Homeless Huts

A dynamic new approach to homelessness with roots in settling the West: Conestoga Huts. The trend started in Eugene and the supporters are hoping it will spread through the Northwest.

“This is our hut,” said Tracy Joscelyn leading a tour of her hut. She said this temporary shelter is a godsend. “We have a beautiful bed. Most of them have a raised up bed.”

It is only 60 square feet of indoor living space. “It’s just really warm and awesome and amazing,” said Joscelyn. The main thing is it gets her off the streets and into a secure spot. “When you have a place to keep your possessions dry and safe instead of hauling them around, then you can start stabilizing your life and figuring out what the next step is.”

The huts look similar to a Conestoga Wagon, the precursor to the Prairie Schooner covered wagons that helped bring settlers west.

“I designed the Conestoga Hut,” said Erik de Buhr of the group Community Supported Shelters in Eugene. He is the driving force behind this effort, which is supported by donations.

He said Conestoga Huts are stronger and more permanent than tents and at $2,500, much less expensive than tiny homes which can cost from $10,000-$20,000.

Link to Article

Real Estate Movies

Hat tip to bode for sending in the latest article on realtor videos. It’s behind the paywall and mostly the usual banter but here’s the money quote:

It makes sense that Hollywood-style promotional real estate is hitting a peak in Southern California, said Jonathan Miller, a New York City-based real estate appraiser and consultant. That’s because the high-end market from Los Angeles to San Diego is flush with inventory, creating longer marketing time, reduced foot traffic at open houses and greater competition between agents.

“In a market where there’s escalating supply but still anchored to another time, the sellers are trying to market much more creatively,” Mr. Miller said. In his mind, the sleeker and more expert-looking the video, the more likely it is that the seller is trying to justify a high price tag.

“When I see these videos, or something like a camel at an open house, that’s a clear sign of something that’s overpriced,” he said.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/12/realestate/how-to-sell-a-house-in-southern-calfornia-make-a-movie.html

Here is a lifestyle video they included, which I still think could include more footage of the homes:

How Agents Will Game the MLS 8.0

The MLS Statement 8.0 Clear Cooperation Policy is ‘a lightweight, middle-of-the-road policy that will just make the problem worse’ because it doesn’t go far enough.  It’s so full of holes that it will only exacerbate the problem, and by the time they figure it out, it will be too late to fix it.  It might be too late already.

The new policy just helps to define the ways that agents can avoid putting their listings on MLS:

  1. Office Exclusives Are Allowed. Agents will shop around their new listings for days or weeks among their fellow agents in the office. Only once that avenue is totally exhausted will listings find their way to the MLS.
  2. Submitted to MLS Within One Business Day.  From now on, all listings will be signed on Fridays (or postdated).
  3. Sellers Can Market Publicly. The listing agent isn’t supposed to publicly advertise the home, but……..
  4. Showings Aren’t Required. Just because a listing is in the MLS doesn’t mean agents can show it. This is the oldest trick in the book.  When an outside agents calls to arrange a showing, he/she is told that the property can be seen any time….as long as it’s between 5:00-5:05pm next Thursday.
  5. No Penalties Mentioned. There has never been a MLS police, so any enforcement will be sketchy at best. But realtors love to rat out their fellow agents so complaints will be flying – but what will be the penalty?  Most likely it will be the usual, which is a letter in the offender’s file for six months. Will it be that much?
  6. Stop Using the MLS. If it gets too complicated to navigate the rules, agents will just stop using the MLS.  This is why being on the right team is so critical now – if all the hot deals are sold in-house, then working at a small brokerage or being an independent broker will be detrimental. Those agents will only see the leftovers as the MLS becomes an afterthought.

Local compliance was first scheduled for March 1, 2020, but they pushed it back to May 1, 2020 so agents have six months to contemplate.  Will we be sitting around discussing how important it is that we share our listings with each other via the MLS?

What’s missing is that no one in the industry is demanding that we share our listings with one another because that is what’s right for consumers and agents alike. Instead, our leaders come up with a lukewarm policy full of holes and no teeth. The spotlight will cause more people to find ways around the 8.0, and proudly conduct off-MLS sales because now they are the even-sexier option.

MLS Statement 8.0 Clear Cooperation Policy

Yesterday, we entered into the final phase of the MLS implosion, with the latest blow being delivered by the National Association of Realtors themselves.  Instead of strictly forbidding Off-MLS sales, they have tried to appease everyone by concocting a lightweight, middle-of-the-road policy that will just make the problem worse:

The National Association of REALTORS®’ Board of Directors approved MLS Statement 8.0, also known as the Clear Cooperation policy, at its meeting Monday. The policy requires listing brokers who are participants in a multiple listing service to submit their listing to the MLS within one business day of marketing the property to the public.

NAR’s MLS Technology and Emerging Issues Advisory Board proposed the policy as a way to address the growing use of off-MLS listings. The advisory board concluded that leaving listings outside of the broader marketplace excludes consumers, undermining REALTORS®’ commitment to provide equal opportunity to all. The policy doesn’t prohibit brokers from taking office-exclusive listings, nor does it impede brokers’ ability to meet their clients’ privacy needs.

Here’s the full text of MLS Statement 8.0:

Within one (1) business day of marketing a property to the public, the listing broker must submit the listing to the MLS for cooperation with other MLS participants. Public marketing includes, but is not limited to, flyers displayed in windows, yard signs, digital marketing on public facing websites, brokerage website displays (including IDX and VOW), digital communications marketing (email blasts), multi-brokerage listing sharing networks, and applications available to the general public.

MLSs have until May 1, 2020, to adopt the policy.

