Saturday, February 23, 2008

Sacramento Real Estate Market - February 2008 Water Cooler

Post off-topic links, observations, and stories about the Sacramento real estate market here. Please read the comment policy before posting.

69 comments:

Wadin' In said...

I shared a litte bit with all of you on this blog about getting foreclosed out of my rented house with 10 months left on the 2nd lease year. So I bought a foreclosed house before my originally scheduled date. I am very happy with my purchase (and the cost is about equal to rent after homeownership tax benefits). Hence my new "nom de plume" became Wadin' In (with all to respect to Sippn').

However, 60 days after buying my house for $390,000 ($125/sf), the same model on a less desirable lot went up for sale, listed at $330,000! Based on the listed price, I only lost $1,000/day for 60 days! OUCH.

I figure if you can't beat'm, join'm, eh Sipp'n? So I put an offer in on the house I used to rent, just for kicks. Full price at $330,000. The listing agent had 23 offers and went for $375,000! $45,000 over the listed price!

It is really hard to tell where this market is going. 20 other foreclosed houses are just sitting in the same neighborhood! If you have the best location, the best model, with solid upgrades, there does seem to be a pent up demand out there for the good stuff. It is the less desirable product that is turning into the flotsam and jetsam in this market. It seems to be drifting farther out to sea over deeper and deeper water.

Soon, the unwanted SFR homes purchased as rentals will cash flow like a money tree....or they won't sell.

Jacob said...

It makes sense that the good homes are selling better than the worn out homes.

I mean some people bought their home 20 years ago for $100k, and never put a penny into it and expect to sell it for $400k now, whatever...

I am noticing some online that are tempting. Still forcing myself to wait out 08 and see where the market is in 09. The bottom will be long and wide so I am willing to wait until I find my perfect home for the price that is right for me.

I don't mind if I buy and the home goes down 10% or so, but if it went down another 30% I wountn't be too pleased with that. So gotta wait.

Patient Renter said...

Saw my first Democrat debate action today (the MTV thing) and even though I wasn't fully paying attention I still managed to catch one blatant lie from both Hillary and Obama (i guess they were counting on the MTV crowd not catching blatant lies) as well as lots of housing bailout talk from the two of them. It probably wouldn't disgust me so much to hear these people talk about giving my hard earned tax money to someone else if they'd at least acknowledge what caused the housing bubble in the first place (the Fed). But no... that would mean they'd have to actually do something about the Fed, else they'd look bad.

Mike said...

"The listing agent had 23 offers and went for $375,000! $45,000 over the listed price!"

This is a perfect example of the spring bounce I was predicting (bit similar to what stock market did this week).

Due to the artificially low interest rate , number of people will jump in this spring which will bump up the sales numbers. Of course, this will be a classic "dead cat bounce" and we will continue to head down again after the initial group of people have bought their house.

Of course, you will hear RE agents/economists trumpeting the uptick in sales this spring as the bottom and will again try to scare people to buy "before you are price out"...

paranoid renter said...

I can't believe the traffic around Roseville. It's really still boom time around here. Don't know what bust/slowing economy people are talking about.

Jacob said...

I dunno, I was at the galeria mall a few weeks ago and the parking lot seemed to have a lot of empty spaces.

We still have HP in roseville.

Gwynster said...

Went to Costco (cal expo) today. Forget anythig I said about reduced traffic.

There was aline for membership out the building and around the block. The staples like milk and eggs were flying off the shelves. Some items were just plain old sold out. You could barely move, it was so crowded.

When we finally got to the cashier, she was screaming to find out where her box person was. The asst manager came by and told her the recent hire just walked out.

I mentioned to the cashier that I'd never seen it this crowded. She said this is new and that the customers that talk er to her mention they are really neverous. She told me that membership had just soared because people are buying bulk to save money and stretch what cash they have.

I said that maybe everyone was stocking up for the Superbowl. Mr. Gwynster pointed that normal people don't buy 10 dz eggs, 4 huge bags of white rice, and 6 gallons of milk for the bowl. So many people were filling 2 or more carts at a a time, all full of nothing but food.

Cmyst said...

