Friday, December 21, 2007

Sacramento Real Estate Market - December 2007 Water Cooler

Blogging will be spotty over the next two weeks. Post links, stories, and observations here. Please read the comment policy before posting.


BMac said...

Is it just me, or is it a total pain in the ass to find out what price builders are listing their properties at? I mean, 99% of the time, they only have very basic info available online and list only a generic 'retail' price for various floorplans, if at all. Kind of like a car dealer. I wish they treated their 'listing' like resale homes on the MLS. Or am I just missing something?

For instance, I am curious about small lot projects in West Sac. I wondered what happened at the loft/townhome auction for Riversside and only could find out via a news report saying NONE of the winning bids were accepted by the bank! In other words, it was a giany short sale attempt by the builder. ROFL.
Also curious about Ironworks. River crest over here by the new HS and Target etc actually lists on the MLS from time to time.

Sippn said...

knowing a thang or 2 about marketing. . .

What benefit is it to the seller to put all that detailed information out on the net?

A seller is able to sort out the "tire kickers" from the more serious because to get that information, you actually have to go there and look at the property.

(Does Wal Mart/Sams/Costco publish all their prices? NO, just enough to get you there)

Sippn said...

Caught Hansen/McLain radio yesturday for a minute between soccer games and heard them bash Wall Street for the way they package and sell mortgage backed securuties. Blamed the annual bonus mentality.

(throwing billions into subprime, many modeled without risk and historical losses properly, run on funds in Florida, schools and governments loosing billions, losses by finalcials on wall street, etc.)

Must be reading my mind or my posts!

sacramentia said...

sippn - I've been wondering the same thing and am expecting something to change after the end of the year - like the banks finally capitulating and dumping the prices.

If the 07 bonuses didn't take into account all the necessary write downs and foreclosures they would do everything possible to not take them, but... the cat is out of the bag and the 08 bonus plans will probably factor them in.

Tyrone said...

In search of foreclosure answers -
Hundreds turn out for workshop in Stockton

STOCKTON - When Jenny and Ricardo Hernandez bought their north Stockton home in 2005, their monthly mortgage payments were around $1,800.

Now the payments total nearly $3,000 - more than the working couple's monthly net income - and the Hernandez family is facing almost inevitable foreclosure.

Almost?? The fay lady is singing, Ricardo.

Buying Time said...

bmac -

If you find anything out, please post on the averagebuyer site under "good buys". We are trying to start an informal forum for posting builders "real" prices and incentives (as opposed to list prices which no one pays anymore).

norcaljeff said...

BMAC, I agree. They do this on purpose. It'd be nice to get a blog going that can track builders prices. Give up on those auctions, they are a scam.

And yes, Costco, et all do post their prices. Even car dealers do. Get your facts straight.

Diggin Deeper said...

To a point I agree with sippn...but not because it's some marketing ploy that's been used over the course of the bubbel. Two years ago when prices got posted, you had to hurry on down with check in hand and buy that day. Builders were all too happy to post their "most current" prices.

Today, the market has deteriorated so badly that a builder would open "pandora's box" to reveal what they'd sell their properties for in writing. Can you imagine sales offices getting picketed by neighborhood owners that bought in at much higher prices? I can see the attorney's licking their chops...

No, this is a fairly new ploy specifically crafted to keep the peace. Builders also do not want to reveal to their competition what they're willing to do. There are so few buyers, that to land one, is a big deal right now.

anon1137 said...

Here's what we've all been dreading, a foreclosure bailout plan using public money. Now we're all going to be, indirectly, supporting high house prices.

"Today, we are proposing to allow state and local governments to temporarily broaden their tax-exempt bond programs to include mortgage refinancing," Paulson told a housing conference sponsored by the Office of Thrift Supervision.

Sac_Sol said...

