Real Estate Information

The Real Talker

Ron Walsh


Displaying blog entries 1-9 of 9

Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Act Extended!

by Ron Walsh

The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act Has Been Extended Until January 2014!

This has been much anticipated and will help many sellers avoid taxes on the forgiven debt related to a Short Sale. The Mortgage Debt Relief Act has been extended through January 2014.


This is great news for folks needing to do a Short Sale!  If you or someone you know is having trouble making mortgage payments now is the time to take action. 


Make your new years resolution one to get out of debt, get the monkey off your back, and move on to a better future. In most cases you will be able to purchase another home in as little as two years.


Give me a call or send me an email if you want to explore your options - I will negotiate with your bank for you at absolutely NO cost to you.  


Visit for more information.


  • Avoid foreclosure
  • Save Your Credit From Permanent Destruction
  • Stay In Your Home Without Payments Until The Short Sale is Completed.
  • You May Also Qualify For Moving Assistance.
  • Everything is Handled For You at NO Cost to You.
  • Be Forgiven Of Your Mortgage Debt - Permanently.


Britney Spears Buys Again

by Ron Walsh

BUYER: Britney Spears
LOCATION: Thousand Oaks, CA
PRICE: $8,500,000 (listing price)
SIZE: 8,456 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Hold on to your britches, y'all, because Your Mama has recently and repeatedly had scuttlebutt slip down the celebrity real estate gossip grapevine that still-conserved international pop star and twang-talking X Factor judge Britney Spears has done bought herself a new mansion. And it's not, not surprisingly, that bluff-top, ocean-view spread in Malibu (CA) those wily X Factor people tried to pass off as her house last week when small groups of the show's hopeful contestants were invited to belt their wannabe pop star hearts out at one of the four judge's homes.

Property records don't yet reflect a transfer of ownership—which makes this all just a juicy little tidbit of celebrity real estate rumor and gossip for now—but all signs and several unsolicited sources point Your Mama towards Miz Spears purchasing a sprawling, Hacienda-style casa in sleepy and upscale Thousand Oaks, CA that was last listed on the open market in April (2012) with an asking price of $8,500,000.

Listing information we managed to brutishly inveigle out of the internets shows the multi-winged, single-story red tile-roofed residence in question, located behind the 24-hour guarded gates of the prosperously peopled Sherwood Country Club, was completed in 2010 and measures 8,456 square feet with five bedrooms and 7 bathrooms.

The unfortunately tennis-court-free mini-estate comprises two separate and slightly elevated parcels that total more than 1.4 mostly flat acres and allow for long, unobstructed views over the mansion-dotted hills and painstakingly manicured Jack Nicklaus-designed 18-hole golf course that weaves and winds its way through the super-swank ex-urban development like the tentacles of an unnaturally green octopus.

An arched, wood front door set deeply into an also-arched portico opens into a tremendous center hall entry that will certainly impress guests and the pizza delivery person too with its soaring ceiling, sumptuous limestone tile flooring and high-arched window that mirrors the arched front door and perfectly frames a distant, craggy outline of the surrounding mountains against the almost always clear blue southern California sky.

An architecturally thrilling and vaguely ecclesiastical parabolic colonnade runs alongside the airy formal dining room that's expensively outfitted in with wide plank oak floor and a high wood-beamed ceiling. An adjoining semi-circular wet bar with enough seating for at least six bleary-eyed booze hounds to sidle up to the thick slab marble counter top—or maybe it's granite—and get a good, glassy-eyed look into the also semi-circular, glass-fronted and temperature-controlled walk-in wine room.

The luscious custom oak floors extend into the immense, L-shaped open-plan family living space that includes a double-island chef-friendly kitchen with gray-veined white marble counter tops, top grade appliances and adjacent butler's pantry that we imagine is probably far larger and better equipped than most kitchens. A dizzying but sturdily impressive system of exposed beams and trusses stretch across the almost ludicrously lofty great room that's decoratively divided into a large breakfast area and even roomier family room space with fireplace and giant glass pocket-doors that glide open and disappear into the walls, allowing for an all-but-seamless merging between indoor and outdoor living areas.

