Real Estate News
THE MARKET Less Doom, More Bloom
Published Thursday, 02-Sep-2010 in issue 1184
As I write this column very early in the morning on August 29, 2010 a couple of things frame my outlook. One, it’s our second wedding anniversary and a time when the joys and responsibilities of marriage are celebrated, and when we renew our commitments to Marriage Equality and to the end of hate. We know marriage equality is good for real estate and vice versa. A fun evening at downtown’s Anthology dinner club is planned with our married buds Richard Turner and Jim Harrison - owners of Astoria West Home Staging and Design -San Diego’s best choice when you need to stage a home to sell.
We also watched with dismay the trashing of the 47th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech by an assembled group of skinheads, fundamentalists and tea-partiers. It serves to remind us that civil rights are more a garden than a temple...even when the flowers come up; you have to work hard to keep the weeds out.
It’s the fifth anniversary of the destruction of New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina and a great time to marvel at the rebirth of this national treasure. Kudos to all who’ve stayed, returned and rebuilt. A true, real estate success story with much more effort needed! We will make two trips to NOLA in the coming months, one specifically to help shepherd in the National Association of Realtor’s (NAR) new protections for GLBT clientele.
Speaking of NAR, San Diego recently hosted Dr. Lawrence Yun. Boy, did he have a lot to say. Who is Larry Yun? Well, if you tune into CNBC or any number of financial news outlets, you may recognize Yun as the nation’s preeminent housing economist. Officially, he is the chief economist of NAR. He spoke before 1000 Realtors, along with California’s top real estate cop DRE Commissioner Jeff Davi and San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders.
Yun is the headliner at this annual event. I bought a table for our office upfront. I wanted to watch Yun as much as listen. I admire this guy. He is an immigrant from South Korea. He’s funny and self-effacing. For the last several years, he’s had the unenviable duty to go around the country and explain facts and trends to a notoriously emotion-driven industry that finds itself on life-support and desperate for good news. As a group, we don’t do nuance well. We want bottom-line talking points that help our clients make the best-possible decisions.
Last year, Yun boldly stated that for San Diego, the worst had passed. Our starring role as Coal Mine Canary in the worldwide real estate drama had granted us first class seating in the sure-to-rebound-market lifeboat. Well, we might be in the lifeboat, but it seems Hitchcock may be directing this scary quasi-recovery.
All markets have winners and losers so before you give up and slip away like Leo DiCaprio in Titanic, remember, somewhere on the bottom, there’s a jewel to be found. Yun’s message: You have a bit more time to find it, but find it you should. Don’t wait for further federal tax credits. Your generous Uncle Sam has given all he has to give. For anyone waiting for the market to hit bottom, your moment is here, according to Yun.
In San Diego, most brokers I speak with echo Yun with anecdotal evidence. In the metro area, the Mi Arbolito project at Sixth and Upas has finally hit the market (is this the third or fourth grand opening??) at sensible prices. High-end homes have mostly slipped to their pre-craziness values and save reliable financing options; we are poised for a return to a “new-normal” market.
We are just finishing a nice transaction with a terrific young broker Kieran Smiley of Apropos Investments. I hope he represents the survivors in our profession. Thorough, thoughtful and with a fierce sense of fiduciary duty, Kieran reminded me of the real work agents and brokers used to do before we became order writers in the go-go early years of this millennium. He and I enjoyed great clients on both sides of this stunning contemporary Falcon Street home and it reminded me of something a very wise homeowner told me early on in my career, “A good deal always gets better.” Words to live by, still.
Remember, a short sale is just a loan modification that your bank won’t do for you, but will do for whoever buys your house. A good, professional mortgage broker is still your best bet for FHA and conventional financing, with credit unions a close second.
Just coming to market for the first time ever in Solana Beach...Hacienda compound with luxurious casa grande, spa, 3 rentable casitas, your own fully-optioned cantina, plus sunset and ocean views. $2.8 million. Contact ARG’s Catherine Carmody
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