Global Financial Meltdown

A viewer’s comment on YouTube led me to this terrific inside view of the 2008 financial crisis, and the resulting impact on the world. It rightly blames the entire fiasco on the Tan Man, who pitched his mortgages to Wall Street based on the yields generated if borrowers made their full-interest payments, when in reality, only a much smaller minimum monthly payment was all that was due.

It’s eerie to watch today as our financial markets are in question again:

I make a quick comment in at the 2:38-minute mark, standing in front of the most-expensive REO listing we received in the era – a 2,900sf house in downtown Carlsbad that sold for $603,000 in December, 2009.  It’s still owned by those buyers! The realtor.com estimate today is $973,900.

Coronavirus Market Check

We’re doing fine here at headquarters – how about you?

We’ve primarily worked out of the house for the last 17 years, so we aren’t experiencing any disruption just because we’re stuck at home.  We’re still having two listings being prepped for market, and haven’t had any escrows fall out yet.  So far, so good.

Our boss suggested that we don’t do open houses for the foreseeable future, and to use gloves and sanitizer for individual showings.  Tours via FaceTime or Skype are encouraged as well.

Here’s a snapshot of my hotsheet this morning – an equal compliment of new listings, price changes, solds, and new pendings (six each):

The volume will be light, but as long as we keep seeing new pendings, the market is working!

Birthday

Last year I thought I was taking my birthday off, but by the end of the day I had sold three homes!

I don’t expect the same action today, but instead we do have a handful of new listings in the works to kick off the selling season. I think the market is going to erupt over the next few weeks as we reach the perfect intersection of ultra-low rates and more boomers making their last move!

Kobe

I’ve been a big Laker fan since I was a little kid living in Covina.  Donna’s sister worked for Sprite when they were sponsoring Kobe early on, and she gave me a special #8 jersey signed by him as a gift.  It’s always been a reminder of Kobe’s work ethic, which has been very inspiring over the years.

This quote came from Kobe when he was on stage accepting the ‘Icon Award’ at the ESPYS. He was addressing fellow athletes:

“We’re not on this stage just because of talent or ability,” Bryant said.

“We’re up here because of 4 a.m. We’re up here because of two-a-days or five-a-days.

We’re up here because we had a dream and let nothing stand in our way. If anything tried to bring us down, we used it to make us stronger.”

One example of his commitment:

Thank you Kobe for the inspiration!

Historical Photos

More historical photos seen over the last year – this is San Diego in 1892:

Del Mar in 1895:

Mission Valley in 1891:

San Diego Bay in 1932:

North Island in 1936:

The Mission Bay Bridge in 1914 with roller coaster in background:

Ocean Beach and Mission Beach in 1930:

Pacific Beach in 1945:

Sail Bay in PB around 1960 – not a house on the La Jolla hill yet!

Downtown Carlsbad….in the 1940s?  There were only a handful of oceanfront homes!

La Costa in 1967 with the resort in the middle and nothing to the west of it:

Us at the Rose Bowl yesterday – the first time we’ve gone to an Oregon bowl game that they won!

Bubbleinfo Decade Wrap-Up

I just had the best decade of my life!

It didn’t start out that way, though.  We trudged into 2010 trying to survive a dreary, depressed real estate market.  But thanks to Ben Bernanke, who engineered the greatest soft landing in history, the rules were changed and the market responded – quickly turning into a wicked sellers’ market.

Reader LM commented on what Ben Bernanke said towards the end of a live press conference:

“We have told the banks to handle their REOs…..long pause....in an economy-supportive way”.

Oops.  What he was GOING to say – ‘we have told the banks not to flood the market with REOs’.

(Link to Ben’s quote: https://youtu.be/SC2wYdZjh1E?t=2982)

Bernanke’s remarks are from June, 2011, and you can see that foreclosures were already declining:

The housing market started to recover, and in 2012, the north-county coastal sales took off:

Here at the blog, we were left to figure out a real estate market without foreclosures. I appreciate those of you who have endured the investigation here!  The conclusion?

The FED learned that it’s better to change the rules, rather than endure the natural market forces.

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How we sell real estate has changed too.  The physical hand-writing (and explaining) of contracts has morphed into a slick bunch of clicks on an electronic form that the buyers will never read while committing themselves to being hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of dollars in debt. The realtor teams have emerged to usher clients to the finish line, which means most buyers are rushed through a home inspection, then beg for a few bucks from the seller instead of repairs, and pick up their keys usually within 30 days – all so you can leave 5-star reviews!

It looks so easy that just about anyone can make it in real estate sales now – and it’s become the career of last resort for many.  The best example is the blogger Casey Serin, who became famous for losing five properties to foreclosure that he had he bought on ninja loans.  He got divorced, changed his name, went offline, and then resurfaced as a realtor. He now has his own brokerage in the Sacramento area, and he made about $60,000 this year – which is a decent living for a guy like him:

Heck, if he can do it, anyone can!

Biggest surprises of the decade?  The no-doc mortgages haven’t returned (yet), Google & Amazon haven’t entered the fray (yet), and the district attorney hasn’t prosecuted more than a handful of realtors for doing shady deals (I could name hundreds).  I did have two encounters with the FBI where I laid out the evidence, but they weren’t interested, so I guess it’s ok.

Our move to Compass in 2018 was a result of it becoming obvious that outsiders would disrupt our industry without a fight, and being on the right team was going to be critical to success.  In-house sales are the future of the residential resale market, and who you know will make all the difference (just like in commercial real estate sales).

Over the last ten years, I’ve had 7,711 blog posts, Donna and I helped 300+ families buy and/or sell a property, we got two kids though college, and we appeared in a documentary film – wow, what a decade!

I appreciate you being here – let’s make the next one, the best one!



After Merry Christmas!

I few days ago caught that cold that’s been going around, and revived myself just in time to prepare for 40 people at our house for Christmas – including six octogenarians and six kids under the age of five!

My Uncle Bob and his daughter/my cousin Jenny did attend, so for the first time I brought some of the memorabilia – four boxes of stuff that’s been stored in my garage for years.  We agreed that we should digitize everything!

Our grandfather, Al Klinge:

Not today though – it’s back to work!

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