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(LA Times)   Real estate experts say low priced homes in California are becoming very scarce, as long as you consider a two bedroom fixer-upper in Pacoima for $314,000 as low priced   (latimes.com) divider line 73
    More: Followup, Stan Humphries, Zillow, real estates, RealtyTrac, escrow, Moreno Valley  
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1006 clicks; posted to Business » on 13 Oct 2012 at 10:09 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-10-13 10:12:58 AM
I think the writer meant to say "homes where people like us (middle class white people) would want to live."
 
2012-10-13 10:29:44 AM
So increased demand has pushed prices up? Weird. I wonder if economists have a theory about this sort of thing.
 
2012-10-13 10:34:51 AM
I like the story of Bootstrap Rogers. Work hard, live that dream, lose out to a consortium of rich people, complain about poors.
 
2012-10-13 10:48:44 AM

Chevello: So increased demand has pushed prices up? Weird. I wonder if economists have a theory about this sort of thing.


Any free market/ Ron Paul enthusiasts care to step in? I need an excuse for popcorn.
 
2012-10-13 11:12:20 AM
Buy now or be priced out FOREVER!
 
2012-10-13 11:19:58 AM
In the Greenwich, CT metro north train station, I saw an ad for a $2.4M starter home. Uh, yeah... most of us are just barely able to make do with only 4 bathrooms, 5k sq feet and a pool.
 
2012-10-13 11:20:31 AM
As someone who's been looking for almost a year, I can tell you first hand that there is almost nothing affordable for a normal working class family in the San Francisco Bay Area. First of all, pretty much everything is selling at 10-20% ABOVE asking price. Every house has multiple offers, and you are always competing with all-cash investors, whom sellers prefer.

Three bedroom, less-than-1200 sq.ft shacks are selling for $500k+ in the BAD areas. You can't find one for under $1MM in the good areas. Sure, a "San Jose bad" area is not as bad as a Detroit bad area, but unless you're extremely rich, you're either renting or living in the ghetto, or both.

Not only that, but you're competing with large Indian extended families and multi-family groups pooling their money to buy a 1200 sq.ft. 3 bedroom house, who plan to shove 8-10 people in them. There's no way a regular single-earner family can buy a house nowadays. Period.
 
2012-10-13 11:31:28 AM
How do ultra free market enthusiasts reconcile California being a terrible place to live with the ultra high prices of California real estate?
 
2012-10-13 11:33:37 AM
But everyone hates California and people are leaving in droves, how can this be??

/unless those Fark independents were lying!
 
2012-10-13 11:35:16 AM
Arizona seems like a terrifically tea bagger place to live, and yet, real estate prices are very low. What conclusion can we draw from the free market rejecting Arizona?
 
2012-10-13 11:45:33 AM
Step 1: Buy house in California
Step 2: Wait for earthquake
Step 3: Profit?
 
2012-10-13 11:47:15 AM

stiletto_the_wise: As someone who's been looking for almost a year, I can tell you first hand that there is almost nothing affordable for a normal working class family in the San Francisco Bay Area. First of all, pretty much everything is selling at 10-20% ABOVE asking price. Every house has multiple offers, and you are always competing with all-cash investors, whom sellers prefer.

Three bedroom, less-than-1200 sq.ft shacks are selling for $500k+ in the BAD areas. You can't find one for under $1MM in the good areas. Sure, a "San Jose bad" area is not as bad as a Detroit bad area, but unless you're extremely rich, you're either renting or living in the ghetto, or both.

Not only that, but you're competing with large Indian extended families and multi-family groups pooling their money to buy a 1200 sq.ft. 3 bedroom house, who plan to shove 8-10 people in them. There's no way a regular single-earner family can buy a house nowadays. Period.


Move to Virginia, on the far outskirts of the DC metro area. We bought a 1955 1100 sq. ft. three bedroom about an hour and a half from the beltway for $165k. Of course, it was a short sale, and we knew the seller, so she knocked about $20k off the price. Point being, as long as you're willing to buy an older home and forgo McMansions, of which there are plenty right across the street from us, you can get a decent house at a decent price here.
 
