Congress Fails to Deliver $700 Billion Check. Will San Francisco Real Estate Finally Fall Victim?

Surely you heard the news yesterday of the failed passing of the $700 Billion economic recovery bill, but today the Monkey gives one last effort to convince Congress to act before he rides off in the sunset to tend to his hogs.

[Photo Credit: New York Times]

The stock market has rallied today, but what about our market? Is this going to be the final blow that knocks us down for the count?

Bush Urges Congress to Pass Bailout [New York Times]

Ask Us: “Change in Home Buyer Mentality?”

Where readers ask and we (the community) try to answer:

We’re planning to put our house on the marketing in a couple weeks. Have you seen any change in the SF home buyer mentality resulting from the recent news from Wall Street? I assume it varries by price range, but I’d be interested in your thoughts on how houses in the 1M – 1.5M range might be impacted in the weeks to come.

We could go around in circles on this question, depending on a number of factors (location, size, condition, amenities, views, etc.), but in a nutshell and to answer your question…yes. The market has been impacted, and given the recent near 700 point drop in the stock market, could be impacted more. Loans are harder to come by, and buyers are sitting on the fence. That said, if you have a desirable property in a nice area, it will likely still sell, and a buyer out there ready, willing, and able to qualify for a loan is likely looking for just what you have to offer.

That’s our $.02…


Welcome to our new site!

Welcome to the new look of theFrontSteps. Although I was hoping to change the site up completely, I learned a lot from my attempt on .ORG to steer me into keeping things very much the same, but changing servers to allow more flexibility on future features, posts, and anything else.

The first thing I have to say is a HUGE shout out and thank you to Reggie Nicolay at My Tech Opinion. Without his help, it’d be another couple weeks before we were able to go “live”. Do me a favor and click through to his site and check out all that they do.

A major change you’ll notice…advertisements. Click some ads and help me put shoes on my kids’ feet, and food on the table…can’t say that. (After all I am a Realtor and if you haven’t noticed the market is in the toilet, so they’re telling me, but I still haven’t seen it.)

The site is still technically under construction and there are a lot of little things that still need to be done. So don’t be surprised if you run into a bug from time to time, and please don’t hesitate to let me know (

That’s it. I hope you like it. I hope you come back. And I hope you tell all of your friends and family. Now if you’ll excuse me, after all of this, I need a cocktail!

As a realtor in these times, I get a s#*tload of spam, BUT …

Most of it is hot garbage. However, this one struck me as something that might actually come to pass”

“Dear Kenneth,I am sure that you have read about the $700,000,000,000 government bailout of the financial markets and you are probably wondering what this means to you as a real estate professional.

Well, I have good news and bad news for you.

This bailout is bad for the taxpayers but good news for REO agents and here’s why. After the financial meltdown of the 1980’s the RTC took over 748 Savings and Loans and liquidated their foreclosed properties for pennies on the dollar. The taxpayers were left holding the bag for hundreds of millions of dollars. This time things are going to be different.

The new governement rescue plan, Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, will purchase defaulted loans from financial firms, freeing up cash so that they can continue making new mortgages. The big difference is that the government will leave the banks and lenders responsible for managing and selling their own foreclosed properties.

This is the big opportunity for you and I. You see, there is a huge back log of defaulted mortgages right now because most lenders do not have the cash to foreclose. They have been waiting for months for the government to come to their aid and bail them out. I’m sure that you’ve seen many of these vacant homes in your area. They’re easy to spot, newspapers in the driveway and weeds as tall as a NBA player.

As soon as these lenders get their hands on their share of the 700 billion dollars they will begin foreclosing on these bads loans as fast as they can. And they will need trained REO agents to manage and sell them.

If you’d like to learn how to become the agent of choice for these lenders and get REO listings click here: .

If you are already a REO agent and you’d like to get more listings click here:

Right now REO’s make up 42% of all real estate sales in the US. The number of REO listings is likely to continue to increase into 2012 before leveling off. If you’re not an REO agent you’re missing out in nearly half of the business opportunities in real estate today.

I have been an REO broker for over 8 years and have sold over 1,000 REO properties. Last year I closed 214 transactions. I can teach you how to get REO listings even if you got your real estate license yesterday. And it won’t cost you an arm and a leg. In fact, right now you can get started for less than the price of a tank of gas.

Click here and get training from a real live REO broker. This is not an ebook, and I’m not from some “guru” who just jumped on the REO bandwagon last night.

To your success!

Frank Patrick

REO Broker

PS. Many companies will only list their REO’s with one agent per office. Join me today and get started before the other agents in your office find out..

PPS. Join today and get access to 117 of my REO clients for FREE.”

I’m really not cool with this type of marketing, and I’m not going to sign up or anything. I also don’t think this is particularly applicable to SF. But will this go down? I think it’s likely.

This property caught many of us off-guard

2448 Folsom 2448 Folsom went on the market on August 1st. It got an offer within 11 days, went pending a week later, and sold on 9/22 for $1.509M. That was 34K above its asking price of $1.475M.

This is Folsom street between 20th and 21st. Those of us familiar with the area were very surprised by this to say the least. The reasons for that are many, not the least of which is the fact that this is the very center of the Mission. With all that has happened, wouldn’t you think such a result unlikely?

MLS LINK here.

Just a reminder, theFrontSteps is under construction

Although it may look exactly the same to you, behind the scenes theFrontSteps is going through a massive redevelopment project and it’s going to take some time. Thanks for your patience, browse and converse on the current posts at will, and don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns regarding San Francisco real estate.

(Don’t be surprised if a little tech gremlin makes things blow up, or the power goes out from time to time during this project either.)

The “have we hit bottom?” thing.

Saw some interesting numbers today. The Data Quick numbers came out for August. They basically indicated that the Bay Area is going to cease to exist. Apparently, we are all going to get sucked down a rather large submerged drain. A gigantic rubber stopper is located in the silt about 600 yards to the northeast, off the coast of Treasure Island. A strategic command unit of trained bear underwater demolition aquanauts is standing by, ready to pull the plug at a moment’s notice.

Just kidding. But take a look, and check out Contra Costa County in particular. We’ve all been wondering about the bottom. Well, CoCo saw a big spike in sales YoY, but got really slammed in median. That looks like it really could be bottom.

Guess what? Here in SF we saw the same thing in D10. This year over last, more people bought in 10 and for cheaper.

In fact, in areas 10 and worst of 3 there were four more sales this year than last, at 10% cheaper.

Areas 10 alone had four more sales this year, 42 over 38, and cost 423 a foot as opposed to 515 last year. Average sales were 559K this year, 718 last. (Apologies to those who would prefer median over average, and no I didn’t look up the tax or permit records to see who did or did not grab square footage in various basements and garages and attics.)

Anyway, it isn’t as dramatic as CoCo, not by a longshot. But when was it ever? There were more D 10 sales this August than last? For 18% cheaper?

–Kenneth Kohlmyer a k a der fluj

A Front Steps request — can we get some lender input?

What does this latest round of failure and acquisition do to the mortgage market? We keep hearing the same refrain. Basically (to paraphrase), “Interest rates will likely get lower short term. But conversely credit will be even more difficult to obtain.”

To put a fine point on it, what does this mean to the average buyers with 20% to put down on a house? Or, can you describe a typical scenario right now? Something that has come across your desks?

Any and all input would be greatly appreciated.