Keep Christmas in your hearts...not on your house.
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Keep Christmas in your hearts...not on your house.
Monday, December 29, 2008
Stanislaus County housing prices stabilized a bit last month, slowing the brutal price plunge that began three years ago.
Median-priced homes sold for $160,000 during November, which was $1,500 less than October. That decline was far less than previous price drops. Between September and October, for instance, home prices fell $17,500.
Stanislaus home values have fallen nearly 60 percent since peaking three years ago, according to housing statistics provided by MDA DataQuick.
First-time home buyers and investors are taking advantage of the now-affordable pricing. Sales volume was strong during November, as more than twice as many homes sold compared with the same month last year.
The sales statistics aren't nearly as comforting for Merced and San Joaquin counties.
Merced prices continued plummeting in November, falling to a median of $124,500. That was $12,250 less than October, and nearly 66 percent below what houses were selling for three years ago.
San Joaquin prices dropped to $172,000 last month, a staggering $28,000 fall from October. Its home values have declined nearly 62 percent in three years.
The Northern San Joaquin Valley has been rocked by the foreclosure crisis, which experts agree is pushing down home prices. Those experts disagree, however, on whether the region is through the worst of the housing mess.
"It comes down to just the sheer volume of problem loans in your area," said Rick Sharga, senior vice president of RealtyTrac, which monitors foreclosures nationwide. Sharga predicted the region will continue to lead the country in foreclosures through 2009.
But since this region was first to enter the foreclosure mess, some think it may be among the first to rally.
"It is already recovering," said Sean O'Toole, founder of ForeclosureRadar, which tracks California real estate. He said it's a good sign that the valley's sales are up and prices are affordable. "Whereas the so-called strong areas in California, like San Mateo or San Francisco, are now only beginning to correct (by lowering prices). At current prices, I'd much rather own property in Modesto than Palo Alto at the moment."
Bargains to be had
Local realty firms also are seeing some positive signs.
"There's a tremendous amount of demand for housing at these prices, and there are good interest rates right now," said Mike Zagaris, president of Modesto-based PMZ Real Estate.
Whether home buyers will continue to be able to take advantage of low-cost housing opportunities depends on the economy, Zagaris said, "because we have a growing recession that's putting people out of work."
Zagaris also is concerned that many current owners are giving up their homes because they've lost so much equity.
"I'm being told by my people in the trenches that the vast majority of those facing foreclosures now have no interest in redoing their loans. They just want out," Zagaris said. "If that's true, there's no stopping these foreclosures."
Demand catching up
What has stopped is most new home construction.
That's good, according to Sharga, because the region needs to reduce its overall inventory of homes so demand can catch up with supply.
Most of the valley's new home builders have sold all their finished houses and they're only building new ones after they sign sales contracts, according to Kent Steinwert, chief executive officer for Farmers & Merchants Bank of Central California. He thinks that will stabilize new home prices.
Steinwert is bullish on the valley's housing future: "The fundamentals are there. We're growing in population ... and we can't build enough homes long term to meet demand."
Population estimates released this week show there's been a shift in who is living in the Northern San Joaquin Valley.
More people are moving out of the region than are moving in. New population estimates from California's Department of Finance determined that about 6,824 more people moved to other parts of the United States from Stanislaus, San Joaquin and Merced counties this year than moved to the region.
But new immigrants from foreign countries and high birth rates among current residents more than made up for that loss, the figures showed, so the three counties still gained in population.
Monday, December 22, 2008
Real Estate Owned Foreclosures. It never gets old for me and since I am a cheapskate I like to look for the Free REO foreclosures list. I can look at houses all day long, even if they are dumpy homes. It's like a challenge for me to use the Free Foreclosures and map out where the houses are, and off I go having no idea where I may end up. I think that might be why I like to do this.
The site offers everything for free. No trial period...just a free service for anyone to use. Its pretty simple to use, and all you do is go to the main page and click on the state and find the city. It's that simple!
