As a Northern California real estate expert witness and veteran of the business, I have seen many clients hurt by the very person who should have been protecting them. The following true story, from a real estate legal dispute where I was the plaintiff’s expert witness, illustrates how much damage the wrong agent can do and why you need to be extremely thoughtful when you choose one.Read More
By Don Dunning | February 17, 2017
The latest aspects of a state law (State Senate Bill 407 – SB 407) impacting single-family homes took effect January 1, 2017. It requires all owners of homes built on or before January 1, 1994, not just those selling, to install water-conserving plumbing fixtures (WCP). SB 407 also necessitates noncompliant plumbing fixtures in multifamily and commercial buildings to be replaced with water-conserving ones on or before January 1, 2019. San Francisco’s ordinance moved up the effective date for commercial properties to be in compliance to January 1, 2017.Read More
By Don Dunning | September 30, 2016
As our U.S. presidential election sweeps into high gear, various pundits pontificate about the differences between the candidates and parties. One thing is quite clear – our country is about evenly divided between those who value identifying serious concerns and how to solve them, and those to whom likeability is most important. It struck me that what we see in politics is paralleled in real estate.Read More
By Don Dunning | June 17, 2016
At a time when real estate prices are at an all-time high, understanding quality is essential. Despite this, homes which lack important benefits and features are sold for recording-breaking amounts every day.
Although home buyers have individual preferences, real estate professionals view certain attributes as adding value and, conversely, specific deficits as diminishing value. There is a long list of variables, some more relevant than others. These need to be recognized by sellers in pricing the property and by buyers in deciding how much to offer.Read More
By Don Dunning | April 29, 2016
In sports, particularly basketball, analytics is the study of every conceivable aspect of a player’s performance. This includes how often he shoots, from where, accuracy from various positions and distances, and a long list of other variables. There is heated debate about the degree to which this information correlates with a player’s value to his team.
Analytics has come into vogue, mainly in the past five years, with the advent of sophisticated computer measuring techniques. Similarly, there are now numerous algorithms that relate to buyer lifestyle preferences and the cost of owning a home in relation to various features and systems. As in sports, there is a question about how valid these measures are and to what degree they should or will affect future home buying decisionsRead More
By Don Dunning | March 18, 2016
Homelessness is one of the devastating byproducts of the dramatic increase in Bay Area home and rental prices. It can happen to those who would never have thought it possible and may result after unexpected events such a job loss, illness, divorce, or death of a loved one…[There are] 35,000 Bay Area homeless. More than 4000 folks will be homeless tonight in Alameda County and many of them are children. There is no effective housing safety net in our country.Read More
By Don Dunning | January 23, 2016
For my entire real estate career, I have maintained a basic assumption, a paradigm, of how the market operates. 2015 was the year I began to seriously question whether San Francisco Bay Area real estate has fundamentally and irrevocably changed.Read More
By Don Dunning | October 9, 2015
“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”
– Warren Buffett
As a buyer, it is hard to say “no” in a seller’s market where it appears that waiting will cost you a lot because prices are rapidly rising. When working with buyers, I suggest they avoid properties with problems that diminish value. Although location is the key determinant of value, the pressure of the market allows too many other considerations to be brushed aside by buyers.
The following are some concerns that either cannot be rectified, or, even if they can, the cost would likely not make sense.Read More