a great job covering that disaster and it finally looks like it’s going to resolve itself.
Congrats Jim! Getting on top is easy. Staying there is the hard part.
Yes, congratulations on your 5th anniversary, Jim! Even though I am up the coast, I am entirely addicted to your blog and your many generous, thoughtful posters.
I wish you’d clone yourself and come up to our neck of the woods. It’s amazing how much cash is ready to jump on the termite-ridden, popcorn-asbestos-studded, peeling-linoleum, roof-leaking view properties.
Long live Bubbleinfo!
Right, I remember the Ben Jones comments were making fun of you at first- for like the first day!- but you won them over pretty fast- I recall them labeling you the exception to the rule regarding realtors.
In a way that should be seen as a very big accomplishment and something to be proud of- earning the respect of your (industry’s) biggest critics.
Happy 5th, and many more.
Congratulations Jim for your wonderful blog’s 5th anniversary! Your videos and opinions represent an excellent learning resource with a global outreach!
Speaking of the house on Garboso…..I had laid out my whole predicament here. It was a rental that had accumulated a swamp’s worth of rain in the backyard during heavy rains in the winter of 2004/2005.
It’s in Old La Costa where the sticky clay soil was terrible for drainage, and the yard was below street level due to the slope.
I mentioned that I spent $50,000 to make it right, installing a whole new yard with drainage systems, walls, fences, etc. all while the house sat vacant.
The next thing I know, somebody comments on Ben’s blog that I lost $50,000 on a flip.
I had owned the house for 3.5 years, and sold it for almost $100,000 more than I paid for it. I was incensed – fuming mad that somebody would misconstrue the facts just to make me look bad.
It was in that moment that I realized that anonymous jerks would be taking unfair shots at me for as long as I was going to do a blog, and I need to be OK with it, and let it go.
Thankfully it has mellowed considerably!
Wow, Bucharest, Romania – Thanks Valentin!
I consider the blog a communtiy effort, here’s how you’ve been doing over the last 30 days:
15,989 absolute unique visitors
61.45% bounce rate
22.16% new visitors vs. 77.82% returning visitors
The patterns haven’t changed much since the LATimes/ABC Nightline pieces in April, 2009, which is surprising.
I would think that once people buy a house, they’d swear off blogs altogether, but there seems to be a steady stream of new people – welcome!
From wiki: Bounce rate = It essentially represents the percentage of initial visitors to a site who “bounce” away to a different site, rather than continue on to other pages within the same site.
To me, our bounce rate signifies how many regulars we have who check the latest update, and off you go.
She did comment yesterday that she thinks that low interest rates are the main driver of this market, and ideally she wants to wait until rates go up to weed out the buyer pool, and get prices to drop further.
My sentiments exactly!
Congratulations, Jim. I am not sure when I started reading your blog but just like the others, I am hooked. Keep up the great job.
Jim, congrats on five years. I have not been here the whole five years, but plan on sticking around for the next five at least.
And CA Renter, after five years, how about your own blog? It would be great.
Bubbleinfo.com is my daily go-to—and I’m far, far away from San Diego County. Always informative and entertaining–good combo.
Blush blush blush and Congratulations.
Congrats, Jim! I’m an intersted wannabe, living in CO. I’ll never be able to afford a good house in SD or SoCA where I grew up. But I still enjoy your blog.
Congrats! and although for selfish reasons I’d always like to see more Oceanside vids and stats, I feel fortunate to have this blog to guide and educate me about the wild west that is southern california real estate.
I have a feeling I’ll be reading / watching for years to come. Keep up the great work!
Jim, Nice questions for CA Renter. Unfortunately for us readers, she’s spent so many sleepless nights thinking about all the important questions. I have no doubt that working so hard for so long to find that one right house, has added incrementally to her already difficult decision. I feel for her, it’s a very tough spot.
We sold a house we liked a lot in a neighborhood we loved back in early ’05 because it was the financially responsible move for us. Looking back, the best part of it was that it (eventually) gave us the opportunity to buy & settle in here. But, living in rentals for the next 3 1/2 years was painful for us, we missed being homeowners. So, I’d love to hear if CA Renter is happy STILL being in a rental this long?
2 1/2 years ago we found a home we loved in a place we like a lot, at a price we believed was fair. We bought it and haven’t looked back once. We too were TOUGH buyers, I believe VERY tough. We knew what we wanted – LOCATION & VALUE, believed very strongly in our perception of “fair value”, but I think our added edge was we had no fear of buying and then watching the market fall. (I couldn’t care less what prices do for the next three years, we all have to live somewhere.)
I think this is the principal problem many buyers face today. If we’d been looking for the “perfect” home, or to buy at the market bottom we’d STILL be on the sidelines, heck everyone would. (Truth is, our house is far from perfect, we’ve got freeway noise AND a power line across the street.) BUT, in a market like this there are always reasons NOT to buy. Another question for CA Renter, We’ve seen pretty nice price drops. How tough is it to quantify what future price drop makes waiting even longer to buy worthwhile?
Don’t misunderstand me. If a wannabe buyer likes looking, but is comfortable sitting out the next, say, five years in a rental, I say enjoy the experience. I doubt they’ll lose or make money from the decision. But, if they’re looking to buy because they enjoy the many benefits of home ownership over renting, I AM SURE you could find them a home they’ll be happy in for a long time, at a price they won’t regret paying & most importantly, help them better understand – for them – buying is the right move to make. AND, this I believe is the number one reason many wannabe homeowners would do well to hire you to help them.
