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Shulman Exhibition

Architectural photographer Julius Shulman (1910 – 2009) shot over 200 projects in San Diego.

His clients were architects, publishers, construction companies, and developers, and included notable San Diego architects Lloyd Ruocco, Sim Bruce Richards, Henry Hester, and Frederick Liebhardt. Shulman’s work, spanning seven decades, documented the region’s evolving 20th century architectural landscape, and he played an instrumental role in sharing California’s unique post-War modernism with a wide audience.

This exhibition presents selected photographs from Julius Shulman’s projects in La Jolla, represented in both vintage and contemporary prints, and ephemera that contextualize this historically significant work.

Date And Time

Fri, September 27, 2019

5:00 PM – 7:00 PM PDT

Location

La Jolla Historical Society

780 Prospect Street

La Jolla , CA 92037

Free Show – Register Here

Still Bubblin’

I noted on Instagram today that a couple of new listings in Carlsbad went pending before they got to broker preview today.  While the sales and pricing statistics may look flat, sellers shouldn’t give up on selling when rates are still in the 3s.

These are the listings from the last seven days that already found a buyer – these aren’t giveaways:

The big bidding war in Leucadia also closed…..at a whopping 30% over list price – in this market!

Wait…at your peril!

Zillow Offers in San Diego

Link to UT

It’s conclusive – the Zillow Offers program is only good for sellers who want/need BOTH quick cash and max convenience, because the cost is heavy.

TIPS TO HOME SELLERS:

  1. Don’t find yourself in a position where you NEED to cash out in a week.
  2. If you want max convenience, hire me and we’ll handle everything.
  3. Don’t get suckered by the bait-and-switch.

The word on the street is that they are pushing down the zestimates to help convince sellers to take less – and they have already bought 31 properties in San Diego.  Keep a record of your zestimates!

Zillow will likely be successful, however, because they don’t mind spending $100 million per year on advertising to promote their brand – and it works.

They give you just enough sexy to suck you in:

Happy Birthday Bubbleinfo!

It was 14 years ago today that I started this blog on an early-Saturday morning using a Squarespace free site with the hope of providing evidence to back up my observations – and advice to clients – that the real estate market was in trouble.

I told Donna that I wanted to get in early before every realtor was doing a blog!

I left comments and links back to the blog on Calculated Risk and Ben’s blog, which were both attracting large audiences who wondered about the direction of real estate.  I did get to meet both Bill (who came to my house) and Ben when he came through Carlsbad had a blog party at Pizza Port.

I agreed with the negative sentiment on real estate blogs – which was odd and unusual because readers had never heard a realtor says things like that before.

The L.A. Times picked up on it, thanks to Marc N., to whom I am eternally grateful. I drove reporter Peter Hong around for a day, and he filed this article on the front page of the L.A. Times on April, 2, 2009:

An excerpt:

Nowadays, Klinge said, his blog gets about 2,000 unique visitors per day. About half his clients now come to him from the blog, Klinge said. He closed 43 house deals last year, he said, down from the 61 sales and purchases he brokered in his peak year of 2004, but enough to keep him in business when many agents have quit.

Lately, his videos have been picked up on Calculated Risk, an influential economics blog whose followers include Nobel laureate Paul Krugman. In one clip, the camera pans across the kitchen of a million-dollar fixer near Interstate 5. He pointedly notes the house’s proximity to the freeway, which he calls the “De-troit river.” There’s mold under the sink and a foot-sized hole in the drywall just above the floor.

“December 2006 this house sold for a million dollars,” he says. “Nineteen hundred square feet, built in ’78, right across the freeway. One million.”

On the off-chance the real estate agent who sold the place is watching, Klinge puts in a request: “I want you to put your mai tai down, go grab your shingle and send it in to the DRE [California Department of Real Estate] right now. You don’t deserve a job,” he says. “Everyone who was on that deal deserves to be fired, even the janitor at the escrow company. This is embarrassing, $1 million. Right now it’s listed at $575,000 and that’s probably optimistic.”

Along with the house wreck videos, the site includes statistics on local home sales totals and price declines. Klinge has skewered brokers on the blog, calling them names like “clown” and “cherry-picking cheerleader” for not admitting that the housing market had tumbled. But he said no one had gotten upset enough to retaliate.

The morning the article was published, my phone started ringing before 7am.  One of the first callers was a producer for ABCNews Nightline, and he wanted to send a reporter to do a piece on the crash.  By now the crash was in full swing, so I agreed.

A very nice reporter named Vicky Mabrey came for a day and a half, and then this 7-minute piece ran on Nightline (after being bumped by the Somali pirates):

Thankfully we had brought on Richard Morgan the same month, and he was instrumental in being to handle the flood of client inquires that followed.

