PORTLAND, Ore. — The Landreths had just pulled the vinyl siding off their house and the cedar siding underneath was in dire need of a paint job. The boards were covered in peeling white paint and needed new life. But picking out the next paint color for your house can be a tough decision.
“We don’t want to be that neighbor with that bright ugly house that everyone sees every day,” Brian Landreth said.
So, they did what any 21st century Portland family would do: they crowdsourced it.
“We wanted to get the input of our neighbors,” Landreth said. “There’s a lot of pedestrians, bikes that go by daily.”
Landreth placed a sign out front with a QR code. The sign read, “Help us choose a color.” On the side of the house were five options.There’s Rocky Mountain, Wild Orchid, In Good Taste, Blessed Blue and finally, It’s Well. When a person scans the QR code they are directed to a Google Docs survey where they can rate the colors on a scale from 1-5.
The Landreths’ daughter Grace is taking a technology class in school and decided to use this survey as a way to collect data for a school assignment. Grace figured she would get a few hundred responses. What she wasn’t expecting was over 70,000.
“I didn’t think people from across the planet would vote on the color of my house that they probably don’t know where it is,” Grace said.
A neighbor tweeted a photo of the survey and it quickly took off. The Landreths started getting votes from around the world.
“Oh, this is cute. There’s someone from France, there’s someone from New York, this is fun,” Brian said when he first started getting votes.
Tens of thousands more poured in from as close as Portland to as far away as Brazil and Morocco and the opinions were as diverse as the country they were coming from.
“People from Portland are very opinionated on what we should see here in Portland. It’s so neat to see, you know, it seems like votes from the Midwest are like keep it brown, keep it neutral, keep it safe. People from Buenos Aires and Brazil are like bright and bold, do a mural!”
Not mentioned was the list price was $7,000,000 (on April 2nd), and the listing agent represented the buyer too:
Even in the throes of a pandemic, the offers started coming in almost immediately.
The day after an off-market opportunity in Beverly Hills was made known in late March, as Los Angeles County residents adjusted to new stay-at-home orders, the listing agent found his inbox flooded and his phone ringing off the hook. Seemingly everyone wanted a piece of the property, which was marketed by email. Within the first 24 hours, there were dozens of calls on the property and 18 offers made.
“I knew we’d see some action, I just didn’t know how much,” said Paul Salazar, the listing agent with Hilton & Hyland.
The home on North Bedford Drive, a popular street in the Flats section, received a total of 22 offers, according to Salazar. The potential buyers were a mix of end-users — buyers who wish to remodel and live in the home — and developers looking to tear down the existing structure and build. Ultimately, it was an end-user that purchased the property for $6.75 million.
The Italianate-style house, built in 1928, has four bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms and more than 3,500 square feet. A large motor court sits off the front of the one-third-acre property.
Salazar believes marketing the home as an off-market opportunity gave it more exclusivity, but the excitement began to wear off as “everyone began watching the news” and reality of the coronavirus set in. Additionally, about one-third of the buyers, specifically those carrying mortgages, were ruled out over concerns that loans might be frozen due to the pandemic.
“It looked like it was going to be a big bidding war, but it ended up being a long negotiation with 3-4 buyers going back and forth,” Salazar said. Had the pandemic never happened, Salazar believes the property would have sold for about $1 million more.
While the coronavirus has stifled sales throughout the Southland, L.A. County’s high-end market has continued to produce a steady stream of multimillion-dollar deals.
In April, there were eight sales of $10 million or more including two deals north of $36 million in nearby Bel-Air. Last month, there were five sales of $10 million or more including two transactions of $21.5 million or more.
Our coronavirus showing disclosure form changes every week (sometimes multiple changes per week) and now it’s literally up to EIGHT pages long. Every buyer has to sign a new form for every house they want to see, in advance, and by electronic signatures only.
But it hasn’t slowed down showings – we are back to where we were last year!
We (Klinge Realty Group) have been fortunate to stay in full operation and be very productive this year, so we haven’t had layoffs or cutbacks. In fact, our team has grown – daughter Natalie is now on board!
But for those businesses that need assistance, the City of Carlsbad might be able to help:
The City Council approved $4.4 million for business loans as a part of the Economic Recovery and Revitalization Initiative focused on recovery from the COVID-19 health emergency.
