Monday, December 19, 2011

Real estate recovery likely to be slow

Real Estate recovery likely to be slow, but if you look where it looks the best its right here in our wonderful Bay Area!!! Best micro area to buy real estate is right here!

Fair warning to U.S. reajavascript:void(0)l estate players: Resign yourselves to "a slowing grind-it-out recovery" in 2012, as "enduring economic doldrums" continue to weigh heavily on the market.

Your best bets: a small handful of "property-wealth islands," including San Francisco and San Jose/Silicon Valley, both seen as "primary 24-hour gateways located along global pathways," according to a report being released today at the Urban Land Institute conference in San Francisco.

San Francisco ranks third out of 51 cities as a place to invest in and develop commercial and multifamily apartment properties and fourth in for-sale home building, with San Jose two or three rungs lower in each category, according to the survey compiled by the institute and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Friday, December 02, 2011


Coalition group sues San Jose

Completely unfair for SF to be funding a group aimed at stopping the As moving to San Jose.
I for one as a San Jose citizen am outraged at the city of SF not wanting San Jose to be able to
have its own pro baseball club. They will lose and pretty soon we will have their football team as well....Santa Clara 9ers and San Jose As....kinda has a nice ring to it doesnt it?
As going to be doing some Silicon Valley Relocation soon!!

Coalition group sues San Jose
Associated Press
SAN FRANCISCO -- The coalition group "Stand for San Jose," which is opposed to the Oakland Athletics moving to the South Bay and is supported by the San Francisco Giants, filed a lawsuit Friday against the City of San Jose claiming the failure to perform a proper environmental review of land committed to the A's.

The 28-page suit, filed in Santa Clara County Superior Court and shared with The Associated Press, also claims the city violated citizens' rights by not putting to a public vote the contractual agreement it made with the A's to sell the discounted downtown property where owner Lew Wolff hopes to build a new ballpark. He is still waiting to hear from commissioner Bud Selig about whether the club can relocate into San Francisco's territory.

Last month, the San Jose City Council agreed to sell nearly five acres at a huge discount to the A's as long as it is used to build a ballpark.

There was a 30-day window from Nov. 8, when the sides reached agreement on a two-year land-purchase option that costs the A's $50,000, for potential lawsuits to be filed.

"In the midst of its 11th consecutive budget deficit, San Jose politicians rushed to sell prime downtown land for only $6.9 million, even though it was acquired for $25 million and is currently appraised at approximately $14 million," Stand for San Jose said in a statement to the AP. "This huge discount for wealthy developers who want to build a baseball stadium comes at a time of fiscal challenges so severe that the mayor recently admitted: 'We're not as bad as Greece, I don't think.'"

The lawsuit claims that though several environmental reports have been done, the studies on issues such as traffic and air quality are insufficient relating to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and additional studies are needed.

Wolff, a successful Los Angeles real estate developer, said Friday night that lawsuits are often part of the process.

"In California, people can try to use the CEQA Act to stop someone from competing, to stop something they don't want to happen," Wolff said by phone. "Normally there are numerous lawsuits filed. This is a very solid EIS (environmental impact study), so it's somebody who doesn't want us to compete in that area."

A phone message and e-mail to San Jose mayor Chuck Reed weren't immediately returned.

Also, Stand for San Jose challenges that a public vote should have happened before the City of San Jose decided to enter into a binding agreement with Wolff and the A's for land committed to be used for a ballpark or stadium.

It reads that the city and its agencies "abused their powers and ran roughshod over their legal duties, including their duties to protect the public's right to vote and to comply with laws designed to protect the environment, prior to committing to sell public lands for a Ballpark Project."

Selig in March 2009 appointed a committee to evaluate the issue facing the Bay Area teams, yet he has provided no timetable for when he might announce a decision. Wolff has said he hopes to hear a resolution one way or the other soon. Moving to San Jose, he has said, would help the low-budget A's generate revenue and become a bigger spender.

The Giants have a significant fan base in technology-rich Silicon Valley in Santa Clara County, and they don't want to give that up.

Wolff, a friend of Selig's dating to their days as fraternity brothers at Wisconsin, is ready to break ground on an intimate ballpark projected to cost between $400 million and $450 million -- if and when he gets the OK to relocate some 40 miles south of the team's current home in the rundown Oakland Coliseum. The A's share the stadium with the NFL's Oakland Raiders.

