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The weather has been unseasonably warm lately, and although Sacramento weather forecasters continue to promise cooler weather, it just hasn't happened yet. So, how does that explain why some of my oranges are turning orange? Late September is not a time for these oranges to turn color. We generally pick them in January. Yet, here is proof positive that my naval oranges are turning orange. Not only that, but they're falling off the tree. Our home is in Land Park, Sacramento, and the orange tree is located against the back fence, right next to the garden shed. It's sheltered on (14 comments)
WALL-E is Now Playing in Elk Grove -- Catch It Before It's Too Late -- Warning: Spoiler - 09/29/08 09:00 AM
As shocking as this may sound to some, I decided to take part of Sunday off and go to the movies with my husband. He wanted to see Batman -- so I countered with Richard Gere. Draw. Thought about the new Coen Brothers' movie, but that's a DVD movie (not a 5-star). So, there was only one choice left: WALL-E.Certain movies show better on the big screen than they do at home. You want the color, action and sound to be bigger than life, and a movie-house theater gives you that. We went to the Elk Grove Century Theatres on Big (10 comments)
No Admittance to Land Park's Fairytale Town Without a Kid Escort - 09/28/08 09:14 AM
I'm at a huge disadvantage here. For years, I have yearned to go to Fairytale Town in Land Park. The problem? I'm not a kid anymore, even though my sister may disagree, and you can't get in to Fairtytale Town without a kid holding your hand. I can visualize some drunken guy jumping out of his F10 and screaming: "That's reverse discrimination, man!" But there's a reason for it. Fairtytale Town most likely wants to attract children and make the park a safe haven for children, but still. I'd feel sort of silly asking a client if I could borrow their (19 comments)
Who Are You and Why Do You Want To Be My Friend? - 09/27/08 10:41 AM
Most of my friends would say I am a social butterfly. Probably because I regularly talk to a lot of people I don't know while pumping gas, dining out, or in the dressing room at Macy's, but those conversations fall short of what constitutes an actual friendship. I am friends with my clients, people I grew up with, neighbors, agents I work with, and yes, people I meet online. But I am not friends with the guys standing next to me at the popcorn counter at Tower Theatre in Land Park. Unless they want to buy or sell homes in Land (22 comments)
My associate, Rose Mary Swart, invited me to lunch at The Firehouse Restaurant in Old Sacramento. That's Rose Mary, on the left. I don't know who she is sitting next to. OK, it's me. Rose Mary says she loves to celebrate the beginning of fall by doing lunch in the tree-canopied courtyard of the Firehouse Restaurant, and this may very well become a tradition with me, too. Out of all the dining areas at The Firehouse, the courtyard is my favorite. The biggest problem during autumn is keeping the little tiny seeds that fall from the trees off your table. (22 comments)
The Reason Why Banks Are Slow to Respond to Foreclosures - 09/25/08 10:40 AM
The banks are taking a long time to decide on foreclosures for one reason: They can't do it any faster. Many asset managers are handling 500 files per month. The banks are overwhelmed with foreclosures and understaffed. Not only are they dealing with potential sales, but there are a flood of other homes in foreclosure that need to be listed and put on the market, in addition to tons of others receiving notices of default. Banking insiders -- sources that I cannot name -- have told me the banks are withholding foreclosures from the market and releasing them when inventory begins (19 comments)
Day three, and the driveway is finished. What do you think about that chain-link gate? I'm thinking ornamental ironwork, an electronic gate that swings open, might be a good solution. It's not that I really need a gate, because we don't have a dog, but without it, I can't really enclose the back yard and keep out the wildlife -- all those wild moose and donkeys in Land Park, you know. My neighbor seemed disgruntled that he was required to turn off his sprinklers for a day. His sprinklers should not be spraying my property anyway, but I never complain (7 comments)
The cement crew finished up half the driveway last night. The tool you see this guy using is called a joiner. It has a slot in the center that grooves the cement while the top of the tool smooths the joint. We discovered a clean-out for the sewer line below the former brick patio, which is why you see a hole. They placed a bucket shaped object over the clean-out to protect it and will put a grate on top when it is finished. It's a good thing I asked them to investigate what I thought was a French drain. (11 comments)
How Real Estate Agents Spend Their Time on the Computer - 09/23/08 01:57 PM
In case you were wondering what real estate agents really do on the computer, I'd like to introduce you to my new chart. Oh, sure, you say, all our time is spent searching for properties in MLS, writing blogs, reading real estate articles, writing purchase contracts and taking listings, but I have news for you.
