Tuesday, October 16, 2007

But, But...

This quote from a recent SF Chronicle article is just too good to pass up:
But even in expensive areas like Marin County the crisis is beginning to be felt. One of the Bay Area's highest-priced ZIP codes, 94920, in the tony Belvedere/Tiburon area, was home to nine foreclosures - including a $1.3 million "Bel-Aire tract home" with "floor-to-ceiling windows ... and French doors leading to the pool."
In "tony Belvedere/Tiburon" I count at present:
  • 1 bankruptcy
  • 7 preforeclosures
  • 7 foreclosures
  • 55 tax liens
I thought this couldn't happen in Marin, certainly not in south Marin, because, as we are told, everyone here is wealthy and making big bank. You know, because we are so wealthy we don't need to take risky mortgages. But Belvedere/Tiburon? One of the most excusive if not the most exclusive and strongest real estate market in Marin? Say it isn't so! If the local real estate mythology is true, if my realtor/agent says so, if she researched it, how can there be any distress there at all?

Bel/Tib: you are not part of Marin 2.0. So sorry.


Blogger Lisa said...

We may find there is no Marin 2.0., that no part of the county is "immune."

I know so many debt zombies here, it's not even funny. All looks well from the outside....shiny new cars in the driveway, the requisite new appliances and granite countertops, the kids in private schools..But it's all debt. Mortgage and HELOC and credit cards.

Oct 16, 2007, 8:25:00 PM  
Blogger Marinite said...

"Mortgage and HELOC and credit cards"... oh my! A play on the Wiz of Oz

Oct 16, 2007, 9:44:00 PM  
Blogger marine_explorer said...

Do you recall that IJ article a while back of that young couple who took on an ARM (or possibly an IO) to get into some $2M+ Belvedere Lagoon tract home? Back then the IJ's spin was basically "buy into RE, whatever the risk". I wonder where that couple is today, because most likely they could have bought in (gasp) San Rafael with far less financial pain.

I bet there's a lot of people who put "walked the plank" financially to live in the "right" Marin zip codes.

Oct 16, 2007, 9:59:00 PM  
Blogger fortunateone said...

Yes, it's true! Even in Marin there are gamblers. More than many might think. Speculators in paradise? You bet! People who thought home prices would go nowhere but up. The music has stopped and there aren't enough chairs.
Welcome to the real world.

Oct 16, 2007, 10:10:00 PM  
Blogger Matthew said...

Of course, this blog reminds of me of one of our faviorite heroines in all of this, Leslie Appleton-Young.. or "Lez" as she is called by her close friends.. Wasn't she touting less than 8 months ago during a local rah-rah-rah REIC speach... "Name me anyone who regrets getting into the Marin housing market?"...

Oh Lez... care to make a retraction? ... of course not, you didn't believe what you said then and you wouldn't today... nor would I trust what you said anyhow..

Which all leads me to the subject of this post.. the "Bullshit-Self-Serving Meter".. I cannot think of a single invention that is more overdue and more sorely needed in this world than some gadget that measures bullshit and self-serving statements by our "leaders" and "industry professionals".. Think about the value a meter that measured when someone is BS'ing or acting in a self-serving manner?.. Hell, it would be priceless in today's world..

Maybe I'll study human communication behavior and body language in my next career.. I see a market in it for years..

Marin housing will continue to unwind for the foreseeable future.. just like everywhere else.. As Lisa noted, the folks in these parts are just better gifted, resourced and trained at hiding all the debt..

Oct 17, 2007, 4:38:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

There are a lot of debt zombies - goes with the gotta-have-it-now mentality. Too bad. Sometimes delayed gratification is much sweeter.

But there are a lot more people than you think flying under the radar that haven't bought into all that crap.

Oct 17, 2007, 6:05:00 AM  
Blogger Matthew said...

Just read my last post.. geeze, sorry for the typos "favorite" and "speech".. up a tad early..

Anyhow, one or two multiple bid (nice) homes that are somewhat well priced does not a market make...

Homes have tons and tons of emotions tied into them, so the purchase decision and corresponding price is widely skewed because of that.. the RE machine knows this of course.. Very few things compares to the emotions tied into buying that home.. Hell, not even the price of a female escort or diamond ring.. Not that I've bought either in a long while..

