San Diego Real Estate Blog

3 Funny Things Buyers Do

In my opinion, there is no more interesting thing to do than people watch.  People are funny.  But if you think they are funny as you observe from a street side cafe as they rush to work, you have no idea how funny they can be when they are buying real estate.

The truth is we all do these things, including myself.  Why?  I don't know.  I guess it is part of being a human.

Here is a collection of my favorite buyer behaviors:

  • One of the biggest miracles of home buying is that nearly everyone becomes a drawer and cabinet expert.  Almost without fail, buyers will walk into a home and begin examining every piece of carpentry they can get their hands on.  My favorite is the look on their faces of extreme concentration as they examine each hinge with the precision of a surgeon.  Another very special moment is the silent nod as they close each drawer, giving it their professional stamp of approval.
  • Of course, than there is surface guy.   Like cabinet guy, surface guy has a very intense look on his face.  He cannot walk by a single counter top, sink, wall, appliance, or anything else without running his hands across it. It is almost as if it were a quality control version of a metal detector.  They can sense good surfaces verse bad, I suppose.  Or maybe I have a lot of blind clients and I just don't know it.
  • Maybe a Realtor's greatest frustration is noise sensitive guy.  These people can usually be spotted at the edge of the property with their hand cupping their ear into a mini satellite dish as they try desperately to find noise they can't naturally hear.  And of course, this is understandable behavior because when they live in the property they will be spending a lot of time in perfect silence by the property's boundary and listening for anything slightly audible (yes this is sarcasm).

What funny things can you think of?  Add them below in comments.

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Views and Privacy In Fairbanks Ranch - New Listing

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[idx-listing mlsnumber="100014339" showall="true"]

[idx-listings tract="Fairbanks Ranch" propertytypes="335" orderby="DateAdded" orderdir="DESC" count="50"]

17046 Circa Oriente, Rancho Santa Fe 92067 MLS 100014339

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Notice To Perform - The Facts

Notice to perform is one of the most often misunderstood clauses of a real estate purchase contract. Both buyers and sellers routinely ask me how the notice to perform works. Here are the facts:

  • Notice to perform is a protection afforded to buyers in a real estate purchase contract that stipulates a "warning period" or notice period to the buyer from the seller if a contractual obligation is not meant.
  • By Default, the notice to perform time frame is 24 hours, though I will most often attempt to extend it for my buyers to 48 hours or 72 hours.
  • The seller can not take action against the buyer for missed contractual obligations without first giving the buyer a written notice to perform that is good for whatever amount of time was negotiated in that particular purchase agreement.
  • If a seller does give a buyer notice to perform and the buyer still does not execute their obligation, the seller is now in their right to cancel the deal. However, the deal is not automatically canceled and the seller can choose not to. They simply just have the power to do so if they deem that the buyer is not going to perform in a way that is satisfactory to the seller.
  • If a seller does cancel the deal, attention always turns to the earnest money deposit. Who get's it?
  • If all contingencies have been removed, the seller has the rights to the deposit money. If not then it still belongs to the buyer.

As a real estate agent, I can tell you that there are many times that buyers go over their allotted time for different contractual obligations and the threat of a notice to perform comes in to play. Most of the time the buyer really does intend to perform but the escrow hits some kind of unforeseen bump and a little more time is required.

The two issues where this pops up the most are around negotiating request for repairs, which is tied to the investigation contingency, and loan contingency. Not coincidentally, these...

Santaluz is Cooking- Luxury Market Outlook

San Diego's luxury real estate market is showing major signs of life, led by Santaluz.  After an abysmal 2009, Santaluz has closed 12 million dollar properties, including five $2 million properties.  The gated golf community also has fifteen million dollar properties in escrow, including two homes with $5 million price tags.

As somebody that has dedicated a lot of time over the last five years to sellingSantaluz homes for sale, I can tell you that these are impressive numbers.

This is an absolutely incredible achievement when you consider that for all of 2009 Santaluz only recorded twenty eight million dollar sales.  Assuming the community can close it's current pending sales by the end of June, the community will be on pace to double its production from a year ago.

By comparison, The Crosby only has sixteen million dollar sales closed or in escrow to date  to Santaluz's twenty seven.  Even Fairbanks Ranch of Rancho Santa Fe falls short of the pace Santaluz has set with only twenty homes closed or in escrow this year in the million dollar range.

So why Santaluz?  It is a function of having a great location, relatively new homes, and good value.  Sellers have become very realistic regarding price.

Maybe more si-highlight--primaryly, the newly realistic sellers have caused other sellers that are not willing to match those prices to take their homes off the market, causing inventories to fall.  This has made it easier for the remaining home sellers to find a buyer, as there is less choice than there once was.

It will be very interesting to see if Santaluz can keep it up going into the second half of the year.