Hey everybody, it's home improvement time again. It has been almost two months since I've tackled a project around the house, you know. All the homes in Land Park on my street have new driveways. Mine was beginning to look like an eyesore, cracking and heaving. Plus, we had a brick patio against the house (where we keep our trash can and recycling can), which would pool with water every time it rained. It made sense to pour new cement over the entire area and grade it away from the house.
My driveway is longer than those you'll (5 comments)
Shooter Arrested on Bus in Land Park - 09/23/08 09:25 AM
It's nice to know that our bus drivers are alert and listen to radioed police reports. Seems a homeless woman shot a disabled man yesterday at the bus stop on 6th and J Streets in downtown Sacramento. Eyewitnesses said she asked the man for money and he didn't give it to her. So, she pulled out a gun and shot him. Then she walked over to 9th Street and got on the bus. The police boarded the bus at Riverside and Broadway in Land Park and arrested her. The bus driver notified the police after he recognized the shooter from the (4 comments)
Who Would Buy a Thomas Kinkade White Christmas Crystal Snowman? - 09/22/08 09:22 AM
The Collectibles Guide and Miniatures Guide at About.com would kill me for saying this, but who buys all this crap? I imagine these mail-order houses probably hold private contests for artists to see who can come up with the gaudiest most awful-looking piece of trash. I bet they award prizes for the tackiest design. I mean, what else could explain this phenomenon? You can't pick up a Parade insert in the Sunday newspaper without finding a full-page ad for some tasteless trinket or limited edition Elvis Presley impersonator pressed into velvet. I used to think the baby angel on a motorcycle (29 comments)
L Wine Lounge in Midtown Sacramento is Superb With Few Misses - 09/21/08 11:19 AM
If you're looking for a great restaurant with reasonable prices in Midtown, look no further than the L Wine Lounge. Even though I knew the address, I grabbed the wrong door knob on 18th Street instead of walking around the corner to L Street. You can see why I sometimes walk into the wrong homes when on broker tour. I'm directionally challenged. But in my defense, the sign over the door on 18th did read 1801. The entrance is on L Street, directly across the street from where the battles have been escalating between the developers of the L Street Lofts. (12 comments)
Reasons to Use a Buyer's Agent on New Home Sales - 09/20/08 09:33 PM
Lots of buyers, while well meaning, don't realize that they can hire a buyer's agent to represent them on a new home purchase from a builder. Buying new homes from a builder is really no different than buying a resale home. You're better off hiring a buyer's agent. For example, tonight I negotiated a transaction for a buyer in Natomas. She bought a brand new condo. Her next-door neighbor paid $237,000 for his condo, and it closed escrow 10 days ago. My buyer bought the model -- which meant she got all the artwork and furnishings in the home, including a (12 comments)
Sometimes You Gotta Take a Break From Real Estate, If Only for 10 Minutes - 09/20/08 09:54 AM
So, this is a photo of me from Yearbook Yourself -- if I had been in high school in 1982. (I wasn't because I belong to the Class of 1970.) OK, this Yearbook Yourself is a totally silly site that seems to want nothing from you but to amuse, and there is nothing wrong with that. Erin Attardi turned me on to this site. She found it while on hold and waiting for a short sale negotiator to return to the phone -- and we all know how long that can take! So, she had a good excuse. Me? I have (30 comments)
Like the rest of Sacramento, the Greeenhaven / Pocket areas in ZIP 95831 have experienced more than a 50% drop in inventory (homes for sale) over the past 15 months. From a high in August of 2007 of 130 homes, the inventory has plunged to only 64 homes for sale in August of 2008. Pending sales and closed sales have continued to climb from January of this year forward and then dipped in August. We often see a resurrection of sales in September and a renewed interest after kids go back to school, so it's possible that dip could be (3 comments)
Psst -- Sacramento Area Regional Home Sales Are Up 41.6% for August - 09/18/08 07:39 PM
DataQuick released its numbers today and they show new and exising home sales are up 41.6 percent in August from the same time last year. This includes homes in Sacramento, Yolo, Placer and El Dorado Counties. Don't believe me? I can hear those skeptics who think that the Sacramento housing market is crumbling around us nay-saying reports of rising sales. You can read it here in the Sacramento Business Journal. The number of closed sales as compared to July dropped slightly, but still, the year-over-year closed sales are doing almost twice as well. That's comforting news is a world filled with (9 comments)
Come to the Taste of Land Park -- Sunday, Sept. 21 - 09/18/08 10:09 AM
