“99 Homes,” a gripping, intelligent thriller set amid the bursting of the nation’s housing bubble, zeroes in on the ruination of the American dream and the morally bankrupt characters who profited from the carnage. Like “The Grapes of Wrath,” it’s a classic example of how to take a social issue and turn it into riveting cinema.
The story opens in an Orlando, Fla., bathroom, where a family man has just killed himself to avoid the specter of being thrown out of his foreclosed home. Not long after the yellow police tape has been set up, real estate broker Rick Carver (the incomparable Michael Shannon) is prowling the premises, with an e-cigarette in his mouth, a cell phone in his ear and a gun attached to his ankle. Carver needs to make sure that the dead man’s grieving wife and kids are shooed off the grounds, so he can keep his banker clients happy.
Then it’s off to another residence, where Carver’s next victim awaits: down-on-his-luck construction worker Dennis Nash (Andrew Garfield, back in top form after his “Spider-Man” foray), his mother (the always reliable Laura Dern) and his son. It’s the first of many evictions in this movie, and director Ramin Bahraini imbues all of them with a palpable sense of terror, anguish and heartbreak.
As it turns out, Carver sees a lot of leadership potential in the handyman Nash, who ends up striking a Faustian deal in which he helps the ruthless broker with evictions in exchange for financial help. Because of Garfield’s skill, and the strength of the script, we sympathize with the desperate Nash and his love for his home, even as he forecloses on his moral values.
Likewise, Shannon provides interesting shadings to Carver. On the surface, he’s Gordon Gekko with a “Miami Vice” outfit, but it’s clear that Carver doesn’t enjoy what he’s doing or view it simply as a way to get rich. Instead, he sees himself as a player trying to survive in a game that’s been rigged against 99 percent of the population. Shannon manages to convey an inner loneliness, a quiet desperation that he’s gone too far but can’t turn back.
A woman questioned by the FBI after an Allegiant Air Las Vegas – Honolulu flight says a flight attendant having a bad day and ‘taking it out on’ her is the cause of her exposing herself and refusing to put out an e-cigarette inflight.
Passengers on the flight told authorities that Sharp exposed her breasts, swore at the attendant and also threw a crumpled can with soda still in it at him.
But she explained: ‘I didn’t mean to throw it at him. I was trying to hit the trash can that was next to him.’
After putting out her e-cigarette, she allegedly went to the lavatory to continue to vape. Before things got worse though, she apparently “passed out for the duration of the journey.”
Mortgage rates had another great day, with most lenders maintaining or improving upon yesterday’s 4-month lows. Given that we’d have to go back to May 8th, 2015 to see better rates, we’re very close to ‘5-month lows.’ In terms of top-tier conventional 30yr fixed rate quotes, 3.875% remains most prevalent. A growing number of lenders are quoting 3.75% and only a few remain up at 4.0%. Not all borrowers will see a change in their quoted rate over the past few days, but in those cases, the closing costs would be lower or the lender credit would be higher.
Although there was a reasonable chance that we’d see increased volatility in the markets that underlie mortgage rates today, trading remained calm and positive. Stock prices and bond yields continued to diverge. This could have something to do with the way investors approached the end of the month and quarter. In other words, the volatility that was a risk today, could instead simply be waiting for the new month/quarter tomorrow. In any event, Friday’s big jobs report always has the potential to send rates quickly in either direction. While that does mean there could be further improvement for those willing to roll the dice on the economic data, it’s hard to argue against taking that risk off the table with rates near 5-month lows.
Huge single level main house that’s undergone a $600,000 remodel, plus two guest houses for the extended family too. An incredible parklike setting perfect for kids to run around – and go to Roger Rowe Schools! This tennis estate has produced two high-level collegiate tennis stars! Only $2,645,000!
After it looked like we were heading for flatsville, the July reading of the San Diego Case-Shiller Index experienced a big spring-like pop of 1.14% month-over-month. Here are the San Diego NSA changes for 2015:
Statistics like these are going to bounce around, so making a decision based on one month’s reading is ill-advised. But the trend this year has been positive!