Rationale: Distribution of listing information and cooperation among MLS participants is pro-competitive and pro-consumer. By joining an MLS, participants agree to cooperate with other MLS participants except when such cooperation is not in their client’s interests. This policy is intended to bolster cooperation and advance the positive, procompetitive impacts that cooperation fosters for consumers. The public marketing of a listing indicates that the MLS Participant has concluded that cooperation with other MLS participants is in their client’s interests.

https://magazine.realtor/daily-news/2019/11/11/nar-passes-mls-proposal-to-strengthen-cooperation

Mixed Feelings About Californians

The Twitter squall below is linked to the tweets. Susie, what is it really like?

This city sure knows how to roll up the welcome mat — that is, if you happen to move here from California.

Just consider last week’s mayoral election. It was the most competitive race in recent memory, a referendum on growth in the rapidly expanding capital of Idaho. And candidate Wayne Richey ran on a very simple platform: Stop the California invasion.

His basic plan to fulfill that campaign promise? “Trash the place.”

Richey figured that would be the best way to keep deep-pocketed Golden Staters from moving to his leafy hometown. He blames them for pushing home prices and rents up so high that Boiseans can’t afford to live here on the meager wages most Idaho jobs pay.

At a candidate forum in late October, he had a terse answer for the question: “If you were king or queen for the day, what one thing would you do to improve Boise?”

“A $26-billion wall,” he said, laughing, drawing out each word for maximum emphasis. As in build one. Around Idaho.

California bashing is a cyclical sport with a long history in the heart of Idaho’s Treasure Valley. Growth spurts have more than doubled Boise’s population since the 1980 census. Four months before federal counters hit the streets here that year, a Washington Post headline crowed, “To Most Idahoans, A Plague of Locusts Is Californians.”

In this current wave, California concerns have made their way into a heated mayor’s race. They have taken up residence on Nextdoor social networks.

And they erupted into a recent tweet storm that swirled around two beloved institutions, Boise State University and football. The electronic uproar caused residents all the way up to Mayor David Bieter to defend their city’s welcoming nature and insist that they like Californians, really they do, despite evidence to the contrary.

The Twitter squall started in late September, when former Boise State University football player Tyler Rausa went out to his car one day. There he found a professionally printed card, white with an elegant charcoal gray and gold border. It had a nicely centered, two-line message in all capital letters.

  GO BACK TO CALIFORNIA

WE DON’T WANT YOU HERE

He posted it online with a very short response: “Hmmmm didn’t think I’d ever find this on my car in Boise. #ThankYou.”

Rausa was a talented kicker for the Broncos in the 2015 and 2016 seasons. He scored 219 points for the team then. He is now an NFL free agent. He still lives in Boise. But he kept his California license plates.

The response to his tweet was swift, voluminous and mostly open-hearted. “I hope they are ashamed of themselves,” wrote @NitroJen. “Idaho: The PNW’s Mississippi,” posted @AbsoluteKit, referring to the Pacific Northwest. “Screw them!” @someone tweeted. “You are more than welcome here!”

Then Bieter chimed in. “@T_Rausa, I hope you take all of the positive comments you received here as the real spirit of Boise and #BoiseKind,” the mayor wrote. “We are glad you are here and part of our great community.”

One bit of advice Rausa got during the online fracas was that he should change those California plates — and fast. That’s been a longtime refrain from friendly Boiseans to their newest neighbors.

The Rev. Bill Roscoe, chief executive of the Boise Rescue Mission Ministries, heard it from his Realtor when he moved to Boise from Redding in 2002. He keeps a sign on his desk that says, “I am not from Idaho but I got here as fast as I could.”

“If you come here and love it, everything’s fine,” Roscoe said. “If you come here and fly that California flag in your driveway and have stickers on your car that say, ‘Santa Cruz,’ there’s going to be some hard feelings.”

Link to LAT article

Veteran’s Day

Veterans Day is a federal holiday in the United States observed annually on November 11th, for honoring military veterans, that is, persons who have honorably served in the United States Armed Forces. It coincides with other holidays including Armistice Day and Remembrance Day which are celebrated in other countries that mark the anniversary of the end of World War I. Major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, when the Armistice with Germany went into effect.

Veterans Day is distinct from Memorial Day, a U.S. public holiday in May. Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans, while Memorial Day honors those who have died while in military service. There is another military holiday, Armed Forces Day, a U.S. remembrance that also occurs in May, which honors those currently serving in the U.S. military.

The least we can do is buy you lunch:

https://militarybenefits.info/veterans-day-discounts-sales-deals-free-meals/

https://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/67508/veterans-day-discounts-2019/

https://www.offers.com/blog/post/veterans-day-freebies/

Inventory Watch

The inventory ‘shortage’ is limited to the lower-end.  If you can spend more than a million, there are 785 choices today, which accounts for 92% of the houses for sale between La Jolla and Carlsbad.

How the mix has changed:

NSDCC Total Number of Listings Between Jan 1 – Sept 30:

Year
# of Listings Under $1M
# of Listings Over $1M
% over $1M
2015
1,543
2,689
64%
2016
1,247
3,100
71%
2017
1,004
2,928
74%
2018
805
3,198
80%
2019
734
3,237
82%

As rates head back towards 4% and more and more homes list for more than a million, expect increased sluggishness next year as affordability continues to diminish. Unless, or course, you are Lawrence Yun:

(more…)

Two Eye-Popping Sales

When this house on Rios sold for $8,250,000 in March, 2019, it was the highest non-oceanfront sale in the history of Solana Beach.

The homeowner put it on the open market for $9,750,000 in September, and it went pending in 36 days.  It closed this week for $8,595,000 and the buyer paid the commissions, which makes it look like an effective $9,000,000 sale – which is a 9% return in eight months!  Both sales were all-cash.

Here’s a look at a sale at the top of the hill in Carlsbad that sold for $450,000 over list price:

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