17 April 2009

Kind of old school circa 2007 real estate discussion where you see, nothing, really, changes.

A long time ago, if a long time is a couple years ago, all I would talk about is how we were buying a ranch. If there was a flat property over 3 acres with some kind of livable teepee or wigwam or single wide on it, anywhere in the county, I'd seen it and could tell you all the stats on the acreage and the neighbors and the drainage and maybe even we'd put an offer in on it or fallen out of escrow on it.

You remember.

Because you would see me and go, "Hey, Laura, how's it going?"

And I'd be all, "OMG, there's this property for sale out on Amesti and it's listed at 829k and it's 4 acres and has this totally livable modular except the drainage is sort of weird and it has this great shed and south facing exposure except the county has this zoning thing on record because of the cows and..."

And you sort of were backing away with a glazed over look in your eye because you did not sign up to have a junior real estate freakazoid as your friend/wife/relative/trainer/etc.

And then blah blah blah economy prices mortgage job freeway etc and let's cut to the chase. I don't have a ranch, don't know if I ever will and that sucks but I am dealing with it just fine. When I typed that I might have gritted my teeth together just a little bit but then I stopped. Got a very decent one to work at now and let's just leave it at that. It may curtail certain things in my life such as the horses and the job and the dogs and the border collie and the agility and the open space and the tractor, but things could be worse. And now I have a sliding glass door out here on the Westside that all the neighbors with their 2 story houses can see me in right now.

That you neighbor? Avert yer damn eyes. Or I'll send out the dogs.

But I still keep an eye peeled. Can't help it and you never know.

So the real estate ads and their copywriting, another story for another day. They still come into my email all the time. That eye peeling thing. I sort of have to share this one. I couldn't have written it better myself:

4 bedroom 3 bath home located on aprox. one acre. Currently red tagged and deemed unsafe to occupy by the County of Santa Cruz due to a major landslide behind the home. Needs new roof, floors, carpet and appliances. Has one insurance claim due to water damage.

I swear on god and dog and the easter bunny that is copied and pasted from the email and I did not make up one single word. Not a syllable or vowel or nothing.

You are wondering, how much? In this day and age of foreclosures and rock bottom prices and short sale and bank owned, how much for this monstrosity that is up in the deep dark mountains, where wet mossy strand clumps wave down from the redwoods, where all the cabins are painted brick red and sometimes have no glass in a window and the huskies kept chained to the trees? Where shuffling Charles Manson haired sex offenders wander the road, walking pitbull crosses on frayed ropes and poisoning cats from the privacy of the dingy travel trailers parked outside your bathroom window?

This one for sale for the rock bottom, low low price of $650,000.

This is Santa Cruz, my friends. You love it or you leave it alone.


Cedarfield said...

"This is Santa Cruz, my friends. You love it or you leave it alone."

I'm still trying to figure out what keeps you there.

For that kind of money, in my part of the country (which has three large Universities, a thriving high-tech industry, lots of great cultural stuff and tons of agility)you could get a gorgeous 10-15 acres with a pond, a beautiful, modern house and still have enough left over for horses and dogs.

Oh, and no mudslides or earthquakes.

Elf said...

What an oddity! I wonder if it's the insurance company trying to sell the property? I wonder if the owner didn't have insurance? Who on earth would buy a property that they could never live in?

BTW, I like california because the climate is wonderful--no rain all summer, which is perfect for agility, and moderate the rest of the year, plus winter sports w/in 4 hours during the winter, plus beaches of all kinds if you like beaches; high tech coming out of our ears; huge cultural range (maybe it's changing in other places--how's your Thai, Afghani, Indian, African any type, restraurant population?); The Hub Of North American Agility (heh. Maybe. Not everywhere where you figure that almost any class you take has national champions, perennial finalists, and/or world team members/coaches, sometimes several each.); of course for me family & friends are important & after 40 years... well...

Earthquakes aren't really much of an issue. Let's see, we had a pretty bad one here in 1906. And, oh yeah, another one in 1987. Compare and contrast:
"North Carolina has a long and notorious history of destruction by hurricanes." From North Carolina's own site. ;-) Plus Otterpop lives here! What more could you want!

But you're right, real estate prices have been insane. Less so for the moment, now that everything's plummeted 25% in the last year or two.

Elf said...

Oops, typo--1989.

Cedarfield said...

Hurricanes, schmurricanes! We live 3.5 hours from the coast so hurricanes just cause a little flooding if that. And we live 3 hours from the Great Smokies, the Appalachian Trail and skiing. And here we have free space everywhere, it's not all built up or already owned.
Our barrier islands are mostly National Seashore, our beaches are clean and surf-able with hundreds of miles of coastal kayaking like nowhere else.
And where else can you get a soul food restaurant next to a Starbucks?

Boomer said...

I live in Santa Cruz, and I feel your pain. On the other hand, we _almost_ bought a second house as an investment property seven years ago and, if we had to sell it today we might get exactly what we almost paid for it _if we were really lucky._

California RE has been a mug's game for the past ten years except for the speculators and scammers -- and they were always looking for mugs.

So you've been well out of it, and so have we. But keep your dream, and some money in the bank, because you just never know. But in a year or two, you might.

Anonymous said...


Here you go TSD... the ultimate horse ranch and you can do ASCA trials six times a year not even a quarter of a mile away!

team small dog said...

We know so many people who have moved away over the years. We constantly talk about where else we could go (remember Marfa?) but it always comes back to we don't wanna. Too many ties here of friends and relatives and business. Can't imagine just up and starting over somewhere else. Without a beach.