Happy Anniversary Bubbleinfo.com!

This blog started on September 24, 2005.  It was a Saturday morning, and literally I thought I better get into this blogging thing before every other realtor started doing it. This was my first blog post that talked about 20% to 25% appreciation per year:


I am very grateful for you being here. At the height of the notoriety in 2009-2010 when all we talked about was foreclosures and short-sales, the monthly unique users was around 11,000.  To still have 6,421 over the last 30 days is fantastic, given that the market turned 180 degrees in the opposite direction since 2009, and I figure that once readers buy or sell a house, they are likely to quit reading and go on with their life:

The new-visitor count has to be loaded with bots.

Where are you from?

Ashburn must be where the bots live?

What devices are you using?

Do bots have a mobile device?

Beats me, but if they don’t, then the audience of real people is into the thousands – yay!

How about age and gender?

I love seeing the younger people – about one-third of you are age 34 and under:

About 60% of readers go straight to the home page, and the others are either searching for a specific real estate topic and find a bubbleinfo article, or readers are sharing links to articles with their friends and family, which I really appreciate – thank you:

Thank you for being here!

Ask Jim

The Other Bob (TOB) suggested a blog post where he and others could ask questions.

Let’s do it!

Leave your questions in the comment section, and I’ll do my best to answer promptly. The comment section is moderated, so you will see your comment once I have a chance to review and approve.

We are busy launching my best listing of all-time today, so it promises to be the biggest day in the nearly seventeen years of Bubbleinfo.com history!

For those who would like to review the history of this blog, the 10,094 posts are poorly organized here. You’ll see that I went back to the first three years and marked nearly every blog post as private (868 posts). Hopefully, the whole history will be re-visited, organized, and turned into an action thriller some day:


Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers everywhere!

My mom is hanging in there! She is still in the retirement home in San Rafael, and is relatively healthy.  We sent her flowers and chocolate-covered strawberries for Mother’s Day, and she has called me three times to thank me!  I’m not sure if she forgot that she called, or is just really appreciative! Either way, I’ll take it!

Happy Mother’s Day Mom!

Why Jim the Realtor?

Yesterday, I had two similar occurrences take place so it must mean I should address it!

This comment was left here on the blog:

I just wanted to thank you for your bidding war info. I have followed your blog for many years. We listed our house in Ramona last week and had open house on Fri/Sat. By Monday morning we had six offers. The highest was a very good offer and well over list. The realtor encouraged us to take that one, and said she had asked everyone for highest and best. I pushed her to counter the next two lower offers with the same amount as the first offer and gave permission for her to reveal the offer amount. She was hesitant but I insisted. Both of them came back with the same amount as the highest offer, and the highest original offer then went higher through an escalation clause. I know we don’t have the same prices as NSDCC, but the same principle applies and I wanted to give you credit. MC

MC – thank you for giving me credit!

But did you recognize that his agent’s results aren’t exactly the way I do it?

There are probably blog readers who are emboldened by what they read here. Selling homes doesn’t look that hard, and in a hot market it has to be even easier, right? After listening to me talk about it for a few weeks, it’s probably natural to think you can do it yourself, or direct your agent how to do it.

Are you guessing that MC probably didn’t get top dollar?

The other occurrence was a for-sale-by-owner who suggested he was as good as me – and insinuated that he was better. He will sell his house too, and declare it as top-dollar to feed his ego. But his listing is riddled with things I’d never do, and he’s been on the market for 2-3 weeks with no sale.


You don’t need me – heck, just go stick a sign in the front yard and wait for the phone to ring.

But you’re not going to sell it for the same price that I can get.

Even if you read every word on this blog, it’s not enough.  It’s because the most important part of my job is doing one thing really well:

Asking the right questions, the right way, at the right time.

Even if you had the questions, it’s asking them the right way, at the right time, that causes a top-dollar sale.

You can tell that MC was on the right track, but in the heat of the moment, his agent didn’t handle it like I do. But he’s happy, the agent is happy, and they sold it for more money than expected, so all is well.  But it didn’t sell for top dollar – which only happens when you ask the questions the right way, at the right time.

Not only will I sell your house for more money than you can, I will sell it for more than virtually all the other realtors. I’m not your typical order-taker; I’m a professional salesman who practices his sales skills daily. Those skills really pay off in the heat of the moment, when I sense that the buyer or their agent is a contender – I know how to say the right thing, the right way, at the right time to capitalize on the moment.  Who would you trust in that moment?

It looks easy, but you don’t know what you don’t know.

Wouldn’t you be better served to have Jim the Realtor in your corner?