Homes in 95833 (South Natomas) are dropping below 200k (saw one at 150k this week). Down from the mid-300s two years ago. That is a brutal drop. We've rented a home in the area for the last three years, and we were shocked at the prioces people were paying to live in a neighborhood that, quite frankly, we want to be out of before our daughter starts school. I only worry that as prices continue to decline, the neighborhood will become unsafe quickly. I'm aready seeing troubling signs: more overgrown neglected lawns and people hanging around with no apparent employment. We almost stretched to buy a 350k crapbox in the neighborhood back in 2005, but couldn't bring ourselves to do it because of the crazy pricing. The same house is back on the market at 223k. Wow.

wrong moves said...

Most of us here believe there is a BIG correction coming and many of us will be able to purchase a home when it happens. Hell, I may be able to pay cash if it takes long enough.

Question, what will we do after the bubble has burst? What will we spend our time on during the work day?

Me, I'll probably start a Porsche club blog since I'll have so much money laying around that I didn't have to spend on a house.

Yeah, this is the fantasy Water Cooler.

HOUSE2008 said...

Wrong moves..

"Start a Porsche club."

Hey! I'll pit my RX-7 monster to your Porsche & we can BURN the gas at $5 a gallon going up some twisties since we have so much moola laying around...AND buy couple of FAT Starbucks mochas...Wait I'm doing that now.

Tyrone said...

To all those Realards I love to hate, and that refuse to accept the issue of affordability...

How low must housing prices go?

Today, median home prices are 3.5 times the size of median annual family incomes. This may be down from the recent peak of 4.2 times incomes reached last year, but it's way above the 2.8 times that home prices averaged during 1984-2000, when lots of homes were bought, sold and built.

When it comes to housing prices, what matters most is not the cost of construction, nor what surrounding homes might be selling for. Simply put, it's affordability. And until they are more affordable, houses won't sell.


Tyrone said...

Posted this link over at HP. Great article...
There's No Shame in Renting, Home Prices Will Fall

Cmyst said...

That's a sweet little site, Tyrone. Thanks!
So many graphs of this bubble are out there, and it's still amazing to "see" it. When you look at the magnitude of this bubble, it's clear why D.C. and Wall St. are verging on panic. Everything depends on the public continuing to spend, continuing to spend was based in large part on equity. The subprime mortgage mess is just one little piece of the puzzle.
Can any of them really legislate a way for the consumer to continue to spend? The most they can do is to try to keep a small percentage of a wave of foreclosures from hitting.
Dollar worth less, incomes stagnant, energy and food costs up.
There was an article about thrift stores experiencing a surge in business.
I shop at WinCo now instead of Raley's, and I hit the thrift store next to the WinCo in Folsom for baskets recently. They've got a great deal on sunglasses and reading glasses, too! Around $2 a pair, vs. around $20 in regular retail.

Sippn said...

Norcal Jeff, sorry I missed your response, so I looked on the Costco Website and I saw a very similar marketing tactic to the click in. .

"Plasma TVs, $500 off, limited supply..."

That, my friend, is a teaser just like the home builders and car dealers use.

A few car dealers post prices and stick to them, but then there's financing and warranties to negotiate.

bubblemachine said...

Thanks for the link, tyrone. That was a very good article.

Picture it:

It's 2005. A family buys an overpriced house in San Diego for $550,000. They think they got a great deal.

Flash to 2007.

Home prices have already started to fall. By the time prices hit bottom (1997 levels) that $550,000 home will only be worth $250,000.

I believe a 50% drop is also possible in Sacramento.

Slick_50 said...


I couldn't find your quote on Costco's site ("Plasma TVs, $500 off, limited supply...") but I did find this:

"2 Magnavox LCD TV's
$1,299.99 After $500 OFF"

Did you actually check out the site or just make something up to support your position? All items on the Costco website do have a price and price after rebate (if a rebate is available). Any store that didn't list the price of it's products would find business going elsewhere. Do you actually think people would go shopping on-line and not know the price until checkout?! Your credibility wanes when you post a partial, out of context, quote without really knowing the facts just so it supports your claim.

norcaljeff said...

Slick, you're right.

If you (sippin) were to click the actual link you will see the price of the tv. You pick the example you want to get your point across but that's not typical. I use a broker so I wouldn't know what the car snakeoil salesman says about warranties, etc. Homes are negotiable just like most other big ticket items. Auctions are still a scam.

wimpyVO2max said...