A big shout out to the commenters on Thursday’s 10th Anniversary Show – your involvement is appreciated! Rob Dawg suggested that the next ten years will be more interesting – indeed!
What about the next ten years?
Let’s start with identifying where buyers are today – they have arrived.
The inventory of homes for sale is online, and available to everyone 24/7. The gadgets and gizmos help buyers explore each house thoroughly, and in the future those gimmicks should expand to include full 360-degree video tours, heat-imagery scans, mortgage history, inspection reports, history of insurance claims, title reports , etc. Most of these are available now, but not for widespread consumer use.
But are buyers interested in more stuff?
The analytical buyers will love digging around for more data, but most people will be happy reviewing a few photos or video before ordering a personal tour. Once there, gut instinct and emotions take over, and an offer is made. The listing agent will then dictate how much you will pay, and if acceptable, then the deal is made. Hopefully you like the price, because for the most part, it isn’t very negotiable.
Wouldn’t that change if we transition back to a buyer’s market?
It might soften up a bit, but note this fact:
Everyone in the real-estate-selling business is on the sellers’ side. Why? Because nobody gets paid unless sellers say so – and they only agree when they are mostly happy about getting their price.
It is different now – there aren’t distress sales in popular areas, and we know that if people get in trouble, foreclosures are unlikely – they will get bailed out instead by the Homeowners’ Bill of Rights and government support. Hence, we are stuck with elective sellers – especially in popular areas.
Besides, nobody will side with buyers, unless a fee-only or hourly pay structure is implemented. But buyers are very reluctant to commit to an open-ended pay package when all they want to do is look at a few houses for sale.
So we have a lop-sided playing field, with agents and vendors (escrow, title insurance, banks, appraisers, portals, etc.) on the sellers’ side, hoping to coax buyers into paying the right price. If the buyers aren’t willing to pay the happy price, they are told to go back to the sidelines – because confronting the seller about going down in price is almost unheard of these days (it’s easier and more dramatic to act offended).
The one thing that could bring a wholesale change to this equation is the auction format. But that would just level the playing field, and give buyers a more-equitable shot at paying a fair price – though it could be more!
In the meantime, these could happen:
A big disruptor could come in and break the mold. But it would only be a platform of sorts, and somebody’s staff will still need to do the work of sales.
Realtors love to spoon their new listings to their buddies at under-market prices and get both sides of the commission. Could we see a district attorney take down a few of the worst offenders over the next ten years, and teach the industry a lesson? Yes.
A national MLS will likely develop, which will create a uniform presentation of the listings across the country. But don’t we already have that with Zillow? There might be jostling between portals, but the eyeballs will follow the best.
Zillow could develop a brokerage side, and would be able to sell it easily.
Any discount brokerage could rise to prominence, if they are willing to advertise like crazy. The brokerage that advertises the most, will win the game – Zillow has shown how good advertising trumps all.
Better and more efficient transportation (battery cars) combined with working at home could allow for housing developments to be built further out.
Zestimates become accepted as close enough. Buyers don’t care about pricing precision, they just want a house.
First-time buyers dominate the market – primarily foreigners. Those who already have a house here aren’t as desperate, and won’t pay as much.
Multi-generational buyers will increase – they would rather combine finances to afford better housing, than to live where they can afford separately.
Reality TV fluff continues to be popular, and helps to form opinions.
Real estate smarts keep you on the sidelines – the less-informed are making the market.
Prices keep going up.
After the big downturn, the San Diego Case-Shiller Index is lower than it was ten years ago. Where do you think it will be in 2025?
P.S. Speaking of disruptors, remember what Henry Ford said, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses”. (h/t Jorge)
We have the latest Case-Shiller numbers coming out tomorrow, and Zillow is predicting just a slight M-o-M uptick nationally. The Inventory Watch began here almost two years ago, and today’s numbers look pretty similar to those in November, 2013.
Pricing statistics have flattened out for now – and the sales are chugging along. As long as inventory stays tight, expect more of the same.
