April? It’s April? Holy cow!
Well, March was madness! Of course, being sick for 2/3rds of the month, rupturing my eardrum and losing my hearing in one ear did not help. I had a whole bunch of speaking engagements and when I spoke, I felt I was listening to my own echo in a large cavern, “Hello? Hello? Can anyone hear me?”
REAL ESTATE SALES ARE UP!
The good news is that after a very dry November, December, January and February, the market PICKED UP in March! And perhaps it is because nationally, Sellers are being more realistic in setting their sales price. The report in February states that homes selling above listing price dropped. Well, that could mean two things: (1) Buyers are being more conservative in the bidding war, OR (2) Sellers are listing lower so that they can gain more traction. I like to think #2 is the better reason. I am happy to report that I am taking the escrow industry pulse everywhere I go – Ventura, Palm Desert, Inland Empire, Orange County, LA, and everyone is breathing a sigh of relief. Finally! Escrows are opening! We have a job!
…AND SAN FRANCISCO’S SALES WILL SOON BE UNATTAINABLE
And the bad news is that if you live in San Francisco or thereabouts and have not bought a home yet, you will soon be priced out unless you are a billionaire. We know what industries are in SF and the Silicon Valley – it is Tech, Tech, Tech. And apparently, a number of the Big Tech companies are set to go public. When they do, the price of real estate will soar to even higher levels. And that includes rentals also. Here is a rental price comparison for SF that will make you cringe.
THERE IS ALWAYS DRAMA IN AFFORDABLE HOUSING ISSUES, PART 1…
I am so glad I am not a Millennial and caught in this Affordable Housing drama. This report from Mortgage Daily News says that a third of Millenials are sharing housing, meaning living with parents or having roommates to share in the cost. It is painful to see the stats and graphs in the article.
Consider this: there is a new name that has been coined, by the way. Instead of “suburbs”, there are now “exurbs – remote areas just beyond affluent suburbs” (see article). So Millennials, pick your work city and draw a 30 mile circumference and see what is in that circle. That’s your exurb.
And if you want to avoid circumferencing the most expensive neighborhoods, check out this Realtor.com article on the most expensive zip codes in each state. Those are exurbs that you want to avoid.
Sometimes I wonder, where did we go wrong that it is so tough for our kids to invest in homeownership?
AMAZON HQ .01
As we talk about Tech and real estate, here is a bit of trivia. The birthplace of Amazon (which I am calling Amazon HQ .01), ie, Jeff Bezos’ old home in Seattle, was put on the market, selling for $1.5 M approximately, because hey, it has “historical value”. Read all about HQ .01 right here. Don’t know if it sold or not and if it did, did it sell at a higher than list price? Seriously, Jeff should just buy it back and maybe make it a museum, don’t you think? He has enough money….
… AND THERE IS ALWAYS DRAMA IN AFFORDABLE HOUSING ISSUES, PART 2…
I mentioned rental prices in SF, just an FYI that California is on an Affordable Housing mission and consequently, a number of bills are making its way through the legislature that deal with managing RENTALS. Here is an article that lists 3 bills – AB36, AB1481, AB1482 that can be tracked for those who are renters and those who are landlords. Landlords are definitely going to get the squeeze.
If you are thinking of getting into the AirBNB business for extra cash, watch out for your city ordinances. Last year New York passed legislation to make short term rentals illegal and this year, closer to home in Santa Monica, the new city ordinance is requiring licensing of such rentals and landlords are prevented from kicking out long term renters to convert the property to the higher priced short term ones. And if you think California is bad, last month, Oregon took a huge step even further when the governor signed statewide rent control legislation.
JOINT VENTURE ON A SINGLE FAMILY HOME PURCHASE
Do you have a little bit of discretionary income and want to start out by investing in real estate? There is a company who has set up a program for small time investors to buy into a single family rental property for investment and the company will handle the rest. When I ran across this article, it got me to thinking that this type of small time joint venture project might be great for those who have some savings that they want to put to use. The caution is that investors must do their due diligence on the program, the company, and the figures on the return on investment. What happens if you want to sell your share early? Are there penalties or fees? How quickly can you get your money back? Ask these kinds of questions before entering any kind of a contract and before these scenarios are staring you in the face. We have all heard of investors being taken for sweet deals and lose their investment.
SENIOR CITIZENS HOUSING ALTERNATIVES
On a final note, for those senior citizens who dread the thought that they need to go to a nursing home here is an article on an “alternative” way to combat their housing problem. And even better, how about Cruising To Live? Or Living To Cruise? Here is the second alternative to senior housing woes.
All these choices in the Golden Years!
Here is my funny for the month, taken from another blog that I subscribe to. Not quite sure who the wise and mathematically oriented author is so that I could give credit, but nevertheless, it is too creative not to share!
What Makes 100%? What does it mean to give MORE than 100%? Ever wonder about those people who say they are giving more than 100%? We have all been to those meetings where someone wants you to give over 100%. How about achieving 103%? What makes up 100% in life?
Here’s a little mathematical formula that might help you answer these questions:
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
is represented as:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26.
8+1+18+4+23+15+18+11 = 98%
11+14+15+23+12+5+4+7+5 = 96%
1+20+20+9+20+21+4+5 = 100%
2+21+12+12+19+8+9+20 = 103%
And, look how far a$$ kissing will take you.
1+19+19+11+9+19+19+9+14+7 = 118%
So, one can conclude with mathematical certainty that while Hard work and Knowledge will get you close, and Attitude will get you there. It’s the Bulls— and A– Kissing that will put you over the top.
Now you know why politicians are where they are!
Have a wonderful April and we will see you in May with all other super blooms in Central and Southern California : https://www.latimes.com/projects/la-me-where-to-find-super-bloom-southern-california/
You Have Questions? We Have Answers!
Juliana Tu, CSEO, CEO, CBSS, CEI, SASIP
“Escrow is my FOREMOST language!”