This could make the subprime crisis worse... you know how CDO's are bundles of mortgages, bought and sold by financial companies and investors? A judge threw out a CDO holders claim in bankruptcy court against a homeowner because the CDO bagholder couldn't prove direct ownership of the mortgage note.

If you consider the billions of dollars of mortgages in CDOs out there, this could be huge. Instead of getting 20c on the dollar maybe they will get zero.

paranoid renter said...

Simply put, it's affordability. And until they are more affordable, houses won't sell.

This is only one of the things. At this point, we are overbuilt so even if homes become affordable, it's not clear anyone would want to buy them because they are no longer a "clearly good investment". All the empty houses have to be sold to people who plan to use them (or rent them) before we can see homes as a good investment.

By the way, there was another article saying "there's nothing wrong with renting". Even that is not clear because the way the govt is bailing the banks out, it looks like we are in for some major inflation. Those of us on the sidelines with savings stand to lose as well. My savings for a down payment are worth less than they were a few years ago (even though the number is bigger).

anon1137 said...

MORTGAGE MELTDOWN_Interest rate 'freeze' - the real story is fraud

tim said...

Hi, I have ab answer bmac's question about the condo auction in West Sacramento where no offers were accepted. I read in the BEE that the developer paid the bank in Indiana in full and sold the condos to a group of investors. They had no comment about what they will do or how much they paid.
There is another West Sac condo auction Wednesday. Same auction house. It will be interesting to see the results. I toured the condos and they are much more modest compared to the last set. Very strange layout. Tim

Diggin Deeper said...

Here's a little something from Bill Bonner who is an acclaimed author and financial pundit that I read daily.

"Man cannot leave well enough alone, we conclude. He gets ahold of an idea and he cannot help himself. He takes it up clumsily, as he would a new wrench. Then he begins twisting it...hammering it...stretching it out...sharpening it...until he can use it to cut his own throat.

Every innovation turns against him. His television brings him reality shows. His automobiles lead him into traffic jams. And scarcely a single generation after he invented them, his airplanes are dropping bombs on London.

These credit mushrooms were no exception. They grew in a hothouse – nurtured by extraordinary popular delusions...fertilized by the rich manure of politics...and abundantly watered by liquidity from central banks. People ate them; their debts grew as large as their hallucinations.

Forget about the central banks; their role is so obvious. But think about the New Era that came in the 1980s – thanks to the revolutions wrought by Mrs. Thatcher and Mr. Reagan. They brought in a fresh idea – that capitalism could be unleashed...and that it would serve man as obediently as a cocker spaniel. We don't dispute that there was some truth in it. But it wasn't quite as true as people came to believe. Especially in its grotesque new form.

"Where in capitalism is the idea that you can spend more than you earn? Where in the vision of Adam Smith is the idea that foreigners will subsidize your standard of living – indefinitely? Where in laissez-faire is the notion that central bankers will prevent corrections by controlling the price of money? What had happened to the old sturm and drang? Where was Schumpeter's 'creative destructive?' The new capitalists offered creation without destruction... resurrection without crucifixion! They offered not only to hold harmless investors in the face of their own bad judgment...but to revive booms before they ever expired and to cut short corrections before anything has been corrected.

This was not the old capitalism of our grandfathers. The old-timers had been wary of it...they knew that the free market was dangerous and unpredictable. The old capitalism was a in tooth and claw. You had to watch your back. This new capitalism was a zoo; all the dangerous beasts were supposed to be behind bars. It was almost too wonderful.

The culture of zoo-capitalism spread to all levels of society. At the top, such was faith in this new doctrine that tax rates were the belief that more capitalism would enlarge the tax base (unfortunately, spending increased faster). But don't worry, "Deficits don't matter," said Dick Cheney. In other words, our dynamic capitalistic economy will grow itself out of any problems. And at the bottom, too, people fell victim to the same delusion. Householders borrowed and spent money they hadn't made yet. Why not? Their houses, their stocks and their incomes would always go up, wouldn't they? And savings? Who needs savings when you live in the strongest, most flexible, most globalized, most technology-enhanced, most tax-enlightened economy in history?