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After the Fall: Opportunities and Strategies for Real Estate Investing in the Coming Decade

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Praise for After The Fall

"Steve Bergsman provides his readers with one of the most comprehensive, yet concise overviews of real estate and all its property types."—Christopher Macke, Vice President, GE Real Estate

"This is an extraordinary work of detailed research and compelling writing. I've never seen the subject presented in such a cogent and skillful manner."—Phil Hall, editor, Secondary Marketing Executive

"The way out of the financial crash of 2007/2008 will come through skilled operations, astute investing, and the ability of real estate practitioners to give up their mental memory of the future! The heated success of ten-year, unprecedented growth in the real estate industry has somehow atrophied the industry's application of knowledge. What we need is a fresh look at opportunities and strategies for real estate investing. We are lucky that Bergsman's book has fit the bill—just in time."—Jack M. Cohen, CEO, Cohen Financial

"Insightful and informative; connects all the dots, providing the basis and foundation for making strategic decisions about real estate."—Stephen Blank, Senior Fellow, Finance,...

Vantage Pointe Loan Default

What started off as an exciting project to build the biggest residential building in Downtown San Diego has now turned into a nightmare for the developers.  Vantage Pointe has officially defaulted on their construction loan in the amount of $197.8 million.

But the truth is that it did not take a genius to predict this one.  I mean you have to be kidding me!  A 679 unit project where people pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to be packed into a building like Sardines?  How did that sound like a good idea to anybody?

Oh wait I know; maybe the location is second to none and people would overlook the obvious lack of space and be willing to over pay for Vantage Pointe...EEHHHH!  Sorry wrong again.

This property has one of the poorest locations of any Downtown San Diego residential building. Not quite in East Village, not quite on Cortez Hill, but just sitting there in no man's land on 9th and B.  The area that is underdeveloped in comparison to the majority of high rises we have seen built over the last 8 years or so.

Not to stroke my own ego but I could see this one coming from a mile away.  I was honestly shocked when I saw that they broke ground on this project.  It was clearly a bad idea.

The ugly truth is that Vantage Pointe represents the height of greed that took hold on our nation's real estate markets.

I mean just imagine the development meetings when the idea to build Vantage Pointe was conceived.  It must have gone something like this:

"Let's take this piece of land and build as many residential units as we can possibly get permitted.  We can make them terribly tiny.  After all, buyers in the market are so crazy for real estate that they will pay anything for four walls and a ceiling.  Who cares if they won't have near enough closet space, tiny bedrooms, or hardly enough room to entertain their favorite couple.  People will pay anything!  We are so...

Best San Diego Beach You Have Never Been To

Moonlight Beach Encinitas is easily one of the most beautiful places in the county so why is it that the majority of San Diegans I speak to have not been there. In a way I am jealous of these people because I wish I had the opportunity to discover Moonlight Beach  in Encinitas again for the first time.

I decided to write this post after visiting the famous Moonlight Encinitas beach this weekend. While fairly crowded, it struck me that nearly everyone at the beach was from Encinitas or somewhere relatively close in North County. I realized I needed to write this post to expose Moonlight Beach Encinitas for discovery by the rest of you San Diegans that have been missing out.

Then again, the fact that is such a neighborhood beach is one of the things that makes it so great. It is the furthest thing from a commercial type of beach. Instead, Moonlight Beach Encinitas is birthed from the residential neighborhood that shares the sand with the waves.

It has an organic feel that is impossible to fake. You almost feel like you are in another decade when things were a bit more simple and life was just a touch slower.

Plus I love the fact that you can find privacy at Moonlight Beach Encinitas by walking up or down the beach in either direction.

I was out there with my fiance this weekend and we simply took off north up the coast and soon found ourselves in a secluded area where we laid out and enjoyed a piece of our amazing coastline all too ourselves. Most of the other popular beaches in the county are too busy and you could never have a piece of it to yourself. Too me this is what makes Moonlight Beach unique among its San Diego beach brethren.

If you haven't been then please go. Once you are there you can take advantage of your mini trip and also dive into all the rest of the great pleasures that Encinitas offers with its great beach culture and many bars and restaurants that make it...

Real Estate Offer Cover Letter

If  your agent isn’t presenting your real estate offers with a cover letter, you are losing money.  That’s right.  You are out right losing money for not taking the time to write a real estate offer cover letter.

I am a very firm believer that when presenting an offer for a buyer, one of the greatest services that an agent can provide is to include a well written powerful argument describing why the buyer is offering what they are offering in the form of an offer cover letter.

When supported with a well researched offer cover letter, it makes it a lot harder for a seller to counter as aggressively as they may have otherwise wished.

This is because the cover letter gives meaning to the asking price, instead of it just being a buyer’s dream.  There is a huge difference between, “My client is offering to purchase your home at X price for this reason, this reason, and this reason”, as opposed to, “My client wants to purchase your home at X price just because he feels like it.” That is the message that no offer cover letter sends because the proposal is not grounded by any information.

This becomes even more and more true as you work up the scale into higher priced properties.  Can you imagine the impact that a well formulated argument may have on a negotiation for a $2 million home?  It can be huge.

To all the cynics, no, I don’t believe that a seller is going to give away their home because of a one page letter.  But I do believe that it can make an impact of $25,000, $10,000 or even $5,000.  Even at $5,000 the effort is so well worth it, and the truth is that your agent is doing you a disservice if this is not being done.

What Should Be In An Offer Cover Letter?

  • Tone – write the offer cover letter in a direct yet respectful manner that gives the seller the sense that...