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Prices Shaved 33% In Modesto, CA

By someone else following x   2007 Sep 4, 6:02am 24,602 views   306 comments   watch   nsfw   quote     share    


razor

I was just talking to a realtor this morning, and he said that typical prices in his area (Modesto) are down from $450K last year to $300K this year. He was lamenting the fact that there are so few buyers and wondering how he can keep making a living. I was wondering how the official statistics can be so wrong compared to numbers from someone on the front lines.

We talked about the large number of "short sales", where the property is for sale for less than the amount owed to the bank. The problem with those is the need to deal with the banks, which are infuriatingly slow and bureaucratic. It can take two weeks to get a call back about a specific property.

Even at $300K, prices are still not low enough. By traditional measures, a $300K mortgage should require a $100K income. The typical income in Modesto is definitely under $100K.

Patrick

#housing

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267   Peter P   ignore (0)   2007 Sep 5, 3:27pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Curry is what makes the world go round. Have you ever had Japanese Curry? My favorite is Hurry Curry, off Olympic West of the 405. Japanese comfort food!!

I love Japanese curry. My favorite is seafood curry. Mussel and scallop and clam and squid and white fish.

I like my curry rather spicy though. I also like Indian curry. One thing, I do not like pineapple in my curry.

268   J Galt   ignore (0)   2007 Sep 5, 3:39pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Being a NE native, I am as protective of the natural flavor of seafood as a Texan is of beef. Naturally, I looooove good sushi!! Therefore, I prefer the less flavorfull foods for my curry, (Beef and Chicken). I do have to admit tho that I have had ribeyes in Chicago that did not need any seasoning!!

269   Different Sean   ignore (0)   2007 Sep 5, 3:42pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag        

J Galt Says:
@ DS
When I spent time in AUS, you, (aussies), were always amazed at the American insistence on desert for every meal. (Come to think of it, so was I!). But Meat was very prevalent in the local fare. Perhaps that is because I was in Rockhampton?!

oh definitely. altho GWB telegraphed ahead that 'I'm a meat kinda guy'...

Now there's a follow-up noodle story: When I met Dubya, he did his noodle

There's a lot of productive work going on at APEC with those leaders'n'all -- well worth the taxpayers expense from all countries concerned...

Sydney is a little more urban and urbane than Rockhampton, where Qld and the NT are beef cattle territory. Reminds me of a story where a mate worked on a cattle station one year, where BBQed meat was all that was available for every meal, including breakfast, with no complaints. When he asked if there was anything else, they pointed to the larder, which turned out to be full of breakfast cereals, etc.

Dessert with every meal? meaning lunch and dinner? We used to have dessert every dinner growing up, until we decided to moderate our parents' calory intake, workload and so forth...

270   J Galt   ignore (0)   2007 Sep 5, 3:43pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Oh and as far as spice goes, that is the problem I have with most middle eastern food. I like veeeery spicey. I ask for normal Thai spicy if I am ordering from Thai, exta spicy from everyone else. I like to cook with habaneros whenever possible, (not often, my family is not as fond as I am...).

271   J Galt   ignore (0)   2007 Sep 5, 3:57pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag        

@DS
Yeah apparently Americans expect sweets at every meal. I would like to say that it is just soldiers lugging about 50kgs of equipment all day, but unfortunately it applies to most americans, (have you seen our obesity rate?). When I first moved to AU, I could not understand how everyone could be in shape without 0% milk, but I figured it out pretty quick. I joined a local rugby club and spent more time exercising than an average american spends in a lifetime.

272   renter_paloalto   ignore (0)   2007 Sep 5, 4:07pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

(I am Indian) Most of the buyers of the $1.2 million "starter" Palo Alto homes do seem to be Indian or Chinese. I was joking with a friend how the Asians are nicely funding the retirements of the smart white folks moving out, without realizing that their "investments" will likely never yield a remotely attractive return. In my own block where I rent, something like 4 out of the 8 homes are Indian, and 2 Chinese (I think I am the only one renting).

The reason Asians seem indifferent to valuation here may be because property prices in Bay Area do almost seem "reasonable" when you consider, say, Bombay or Bangalore. In India, in my living memory, you could never justify urban property prices on the basis of rents. Home owners (a relatively small percentage of the population) basically subsidized the renters, in return for their asset keeping up with inflation, which was pretty high for much of 80s and 90s.

273   gavinln   ignore (0)   2007 Sep 5, 4:13pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag        

Unalloyed,

I guess I haven't been watching the Stockton market that closely as I haven't visited Eight Mile Road in a few months.