That is the trouble with man. First, he does. Then he overdoes. His progress takes him backwards. Every blessing evolves into a curse...and every revolution leaves him mounting the scaffold."

a_builder said...

F@cked Borrower or successful flip:

2039 Impressionist Wy
El Dorado Hills, CA 95762

Built in 2007, Sold in 2007, up for sale in 2007!

The owner is a realtor...I know they put in a pool and fancy backyard landscaping, How can I find out how far underwater this property is?

listed at 865k I think it sold for 740k but not sure.

Will this flip work? Lets watch and see! EDH is immune to the the pop they say...

G Spot1 said...

diggin, that essay reads like the obituary of an empire, yet it is written at a time when the patient only has a cough and mild fever. The fact that it rings so true scares the sh-- out of me....

Diggin Deeper said...


Not intended to scare, it's just another voice amongst so many...

Relative to bailouts, I guess if we left well enough alone, the markets would then have a chance to correct the uncorrected, punish those that made poor choices, and reward those that patiently resisted the temptation to get sucked into the BS in the first place. That seems a far cry better than trying to push the problem away from the problem itself.

I suspect that, at some point(if not now), the markets will correct regardless of any intervention or manipulation. Not to do so, they'd eventually cease to function, and I really doubt that's going to happen.

HOUSE2008 said...

"Not to do so, they'd eventually cease to function, and I really doubt that's going to happen"

That won't happen as longs as FHLB continues to loan money out(some 792BILLION) this quarter to banks and allow the banks to use as collateral their "AAA" mortgages. Kinda wondering if any of those "AAA" had HELOCS attached to them?. It'll explode soon enough.

Patient Renter said...

So, the Fed announces another "injection" of funds, this one of a brand new variety. We'll have to wait and see what is even disclosed, who the funds go to, the rate, the collateral, etc. I'm guessing it ends up being pretty ridiculous.

HOUSE2008 said...

patient renter...
'We'll have to wait and see what is even disclosed, who the funds go to, the rate, the collateral, etc"

Here's the real kicker, you ready? The Fed does NOT (will not)
do any of the above. Yup. Nice huh?
Your tax dollars hard at work bailing out Wall Street.

The collateral? Maybe a desk, chair, a few wothless pieces of "AAA" or anything will do fine. The more I read into this the Feds don't seem to get it. This isn't a liquidity issue but a capital one. ALL the money in the WORLD will not help (well maybe then) prop up the deteriorating value of a sand castle (mortgages) on the beach thats slowly being eroded away gently by the ocean waves.

How does one keep the sand castle from eroding? Throwing more sand ($$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$) on it isn't going to help. Wait, what's that HUGE bulge out there in the ocean?

waiting_for_the_fall said...

My brother and sister-in-law live in Sacramento. I just found out from my SIL last week that she's months behind on her mortgage because it was over $3k now.

Last year, she swore to me she had a 30-year fixed. The mortgage used to be $900/month, since they only paid 136k for the house 4 years ago.
Now it's over $3k/month?!?

She took a second and third job to pay the bills and isn't telling my brother anything about the mortgage problems.

I feel conflicted. Should I tell my brother, who should know since he signed the mortgage docs, or let him find out when the sheriff comes knocking on the door?

This isn't the first time they've had money issues because of her. Why should I be the one to tell him the bad news?

waiting_for_the_fall said...

I forgot to mention: they've been to Hawaii twice. When I visted, she showed me the new laptop she just bought. My brother showed off the stuff he was building in the backyard with expense power tools.

They probably make a combined $50k/year. I make triple that and haven't been to Hawaii even once yet, since I want to save my money during the coming downturn.

I was going to try and help them, but I think it's already too late. And why should I fund their spending excess?

Is there anyone else on this blog with ignorant relatives that spend for today, and don't think about the future?

Buying Time said...

Waiting -

I think the question there anyone without relatives that don't spend like there is no tomorrow.

We have struggled with the loaning money to family issue. And there never seems to be an easy answer.

If it were me, I would try not to get involved. It has never worked out well when I do. Instead I try to direct conversations a bit. You could brining up the housing market, so that he might feel a need to ask his wife some questions about their situation.

norcaljeff said...