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Boston real estate does not seem to be hit as hard as other areas of the country, especially like California. Here is my take on it:
1. Real estate in Boston never had the overinflated jump that other areas did.
2. There is a demand for luxury real estate there.
3. Boston is a historic and cultural place to live with plenty to do and see.
4. Even Boston condos have held up pretty well considering that condos seem to take the first hit.
When you are ready to buy visit Bushari Group Real Estate
All I ever write about is California real estate, because it is what I know. Do any of you have insight on the east coast market? I'm curious.
Friday, December 12, 2008
My wife wanted to take me to Manteca, California, about 40 minutes north of us to see some Christmas lights. She was yipping about how amazing they were, and I was thinking, yeah, yeah, yeah, they're just Christmas lights, we have those in our town too. Was it really necessary to drive 40 minutes? Oh Holy Night, was it ever. These pictures do not do this house justice. I was transformed into a spastic little boy again.
If you live near Manteca, go check this place out, and then afterward go check out the Bass Pro Shop which is more like Bass Pro HEAVEN. Even my wife enjoyed walking around through it, until she was creeped out by the Santa who looked a little too lonely and acted too eager for her to come sit on his lap. She is very reserved and just kept on walking like she was very interested in something over in the knife section. When Santa turned his attention to me, I made a beeline for the knives as well.
After that we went through a drive-thru Nativity Scene on the life of Christ, where the teenaged/young men and women at the crucifixion scene were a little too into it. It wasn't touching, but rather a little creepy like Santa at the Bass Pro Shop. The actors in the other scenes were excellent, but these kids needed to be reigned in if you know what I mean. Two girls were screaming, wailing, and howling at the foot of the cross, and the boys playing the soldiers were yelling at them like wife beaters. "Jesus" was laying on the cross like, "Uh, exsqueeze me? WWJD?"
Who knew Manteca was such a festive holiday town?
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Maybe its the boarded up windows?
Maybe its the dried up lawn?
Maybe its the graffiti on the boarded up window?
Maybe it's in a bad neighborhood?
Maybe they are asking too much?
Maybe the inside is a disaster?
Friday, December 5, 2008
If you live in the Atlanta, Georgia, area, and you have the bucks to spend, then you need to check out Sovereign Buckhead. Being a simple guy, I know less than nothing about Atlanta luxury real estate, or luxury real estate anywhere, but this looks pretty spiffy if you are into big city living. I have to say, that if I were forced to live in a big city, Atlanta would be number 1 on my list. Buckhead Condos are not your average condominiums, so check them out.
My wife is a nurse, and I keep trying to convince her to be a traveling nurse. In fact, I would not be disappointed if we had to spend some time in the southern United States. Howard, however, is happy right where he is.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Monday, October 6, 2008
Friday, October 3, 2008
Howard understands your life is probably tough right now, given the current state of the economy. And you know what he thinks you should do? Drink. Drink your sorrows away. Drink your life away. Just drink. Have some more Jack Daniels and Coke. It isn't going to hurt your. Drink, drink, drink, until you cannot find your way out from under the table. Drink until your head spins and hurts so bad that vomiting up blood seems minor. Drink!
Tell 5 people to drink, and then they'll tell 5 people to drink, and then those 5 people will tell five people, and then 5 more people will tell 5 more people, and 5 more people will start drinking and soon another 5 people will generate another 5 people, and they will have had so much to drink they will be looking at 1 person and seeing 5 people! Hey this could work!
Drink so much that politicians finally start making sense to you.
*Howard does not actually want you to drink. He is a teetotaler in real life, but he doesn't mind mocking Hollywood narcissists who make stupid commercials like this one.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Thursday, September 4, 2008
forensic loan document review. Sounds very "CSI" doesn't it? This is fairly new to me, so visit the link and learn all about it.