Other public and semi-private rooms, according to online listings we dug up, include a library—that Your Mama is cynical enough to think will always suffer from a dearth of actual books, a pair of separate offices and a home theater/bonus room.

Listing information isn't specific as to whether each of the guest/family/domestic bedrooms have access to a private john or not but does state the spacious master suite is complete with two massive walk-in closets and a pair of bathrooms, one for the lady of the house and one for her live-in manager/mister/co-conservator.

The vast limestone tiled outdoor living spaces encompass a lounge area with fireplace, separate dining area and, in between, a semi-circular built-in barbecue center. The deep, covered verandas that extend off the back of the house give way to a (mostly) flat and fully-landscaped backyard with liberally watered and perfectly clipped lawns, rose gardens and ample sunbathing terraces on the long sides of the infinity-edged swimming pool and spa. Listing information goes on to declare the house has a five car garage plus a separate bay for golf cart storage accessible through a porte-cochère that connects the driveway at the front of the house through to an nearly enclosed rear motor court.

Miz Spears has a long, long, loooong history of house hopping—see next paragraph—and it remains to be seen how long she'll stay put in the Thousand Oaks mansion she's (allegedly) just acquired. Given that she's now living a much more stable—if still conserved—life with Mister Trawick, Your Mama hopes—selfishly, for our own sanity, natch—this is the last move for the (in)famously peripatetic Miz Spears for a very long time.

Shortly after she dumped Kevin Federwhatever, her free-loading second husband and father of her two children, Miz Spears fled the couple's marital mansion in the guard-garted Serra Retreat in Malibu (CA) and bounced around to several high end rentals in The Bu including—so the celebrity property gossip goes—a land-side cottage situated behind the illustrious gates of Malibu's Colony that Shabby Chic high priestess Rachel Ashwell sold to sitcom star Peri Gilpin in the summer of 2010 for $3,550,000.

In January 2007, well into the all-to-public unraveling during which she fraternized with some pretty unsavory sorts, repeatedly flashed her pudenda for the paps, shaved her hair off in a random beauty parlor in the San Fernando Valley and wound up being involuntarily committed the mental ward and Cedar Sinai, Miz Spears impulsively shelled out $6,750,000 for a fully-furnished 7,400+ square foot mock-Tuscan-style mansion in the guard-gated Summit community just off Mulholland Drive on the ridge between Beverly Hills and Studio City.

Sometime in late 2008 or early 2009, on the mental mend and beyond ready to leave the house in the Summit where she lived during much of her jaw-dropping and—let's be honest—downright sad downward spiral, Miss Spears decamped to the so-called Chateau Suenos, an approximately 10,000 square foot Macmansion in The Estates section of The Oaks community in Calabasas, the same neck of L.A.'s proto-suburban woods where the slickly produced tweenage heart throb bubble gum pop star Justin Beiber now lives in an almost-as-large Spanish-style mansion he bought in April 2012 for six-and-a-half million smackers.

In early 2011 by then romantically attached to her current fiancé, Tinseltown bigwig talent agent Jason Trawick, Miz Spears and clan high-tailed it to the guard-gated, celebrity-choked and equestrian-oriented Hidden Hills enclave where she rented a ginormous, 19,107 square foot multi-winged pseudo-Tudor mansion/compound with a total of 10 bedrooms and 13 bathrooms on 3.39 landscaped acres.

Hidden Hills is, of course, the same community where Jennifer Lopez owns a home as do Melissa Etheridge, Nicolette Sheridan and Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne who have become so desperate to unload their Hidden Hills house they put it out for lease earlier this year at fifty grand a month and moved it to a plush, rented hacienda-style casa located on a wide, tree-lined street in the flats of Beverly Hills.

