Mmmmmmmmm….strawberries are here!

I just picked up some baskets at the 13th Street strawberry stand in Oceano. Incredible! Looks like strawberry/banana smoothies at the Byrd household tonite. If you aren’t aware of this strawberry stand, it’s worth the trip. From Grand Ave, take 13th Street South for about a mile. It’s a the corner of 13th and Highland. You can’t miss it, all you need to do is look for the strawberry field. They have the BEST tasting strawberries I’ve found, and at great prices.

You also may be familiar with Surf City Squeeze which is in a lot of shopping malls. I really like their smoothies and it turns out you can buy the mix. I purchased a bunch of it and use it to make smoothies. Yummy!

There’s a new reality TV show debuting next month called “Bought and Sold”. It’s supposed to show the real estate industry from an agent’s perspective by following 12 Realtors from the East Coast. It’s on the HGTV network and starts Sunday April 29th at 10 PM.

Earlier this evening, my kids starting yelling “Dad, your name is on TV”. I went into the room and there was an advertisement playing for another Central Coast real estate website. It was showing the output of a Google search and sure enough, right at the top of the screen was “Keith Byrd’s San Luis Obispo Real Estate Blog”. I’ll have to thank them for the free advertisement!

Ryan’s Mortgage Blog:
Branching off the sub-prime talk…I wanted to go over what kind of documents lenders require when you receive a mortgage based on full-documentation. Lenders obviously prefer full documentation over little or none, especially after all of the recent foreclosures and sub-prime problems. Look at it this way…if you were going to lend a stranger money wouldn’t you want to know their employment and financial history first? Lenders offer better rates for people who can provide full documentation (safer gamble for them). Before I write a list of items lenders ask for, I wanted to make sure you realize this is just a “common” list used by most lenders. Every scenario is different and some loans require more documents from the borrower than others. Example… if you declare income from a rental property, a copy of the current rental contract may be required. Also note that everyone on the loan (borrower/co-borrower aka co-signer) usually has to provide all the documents, not just one person. Here is the list of documents usually required for Full-Documentation loans:

– 2 most recent years tax returns
– 2 most current pay stubs from all jobs
– 2 most current bank statements w/ account #
– 2 most current statements from assets (IRA, Stocks, etc..)
– Proof of additional income (rental contracts, social security, disability, etc..)
– Credit Report with list of all debts (usually provided by broker)
– Copies/Proof of any other debt not on credit report

If you do not have any credit history, you may need to offer the lender copies of rental payment receipts or checks, utilities and other recurring debt to show payment history.

Having all these items with you when you visit a lender/broker will help speed up the process.

If you have any mortgage related questions feel free to call me at 805-540-0866, or email me at my personal address:

Because of the subprime lendor issues we’re seeing now, you’ll want to talk to a mortgage broker BEFORE you start looking at homes. More and more Realtors are requiring a prequalification letter before they will take their time to show a home. This is justified as a Realtor only gets compensated for their time if they represent a client on a successful transaction. Some people don’t understand that a Realtor doesn’t get paid a salary. Also, if you don’t plan on using a particular Realtor to represent you with buying or selling a home, please don’t ask them to do work for you. I’m sure not many people are willing to work for free and that includes Realtors!

If you make a request to view a home, please make sure you have a prequalification letter from a mortgage broker or bank. I’ll soon be adding a form you can fill out to get a qualified if you already don’t have one.

This Paso Robles property went on the market less than 2 weeks ago and had a contingent offer the very next day. Well, if you missed it the first time now is your chance as it’s back on the market as of today.

It’s a 49 acre parcel with 23 of them are a vineyard with 13 acres of Zinfandel and 8 acres of Merlot. Listed at $2.25M.

See the listing here

I’ll admit that my knowledge about the Los Osos sewer situation is what I read in newspapers and websites. Saying that, it appears the path we are headed is that the County taxpayers are going to need to pay a good portion of the bill for the sewer because the delays have caused the costs to exceed what Los Osos’ians can afford.

I know that a lot of County residents won’t be too happy to have to pay because Los Osos was unable to resolve their own problem (given 30 years). Sure seems like there has got to be a better solution. Here’s my idea….

The County should look to building a workforce housing development near Los Osos that would use the yet-to-be-built sewer system. Get the public agencies in the County (police, fire, school districts, etc.) together and figure out what the housing requirements are to attract and retain good employees. Build a 300-500 unit development using the latest technologies for a “green” community. Make this a showcase for other cities to learn from.

To help with the costs, solicit corporate involvement with the project. Get a phone company to lay fiber optics throughout and Cisco to develop a “connected community”. Bring in GE for their smart home energy management technologies. Add solar and wind power elements too if feasible. Also, get Cal Poly involved. I’m amazed that we have one of the nations top Universities in our backyard and I see very little leverage of the brainpower of tomorrow to help with our area. Poly is also good at raising money so make this project a showcase for them. Make this something the Governor gets behind too.

If tourism is our area’s bread and butter, this will also have great potential to highlight the area. What a PR story about a community and businesses getting together to solve both an environmental problem (the septic tanks polluting the bay) and workforce housing problem. Build a learning center at the “green village” where people can come learn all that was done. Increase in tourism will help offset some of the costs.

As a County taxpayer, I’d be more open to funding a sewer project that could handle both Los Osos and a green village. Heck, if this is done right we may get some State agencies to help out with funding too that wouldn’t have happened because of the history of events to-date.

New Home Sales Slowest in 6 years

Read article here

I did a check on how we were doing so far this month. As of today, we’ve had 483 Pending Sales and 677 New Listings. We’ll see how the last few days of March shape up but the numbers are looking like the Central Coast real estate market is rebounding from the February numbers. The difference between Pending and New Listings isn’t too huge so inventory doesn’t appear to be increasing at the rates we saw last year at this time.

I’ll update all the statistics after the first of the month.

I have a hotel/motel reservation system at the bottom of my home page that I’ve used over a dozen times now and have had zero problems. It does not add on an extra fee that other online reservation systems do (sometimes called a “convenience fee” or “online booking fee”). Check it out!

Online reservations here

Beware of KCOY “Real Deals”

KCOY has a coupon offering where you can get restaurant meals for usually 1/2 the price. I ordered one last summer for a new restaurant in Pismo Beach and they sent me one of those cards with the amount programmed into it. It was a nice way to try out the restaurant. A recently saw an advertisement for a new deal they were offering for a new Mexican restaurant in Pismo Beach. I thought again that this was a great way of trying out the restaurant with my family. But, what I received this time was multiple certficates with one huge restriction “only one certificate per table per visit”. So, I’m stuck to having to visit the restaurant EIGHT seperate times to use the certficates.

KCOY fails to tell you about any restrictions there are on these “Real Deals” when you order them through their website so beware. This particular deal is no better than the coupons I get in the mail that give you $10 off two entrees. Actually it’s worse since they lock you into having to visit the restaurant multiple times just to get your money back since you have to pay for the coupons.