When I mention the Taste of Land Park to friends who've never heard of the event, they ask, "So, what is this? Are we gonna eat grass and leaves?" These are friends from Sacramento's foothills, so they can be excused for such thoughts. Taste events typically feature the best of the season in local wines, produce and restaurant specialties, and Land Park is no exception. It's way to meet other neighbors and friends from Land Park and mingle with chefs and celebrities. The Taste of Land Park is brought to us by the Land Park Community Association. The president of the (9 comments)
High-End Homes in Sacramento Area Used For Pot Farming - 09/17/08 09:37 AM
Elk Grove and Natomas aren't the only neighborhoods targeted anymore for indoor pot farm growing operations. Seems the pot growers are expanding into other Sacramento neighborhoods and upgrading their pot farm operations. I last wrote about Sacramento's indoor pot farms in September of 2006 and the Elk Grove pot house busts in September of 2007. But it ain't over yet. Police arrested six suspects Tuesday and raided several homes. The police say the growers probably learned the hard way that neighbors in Sacramento and Elk Grove will report suspicious activity if the homes have boarded-up windows or black curtains over them. (22 comments)
Get Yer Oysters, Cheese and Peanuts at Land Park's Farmers Market (LOCALISM FEATURED) - 09/17/08 02:22 AM
September 14, 2008, LAND PARK, SACRAMENTO . . . All I wanted to do was lie in bed and read the Sunday paper, but my husband had other ideas. Hey, it's not what you think. He wanted me to get up, get dressed and walk down to the Land Park Farmer's Market. "Think of all the fresh produce we can sample," he said. I didn't put down the paper. "Think of spending some quality time with your husband." Yawn. Stretch. Then he pulled out the the big guns: "Think about the blog you could write."I was out of bed and dressed (23 comments)
Here are the housing market stats for August, 2008, in ZIP 95826, which encompasses College Greens and Rosemont. You can see that inventory has fallen 65% from a high of 190 in September of 2007. Yet pending sales and closed sales have risen over the past 15 months. If inventory continues to drop, that could push prices higher. Much of the activity in the market in 95826 has been due to REOs and short sales. A flood of bank-owned homes could drive prices down, but if inventory doesn't increase, we could see home prices rise in College Greens and Rosemont. (6 comments)
Don't Get Suckered By Trump University Coming to Sacramento - 09/14/08 10:56 AM
Trump University is coming to Sacramento next week to give "introductory classes" on how Donald Trump can profit big if you buy his books, CDs and other seminars, er, I mean how you can profit big by buying real estate. Trump University took out a half-page ad in the Sacramento Bee to tout the Perfect Storm in real estate. In the ad, Trump University claims that housing inventories are at a 20-year high, which is absolutely ridiculous. Anybody looking at real estate stats will see the inventory has dropped at least 30% across the board in Sacramento. It also says housing (12 comments)
When Two Buyers Want to Buy the Same House in Midtown -- What Should an Agent Do? - 09/13/08 02:49 PM
I work with such a wide variety of clients that it's rare to run into a situation where two sets of buyers want the same house, but that's what happened last week. I had showed a Midtown home to a charming couple, we'll call them the Andersons, about three weeks ago. However, the Andersons decided to pursue an REO that ultimately sold way over list and at a price outside of their comfort zone. While I continued to show the Andersons other homes, I called my new buyers, we'll call them the Johnsons, and told them about the home in Midtown, (18 comments)
The Real Estate Market in Midtown is Red Hot - 09/13/08 11:13 AM
Most everybody knows that in the ZIP 95816, there are more homes represented than those simply in Midtown. That area expands into East Sacramento, past Alhambra and up to 39th Street. So, when you look at Midtown numbers by ZIP code, it includes a few more homes outside of the grid. However, there is little inventory in Midtown right now. August numbers show the number of homes for sale has dropped to 45, with 10 pending sales and 12 closed sales. If they are priced right and in good condition, homes are selling. See the Trendgraphix chart below:
Interest rates (2 comments)
Better Hurry If You Want a Good Deal in Land Park - 09/12/08 08:51 PM
If you are interested in buying or selling homes in Land Park or Curtis Park, the recent statistics for these areas may astound you. Prices per square foot are rising in Land Park / Curtis Park. Part of that may be due to the increase of home sales of lower-priced homes, but in truth, those homes under $400,000 have been flying into escrow for the past six months. So, I don't see a big change in values based on the price or size of the home, because the activity has been too constant. Here is a chart that details the last (3 comments)
