Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Short Sale 4plexes are Gone

The market is improving all around. I cannot say this is our firm bottom by any means. Although, there are a lot of buyers and their agents chasing single family homes, townhouses and condos with multiple offers and going over asking prices. What I found interesting is that this wave has finally come over to the duplex - fourplex market. A few months ago, there were some outstanding short sale opportunities in west San Jose, specifically near Southwest Expressway and San Jose City College. Now those deals are all in escrow - some 3,500+ square foot fourplexes were listed at $650,000-$750,000. My client just bought a fourplex on Leigh Ave - very nice property - Pollack & Gambord style - for $700,000. If that property went on the market now, it would easily be worth $800,000+. We were in a short sale escrow for approximately 3 months and the market moved higher in that timeframe. There are still some deals that are not being chased, but they are becoming fewer. Has the market really turned...? Comments and thoughts please!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Last Year's Bank REO is This Year's Short Sale

It's not this year's Black is the last year's Ecru... Although it is interesting to see that a bank owned condo in the mid-Peninsula in early 2008 is now on the market as a short sale some 15 months later. Yes - all bank deals are not necessarily good deals! And for sure, the banking regulations and scrutiny have become more intense in that period. Good for consumers and banks to have loans decided on their true merits and stability. I also believe that the first wave of bank owned properties last year were the beginning of the slide and many buyers thought otherwise. Most bank properties now are selling quickly in the Peninsula and the South Bay. Some though, especially the higher end homes are sitting and taking price reductions. There are good reasons to not jump in necessarily on a deal just because it is owned by First National Trust and Co, Ltd..

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

San Francisco Apartment Building Short Sales and REOs

We are tracking a large investor group that is having their apartment acquisitions over the last 5 years liquidated or restructured by their bank partners. Approximately 50 of the 250+ buildings held by the group were given back via Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure. Another 12 buildings are currently being marketed for sale via a mutual agreement of the banks and the owners - essentially a formalized short sale process. 6 of these assets have already gone pending. The properties range from Tenderloin difficult properties to a Marina building ideally located one block from vibrant Chestnut Street to a heart of Chinatown property. All of which are essentially fully occupied properties. This is the best opportunity I have seen since starting the business in 1991 to acquire a solid San Francisco asset at a reasonable down payment and cash flow!

Monday, June 15, 2009

City of San Jose Downpayment Assistance for High Rises

The City of San Jose just opened up the downpayment assistance program to the new high rises in downtown. These will included The 88, City Heights, 360 Residences and Axis. Assistance of $50,000 for one bedroom units and $60,000 for two bedroom units are available. These are no payment loans - the cost of the loan is the pro-rata appreciation of the unit when you sell in the future. Example, if you buy a $400,000 J plan one bedroom at The 88 and use $50,000 from the City for a downpayment, this is 12.5% of the purchase price. When you sell, you would pay back the original $50,000 plus 12.5% of the profit. Very good deal. This paired with some fantastic deals in price that are being offered and you have a great opportunity to buy your first home. Call us for the current best values in downtown.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Technology and Real Estate

I know I've touched on this topic before and I truly believe it has very important investment impact for commercial property owners & investors. Why today though? Well, as a guy who is perhaps on the verge of becoming a relatively young tech dinosaur, this topic is close to my heart. Meeting a friend at Starbucks this morning, she wanted to give me some songs so I could update my Ipod workout playlist. I was handed a microscopic 4meg chip that she easily popped out of her smartphone. My one year old Blackberry had no apparent slot for this media card. I had to open the back plate, pull out the battery and then dig for the media card to take out. Obviously not a new enough smart phone for 2009! Also, today the big media buzz is about the new Palm Pre and the price slash on the 3G Apple IPhone.
My concern over technology and real estate is - not the "what happened to all the retail space taken by travel agencies" but now: What will this freedom and freeflow of information and entertainment do to how we live our lives and where we spend our money? I would like to throw this question out there and ask for ideas on where this will take our need for housing space, retail space and office space. Square feet per occupant has got to go down (just think of all the saved space when the tube tvs and rack stereo systems are replaced by a flatty and an ipod - yes I know this already happened...) and in the workplace everything is shrinking except the size of the employees (think better nutrition). Any thoughts? (See what a tall soy latte is capable of doing?)