Ever heard of an Hoffice?

I heard on the news the other night about some home offices being proposed for the corner of Broad and Orcutt in SLO. The difference between running a business from a home office and a Hoffice are that these homes will allow employees too.

California Association of Realtors (CAR) Reports Median Home Price increased 20.1 percent in August

The median price of an existing, single-family detached home in California during August 2005 was $568,890, a 20.1 percent increase over the revised $473,520 median for August 2004, C.A.R. reported. The August 2005 median price increased 5.2 percent compared with July’s $540,900 median price.

Los Osos – A divided community and still no sewer

If you didn’t know that today was the recall election in Los Osos, you must live out of the area. The residents of Los Osos voted whether to recall 3 of the 5 Community Services District board and also whether the location of the sewer needs to be away from homes and businesses.

The unofficial results are in. WOW, talk about close. A 60% voter turnout.

Recall Stan G:
Yes – 2986 (50.96%)
No – 2876 (49.04%)

Recall Gordon F.
Yes – 2961 (50.49%)
No – 2904 (49.51%)

Recall Richard L.
Yes – 3008 (51.25%)
No – 2861 (48.75%)

Measure B – location
Yes – 2912 (50.17%)
No – 2892 (49.83%)

Takin’ the Train

I just got back from a Realtor conference in San Diego. I decided to take Amtrak (my first time taking it). In all, it was a great ride. Took 8 hours to get there. I figured that going through LA traffic would have added some driving time so it really wasn’t that much longer. Here are my newbie tips….

– The train stops in Grover Beach. I didn’t realize that (I thought GB wasn’t a stop). I got on at the SLO station.

– The train changes directions in LA. I saw all these people moving seats when we got in LA but didn’t know why until we took off again. So I went the last part of the trip sitting backwards.

– We were held up coming back because of a missle launch at Vandenburg. They usually post the schedule of launches on their website with time windows but I never thought of checking. We stopped in the middle of nowhere for over 30 minutes but got a great view of the launch.

– Business class has a AC power plug right next to the window seat which is great for a laptop.

Is the Sunday paper ready for a “do-over”?

I don’t understand the Sunday newspaper anymore. It’s huge with ads, has less local content than any other day of the week, but it costs 2 1/2 times more than any other day. When I used to deliver papers as a kid in the 70’s, I had a few on my route that were Sunday-only subscribers. I don’t know if the Telegram-Tribune offers this and would have no clue why someone whould take it if they did. I wonder if they’d offer a “everyday except Sunday” subscription and offer it for a fraction of the price for a 7 day subscription?

But, I guess if it’s not broke, don’t fix it. If advertisers are still willing to pony up the money for ads and subscribers keep buying it, then it’s a cash cow for the Trib. I estimated that today’s 2 color real estate sections generated around $50,000 from Realtors for ads. One day advertisers are going to realize that fewer and fewer people are actually reading the paper anymore (meaning…not just flipping through it).

Department of Justice has sued the National Association of Realtors (NAR)

Last week, the DOJ sued the NAR for anti-competitive practices. What it all revolves around is the display of listings on web sites, like SloCountyHomes.com. When you search a listing on my website, you’re using what’s called IDX, or Internet Data eXchange. This is something that was defined a few years ago that says that Brokers can share their listings with other Brokers and Agents and have them displayed on their website. With IDX, Brokers can choose to “opt-out” which means they can say that they don’t want their listings displayed on other websites. So, when a buyer is searching for homes, they may never see some of the properties that are in the MLS. The DOJ says that is a disservice to consumers.

There are 2 sides to this issue:

On one side, Brokers say that the “opt-out” provision allows for home owners to not have their property listed on websites who don’t want the exposure beyond other agents.

The other side said the opt-out is a way for Brokers to protect their 6% comissions. Plus, they say that it limits web-based brokerages.

IMO, the IDX-MLS Search I currently have on my site works just fine (but in some areas of the country agents don’t have IDX available to them). The only problem with the current approach is that some homeowners may not know if the Broker has chosen NOT to display their home on the Internet. This could be addressed by yet another form for the homeowner to sign to say if the home goes or doesn’t go on the Internet.

* Here’s a link to a good article about the suit (courtesy of blog reader Kirk!).


The new SLO Costco opened today!

I didn’t get a chance to go by today. Actually, I’m going to wait until the newness dies down a bit. I remember when Panda Express opened and there was a line out the door everyday for the first 3 months. Doesn’t take much to get people excited around here!

Wanting to go tour some Open Houses this weekend?

Here’s a link to the MLS Open House directory. Realtors can add their Open Houses to this directory for free as it’s part of our MLS system. If you have a home on the market, make sure your Realtor advertises any Open Houses in this directory for you.


Cal Poly starts next week

If you’ve been around SLO this week, you’ve noticed that this is WOW week (Week of Welcome) for the new students. It looks like Bali’s Yogurt is on the list for all the groups to visit. I tried going to the downtown store the other night and the line was out the door!

Be extra careful when driving through downtown. Them youngins’ don’t look before stepping into a crosswalk!

Looks like Duke Energy is trying to sell the Morro Bay power plant. Unknown if this is going to be good or bad news for Morro Bay. Guess we’ll need to see who ends up buying it and what their plans are for it.