New eateries coming to downtown SLO

If you didn’t already know it, both Cisco’s and Flame Bay that were in the Network are gone and two new eateries are scheduled to open soon, according to today’s Tribune.

This seems like such a great place for an eatery with the outside patio by the creek. Remember the Spindle that was there before Cisco’s?

What would be really great is if they brought back the Wine Street Inn. Actually, just bring back the fondue and I’d be happy.

Going down memory lane, here are some other downtown places that I have fond memories of from the 80’s:
– Cigar Factory
– The Dark Room
– Tortilla Flats
– Woodstock’s in the original location
– Osos Street Subs
– (non-food) Korb’s Trading Post and Sub/Cheap Thrills up the stairs
– Scrubby and Lloyds
– KZOZ when it was in the now Army surplus store at Marsh/Higuera
– 1865 (maybe not downtown downtown, but close enough)
– The Assembly Line
– Shakey’s Pizza Bunch-A-Lunch
– A place that I had my first pita pocket at (can’t remember the name, it was in the back of another store on Higuera)

My wife liked Chocolate Soup too.

REO Inventory

Here’s the current inventory of available REOs by city:

Santa Maria – 38
Paso Robles – 25
Atascadero – 19
Nipomo – 9
Morro Bay – 5
San Luis Obispo -4
Cambria – 4
Arroyo Grande – 4
Los Osos -3
Avila Beach -2
Grover Beach -2
Pismo Beach – 2
Templeton -2
Oceano -1

Another sign?

In the business section of the Trib today, they had a BizRoundup blurb that started off saying “In another sign the housing crisis could be reaching the bottom, home prices dropped sharply in February but for the first time in 25 months the decline was not a record.”

The article then talks about the Case-Shiller index recently released that compares Feb 2009 vs. Feb 2008.

Ok, so a couple things came to mind when I read this. First, what other signs have I missed that show that the housing crisis is reaching bottom? Also, if home prices dropped sharply in February, how is this an indicator that the bottom may be near?

To me, there are many indicators that you have to look at to see what’s going on in the housing market including inventory levels and demand (supply and demand) and the amount of foreclosures which will continue to push prices down. Interest rates are another factor, especially if they start rising.

What’s up with the SLO inventory?

I did a quick inventory check for San Luis Obispo and found that there are currently 231 residential properties on the market. At the beginning of April, it was 203. At the beginning of the year it was 143.

I think part of this steep increase is from some multi-unit complexes (new construction) coming on the market but that doesn’t count for all the increase. I’ll be doing the monthly statistics at the end of this week to see if the inventory has climbed in other cities.

Morro Bay Shipwreck

(submitted by one of our North Coast agents)

Not what I expected to see this morning on my beach walk!

Yet, there she was- big, broken, out of place and sitting on the shore. Her name was Ingolmar; she was from Nova Scotia.

Apparently the trouble started Sunday afternoon when the sail boat began taking on water. The six member crew were all rescued by the Coast Guard, but they were unable to save the boat. It had to be left in the water, nearly sunk, and allow the tide to bring it to shore.

The professionals are now working to have the boat removed. Some locals are organizing volunteer groups to assist with picking up the scattered debris. If you would like to help- contact Noah at the Morro Bay City Council.

Listings-at-a-Glance MLS Search (New Feature!)

If you look at the Central Coast MLS Search Menu at the top left of most pages, you’ll see another menu choice called “Listings-at-a-Glance”. You can choose to view condos, REOs, Million Dollar Homes, Oceanfront, and New Listings.

Listings-at-a-Glance will display the available listings in a photo grid. You can click on any photo to get the property detail.

Give it a try! It’s just another way to look at MLS listings, courtesy of the Keith Byrd Team.

Light, Bright and Airy Home Staging Tips

The real estate market is starting to feel like it is moving in the right direction! We are starting to see that when houses look great and are priced right, buyers are making offers! Sometimes multiple buyers! That means at least for the moment – sellers can’t say: ‘the market is slow, why should I bother working hard to make my house look great?’ Now is the time to seize the moment! Spring is usually a good time to sell houses and this spring is looking to be no different! This goes to prove that if you use the right Realtor, stage your home effectively and market diligently, even in this tough market, your house should sell. My hot tips for the week are:

  1. Hire a great realtor – don’t be afraid to get a second opinion before you sign the contract.
  2. Stage your home for a broad audience – inside and out!
  3. Make sure that your home is being marketed in multiple ways: Internet, websites, magazines, newspaper, MLS, realtor caravans, craigslist – just to name a few. Ask your Realtor what kind of marketing they will provide!
  4. Get your house READY before anyone, even the Realtors walk through it- because you only get 1 chance to make a great first impression!
  5. Don’t miss the Spring market activity if at all possible!

Good luck and Happy Home Selling! To contact me direct please check my website or email me at:

Internet-connected Blu Ray DVD Player

I was shopping at Best Buy last night and ran across a LG networked Blu Ray DVD player which was on sale for $250. I hadn’t heard anything about this player before and was intrigued with what the box said being the techno-geek I am so I purchased it.

Connecting it was easy as I already had Internet connections for my Tivo and Wii and just plugged another cable into the hub. What you’re able to do with this player, besides watching Blu Ray DVDs, is to stream NetFlix movies and YouTube videos. For Netflix, you need to first put the movies you want to view on a list via your PC. Then when you access it from the Blu Ray player, you choose the one you want to watch. For Youtube, you can search for videos you want to see or you can login to your Youtube account and it will list the videos you have in your “Favorites”.

What was pretty cool is that I was quickly able to find the Lupine Canyon listing video I created and within seconds it was playing on my HD TV. It wasn’t that long ago when there was real estate shows on the local TV stations on Saturday and Sunday afternoons that showed videos of Central Coast listings. With network-connected video players like the one I picked up last night, you can watch “on-demand” videos of listings you may be interested in.