909 Franklin St., Santa Monica

5 br/5 ba, 4,583sf

0.35-acre lot

YB: 1974

SP = $4,967,500

Several records were established here!

  • Our highest sale ever.
  • Our longest escrow ever (8 months).
  • The most times a deal was dead and needed resuscitation (50+).

Congratulations to seller and buyer (who plans a major remodel)! It took a tenacious collaboration between all parties to get this one closed!

‘Owned, A Tale of Two Americas’ on PBS Tonight

Giorgio’s movie will debut on PBS TV this week!

Tuesday, February 8th at 10:00pm on KPBS

Saturday, February 12th at 9:00am on KPBS2

If you want to watch it on your schedule and don’t mind paying $4 to $5, click HERE.

We had a great time while filming the movie, and hopefully some day we’ll see what ended up on the cutting-room floor. Here are the previous blog posts:



Giorgio has gotten some great press around this release:


The Last Big Frenzy

Has there ever been a precedent to our current housing frenzy? Yes – back in the 2000-2005 era, which a new blogging guy coined, ‘The Golden Age of Real Estate’ (bubbleinfo.com was three months old). Note the S&P Index:

Date: December 25, 2005

The median price of a single-family home in North County, and in California as a whole, has roughly doubled in the last five years. That familiar statistic implies that virtually anyone who bought in 2000 and sold five years later reaped a profit.

California and the rest of the U.S. benefited from low interest rates, enabling people to buy more expensive homes than they otherwise would have been able to afford, said Jim Klinge, a Carlsbad-based Realtor.

And in San Diego County, price increases of about 20 percent a year became expected, encouraging people to buy at any cost, in the expectation of sure profits.

By comparison, other investments didn’t look so good in the aftermath of the collapse of the stock market bubble, which began in 2000. For example, the Standard & Poors index of 500 stocks closed on Nov 1, 2000, at 1,429.40. As of Nov. 1, 2005, the S&P500 closed at 1,202.76. (today it’s at 4,480).

The real estate increases fueled spending by homeowners, who got ready cash from their rising home equity. A strong economy, with lower unemployment than the state and national averages, helped people buy, turning the county into one of the hottest real estate markets in America.

That market cooled down this year, with most months posting only single-digit gains over the same month in 2004. (November, with a 14 percent year-over-year increase in North County single-home median prices, was an exception.)

Real estate professionals have said the slowdown was inevitable since prices, along with factors such as the ratio of monthly mortgage payments to rental payments, have gotten far out of whack. A study by Torto Wheaton Research this year found that San Diego County’s rental-to-buy payment ratio was 40 percent, the lowest of any of the major markets it studied.

“I think we’ll look on these last five years as the golden age of real estate,” Klinge said. “The increases in the median price, both locally and countywide, have been astonishing for Realtors and buyers and sellers alike. We won’t see this again for the foreseeable future.”

But the gains weren’t evenly distributed. Depending on where the home is located, that potential profit varies from marginal —— in percentage terms, but not necessarily in dollars —— to outstanding.

As 2006 is about to begin, Klinge said prospective buyers should think long term. With prices as high as they are, the potential for quick gains that lured “flippers” to buy houses only to sell them a short while later is nearly gone.

With more sellers on the market, the buy-at-all-costs mentality of a short while ago has vanished, Klinge said. Homes will still sell, but at a slower rate and a lower price. Sellers can’t count on big profits, and prices could even fall at times, he said.

“I would say the market is going to be completely driven by buyers buying a house to live in,” Klinge said. “So if you’re going to buy a house, make sure it’s going to last you for years.”

Link to Full Article

Merry Christmas

Me showing the kid a dance step or two…..

Natalie had a covid scare but tested negative four days in a row so she was able to join Kayla, Frank and us for Christmas weekend!

We appreciate those who include us in their search for the perfect home for the holidays – thank you!

Christmas dinner! L-R: Donna’s cousin Krista, sister Suzanne, Natalie, Frank & Kayla, and sister Elizabeth (and Donna in the background)

Manhattan Views

We did get to spend the Thanksgiving weekend in Manhattan with Kayla. She cooked a good old-fashioned turkey dinner at home on Thursday, and the next day we visited the new tourist attraction on 42nd Street adjacent to Grand Central Station. They run you up to the 92nd floor where most of the younger folks are posing like a Kardashian – with some bringing their own pro photographers!

The view looking towards downtown (and Brooklyn to the left):

Looking west across the Hudson River towards New Jersey:

42nd Street below, and New Jersey in the distance:

Pivoting to the right, this is looking up Madison Avenue towards Central Park, Harlem, and the Bronx:

Looking east towards the Chrysler Building and the United Nations, with Queens in the distance:

Happy Holidays!

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