It's not your issue, let them sort it out. Sounds like they need to learn the hard way anyways. Sometimes it the only way ppl learn.

Gwynster said...

These folks are going to loose the house anyways. Save your meny and be ready to help them after the house is gone.

Cmyst said...

I concur, waiting. You are not "helping" by enabling them to continue to spend well above their means. And your brother HAS to know what's going on...doesn't he question why his wife is working 3 jobs? Doesn't he question where the money is coming from for toys and trips?
They say this shopping season is still turning out pretty good, and I say if that's true, then it's the last hurrah. The cards are to the max, the HELOCs are tapped out, and no one got any raises. The housing ATM has ground to a halt, but it's Christmas and I know how people think: if they're going out, they're going out in a blaze of glory. By April, it should be evident how bad this whole economy really is.

Tyrone said...

An O.K. article, but I thought the reference to Sacramento in a Toronto newspaper was funny. It's all your fault, Sacramento Trailer-home buyers!

Anatomy of a credit crunch
Who would have thought questionable loans to Sacramento trailer-home buyers could someday trigger a global credit crisis

The U.S. Credit crunch timeline

paranoid renter said...

Can anyone tell me what happened to the following homes:
8280 sienna loop, roseville
921 marvin gardens way, rocklin
I was following both of these on zip realty and they became inactive. I can't figure out if they sold or were just pulled off the market.

G Spot1 said...

paranoid renter,

One thing I've noticed is that the public Metrolist site - - will typically show pending sales, noted with a "PS" next to the listing. Try running your search and if you see a "PS" there it is in escrow. Not sure if it is 100% accurate but I haven't noticed any problems. If you don't see the home in the search results at all then it has probably been pulled from the market (although watch for the relisting at a lower price...)

AgentBubble said...

8280 sienna loop, roseville
-->Withdrawn on 10/26/07 (short sale)

921 marvin gardens way, rocklin
-->Pending sale. Sellers paid $179,500 for it on 4/30/02. It's listed at $219,000.

smf said...

"It's all your fault, Sacramento Trailer-home buyers!"

That's funny!!...

I believe that even those higher end homes will suffer, enough to make it more affordable to us to pick up a 3500 sq.ft home in the next few years.

Sippn said...

Interesting article in the Bee today regarding Canadians flocking to Phoenix for deals vs. the dollar.

Cmyst said...

I find it difficult to believe that Canadians want to immigrate to the US right now. If Canadian investors want to buy Phoenix houses, that's a whole 'nother story, and we've seen just how well this works for everyone involved.

lexi said...

I read that too that Canadians are
investing in Palm Springs area
since the value of Canadian money
is close now to the US. But..
I don't see how the tanking of the
US dollar can be good news in
any way... well for U.S. citizens

smf said...

Under 'normal' circumstances, the fall of the dollar should provide foreigners with RE investing opportunities in the US.

Sure you may now be able to pick up a house in Phoenix that could pencil out as a rental.


With so many rentals around, current rates may be too high as compared to next years rates.

And, you may not be able to pick up renters for your 'investment' with so many of them around.

This also does not take into account the how of why some Canadians may be 'investing' in Phoenix. Do they believe that prices will start coming up again next years?

Or better yet...

With the current slowdown in the Canadian RE market, are they also investing their equity in US housing?

paranoid renter said...

I've heard too many people talking about "deals" in Phoenix real-estate, which means...stay away from it (at least that's what I plan to do).

SacramentoCrash said...

Now Sacramento is known internationally as the home of Trailer-homes. Does that make all of us Sacramentans "Trailer Trash"?

alba said...

foreigners are investing in the US at an unprecedented pace, just not depressed industries, like housing. Not yet, that is...

SacramentoCrash said...

This person summed the mess:

sacbeeusers at 6:42 AM PST Saturday, December 22, 2007 wrote:

Does this actually surprise anyone?

After the tech boom/bust which ended in roughly 2000 (Y2k), what new jobs started being created?

