funny real estate

Housing demand in Orange County is so low that it cannot be measured

This is a continuation of yesterday’s piece on the status of the market.  The active listing inventory is muted this year because many homeowners are still underwater.  They may have good credit and a stable job, but they do not have the cash necessary to close because they are currently too far underwater.  Also, many homeowners are now sitting on the fence while they recoup their equity.  Everybody is familiar with the term “buy low, sell high.”  It appears as if the bottom of the market was reached last February and now buyers are flooding the market attempting to “buy low.”  Homeowners know it is a low, so they want to wait.  They don’t want to “sell low.”

 DemandThe lack of inventory is cutting into demand.

As discussed above, true demand is much higher than demand based upon the number of new pending sales over the prior month.  In the past two weeks, demand dropped by 470 pending sales, a 16% drop, and now totals 2,543.  Based upon the word on the street, buyers are scrambling around at anything and everything that is placed on the market right now, but there just is not enough coming on the market.  And, that will remain the case throughout the holiday market, which does not end until the second half of January, right after everybody gives up on their New Year’s resolutions.  Buyers are in a rush to buy, but homeowners are not in a rush to sell.  Instead, they are going to enjoy the holidays with the knowledge that as their homes are slowly appreciating.  Last year at this time there were 46 additional pending sales, a 2% difference.  But, there were 8,905 active listings for buyers to choose from. 

The Distressed Market: The distressed inventory dropped by only 16 homes, but that is still a 4% drop.

For buyers looking for a “deal” and looking closely at the distressed inventory, the pickings are slim.  There are only 434 total short sales and foreclosures on the market today.  Distressed homes make up only 12% of the active inventory and 34% of demand.  Last year at this time there were 3,357 distressed homes on the market, 38% of the active listing inventory and 57% of demand, much different than today.  In the past two weeks, the foreclosure inventory decreased by 12 homes, totaling 110, and has an expected market time of 18 days. The short sale inventory decreased by only 4 homes in the past two weeks and now totals 324.  The expected market time is only 14 days and continues to be one of the hottest segments of the housing market.  Both 110 active foreclosures and 324 active short sales are new lows for the year and levels not seen since the beginning of all of the distressed activity back in 2007.

The lighter side of real estate

Buying or selling a home can get a little stressful. Sometimes, we need to lighten the mood a bit. So here are a few of my favorite real estate cartoons and jokes!

Ever been a landlord? Here are a few excerpts of real letters from tenants to their landlords:

  • The toilet is blocked and we cannot bathe the children until it is cleared.
  • This is to let you know that there is a smell coming from the man next door.
  • The toilet seat is cracked: where do I stand?
  • I am writing on behalf of my sink, which is running away from the wall.
  • I request your permission to remove my drawers in the kitchen.
  • Our lavatory seat is broken in half and is now in three pieces.
  • Will you please send someone to mend our cracked sidewalk? Yesterday my wife tripped on it and is now pregnant.
  • Will you please send a man to look at my water? It is a funny color and not fit to drink.
  • Could you please send someone to fix our bath tap? My wife got her toe stuck in it and it is very uncomfortable for us.

Pet Travel – A growing trend!

Fred looking out drivers window small version croppedThoughts from Fred:  Now that you got me out of that apartment and bought be a home with a back yard, don’t leave me there when you go on your summer vacation.  Just about everyone else is taking their dogs with them nowadays.  Read on:, one of the international pet travel and transportation industry’s leading service providers announced the results of its first annual Summer Pet Travel Survey of more than 6,000 pet owners worldwide, showing that most pet owners travel at least once a year with their pets.

Pet-Friendly Travel Going to the Dogs
The majority of pet owners surveyed (61%) said they travel more than 50 miles with their pets at least once a year, with 38% of those pet owners stating that they travel as often as once a month with their pets. Pet-friendly travel still is almost exclusively for dogs, with over half of the pet owners (61%) saying that they choose to travel with their dogs (33% of pet owners travel with their cats).

Airline Fee Frustration
Thirty-eight percent of pet owners say the most difficult part of pet travel is that airline pet travel fees are too expensive, followed by those who said there is not enough selection of pet-friendly airlines.

Summer Travel Plans Heating Up
Summer pet travel appears to be on many pet owners’ agendas. The survey, which was sent out during the month of April, found that 57% said they planned on traveling with their pet within the next 3 months, while 33% plan on traveling with their pet within the next year.

Crossing Borders
Seventy-one percent of pet owners said they had never traveled internationally with their pets, however the survey found the majority of pet owners (51%) are considering international pet travel within the next year. Forty-two percent of those pet owners said they are making plans to travel internationally with their pets within the next year.

Why men prefer dogs to wives

 Why men prefer dogs  1 


  Why men prefer dogs  1

Your house as seen by….



It is property tax time, so I thought you could use a little bit of humor to get you through it….






Your Buyer

...Your Buyer

Your Lender

...Your Lender







Your appraiser

...Your Appraiser

The tax assessor

...The Orange County Tax Assessor's Office!

Fred’s 2-Cents Worth for the New Year (AKA How not to be put on restriction in 2010)

 Fred New Years Headshot

1. I’ll remember that the garbage collector is NOT stealing our stuff.

2. I must shake the rainwater out of my fur BEFORE entering the house.

3. I will stop trying to find the few remaining pieces of clean carpet in the house when I am about to throw up.

4. I will not eat any more socks and then redeposit them in the backyard after processing.

5. I will not chew my human’s toothbrush and not tell them.

6. I will not chew crayons or pens, especially not the red ones, or my people will think I am hemorrhaging.

7. When in the car, I will not insist on having the window rolled down when it’s raining outside.

8. We do not have a doorbell. I will not bark each time I hear one on TV.

9. I will not steal my Mom’s underwear and dance all over the back yard with it.

10. I will not bite the officer’s hand when he reaches in for Dad’s driver’s license and car registration.

Why Agentz shuld proofrede

fred balencesReal Estate isn’t always a serious business, especially when you let some of the agents loose with a computer and no ability to re-check their work. We’ve all seen the little slip ups, the run on’s and the misspellings, but these errors are sure to leave a smile on your face. Or at least make you think twice about the house!

Below are a few great examples of why agents should always proof read their listings before submitting them to the masses (thanks to Gwen Banta for collecting them!)

  • Seller moved but furniture strayed (Now that is just visually hysterical)
  • Brick Drivaway (Mama Mia – Those bricks must have flown in from Italy with the oven.)
  • Seller in NY – Coming out soon (This was in West Hollywood…think about it.)
  • Plumbing needs motivation (Way too much information.)
  • Terrorist yard (Another head-scratcher.)
  • Pouter room (A place to go when the first payment is due)
  • Call Frist (Will the Senator filibuster for me?)
  • Beautiful terpentine tiles in shower (Huh?)
  • Rear entry blocked off (Eat prunes.)
  • Pieceful feeling (Especially when in the shiv room)
  • Seller can’t say no (There’s a 12 step program for that.)
  • Seller says Gas is a problem (His plumbing must “need motivation” also.)
  • Large slitting room (Is this Tony Soprano’s house?)
  • Libary with built in shivs (In all fairness, perhaps this is in a prison.)
  • Disclosure: Crack on back side (Relax, we all have one.)
  • Call lasting agent (There aren’t many of us left!)
  • Oven flew in from Italy (Paid for with frequent flyer miles)
  • Built in wino bar (My favorite kind!)

So…which home do you want to purchase? 🙂