2012-10-13 11:50:57 AM
I'm getting a kick because a 2/3 bedroom single family or Condo in Columbus goes for around 150k and a mortgage and taxes are less than rent if you have any sort of down payment.

I think I'll be buying one next year once I have 5% to put down
 
2012-10-13 11:52:50 AM
Here's an idea. Don't live in some of the most expensive cities on the earth without a job that can support it. All these people saying they can't find homes in SF or NYC. Go somewhere else, seriously.

Can you become gainfully employed in Detroit? If so, there are some extremely nice areas, it's not all Somalia-type neighbourhoods. And a nice house there that would be about $500,000 in any other city is about $100,000, if that. It's insane.

Or take the commute and live far away. A 2 hour round-trip commute to me is worth saving $150,000 off the price of a home.
 
2012-10-13 12:10:21 PM

Sid_6.7: stiletto_the_wise: As someone who's been looking for almost a year, I can tell you first hand that there is almost nothing affordable for a normal working class family in the San Francisco Bay Area. First of all, pretty much everything is selling at 10-20% ABOVE asking price. Every house has multiple offers, and you are always competing with all-cash investors, whom sellers prefer.

Three bedroom, less-than-1200 sq.ft shacks are selling for $500k+ in the BAD areas. You can't find one for under $1MM in the good areas. Sure, a "San Jose bad" area is not as bad as a Detroit bad area, but unless you're extremely rich, you're either renting or living in the ghetto, or both.

Not only that, but you're competing with large Indian extended families and multi-family groups pooling their money to buy a 1200 sq.ft. 3 bedroom house, who plan to shove 8-10 people in them. There's no way a regular single-earner family can buy a house nowadays. Period.

Move to Virginia, on the far outskirts of the DC metro area. We bought a 1955 1100 sq. ft. three bedroom about an hour and a half from the beltway for $165k. Of course, it was a short sale, and we knew the seller, so she knocked about $20k off the price. Point being, as long as you're willing to buy an older home and forgo McMansions, of which there are plenty right across the street from us, you can get a decent house at a decent price here.


If you can, you should avoid houses built before 1978. Or at the very least, have it tested for lead paint.

It's the next "tobacco" style lawsuit pot of gold. 

As a contractor who had to go through the EPA's "RRP" certification process, I avoid working on old houses unless I can convince the homeowner to test for lead paint.

I see bad things on the horizon for both contractors and homeowners over this issue.
 
2012-10-13 12:13:18 PM
Holy crap...my house has gone up $40k on Zillow since I last looked a few months ago! At this rate it'll double in two years and I can flip it.

Mena, Arkansas, here I come! ;^)
 
2012-10-13 12:15:34 PM
I have to agree with the author. I bought my current house in OC 8 months ago for $465,000.00. I recently sold it for $544,000.00.
 
2012-10-13 12:58:20 PM
I just moved to California so I'm getting a kick.

/renting
//still own my house in MN
///which has a monthly mortgage on it that is 1/3rd of my rent in CA
 
2012-10-13 12:59:24 PM
Yeah, the most populous state in the nation just keeps getting bigger, supply and demand is just jacking up prices. No, California must really suck.

/greatest state in the union biatches.
//CA knows how to party.
 
2012-10-13 01:11:31 PM
I'm thinking about learning how to build houses (foundation, plumbing, roof, etc) not to get a job or start a business. But because I think I could build a house for myself. Cost of materials is not so bad and I would have zero labor costs, probably some insane licensing costs, but those can be avoided if you're far enough in the woods and don't generate attention.

Just think I could build four walls and a roof quicker than it would take me to pay for someone else to build it. Really I'd say a good 6-12 months of work to build it myself vs 20-30 years to pay off the mortgage.
 
2012-10-13 01:20:32 PM

whither_apophis: But everyone hates California and people are leaving in droves, how can this be??

/unless those Fark independents were lying!


I left after living there 20 years, resulting in another $2200/month going into my savings.

