Del Mar Beach Retreat

There have been home sales of $22 million and $23 million on the Del Mar oceanfront in the last 60 days. Hat tip to Richard and ‘just some guy’ for sending this in (the next Coastal Commission meeting is tomorrow):

Del Mar is gearing up for a tussle with the California Coastal Commission over the best way to adapt to rising sea levels, an issue with statewide implications.

The city has taken the position that one of the Coastal Commission’s basic strategies, called “managed retreat” or sometimes “planned retreat,” will not work in Del Mar.

“We have a plan, and we stand by our plan,” Del Mar Councilman Dwight Worden said Friday.

The City Council is scheduled to review its sea-level rise adaptation plan tonight (Oct 7) in preparation for a Coastal Commission hearing on Oct. 16. The commission’s staff has recommended its board reject Del Mar’s plan unless the city agrees to a list of 25 modifications that Worden said could be a “back door” to managed retreat.

Del Mar is among the first cities and counties in the state to formalize its plans for adapting to sea-level rise. As a result, Del Mar’s decisions and its negotiations with the Coastal Commission will set a precedent.

Managed retreat requires communities to look for ways to remove structures from low-lying land or seaside bluffs that are threatened by the rising sea. In some cases, public agencies would step in and buy private property, or facilitate a move in some other way so that nature can take its course.

Del Mar, after nearly five years of community meetings and work by residents, staffers and consultants, has agreed to reject the idea of managed retreat. Instead, the city intends to focus on restoring sand to eroding beaches, reinforcing its existing seawalls, and dredging the channel of the nearby San Dieguito River.

“The extremely high land value in Del Mar means that public acquisition of any property the city does not control will be difficult and cost-prohibitive,” states a resolution approved last year by the City Council.

“Alternative locations are not available for displaced residents or city infrastructure,” it states. Instead, the city will pursue a combination of beach nourishment, sand retention and flood management projects.

Planning for sea-level rise is a relatively new requirement of the Coastal Commission. The state agency was founded in 1972 when there was little knowledge of climate change and rising sea levels.

Eventually, all coastal cities and counties will be required to include the adaptation plan in updates to their Local Coastal Programs, which are approved by the Coastal Commission so that local agencies can approve development without state oversight.

So far, the Coastal Commission has only certified the adaptation plans for the cities of San Francisco, San Clemente, Newport Beach and Santa Barbara and for the county of San Diego. Santa Barbara County and the city of Santa Monica have proposed plans to be considered by the commission in December.

Carlsbad completed a “sea-level rise vulnerability assessment” two years ago that included its look at managed retreat. The city will hold a public review of its proposed local coastal program update, including sea-level adaptation strategies, on Oct. 29.

Managed retreat has been less of an issue in most other communities, where fewer residents live in low-lying coastal properties.

“We are at the tip of the spear because we chose to be at the tip of the spear,” said Worden, who was Del Mar’s city attorney for years before he was elected to the council. “There are some advantages to being first. We get to write the rules, or at least help write the rules.”

The Coastal Commission’s staff report says little about managed retreat and states that the city’s plan does a good job of addressing “near-term” strategies. But the report says Del Mar “fails to include the level of detail necessary to address the future impacts” of sea-level rise.

Link to UT article

Inventory Watch

Let’s flashback four months to the height of the selling season to check on prices:

May 13 #Actives
Avg LP/sf
Oct 14 #Actives
Avg LP/sf

The MLS doesn’t want us to know what’s happening to pricing above $2,000,000, but the average list pricing under $2,000,000 is higher today than it was four months ago.

The price point that everyone thought would have the most trouble this year ($1M-$1.5M) due to the tax reform is actually doing the best.  The average list price has risen 10% in four months!


Solana Beach Valuation

506 Pacific Ave., Solana Beach

Open House 12-3pm Today!


Solana Beach suffers the same fate as many well-established high-end areas.

There aren’t many comps to begin with, and it’s ripe for off-market sales.

Three of the last four on the street were off-market sales – were they low?

I’m hanging my hat on the cheapest one, 424 Pacific. The story poles are already up, so the $2,555,000 was really just land value – and that corner is much busier than at the subject property.

But let’s also consider that Solana Beach has been remarkably under-valued for years, and we are just now starting to see what buyers are willing to pay.  It wasn’t long ago that the non-oceanfront homes struggled to get more than $4,000,000.

Now look:

Three recent sales over $6,000,000, with one of them back on the market for nearly $10 million!

My $2,995,000 looks like a deal!

Come on by and check it out today, 12-3pm!

Link to Zillow listing

Tiny Homes Together

Chances are, you have had the thought of moving away and being surrounded with the people you love the most. These best friends are actually doing it.

While your ideal “get away from it all” escape may be an island retreat, or mountain cabin in the middle of a forest, these 8 friends had another idea: build an eco-town made out of tiny homes in good ol’ Texas.

“The cabin designed by architect Matt Garcia cost around $40,000 each and is environmental-friendly. The cabins are designed to be sustainable and make the most of the surroundings. The four couples named their settlement ‘Llano Exit Strategy’ and are looking to retire on the property,”

Even though they already lived close to each other, they didn’t see each other as often as they liked due to their busy schedules. Apart from the cabins, there is also a large communal kitchen and a guest bedroom for when other friends and family come to visit. There’s large, stainless-steel appliances, including a commercial range and clear-glass fridge.

Making A Contingent Offer

In today’s market, sellers should consider an offer that is contingent upon the sale of the buyers’ home.

If the seller’s home has been on the market for 30+ days, the showings have probably slowed down – and a contingent offer might be the only hope of getting a sale done this year.

Above is a copy of the form we use – the Form COP.  Paragraphs 1-7 are self-explanatory, and Paragraph 8 is where the fun begins.

Buyers include this form with their purchase offer, so they go first on completing #8.

If you don’t touch it, then once the offer is accepted, Paragraph 8A applies – and the seller can cancel this sale within three days if an acceptable back-up offer is received.

Paragraph 8A isn’t favorable to the buyers, so they should check Paragraph 8B and buy more time.

Once checked, the form gives the buyers a 17-day period where they can’t get cancelled, and you can also fill in the blank to dictate a longer period – OR check the last box and lock out all other offers for the duration. The sellers probably won’t go for that option though.

If buyers request a period longer than 17 days, the sellers will probably counter-offer with a shorter time period – and even the boilerplated 17 days might be too long if the listing agent is compelled to throw their weight around and show everyone who the boss is.

End result?

You can probably get a contingent offer accepted today, but it will include the threat of getting cancelled in the first 10-17 days if a non-contingent offer is received.

Key Point?

Buyers making a contingent offer need to have their house ready to sell!

You don’t want to waste the first few days of your exclusive period on house-cleaning and clutter patrol!  Though it isn’t that likely that the seller will get another offer if they’ve already been languishing on the market, you don’t want to chance it.

Buyers making a contingent offer are smart to have their house ready to hit the open market right away – preferably, on the day of acceptance. Plan ahead!

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