You always pay a premium for the nicest and highest qualities of all goods and services... we just hear more about it when it comes to buying a home, because, again, lots of emotion when someone doesn't win out in a bidding war..

Marin .5 or 1.0 or 2.0 or whatever?? Home prices are no longer tied to wages and will retract.. Buy your home now at your own financial risk.. I understand the need to root and seed, but I am no longer worried about being priced out forever round these parts (or any parts)..

Oct 17, 2007, 9:33:00 AM  
Blogger Matthew said...

that post belonged on the last thread obviously regarding the Marin 2.0 discussion... I posted here because I was horrified after reading my typos..

Anyone see a connection between the housing bust and Vladimir Putin's meetings with and speeches on and about the U.S. lately ?

I sure as hell do.. I know that is big picture stuff, which distracts from the yoga sessions and granite counter tops, but our world clout has taken a nose-dive over the past few years... much like our housing market and the way the average Marin Realtor treated buyers over the past 7 or so years…

Wall Street can hide the real story from most of us sheeple, but hiding what has transpired in these parts from world leaders and world banks is another story altogether.. money and true wealth garner respect and clout..

can you say "contempt"?

Oct 17, 2007, 9:49:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Matthew, you'd have a point with your big picture view, but real estate is going down everywhere in the first world. I was recently in Germany and Denmark, and the local real estate price fall is local story number one. It's really just a case of an asset class that got ahead of itself pricewise imho, just like internet stocks did during the Clinton administration. This stuff happens all the time throughout history. The Japanese RE market has been in free fall since 1990 with little sign of a turnaround.

Oct 17, 2007, 3:36:00 PM  
Blogger marinite2 said...

Quote of the Day over at Calculated RisK:

"We're going back to lending the way it was in the 1950s and 60s. Mortgages will be made mostly by bankers and their employees, and compensation will be based on who's making good loans and who's not."

Securitization is here to stay;

Oct 18, 2007, 10:31:00 AM  
Blogger Eric Weise said...

Here's the latest bay area numbers from dataquick


Almost shocking how bad the sales number are.

Oct 18, 2007, 12:59:00 PM  
Blogger Eric Weise said...

Also, dq original September 2006 report, showed a median price of $813K for Marin which means that prices have declined YOY. Of course the number has since been revised but this september's median prices will also be revised downward in the future once this month is forgotten.

Two years ago the median price was $802K giving you a windfall of $8k had you bought then.


Oct 18, 2007, 1:27:00 PM  
Blogger marinite2 said...

Almost shocking how bad the sales number are.

Keep in mind the history of those sales numbers:

- 2005 peak sales

- 2006 about -30% decline in sales

- Jan - Aug 2007 pretty much unchanged from 2006

- Sept 2007, down again -30%+ from 2006.

- Overall decline in sales from peak...? A lot more than -30%

Oct 18, 2007, 4:36:00 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Wow, sales for Marin down 32%. But I thought we were all so wealthy and financially savvy and credit-worthy here?

I wonder if it will finally start to sink in that the great boom was a great scam.

The SF Chronicle ran a hilarious pair of articles today....one was a story on new home builders auctioning off unsold houses, which of course instantly puts earlier buyers under water. And I mean by hundreds of thousands of dollars. Then, the article directly underneath it was "Renters are Paying The Price of The Mortgage Crisis" about how rents are going up, blah, blah. I don't know about you all, but I would much rather face a rent increase than be hundreds of thousands of dollars in the hole. The local press is still clearly biased against renting, even now that homeowners are losing money right & left.

Oct 18, 2007, 6:16:00 PM  
Blogger Marinite said...

I don't know about you all, but I would much rather face a rent increase than be hundreds of thousands of dollars in the hole.

Not to mention that rents are based on ability to pay (income) and not on availability of credit. You renters are in a good position.

Oct 18, 2007, 7:27:00 PM  
Blogger Shane said...

What does anyone know about buying foreclosures in Marin? I know in San Francisco there are weekly auctions at City Hall. Does this happen in Marin?

Oct 20, 2007, 9:54:00 AM  
Blogger Shane said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Oct 20, 2007, 10:01:00 AM  

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