The main problem is, people are willing to bid themselves into lifetime debt slavery to buy those houses with borrowed money. Very few can actually afford the houses.

This will end pretty much like it did last time, with people all saying "nobody could have predicted this!"
 
2012-10-13 01:48:24 PM

AcneVulgaris: This will end pretty much like it did last time, with people all saying "nobody could have predicted this!"


On the contrary, the pattern has been quite predictable for decades...a decade-long run-up in prices, followed by a crash and several years of depressed housing prices.

I've been through two of them since first coming here in '88. Bought a house in Sac-town and sold it at a slight loss 3 years later, then watched property do a 14-year run-up in prices before crashing again. Bought my second Cali house in '01 and simply rode this crash out, but plan to sell in a few more years to move to somewhere the mortgage doesn't take most of my retirement check. Making some money would be nice. I'm above water now and hope to stay that way. Horse and vineyard property has done better than McMansions, but isn't immune to market forces.
 
2012-10-13 01:53:31 PM

moefuggenbrew: I'm thinking about learning how to build houses (foundation, plumbing, roof, etc) not to get a job or start a business. But because I think I could build a house for myself. Cost of materials is not so bad and I would have zero labor costs, probably some insane licensing costs, but those can be avoided if you're far enough in the woods and don't generate attention.

Just think I could build four walls and a roof quicker than it would take me to pay for someone else to build it. Really I'd say a good 6-12 months of work to build it myself vs 20-30 years to pay off the mortgage.


Don't kid yourself. The materials add up quickly. Although DIY is perfectly legal, if you don't know anything about the craft you are attempting, you can make serious, expensive mistakes, and progress will be painfully slow in any case. Meanwhile, you are paying both rent and a payment for your building lot. While I have journey-level skills in a couple of trades, and the rudiments of 1 or 2 others, I probably wouldn't attempt to build a house 100% on my own, just because of the physical toll that would take on my increasingly used-up body, for one thing. There's also the understanding that some things can be done by others far more efficiently and with more attractive end results, so that it would probably be worth what I had to pay them.
 
2012-10-13 02:24:57 PM

gingerjet: I just moved to California so I'm getting a kick.

/renting
//still own my house in MN
///which has a monthly mortgage on it that is 1/3rd of my rent in CA


So you are looking California and feeling Minnesota?
 
2012-10-13 02:29:19 PM

forgotmydamnusername: Don't kid yourself. The materials add up quickly. Although DIY is perfectly legal, if you don't know anything about the craft you are attempting, you can make serious, expensive mistakes, and progress will be painfully slow in any case. Meanwhile, you are paying both rent and a payment for your building lot. While I have journey-level skills in a couple of trades, and the rudiments of 1 or 2 others, I probably wouldn't attempt to build a house 100% on my own, just because of the physical toll that would take on my increasingly used-up body, for one thing. There's also the understanding that some things can be done by others far more efficiently and with more attractive end results, so that it would probably be worth what I had to pay them.


No kidding...that would be one busted house, if it even gets to the point of qualifying as a "house."

When it comes to anything that has professionals, never underestimate the value of reps and experience. Even with stuff that looks like basic manual labor any idiot can do, muscle memory goes a long way. A day laborer with a 75 IQ who's framed houses for 6 months will do a better job than you taking your first crack at it.
 
2012-10-13 02:57:14 PM

AcneVulgaris: Buy now or be priced out FOREVER!


And INTEREST RATES WILL NEVER BE LOWER!
 
2012-10-13 03:05:35 PM

Sid_6.7: Move to Virginia, on the far outskirts of the DC metro area. We bought a 1955 1100 sq. ft. three bedroom about an hour and a half from the beltway for $165k.


Yeah, but you're an hour and a half from the beltway (and once you reach the beltway, you're lucky to get downtown in less than an hour). I can't stand living in the boonies. I left a job out there because it would have meant either commuting or moving to Loudoun Co. No thanks.

