Sunday, December 2, 2007

We're selling homes!!!

I always like to have a safety home (think safety school when applying to college) in mind just in case something catastrophic happens and we needed to buy right away (or if I just can't take the beige rental wall any longer).

Up until yesterday, that safety home was in the new Blackstone development in EDH. With incentives the Lennar homes were priced well under resales and I could justify the outrageous HOA & Mello-Roos with comparisons to gym fees and the solar energy discount.

Bit of background.....bit of rant.

When we first visited the development shortly after opening (mid summer), we initially spoke with Peter (he was very condescending with us). After that experience we were pretty turned off. The homes were at least 50K over priced.

But decided to check back a couple months later since we were in the neighborhood, which was when we met Patti, who seemed much more open and honest, and was really trying to help us find a place we liked. We were glad we checked back cause the list price had taken a haircut of around 20K - 50K (in just 2 or so months of opening).

So I had stopped in on Friday talk to Patti again and see if they had any year end specials going. But she was gone and Peter wouldn't give out any details. He remembered us, not sure if it was from the initial visit or not. He insisted several time that they were selling houses, and then asked my price range. I replied under 500k. He then motioned to the list prices, basically telling me there wasn't much that fits that description (they do have a couple list under 500k). I left, rather disgusted.

Did he really have to do that? Who the hell believes that the list price is actually what they are selling for? I think they might have sold 2-3 homes a month since they opened....that doesn't seem like much to me. But perhaps its enough so jerks like Peter feel free to treat folks as if they aren't worthy of living in his development. So that is why Lennar at Blackstone has been removed from my safety list.

There are now some nice resales, under 500k going in the 150s a square foot around here. They are a bit bigger than we are looking for, but seems the mid sized homes aren't budging as much in price. So I am off to find a new safety house.

Update: So about an hour and a half after this posted, I got a call from...wait for it.......Peter! Very suspicious timing if you ask me. Not going to post the details of the call, till we make a decision either way......cause its tempting. Quite a bit bigger than we were looking for...but I have gotten rather used to our rental that's about the same size.


Anonymous said...

Good luck with the deal BT.

At this time,I would like to provide a quote from a wise poster:
Gwynster said...
"Blessed are the comp providers for they shall inherit a larger mortgage then me >; )"

Cmyst said...

First off, isn't it funny how something that is posted on HBB or Landing or here seems reflected in remarks made by REIC people or reporters?
Secondly -- I can't take attitude like you got. Seriously. Maybe it's my history of a working class background, who knows, but I feel no compulsion to meet anyone's expectations. I don't tell people off, because MY Momma raised me better than that, but I have been known to vow never to return to a store and once you're on my list, that's it.
I don't get salespeople, I really don't. They assume too much. I find it very amusing to be snubbed by people who earn less than half what I do, and there is always another place to take my business.

Buying Time said...

Anon - LOL! This would be a very nice comp indeed (lower than any resale price per sqft on my screen scrape list of over 100 in EDH & Folsom). But you add on to that the Mello-Roos and HOA and that is why we are not over there signing a contract this very minute.

Cymst - As you know I have a huge chip on my shoulder from my of the reasons I don't like Serrano, was how I was treated at their main office once they found out I was a renter.

But I also don't like to let these types of people get in the way of what I want. After all, if you let them get to you, then they feel empowered.

However if I were to buy a house there, I would certainly worry about the future of the development, since he is not near the salesman Patti was.

norcaljeff said...

AB, you're falling for their hard sell tactics. Are you afraid prices will bounce back $100K over night or something? These prices are going no where but down. And if you buy new, you will get the best deal. Play hard ball with them, and don't settle for anything other than what you want. And don't forget to negotiate no Mello Roos/HOA fees for at least 2 years. Don't be the only ones on your block paying those fees. Stay tough!!!

Cmyst said...

Also, I feel compelled to point out what another poster stated on Lander's blog:

The house is a depreciating asset like a car. It is the land that will slowly appreciate.
(Obviously there are some exceptions like Eichler houses or Cliff May houses that are truly NOT being built any longer. Or even Strengs, though most of the ones I've seen for sale are badly kept.)

Most new construction is on very small lots.
Therefore, going by $/sf is misleading when you are looking at houses which are very large on lots that are very small.

big n rich said...

This peter dude seems like a crook.I would not buy didily squat from this bozo.He was trying to screw you over.Talk to management about this crook.

