103-Year-Old Gets Reprieve

From sandrarose.com

Not many people live to be 103 years old. But rather than celebrating her 104th birthday in 3 weeks, Vita Lee worries about staying in her home.

Channel 2 Action News reports that movers hired by Deutsche Bank, and sheriff’s deputies arrived at the ranch style home yesterday to evict Ms. Lee and her 83-year-old daughter as community activists and Channel 2?s Ryan Young gathered outside. But after seeing Ms. Lee in her fragile state, the movers and sheriff’s deputies refused to go through with the eviction.

“I saw the sheriffs who came to put them out take off and leave. I gave all glory to God,” community activist Michael Langford said.  “This family has been waging a war against Deutch Bank,” said community activist Derrick Boezeman.

The eviction action was too much for Ms. Lee’s daughter. An ambulance rushed her to Grady hospital as news cameras rolled.

When Ms. Lee was asked if she knew she was being evicted, she said, “No. I knew they didn’t know what they was doing. God don’t let you do wrong.” She added: “You know, the Bible says ‘once a man and twice a child’. I’m a child, 104-years-old. Don’t put me outdoors at 104.”

Young explained that the house and case have been in the court system for years. Ms. Lee and her daughter has shared the home on Penelope Street in Northwest Atlanta for 53 years.

Ms. Lee had one last message for the ruthless bankers: “Please don’t come in and disturb me no more,” she said. “When I’m gone y’all can come out here and do anything you want to do.”

House That Tweets

From HW:

Leave it to Silicon Valley to come up with a new idea for a struggling housing market desperate to revive the American Dream.

Jen O’Neal, with the help of her sister, decided to give the house their parents are selling a voice on Twitter. For those living under a rock, Twitter allows fleeting posts of 140 characters or less. It is arguably the furthest thing from interacting with a live, chatty real estate agent.

The ornate mansion situated in an older neighborhood in Tucson, Ariz., tweets daily with real estate agents, investors, shoppers and journalists via the handle @IAMAHouse1.

“My sister and I always thought the house had a lot of character, and we thought it would be really neat if it had a voice,” O’Neal said in an interview.

Playful and illustrative, the house seduces online passersby with photos and tweets that give it the sort of charm real estate agents and sellers shell out thousands of dollars for in seminar fees:

“They say that eyes are the window to the soul. With floor-to-ceiling windows, my soul is off the hook.”

“Went on the market last wk. My owners’ kids are grown so they say I’m too big for them now. Apparently size does matter.”

“A family of doves built their nest in my eaves. Kinda tickles.”

“Is it hot in here or is it just me?” it tweeted complete with a photo of its dashing living room and fireplace.


O’Neal graduated from the University of California, Berkeley and became one of the first employees at the online ticket company StubHub in 2000. She recently founded Tripping, a social media site for international travelers to make friends they can visit and stay with. Twitter, for the Silicon Valley startup, comes naturally.

Jenni Morrison, the real estate agent for the O’Neals, said the home has been on the market for about three weeks and is generating a lot of inquiries O’Neal forwards to her directly from the Twitter feed, some from as far away as the U.K.

“She’s very bright, and she just had this brainstorm,” Morrison said in an interview. “We really had no expectations, but it’s been really, really successful so far. With the market the way it is, it’s time we looked at a different direction.””

In many areas around the country, especially in Arizona, success is needed. Foreclosures remain elevated there. CoreLogic reported Tuesday that 47% of Arizona homeowners are underwater. Morrison said the O’Neal place would have sold for $1.6 million a few years ago. Today, they’re asking for $1.25 million.

Still, the troubles aren’t getting to @IAMAHouse1.

“He is happiest, be he king or peasant, who finds peace in his home. – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe,” the house just tweeted.


If you have already conceded that you’ll be spending $100,000 to fix the house you buy, and you’ve narrowed the search down to a single-level home over 3,000 sf with some kind of view for less than $1,000,000 around Rancho Santa Fe, then this might be an idea for you:

Oceanfront Someday?

My new listing in Carlsbad’s preferred beach community, Terramar.

