San Diego Real Estate blog -

The Loan That Killed the American Dream | Stated Income Loan

Here’s a question I am asked on a regular basis: When is the housing market going to crash (again)?

Let’s answer that by talking about the STATED INCOME LOAN – This loan destroyed the economy 10 years ago. It single-handedly killed the American dream for an entire generation – many of whom are still struggling with the fallout to this day. It began as an attractive loan product for self-employed people to qualify for a mortgage and immediately exploded in popularity because it created billions in short-term profits for investors, homeowners, lenders, loan officers and, most importantly, the Wall Street financiers whose firms bankrolled the whole thing. Wall Street was so happy with the stated income loan that they started to tweak and manipulate the loan product so they could offer it to a larger audience of potential borrowers.

The American Dream San Diego

The stated income loan went from being a niche product for self-employed borrowers to something that was being made available to everyone. Because it was now easier than ever to qualify for a stated income loan, lenders went into overdrive pushing it on unsuspecting borrowers – “Don’t worry about the paperwork, let’s just wrap this loan up today, get it funded and you will have your equity by next Wednesday!” Millions of people were using this loan to purchase real estate on the assumption home values would continue to increase. Getting a stated income loan was an easy and convenient method for homeowners to cash out, pay off debt, buy a boat, remodel their home. It was the cash register for anyone needing a few extra dollars in their pocket.

Note: Roland E. Arnall created Ameriquest Mortgage, the company reputed to have created stated income loans. Read about his history, involvement in politics and connection with the Bush administration. I know many of you hate government oversight but when you have people in powerful positions making decisions based on personal profit, you have to: (1) Question their sincerity and (2) ask how such a blatant conflict-of-interest was allowed to take place at the highest levels of politics.

So why am I going on about a loan product that hardly exists today? Because I am hearing more and more people talk about the bubble bursting soon on the current housing market. I am also hearing rumblings about the stated income loan coming back.

According to data available we are just about back to where home values were 10 years ago. We have had a steady increase in home values for the last 7 years. What is the difference between today and 10 years ago? The stated income loan does not exist like it once did. There is a stated income loan but it is only available for people that are self-employed and it usually requires 30% down payment or equity.

With no stated income loan available for homeowners over the last 8 years, we have a market full of owners that have used real income to qualify and purchase their home. There’s a HUGE difference in the fundamentals of this market compared to 10 years ago. You can’t compare this market to the previous market. Yes, we will see the market cool off because the income earned by individuals can only qualify to purchase so much property. We may also see regions of this country affected by layoffs or local issues in the economy. What we do not expect to see is the entire country’s real estate sector wiped out like we did before. The foundation that this housing market is standing on is so much more stable compared to 10 years ago.

In order to continue the cycle of increased home sales and rising home prices you need more homeowners to use the equity they have accumulated over the last 8 years to purchase larger homes with higher down payments – and we aren’t seeing those move-up buyers like we did 10 years ago. Why? Because the lack of availability of the stated income loan makes it harder to qualify for a new loan. Another reason could be that the housing crash from 10 years ago is still fresh in many homeowners’ minds and they’re more conservative when it comes to blowing their savings on a newer, larger home – an extra bedroom or larger backyard may not be worth the risk.

Five Ugly Celebrity Homes

Social media and reality TV have shown us a glimpse of the inner lives of the rich and famous – champagne wishes, caviar dreams and all that. We’ve become intimately familiar with celebrities and business elites whose palatial estates cost tens of millions of dollars and require a small army of workers to maintain. The hefty monthly expenditures on on upkeep and taxes alone is enough to make anyone blush.

When you come right down to it, the one percent are just like you and me. They put their pants on one leg at a time, go through the same daily frustrations and challenges in life, and some also have hideous taste in architecture – just like regular people!

Here are five ugly, gaudy or just plain weird celebrity homes:


1. Spaceship House – Naomi Campbell / Vladislav Doronin


Built by billionaire Russian property tycoon Vladislav Doronin for his then-fiancée, supermodel Naomi Campbell, this futuristic residence looks like something straight out of Star Trek. Designed by renowned architect Zaha Hadid, this angular glass and concrete monstrosity took years to build and can be found in the resort town of Barvikha just outside Moscow.


2. Airport Mansion – John Travolta


When he’s not busy acting, John Travolta is something of an airplane geek in his spare time. An accomplished private pilot with extensive flight experience and a commercial pilot’s license, Travolta owns a fleet of five aircraft including a Boeing 707 commercial jet airliner – all of which he pilots himself.

North of Ocala, Florida lies the little settlement of Jumbolair. Officially titled Jumbolair Aviation Estates, the community bills itself as the “…gold standard for residential aviation communities.” Essentially this is a luxury residential community with its own private airport facilities, including a 1.4 mile runway that leads directly to your front door. Travolta’s 6,400 square foot mansion with attached airplane hangar is located here.


3. Wacky Desert Wonderland – Penn Jillette


Magician Penn Jillette fell in love with this little bit of Las Vegas real estate back in the 1990’s. The property initially featured a single two story building with an A-frame design. Over the years Penn started buying up land around the building expanding his property from a few thousand square feet to a 10 acre compound. He then proceeded to fill his ten acres with a cornucopia of weird and colorful structures that ended up resembling a toddler’s attempt at building a Lego house.