I'd bet that a lot of those people are extended families with one card-holding family shopping for everyone and dividing up the supplies and the bill. Pretty smart, really.
I've done it to a lesser degree on certain items, such as diapers, OTC medications, etc. And lamb. Costco has a really great price per pound on lamb if you buy a whole roast.
I should have kept my Costco stock.

smf said...

"The listing agent had 23 offers and went for $375,000! $45,000 over the listed price!"

And how many of those bidding were 'investors', as opposed to home buyers. Maybe some are going to those foreclosure seminars advertised.

"Went to Costco (cal expo) today. Forget anythig I said about reduced traffic."

Shopping day after payday...very busy. Was at Costco today as well. Looked for scallops/bacon combo. Not there...little luxury items on the way out...hmm...

Note that one of my neighbors received his NOD. Can't quite figure out why yet, as they have lived on the house for a long time.

Gwynster said...

SMF, I think you are right as it was the weekend after the first and state employees get paid once a month. We pay everything on the first and always do our shopping on the first Sat after.

But I'd never seen it anything like this. I was waiting for fights to break out as the last 2 pk of bacon was picked up. I kow they are remodelling but shelves and cold cases were empty or close to it. It felt totally surreal.

wannabuy said...

I said that maybe everyone was stocking up for the Superbowl. Mr. Gwynster pointed that normal people don't buy 10 dz eggs, 4 huge bags of white rice, and 6 gallons of milk for the bowl. So many people were filling 2 or more carts at a a time, all full of nothing but food.

I'm not sure which of the three reasons this could be due to:

1. Just enough people moving shopping off Sunday (due to the superbowl).
2. As SMF noted, payday shopping. I still remember 'welfare Thursday' at the grocery stores back when I went to college.
3. Small chance we're seeing panic buying. That instance that when people are very unsure of their future they stock up on goods.

Most likely, a mix of #1 and #2 with very little #3. But maybe...

SMF said:
Note that one of my neighbors received his NOD. Can't quite figure out why yet, as they have lived on the house for a long time.
Probably cash our refi. One of my coworkers now owes $550k on a home he bought in San Diego for ~$70k. But man does he have fun vacation stories to tell! A man who was making $50k/year now has at least $25 of rare fine scotches to show off too... The end of MEW will effect every business. :(

Got popcorn?
Neil

smf said...

"But I'd never seen it anything like this."

Perhaps it is me, but I did also get a bit of a weird feeling. May have simply been a combination of many factors.

"Probably cash our refi"

Maybe, but they have nothing to dhow for it.

aggiealum said...

Anyone see the front page of the homes section in yesterday's Sacbee? The ad looks like an article, but in small print, it was paid for by Greenbriar Home Communities. The ad talks about now being the best time to buy. You need to read it. It's sort of pathetic.

Cmyst said...

SMF,
if your neighbor is old enough, he may have cashed out his equity to put children or grandchildren through college (my grandkid's desired college costs 50K a year) or to loan them money for a down payment on a home.
Unfortunately, I've run across many seniors who have taken a lot of equity out of their homes for their families.

Fanchew said...

I'm sick to my stomach. I just found out the my brother had HELOC'ed my parents house without their knowledge and doubled what they owed on the house. If my dad had not opened his mail, we would not have found out until a deputy came to kick us out. The housing and credit bubble doesn't get more immediate than that.

alba said...

smf, maybe your neighbor didn't like the neighborhood. Or lived too far from work. Or saw a house in another neighborhood that met their needs better. Take the cash and run! Easy come, easy go! There's no need to be emotional, proud, or responsible...its just business. Don't like your house; cash out and buy another...The American Way!

alba said...

It doesn't make sense that ANY house is sold. The economic factors that would normally work, don't right now. I'm dumfounded by the folks who come looking at the house for sale next door, even though its $200K less than the last time it was purchased, over a year ago. Makes me want to shout, "Are you an idiot!? Do you get the newspaper?!?! Do you have access to the internet?!?!"

Cmyst said...

fanchew-
How horrible. I hear about things like this more often than you'd believe, and usually the elderly parents don't press charges because it is a relative. If ever someone needed a lawyer, it's you and your folks.

waiting_for_the_fall said...

How can your brother take out a Heloc without them signing the closing docs?

Does he have a power of attourney? If not, I would report him to the bank and have it frozen. And I would report him to the local police dept.