There is help out there, and you just might be able to save your house. I feel bad for the honest people who only wanted to have a piece of the American Dream. Some banks will work with you and some will not. If yours is one that won't, and you do not want a short sale, then you can maybe get started on the forensic loan doc review. It might be a long process but don't give up on it.
I highly recommend you visit this website and learn all about this. Even if you are not in financial trouble, it wouldn't hurt to read up and learn about it. You might have a family member or friend who needs this type of help.
The market there isn't in as bad of shape as Arizona or California. Don't get me wrong, I was able to find quite a few Austin Foreclosures. I think the reason that that market has held up better than the the West is it did not run up as high or as fast. As the old saying goes..."the faster it runs up the faster it runs down," or something like that. Just go with it...and quit laughing!
If you're considering that area, or you are like me and enjoy searching random areas, be sure to check at some real estate in Austin. Let me know what you think about the area.
Monday, September 1, 2008
This is from the Newspaper in Manteca,Ca.
Home sales pace hits one every 6.2 hours
Homes are now selling every 6.2 hours in Manteca.
It is a torrid pace even surpassing the go-go days of the housing bubble that is fueled by one thing and one thing only - housing prices too tempting to resist.
There were 635 closed deals as of Aug. 22 within the City of Manteca. But that is only a part of the story. The sales pace virtually doubled overnight in mid-July when banks started aggressively pricing foreclosed homes to the point where it makes sense for investors to buy as well as first-time homebuyers. It marked the first time any real estate expert can recall when it cost less for a renter to own as well as for investors to buy homes and immediately rent them - even after spending money to fix them up - and get a positive cash flow.
Another sign of the major upswing in home buying activity are the pending sales. There is a record 301 pending sales of existing homes in Manteca. To put that in perspective, the number of homes that have gone pending with offers in the past 30 days is just 101 homes less than were sold all of last year in Manteca through the Multiple Listing Service.
Another positive is the inventory of available homes. It has been dropping steadily since it reached a record 627 homes a year ago in September 2007 despite the fact the number of foreclosed homes has accelerated in the last two months.
In a normal market, the housing supply - how many months it would take for existing inventory to get absorbed if no more homes were added to the inventory and the sales pace continued - six months is considered equilibrium and anything shorter than that is considered a sellers market.
But since foreclosures are driving 80 percent of the sales, the fact there is essentially a 4.8-month supply isn't working to the advantage of sellers. Instead, the fire sale pricing continues at a level that apparently is working as banks are unloading foreclosed homes ahead of an increasing wave to keep a floor under the potential for even deeper losses on loans.
The fact the median selling price so far on all homes that have sold this year in Manteca has now slipped to $253,000 would at first glance look like the market is in the 2002-03 price range where median house prices were between $237,892 and $267,030 on previously owned properties.
But that is only part of the story.
The bottom of the market is reflecting pricing of the late-1990s.
A few examples:
• A 1,094-square-foot home at 324 S. Powers Ave. closed escrow this month for $100,000. A similar property sold in the same neighborhood for $92,000 in 1997.
• A 1,010-square-foot home at 314 Dan St. closed escrow this month for $109,900. A similar sized home in the same neighborhood fetched $115,000 in 1998.
Monday, August 4, 2008
I think a green pool is very symbolic of this whole mess.
Monday, July 28, 2008
Thursday, July 24, 2008
That I am anywhere but here.
My brother-in-law is a plumbing contractor who has been doing some work on foreclosures. I've been helping him out, and let me tell you, I have never worked so hard. People are pigs with too much junk. It is foolishness.
How did I cope? I dreamed about going to places like Amathus beach apartments. I don't think it can get much better than the good old USA, but it would be interesting to take an exotic vacation, or "holiday," as they say in Europe to see how the rest of the world vacations. Believe me, our most exotic vacation has been very similar to Chevy Chase's in National Lampoon's Vacation.