Microloans will be made available for businesses with gross revenue of $2 million or less and 15 employees or fewer with loan amounts ranging from $5,000 to $10,000. Repayment rates are outlined below:
0% interest if paid back within 6 months
1% interest if paid back within 12 months
2% interest if paid back within 18 months
Small business recovery loans will be made available for businesses with gross revenue of $3 million or less and 50 or fewer employees with loan amounts ranging from $10,000 to $25,000. Repayment rates are outlined below:
2% interest if paid back within 12 months
3% interest if paid back within 30 months
All applicants must hold a valid business license with the City of Carlsbad as of March 1, 2020 and be in good standing with the city.
To begin the first step in the application process, please go to http://carlsbadca.gov/loan. We will review your information and respond within five business days with a determination on whether you can proceed with the application process.
In preparation for the next step in the application process you may want to gather documentation regarding the length of time your business has been in operation, the financial impact that the COVID-19 health emergency has had on your business, at least six-months of bank statements, and your plan for using the funds if awarded
The city will hold a webinar on June 3 at 3:00pm to answer questions regarding the loan program. Please click here to register.
The City of San Diego has closed their loan window already, but they have the list of federal, state, and local financial resources available for businesses here:
Watching the nationwide unrest on television last night made me think of the potential of future conflicts. San Diego enjoys a rather mellow population but we undoubtedly have our concerns about any and all oppressed parties in America – but being physically farther away from the action makes it easier to witness, acknowledge, and then get back to our busy lives.
Great leadership might keep our attention on the topic, but we’re still waiting for it to show up.
As a result, revolutions will likely continue until solutions are created. We could all jump in and create non-violent solutions, but without leadership and resolve, the hard choices and tough decisions will be difficult to accomplish.
How does this pertain to housing?
If physical clashes in the street are perceived as effective, we could see other oppressed groups rise up – and well they should, if that is what it takes to get results.
We have witnessed how the real estate is only for the affluent now, and that there isn’t much being done for those of lesser means. We used to only put the homeless/poor people in that category, but now the middle-class and above are finding homeownership to be more unreachable every day.
Either we can create housing solutions in advance, or wait for the oppressed to rise up.
Some of the best ideas I’ve heard regarding the possible solutions for last night’s events include a Community Police-Review Board in every town in America, and independent community groups formed to encourage individual involvement in creating solutions.
Likewise with housing, we need to get more involved as a community. Ideas:
Encourage ADUs as a solution for building lower-cost housing, especially closer to urban hubs.
Press local governments to upzone properties/areas where higher density would be a good fit.
Create communities of tiny houses/manufactured homes and give occupants a stake.
Create places to park/live for those in cars and RVs.
The coronavirus is exposing our weaknesses. Let’s do something good with the opportunity.
I don’t know what else I can do today besides write this message, but I’m looking for more ways to be involved with creating solutions. I’ll post every idea I can find – please send along what you see….and think!
The architecture of “Suncatch” came about after an 8 year design and construction process. It sits on 30 acres in Rancho Santa Fe, and the project consists of 54,000 square feet of floor space divided as follows, 24,500 square feet of living space and 29,500 square feet for a 37 car showroom under the house. It was completed in 2005.
Here’s your competition – people will go out, if they feel safe. From Realtor Magazine:
Fifty-six percent of consumers say that despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, they would attend an open house or take a home tour without hesitation, according to the Back To Normal Barometer from research company Engagious. Additionally, nearly half of respondents to the survey say they would return to activities such as taking a cruise, attending a live sporting event, or staying at a hotel.
However, an even greater number—61%—are concerned about the overall public health crisis and the U.S. economy, a sign that consumers are more hopeful about their personal circumstances than they are about the country in general. “People are concerned about societal impacts rather than how [COVID-19] affects them personally,” said Jon Last, president of Sports & Leisure Research Group, a marketing research consultancy based in White Plains, N.Y., and a co-creator of the barometer. “And they feel the same about the economy.”
Engagious presented the findings of the Back To Normal Barometer, a biweekly survey that measures consumer interest in a variety of industries and activities during the COVID-19 pandemic, to the National Association of REALTORS® last week.
The panel also looked at the survey respondents who said they weren’t ready to go to an open house yet and what conditions it would take for them to feel safe enough to do so again. According to Rich Thau, president of Engagious and co-creator of the barometer, they would need specific assurances, including the approval of a COVID-19 vaccine (47%) and assurances from the local health department that touring open houses would be safe (45%). “Two things that are critical are a certificate stating that [an area] has been properly sanitized according to established protocols and that the certificate has been issued by a local authority,” Thau said.
