The road is long

An era ended around these parts.  Dennis Richmond retired from KTVU 2 news.  He’s been doing the news for 80 percent of my life.  His voice is the soothing voice of reason when disaster has struck the Bay Area.  I’ve never met him in person, but he’s always been hanging around somehow.  Enjoy your retirement, sir.  We’ve enjoyed your career.

And echoed in the wells of silence.

Tonight, throughout the country, world.  Take a moment for the cyclists that have been hurt and/or killed by vehicles.

Can we call it a loan, And a debt that I owe

There’s been a lot of talk in the news and on the street about foreclosures. I am more intimately involved in this than most people, being in the title business. It helps that one of my closest friends is the Junkman. Yesterday, I held an open house for another friend of mine. This pig was going to auction. It wasn’t thrashed as badly as a lot of them are, but it’s best days were behind it. One of the neighbors came by and said that if Harry ever saw this place he’d just up and die. Harry was the former owner with the nice wife and four daughters who put the bric brac wallpaper throughout. It was probably very nice when he originally did it. He did the add on. The neighbor across the street helped him with a lot of the work. His brother had laid the carpet in for him, a long time ago. Harry sold the place in 2000 for $332, 000. He and his wife probably went and retired somewhere. Last year homes were selling in the $600k range in that neighborhood. The neighbors who came by to visit were really nice people. It was a real neighborhood. The one lady was the original owner, from 1956. This thing will be going to auction with a starting bid of $169k. Really.

How does that affect property values?

All of the neighbors told me they wanted this thing going for as much as possible (like that was something I could control). A house bought at auction is as “as is” as it comes. You get it, warts and all for the winning bid. Does that reflect the neighborhood? I opened the doors and windows because the place smelled. It smelled of a roach infestation. Later during the day, I found dead roaches on the counter tops. There were dead ants by the patio slider. Ants tend to mean water leaks or termites or both. Parts of this house were very nice, but while I talked to one of the potential bidders he was running the figures out loud. I said “you can probably get it up to snuff for around $50k”. He said he’d be lucky if he got it turned around for only $50k. Now the auctions have been well attended and the properties get bid right up. I would imagine this thing will go for around $220-$275 range, but it could get bid up even higher. Saying I’m full of crap and it really does take $75-$100k to make it nice again, you’re in for $375-$400k, which wouldn’t be bad for a decent neighborhood. (This property is not in Contra Costa County) It does not reflect the neighborhood and should not be used for a comparable sale because it’s not comparable to anything on the block. It’s unique to every other house in that neighborhood in that it is run down, neglected and in disrepair. Getting this pig into the right hands is good for the neighborhood. Getting a nice family to buy in at any cost will ultimately help the neighborhood and the property values.