As of 2015, citing pressure from the family, Penn has moved out of his colorful desert wonderland, and is actively seeking buyers.


4. Versailles, Florida – David Siegel


A monument to gaudiness and out of-control-spending, the Versailles is a 90,000 square foot mansion under construction in Windermere, Florida modeled after the Palace of Versailles in France. Commissioned by billionaire David Siegel, construction started in 2004 and stalled in 2006 with 60% of the work done. The house languished for years in its incomplete state during the Great Recession, but construction restarted in 2013 and the property is due to be fully completed by 2016. The Versailles features 14 bedrooms, 11 kitchens, 32 bathrooms, an indoor roller rink and a 2 story movie theater. It is expected to be appraised at $100 million.

The home has been featured in multiple news stories and TV exposés, and was the subject of award winning documentary 2012 The Queen of Versailles which chronicled the Siegel family’s attempts at building the mansion. The Siegels went on to sue the producers of the documentary but lost the case.


5. Gas Station Mansion, Long Island NY


Ok, so it’s not a celeb property, but we just had to include this 6 bed / 5.5 bath / 8,700 square foot Long Island property. Constructed in the 1994’s and consistently ranked as the ugliest mansion in America by Forbes, this ugly domicile has always been something of a local landmark in Lake Success, Long Island. Nicknamed ‘gas-station mansion’ for obvious reasons.


Down Payment Relief For First Time San Diego Home Buyers

Home Ownership Assistance ProgramSpringboard CDFI is a nonprofit company that helps first-time home buyers in San Diego realize their dream of owning a home. Among their many services is a down payment assistance program which offers substantial loans to qualifying home buyers. Currently they offer up to $30,000 down-payment loans anywhere in California, $76,000 for first time buyers in Chula Vista and $70,000 in National City.

These plans are run in conjunction with local city and county authorities as an incentive to encourage new residents to move in and contribute to the city’s economic growth. National City funds the program with money from the Home Investment Partnerships Program, administered by the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development. Chula Vista relies a combination of HUD funds and grants from the California Department of Housing and Community Development to fund their down payment assistance program.

Qualifying requirements are steep, the program is open only to first-time home buyers who qualify for a mortgage. The homes must be bought within the city limits of the participating municipalities and the applicant’s annual household income must not exceed 80 percent of the area median income.

The down-payment loan does not need to be paid back for 30 years and has a 3 percent simple interest rate that does not compound. If the owner sells or rents the house however, the 30 year grace period disappears.

The program has proved to be successful so far with default rates less than 1 percent since the housing market recovered from the Great Recession.

If you are a prospective homebuyer put off by high down payments, there are similar programs out there for people just like you. Contact Carlos or myself and see how we can help put you on the path of home ownership.

Source: Springboard CDFI, UT San Diego

Opportunities for San Diego in a Possible Chargers Exit

Rafael Perez San Diego Union Tribune article.

Our own Rafael Perez has an article in the San Diego Union Tribune where he discusses possible opportunities amid all the doom and gloom of the Charges leaving the city. I can’t describe it any better than Rafael already has, so please click the link below to read this article.

We have a team of agents, just like Rafael, who are all passionate and knowledgeable about living and working San Diego. Contact us and take advantage of our expertise.

Real Estate 101 with Team Aguilar: Episode 2 – Dual Agency is Bad News

In our continuing series of weekly vlogs, we tackle the tricky issue of dual agency. It’s no secret I’m no fan of dual agency; I’ve been fairly vocal about this topic.

In this video I discuss the various ethical issues that routinely crop up with dual agency and how it can cost sellers money.


Real Estate 101 with Team Aguilar: Episode 1 – Why You Should Work with a REALTOR

Here is the first part in an ongoing series of educational real estate videos for buyers, sellers, agents and anyone interested in real estate. We will be doing weekly vlog videos about different real estate scenarios, questions and other misc things we find interesting that we want to share with you.

This week’s episode looks into the importance for sellers to work with a qualified agent, since doing so can get a significantly higher sale price for your property.

What does $400,000 buy you in San Diego County?

What does $400,000 buy you in San Diego County?

Looking to buy or sell real estate in San Diego? Please CONTACT US

Wondering what you can afford to buy in San Diego? What does $400,000 buy you in San Diego County? According to the latest figures from SDAR, the current median price (as of August 2015) in San Diego is $555,000 for detached homes and $341,000 for attached homes. House prices rose 9% and 5% for detached and attached homes from a year ago. These prices may put prospective homebuyers off, but the reality is that there are many excellent bargains still to be had all over San Diego.

We wanted to give you a better idea of what $400,000 could buy you in San Diego County so we have put together a summary of what some of the larger communities within San Diego currently have for sale. As you can see you get a lot more for your money in certain areas of San Diego.