Apparently Miz Spears didn't cotton much to the Tudor-style pile in horsey Hidden Hills because by the end of 2011 she'd once again packed up her two tots and collection of Daisy Dukes and settled into yet another rented mansion, this time a 10,567 square foot architectural ugly duckling inside the 24-hour guarded gates of the hoity-toity Sherwood Country Club where initiation fee were reported last year by the folks at The Hollywood Reporter to be around $160,000 and some of the deep pocked members are said to include Mel Gibson, Will Smith, Kevin James and Justin Timberlake.

Located far far far from the maddening crowds and ever-present paps in Tinseltown, the Sherwood Country Club is none-the-less a coveted location with all sorts of celebs and other high-profile peeps looking for a luxurious suburban country club sort of lifestyle. Disgraced former Countrywide CEO Angelo Mozilo recently sold a red brick Georgian-Colonial mini-manse that backs up to the community's 2nd fairway and Hollywood scion turned reality t.v. star turned baby factory Tori Spelling and her actor husband Dean McDermott leased a 2.45 acre estate with an approximately 9,000 square foot main house inside the Sherwood Country Club gates in April (2012). To be honest, chickens, we're not sure if they remain in residence.

Avid celebrity real estate watchers will recall the verdant and affluent Sherwood Country Club is the same golf-centric community where financially-embattled former professional baseball player Lenny Dykstra lost the 6.6+ acre estate and neo-Georgian mansion he bought from former professional puck pusher Wayne Gretzky to the salivating maw of foreclosure in the fall of 2010 and it's also the same gated enclave where tennis titan Pete Sampras custom built a hulking, 13,000-ish square foot contemporary with a separate 1,200 square foot guest house and 2,000 square foot fitness facility and, even before the paint was dry, caught a classic case of The Celebrity Real Estate Fickle and flipped it on the market in March 2010 with a $25,000,000 price tag. The sprawling Sampras estate, pretty much right next door the Brit and Jase's new digs, is still for sale with a reduced asking price of $19,950,000.

Liz Hurley and Shane Warne Snatch Up Country Spread

by Ron Walsh

BUYER: Elizabeth Hurley and Shane Warne
LOCATION: Donnington, Ledbury, Herefordshire (U.K.)
PRICE: £6,000,000 (list price)
SIZE: 13,445 square feet, 12 bedrooms, 4 full and 2 half bathrooms (plus additional guest and staff quarters)

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: The newest celebrity real estate scuttlebutt out of the pastoral countryside in the U.K. is that stunningly beautiful English "actress" and spokesmodel Elizabeth Hurley and her blond, beefy and beau-hunky retired Australian cricket player fiancée Shane Warne have scooped up Donnington Hall, an historic, 187-ish-acre country estate 50-some miles southwest of Birmingham near the scenic and literary-minded town of Ledbury. We can't pinpoint their exact purchase price but our research reveals the stately and august estate was last listed on the open market earlier this year (2012) with a £6,000,000 guide price; That's a listing price in British real estate speak. A few quick clickety-clacks on Your Mama's currency conversion contraption shows the last asking price translates, at today's rates, to a $9,684,900.

Miz Hurley, according to her resume on the Internet Movie Data Base, has been shaking her svelte yet magnificently curvaceous Showbiz money maker on both t.v. and the big screen since the late 1980s. She didn't really get her big break—if it can be called that—until 1994 when she showed up the premiere of the sappy, silly and screamingly successful romantic comedy Four Weddings and a Funeral with her then-boyfriend Hugh Grant wearing a slinky black Versace dress dangerously held together by a series of very strategically placed, over-sized gold safety pins. It wasn't long after that foxy Miz Hurley was hired as a spokesmodel by cosmetics colossus Estée Lauder—a long-standing and no-doubt lucrative professional relationship that continues today—and was cast as the gun-toting sex kitten Vanessa Kensington in the Austin Powers movies. Since her silver screen salad days in the mid- to late-1990s she's appeared in a number of other movies too terrible to mention and currently—and kind of randomly—designs a line of high-end swim- and beachwear.