When I was last there, on seeing the rows of new homes all very close to each other, I predicted that they would have the largest fall in prices in the area especially as there is so much land (vineyards) that could add to the excess supply of housing.

274   J Galt   ignore (0)   2007 Sep 5, 4:19pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag        

Did anybody see the Republican Debate in NH? So far R. Paul has won, but even I question that. He kind of came out as a rabid dog. I mean rhetoric is one thing, but to go on national television and advocate the immediate dissolution of the CIA, FBI, IRS and Homeland Security, is a little extreme. Don't get me wrong, I am a libertarian that would rather see a return of the barter system than a continuance of federal gubmint control that we have seen in the past 15yrs. I just wish that Paul could get the point accross that we need to return to a will of the people with less federal control. All in all, I would like to see McCain elected, but I know that will not happen, so I will probably vote for Ron, (as I have in the past), just in the hopes of throwing the pitbull into the room and shaking things up.

275   Different Sean   ignore (0)   2007 Sep 5, 4:33pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

advocate the immediate dissolution of the CIA, FBI, IRS and Homeland Security

oh well, that's the ol' Ron Paul policy platform...

276   Peter P   ignore (0)   2007 Sep 5, 4:38pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Ron Paul will be the perfect president. But he does not have better chance than Barney.

I am fine with McCain.

277   J Galt   ignore (0)   2007 Sep 5, 4:40pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag        

Yeah, you always hope that he will curb his position, (just like everyone else), until after election. But that won't happen. Double edged sword and all that...

278   Peter P   ignore (0)   2007 Sep 5, 4:49pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Yeah, you always hope that he will curb his position, (just like everyone else), until after election. But that won’t happen. Double edged sword and all that…

Oh well... He is by far the most reasonable candidate. But we all know that reason does not run the universe.

If it has to be a democrat, please let him be Gore. At least he looks like a teddy bear, and he has good condo tastes.

279   J Galt   ignore (0)   2007 Sep 5, 4:52pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag        

@Peter P
Could you please respond to my query on what has happened to the regulars that I mentioned? I always count on you anyway, it would really mean a lot to me...

280   Peter P   ignore (0)   2007 Sep 5, 4:58pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Could you please respond to my query on what has happened to the regulars that I mentioned?

I don't know much about what happened to them myself.

Astrid's food blog has not been active for a while. I think she is in either Finland or Iceland on vacation.

I think Robert was under blog attack by Nigel something over Casey Serin, but I do not have the details.

Surfer does not post much nowadays. We really miss him.

I have not heard from Linda.

I met Patrick recently. He is a real nice guy.

I was to meet Malcolm a while ago, but I got sick. :(

281   J Galt   ignore (0)   2007 Sep 5, 5:04pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

@Peter P
Good on 'ya Brother.
I really appreciate it! I generally work long hours, so I do not have time for a regular social life, so I value my time with this blog. If anybody needs any wine, just let me know.

282   Peter P   ignore (0)   2007 Sep 5, 5:10pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

I like this blog. I need distractions to work. Otherwise I get bored easily. :(

283   J Galt   ignore (0)   2007 Sep 5, 5:14pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag        

EXACTLY!! My wife does not understand it, (and I doubt my boss would either), but as long as I have something to keep the brain moving, it does not go into vapor lock.... And I get a lot more done!

284   J Galt   ignore (0)   2007 Sep 5, 5:24pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

@HARM
If you read this, I'll bet you could give a little more input on the present position of some old regulars... Even though I was a Lurker, I would like to see at least one reunion thread of the old cast!

285   Different Sean   ignore (0)   2007 Sep 5, 5:38pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

oops

Credit squeeze hits Aussie banks

It's the beginning of the end...

286   J Galt   ignore (0)   2007 Sep 5, 5:46pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

My advice to any american traveling abroad:
DO NOT identify yourself as a "poor american that had to default on their _investment_ mortgage(s), due to the terrible bankers". In addition to the usual contempt that you will receive from non-americans, you might just be the target of violent reprisal, (go figure...).

287   a_friend_of_patrick   ignore (0)   2007 Sep 5, 9:32pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

What's your take on the subprime mortgage crisis?

check out:

http://post.polls.yahoo.com/quiz/financeresults.php

288   Boston Transplant   ignore (0)   2007 Sep 5, 11:38pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Brand says: D*(1+I)^Y + sum(12*M*(1+I)^(Y-n)) where n = 1 to Y-1

At the risk of sounding ignorant, maybe you can help me out with something. While I know intuitively that the "leveraged return" calculation HiThere is doing is wrong, I haven't come up with an intuitive reason why. I think your equation is the answer.