Congrats, Jim! After a year and a half of reading every day from out of state, we’re finally renting in the area and may actually have something to contribute in the future. Keep up the great work.
Happy 5th Anniversary, Jim!
Your blog has been both a terrific source of information and fun. The readers/posters here are top-notch, and it’s always great to hear all the different perspectives.
Thank you for all that you do!
Good questions. As Jim knows, we are extremely fortunate because we have a very nice rental in one of our target neighborhoods, with the best landlords we could ever hope for, and we pay below-market rent. It is 100% because of our rental situation that we have been able to be patient this whole time, and why we’re not in any rush to buy.
We’ve owned before, and don’t really have any sort of emotional attachment to owning vs. renting. For us, the only reason we’d buy is if we found either the perfect house at a reasonable price, or got a less-than-perfect house for an unbelievably low price.
As tj inferred above, what would most likely prompt us to buy would be *high* interest rates…and much less govt/bank intervention in the housing market. Until then, we are content to wait. We are always looking for the right deal, but don’t feel truly motivated to buy until things become less rigged against buyers.
Congratulations on 5 years JtR!
A North County real estate blog seems like an unlikely venue to attract a consistent set of interesting people over the years. But by chance, we found ourselves at a major ground zero point for the defining economic story of a generation. People who lived through the Great Depression are passing on, and this housing bubble and recession that will be the new economic yardstick for decades to come. And we’re not through it yet!
So thank you JtR for being an honest reporter from the trenches in this war. You’ve shown us some good, a lot of bad, and way too much mold-like substance. Most people just want a fair property at a fair price for all involved. I think I speak for most of us when I say we appreciate your giving that process a helping hand.
congratulations, Jim, and thanks for the resource all these years.
Jim, congrats on your 5th anniversary. I live all the way over on the east coast, but you’ve given me a terrific education in real estate.
And some great laughs. Keep it coming.
Thanks CR Renter. As always, well thought & well said. Best.
R=A, by the way. :>))
Wow, 5 years – CONGRATS! I think I found bubbleinfo about 3 1/2 years ago. I check in multiple times a day.
Enjoyed the interview with CA Renter. So many good things to discuss there, but don’t wanna overshadow the milestone. Hopefully, we’ll revisit that soon somehow.
This is, in my opinion, the best real estate blog standing. Thanks Jim.
wow, 5 years. has it been that long? We too met up at a JtR open house, an open house over at old Carlsbad, back in the days when most of us were still Ben Jones regulars.
Jim has been a good friend and really helped us thru some rough patches as well as a great sounding board to bounce off ideas.
thank you and here’s to another 5 years!
Congrats Jim! I still read your site even when far from San Diego.
This is my favorite blog and I check it first each day. (Has been this way for 3 years now)
I’ve never posted here before but I’m using my first post to say that I’m a fan and to say congrats on the anniversary.
I came to your blog after watching every one of your videos on YouTube. Although I live on the East Coast, and don’t plan on even going to “Caleefornya,” you make this corner of the Internet worth visiting. Happy 5th!
You’re too funny. 🙂
I love flying under the radar, which is why Jim, Rich, and Ben are my heroes!
Hopefully, on your 10th anniversary, market factors will have forced you to change the name of the blog to something other than ‘bubbleinfo.’
Not a bad job for someone from norcal.
I already have doublebubbleinfo.com pointed here.
Thank you everyone for your very warm thoughts. I appreciate it, and you!
Congrats on 5 years. It was great to get more insite from CA Renter, one of my favorite posters on your blog and Piggington.
I really enjoy your interviews with regular posters like Jeeman, Adam, and now CA Renter.
Congrats Jim & Co on the last five years.
Jim, with all the work you obviously put into the blog, I sometimes wonder how you find the time to do your ‘real’ job. Thanks.
Congrats on 5 years! I think I’ve been around four years, with 3 of those lurking. I’m with CA Renter…for us, buying something was pretty anti-climatic. More of a relief than anything.
High interest rates would collapse values, but I was saying that in 2003! I said, “6% is really low, and once it goes back to normal, around 8%, values will drop 20%.” Bernanke could succeed in keeping them low for quite a few years more. But maybe someone has lost their job, and needs to desperately sell and lowballing might work. 🙂
Congratulations on five years! I enjoy your site and videos tremendously…they are both a source of information and entertainment! Thanks to you and those who regularly comment on the site for providing such helpful data and thoughts.
Once the smoke clears Jeeman’s sentiments will be validated.
Bravo on 5 years..and thanks to OC renter who pointed me here
The blog gives a heads up to the rest of us. America sneezes the wprld catches cold etc. etc.
5 years, that is awesome! Keep up the great work Jim…..
Jim, you honestly don’t know how much this blog helped me find our house. We were looking outside your territory but I still dreamed of finding a realtor with qualities that you espouse. I even made a pathetic lame attemt to email you on your business address begging for a realtor suggestion in OC,and you rightfully ignored my request( I totally understand, but I was desperate).
Huge congratulations on 5 years, please don”t ever stop. We bought in November last year, and I still am a regular reader for entertainment value alone.
Men with your honesty and integrity are quite rare in todays society, especially in realty, and I really appreciate you allowing us to ride along.
I’m late to reading this and posting, but congrats on 5 years. Love your blog. Refreshing to come across a realtor such as yourself. As some others, wish you would expand to other areas. Thanks for continuing your blog. We would miss you if you stopped, as we miss OCR.