Eventually Ben Bernanke and the Fed manipulated the market forces enough to pull us out of the death spiral well before it should have ended, but I did get in a few more videos before it was over:

This one has 22,000+ views and part of it made it into Giorgio’s movie:

The pot farm was a big favorite, with over 27,000 views (and the only time I dropped a Toker 2 reference):

My old 1966 Chevy truck was a co-star in many videos:

The negativity that ensued was brutal – and not just the nasty remarks on the blog and videos. One guy did videos of my videos, and then him and his cronies bad-mouthed me as a realtor on their youtube site. Another guy was making comments on other blogs in my name, and one agent went to my own clients and bad-mouthed me to their face – and it cost me a $1.5M listing.

But I wouldn’t change a thing – it’s been a blast, and extremely positive otherwise!

Old friend Jeremiah said last week that he misses the old renegade Jim the Realtor, and correctly guessed that today’s overly-sensitive society probably couldn’t handle the truth. I agreed, and said all that is left for me is to be a great realtor and cater to those affluent folks who can participate in this high-level game.

Thank you all for being here!

San Diego Case-Shiller Index, July 2019

Yesterday, Yunnie said that he sees no sign of buyer optimism fading, to which I said ‘just wait for the Case-Shiller Index (which should be the strongest of the year)’.

CNBC posted the click bait above, which is shocking because they are usually so negative about real estate – then published the key points below:

Mortgage rates dropped back into the threes at the end of May, yet the national index didn’t change between June and July?  Every other time buyers could get a mortgage rate that started with a 3, they’ve come running.  But not this time – home prices are stalled year-over-year, and existing home sales in the West declined 3.4% in August.

But never fear, our head cheerleader won’t let that get in the way:

Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist said, “As expected, buyers are finding it hard to resist the current rates,” he said. “The desire to take advantage of these promising conditions is leading more buyers to the market.”

What he should say is that sellers should be sharpening their price. You’re on our side Yunnie, help us out!

San Diego Non-Seasonally-Adjusted CSI changes:

Observation Month
SD CSI
M-o-M chg
Y-o-Y chg
January ’18
248.16
+0.8%
+7.3%
February
250.91
+1.1%
+7.5%
March
253.41
+1.0%
+7.6%
April
255.63
+0.9%
+7.7%
May
257.07
+0.6%
+7.3%
Jun
258.44
+0.6%
+6.9%
Jul
258.49
0.0%
+6.2%
Aug
257.32
-0.5%
+4.7%
Sept
256.13
-0.4%
+3.9%
Oct
255.26
-0.1%
+3.7%
Nov
253.37
-0.6%
+3.3%
Dec
251.68
-0.7%
+2.3%
January ’19
251.30
-0.2%
+1.3%
Feb
253.69
+0.9%
+1.1%
Mar
256.40
+1.1%
+1.2%
Apr
257.63
+0.5%
+0.8%
May
260.01
+1.0%
+1.1%
June
261.77
+0.7%
+1.3%
July
263.58
+0.7%
+2.0%

The index is a three-month weighted average, so July closings should reflect the environment where mortgage rates were 3-something for the buyers.  But they aren’t willing to pay 1% more than in June?

Looks like a sign of buyer optimism fading to me.

Leucadia Bluff Appeal

For those who are thinking of building a home on the bluff, you may want to consider this recent case seen at Encinitas Undercover – hat tip WC!

The property owners purchased a vacant lot in 2012 for $1,700,000, and it appears this approval process has been underway ever since.

In 2013, the City of Encinitas planning commission approved the homeowners’ plan to build a two-story 3,553 square foot home with a 1,855 square foot underground basement and a 950 square foot garage. The seaward side of the structure would be set back 40 feet from the edge of the bluff.

Shortly thereafter, the geotechnical engineers revised their required report which recalculated the math but came to the same conclusion – a 40-ft setback from the edge of the bluff would work and comply with the generally-accepted rate of 30 feet of erosion over the next 75 years.

But then two commissioners from the Coastal Commission filed an appeal, so the homeowners hired a different engineering firm to complete a second geotechnical report.  When the appeal was heard, the Coastal Commission rejected the second report and approved the project with a 60 to 62-foot setback from the edge of the bluff.

The Commission explained that the building footprint resulting from a 60 to 62-foot setback from the bluff edge would still allow the Lindstroms to construct a 3500 square foot home, not including a basement, and that if the Lindstroms obtained a variance from the City reducing the frontyard setback, the building footprint would be even larger.

The homeowners took the Coastal Commission decision to the 4th Appealate District Court of Appeal, who rejected their 40-ft argument but approved the project with no seawall, and a 60-62-ft setback.

WC included this review with links to the actual court documents:

http://calapp.blogspot.com/2019/09/lindstrom-v-coastal-commission-cal-ct.html

P.S. The homeowners also own the house next door.

Inventory Watch

We had quite a rebound this week in new pendings! The previous count was 46, and we had 59 NSDCC houses go pending in the past week!

Buyers may have figured that the inventory isn’t going to get better, and, indeed, the weekly count of new listings dropped a ton.  There were 102 new listings the previous week, but only 67 in the last week (-34%).

Tomorrow: The latest reading of the Case-Shiller Index!

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