We Made the Papers! But I must add…

Maybe my interview that ran in this article on SFGate, which will also be in the Sunday San Francisco Chronicle, wasn’t necessarily the best spin on what I actually said over the 45 minute conversation with Carol, but a little publicity is always good, and Carol does, for the most part, do a very good job reporting on the market and its idiosyncracies, and I thank her for it. However, there are a few things I must add based off of a lot of emails, and all the comments I’ve read around the internet regarding that column.

Yes, I firmly believe the market is still good, but nowhere in that very sentence or article did the words, “it’s always a good time to buy” come out of my mouth, so don’t jump to that conclusion about “all Realtors”. If you’d read the “walk down Lake Street” in its entirety, you would have seen it does represent what is happening in our market…some properties are selling quickly with multiple offers, some are getting stale, and some have had multiple price reductions and still not sold, and that is in a prime area like Lake St. That is what’s happening now, and you’ll never, ever, ever see me predict where things are going. I have no idea, nobody does, but if things continue the way they are, the future doesn’t look all that gloomy. However, to call my mood about the market “cheery” is a stretch, to say the least, but I’m cool with it Carol, really, I am.

Realtor haters (I read the comments on the SFGate article and get a fair bit of your animosity via email and in the comments, so I know you’re out there)… I’m determined to show you that what comes out of this site and the sfnewsletter is not Realtor talk and is truly the most accurate picture of what is happening in this market. By “this market”, I mean San Francisco. If you think all Realtors are created equal, you are so wrong. Any Realtor worth their weight would likely tell you the majority of their business comes from referrals, and you don’t get referrals if you do a shitty job.

If real estate is not your thing, don’t hate us. I could care less if you rent or own your property, but don’t think if you can’t buy in San Francisco, you can’t buy elsewhere. Personally, I have several properties around the country and would be happy to share my successes, and certainly failures. I do think now IS a good time to be buying in other markets though, as an investor. And for the record, I rent in San Francisco, and I’m totally pissed I missed the boat (two kids, astronomical mortgage payments, and a commission only career will put the fear of God in you), but I will buy as soon as I can.

Realtors…this whole argument I hear from a lot of you about people reading blogs and that “they’re just a bunch of angry renters”, is such B.S. You gotta stop hating on renters like that, and start regularly reading blogs like this. Even if you don’t agree with everything that comes out of them, there is a lot to be learned.

Now that I got that off my chest…

If you’re just joining us for the first time, welcome! We hope you keep coming back, begin providing insight, and participate lots to land yourself on the Stammtisch. Maybe we’ll have to have a Stammtisch gathering one of these days at one of my favorite restaurants, Suppenkuche.

So…back to blogging about this little obsession we all have called real estate….after a few margaritas, of course? Enjoy the long weekend, and thanks for reading!

What’s happening now in the reportedly stormy San Francisco housing market? [SFGate, Carol Lloyd]

6 thoughts on “We Made the Papers! But I must add…

  1. Congrats on making the papers Alex! Thanks for allowing us the freedom of speech, unlike Adam’s blog, where he’s Mr. Doom and Gloom and always deletes positive commentary!

    Keep up the good work!

  2. I for one don’t find it funny when people turn each and every r.e. thread in the blogosphere into “REALTORS ARE ASSHOLES” — but I should! Because it actually is.

    It’s like, if you read the SFgate comments, the bloggers are saying, “Oh sure. Lake street? One of the most expensive neighborhoods in the world! Like THAT has anything to do with REALITY. Typical realtor spin!”

    But if you actually read what Alex says, it isn’t particularly cheery or rosy. What he really says is that even in what has been a highly desirable micro market, it’s currently more of a mixed bag.

    Then the other half of the realtor haters is people reading it and going, “Typical realtor spin. They have their livelihoods riding on a bull market, so why believe them?”

    And that’s a crock. We don’t have skin in any individual transaction. If the market turns, we all have buyers waiting to buy a great deal that cost 15% more a mere 18 months ago.

    So I should know that and let it roll off my back. However it’s kind of hard to when you work your ass off, and actually feel like you help people, and then your whole profession gets slagged by a complete misreading of what’s even being said in one article. Just one article, with easily digested quotes.

    In the end, my feeling is that it’s all emotional. People are really disappointed and angry that they are priced out, and they could have bought earlier, or they could buy now but the future is uncertain. What realtors had to do with historically low interest rates, or San Francisco being an amazing place, with very stodgy (and often anti-growth, anti-building and therefore anti-realtor) local politics, that’s what I don’t get.

  3. When the vast majority of people in SF are renters and can’t afford to buy in SF, it is only natural that there’s a lot of hatred and jealousy towards anything standing in their way. Realtors are the obvious choice. It’s natural to expect / demand prices to come down to renter’s own affodability levels, instead of doing things to improve their own financial situation.

    Real estate has created such a HUGE chasm between two similar income classes over the past decade, I can only wish renters the best.

    Nobody ever got rich renting, and that holds so true today.


  4. heard yesterday.

    – Alex has a blog now?

    – no, he has three. (newsletter, tdsf and tfs)

    – so now we can read what must be the best info in what must be the best RE blog? Alex will go far. He’s smart, he’s good. (from someone who will probably never visit your blog :-) )

    Seriously. Thanks Alex (and all the contributors and all the posters who come back over and over to read and write)

  5. I, too, like Carol Lloyd’s columns. Heck, after 10 years in the city, I finally subscribed to the SF Chronicle in 2001 primarily to read her (and Bob Bruss’s) columns in the Sunday RE section (and to peruse open house listings). I am deeply suspicious that the Chron moved her column to the Business section a while back to get more Sunday readers to look at another section of that paper. So, if Carol believes Alex to be a credible source, that counts a lot in my book (and confirms my general impression from reading this blog).

    I hold no animosity towards renters and am patient with their emotional diatribes. I too was a renter for 11 years. My advice to all such renters would be the same advice I give to my friends who are renting and looking: IF you find a place where you’d love to live (at least love something about it) and IF you can afford to buy it (none of this crazy financing or devoting 75% of disposable income to housing) , IF your life and work are otherwise relatively stable for the foreseeable future, and IF you’re willing to commit to living in the new place at least 5 years, then (almost) any time is a good time to buy a home in San Francisco.

    A house is a home before it is an investment.

Leave a Reply