The real estate–related findings come from a national online survey earlier in May of 1,040 buyers and sellers. The goal was to provide insights about how consumers want to safely navigate residential real estate transactions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gina Derickson, research director of Engagious, expanded on the precautions that are important to consumers: People want to know that cleaning has taken place before they enter an establishment; they want to see professional cleaners rather than staff (or homeowners) working on high-touch surfaces like doorknobs and elevator buttons; and the right products and right wording are important. People prefer terms like “sanitized” and “disinfected” over “cleaned” on signage.
According to Derickson, respondents also saw a difference in risk associated with open houses depending on what side of the transaction a person falls on. The selling side is viewed as having a higher risk than the buying side. Sellers, Derickson explains, are perceived as having less control over who comes into the home and the surfaces people touch. On the other hand, respondents believe that buyers can better avoid COVID-19–related dangers and have a good sense of what a clean home looks like.
But whether on the buying or selling side, survey respondents agreed on one thing: Agents are crucial in helping them navigate the open house process. “Buyers and sellers depend on agents to inform them and enforce compliance,” Derickson said. “They want the agent to tell them what to do, and they want vetting to make sure the home is safe.”
In analyzing the survey results, Thau said real estate agents matter more than ever on both sides of the transaction. Fifty-eight percent of sellers and 58% of buyers say the buying and selling of real estate is an essential service, and 62% of sellers and 54% of buyers say a real estate agent’s guidance is especially valued during the pandemic.
Don’t Rely Completely on Virtual Tours
Thau offered some intriguing insights into the characteristics of the buyers and sellers themselves. A majority of both say they are comfortable with technology and conducting business on a computer, as well as taking online tours of homes. In addition, 55% of buyers say virtual tours are great for initially vetting which homes they would seriously consider purchasing, though that number dropped quite a bit when asked if a virtual tour was an acceptable substitute for an actual tour. Despite the drop, two out of five buyers say they would consider buying a home without a visit.
Thau revealed that there are ways to enhance the value of a virtual tour, such as including a tour of the neighborhood or providing written information about home improvements the seller has made. He found that 54% of buyers and 55% of sellers believe it’s important to have a real estate professional help buyers navigate virtual homebuying options.
In terms of traditional in-person home tours, both buyers and sellers see value in precautions, such as providing sanitary wipes, limiting visitors to two to four at a time, providing hand sanitizer, and requiring masks, gloves, and shoe coverings. Thau also noted that buyers and sellers see hand sanitizer, sanitary wipes, and visitor limitations as precautions that will need to remain in place over the long term.
Thau also included a caution for agents in reference to in-person tours: Thirty-eight percent of buyers and 48% of sellers indicate that they would consider legal action if they contracted COVID-19 after a showing. And 29% of buyers and 41% of sellers indicate that they would still consider suing even if they had signed a release. However, 58% of buyers say they’re willing to waive their right to sue.
Agents Expected to Offer COVID-19 Guidance
According to Thau, what matters the most to buyers and sellers about in-person tours is the real estate agent, who is expected to know and enforce health-related safety rules. Sixty-four percent of buyers and sellers state that agents should understand state and local protocols for COVID-19 safety and provide guidance, and 63% of buyers and 64% of sellers say that if someone in the home is not following health protocols during a visit, they expect the real estate agent to address it.
Buyers and sellers also indicated that it is important for an agent to know how to close a real estate transaction electronically, and a majority of both indicated that agents add value to an online search. Helping buyers uncover valuable information about a property, helping them sift through online listings, and providing more in-depth pictures and videos of properties were among the ways agents could be of service to clients. And while 40% of buyers and 52% of sellers stated that they wouldn’t need to meet their real estate agent in person to buy or sell a home, they did place a premium on oral communication—70% of buyers and 66% of sellers said they felt more comfortable talking on the phone or talking via Skype, FaceTime, Zoom, or a similar app that allows face-to-face communication, which are much higher numbers than those who felt comfortable communicating by email or text.
What this means, Thau said, is that agents really matter during the pandemic. Forty-seven percent of buyers and 53% of sellers indicated that relying on a real estate professional for buying or selling a home was more important than before. “Agents’ value has gone up tremendously as a result of the pandemic,” he said. “People need reassurance.” And he offered this advice: “Know the protocols, follow them, and don’t be afraid to enforce them.”
"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... more "
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