It doesn't matter if your parents don't want him prosecuted. He did something illegal his ass needs to be in jail!!

What he did is called elder abuse. It burns me up how some people take advantage of older people. I believe in Karma and your brother's going to get a boatload some day. Maybe, sooner than he thinks!

Fanchew said...

My parents are traditional. They put my brother's name on the mortgage because he is the eldest son. My parents don't even use credit cards and scrimped for every penny they earned. It's frustrating and scary as hell to think that it's all been blown by my brother's irresponsible behavior. If asked, yes, I will help with the situation but the last few years of prudent saving to buy a house of my own with a 20% down goes down the drain. One person can bring down a whole family apparently. My parents should have signed the house over to me instead. =( I'm waiting to have a heart to heart with him which puts me in a difficult position. I'd like to be his little sister instead of rescuer.

smf said...

For all of you, I have no idea why my neighbor would be getting a NOD. It is quite baffling.

But as fanchew noted, there are plenty of people affected that we have no idea about.

I have a co-worker whose mother-in-law ran up incredible HELOC debt, with nothing to show for it.

Perhaps since some took out money and thought it was 'free', they spent it without much concern. It doesn't take much little by little spending for it to add up to real money quick.

Patient Renter said...

Q for my fellow BBs:

Is it true that the down payment requirement for FHA conforming loans for the Sacramento area has been officially raised to 5%, minimum? I've seen vague stuff mentioned about this here and there, but no solid info.

roger said...

Fanchew, I'm curious what your brother did with the money. My guess is that your brother never learned the filial duties of the eldest son. My parents are also traditional, but they would never put their mortgage in my name even though they trust me and I'm the eldest son. I just can't imagine the betrayal they feel right now.

If one of my siblings did anything like that, the consequences would be immediate and dire. A lot of Asian societies use shame as a social controller. Either your brother doesn't respond to shame, or he's managed to incur a shame debt he will never be able to repay (to anyone in your family).

A sign of the times, I guess.

wrong moves said...

Wedmore Ct in Roseville, Artisan Circle in Roseville, and Green Mountain Ct in Rockin. 3 foreclosed homes all listed for near but less than 360,000. All had a contract written in less than 3 days. Just blows to hell my ideas about lowballing a REO.

I'm just a little miffed and discouraged by the frenzy at the few houses I am interested in.

Patient Renter said...

wrong moves:

maybe it's flippers. maybe it's just another wave of FBs. who cares, either way they're buying an asset whose value is dropping like a ton of bricks. you're better off letting them have it it.

smf said...

Buying REOs right now is typical bubble behavior still.

I clearly remember that after the dot.com bubble collapsed, there were plenty of people who thought it was a great opportunity to buy now 'cheap' stocks and wait for their eventual rise.

10 down, 8 up, 12 down, 7 up, 9 down, 6 up...before you know it, it is A LOT down. And this baby is unwinding quite quickly.

Many dead cat bounces on the way down.

wrong moves said...

Notice I did not even allude to patience in my screen name...

One positive I can see, once the sale goes through, I can see what the new comp is.

The thing is, the SO and I have always told ourselves once we found what we wanted, and could comfortably afford it, we would jump. We are getting so close it is hard to see decent properties snatched up.

alba said...

I can see what the new comp is.


Keep your wallet in your pants Wrong Moves!
...Or you'll be the new High Water Mark for comps. Think about every other buyer in the last year; none of them will see the same value for longer than any other group of homeowners in their lifetime. Its just financially prudent to wait until you see how the economy establishes a pattern, not when you're ready.

On the other hand, the more people jump in with their life savings, the quicker the bottom is established.

Cmyst said...

When I was debating whether to put an offer on one of the houses I track that was in my original price range, several of you told me to hang tight. And I'm glad I listened.
I am sure I'll be seeing many of the houses that sold off my list again, and I'm equally sure they will be selling for close to 200K when they do show up.

Cmyst said...