A lot of us in parts of CA, like the bay area, are techies, and this is where the jobs are. (though there's no reason they need to be, it's not like this is where the silicon is extracted for local manufacturing). It's just part of life that you either have a horrible commute, or ridiculous rent, or both.
Currently, I trade one for the other; my rent is insane, but it takes me 10 minutes to get to work.
 
2012-10-13 03:25:20 PM

stiletto_the_wise: As someone who's been looking for almost a year, I can tell you first hand that there is almost nothing affordable for a normal working class family in the San Francisco Bay Area. First of all, pretty much everything is selling at 10-20% ABOVE asking price. Every house has multiple offers, and you are always competing with all-cash investors, whom sellers prefer.

Three bedroom, less-than-1200 sq.ft shacks are selling for $500k+ in the BAD areas. You can't find one for under $1MM in the good areas. Sure, a "San Jose bad" area is not as bad as a Detroit bad area, but unless you're extremely rich, you're either renting or living in the ghetto, or both.

Not only that, but you're competing with large Indian extended families and multi-family groups pooling their money to buy a 1200 sq.ft. 3 bedroom house, who plan to shove 8-10 people in them. There's no way a regular single-earner family can buy a house nowadays. Period.


What about in EPA?
 
2012-10-13 04:16:33 PM

AcneVulgaris: Buy now or be priced out FOREVER the next decade!


I know it was snark, but it was a rather crappy place to be a renter during the bubble. I can see how some people finally caved after watching prices (and their rent) climb nonstop, especially if they had some other pressures on them such as a growing family. A strong job market at the time also provided an added sense of financial security to those who may have been on the fence. Easy financing and assurances from friends and family that it was the best decision they ever made sealed the deal. It was a perfect storm really.

/still a renter...
 
2012-10-13 04:50:13 PM

gingerjet: I just moved to California so I'm getting a kick.

/renting
//still own my house in MN
///which has a monthly mortgage on it that is 1/3rd of my rent in CA


But you make 3x as much in CA, right? Isn't that what they say?
 
2012-10-13 05:00:14 PM
Banks are purposely letting houses sit empty to artificially constrain inventory and keep prices high.
 
2012-10-13 05:02:19 PM

stiletto_the_wise: As someone who's been looking for almost a year, I can tell you first hand that there is almost nothing affordable for a normal working class family in the San Francisco Bay Area. First of all, pretty much everything is selling at 10-20% ABOVE asking price. Every house has multiple offers, and you are always competing with all-cash investors, whom sellers prefer.

Three bedroom, less-than-1200 sq.ft shacks are selling for $500k+ in the BAD areas. You can't find one for under $1MM in the good areas. Sure, a "San Jose bad" area is not as bad as a Detroit bad area, but unless you're extremely rich, you're either renting or living in the ghetto, or both.

Not only that, but you're competing with large Indian extended families and multi-family groups pooling their money to buy a 1200 sq.ft. 3 bedroom house, who plan to shove 8-10 people in them. There's no way a regular single-earner family can buy a house nowadays. Period.


This has been the case since the first dotcom boom. Silicon Valley is just shiatty expensive. Even the last crash didn't do much to help. Some of the $1M homes dropped to $700K is all.
 
2012-10-13 05:03:13 PM

sure haven't: Or take the commute and live far away. A 2 hour round-trip commute to me is worth saving $150,000 off the price of a home.


Losing 20 days a year of your life driving is worth $150k to you?
 
2012-10-13 05:19:53 PM

nmemkha: Banks are purposely letting houses sit empty to artificially constrain inventory and keep prices high.


HUD is also keeping houses off the market at the behest of the realtors. Prices stay up when supply is low.
 
2012-10-13 05:42:01 PM

Chevello: gingerjet: I just moved to California so I'm getting a kick.

/renting
//still own my house in MN
///which has a monthly mortgage on it that is 1/3rd of my rent in CA

But you make 3x as much in CA, right? Isn't that what they say?


For some people, especially educated with experience that would interest high tech and hollywood that could be true true, but I don't think the fry cooks are making $21.75 (3x federal minimum wage) I'm not a Californian so feel free to correct.
 