If I ever get up the patience to travel abroad, I would love to take a beach "holiday" in Cyprus, and stay at Family friendly villas in Limassol or rent a holiday home in Limassol
Monday, July 21, 2008
Monday, July 14, 2008
Sunday, June 29, 2008
By David Bell
Saturday, June 28, 2008 8:09 PM MST
A two-year-old wage study shows few workers in Lake Havasu City can afford to buy the average home.
The Lake Havasu City, AZ. Area Wage & Fringe Benefits Survey was compiled by the Pathfinders of Dallas, an economic development and corporate site-selection consultant firm, in September 2006, at the request of the Partnership for Economic Development.
“It’s about time to update it, about every two years,” said PED President and CEO Gary Kellogg. “And this time we need more participation.”
The survey shows 81 firms participated in the survey but many of the individual job sectors only had one firm participate — such as auto sales — which Kellogg said leads to results being less than accurate when it comes to the entire community.
Participating employers were asked to report low, average and high entry-level pay. That led to a determination of low average, high average, mean average and weighted average which balances employers of a number of people with those employing few in the same job classification.
Of the 103 job classifications listed in the report, 20 fell below a weighted average wage of $10 per hour, generally the jobs considered entry level. Such as janitor, childcare worker and bartender, bus and wait staff at restaurants and bars.
Another 20 job classifications were reported with a weighted average wage of $20 per hour or more. Including president/CEO/owners with the highest a weighted average wage of $64.83.
Using the May 2008 report by the Lake Havasu Association of REALTORS, of homes sold in Lake Havasu City, few of those earning in excess of $20 per hour can afford a mortgage for the average home in the city.
Using the Ginnie Mae (Government National Mortgage Association) loan calculator with the weighted average wage of $31.67 and zero debt, a Lake Havasu City teacher should look at a mortgage of no more than $212,756. That’s almost $30,000 less than the $232,217 average sales price of home in the city in May.
Lenders generally won’t lend when the housing costs (loan, insurance, taxes) exceed 28 percent of monthly income. And total debt shouldn’t exceed 36 percent.
Compounding the problem is that few workers in every field are without debt. And a quarterly study of the cost of living shows Lake Havasu City runs higher than the national average in a number of categories.
The Cost of Living Index compiled by the Council for Community and Economic Research measures the relative price levels for consumer goods and services in participating areas.
Those areas are averaged and the individual communities are compared to that baseline.
In six categories during the first quarter of 2008, the Lake Havasu City-Kingman Metropolitan Statistical Area exceeded the baseline in three — running 8.4 percent higher on grocery items, 39.7 percent higher on housing costs and 0.3 percent higher on transportation.
Utility costs in the Lake Havasu City run 7 percent below the national average, while health care is 5 percent cheaper, and miscellaneous goods and services are 0.1 percent below.
Lake Havasu City participates in the study each quarter through the PED.
Mohave County Supervisor Buster Johnson, R-Dist. 3, said there are two moves the county and city can make, one to offset the lower salaries now and the other to bolster salaries in the long term.
“We need to look at some community housing, available to our police, fire, teachers, those essential service people. I tried to bring some in six years ago but no one was interested and instead it went to Parker,” Johnson said. And we really have to push industrial economic development, like along the I-40 Industrial Corridor, to get better paying jobs. That will lift other salaries when they compete for employees.”
Friday, June 27, 2008
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Friday, June 20, 2008
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Here I am at it again dreaming about one of my favorite places. I have been doing some searching using Hawaii Life RE Services. They have a big map of all the Islands and Citys on the Islands. Its pretty neat to see the mansions. Hawaii Life RE Services gives me hope to some day move there but for now I am here on the mainland. I wonder if there are a huge amount of foreclosures there? If anybody knows let me know. Acording to the Zillow graph on the the Hawaii Life RE Services main page the housing has held up good. There is something about that place that amuses me. Maybe because its not in the media, but still USA.
From ModBee .com
Good news for buyers: Home prices fall as sales rise in Stanislaus County
By J.N. SBRANTI
last updated: June 18, 2008 10:27:42 PM
Home prices plunged again in May, but sales of existing homes surged.