I have a few easy questions for anyone in the know. It's getting likelier that when I do buy, it will be a REO, and I've never done that before.
They usually don't have an open house on REO's, so how can you get a good look at them before you've chosen an agent (which I don't want to do until I've narrowed the hunt down and I'm serious about buying)?
How much does a good home inspection cost? Will they inspect things like wiring, roof, etc? Will they be able to detect possible signs of problems that may have been cosmetically covered over?
The other two times that I bought a house, I viewed the inspection more as a hurdle to cross than a valuable tool. So, I think I paid maybe $300 for the last one and even less for the one 15 years ago or so. I felt like the one I got the last time was actually a good inspection for the money, and the inspector gave me a lot of tips and information.

campbeln said...

Here's a question for all: how are you tracking property in your areas of interest? Are you simply MetroList'ing it (MLS that is) of are you keeping track of CounrtyWide's REO list or? Personally I'm only watching the MLS, but I have the feeling I'm missing out on at least part of the market doing so.

Cn

mcb44 said...

"Here's a question for all: how are you tracking property in your areas of interest?"

I use a combination of,
1. Metrolist to show virtual tours and pending sales.
2. Zip to show price change history. I save houses I want to follow to see a complete history if they come off then go back on the market.

Tyrone said...

Fresno video. Trash homes and let your animals run "loose" inside.

Valley Housing Crisis.

Husmanen said...

Cymst,

We paid for a couple inspections on homes in EDH and CP in 2005 and the quality of the inpectors varied a lot. However, one in particular was great. Details and data is what I like and Bryant Inspections did by far the best work I have ever seen (looked at friends/family inspections also).

He was on time, took his time, explained everything and listened to my questions. Everything was done out of a company vehicle. Two reports were provided one (1) was short reference/summary and number two (2) was a detailed reference manual explaining each chapter, indexed and reference.

I have saved the reports for future reference. Other reports we paid for in 2005 were a waste of money and time.

I think the Bryant inspection cost $500 in 2005, I have no idea what it costs now. Here is the contact information:

Bryant Inspections Inc.
7439 Wisam Ct,
Fair Oaks, CA 95628
916-965-7955

SacramentoCrash said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SacramentoCrash said...

Someone sure figured out how to avoid capital gains taxes

mopar777 said...

Heard today from a *seasoned* realtor: IF YOU AREN'T EMBARRASSED BY YOUR FIRST OFFER THEN IT'S PROBABLY TOO HIGH. This is a buyers market - let the mega lowballing begin. Check out housing kaboom's blog. Inland Empire down south is off 40-50%.
Houses built this decade are falling below $100/SF

SacramentoCrash said...

huh???

Michael Kane buys a company with a net worth of Thirty Million dollars for $500?

The company declares bankruptcy to avoid paying liens????

Dunmore gets a Eleven million dollar tax refund????

There is a big stench coming from the south area.

More stench
___________________________________
http://www.sacbee.com/326/story/702535-p2.html

Ray of hope for home buyers

Re "Lien times hit Elk Grove," Feb. 5, and "Builder takes a hike as his customers struggle," editorial, Feb. 8: I applaud your efforts to expose the housing nightmare unfolding for the Dunmore Homes buyers in Elk Grove, but you're focusing on the wrong party.

While Dunmore may be guilty of poor business practices and building overpriced homes, he sold the company before the bankruptcy and liens were filed.

Loan consultant Michael Kane purchased Dunmore for $500, even though the company has a net worth of $30 million.

It is Kane who filed for bankruptcy and thus caused the liens to be filed. Why hasn't Kane paid the subcontractors and obtained release of the liens? Surely, the $30 million windfall that Kane has received is enough to end the nightmare for these home buyers.

Still Waiting said...

I know there must be a foreclosure expert out there...Here's my question: My dh and I found our dream house (one of those limited/no supply neighborhoods in the foothills); It's a short sale (and down 30% from its peak at last sale - it's a fairly good deal). So, we put our offer in , 8-weeks ago now. The process as we are being told, is 1st the homeowner must agree/sign the purchase contract (which they did 8-weeks ago), then the contract is submitted to the lender for approval/signatures etc. But here we are, 8-weeks of waiting, and 3 contract extentions later, and we're still being told to just sit tight, the banks just sloooow; we even were promised by the sellers agent that if any other offer were to come in, we would be notified, and we could up our offer, etc., cos we really do want the house. So today, I'm on www.all_foreclosure.com (part of our normal house hunting routine), and lo and behold, OUR house (er, the one we want to buy) is set to be auctioned next week! Still waitin to hear back from the realtors on this; it seems like the banks has just playing with us here - and is going to auction to see if they can get a better deal. Or, banks are just too busy to process a decent sale when they have one. Can anyone suggest how/what we could do at this point? Thanks.