Buying Time said...

I should also note...that the main reason I stopped by was because I received an e-mail from Lennar touting their holiday specials (no specifics listed of course).

As Cymst pointed out, I suspect Peter knows my screen name, since my car is rather conspicuous.

Tyger said...

Well, the conspiracy theories aside, I'd suggest that you simply focus on whether the deal makes sense for you and your family.

Interacting with a snobbish salesperson in any capacity isn't enjoyable, but you're selecting a home and a community -- your choice of a home and community will matter far more to you in the long run than a salesperson who will be long gone and not a part of your life in farily short order (and if he's that bad, just ask to deal with some other sales rep there).

As far as negotiating, by all means seek to strike a good deal, based on all of your hard work and research. But also keep in mind that pigs get fed and hogs get slaughtered. Good luck to you in your undertaking!

Gwynster said...

You could always wait and see if their another salesperson there and find a way to shut Peter out of the deal, that's what I'd do.

But that's only if the deal makes sense. I did see their ad in the sunday paper. The HOAs there are insane and make any "deal" unteniable. Plus you'd have deal with the snob factor out there. You are seriously too good to be surrounded by those creepy OC style people.

G Spot1 said...

There's little doubt Peter saw your post. It's a very small world out there - when I was a lawyer in LA I was always surprised how an internet posting would quickly circulate through the emails and at the water coolers. There aren't all that many blogs on Sacramento real estate, and I'm sure Peter or someone else saw your rant.

It's tremendous power, but something to be careful of also...

Buying Time said...

Well after a nice talk with my agent, and much spreadsheet and interest rate manipuation, Mr. BT and I decided the home is much to big for our needs, which made it hard to justify the additional fees. So if anyone out there is looking for a huge house on a reasonable lot near the clubhouse at around $145 a square foot...go talk to the folks at Lennar.

Gspot1 - Its actually quite disconcerting. To your point, I have actually toned down many a post before hitting the publish button (including this one) because my goal is to be helpful to other buyers, not hurtful to those in the RE industry. I realize they have a job to do and families to feed just like the rest of us.

Anonymous said...

Ugh--you can bet I will never set foot in Lennar/Blackstone. Peter sounds like a nightmare and needs a big attitude adjustment. It's hard enough for them to sell in this environment, but add a condescending salesperson and you'll have the few remaining prospective buyers fleeing for the (ED) hills!

sacramentia said...

One of my favorite sayings from a senior salesperson after being treated like shit on a call was "well, now we really have to take their money"

My wife and I drank many pictures of margaritas at Chevy's after day's like yours back in the day.

Patient Renter said...

"Plus you'd have deal with the snob factor out there. You are seriously too good to be surrounded by those creepy OC style people."

I wasn't sure where I stood on this till I read Gwyn's comment. I agree :)

Anonymous said...

Take your money elsewhere. Either to another developer or another salesperson if you seriously love the house and it makes financial sense for your family. Ugh.

More working class roots here. I rarely fail to report how much I ended up spending with a different associate or at a different store when I run into snobby help.

For the record, I'm a pretty easy customer (I don't want any help, just somebody to take my money when I'm ready to pay). But... the third minute of attitude gets my goat every time. Please notice that I said "third". I can stand a little unpleasantness and not get riled up.

Minute three? You get this mental response: You freakin' work here and I am shopping, purchasing, dining here. You can't afford this place in your wildest dreams and you are flinging attitude in my direction??? WTF?

Generally followed by a passive-aggressive smile and then followed by an unhappy email/phone call to management the next day.

Disclaimer: I don't do this in places like Target, Sam's, Wal-Mart, Kohl's, Burger-King, La Bou, etc.

I save it for places like in-house realtors, Nordstrom's, Macy's, high-end restaurants. Well, other than the first three, I can't say I've ever done it at all. If a high-end restaurant treats you badly (or snippily) you simply move on to another one that doesn't.

Seriously, you can report a smug a**hole in-house realtor to the developer and should do so. Likely, it won't get them fired (which would be bad, karma wise), but it might result in a much better customer experience the next time around.

In our case, for whatever reason, the guy got moved to another development where he did the exact same thing to a former co-worker of mine. Too bad she didn't believe first. This didn't involve price, just move-in dates and promises of future home improvements. All of which were handled, eventually.

Again, good luck to you and your family!