2012-10-13 05:59:31 PM
I am in escrow on house in Portland. A typical home in the 2200 - 2400 sq. foot place costs about $320k-$350k right now. Prices have gon up considerably in the last year primarily due to low interest rates and pent up demand.
 
2012-10-13 06:01:16 PM

BarkingUnicorn: AcneVulgaris: Buy now or be priced out FOREVER!

And INTEREST RATES WILL NEVER BE LOWER!


i'd be willing to say so. Here are two interest rates to pick from (depending if you want to buy/sell points) my bank is offering for a 30-year fixed home loan:

Interest Rate: 3.25%, Points: -0.375, APR: 3.297%

-or-

Interest Rate: 3.00%, Points: +2.875, APR: 3.308%

Please, Mr. Scrooge McDuck, tell us when mortgage rates will be lower. 

4.bp.blogspot.com


:)
 
2012-10-13 06:03:54 PM

bojon: nmemkha: Banks are purposely letting houses sit empty to artificially constrain inventory and keep prices high.

HUD is also keeping houses off the market at the behest of the realtors. Prices stay up when supply is low.


Not Realtors. Realtors are hurting right now in CA because they have a lot of buyers but nothing to show them. Its the lenders not want to lose money on their backlog of foreclosured properties that keep inventories low. The problem is the properties was bought in a bubble and was never worth the inflated price, so they would rather let them rot than take loss.
 
2012-10-13 06:04:19 PM

ceejayoz: sure haven't: Or take the commute and live far away. A 2 hour round-trip commute to me is worth saving $150,000 off the price of a home.

Losing 20 days a year of your life driving is worth $150k to you?


That's what I don't get either..... the ol' "I own a great house that I never get to be in" mentality thanks to an idiotic commute....
 
2012-10-13 06:07:38 PM

nmemkha: bojon: nmemkha: Banks are purposely letting houses sit empty to artificially constrain inventory and keep prices high.

HUD is also keeping houses off the market at the behest of the realtors. Prices stay up when supply is low.

Not Realtors. Realtors are hurting right now in CA because they have a lot of buyers but nothing to show them. Its the lenders not want to lose money on their backlog of foreclosured properties that keep inventories low. The problem is the properties was bought in a bubble and was never worth the inflated price, so they would rather let them rot than take loss.


Yep. Plenty o' buyers, not a lot of sellers. My house sold in 48 hours after listing it. At $24,000.00 above my asking price.
 
2012-10-13 07:03:20 PM
I inspect HUD homes. Unless it is inspected for the first time, it does not get listed. Go to the county assessors site and plug in National Federal Mortgage to get a list of properties. A lot of them are not listed.
 
2012-10-13 07:04:05 PM

Basily Gourt: Sid_6.7: stiletto_the_wise: As someone who's been looking for almost a year, I can tell you first hand that there is almost nothing affordable for a normal working class family in the San Francisco Bay Area. First of all, pretty much everything is selling at 10-20% ABOVE asking price. Every house has multiple offers, and you are always competing with all-cash investors, whom sellers prefer.

Three bedroom, less-than-1200 sq.ft shacks are selling for $500k+ in the BAD areas. You can't find one for under $1MM in the good areas. Sure, a "San Jose bad" area is not as bad as a Detroit bad area, but unless you're extremely rich, you're either renting or living in the ghetto, or both.

Not only that, but you're competing with large Indian extended families and multi-family groups pooling their money to buy a 1200 sq.ft. 3 bedroom house, who plan to shove 8-10 people in them. There's no way a regular single-earner family can buy a house nowadays. Period.

Move to Virginia, on the far outskirts of the DC metro area. We bought a 1955 1100 sq. ft. three bedroom about an hour and a half from the beltway for $165k. Of course, it was a short sale, and we knew the seller, so she knocked about $20k off the price. Point being, as long as you're willing to buy an older home and forgo McMansions, of which there are plenty right across the street from us, you can get a decent house at a decent price here.