Wolff has working drawings of the potential San Jose venue and an architect has been chosen. Wolff has said obtaining building permits would take about nine months, then the actual ballpark would require another two years to complete.

Stand for San Jose, a group of concerned residents financially backed by the Giants' Class-A San Jose club, is represented by San Francisco attorney Ronald Van Buskirk. Another portion of the lawsuit deals with complicated redevelopment issues and laws.

"Before making this sweetheart deal, the city failed to follow laws requiring a comprehensive environmental impact study and a vote of the people," Stand for San Jose said. "This legal filing simply asks the city to comply with the law by allowing the community to thoroughly study and understand the project's impacts and express its opinion in a public vote."

Thursday, November 10, 2011

San Jose OKs land deal for potential A's stadium

Well I am assuming there are other As fans out there and lord knows you should all be excited! We will be getting the niners and the As SOON!!!!
Home values and retail should do well with this....lets face it, we all like sports to some degree and being able to see games down the street makes us a better town=)
Congrats Athletics and welcome to SILICON VALLEY!!!!

The A's took another incremental step in their quest for a stadium in San Jose on Tuesday when the San Jose City Council voted 10-1 to approve extending a land-purchase option to the team.

"It's a small step, but it's still a significant step," San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed said by phone. "It feels more concrete. Now we're talking about a real-estate deal. I think we're getting closer."

San Jose is granting the A's a two-year option to buy about 5 acres of land downtown, near HP Pavilion and the Diridon Station. The option will cost the A's $50,000, and there is a $25,000 option for a third year. During that period, the team may purchase the land for $6.98 million - an outcome presumably dependent on Major League Baseball approving the move.

A's owner Lew Wolff said in an e-mail to The Chronicle that he is "pleased with the vote" by the City Council.

There are no indications from MLB that the A's stadium issue is on the agenda for next week's owners' meetings in Milwaukee; the next owners' meetings after that will be in January. MLB's blue-ribbon panel studying a new A's ballpark has operated for nearly three years with no public recommendation.

Even if the A's get the OK to move, any final land sale and ballpark must be approved by San Jose voters, a stipulation affirmed by City Council vote Tuesday. No public funds are to be used to build or maintain the facility or to reimburse the team for any building-related expenses.

Santa Clara County is considered to be Giants' territory by MLB, but major-league owners could vote to overturn the territorial rights.

The A's are likely to pay the $50,000 for the option agreement within the next few days. Should the team decide not to purchase the land, the city will keep the $50,000.

E-mail Susan Slusser at

Friday, October 14, 2011

Foreclosures continue to plague housing market

No big news that more are going to foreclosure....
If you are a realtor you already know this.....

Foreclosures continued to plague the U.S. housing market last quarter, while a a growing backlog has caused the length of the foreclosure process to drag on and on.

Nationwide, foreclosure filings totaled 610,337 in the third quarter, an increase of less than 1% from the previous quarter, said RealtyTrac, an online marketplace for foreclosed properties.

Even though the increase was small, it is significant since it broke the trend of three consecutive quarterly decreases, said RealtyTrac Chief Executive James Saccacio.

"This marginal increase in overall foreclosure activity was fueled by a 14% jump in new default notices, indicating that lenders are cautiously throwing more wood into the foreclosure fireplace after spending months spent trying to clear the chimney of sloppily filed foreclosures," he said.

Home ownership: Biggest drop since Great Depression

Month-over-month, there were fewer foreclosures. Nationwide filings totaled 214,855 in September, a decrease of 6% from August and a 38% decrease from September, 2010.

"While foreclosure activity in September and the third quarter continued to register well below levels from a year ago, there is evidence that this temporary downward trend is about to change direction, with foreclosure activity slowly beginning to ramp back up," said Saccacio.

Meanwhile, the time it takes to process foreclosures continued to grow. During the third quarter, once a bank began the foreclosure process it took an average of 336 days to complete, according to RealtyTrac. That's up from a nationwide average of 318 days during the second quarter. It's also the longest average foreclosure period going back to the first quarter of 2007, before the housing crisis began.

In New York and New Jersey, it took nearly three times as long for the foreclosure process to be completed. In the Empire State, it took an average of 986 days for the average foreclosure to be processed -- the longest in the country -- while in the Garden State, it took 974 days, according to RealtyTrac.

