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California Out-Migration Slows

From the nytimes.com:

The continuing economic downturn has drastically altered the internal migration habits of Americans, turning the flood of migrants into the Sun Belt and out of states like New York, Massachusetts and California into a relative trickle, an analysis of recent federal data confirms.

Essentially, millions of Americans have become frozen in place, researchers say, unable to sell their homes and unsure they would find jobs elsewhere anyway.

An analysis of new data from the Census Bureau and the Internal Revenue Service by the Carsey Institute at the University of New Hampshire confirms earlier census assessments of a migration slowdown.

The institute’s study compared three years’ worth of data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, which was released early Thursday and covered 2008-10, with the data from 2005-7. Since the survey’s findings are released in three-year increments, this was the first time that researchers had a set of data that included only years since the financial collapse began, allowing them to make a direct comparison to a similar period before the collapse.

Using this and other data from the I.R.S. that many researchers consider even more comprehensive, they found that migration into formerly booming states like Arizona, Florida and Nevada began to slow as soon as the recession hit and continued to shrink even into 2010, when many demographers expected it to level off. At the same time, Massachusetts, New York and California, which had been hemorrhaging people for years, and continued to do so in the three years before the financial collapse, suddenly saw the domestic migration loss shrink by as much as 90 percent.

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Pony Rides and Botox Treatments

Hat tip to TL for sending this along from the latimes.com:

Real estate agents listing an $8-million home in Santa Monica wanted to ensure a good crowd for an open house last month, so they hired a stilt walker, shirtless male jugglers and a contortionist who floated in the pool, encased in a clear plastic bubble.

Over near the Beverly Center, an agent stationed models in front of a new condominium project. Wearing chocolate velour robes and flip-flops, the young men and women served up free drinks — in keeping with the marketing theme that “it’s always cocktail hour” at these condos.

Another real estate veteran went all the way to Spain to drum up business. The Westside agent rented a cabana for a week at Ibiza’s trendy Blue Marlin beach club, pouring champagne for yacht owners as a flat-screen television flashed video of sumptuous Southern California living for jet-setters who might fancy a second, third or fourth luxury home.

When marketing a multimillion-dollar mansion, a plate of cookies in the foyer just won’t do. And with more homes than buyers, agents have begun pulling out all the stops.

“Price is key, but it’s the presentation that will sell the property,” said Calabasas agent Lisa Sorrentino, who hired the Aerial Showgirls troupe to stage the mini-circus in the Santa Monica backyard. She said the strategy worked; someone who stopped by is now dickering to lease the property for $22,500 a month.

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SD Trustee Sales – October

A reader noted that yesterday was an active day for trustee sales.  But unlike last month, when I got snookered into thinking something was afoot, I went right to the auction.com website. 

Yep, yesterday they conducted their latest installment of ‘trustee sales by ballroom auction’ – link here.

I can relate to what they are going through.  Bank of America and others are dumping some of their worst properties on them – only two of the 117 properties were over $400,000, and the majority were under $200,000.  There was also plenty of postponements.  Of the 117 on the list, only 30 were sold – they postponed 58, and cancelled 29.

If you are looking to pay cash for cheap properties, and don’t mind buying without title insurance and inspections plus evicting the occupants, this might be for you.  At least the parking is easier, and you won’t be tripping over the bums and hobos downtown.

But it is run by the same REDC auction house that has been exposed here previously.

Overall yesterday there were 68 trustee sales conducted throughout the county, with 38 properties being purchased by 3rd parties, and 30 going back-to-bene.  It brings October’s total up to 672 trustee sales, with three days to go.  In September there were 754 successful trustee sales.

Encinitas Discarded

Part of the buyers’ frustration these days is due to seeing so many properties of lower quality. 

Elective sellers who are too proud to sell for below-peak prices are holding off, and as a result, the inventory is full of houses that people don’t mind losing – fixers, bad locations, functionally obsolescent, dumps, etc.

Pasadena Craftsman

From the latimes.com:

Centered on a century-old Moreton Bay fig tree, this neo-Craftsman looks at home among the historic estates of Pasadena. Wood beams, floors, built-ins and ceilings continue the contemporary take on Arts and Crafts architecture inside.

Location: 335 W. Bellevue Drive, Pasadena 91105

Asking price: $2,895,000 (pending after 7 DOM – redfin link for more photos)

House size: Five bedrooms, seven bathrooms, 5,532 square feet  Year built: 1991

Lot size: 20,790 square feet

Features: 18-foot entry and living room ceilings; built-in shelves and window seat in library; office; elevator; two-bedroom upstairs guest suite includes a second kitchen, dining area, living room and bathroom; 1,012-square-foot basement.

$100 Down Payment

From dsnews.com:

HUD has approved a program aimed at putting foreclosed homes back into the hands of owner-occupant buyers.

In select states, from now into October of next year, buyers need a down payment of only $100 to purchase a HUD-owned REO home.

The buyer must be an owner-occupant, utilizing financing insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). Standard FHA underwriting guidelines apply, and the sale must be for the full amount of the current list price.

The $100 down payment incentive program has been approved for two of HUD’s four national regions – the regions managed by the Denver Homeownership Center and the Atlanta Homeownership Center. HUD homes in the states listed, as well as the Caribbean are currently eligible for the program.

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