Saturday, August 27, 2005

US heading for house price crash, Greenspan tells buyers

Thanks for finally saying what has been obvious for the last year or so. Do you think the folks who are still buying $600,000 condos with interest only loans are listening?

WALL STREET shuddered yesterday after Alan Greenspan, the United States’ central banker, warned American homebuyers that they risk a crash if they continue to drive property prices higher. He said that the US house-price spiral had become an economic imbalance, threatening stability like the country’s trade gap or its budget deficit.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Gated Summerlin community is shocked by armed robbery

Fred Pilot sent this link.

With gated neighborhoods already numerous around the valley, and more going up all the time, recent developments in the posh Siena golf course community in Summerlin might serve as a reality check. A man who stepped out of his Siena house on Cerotto Lane a little before 3 p.m. on Aug. 9 was robbed at gunpoint while walking to his mailbox. The victim and investigators surmised that the robber must have gotten into Siena by following a resident through one of the unguarded mechanical gates.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

White House Deed Up for Auction.
Canadian Writer Discovers Original White House Deed Never Signed

From Fred Pilot, who is always on the lookout for a bargain. The deed is now for sale on EBay.

While doing research for his new book Night of the Realtors , Vancouver novelist David Jenneson discovered that the U.S. Government has no deed recording the property ownership for 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue – perhaps it never existed Jenneson's exhaustive inquiry revealed any valid transfer should have been signed and recorded in the early 1790s when George Washington himself ordered the purchase of the parcel from David Burnes, the farmer whom Washington personally referred to as the “obstinate Mr. Burnes.” A written request to the U.S. National Archives, the repository for records of that time, revealed startling results. After a thorough search, the National Archives could not find the deed for the White House!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Existing Home Sales Decline As Rates Rise

WASHINGTON - Sales of previously owned homes fell in July as some house hunters were put off by galloping prices, but the pace of sales was still the third-highest ever, suggesting the red-hot market isn't cooling much. The latest snapshot of activity in the housing market released by the National Association of Realtors on Tuesday showed that July sales of existing homes — including single-family, town homes and condominiums — totaled 7.16 million units at a seasonally adjusted annual rate. That represented a 2.6 percent decline from June's record-high pace of 7.35 million units. Soaring home prices and to a lesser extent rising mortgage rates played a role in July's drop in sales — making it harder for some house hunters to take the leap into home ownership, analysts said.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Castle Holds Monty Python Jamboree
This must be one of the more fun-loving medieval gated communities. Do you smell elderberries?

Coconut shells have been a fixture behind the castle reception desk for a number of years, props for the legions of Monty Python fans who visit Doune, a key location for the film Monty Python And The Holy Grail...Last year, Historic Scotland bowed to the inevitable and staged Doune's first ever Monty Python Day, an event that attracted about 1,500 fans from all over the UK, and some from overseas, including a hen party from New York. The event was so successful that it is being repeated on September 4. Numbers have had to be limited to 500, however, after problems last year shepherding so many fans around such a confined space.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

San Francisco Shuns Retired USS Iowa
This has nothing to do with HOAs. I just think it is such a supremely disgraceful action by the San Francisco city supervisors that it deserves to be publicized and condemned. Who do these creeps think they are, to sit in their little leftist enclave and pass a petty, nasty little judgment like this on the United States military? Maybe it's time that professional organizations planning conventions started boycotting San Francisco.

The USS Iowa joined in battles from World War II to Korea to the Persian Gulf. It carried President Franklin Roosevelt home from the Teheran conference of allied leaders, and four decades later, suffered one of the nation's most deadly military accidents. Veterans groups and history buffs had hoped that tourists in San Francisco could walk the same teak decks where sailors dodged Japanese machine-gun fire and fired 16-inch guns that helped win battles across the South Pacific. Instead, it appears that the retired battleship is headed about 80 miles inland, to Stockton, a gritty agricultural port town on the San Joaquin River and home of California's annual asparagus festival. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., a former San Francisco mayor, helped secure $3 million to tow the Iowa from Rhode Island to the Bay Area in 2001 in hopes of making touristy Fisherman's Wharf its new home. But city supervisors voted 8-3 last month to oppose taking in the ship, citing local opposition to the Iraq war and the military's stance on gays, among other things.
With SB 137, making changes to HOAs

Marjorie Murray wrote this article on an important piece of legislation pending in Sacramento. It was published in the Sacramento Bee. She asked me to publish this so all you activists out there can keep track of this bill and do what is needed to get it passed.

SB 137 would leash homeowner associations that leap to use foreclosure to collect trivial amounts of late assessments owed homeowner associations (HOAs). The proposed law is long overdue.
Sen. Denise Ducheny's legislation would lay out a set of legal tools that HOAs, collection agencies, management companies and law firms could use to collect the dues assessed the 8 million California homeowners living in common interest developments such as condominiums. The tools would include going to small claims court, securing the debt with a lien or invoking dispute resolution. SB 137 is linked to AB 619, which would let homeowners pay a late bill in installments. Current law lets HOAs - without giving a reason - reject a homeowner's petition to pay arrearages on a monthly schedule. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed AB 2598, last year's attempt to curb HOA foreclosure abuse. But his veto message made plain he thinks this issue needs to be resolved. Ducheny and the California Alliance for Retired Americans, sponsor of SB 137, have been working with the governor's office to do just that.