Click on the link below for the complete NSDCC active-inventory data:
Two of the most successful new-home tracts in the history of Carmel Valley are winding down, and the demand has been impressive.
After 2.5 years, ADM is down to their last 13 homes plus the three models, and they still have 90 people on their priority list – and those had to qualify to get on the list. This weekend, they are releasing ten homes, starting at $2 million. I love the strategy, because it sends a thrill throughout the entire list of people – everyone might have a shot to buy something!
Further out the 56 corridor – but still in the Del Mar School District – is Verana. In February, they opened the models to sell 78 homes around $1,000,000, and they are down to the last two phases plus a handful of stragglers; of which two or three back to the freeway.
Selling 78 million-dollar homes in less than a year is an incredible sales pace:
This guy tries to make a case that October 8th is the best day of the year to get a deal on a house. Generally, let’s just say that the best time to buy a house is when everyone else isn’t – and you still have to be able to find the right house, at the right price:
Jim the Realtor is legit - I interviewed three brokers; he said list price should be $100,000 higher than the other two brokers; listed it with him and had all cash (no financing) offer in two days, five day contingency period, closing in two weeks - and it closed at his recommended list price. I could not recommend anyone more than I recommend Jim the Realtor.
When we moved to San Diego in 2005 we rented a big house on Mt. Soledad (La Jolla) with 180 degree ocean views for the same payment as a mortgage on a dump in Chula Vista. Clearly something was wrong. Yet, the media was full of the usual happy-talk nonsense, so I was glad to find Jim's blog. I've followed his honest assessments and data since.
We decided to sell and move to AZ at Thanksgiving. Dec. 1st we met with Jim to sell our home. We closed today (29 days later). Jim orchestrated a feeding frenzy -- we had 25 showings in 2-1/2 days, multiple offers, and sold for well over asking price. I'd say he earned his commission! We have owned and sold homes in 5 different States always using experienced, productive, full-time realtors. Jim outshines them all.
You don't decide to sell and close 29 days later over Christmas (with COVID lockdown) without some miracles. Donna was amazing at performing lots of those miracles and ensuring that everything was done right and on time. They are a terrific team with a very responsive and professional network.
Where do we begin..2020 has been a year for everyone. When COVID hit and shut down both my husband and my businesses, we were left with a mortgage and very little income coming in. We were stressed, scared and felt stuck. We made the hard decision to sell our home and move out of state. We contacted the Klinges' and spent a good hour going over what we hoped we could accomplish. Jim and Donna came over with comps in hand and suggestions on improvements to get our house ready for the market. It was overwhelming to think about, but Donna was there and one step ahead in every scenario. Basically we just approved what they suggested and Donna handled literally everything. We placed our house on the market and within the first day we had multiple offers well above asking price! We couldn't believe it. We were overjoyed! Jim countered the offers to weed through them, and everyone came back with way more. It was amazing, and we are ?? sure it was because of the staging and repairs the Klinges suggested we do.
Due to unforeseen dishonesty from the buyers lender, we hit a big hurdle when trying to close. We had already moved out of state and were shocked when three days before closing the lender dropped a bombshell on the buyers and us. However, Jim and Donna handled it like veterans, not afraid to play hard ball and represent their clients. After a few phone calls with us, and several between Donna and the lender, they had a plan B-Z to make sure we were taken care of. In the end we closed with even more money than we ever thought possible and with very little work from us. The Klinges handled this entire "2020" worthy event with the utmost professionalism and did everything in their power to not only make this as smooth as possible for us, but we also walked away with more money from the sale of the house than we ever hoped for. After working with Jim and Donna, you don't ever use anyone else. They are hands down the best team to represent you in any scenario.
Working with Klinge Realty Group was a great experience! They are very responsive, professional and knowledgable about the real estate market! I would definitely recommend Klinge Realty Group.