Jacob said...

If the owners have a piggy back loan (80/20) with another lender then that lender also has to agree.

Now when it sells the primary lender gets paid first, then anything left over goes to the secondary lender.

Since you say it is already 30% off then the second lender would get nothing on the deal, so they have no incentive to approve the deal.

Gwynster said...

There is a great example of why S/Ss don't work anymore on Sac RE statistics that Agent wrote up in Sept 07. When people ask about S/S, I point them to that story first.

Still Waiting said...

Thx for the reply Jacob & Gwynster.
AB's play by play is sounding identical to ours at this point. Oh well, a good time to be a patient buyer...

Patient Renter said...

"a good time to be a patient buyer..."

also a good time to be a patient renter :)

Patient Renter said...

Since I've heard a lot of speculation lately from fellow bubble bloggers (of all people) about the bottom potentially being near, I thought I'd share the Secretary of Treasury's take on things:

Q to Paulson: "Is the worst over?"
Paulson: "The worst is just beginning."

After so much time has passed, we've finally reached a point where nearly all of the analysts, executives and government officials are acknowledging that we're closer to the beginning of this trainwreck than the end of it. Why then, are consumers so intent on bottom calling all of a sudden?

smf said...

Stories from my ZIP code (95827):

This is the one I have been tracking for years, and where I noticed the beginning and the end of the bubble.

Inventory:

High mark last year = 141
Per MLS today = 137

Prices:

Sale price of old home in 2003 = $245K

Price of similar home at top of bubble = $350K

Price of same model today = $199K
(Still not selling)

Should we say that 2002 prices are getting here already?

Buying Time said...

PR -

I was wondering that myself....

For me....if the math works out on a rent vs. buy basis....does it really matter how near or far we are away?

Patient Renter said...

"if the math works out on a rent vs. buy basis....does it really matter how near or far we are away?"

No, but rent vs. buy depends heavily on the key variable, appreciation/depreciation, which itself is a guestimate as to how close we are to the bottom.

So it's hard to separate rent/buy calculations from bottom speculation.

Patient Renter said...

I always knew I didn't like Gretchen Morgensen.

She was on Fresh Air this morning and the topic of "too big to fail" banks came up. Gretchen essentially said that we all recognize that the government (taxpayers) have a responsibility to make sure these megabanks stay on their feet.

Then Gretchen went on to address smaller banks and said that when small banks make greedy or risky decisions that would lead to their failure, it's not fair that taxpayers should have to bail them out and the banks should be left to fail. Apparently the same rule doesn't apply to megabanks though.

So, summary:

Bailing out megabanks is our "responsibility".
Bailing out small banks is wrong and unfair to taxpayers.

Anyone else want to slap this girl?

HOUSE2008 said...

Anyone else want to slap this girl?

Sure, the movie Airplane comes to mind.

anon1137 said...

I just added the January Dq stats for 95814, 95816, and 95819 to my charts. A nice downward trend is finally emerging, although the median is still only 13% off the peak reached in Fall 2005. Midtown/ESac pricing has now regressed about three years, to the range of Fall 2004/Winter 2005.

Gwynster said...

I saw that too 1137. I haven't charted it since I've given up on Davis but it's showing the same sort of pressure. I wonder how Gold River is doing?

anon1137 said...

Gw - Not sure about Gold River. It's just about all I can do to track those three zips and the regional trends.

Patient Renter said...

Story of the day: Northern Rock to be nationalized. Not much longer before it happens here.

I wonder if I'll be able to attend board meetings at whatever banks we takeover, being that my tax dollars will be floating them and all.

Jacob said...

