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.
A Maryland woman is going to jail after she posed as a real estate agent and stole jewelry from houses, including an irreplaceable heirloom.
Sally Spaisman, 58, was sentenced Wednesday to one year in jail and five years of probation, the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office says, for stealing more than $82,000 worth of jewelry from about 12 homes in the Bethesda, Chevy Chase and Potomac areas.
She pleaded guilty to the theft charges after she combed the Internet for expensive homes on the market, showed up at the open houses, then stole expensive jewelry, prosecutors said.
Tracy Glesby is a real estate agent. No doubt she’s good at her job.
But D Magazine did not name her a Best Real Estate Agent in either 2011 or 2012, as one would be led to believe by her Facebook page.
Glesby and I aren’t friends, so I can’t see her timeline. But the screenshot you see here was taken today. Which is why I like this lady’s moxie. Because last Wednesday, she got a call from our brand manager, politely asking her to remove the Best logos that she had not earned. Some snippets of that conversation:
D Magazine: “I’m curious. How is it that you acquired these logos? I am the person who disseminates these to the winners, so I am unsure how it is you even have one.”
Tracy Glesby: “Uhh, you can just google image it.”
D Magazine: “Our editors and fact checkers go through a very rigorous process to determine these lists, and when it is misconstrued or intentionally misrepresented by someone claiming to have won when it was not actually bestowed upon them, it really undermines the prestige.”
Tracy Glesby: “Ok, well, now you’re just using a bunch of words that I don’t understand. I’m an end-game person. Let’s just get to the end of this. If I take those two little logos off, are we all good? Because I can do that when I get to the office in the morning.”
As I say, that conversation happened last Wednesday. Yet the logos remain. That there is what you call stick-to-it-ness. You put your house on the market, and it doesn’t sell the first day? Tracy Glesby isn’t going to give up. To make the sale, that lady is going to do whatever it takes.
Hat tip to “just some guy” who saw this at patrick.net:
An excerpt from the Will Carlessarticle at the Voice of San Diego – hat tip to several readers!
The Poway Unified School District may be California’s poster child for exotic school bond financing, but it is by no means alone in San Diego County.
As I detailed in my story yesterday, Poway Unified borrowed $105 million last year using a form of financing called a capital appreciation bond. The district won’t start making payments on the loan until 2033, and by the time it’s paid off in 2051, taxpayers will have paid back almost $1 billion, or almost 10 times the original loan.
As I point out in my story, capital appreciation bonds have become increasingly popular across the state, since they allow school districts to borrow money now without raising taxes on current residents. Instead, the burden for paying for the bonds is pushed to future generations, who are left on the hook for loans that are wildly more expensive than conventional bonds.
I’ve been digging through public records to try and find some other examples of these bonds in San Diego County. I haven’t come across anything quite as extreme as Poway’s deal, but I have found some bonds with very similar rates of interest and repayment schedules.
The deals elsewhere in the county mirror Poway’s deal in other ways, too. All three districts had recently passed bond measures to complete previous renovation and modernization efforts that were behind because of cost overruns and delays.
The three bond measures, passed in 2008, all made the same promise to voters: Tax rates would stay the same.
For crimes associated with trashing their foreclosed Winchester home, a former San Diego police officer and his wife each received a sentence of 270 days in jail and five years on probation.
In rendering the sentence, Judge Mark Mandio at the Southwest Justice Center decided against handing out the maximum punishment of four years in prison to Robert Conrad Acosta, 40, and Monique Evette Acosta, 37.
A jury convicted the couple in May of defrauding their lender by ripping out fixtures in the home and attempting to sell them after they were kicked out in June 2010 for failing to make mortgage payments.
Mandio cited their lack of prior convictions and the damage that long-term incarceration could do to them and their family as reasons for giving them lighter sentences.
“This was an act of anger,” Mandio said. “I think it was out of character for each of these individuals.”
Apparently incensed that they were getting booted from the home on Via Laguna, the Acostas tore the house apart, taking nearly everything of value and leaving the property in shambles.
Jurors saw a video and photographs taken after the family’s departure that showed piles of rubble, empty doorways where doors were removed, damaged rock facings, spray-painted walls, tile grouting saturated with black hair dye and loose wires sticking from walls from which light fixtures had been taken. The kitchen literally was gutted for everything of worth.
The swimming pool was filed with cypress trees that had been cut down and dumped there along with other debris.
The Acostas contended they had a right to take the items from the house because they had purchased them. However, the deed of trust that ran with the outstanding loan on the property prohibited the removal of permanent fixtures regardless of who installed them, according to evidence presented at trial.
Investigators discovered Robert Acosta had advertised many of the items for sale on the online marketplace Craig’slist and the couple were arrested.
While awaiting trial, Robert Acosta resigned from his position with the San Diego Police Department.
During Friday’s sentencing proceeding, the judge rejected requests by the Acostas’ defense attorneys for a reduction in their convictions from felonies to misdemeanors.