Compare that to Texas, where it took an average of 86 days to complete a foreclosure in the third quarter, the fastest foreclosure process in the nation, the company said.

Nevada, once a boom state for real estate, maintained its current title as the poster child for foreclosures. The state had the nation's highest foreclosure rate: one in every 44 housing units.

30-year mortgage rates fall below 4%

California had twice the rate of Nevada, but it still had the second-highest foreclosure rate, with one in every 88 units.

View this article on CNNMoney

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Underwater Mortgage? Water District to Buy Real Estate That is Literally Under Water

Too bad your property is "underwater" and not really underwater like this one is and it might be worth something =) In strange twist San Jose Real Estate that is actually underwater at Anderson Reservoir is being paid a premium for by the water company...Now dont you wish your property was at the bottom of a lake too -)

Oct. 12 (Source: By Paul Rogers, San Jose Mercury News, Calif.) - In an unusual deal that gives New meaning to the real estate adage “location, location, location,” Silicon Valley’s largest drinking water provider is negotiating to buy 225 acres in the hills east of Highway 101 near Morgan Hill.But there isn’t much of a view. The property is under water. At the bottom of Anderson Reservoir.

Like the reservoir itself, some of the details remain unclear. But the proposed purchase by the Santa Clara Valley Water District — which once owned the land and resold it — would close one of Silicon Valley’s most controversial development sagas 50 years after it began.

The submerged land is one of four parcels totaling 1,149 acres that the water district is negotiating to acquire from Los Angeles developer Castle & Cooke. The other three are dry land between the reservoir and Highway 101.

The agency didn’t set out to buy underwater land, said Ann Draper, acting chief operating officer of the water district. It needs the dry parcels to comply with state and federal permits, she said, that require the agency to protect the habitat of endangered species that are disturbed when water district crews perform Flood control work in hundreds of miles of streams every year across Santa Clara County.

And Castle & Cooke wanted to sell all four together, so to get the dry ones, the district has to buy the wet one.

“The value of that is minuscule, small,” Draper said of the underwater piece. “It’s less

than $4,000.”

The district has not yet made public the proposed sale price for all 1,149 acres, but it is expected to be several million dollars.

Details will become public 10 days before the Oct. 25 meeting when the water district’s board is scheduled to vote on the purchase.

Never a ‘New Town’

In a wider sense, the deal symbolizes the end of a five-decade chapter in San Jose’s history, the final breath of an era when developers with horn-rimmed glasses and rolls of blueprints turned miles of farmland into Silicon Valley subdivisions.

“The population was growing. It was an exciting time,” said Susie Wilson, a San Jose City Council member from 1973 to 1979. “This had been a farming community, and suddenly there were all these engineers and their wives who had been educated in colleges coming in. They all needed housing.”

In the early 1960s, Castle & Cooke, urged by former San Jose city manager Anthony P. “Dutch” Hamann, acquired 11,000 acres from Coyote Valley over the ridge to Anderson Reservoir. Under the names of its subsidiaries, Lake Anderson Corporation and Oceanic California, Castle & Cooke planned to build a massive “New Town” with stores,

schools and 100,000 residents.

“City leaders back then thought it was a big plum,” said Wilson. “It would be like Tesla coming in today. But Castle & Cooke tried too late. By the 1970s, the environmentalists had begun to band together. People didn’t want to see development going over those hills.”

The San Jose City Council finally killed the plan in 1978. Castle & Cooke, which had a history dating to 1850s Hawaii, sued San Jose for $30 million — the largest claim ever against the city at the time. The company lost in 1980, and later began selling off pieces of the land.

If the water district buys the 1,149 acres, Castle & Cooke’s ownership in the area would be all but over, at fewer than 100 acres.

“It’s been a long and colorful ride,” said Paul Ireland, a Castle & Cooke consultant who is helping sell the land.

One big question remains: Since the water district already owns the reservoir, why doesn’t it own all the land on the bottom?

Mysterious sale

Property records show that after Santa Clara County voters approved a $3 million bond in 1949 to build Anderson Dam, the water district signed an agreement with O’Connell Brothers, a ranching company, to use the 225-acre piece now underwater. But it wasn’t until 1954 when O’Connell Brothers finally sold the property to the water district, for $175,000.