If you need some extra cash, help your friends or co-workers make the biggest financial mistake of their lives and get a $5000 bounty.

http://www.itpaystonamedrop.com/

norcaljeff said...

wadin, that sucks, but that's what you get when you listen to someone who has no sense of this market and lies in order to inflate his properties. if sippin really was an investor he'd be hoping prices fall in order to buy more but he knows nothing about real estate. next time listen to the majority of the people on this blog and the tens of thousands of news articles talking about how bad this market is. we've told people on here over and over to WAIT and yet they didn't. next time you'll listen. those foreclosures will increase and further drive prices lower. maybe people are bidding on those homes are in the same boat, people who are in denial of the facts. it doesnt' mean they're right. it means they'll just feel the pain later than the rest.

mike, where's that stock bounce you mentioned? sounds like a big dump. if you bought on that false rally, you got took!

in terms of the boom some of you are on drugs. drove around roseville today and found something interesting. every strip mall i went to have a for lease sign out front. one popular and new location next to the beach house deli had three units that have all gone out of business in the past 60 days. the place i get my hair cut at the busy intersection off sunrise closed at the end of jan. there are 4 open stores at the galleria not to mention the fact that borders and copeland sports closed recently. not sure where you all are getting your facts. just open your eyes.

SacramentoCrash said...

$14 billion deficit.

They just don't want to tell you how bad it really is.

Try inputting the impact of reduced property tax revenues due to re assessment of properties.

Throw the impact of highly reduced home equity ATM withdrawals and resulting drop in sales tax revenues.

Now you are talking about a real horror show.

One solution;

Offshore all the illegal alien prisoners to Warden Jose Guerrero in Baja California under an outsourcing program. The daily rack rate will drop from $100 per day per prisoner to $10 per day per prisoner.

For all the prisoners that are US citizens:

Make them work on farms or be shipped to lower cost states like Louisiana, Texas, Florida, etc.

We treat our prisoners way better than we treat dairy cows that are being slaughtered for hamburger meat!

Jacob said...

I wonder how much credit card / Identity theft is up. I just bought a laptop at bestbuy yesterday and it went through fine but I got a call from the fraud department to verify the charge was legit.

I had received fraud calls before when making several purchases online and one time when I bought a bunch of gift cards for work, but I have bought several PCs, TVs etc. at retail stores and have never been called to see if there is a problem.

I'm not complaining, I would rather get a call and spend a minute verifing everything is OK then not get one while someone is running up my credit. But it looks like CC companies may be stepping up their fraud checking.

Cmyst said...

Jacob-
I use two cards, both ATM/credit. Over the weekend, after using one of them at a grocery store and a craft supply store, I was unable to use the card online to pay for my DMV renewal and my AAA renewal. I was concerned, but then Tuesday everything was back to normal. This has happened periodically before, usually when I'm making several very large purchases within 24 hours. But it's never happened for such mundane purchases before -- just for big total department store or specialty shop ones.

New question: What do you all consider to be a "fixer"? What is a "light fixer"? I really would like to know, because every house I've ever bought either needed some "fixing" right away (such as carpets, paint) or had deferred minor issues (chipped sinks, old cabinets that were still functional). I never really thought of those houses as "fixers".
And this is not just a resale house issue: my in-laws bought brand new in Del Webb a few years ago, then spent months and many arguments with DW getting things fixed that were never right in the first place, and were really a lot more of a problem than our resale house issues.
In my mind, a "fixer" means it has something so wrong going on that it is either butt-ugly to the point you can't bear to look at it, or you need to repair it in order to live in it. What comes to mind to the rest of you when you hear "fixer"?

waiting_for_the_fall said...

When I read "fixer" in a house description, I think of having to hire a contractor to fix whatever is broken.

Your in-laws should have got an inspection and had them fix whatever was wrong before signing the papers. Just because it's a new home doesn't mean you don't need an inspection.

Cmyst said...

That's kind of the way I was hearing it, too, Waiting. If the ad says "fixer", I think something so wrong that it will require significant skilled intervention to rectify.
Thanks for the input. I swear, it is hard to gauge the norms in California, even after all these years. What other locales would consider luxury touches seem to be demanded as the norm here.

SacramentoCrash said...

"Burn Baby burn, Disco Inferno, Burn baby burn, burn the mother down" - Lyrics from The Trammp's Disco Inferno

Now there are idiot SheePle that are taking rags, gasoline and torches to their houses.
_________________________________

http://www.kcra.com/news/15362605/detail.html

Arson Fears Follow Foreclosure Spike

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Across the country, fire investigators are looking at some homeowners in foreclosure as potential arsonists.

