Thursday, May 5, 2016

Bakersfield home sellers pushing prices higher, Jeff Gutierrez suffers a mild stroke and recognizing some outstanding women about town

* ... HOME PRICES: Earlier this week I speculated that - judging from some of the asking prices on local homes - we may be entering another mini real estate bubble. Not so, says appraiser Gary  
Crabtree, who told me the market has been basically flat since last September with the average media sale price being $218,000 at $134 a square foot. "On the other hand," he said, "the average median asking price over the same period was $255,500 with an average unit price of $143.50 per square foot. Your observation is correct, sellers are unrealistic in their asking prices. The issue is the economy. There is virtually no market above $300,000 and that is where the majority of the unsold inventory sets. Why? Forty five percent of the Bakersfield buyers must rely upon the low down payment government financing which has established the maximum loan for our community and much of the Central Valley of California at $271,050 while the Los Angeles and San Francisco have government loan limits at $625,500 or 130 percent higher, thus the federal government is in 'de facto' control of the real estate market. Where is Congressman McCarthy when we need him?"

 * ... MORE HOMES: And local Realtor Michael Richert added this: "Unless it comes with a famous chef who stays with the property, the overpriced house won’t likely sell. There are a lot of homes on the market because the seller is dictating the purchase price instead of the Realtor.  All those hard working, laid off oil field workers and those who benefit from their income, aren’t buying.  However, a clean, updated, well-priced home will sell to a very limited group of buyers. "

 * ... FRIENDSHIP: Al Gutierrez gave me a call to share a story of kindness and having your friend's back. It turns out his son, Jeff Gutierrez, owner of DeWalt Corp., suffered a mild stroke last Friday in Fresno and found himself alone in a parking lot unable to drive. After an Uber driver took him to a local hospital, it was his friend Jeff Green (general counsel Grimmway Farms) who drove to Fresno and spent two days in the hospital with his close friend, never leaving his side and bringing him back to town. "Now that's a true friend," Al Gutierrez told me.

* ... SPOTTED ON INSTAGRAM: ""Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes the reason is you're stupid and make bad decisions."

* ... HOMELESS: A reader dropped me this note: "Every day we drive through downtown on 24th Street. Heading west just past Pep Boys is a homeless camp on the front 'porch' of the building just on the right. Looks like a group of maybe six or seven permanently camped out.. Hasn't anyone else noticed? They are there day and night.. this building will not win a Beautiful Bakersfield Award."

 * ... WOMEN: Hats off to Cynthia Icardo, Tracy Walker Kiser, Danielle Wade and Nomra Rojas-Mora on being selected at Garden Pathway's 'Women with a Heart for Bakersfield.' The organization's  High Tea will honor these women next Wednesday, May 11.

 * ... VOLUNTEERS: We have moved into the prime fund raising season, and you don't have to look far to see folks volunteering for good causes. Recently, more than 50 women showed up to support the Power of the Purse campaign at the home of Wes and Tracey Bradford. Said Darlene Mohlke of Castle and Cooke: "Included in this group of volunteers were local business owners, community partners and 18 of the best and brightest from the CSU Bakersfield swim and dive team. These young adults come from all over to not only represent their sport, our college but give back to our community. The event raised over $120,000 and went to The Alliance Against Family Violence and Sexual Assualt. Our community really knows how to support each not only with their generous donations but with their wiling spirit to do what is needed to put on a great event."

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