It's certainly a beguiling (used-house salesman) argument: "even a 3% return leveraged 10 times is 30%, much better than you can do in the stock market! As long as you're willing to buy and hold, long run growth will bail you out!".

Is the fundamental flaw here that one is ignoring interest payments on borrowed money?

Also, is there a simpler (rule-of-thumb) method of calculating the total leveraged return? e.g. look up total interest payments over 30 years, add that to the principal, and the back-calculate average compounded return? Or is it necessary to do the sum from n=1 to 30 years?

289   Randy H   ignore (0)   2007 Sep 5, 11:48pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag        

Astrid is back. She's been posting on my blog about her trip.

290   lunarpark   ignore (0)   2007 Sep 6, 12:21am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

http://www.marketwatch.com/News/Story/Story.aspx?guid=%7B5266FE43%2D10D5%2D4469%2DAABE%2D7F6885DA05A3%7D&siteid=mktw

New foreclosures set record in latest MBA survey
California, Florida, Nevada and Arizona drive numbers up: economist

291   astrid   ignore (0)   2007 Sep 6, 12:33am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Peter P,

Sorry. I've been busy catching up on things. Iceland was very good. I think you would like Reykjavik quite a lot. Icelandic food was delicious and the scenery does not demand much "roughing it." And the city musuems have gorgeous bathrooms.

292   PermaRenter   ignore (20)   2007 Sep 6, 1:01am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        


Temporary OMO: Fed adds $8.25 billion with overnight RP
Temporary OMO: Fed adds $16.00 billion with 7 day RP
Temporary OMO: Fed adds $16.00 billion with 7 day RP

293   SP   ignore (0)   2007 Sep 6, 1:27am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

An update on one of the cases I mentioned recently about my friend's house in Saratoga (golden triangle).

Listed in May '07 at about $1.6M, a little under comparable sales. Offer at asking price around the end of June. Buyer requested an extension in order to line up financing. Since no other offer was in hand, seller agreed. In early August, the deal fell apart because buyer could not get a loan.

The selling agent flat-out told the seller that relisting at the original price was a non-starter, and suggested cutting by at least 50K.

The interesting update is that since then, the seller has received two phone calls, both offering about 25-30% UNDER the original ask.

Something suspicious is going on, because the house is not yet relisted, so really only the buying and selling agents should know about the failed deal, right? Are these lowballs a tactic by the agent to "soften up" the seller? Or is one of the agents trying to grab the property at a discount for their own client?

SP

294   Brand165   ignore (0)   2007 Sep 6, 1:29am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

BT asks: Is the fundamental flaw here that one is ignoring interest payments on borrowed money?

Yes. You take small losses on each and every interest payment. The tax deduction (MID) in the U.S. returns ~20-25% of that interest payment, so here for owner-occupied there would be a 0.80 factor on the yearly interest.

Landlords want a situation where PITI is less than what they receive in rent. Otherwise, they are literally just hoping for large house price increases. If you run the same equation with a small monthly loss, then it's a lot less attractive to own the house vs. risk-free investments.

Also, RE bulls never subtract the total amount of interest paid from the house appreciation. So on house side of the equation you have a huge subtraction, and on the risk-free investment side you have a large addition.

Also, is there a simpler (rule-of-thumb) method of calculating the total leveraged return? e.g. look up total interest payments over 30 years, add that to the principal, and the back-calculate average compounded return? Or is it necessary to do the sum from n=1 to 30 years?

There is almost certainly a simpler method than a summation. Probably if you averaged it all out, that sum converges to simple arithmetic. But my summation skills are rusty. :)

295   SP   ignore (0)   2007 Sep 6, 1:30am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

astrid Says:
Sorry. I’ve been busy catching up on things. Iceland was very good.

GIF! GIF! GIF!...

SP

296   PermaRenter   ignore (20)   2007 Sep 6, 1:41am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag        

Countrywide announces 900 additional job cuts
By E. Scott Reckard
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

September 6, 2007

In the latest of a series of cutbacks triggered by the housing downturn, Countrywide Financial Corp. said Wednesday that it had eliminated 900 jobs.

The announcement came as rumors swirled of far greater staff reductions at Calabasas-based Countrywide, the nation's largest home lender.

In its latest tally for investors, Countrywide said it had 61,586 employees as of July, up from 56,059 a year earlier.

Trade publication National Mortgage News reported this week that Countrywide was considering cutting 7,000 to 10,000 jobs. The company declined to comment on the report.

Countrywide said most of the 900 latest cuts were in loan production, which would include positions such as loan agents and underwriters. Of the jobs eliminated, about 380 were in California, the company said, but it didn't say exactly where. The remainder included 225 in Florida, 150 in Texas and 40 in Arizona.

