Current Selling Recommendations

The market is slow, but NOT dead.

The greatest movement is in the investor properties, at the low end of the market (under $400,000) but there are renters and general Buyers moving into the market as well at the low and medium range ($400,000-$750,0000. ) Both of these groups will be active before the executive ($750,000 — $1 million) and luxury markets ($1 million and above) will start to move in the Meadows.

The market is nearing its bottom, and well-priced homes below $750,000 will move. Buyers are picky and they have the best of all worlds, low prices, low mortgage rates, and high inventory.

The only fly in the ointment is that the Lenders are being very careful, and if a Seller can finance the sale or part of the sale that will be useful in the next year. Price and condition will be the deciding factors in sales as they always are — but more so when the market is slow.

While I recommend getting an outside appraiser for Buyers it is even more necessary for Sellers, because Sellers are seldom if ever realistic about price — they have a strong emotional component that clouds their thought process. That is normal, but it can be somewhat mitigated by an outside appraisal. Appraisers equal realism.

If your home has not had an offer in 100 days, it is overpriced by definition.

Current Buying Recommendations II

Those who have neither bought nor sold in California in the past 10 years, do not understand the current position of the “Home Inspector.”

10 years ago, a Home Inspector was anyone who owned a pickup truck and a ladder!

Today, many Home Inspectors are retired, or even still active General Contractors. They have a State Contractor’s license and Errors and Omission Insurance they must protect, so they are exceedingly meticulous in finding problems. This comes as a great shock to some Owners who have lived in a home for many years and simply do not know of all of the problems that their home has developed over the years.

Unless the Buyer has a Home Inspector they like, I recommend an inspector who is known locally as the Deal Killer. He and his wife are TOUGH! I like my deals killed early if they are going to be killed at all — the worst situation is to have an escrow go many weeks and then fall apart.

Two strong levels of support for the Buyer are the Home Inspector and the equired disclosures of the Seller. Almost all lawsuits in real estate are brought by Buyers over a Sellers “failure to disclose.” Case law in California holds that a Seller is responsible not just to disclose known defects, but is responsible to disclose defects they SHOULD have known as a result of occupancy of the dwelling.

Home Inspectors, for example cannot determine if there are neighborhood nuisance problems like barking dogs, but a homeowner is expected to know and disclose such facts on the three page Transfer Disclosure Statement.

The laws are skewed for the Buyer’s protection in California Real Estate sales, but almost all Buyers are at some point also Sellers in the State of California, so at least in theory it evens out.



Current Buying Recommendations

When a Buyer is first looking, and finds a home they are interested in purchasing, their first interest should be the Sellers reason for Selling, and then how strong is the Seller’s motivation.

In the Meadows almost no one sells to move to another San Diego County location — Hidden meadows is simply too desirable a place to live. MOST people in the Meadows sell to move closer to family because of anticipated health reasons or to move to retirement homes. In THIS current market, there are a large number of homes where the reason is financial overextension.

IF a Buyer can determine the Seller’s reason for moving, that is useful, but the Buyer is never certain that the information is correct. If the Seller is in financial trouble, the Seller will try to hide that just for personal reasons. Some Sellers want to sell in advance of threatened bank ownership of the property.

After determining the reason for the sale, a Buyer should try to determine the Seller’s motivation. One data point of the Seller’s motivation, it the Time on Market. Newer listings are USUALLY listed at a reasonable price for the existing market because Sellers are FINALLY convinced that the market is slow, and most professional Realtors will not take a badly overpriced listing.

 MANY Seller’s know that the market is slow, but they have an emotional tie to their home that is so strong that they believe their home will sell regardless of it being overpriced. After all, EVERYONE believes their home is the best one in the neighborhood! If they thought otherwise, they would live in the home they thought was better!

If a home has been listed for more than 100 days, AND there has been no price reduction, that is at least a sign that the Seller is not reasonable in negotiating their price.

Even though I was appointed as an Expert Witness of Real Estate Values before the SUPERIOR Court, State of California in 1979, I still like to have my opinions confirmed by an outside appraiser. If you take a mortgage the Lender will do the appraisal, but still ANOTHER outside appraiser is useful when dealing with custom homes. It is cheap insurance at $350.


Still Another Caravan Addition

A new listing on Glenmeade — and let me admit this is a home I know and love. If you like quality construction and careful maintenance this home has real appeal. It is 3,082 s.f. and listed for $645,000. ($209 s.f.)

This is a personal favorite of mine.

A Change to the Thursday Caravan

One of the homes initially scheduled for a future caravan has been opened to us this Thursday. It is a 2,500 s.f. home on 5+ acres and is listed for a variable price from $949,000 to $1,049,000. This works out to $380 — $420 s.f.