Hat tip to downturn for sending this along, fromtampabay.com:
When armored vehicles knocked down the house on 28th Avenue S in St. Petersburg on Monday, it climaxed an hours-long gunfight that claimed the lives of two St. Petersburg police officers and the wanted felon who shot them, Hydra Lacy Jr.
It was also the last echo of the frenzied house-flipping that lured Lacy and millions of other investors during the nation’s real estate boom.
The Crayola-orange dwelling at 3734 28th Ave. S was the only house among seven that Lacy bought between 2004 and 2007 that did not end up in foreclosure. But like all the others, its flattened remains are testament to a bust that has hit St. Petersburg’s Midtown area especially hard.
“The properties are back in the 20s, 30s, 40s, and three years, maybe four years ago they were in the $100,000-plus amount,” says Lou Brown, a veteran real estate agent. “I guess maybe we got a little greedy.”
Hat tip to OC Renter for sending along another episode of Michael Pines, foreclosure-chaser:
A Newport Beach man was arrested Wednesday after an attempt to regain possession of the home he claims his family was wrongfully evicted from 16 months ago.
Rene Zepeda, 72, was accompanied by his attorney and several Newport Beach Police officers as he made his way to the back yard of the spacious home at 19 Crystal Cay and, wielding a hammer, broke a window to gain entry. Officers promptly arrested Zepeda and attorney Mike Pines for trespassing and carted them away in a police vehicle.
“They told me I’d get arrested, but I don’t care,” said Zepeda before his arrest. “It’s my house. I have to do something.”
His attorney said the action was part of a revolt against “illegal” foreclosure and eviction practices that have cost countless people their homes, and he will advise other clients to commit the same act of civil disobedience until change is effected. “These homeowners have been out of their house for more than a year,” Pines said. “That’s long enough. They deserve to get back in because it’s legally theirs.”
Located in the gated and luxurious community of Crystal Cove, the 5-bedroom, 4,400-square foot home is on the market for $3.8 million. It’s an unlikely symbol of the brewing confusion surrounding foreclosures.
Rene Zepeda and his wife Otilia purchased the home in2008 after “years of sacrifice and hard work,” she said. Rene claims the lender, Bank of America, then raised the interest rate on their mortgage, causing the family to fall behind on payments.
Attorney Pines argues that because the foreclosure was hastily pushed through, the homeowners were denied the right to a jury trial and to present evidence in court. Public records show that the home was foreclosed on July 8, 2009; Pines says the couple has been fighting a legal battle ever since and finally resorted to this dramatic gesture because the house is now for sale.
Gary Kishner, a spokesman for JPMorgan Chase, said the homeowners lost the home 15 months ago after not making payments on the mortgage and that Chase now owns the property.
“After two illegal break-ins and squattings in a two-week period last November, a court order was obtained and sheriffs secured the property once again,” Kishner said. “Police assistance was needed today once again because of trespassing and criminal damage to the property.”
Zepeda and Pines were promptly bailed out, and Pines said prosecutors would have to prove they were trespassing. “Newport Beach needs to know that they have to pick sides,” Pines said. “It’s either the homeowners or the financial institutions.”
The values of nearby condos should benefit greatly from the housing shortage around UCSD: http://enewspaper.sandiegouniontribune.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=5997c243-aa01-4fdd-96f6-d71d8fd7f25a - As numbers boom, UCSD embraces its more social side
Jim the Realtor is legit - I interviewed three brokers; he said list price should be $100,000 higher than the other two brokers; listed it with him and had all cash (no financing) offer in two days, five day contingency period, closing in two weeks - and it closed at his recommended list price. I could not recommend anyone more than I recommend Jim the Realtor.
When we moved to San Diego in 2005 we rented a big house on Mt. Soledad (La Jolla) with 180 degree ocean views for the same payment as a mortgage on a dump in Chula Vista. Clearly something was wrong. Yet, the media was full of the usual happy-talk nonsense, so I was glad to find Jim's blog. I've followed his honest assessments and data since.
We decided to sell and move to AZ at Thanksgiving. Dec. 1st we met with Jim to sell our home. We closed today (29 days later). Jim orchestrated a feeding frenzy -- we had 25 showings in 2-1/2 days, multiple offers, and sold for well over asking price. I'd say he earned his commission! We have owned and sold homes in 5 different States always using experienced, productive, full-time realtors. Jim outshines them all.
You don't decide to sell and close 29 days later over Christmas (with COVID lockdown) without some miracles. Donna was amazing at performing lots of those miracles and ensuring that everything was done right and on time. They are a terrific team with a very responsive and professional network.
Where do we begin..2020 has been a year for everyone. When COVID hit and shut down both my husband and my businesses, we were left with a mortgage and very little income coming in. We were stressed, scared and felt stuck. We made the hard decision to sell our home and move out of state. We contacted the Klinges' and spent a good hour going over what we hoped we could accomplish. Jim and Donna came over with comps in hand and suggestions on improvements to get our house ready for the market. It was overwhelming to think about, but Donna was there and one step ahead in every scenario. Basically we just approved what they suggested and Donna handled literally everything. We placed our house on the market and within the first day we had multiple offers well above asking price! We couldn't believe it. We were overjoyed! Jim countered the offers to weed through them, and everyone came back with way more. It was amazing, and we are ?? sure it was because of the staging and repairs the Klinges suggested we do.