Where are the Foreclosures in Sacramento? Lenders are Sandbagging! - 09/12/08 01:02 PM
Today's Sacramento Business Journal reports that Sacramento ranks #10 in foreclosure filings in the U. S. In fact, eight of the top 10 metro foreclosures in the country are happening in cities in California. I just posted how Sacramento inventory has been continually dropping since early this year and, in fact, has fallen more than 35% since the same time last year. So where are all those foreclosures you keep hearing about? Well, in truth, not every Notice of Default results in a foreclosure and the majority of those are reinstated. However, there is no inventory. By no inventory I mean (9 comments)
As you can see by the Trendgraphix chart above, pending home sales in Sacramento County have risen more than 280% over August of 2007 and are continuing to climb. Inventory is dropping, down from a high of 10,514 homes for sale in August of 2007 to a little over 7,000 in August of 2008. Cloesed sales dropped slightly but may increase in September due to the high volume of REOs that dominate the market. Most REOs take longer than 30 days to close, especially when the banks are located outside of California. Of interesting note is the per-square-foot cost in (2 comments)
Some of you may remember when I wrote about the home across the street from me going on the market. I suspected the owner might be thinking of selling when I saw him painting the exterior and clearing out brush from his overgrown yard. He bought his Land Park home only a few years ago. I asked him if he was selling, and he denied it.Then, 2 days later, a competitor's sign pounded into the yard. I ran into the seller while dragging the trash cans to the street. He says, "Hey, I see you're doing really well; I get (9 comments)
Closing a Short Sale Involving Two Loans Can Be Tricky - 09/10/08 09:20 AM
One of the longest short sales I have ever worked on involved a horse property in Sacramento. The poor sellers were originally pushed into the transaction by an agent who promised them prices would never fall. I wish they had obtained legal advice before ever buying that rental property. They paid about $650,000 two years ago for a 3 bedroom home on 3 acres, using 100% financing, an 80/20 combo loan. All this time they had been making interest only payments and paying a negative cash flow to stay afloat, until push came to shove and they could no longer afford (20 comments)
I don't know about you, but when I need something from the hardware store, I rarely go to Home Depot but opt instead to spend my money in the neighborhood where I live in Land Park. Even if it costs a little more. For one thing, I'm not supporting the big box enterprises. For another, I'm not spending money on gas to drive 15 minutes away nor sitting in freeway traffic. But maybe the best reason to shop at Broadway Hardware is the personal service and assistance shoppers receive. Dave and Gisela Haskin are the charming couple you will meet (14 comments)
CURTIS PARK TUDOR, OFFERED AT $599,000 See the virtual tour 2617 Rochon Way, Sacramento, CA 95818 Built in 1928, this fabulous Tudor just keeps getting better. A second-floor expansion added dormers, more windows and vaulted ceilings. Fabulous master suite with remote office, skylights, ceiling fan and plenty of closet space upstairs. A second bedroom upstairs is almost as large with a sitting area and features an exposed brick chimney. Third bedroom is downstairs and overlooks the spectacular back yard. The home has hardwood floors with inlaid walnut, a wood-burning fireplace, vintage light fixtures, French doors leading to formal dining room (10 comments)
Come to Land Park for R5 Anniversary Party -- Free Food -- Free Bands - 09/06/08 11:33 AM
You all remember Russ Solomon, the founder of Sacramento's Tower Records stores, right? Then, as you know, Tower Records folded but in its Land Park location Solomon opened a new store called R5 Records. This weekend, R5 Records is celebrating its one-year anniversary at its Land Park store on Broadway. The store isn't yet making a profit, but you can help support our local business by showing up today or tomorrow to attend the R5 Anniversary Party. What do you get? Free food -- hot dogs and goodie bags, plus free music. Live Sacramento bands will play in the parking lot (7 comments)
Inventory in Land Park and Curtis Park has dropped about 30% over the past year, which means there is very little on the market right now. There is a small handful of homes near a million, OK, I can count them on one hand -- and only 20 homes over half a million. And some sellers are pulling a Nancy Reagan and just saying "no" to showings. A client sent me a list of the top six homes they want to see today. Of those, half are not available. Criminy, look at the way my requests for showings break down: (8 comments)
Oh, No, Downtown Sacramento is Losing 55 Degrees - 09/04/08 03:59 PM