- Construction
- Finance (loans, brokers, etc)
- Real Estate (agents, brokers, inspectors, etc)
- Retail (HD, Lowes, Best Buy, etc)
- Restaurants (dishwashers)
- Gardeners
- Nannies
- Car Washes
- Govt

Which of the above jobs does anything to create and sell a product that can be exported and bring money INTO the area?
- None of them do!

Which of the above relied HEAVILY on financial support from an overheated and overvalued real estate market?
- Most of them!

Did people pay for homes and then for "remodeling" through income/wages or through "teaser rates" and "HELOCs"? And yes, people paid for almost everything using HELOCs, since it is the "smart" thing to do (tax write-off correct???).

If we don't start:
- Moving back to a "production" based economy
- Spending w/i our means
- Thinking of our homes as homes (versus investments)

Then we're in big trouble long term!.

Tyrone said...

Interesting post by Ms. Purva Brown...

...Jessica and Brandon, who just bought their first home together. Because they timed this buyer's market so perfectly, they were able to buy 4951 Clearwood Way in the Foothill Farms area of Sacramento for just $205,000 with 100% financing.

100% financing; what fools. Even with this significant drop in price, the home is probably worth no more than $150K. They are catching the falling knife. And I wouldn't say they timed it perfectly--more falling to come.

4951 Clearwood Way, Sacramento, CA
Sale History
10/18/2007: $280,246
05/12/2006: $330,000
01/24/1997: $86,000 said... is the website to goto In these times of economic woes, i say if you cant beat them, join them! Get the car or home loan you deserve! GET THE COMMISSIONS
YOU DESERVE! Bad credit or not you can get approved by any bank for any amount......100% money back GUARENTEED!!!

SacramentoCrash said...

Comments from today's SacBee article:

These borrowers were sheep led to slaughter

by "account executives with experience selling subprime home loans and a high school degree "7-FIGURE POTENTIAL."

These self important titles are a real big joke in an industry that has become a bigger joke.

How can you call someone who is an order taker an "account executive" or "consultant" or "mortgage strategist"?

They are sales people. Most of these "strategists" could not even explain how the loan adjustments worked. I doubt if they could even use a HP12c financial calculator.

The persons digging up my backyard to install a sprinkler and drainage system had more skills and knowledge. They had to know how drainage swales flowed, how to compact to a set soil density, etc. What were they "backyard excavation executives"?

By the way there is no such thing as a "high school degree". High schools issue diplomas upon graduation.

Man.... the pro-lender people here are funny.

Maybe all the Pro-Lender posters here are honest people, but during the peak of 05 I talked to a lot of "Professionals" and here are their answers/statements.

"Now is the time to buy before they go higher"
"Real estate is always a great investment"
"Real esate never loses value"

Q: 500K is a lot for a house
A: "the low interest rate makes up for it"

Q: but I dont think I can afford that
A: there are many options available, like interest only. we can find a solution for you.

Q: What happens in 5 years when I.O. the loan resets
A: "oh it's easy you just refinance"

Q: what happens if my house is worth less.
A: That wont happen because your house will always go up in value.

Now those answers seem pretty convincing don't they, especially coming from a "professional". You can't blame the consumers entirely because if they knew everything then there wouldn't be a need for a Loan Officer and Realtor becase they could just do it themselves.

waiting_for_the_fall said...

I think it's clear that the fakepaystubs poster is a spammer.
He's on the Housing Bubble Blog, too.

Cmyst said...

Sure, but Lander is on a little hiatus, I think. Just some drive-by posting of articles until after the holidays.

SacramentoCrash said...

It would be a full time job for Lander if she or he had to post summaries of each article. Two thumbs up for all that she or he has done to educate us. Links are fine. Don't burn the midnight oil trying to keep up with the carnage.

Speaking of oil...... Now oil is over $100 a barrel. The fed keeps dropping the rate and oil keeps going up because the dollar is crashing. Good going Fed. Next you know, oil will be $200 and our economy will be a big time train wreck.

Diggin Deeper said...

Gold is telling the big story about inflation, $100 oil, and the crashing dollar. There might be a train wreck coming but flight to quality, and some of that yellow stuff, ought put you on another set of tracks....

....All aboard?