Whenever a month’s Costa Mesa real estate activity ends on a Friday, the number-gatherers close up shop knowing there will be a longer than usual lapse until they can be sure of the Costa Mesa real estate activity statistics.
That creates a breather for those of us who keep abreast of California and Costa Mesa real estate. It’s a perfect opening to turn to real estate doings around the country—to see what noteworthy happenings took place in the last month or so. September 2016 did produce a few news items—these three rate at least a quick glance (or a double-take).
The lead item is one that rates a triple-take: it concerns a storage barn that sold for $1,800,000. Built in Little Compton, Rhode Island, the structure was originally erected as a storage barn by the Army in WWII. It was converted into “a custom shingle-style” home, which was surely a shrewd improvement since shingles have to be a noticeable improvement over what the wartime Army shed-builders would have had to work with.
In fact, as reported by the Providence Journal, “the former storage barn…has water views from nearly every room.” The accompanying photo confirmed that, indeed, windows had been added. If the casual reader jumps to the conclusion that a $1.8 million closing would be the occasion for celebration from the sellers, that was probably not the case: the former storage barn had been listed for $2,195,000.
Elsewhere, CNBC’s real estate editor Diana Olick reported on a national trend: a slowdown in on-time closings from 77% six months ago to 64%. This is despite a rise in housing demand. Unearthed was a reason: a “massive” shortage in appraisers—“the men and women who value homes and whom mortgage lenders depend upon.” Part of the blame was assigned to new federal regulations that disallow apprentices to conduct full appraisals. Now their licensed bosses must be on-site for every inspection.
Over the weekend, The New York Times found little interesting domestic news, so they led instead with an international report, “House Hunting in Costa Rica.” The item focused on a two-story home in the “very clean and quiet” Arenal Lake area. A local real estate broker’s advice for house hunters was to shop with caution despite the area’s current “tremendous” buyer’s market. “I always tell my clients, don’t leave your brain in the plane.” That’s probably sage advice, especially since the area is named for a local “popular tourist attraction,” the Arenal Volcano. It’s an active stratovolcano that’s thought to be “in a passive phase” since around 2010.
Closer to home, I can report that I never need to remind my Costa Mesa house hunting clients to keep their brains active: they fully understand that from the get-go. I hope you’ll give me a call when you decide it’s time to check out our Costa Mesa real estate offerings. I can guarantee that no active or passive stratovolcanos will complicate matters!