Astonished is not the word for learning that my favorite downtown Sacramento restaurant, 55 Degrees, is closing tomorrow. Saddened, stunned and disappointed are much better descriptive words. Owner Ali Mackani made the decision last week to close 55 Degrees. Among his reasons are the rising cost of ingredients, overhead and the fact the slowdown in the economy has hit restaurants particularly hard. The Sacramento Business Journal reported last month that the July Sacramento unemployment rate was 7.3% but that 2,900 (29% of those jobs) were in the leisure and hospitality area, and 2,400 of those were in the bar and restaurant (10 comments)
Traffic Alert for Land Park Residents -- Sac City College Hosting National Events - 09/04/08 09:33 AM
I'd say next Saturday is a good day to take Riverside Boulevard as your north / south street through Land Park or maybe cut through Curtis Park and come down Broadway to get to your home in Land Park. There will be tons of activity going on near Freeport and William Land Park, Saturday, September 13th. Land Park residents may wish to plan alternate routes and avoid this area all together. Sacramento City College has a busy day planned. In addition to its normal Saturday classes, here are other activities: HBCU College Fair: 9 to 2 PM. Shuttle buses. 40 onsite (2 comments)
Is the Customer Always Right? - 09/03/08 09:59 PM
When I temporarily moved in 1990 back to Minneapolis from California, I thought maybe I would take a regular job, you know, a salaried position, while I looked after my mom who had cancer. I applied for a marketing director position at the electric company. One of the questions asked of me in my third interview was: Is the customer always right? Let's just say I didn't get that job. See, that's why I am cut out for real estate. Because I don't have to lie to anybody. A client referred a potential buyer to me last week. This was an (17 comments)
The Number of Missing Sacramento Lockboxes is Rising - 09/03/08 03:54 PM
The question lately is not where is the darn lockbox so much as why is there no lockbox on this home? It's stated "vacant / lockbox" in MLS, yet many agents aren't putting lockboxes on their listings. Do they have any idea how bad it looks to buyers who show up at home after home only to discover the agent hasn't put a lockbox on the house? It's against the Sacramento MLS regulations to put a contractor's box on these types of listings. If an agent uses a contractor's box, the agent must also supply a Supra lockbox. If not, they (20 comments)
Lots of Sacramento buyers make the mistake of trying to figure out the market value of a home by looking at average per-square-foot prices, especially buyers for homes in Land Park and Curtis Park. But the reason that pricing per-square-foot, even on average, doesn't work in these neighborhoods is because every home is different, the upgrades vary and some locations carry heftier price tags than others. For example, in Land Park, the price difference between two very similar homes across the street from each other can vary by $100,000 or more, depending on which side of the street the home (4 comments)
I mean to post this graph a couple days ago because it shows exactly how far inventory has dropped in Sacramento. This shows there are 3.7 months of inventory in July, which means it would take less than four months to sell every home presently for sale. Typically, it's a seller's market when there are more buyers than sellers and inventory dwindles to a couple months. It's a buyer's market when there are more sellers than buyers and inventory exceeds 6 months, give or take. Neutral markets exist between 3 and 6 months of inventory. If you're wondering about whether (2 comments)
Do You Take Off Work on Labor Day? - 09/01/08 09:40 AM
Because of cell phones and computers, how do you get away from work on Labor Day? I just heard the trucks on my street scraping up garden refuse, so I know that some Sacramento city workers don't take off Labor Day. I suspect it's because they can earn time-and-a-half. Plus, it's an early morning job. But do you take off Labor Day? Relax with the family, go to the beach or on a hike or maybe just stay home and read a book? I received an email this morning from an Lori Kim Polk, wishing me a happy Labor Day and (40 comments)
Broker-Associate at Lyon Real Estate, midtown Sacramento. Selling since 1974. Home Buying Guide at About.com. Sacramento short sale agent.
Author Bio: Elizabeth Weintraub is a Sacramento real estate broker, author, home buying guide for About.com, a Land Park resident, and a Land Park agent who specializes in older, classic homes in Land Park, Curtis Park, Midtown and East Sacramento. Weintraub is also a Sacramento Short Sale agent who lists and successfully closes short sales throughout Sacramento four-county area. Call Elizabeth Weintraub at 916.233.6759. Put 35 years of real estate experience to work for you.
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.