297   skibum   ignore (0)   2007 Sep 6, 1:52am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

SP,

RE: Your Saratoga example, even the dumbest of dumb FBs would not consider those 2 lowball offers without first at least putting the home back on the market, unless they are in a rush to sell (job transfer, divorce, etc etc.) Seems highly fishy.

Could you remind me, what defines the "Golden Triangle" of Saratoga? Is it similar to the "Gold Coast" of NJ??? ;)

298   Randy H   ignore (0)   2007 Sep 6, 2:16am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag        

SP

That's very similar to a situation we have ongoing in Mill Valley.

There's a home we like that we've been watching for nearly a year. They never balked on their listing price even as neighbors kept reducing. All they did was relist it a couple times with false "Price Reduced" tags. Our phone call to them was for about 40% off asking, with of course a get-lost response.

Funny thing is it's been off the market for a while now, yet the selling agent still emails and calls telling me about other offers they're rejecting, perhaps in an attempt to entice me to think that 3-5% off is more reasonable.

There's so much unethical monkey business going on here I don't know where to start.

299   SP   ignore (0)   2007 Sep 6, 2:38am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag        

skibum Says:
SP, RE: Your Saratoga example, even the dumbest of dumb FBs would not consider those 2 lowball offers without first at least putting the home back on the market, unless they are in a rush to sell (job transfer, divorce, etc etc.) Seems highly fishy.

Exactly. My friend is not an FB, he bought in '98 with Cisco money, and isn't the kind of guy to 'extract equity'. His reason for selling is that his kids are out of the house now and the wife has chronic back issues, so they want to move into something smaller and more low-maintenance.

His main worry is that his selling agent is playing tricks to bum-rush him into dropping the asking price. More than the money, it is the trust issue that's bugging him. I mean, if you can't trust your own Realtwhore, what's the world coming to? :-)

Could you remind me, what defines the “Golden Triangle” of Saratoga? Is it similar to the “Gold Coast” of NJ??? ;)

I haven't quite figured out the precise geography, but I believe it is the region bounded by Saratoga Ave, Saratoga-Sunnyvale Ave. and Cox Road. Here is the G! map: http://tinyurl.com/2dou9x

The GT is highly fetishized by the Chindian Lemming crowd, because it has the Saratoga address, the good school district and is priced at the top end of the "middle class stretch" range for dual-income techie wage-slaves.

IMHO, the GT isn't as nice as the properties on the other side of Sunnyvale-Saratoga between Pierce and Big Basin, but since the tract houses in GT cost about a million dollars less, they have more people chasing after them.

SP

300   Peter P   ignore (0)   2007 Sep 6, 2:48am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag        

Astrid, I will read about your trip on Randy's blog.

Welcome back.

301   Carl in Berkeley   ignore (0)   2007 Sep 6, 3:04am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag        

Doesn't MC Hammer live in Modesto now?

302   skibum   ignore (0)   2007 Sep 6, 4:50am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag        

SP,

Man, I wouldn't pay a premium for that. Granted, the lots are bigger there, but to me it's just more SSS: soulless suburban sprawl (TM), I agree with you - I'd MUCH rather be up in the hills, either above the old downtown, Villa Montalvo, etc. But of course, that stuff is pricey...

303   skibum   ignore (0)   2007 Sep 6, 4:52am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Doesn’t MC Hammer live in Modesto now?

Please Hammer, don't hurt 'em (FB's, I mean).

It's "HAMMER TIME" for the FB.

What does Hammer say to the FB about a possible refi to save his sorry ass? "Can't touch this!"

FBs in the Modesto are getting foreclosed? "That's why we pray!"

Shall I go on?

304   salk   ignore (0)   2007 Sep 6, 5:22am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag        

The British colonies failed? Are you kidding? We now have India and Pakistan with nukes. Iran, Saudi, and Iraqi crazies controlling the world economies via oil. African dictators inciting carnage, famine, and economic collapse. US dictators regulating and taxing us into collapse. Yeah, the British were terrible.

305   Rob Dawg   ignore (0)   2007 Sep 11, 9:14am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag        

2. Robert Cote, (Not Rob Dawg, although both from Ventura?)

Same.

306   Rob Dawg   ignore (0)   2007 Sep 11, 9:20am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

I think Robert was under blog attack by Nigel something over Casey Serin, but I do not have the details.

No proof. It appears that someone used their credit lookup access to tunnel through court and DMV records in order to advocate the rape of an underage child. The IP addresses include several that were also used by Nigel at the time.

That means my daughter has a permanent internet reputation that will never go away. My FICO is dinged for the unauthorized access and there's nothing I can do about it.

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