Mysteriously, in 1956, the water district sold the land to Castle & Cooke subsidiary Lake Anderson, and another company, Gelco Development, even though by then it sat under water. The district kept “inundation rights,” but Draper said nobody at the agency today can find documents showing why it sold the land, or for how much. Was it a planned marina?

“You can speculate as to what those conversations were about,” Draper said, “but we don’t know.”

In years past, the water district went to federal agencies every year to obtain permits for flood control work to clear sediment and brush in stream channels. But in 2002, to cut red tape, it obtained a 10-year permit from the state fish and game department, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Army Corps of Engineers and others.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

New Discounts for Mortgage Borrowers

Clearly buying San Jose Real Estate right now would make sense if this article is true!
San Jose Real Estate is always a good deal compared to
San Francisco Relocation and Bay Area Real Estate in general....New buyers maybe it is time to bite the bullet and get a loan while rates are as low as they are~
good luck and read on~

by AnnaMaria Andriotis
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
provided by

Lenders are cutting closing costs and offering other discounts to go along with low rates. What's the catch?

As mortgage rates continue to fall, lenders are rolling out splashy discounts and promotions to inspire reluctant home buyers. But critics say the newest offers still stop short of the best deal for borrowers: Lower rates.

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From large banks to credit unions, a growing number of lenders are waiving fees, lowering rates and finding new ways to cut loan prices for would-be home buyers and refinancers. Capital One is waiving some closing fees for refinancers, which can save $3,300 on average. Citi and Bank of America are discounting fees by as much as 0.75 percentage point. And online lender Quicken Loans is telling customers who get a mortgage through December that if mortgage rates fall in the future, they'll be able to get the lower rates with most refinancing costs covered.

While some of the deals are available to refinancers, they are mostly aimed at home buyers. In this market, new purchase mortgages can be more profitable for banks. But they currently account for just about 20% of all mortgage applications, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. "We are still amazed that record low interest rates and significantly lower home prices have not resulted in strong loan demand," says Tim Zimmerman, president and CEO at Standard Bank in Pittsburgh, which is lowering closing costs by up to $500 for home purchases and refinances.

That's a small discount, relatively. Closing costs typically run up to 2% of the loan amount — $500 would fully cover closing costs for a $25,000 loan. Zimmerman says that on refinances closing costs tend to be lower, and that this discount along with low mortgage rates creates an opportunity for borrowers.

[Click here to check home equity rates in your area.]

But other offers are more generous. In a rare deal for refinancers, Capital One is eliminating on average $3,300 closing costs — including the appraisal and title-related charges — for homeowners who refinance into a 30-year mortgage in some locations, including New York, Texas and the Washington D.C. metro area. Some credit unions are also slashing closing fee costs. In August, for example, the largest credit union, the Navy Federal Credit Union (designated for Department of Defense employees and their families) began offering $2,500 off of closing costs for borrowers.

Other lenders are discounting costs that borrowers may pay when they sign up for a mortgage. Borrowers have the option to pay what are called "discount points" — a prepayment of interest — in exchange for a lower interest rate. One point equals 1% of the loan amount. Citi is offering home buyers 0.75% of the loan amount that can be used to offset discount points. On a $375,000 mortgage, the credit would be $2,812.50 -- plus the lower interest rate over the life of the loan. Earlier this year, Bank of America began offering 0.25 percentage point off discount points in 12 states; next month, the bank will extend the offer in nine more states, including South Carolina, Texas and Washington D.C.

But if you're seeing incentives, says Keith Gumbinger, vice president at mortgage-data firm HSH Associates, there might be a catch. To qualify for the Bank of America discount, for example, consumers must have at least $50,000 socked away with the bank or its investment firm.

Other incentives may be designed to distract from a rate that's not as low as it could be. The average rate consumers get on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 4.25% — about 0.75 percentage point higher than the lowest advertised, according to That's almost the widest spread since the firm began tracking the data in February 2010. On a $275,000 30-year fixed rate mortgage, the difference adds up to about $120 more per month, or more than $42,000 over the life of the loan.