If you can, you should avoid houses built before 1978. Or at the very least, have it tested for lead paint.

It's the next "tobacco" style lawsuit pot of gold. 

As a contractor who had to go through the EPA's "RRP" certification process, I avoid working on old houses unless I can convince the homeowner to test for lead paint.

I see bad things on the horizon for both contractors and homeowners over this issue.


Whereas I would not live in a house built after 1978 because they are made out of shiat and look the part.
 
2012-10-13 07:44:49 PM

sure haven't: Here's an idea. Don't live in some of the most expensive cities on the earth without a job that can support it. All these people saying they can't find homes in SF or NYC. Go somewhere else, seriously.

Can you become gainfully employed in Detroit? If so, there are some extremely nice areas, it's not all Somalia-type neighbourhoods. And a nice house there that would be about $500,000 in any other city is about $100,000, if that. It's insane.

Or take the commute and live far away. A 2 hour round-trip commute to me is worth saving $150,000 off the price of a home.


there are plenty of affordable neighborhoods in NYC that are good places to live in, just unknown to the average buyer. even people that have been in NYC for several years don't know.

/i'm not telling either
 
2012-10-13 08:04:25 PM

dumbobruni:
there are plenty of affordable neighborhoods in NYC that are good places to live in, just unknown to the average buyer. even people that have been in NYC for several years don't know.

/i'm not telling either


Perhaps the first half of your username would give us a clue?
 
2012-10-13 08:04:31 PM

ceejayoz: sure haven't: Or take the commute and live far away. A 2 hour round-trip commute to me is worth saving $150,000 off the price of a home.

Losing 20 days a year of your life driving is worth $150k to you?


Very few people live where they work. If you live a half hour away...which is reasonable for a mid-sized city...you're losing 10 days a year.
So he's really only losing 10 additional days a year by commuting.

And is that time really lost? I find it relaxing to listen to the news for an hour while driving.
 
2012-10-13 08:14:38 PM

Krieghund: ceejayoz: sure haven't: Or take the commute and live far away. A 2 hour round-trip commute to me is worth saving $150,000 off the price of a home.

Losing 20 days a year of your life driving is worth $150k to you?

Very few people live where they work. If you live a half hour away...which is reasonable for a mid-sized city...you're losing 10 days a year.
So he's really only losing 10 additional days a year by commuting.

And is that time really lost? I find it relaxing to listen to the news for an hour while driving.


So do I. I've got a 90-min round trip right now. Play some tunes, listen to some Howard stuff you missed, news shows, etc. Its a drag at times, but it lets you unwind, so that when you get home you're already decompressed from the day.
 
2012-10-13 08:59:15 PM
So much for the housing bubble hypothesis.
 
2012-10-13 09:11:27 PM
Ozone, AR
160 acres 2100 square foot cabin
2 barns, wood shed.
$237k
That is what I paid for my spread.
 
2012-10-13 09:57:11 PM

Harry_Seldon: I am in escrow on house in Portland. A typical home in the 2200 - 2400 sq. foot place costs about $320k-$350k right now. Prices have gon up considerably in the last year primarily due to low interest rates and pent up demand.


In which neighborhood or maybe you mean Portland, ME? Houses that size in a good neighborhood in Portland will run closer to $450-500k.
 
2012-10-13 11:00:49 PM

dumbobruni: sure haven't: Here's an idea. Don't live in some of the most expensive cities on the earth without a job that can support it. All these people saying they can't find homes in SF or NYC. Go somewhere else, seriously.

Can you become gainfully employed in Detroit? If so, there are some extremely nice areas, it's not all Somalia-type neighbourhoods. And a nice house there that would be about $500,000 in any other city is about $100,000, if that. It's insane.

Or take the commute and live far away. A 2 hour round-trip commute to me is worth saving $150,000 off the price of a home.

there are plenty of affordable neighborhoods in NYC that are good places to live in, just unknown to the average buyer. even people that have been in NYC for several years don't know.

/i'm not telling either


The better parts of The Bronx are quite underrated.
 
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