Jim and Donna Klinge made the sale of our condo extraordinarily easy. They know the market and gave us sound advice backed by details and very considerable experience, reflected both in the initial pricing and subsequent negotiations. They work together as a team and are always available to talk. We had a few challenges with our property and they were able to coordinate the resolution to everything, including items that I would not think would ordinarily be their responsibility to handle. They made the whole process effortless on our part. They are folks with high integrity and we cannot recommend them highly enough.
Review for Member: Donna Klinge
I cannot believe there are no reviews of Donna yet, ugh!! She is the secret sauce of the Jim Klinge/Donna Klinge combo! I will touch on Jim here, but Donna is why I'm so totally loyal to these two (no offense to Jim :)).
I consider myself a rather savvy buyer/seller. I've bought/sold 7 times in about 15 years. On the buy side, Jim is the PERFECT combo of: completely digitally savvy (he will pull data all day long until you feel comfortable with your chosen house, area, school district, anticipated appreciation rate...anything!), he's super well respected and known in the area by other agents, an amazingly cool but strategic negotiator, is totally devoid of desperation for a sale/commission, and more.
Then once you get into contract phase, Donna literally handles every last and final detail in a concierge-like manner -- totally shielding you from the daily back and forth, noodling and annoyances of the buyer's requests. She solves it ALL; it's miraculous what that woman accomplishes over and above what is even expected in a buy/sell transaction.
On the sell side, Jim and Donna do the same, but even moreso. Donna in particular truly takes everything off your plate: she'll manage getting the house painted, the carpets replaced, she'll go on site (as she Jim both did for me when selling our rental properties) to work with the renters and make sure the house is ready to show -- freeing me to have to take time off of work to do so. They work with A+ integrity, too, so you know you are serving all parties fairly and lawfully throughout.
A home purchase/sale is the most considered you'll ever make. HIRE A SAVVY AGENT, not a friend!, and get what you need out of the transaction. Jim and Donna are our agents for life.
Jim and Donna Klinge are by far the most professional, personable and responsive realtors I have ever worked with. They provide VIP concierge level service in every area of the process of selling your home. My home was marketed so successfully that we received an offer the day after our first and only open house. Thanks to Jim's pricing and negotiating, our house is now the highest sold in our community. Jim's vast experience means he has worked with several realtors and knows the market all over north county. Donna is AMAZING in processing everything in the transaction. She scheduled trades people to work on the house in preparation for the sale as well as the repairs needed before closing. She communicated clearly every step of the way about what would be happening. She took the weight off my shoulders for the whole process. I will always use Jim and Donna for my future real estate needs and I whole heartedly recommend them to anyone buying or selling a home.
Jim and the team at Klinge Reality are without a doubt the best in the business! Not only was Jim helpful and extremely knowledgeable, he was patient and determined to help me find my first home. Jim and his team have been in the business for many years, and it shows. Jim is a wealth of knowledge and was my biggest proponent despite the temperature of the competitive market. I ended up getting the perfect property in my dream neighborhood all thanks to Jim. From the day my offer was accepted, Donna was a real lifesaver. She was extremely helpful, responsive, and knowledgeable when it came to every minute detail, and held my hand through the process. As a first time home buyer I had no idea what the process would entail, but Donna curtailed every concern I came across and made the escrow process feel seamless. Jim and Donna provided me the best home buying experience, and I am very grateful for all they did for me. It was truly a pleasure to work with Jim and Donna and I am already looking forward to the next time we work together!
Review for Member: Richard Morgan
Richard is an amazing realtor! He has high integrity and genuinely cares about his clients and their needs. Richard paid close attention to what I was seeking in a home and was very patient in our search to find it. I would highly recommend Richard and will use him for future transactions. Truly a different kind of realtor experience!
Could not be happier with my experience with Jim and his team. He helped me sell a very unique and challenging property. Throughout the entire process he was always available, honest, transparent, trustworthy, and always put my interests as a seller first. A (rare) true professional! During close of escrow Jim went above and beyond to complete the deal. It would not have been possible without his experience, fantastic team, and pure dedication. Highly recommended!
Thanks Jim and Donna Klinge!