20 Metro Areas with the Highest Foreclosure Rates

Fox Business News has ranked the top 20 metro areas with the highest foreclosure rates. As I’ve been saying for awhile now, we won’t be able to declare a bottom to the housing market until the foreclosure rates are not a significant percentage of the total sales.   The photos they include in this Top 20 are kinda ridiculous though. I don’t think any of these are from the area they are highlighting (the area codes on the year signs don’t match). Poor Modesto, they get a photo with law enforcement going up to the home. What is that supposed to mean??

See the Top 20 here

I’ll be doing the July statistics for our area over the next few days so check back to see the current state of the market on the Central Coast.

Central Coast Shakespeare Festival

The Central Coast Shakespeare Festival is currently showing “The Gamester” and William Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights. The showings alternate nights, and will continue to play on weekends until August 14.

I saw “The Gamester” and thought it was very entertaining. The cast is funny, and the venue is casual and fun. Both plays are shown in the Outdoor Amphitheatre at the River Oaks Hot Springs in Paso Robles. Guests bring their own lawn chairs and blankets, and sit on the grass which slopes upwards, so it is like stadium seating. They also bring food and wine, and it becomes dinner and a show! The weather starts out warm, but you’ll want layers by the end, as it tends to get windy.

Check out their website to find out what shows are playing when. “The Gamester” is hilarious, the cast interacts with the audience, and you’ll surely enjoy the atmosphere.

Central Coast Shakespeare Festival

SLO’s Concerts In The Plaza

If you haven’t made it down to Mission Plaza for one of SLO’s free Friday night concerts this summer, you have 5 more chances. Now in its 15th year, the “Concerts in the Plaza” series has blossomed into what some call the best free party in town. It’s held every Friday night during the summer between 5:30-7:30 in Mission Plaza and features some of the best local musicians in the county. Many families and couples bring a picnic dinner to enjoy while listening and dancing to the great music. Local breweries and wineries provide beer and wine for purchase and local restaurants sell snacks and food. It is a lot of fun!
The Shival Experience, a popular local reggae band, is playing this Friday night. For more information and to see the lineup for August click on the following link:

“WOOF PARK” at Waller park in Santa Maria, CA

Voted as one of the top ten dog parks in America!”WOOF PARK” at Waller park in Santa Maria, CA, resident dog owners enjoy a real treat and chance for camaraderie with other canine owners.  A group of interested citizens, first conceived this project and in 2001 the parks and recreation commision approved a budget and they were able to open it’s doors in 2002.  However, the park facility is mostly run by volunteers.
The park hosts  two areas, one for bigger canines and the other for smaller/medium sized ones. Owners can let their pets loose, once in their designated areas and watch them play and socialize, while owners may do the same with other pet owners or sit quietly and enjoy reading a book or the tranquility of it all.  The park also has a wonderful pet spa which caters to the most discriminate and pampered pet.
WOOF PAC will hold an annual event this upcoming August 4th, 2010 to have residents come and see what the park has to offer.

Rate Update

Mortgage rates maintained their record low levels last week, as uncertainty of the pace of the economic recovery has caused investors to seek the relative safety of government guaranteed mortgage-backed securities (MBS). In his semi-annual testimony to Congress, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke described the US economic outlook as “unusually uncertain”. According to Bernanke, this is the worst labor market since the Great Depression, and is recovering more slowly than expected. Bernanke expressed reluctance to provide further stimulus, suggesting that the upside of additional Fed actions would be limited, while the downside would raise future inflation expectations. Uncertain economic growth with low inflation is a favorable environment for mortgage rates. Housing sector data contributed to the feeling of uncertainty. Existing Home Sales fell 5.1% in June, much better than expected, while the median home price increased 1% from one year ago. Housing Starts fell 5% from May to the lowest level since October 2009, and Building Permits for single-family housing, the biggest part of the market, dropped 3.4%, the lowest since April 2009. Today, we learned that New Home Sales increased 24% in June, but still the second-lowest annual pace going back to 1963. Currently, the 30-Year Fixed is at 4.125% (4.273% APR) and the 15-Year Fixed is at 3.750% (4.012% APR).

Local Dog Park Video Makes Finals

A local Oceano resident and member of the Five Cities Dog Park Association submitted a video to a nationwide competition sponsored by Purina and Beneful Dog Food and made it as a Top 10 finalist! The winner gets a $500,000 makeover for a public and/or non-profit dream dog park in their area.

Part of the competition is viewer votes so support our local area by voting for her video here!


I Found THE Sports Store


I’m in Lake Tahoe right now, celebrating my 25th wedding anniversary with my beautiful wife. We took a trip to Reno today to do some shopping and I visited a sports store like none other that I’ve been to before. It’s like the Fry’s Electronics of sports stores (or for you South Park fans, it’s like the Casa Bonita of sports stores).

The name of the store is Scheels and is located in Sparks. The 2-story store has almost 300,000 sq feet and has all sorts of stuff. In the middle of the store there’s even a full-size ferris wheel. Not sure why this is here. Maybe because their first store was in Minnesota so they are trying to be like the Great Mall of America which has an amusement park in the middle of the mall. Their other 22 stores are in the mid-west so we’ll see if they continue to expand West and open a store in California some day.

Affordable Housing in SLO


One of our loyal website users recently listed this beautiful mobile home in San Luis Obispo with us. They originally bought it when their daughter was attending Cal Poly. Their son now lives there and is taking classes at Cuesta College. The kids have really enjoyed this home because it is quiet and somewhat removed from the busy Cal Poly neighborhoods while still being close and an easy commute to both schools. It was built in 2003 and has 3 spacious bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. Creekside Park also has a reputation of being very student and pet friendly! Amenities include a large pool, clubhouse, dog park, and lots of beautiful mature trees. If you have kids attending Cal Poly or Cuesta and they have not lined up housing for the upcoming school year, this could be an affordable option to consider. It is listed for $159,000. I will be hosting an Open House this coming Saturday July 24th from 1:00-3:00. Please come by and introduce yourself.  For more information click here:



The Cambria Playhouse-  known as the Pewter Plough Playhouse, has been an active playhouse since 1976 with about 5 shows per year. In late February – the play house was shut down by the county and city fire department until they were able to install a required fire-sprinkler system.

How to raise the needed $32,000 became the issue. With the  July 31st deadline quickly approaching – a benefactor stepped forward and offered a low interest loan to the organization.  The upgrades are now underway and are expected to be completed within the next few months- at which time a grand re-opening will be held!