For their part, banks say they're looking to attract new customers, or drum up more business with old ones, and that rock-bottom rates, though difficult to get, are accessible for borrowers with the highest credit scores, large down payments and low debt levels. But they also acknowledge that these promotions are good without being too good: A Bank of America spokesman says the institution is looking to price competitively but not low enough to spark an overflow of applications that would prevent it from being able to process the mortgages in a timely manner, the spokesman says.

Still, a low interest rate is still the key to finding the cheapest mortgage. Experts direct borrowers to consider lenders who are most eager for business, including online outfits, which can offer a lower rate because they have lower overhead, and smaller institutions like community banks and credit unions that might have more wiggle room on rates. With rates expected to stay low for a while, qualified borrowers can afford to haggle to get a low rate, which will help them save more than most incentives on the table now.


Thursday, September 22, 2011

RSS Text Size Print Share This Tampa losing flashy start-up tech company to California

Many start ups believe in San Francisco Relocation.....
Maybe the Dotbomb thing wont die =)
Every week you are starting to hear about a new start up in SF....AIR BnB etc.....
good times

One of Tampa's hotter start-up companies, TourWrist, is flying the coop and moving to the technology capital of the planet, San Francisco.

"We would have preferred to stay in Tampa," said founder Charles Armstrong, but the company has started attracting interest from venture capitalists and will likely complete a first round of funding within six weeks.

TourWrist was something of a technology offspring of the Tampa advertising and branding firm Spark, through its Spark Labs project and it developed a smart phone and tablet app that lets users view 360-degree photos on their phone.

By using the phone's compass and motion sensor, users can physically spin themselves up, down, left and right and seemingly peer through their device into another place in the world.

The name plays on the word "tourist" and using ones "wrist" to spin around.

For instance, auto makers have been using the app to display the interior of their cars, and real estate agents and hoteliers have been using it to display their properties. TourWrist only went live on the Apple system in the spring of last year, but became one of Apple's most popular apps, with more than 20,000 downloads a week.

Only last June, TourWrist won awards at the Tampa Bay Technology Forum's coolTECH event for local technology projects.

Other companies are getting into the 360-degree game as well, and automaker Nissan recently launched a similar app to show the interior of their cars.

TourWrist had only a handful of employees, but the symbolism of their departure is a bitter pill for Tampa with only a small silver lining, say executives here who have been trying to build more of a technology community.

"TourWrist is a win for Tampa and demonstrates that we have the means to incubate hot companies and prepare them for Silicon Valley's venture scene," said Brent Britton, an attorney at Gray Robinson and advisor to TourWrist. "It's unfortunate TourWrist could not get funded here. We'll miss the jobs they would have created."

Britton noted that technology investing takes skill and a tolerance for risk, and there's a common sentiment that "Tampa's early stage investors wouldn't know a hot startup if it bit them on the rotary phone they use to dial up their AOL account. But I think we can change that."

Tampa Bay has plenty of wealthy investors, said George Gordon, chairman and chief executive of the energy software company Enporion and past chairman of the Tampa Bay Technology Forum.

"A lot of those people made their wealth in real estate or manufacturing and not so much tech," Gordon said. "And people like to invest in things they know and understand and where they can add value."

San Francisco is flush with technology billionaires, Gordon notes, and successful early stage or "angel" investors in technology visit companies they support monthly, if not more often, "and they don't want to live on airplanes to get there."

Calif theme park sale paves way for 49ers stadium

Looks to me like the 49ers are moving to santa clara if they are buying Great America.
That in turn should make San Jose Real Estate even more desirable...If the 49ers relocate to san jose it is a win win
good news for real estate investors and homeowners here in San Jose CA

By: The Associated Press | 09/19/11 6:01 PM
The Associated Press
The owners of the San Francisco 49ers are teaming with a local real estate firm to buy a Santa Clara theme park that had opposed the 49ers' new stadium plans.

The San Jose Mercury News reported the deal by the York family and JMA Ventures on Monday. The $70 million deal to buy Great America is expected to help clear the way for a new football stadium next to the park.

Currently, the city of Santa Clara leases the land the park operates on to Ohio-based Cedar Fair for $5 million a year. Cedar Fair did not support a stadium proposal and sued the city for a loss of parking and other reasons.

JMA Ventures supports a new stadium.

Santa Clara's city council still must approve the purchase.


Information from: San Jose Mercury News,

Read more at the Washington Examiner: