Cognitive Disconnect

When I am going day and night looking for the right home for a client, there is little time to keep up this Blog, and I apologize. Just look at it this way: I am learning the Market better so I can communicate it to you.

I am looking for a specific home – 3,000 to 4,000 s.f., gated, view, pool, preferably newer. I know my Buyers well having represented them successfully before – twice – and they are willing to spend money but they are excellent business people and will not knowingly leave a dollar on the table.

You might think that would be a snap.


As in any level of sales, the way to get a “deal” is to find someone just short of a short-sale, and that is fairly easy to do in a neighborhood but when you are looking across many zip codes it is hard to divine. Most wealthy people can keep up appearances until the very day they can no longer do so. Wealthy people degrade catastrophically – they do not degrade incrementally.

So, how do you know if a home is “flexible” in price? The Realtor representing the Seller should be able to give you clues – IF they know, and IF they have been authorized to convey those clues.

My clients have given me their specifications. I have seen perhaps 15 homes in Valley Center, Hidden Meadows, Bonsal. And Fallbrook. I have selected five finalists, and two or three “alternates.”

I’ll say it again. It is amazing how few people at the $1 million mark have no sense of the market. I am certain their Realtor has told them, but their perception is that the market will not impact their home.

Cognitive Disconnect.

MLS Aug 21 Update

There were 17 Pendings in the Zip Code, but none in the Meadows.

(Do you see a trend here?)

Yes, there were 13 homes that closed escrow, but none were in the Meadows.

There is a reason. Our inventory has been reduced through sales. Our current inventory is very low.

So much so that I have a Sold Gold Buyer, looking for a single-level Luxury home for $700,000 — $1,300,000 in Hidden Meadows/Valley Center/Bonsal/Fallbrook, with views/pool and built after 2003.

My Buyer will buy this next weekend and close in 30 days.

You might think this is an easy order.

It is not, but if you have any suggestions…

MLS Update and Analysis Aug. 19

In the past 72 hours there has been zero activity in The Meadows: No listings, no Pendings, no closings.

There is no Realtor Caravan tomorrow. There are five total new listings since our last Caravan, but getting three homes at one time ready for the “Thundering Herd” of Realtors to see is always a problem.

Sellers are unnecessarily concerned. Realtors don’t look at unmade beds – they are professional and see traffic flow, cottage cheese ceilings, square footage, age of appliances, granite v tile, and general condition. Realtors look for what the Buyers want: White, light and bright.

Realtors want the beds made when they show Buyers, but they don’t much care when they are doing the previewing except as a Red Flag that things might not be ready when the Realtor has the Buyer with them.

One of the major qualities that Realtors want is accessibility. They want the home available when their Buyer is available.

Realtors are lazy. They want to see homes when they want to see them. If you make it hard to get in – well, there are lots of competing homes to be shown so if you want to make things hard for Realtors to see your home they won’t show it!

Making it hard for the Realtors Caravan is NOT a good idea. It is the wrong step to start off with Realtors unless your home is being tented or painted!

General Information

Because this Blog is read by many residents in the Meadows, I sometimes place on it information that is not real estate, but is rather of interest to the residents of the Meadows.

I have written that I am preparing several historical photo albums and diary book of WWII for a separate website. The scanning and preparation of these books take a lot of effort, but if you have an extra few minutes I am putting them on my personal website for testing.

Two books are up there already – one called “World War II” and one called “Four Soldiers.”

World War II is a text and photo diary of Marvin Popkin’s enlistment and subsequent travels through bombed Britain.

Four Soldiers is a historical documentation of the Battle for Europe – Normandy until the German surrender. It is the compilation of the photos of four soldiers: A professional American photographer; two American infantry soldiers who were also amateur photographers; and one German Ph.D who enlisted in the German Army as a Private and was killed on the Russian front. His amateur photographs were subsequently discovered in the burned out German home of his father.

Caution: Some of the photographs in Four Soldiers are of Tekla and Dachau Concentration Camp, and they are shocking.

These two books contain photos never before seen. The professional photographer was a member of the Movie Picture Company and took the photos of the concentration camps with a still camera. While the Army requested his movies, they never requested his still photos and they are available here for the first time. I will soon have a separate website for these photos — this is a temporary test, to check the downloading time and viewing quality.

The books are in pdf format, and they are very large files, so they load slowly. Be patient.

The link is

Or just go to my website and click on the button on the left that says “World War II.”

MLS Update

There were no new listings in the Meadows over the weekend, and no homes went into Pending.

One home sold – 28778 Welcome, which sold for $570, 000. 2,878 square feet, on 2.3 acres.

It was listed less than six months ago for $999,000. It was a Short Sale, and demonstrates, once again that the housing problem locally is in the Executive/Luxury market. The few homes in that market that are selling in that market set terrible “comps” for any homes that sell regularly. That depresses the entire Executive/Luxury market.

MLS Update

The Zip Code had 30 new listings in the past seven days, of which two were in Hidden Meadows. One home in The Meadows went into Pending (on Oak Ranch, at $355,000) of the 18 homes that went into pending in the Zip Code.

17 homes closed escrow in the Zip Code, of which only one was in The Meadows – on Red Stone Lane at $310,000.

My vote for the best buy in the Meadows is $479,000 for the home of my friendly competitor (Gwen Herbert) at 11025 Meadow Glen Way East. No, I am not trying to get rid of her, we are friends and she will continue to sell here in The Meadows.


One of the areas I service in real estate is Rancho Bernardo, so I often get queries regarding that community. Today I had the opportunity to look at the 55+ areas of RB, which are the Seven Oakes and Oaks North areas of RB

In the past 30 days, there were four sales in those areas, and the longest time any of the homes that sold were on the market prior to sale was 41 days.

The four active homes in the price range of the person inquiring have been on the market fewer than 26 days.

That is the very definition of a pretty hot market.

Hidden Meadows is obviously not that hot, and senior communities are almost never that hot, because there is seldom a lot of demand for such (age) restrictive covenants.

That hot market can only be the result of the break in a pent-up demand.

The Meadows Real Estate Caravan has been put off for another week, because we do not have three available new listings.