Median sales prices fell to $215,000 in Stanislaus County, which was $10,000 lower than in April and 36.6 percent below May 2007, according to DataQuick Information Systems.
But the number of existing homes sold soared by more than 89 percent this May compared with a year ago.
Blame foreclosed houses for both the price drop and the sales spike.
"Banks are competing against banks to get the foreclosure inventory off their books, and that's driving the prices down," said Craig Lewis, president of Prudential California Realty.
Lewis won't call it a fire sale, but he said banks are doing whatever they must to get those vacant houses sold.
"They're bargain-priced, which provides a tremendous opportunity for buyers," said Lewis, recalling how Stanislaus County median prices peaked at $392,000 in 2005. "It's probably the best buying window we've had in the Central Valley in perhaps 30 or 40 years."
First-time buyers are competing with investors to grab those deals.
"If the home is priced in the $100,000s, we're getting an average of 10 offers to buy," said John Melo, chief executive officer of Century 21 M&M and Associates. "First-time buyers are out in force ... and we have a lot of Bay Area investors coming in paying cash for homes."
Investors typically opt for homes priced at $175,000 or less, Melo said, because they can rent them out at a profit even after paying the mortgage, taxes, insurance and maintenance costs.
On Wednesday alone, Melo said, his staff made 27 pending sales. Of them, 21 were bank-owned homes, two were "short sales" -- where the lender must agree to accept less than what is owed on the mortgage -- and four were traditional sales.
While low-priced existing homes are selling well, new houses are hardly selling at all. Only 68 new homes sold during May throughout Stanislaus County, which was a drop of nearly 45 percent compared with 2007.
Melo said his agents handle sales in Atwater's Meadow View subdivision, which hasn't sold a single home in 45 days. It has 17 finished houses sitting empty.
"It's hard for the new home builders to compete with the prices on all those bank-owned houses," Melo said.
Monday, June 16, 2008
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Santa Barbara Yacht Club
I used to race on the yellow boat...Firedrill...a J-24 sailboat. It was the best way to learn how to sail and I had tons of fun.
One of my long time friends and I have a joke that there is nothing worse than being cold and wet, sea sick, and having your girlfriend break up with you all at the same time. We lived it when he broke up with a girlfriend and I took him sailing out to the Islands on a rough day, and we swam from the boat to the shore just to get on land. We thought the water was only knee deep and could walk in to shore, but it ended up being over our heads.
Thanks for allowing my trip down memory lane...
I like to check out Hawaii real estate almost as much as Arizona real estate. Oahu or Maui would also be nice. The weather would be perfect for me, and I don't even mind the humidity. However, you had better have some bucks if you plan on living there or buying your dream home.
Do any of you have a dream location to live?
So, we're just waiting to be approved on our mortgage, which is looking good and then it'll be a go.
Since we have been in the market to buy a house we have looked at a lot of foreclosures and there are some rough ones out there. They may be priced $20,000 or so less, but they are going to take a big chunk of that to bring them up to par. Not just carpet and paint need to be replaced in the homes, but so do cabinets, tubs/showers, stove/oven ranges, windows, and that's just the inside. If you are a do-it-yourselfer, then it might be right up your alley, but I'm not going to kid myself. The lady we are buying is going to rent back from us for 60 days, because she has purchased a short sale that she is going to have to fix-up.
So this will be one neighborhood I will be happy to say so-long too. The snooty couple that lives next door in their $349,000 house that is oh, I don't know, say $100,000 over-priced, can eat my shorts for completely ignoring me every time I've smiled and said "hello." I hope he enjoys the new "renters." I'm sure he shudders every time that word leaves his mouth. Oh well, six out of 8 houses on the corner we live on are currently in foreclosure. Not looking so good for Mr. Expensive House who is paying nearly $5.00/gallon to commute to San Francisco every day.
