Saturday, September 16, 2006

Watching Seller Psychology in San Rafael

This is that San Rafael house that was featured in a New York Times article back in early May; I've blogged it before (here and here). I like to keep an eye on it from time to time since it seems like a good candidate for watching seller psychology in action during a classic post frenzy downturn. It seems like they are chasing the market down. Maybe other sellers could learn from this example.

Their most recent drop in price puts the total price reduction at 14%:
Price Reduced: 04/11/06 -- $1,045,000 to $997,500 (-4.5%)
Price Reduced: 05/05/06 -- $997,500 to $949,000 (-5%)
Price Reduced: 06/12/06 -- $949,000 to $939,000 (-1.1%)
Price Reduced: 08/30/06 -- $939,000 to $899,000 (-4.3%)

FWIW,'s "Zestimate": $787,682
Sales history (updated from my previous post):
02/27/2006: $700,000
05/14/2004: $735,000
Based on the publicly available loan information that I've seen, it seems that this property is owned by someone who actually resides in Sebastopol.

The last purchase in February, 2006 for $700,000 used a variable rate loan. It looks like they took out an additional $200k (for improvements?). So these "owners" are looking to break even at this point (but after taking into consideration closing costs and any carrying costs they are actually looking at a loss).

So this would appear to be a classic flip. Yep, it happens even in Marin.

Update: I forgot to mention that the previous owners did multiple cash-out refis on their variable rate loan.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Huh, on paper it doesn't look like a bad place... I'm surprised it didn't do better back in February. The same house in San Francisco I bet would have cleared a million at the last year's peak, and I'm sure would have gone for 900k in February. Unless there is some issue in the disclosures we aren't seeing, I bet it could go for 800k in a month or two. So as you say they are right on the edge, just out of reach now, and walking the market down.

Sep 16, 2006, 1:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update on the house. I do find this type of post to be quite educational.

Sep 16, 2006, 2:24:00 PM  
Blogger Marin Family Guy said...

This is like buying futures when you're on the wrong side - not wanting to take the whole hit now, so you don't lower it enough to move it. Water finds its own level and it's now nearer low tide than high tide.

Sep 16, 2006, 9:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Water finds its own level and it's now nearer low tide than high tide."

Yes, it's true that water seeks its lowest level, and that is where the real estate market is heading.

Sep 16, 2006, 9:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm still amazed that you can get loan data like that. I know you've blogged about it in in posts before but I can't find the details. How does one go about getting this info, assuming you're not in the RE game??

Sep 16, 2006, 9:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just a hunch but I have a feeling that there is something else wrong that is not apparent here. Even though it's on a hillside in earthquake country I'll give you $250k after you make some improvements. No? Good luck with that foreclosure.

Sep 17, 2006, 7:49:00 AM  
Blogger marinmaven said...

Just got back from a trip to Santa Cruz, California and saw for sale signs all over the place, including some that were "reduced."

Sep 17, 2006, 11:00:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These people originally thought they could make $345,000 after owning for 2-3 months! What better proof of a bubble in Marin than this. Realtors who claim to the contray are full of it.

Sep 19, 2006, 10:10:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I drive by this house daily, it's on a steep hill - sooner or later there is going to be a big landslide there. Plus the hill it precariously perches on overlooks 101, a panoramic of 101 and the Bay..the fumes from the bumper to bumper traffic really have to take waft there way up...

Sep 19, 2006, 1:44:00 PM  

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