Your Mama knows next to nothing about cricket except that it's a beloved and hotly contested athletic activity in places other than the United States. Our brief online research did reveal that the sometimes-controversial and ill-behaved Mister Warne—he's (allegedly) had a lurid thing in the (recent) past for sexting women who are not his wife or girlfriend—is widely regarded as on of the best bowlers to have ever strapped on the pads and swung the cricket bat. Post retirement he's played some more professional cricket, worked as a cricket commentator, played some professional poker and focused on his eponymous philanthropic foundation.

Until recently both Miz Hurley and Mister Warne were married—she to Indian textile heir and software entrepreneur Arun Nayar—but were both quickly divorced when a minor scandal erupted in tabloids after the the two of them were photographed in late 2010 at a London hotel engaged in what appeared to be a little extra-marital canoodling. Oh, what a tangled web some people weave. For the record, both claim their marriages were kaput months before they hooked up and started macking on each other in public places.

Their rather scandalous romantic entanglement aside, the comely and recently engaged couple have—so the gossip goes—spent some seriously big bucks to acquire the very serious and high-maintenance Donnington Hall where they'll bunk down in baronial splendor with their newly blended family that includes three children from Mister Warne's previous marriage and Miz Hurley's one boy-child sired—in case anyone cares—by progressively politicked real estate heir, business tycoon and movie producer Steve Bing who denied paternity until a DNA test proved otherwise. How very Jerry Springer! Anyhoodles, poodles, we digress...

Donnington Hall dates back to the late 17th century, according to marketing materials with pinched from the interweb, but the existing residence, an imposing if slightly squat-looking Grade II-listed Georgian-style pile with 13,455 square feet, was designed in 1909 by quad-monikered architect Gilbert Francis Molyneux Ogilvy for its then-owner, the gloriously-named Admiral Sir Arthur Dalrymple Fanshawe who commanded the Royal Navy Fleet from 1910 to 1913.


By our assessment of the floor plan, the massive, lilac wisteria-draped main house, accessed by an exceptionally long driveway that winds through the sprawling estate's parklands before it arrives at a parking lot-sized gravel forecourt, has 12 bedrooms and 4 full and 2 half bathrooms divided into four large principal bedrooms and five smaller secondary bedrooms on the second floor that share three hall bathrooms, a separate second floor guest suite with sitting room, bedroom and bathroom, and two additional bedrooms and a single shared bathroom on the third floor.

Guests have access to a compartmentalized half bathroom and cloak room discreetly situated just outside the library and live-out staff have access to a tiny water closet nestled into a quiet corner of the service area.

Staff quarters are notably generous with a one bedrooms housekeeper's suite with separate kitchen and private loo near the kitchen on the main floor and a two room nanny suite with separate sitting room and private loo tucked up under the eaves on the third floor.

The capacious public rooms, according to the floor plan included with online marketing materials for the estate, include an immense, 35-foot long reception hall with beautifully worn polished oak floors, a wood-burning fireplace, heavy-duty plaster moldings, paneled walls lined with sturdy carved pilasters and inset window seats. There's also a 750-plus square foot formal drawing room with oak parquet floors, a fireplace with ornate, carved marble mantelpiece, a formal dining room that easily seats 16 and is located a sufficiently long distance from the kitchen that ensures the waitstaff will mentally curse formal diners even as they smile and set down a perfectly cooked plate of roasted rabbit. A gorgeous, groin-vaulted hall leads back from the reception room and main stair hall to a nearly 30-foot long library with fireplace and original built-in Georgian-style display cases.