In Modesto, Battalion Chief Hugo Patino looked over a charred and nearly destroyed home -- a home that was empty and is now set for auction.

"A fire in an empty house is always cause for suspicion," Patino said.
sponsor

Investigators said the fire was intentionally set. It could've been started by anyone, and so far, there are no suspects.

Sacramento fire investigator Steve Johnson said spite, revenge and pyromania are a few reasons for arson.

But firefighters are adding desperation to that list.

"Nationally, we've been told foreclosed homes have been set on fire," Johnson said. "People are thinking this is the easy way out."

The California Department of Insurance said potential arsons in foreclosed homes doubled from seven in 2006 to 14 in 2007.

Although the numbers may seem small, it's a big concern for state investigators and local fire departments.

Johnson said his department hasn't seen an increase in foreclosure arsons but fears it's coming.

"That sign in the front yard is always going to be in the back of our head going, 'I need to really concentrate on why is this an accidental fire? To make it look like an accidental fire? And in retrospect, they are trying to burn their house down to pay it off?'" Johnson said.

With the potential for more arson fires, officials are sending a strong message to anyone looking for a quick escape from financial woes.

"If we have someone set a structure fire that's an arson and one of our firefighters get hurt, they will be chased harder than anything that's been chased in their whole life," Johnson said.

Patient Renter said...

Screw the governator. We have a 16 billion shortfall, schools will close, teachers will be laid off, and what does he do? He blows 70 million on a housing subsidy. WTF is going on?

norcaljeff said...

More businesses in Rosevile shut down since Jan 1 of this year:
Great Clips
Border's Books
Quizno's
Maui Tacos
Armadillo Willy's
Cin City

Patient Renter said...

Oh man. I was out this weekend and just read about B of A's "confidential" proposal for a 739 BILLION dollar bailout.

To put this into context, that's close to the size of the entire savings and loan bailout from the 80s, and this is just for one single bank here! This will be by far the biggest single entity bailout in our nation's history. Pay attention folks.

The fact that the media could care less shows how in bed they are with banking and wall street.

bubblemachine said...

Beazer has started advertising on billboards along Sacramento freeways. They scream in huge letters that NOW is the time to buy a new Beazer home for only $199,990.

Desperate times require desperate measures!

However, I would never buy a Beazer home... not after looking at some while they were under construction! LOL

Patient Renter said...

Anyone catch Bernanke on capitol hill today? He didn't really say much. As usual it's what he doesn't say that's shocking. Ron Paul wanted him to answer to the Fed's policy of destroying our currency. Bernanke wussed out saying the Fed's charter is to defend prices, not the currency.

So, basically it's ok if our currency goes into the toilet as long as the government manipulated CPI isn't too horrid. It's all clear now.

norcaljeff said...

Channel 3 had a laughable clip today RE in Land Park. They were talking to a home owner who lived on the edge of Land Park. She was whining that her home has been on the market for over 4 months without being sold. She was saying that buyers who put in bids had the audacity to bid at prices lower than her asking price. She said just because credit is tight, people didn’t have high incomes, that this shouldn’t affect her abilitiy to sell her home. She was appalled that people thought that a down market applied to Land Park.
Wow, this sounded much like the whiners on this site stating that there are areas in SacTown that are just completely immune to any down side in the market. Well folks, let me give you a quick econ lesson since you slept through yours, or you took underwater basket weaving instead: When you have a product or service for sale and you get offers for X price, and you are asking for Y price, your product or service is worth X, e.g. what buyers are willing to pay.

So there you go, now you can tell your kids that you learned something today.

Gwynster, there's a bad RE market coming to a city (Davis) near you :)

Gwynster said...

Jeff,

The hissing and spitting over the mess that zero growth has made of school funding has started. There is no way to get around being 3 mill in the hole. Woodland is actually doing ok since they allowed growth and now just need to plan a little belt tighening in the future.

Who has 2 thumbs and is laughing her ass off?

**makes the double thumbs up gesture** This chick >; )

ps. check out the lastest unemployment figures on the SacBee, 6.4 now.

Gwynster said...

Whoops, make that 4 million. Apparently the Davis school district has been operating in the red for years.