Due to unforeseen dishonesty from the buyers lender, we hit a big hurdle when trying to close. We had already moved out of state and were shocked when three days before closing the lender dropped a bombshell on the buyers and us. However, Jim and Donna handled it like veterans, not afraid to play hard ball and represent their clients. After a few phone calls with us, and several between Donna and the lender, they had a plan B-Z to make sure we were taken care of. In the end we closed with even more money than we ever thought possible and with very little work from us. The Klinges handled this entire "2020" worthy event with the utmost professionalism and did everything in their power to not only make this as smooth as possible for us, but we also walked away with more money from the sale of the house than we ever hoped for. After working with Jim and Donna, you don't ever use anyone else. They are hands down the best team to represent you in any scenario.
Working with Klinge Realty Group was a great experience! They are very responsive, professional and knowledgable about the real estate market! I would definitely recommend Klinge Realty Group.
Jim and Donna Klinge made the sale of our condo extraordinarily easy. They know the market and gave us sound advice backed by details and very considerable experience, reflected both in the initial pricing and subsequent negotiations. They work together as a team and are always available to talk. We had a few challenges with our property and they were able to coordinate the resolution to everything, including items that I would not think would ordinarily be their responsibility to handle. They made the whole process effortless on our part. They are folks with high integrity and we cannot recommend them highly enough.
Review for Member: Donna Klinge
I cannot believe there are no reviews of Donna yet, ugh!! She is the secret sauce of the Jim Klinge/Donna Klinge combo! I will touch on Jim here, but Donna is why I'm so totally loyal to these two (no offense to Jim :)).
I consider myself a rather savvy buyer/seller. I've bought/sold 7 times in about 15 years. On the buy side, Jim is the PERFECT combo of: completely digitally savvy (he will pull data all day long until you feel comfortable with your chosen house, area, school district, anticipated appreciation rate...anything!), he's super well respected and known in the area by other agents, an amazingly cool but strategic negotiator, is totally devoid of desperation for a sale/commission, and more.
Then once you get into contract phase, Donna literally handles every last and final detail in a concierge-like manner -- totally shielding you from the daily back and forth, noodling and annoyances of the buyer's requests. She solves it ALL; it's miraculous what that woman accomplishes over and above what is even expected in a buy/sell transaction.
On the sell side, Jim and Donna do the same, but even moreso. Donna in particular truly takes everything off your plate: she'll manage getting the house painted, the carpets replaced, she'll go on site (as she Jim both did for me when selling our rental properties) to work with the renters and make sure the house is ready to show -- freeing me to have to take time off of work to do so. They work with A+ integrity, too, so you know you are serving all parties fairly and lawfully throughout.
A home purchase/sale is the most considered you'll ever make. HIRE A SAVVY AGENT, not a friend!, and get what you need out of the transaction. Jim and Donna are our agents for life.
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. Jim's vast experience means he has worked with several realtors and knows the market all over north county. Donna is AMAZING in processing everything in the transaction. She scheduled trades people to work on the house in preparation for the sale as well as the repairs needed before closing. She communicated clearly every step of the way about what would be happening. She took the weight off my shoulders for the whole process. I will always use Jim and Donna for my future real estate needs and I whole heartedly recommend them to anyone buying or selling a home.
Jim and the team at Klinge Reality are without a doubt the best in the business! Not only was Jim helpful and extremely knowledgeable, he was patient and determined to help me find my first home. Jim and his team have been in the business for many years, and it shows. Jim is a wealth of knowledge and was my biggest proponent despite the temperature of the competitive market. I ended up getting the perfect property in my dream neighborhood all thanks to Jim. From the day my offer was accepted, Donna was a real lifesaver. She was extremely helpful, responsive, and knowledgeable when it came to every minute detail, and held my hand through the process. As a first time home buyer I had no idea what the process would entail, but Donna curtailed every concern I came across and made the escrow process feel seamless. Jim and Donna provided me the best home buying experience, and I am very grateful for all they did for me. It was truly a pleasure to work with Jim and Donna and I am already looking forward to the next time we work together!
Review for Member: Richard Morgan
Richard is an amazing realtor! He has high integrity and genuinely cares about his clients and their needs. Richard paid close attention to what I was seeking in a home and was very patient in our search to find it. I would highly recommend Richard and will use him for future transactions. Truly a different kind of realtor experience!
Could not be happier with my experience with Jim and his team. He helped me sell a very unique and challenging property. Throughout the entire process he was always available, honest, transparent, trustworthy, and always put my interests as a seller first. A (rare) true professional! During close of escrow Jim went above and beyond to complete the deal. It would not have been possible without his experience, fantastic team, and pure dedication. Highly recommended!
Thanks Jim and Donna Klinge!