A more intimately-scaled sitting room off the kitchen has glass doors that connect to the east-side gardens would make a cozy family room or sun-lit morning room. The adjacent, 400-plus square foot farmhouse-style kitchen, according to marketing materials, is expensively equipped with an Aga-brand range and a pair of built-in ovens and complimented by a nearby larder/pantry and walk-in freezer room.

The service areas of the house are completed by a mud-room entrance with back staircase and, just off the reception all a couple of connected vestibules off of which open a small office and—this being hunting country—a walk-in gun cupboard.

There are a two staircases that ascend to the upper levels. The main, double-wide stair case climbs to an extra-wide landing that's more than 40 feet long and a back staircase that connect the ground level service areas to a back landing and a warren of corridors off of which open three small bedrooms, a two-room guest suite with private bathroom and the somewhat petite laundry room.

There are also two separate staircases that climb from the second to the third floor, both of which are located off the second floor back landing and zig-zagging corridor. One staircase switches back and provides access to the aforementioned nanny suite. The other makes a sharp right turn as is joins to a long, narrow passageway that passes a pair of attic storage rooms before it descends a few steps and makes a hard left turn into an even longer hallway off of which open a nursery/playroom/potential bedroom with fireplace, two good-sized bedrooms, also with fireplaces and, at the far end, a substantial, bifurcated bathroom.

The numerous outbuildings include an L-shaped, Edwardian-era equestrian barn, a number of garden maintenance storage buildings and potting sheds, a 16th-century coach house and tithe barn with automobile storage capability, a pair of historical staff cottages and four tenant-occupied cottages. At least one report in the British media says the new owners—that would be Miz Hurley and Mister Warne—have no plans to toss the current tenants.

In addition to thick coppices, expansive pasture lands that explode with wild daffodils in the spring and pristine park lands dotted with mature specimen trees, Donnington Hall's 187-ish acre grounds include broad flagstone terraces, various gardens (formal, sunken, walled, vegetable and etc.) and greenhouses connected by gravel foot paths, a variety of fruit trees, vast lawns that tumble down to a one-acre, carp-stocked spring-fed lake, a full-sized tennis court and—as all great country houses in Britain probably should—a croquet lawn. There is not, as far as we can tell from a perusal of the marketing materials available online, a swimming pool, spa or cricket pitch, the latter of which Your Mama fully expects will be installed tout de suite.

In addition to their fab new country estate Mister Warne owns a major house in the exclusive Melbourne suburb of Brighton—that's Australia, puppies—that he may or may not have quietly on the market for $15-20,000,000 and Miz Hurley maintains a townhouse-type residence on a cherry tree-lined street in southwest London as well a 72-acre Cotswald farm in the hamlet of Ampney Knowle new Barnsley

SLO County October Stats

by Ron Walsh

Trulia is reporting today the average price per square foot for San Luis Obispo CA was $348, a decrease of 9.4% compared to the same period last year. The median sales price for homes in San Luis Obispo CA for Aug 10 to Oct 10 was $443,250 based on 82 home sales. Compared to the same period one year ago, the median home sales price decreased 9.5%, or $46,750, and the number of home sales decreased 34.4%. There are currently 281 resale and new homes in San Luis Obispo on Trulia, including 108 homes in the pre-foreclosure, auction, or bank-owned stages of the foreclosure process. The average listing price for homes for sale in San Luis Obispo CA was $665,212 for the week ending Nov 10, which represents a decrease of 3.6%, or $24,586, compared to the prior week.

Bakersfield's October Market Stats

by Ron Walsh

Trulia is reporting the average price per square foot for Bakersfield CA was $88, an increase of 0% compared to the same period last year. The median sales price for homes in Bakersfield CA for Aug 10 to Oct 10 was $141,507 based on 3,063 home sales. Compared to the same period one year ago, the median home sales price increased 2.5%, or $3,507, and the number of home sales decreased 7.1%. There are currently 2,120 resale and new homes in Bakersfield on Trulia, as well as 6,411 homes in the pre-foreclosure, auction, or bank-owned stages of the foreclosure process. The average listing price for homes for sale in Bakersfield CA was $186,432 for the week ending Nov 10, which represents a decrease of 1%, or $1,941, compared to the prior week

Talking Head Misinformation on CNBC

by Ron Walsh

Reflecting on Alex Charften's appearance this morning on CNBC alongside the supposedly informed and aware Howard Glaser, former counselor to HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo, I believe the debate exposed an unfortunate and ongoing problem of misinformation. Too often we see overreaction by talking heads lacking information about the real estate market, trends, statistics and most importantly, solutions.