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
No Need to Break Your Back Putting the Christmas Lights Up This Year If You Buy This Foreclosure!
One site that is helpful is Free Foreclosure Blog . This service is free and one of the better ones I have found. It's very easy to use, and do a foreclosure search in the city of your choice. Every state is on the map, and there are more cities to choose from than you likely have the time for.
Check it out at http://www.freeforeclosureblog
So sit down at your computer, pour yourself a glass of Two Buck Chuck, and search away. Maybe you'll find your boss' house on there...that would be sweet justice now wouldn't it! The Man stickin' it to The Man.
Sunday, June 1, 2008
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
The big blow up animals worked so well the last time they did it!
To the potential buyers: Oh, by the way, up the road, say 3 seconds away, there was a DRIVE BY SHOOTING.
I don't know about you, but things like this don't make me want to come look at what is being sold, they just make me want to turn and drive in the opposite direction as far as I can.
Monday, May 26, 2008
Early Sunday morning my wife was up reading, and heard gunshots. Such a comforting thing to hear at 2:30 a.m. followed by screaming and cars peeling out. I quickly called 911 and the police were here almost before I hung up. Seven police vehicles in all.
A DRIVE BY SHOOTING happened in the neighborhood I live in. I didn't exactly think I lived in the "hood" but it seems as though I do. That evening the hospital my wife works at was on lock down because of a gang shooting where a gang member was killed. I kind of wonder if it wasn't retaliation for the shooting that happened on our street.
I feel bad for the people who own homes in this neighborhood, and the only way out for them is to sell and take a huge loss, or be foreclosed on. I am so thankful, however, that I rent and can move and plan to do so after this incident.
I'm sure the punks across the street aren't going anywhere, and it seems that they always have more rights than Joe Citizen anyway. They have been arrested before, and it did nothing to change their ways.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Real Estate news for Hawaii is pretty good. All across the USA we hear how much house prices have come down, and Hawaii is one of the few that has not lost as much as warm weather states like AZ, CA, NV, or FL. Its still way too expensive for me to consider moving there, although I did come across a condo a during a Hawaii Real Estate search a few months ago for around $200,000. Not too bad for a condo there, but it could have been a Dan K. special, which is hard to know without actually living there and knowing the areas.
I love the climate there. The temps are mostly between 65-70 at night and 80-85 during the day. Since I do not know anyone who lives there, I look for a good source for Real Estate in Hawaii and I found this one. If I could afford to move there I would do it in a minute.
Monday, May 19, 2008
The fine people of a city like Modesto, California, or any city for that matter, sure could use the services of You Walk Away.
I get A LOT of google hits for "can't sell my house" and if you have arrived here looking for advice, then you need to check out You Walk Away, because they will show you how to stay in your house without your mortgage company harassing you while you figure out what you are going to do next. Of course you won't be able to stay there forever, but if you are on the verge of foreclosure with no other options, then I recommend paying a visit to the website at You Walk
Most of the time my blog is a big joke, but if I can help someone out, then all the better. And just to show you that I don't plan on going legit, here is a song for Dan K. to the tune of Walk Away Renee:
You Walk Away
And when I see the sign that points one way
The lot we used to pass by every day
Just walk away Dan K.
You won't see me follow you back home
The empty sidewalks on my block are not the same
You're not to blame Dan K.
From deep inside the tears I'm forced to cry
From deep inside the pain I chose to hide
Just walk away Dan K.
You won't see me follow you back home (because I know you won't be there anyway)
Now as the rain beats down upon my weary eyes
For me it cries...
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Dan K. can't be a badass all of the time. Even he needs a break once in awhile. The water Dan K. is floating in is ICE COLD, straight from the mountains, but that is nothing when your manhood is made of steel and your house is in foreclosure. It helps to numb the pain.
Dan K., enjoy your day off. You've earned it. And thanks for having my back.
(See, Tangelo, Dan K. does exist)