It’s an unusual beach community full of long-time residents who all know each other, not a typical high-density transient beach area. Residents also have private access to the beach, where they have the party that coincides with the annual Fourth of July Parade:

Appliance Thieves Arrested

Hat tip to RB Renter for sending this in, from the U-T:

NORTH COUNTY — Sheriff’s deputies are trying to identify owners of thousand of dollars worth of stolen kitchen appliances and other items after two men suspected of burglarizing homes in Fallbrook were arrested and a cache of merchandise was discovered.

Undercover detectives posing as husband and wife went to a home in Moreno Valley in Riverside County Wednesday after responding to a Craigslist ad offering a set of Viking stainless steel appliances for sale for $8,500, sheriff’s Sgt. Joe Montion said.

The items matched the description of property that had been stolen Nov. 17 from a vacant Fallbrook home that was for sale, Montion said. While detectives were there they also found Thermador appliances believed to have been stolen from a second vacant home in Fallbrook Nov. 19.

The men selling the items, identified as 37-year-old twin brothers Julio and Juan Villanueva, were taken into custody.

In the garage of the house deputies recovered 36 appliances that included ovens, microwaves, trash compactors, warmers and dishwashers with brand names like Jenn-Air, Kitchen Aid, GE Profile, and GE Monogram, Montion said.

Investigators also seized a computer that had been used to search for homes for sale in Escondido, Fallbrook, Carlsbad and Riverside County that specifically featured the high-end stainless appliances, Montion said.

Sports memorabilia signed by NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame players Emmit Smith and Dan Marino was also recovered.  Only 10 of the items have been identified by victims, Montion said.

Deputies are asking that anyone, particularly real estate agents, who know of homes that have been burglarized contact the department at 760-451-3100 to view the property. It is valued at more than $100,000, Montion said.

The Villanuevas were booked into Vista jail where they are being held on a variety of theft and conspiracy charges. Bail for Julio Villanueva, who was also charged with possession of methamphetamine, was set at $215,000. Bail for his brother was set at $210,000.

Case-Shiller San Diego Sept 2011

David Blitzer and his crooked bow tie make the usual psycho-babble comments on CNBC:


“Consumer attitudes have gotten a lot more negative about long-term commitments, and the No. 1 long-term commitment most people in this country made is buying a house,” David Blitzer, chairman of the S&P Index Committee, told CNBC.

Prices in August were also revised to show a decline of 0.3 percent after originally being reported as unchanged.  The index has leveled off in recent months and analysts are hoping the market is at least stabilizing.

“Over the last year home prices in most cities drifted lower,” Blitzer said in a statement.

“The plunging collapse of prices seen in 2007-2009 seems to be behind us. Any chance for a sustained recovery will probably need a stronger economy.”



This was probably the more pertinent comment from the same article:

The number of U.S. homeowners who are underwater on their mortgages decreased modestly in the third quarter, though levels remained high, data analysis company CoreLogic said Tuesday.

The number of properties with so-called negative equity — in which the amount owed on the mortgage exceeds the property’s value — was 10.7 million, or 22.1 percent of all residential properties with a mortgage.

That is a slight decrease from 10.9 million, or 22.5 percent, in the second quarter, CoreLogic said.

“Although slightly down, negative equity remains very high and renders many borrowers vulnerable when negative economic shocks occur, such as job loss or illness,” Mark Fleming, chief economist at CoreLogic, said in a statement.

As the housing market struggles to recover, the large number of underwater homeowners has prompted concerns of more foreclosures to come if borrowers become unable to keep up with their payments or decide to walk away.



Lately, San Diego’s ride has been smooth, not bumpy, with September’s SA off -0.5%:

The last few years close-up:

One-Story Olivenhain

Here the seller lowered the price aggressively from $1,095,000 to $899,000 in the first 45 days of the listing, and a couple of weeks later, an agent from a different office bought it:

The previous owner paid $1.2 million and financed 100% of it – but he must have wrote a check. There was no sign of a short sale or foreclosure.

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