There is a prevailing defeatist’s view of the market amongst outside pundits. To cite an article in The New York Times as a representation of the entire housing market is, as mentioned in the interview, anecdotal evidence. The reality is that short sales have increased 1500% in under three years. For Glaser to say that short sales will not be a part of leading our economy out of the housing crisis is to ignore the fact that educated agents are closing short sales regularly.

Short sales are a part of the solution and will continue to be, and dedicated agents who are closing these deals deserve to be commended, not ignored.

If Howard Glaser can’t find an agent who can get a Short Sale closed, perhaps he should simply visit


SLO Sept Real Estate Stats

by Ron Walsh

Trulia is reporting the average price per square foot for San Luis Obispo CA was $382, an increase of 12% compared to the same period last year. The median sales price for homes in San Luis Obispo CA for Jul 10 to Sep 10 was $475,000 based on 87 home sales. Compared to the same period one year ago, the median home sales price increased 2.2%, or $10,000, and the number of home sales decreased 29.3%. There are currently 311 resale and new homes in San Luis Obispo on Trulia, including 1 open house, as well as 107 homes in the pre-foreclosure, auction, or bank-owned stages of the foreclosure process. The average listing price for homes for sale in San Luis Obispo CA was $698,289 for the week ending Oct 06, which represents an increase of 0.9%, or $6,170, compared to the prior week.

Bakersfield Sept RE Stats

by Ron Walsh

Trulia is reporting the average price per square foot for Bakersfield CA was $91, an increase of 4.6% compared to the same period last year. The median sales price for homes in Bakersfield CA for Jul 10 to Sep 10 was $144,500 based on 2,606 home sales. Compared to the same period one year ago, the median home sales price increased 4%, or $5,500, and the number of home sales decreased 24.5%. There are currently 2,033 resale and new homes in Bakersfield on Trulia, as well as 6,385 homes in the pre-foreclosure, auction, or bank-owned stages of the foreclosure process. The average listing price for homes for sale in Bakersfield CA was $199,734 for the week ending Oct 06, which represents a decrease of 6.1%, or $13,028, compared to the prior week.

Should I Buy a Home Now?

by Ron Walsh

I'm often asked if this is a good time to buy a home. Some clients are concerned that home prices may fall further than they have already. They are assuming that the best course of action is to wait for the bottom in the market and then buy. The problem with this approach is that you don't know where the bottom is until you see it in the rear view mirror, meaning until you've missed it!

Home prices are one factor in determining your cost of ownership, but so are interest rates and financing availability. Even though interest rates have gone up in the last six months, they are still near historic lows. Since your monthly mortgage payment is a combination of paying down your principal and paying the interest owed, if home prices come down a little further but interest rates up, it could cost you even more to service a mortgage on an identical home!

While a home is a major investment, it is also the center of your personal life. It's important to live in a home that reflects your taste and values, yet is within your financial "comfort zone." To that end, it may be more important to lock in today's relatively low interest rates and low home prices, rather than to hope for a further break in prices in the future.

Please give me a call if I can be of any assistance in determining how much home you can afford in today's market.

Displaying blog entries 1-9 of 9




Contact Information

Photo of Ron Walsh, CDPE Real Estate
Ron Walsh, CDPE
Miramar International at The Marketplace
9000 Ming Avenue Suite L-5
Bakersfield CA 93311
Fax: 661.836.7929


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