3615 Monair Dr #A – 3 Bed, 2 Bath, 1,236 square feet – $399,000

Alpine 91909 –  3023 Victoria Drive  – 4 Bed/3 Bath, 2,487 sq ft $400,000

Bay Park92110Cheapest Active Listing $449,900 – 1121 Eureka St #4– 3 Bed/3 Bath, 1,192 square feet

Cardiff By the Sea92007Cheapest Active Listing $499,0001430 Caminito Septimo – 3 bed/3 Bath, 1,258 square feet

Carlsbad – 92010 – 2838 Winthrop Ave – 3 Bed/2 Bath, 1,362 square feet $385,000

Carmel Valley92130- 12695 Camino Mira Del Mar#123 – 2 Bed/2 Bath, 864 square feet $399,000

Chula Vista – 91911- 1057 Vista Way – 3 Bed/ 2 Bath, 1,025 $397,900

Clariemont – 92117- 3615 Monair Dr #A – 3 Bed, 2 Bath, 1,236 square feet $399,000

Coronado92118Cheapest Active Listing $447,500 – 1106 4th #2 – Studio, 490 square feet 

4368 Georgia St #5 – 3 Bed/2 Bath, 1,000 square feet – $399,500

Del Mar92014 – Cheapest Active Listing $575,0002765 Caminito Eldorado – 3 Bed/3 Bath, 1,380 square feet

Downtown – 92101- 321 10th Ave #1404 – 1 Bed/1 Bath, 671 square feet  $395,000

El Cajon92019554 3rd St – 3 Bed/2 Bath, 1,014 square feet $389,000 

Escondid0920251354 Maple – 3 Bed/ 2 Bath, 1,136 square feet $379,900

Hillcrest921034368 Georgia St #5 – 3 Bed/2 Bath, 1,000 square feet $399,500

Imperial Beach91932- 1115 Emory  – 2 Bed/1 Bath 1,045 square feet $399,000

La Jolla920373203 Via Alicante #1 – 2 Bed/2 bath 1,074 square feet $395,000

La Mesa91941- 4151 Lois St – 2 Bed/1 Bath, 778 square feet $375,000

Lakeside – 92040 – 10232 Paseo Park – 3 Bed/2 Bath, 1,338 square feet $399,900

4887 Pacific Row #239 – 2 Bed/2 Bath, 1,094 square feet – $399,000

Lemon Grove – 91945- 1860 Primera St – 3 Bed/2 Bath, 1,566 square feet $399,900

Mission Beach92109Cheapest Active Listing $499,900 – 2613 Mission Blvd #9– 1 Bed/1 Bath, 468 square feet

Mission Valley – 92110 – 5745 Friars Rd #107 – 2 bed/2 Bath, 1,120 square feet $379,900

National City -91950 – 2637 Granger – 3 Bed/2 Bath, 1,448 square feet $379,900

Oceanside -92054403 Foussat Road – 3 Bed/2 Bath, 1,000 square feet $379,999

Pacific Beach – 92109 – 4887 Pacific Row #239 – 2 Bed/2 Bath, 1,094 square feet $399,000

Point Loma921073955 Wabaska Dr #9 – 2 Bed/3 Bath, 1,002 square feet 399,900

Poway9206413230 Johannesberg # 18 – 3 Bed/ 3 Bath 1,148 square feet $389,000

1002 Iron Wheel – 3 Bed/ 3 Bath, 1,598 square feet – 397,000

Ramona92065599 Tag Lane –  3 Bed/3 Bath, 1,516 square feet $385,800

Rancho Sante Fe – 92091 – Cheapest Active Listing $725,000  200 Via Osuna – 3 Bed/ 2 Bath, 1,675 square feet 

San Diego – 92103 – 3200 6th Ave # 3B – 1 Bed/ 1 Bath, 818 square feet $375,000

Santee920711002 Iron Wheel – 3 Bed/ 3 Bath, 1,598 square feet 397,000

Spring Valley  – 91977 – 1624 Highridge Rd – 3 Bed/ 2 Bath, 1,502 square feet $399,000

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Feel free to search our website for more bargains or contact us and see how we can make your budget work for you!

We Love San Diego – Our Drone Video Over San Diego

Taking more than 6 months to make, this video speaks for itself. Titled We Love San Diego, the video displays many amazing locations throughout San Diego County. The hardest part of creating this was deciding which locations to include and which ones to leave out for the next video. Our goal is to create a new version every year using new footage we have gathered that year.

What was the hardest 3-4 second clip to capture? Definitely the shot of Potato Chip rock. (1:59 of video) I had to load the drone, gear in my backpack, water bottles and hike up Mt Woodson. It was much more challenging than I expected.

Please view and feel free to share with your friends. At the very bottom of this post you will find a summary of all locations in the order they appear in the video.

In addition to the #WeLoveSanDiego video I created a short behind the scenes video to give you a better idea of the work that went into capturing each 3-4 second scene.


  1. Lyons Valley Road, Alpine
  2. Rocky Point, La Jolla
  3. Bayview Park, Coronado
  4. Embarcadero, Marina District, Downtown San Diego
  5. Oceanside Pier, Oceanside
  6. Sunset Cliffs, Point Loma
  7. Pedestrian Bridge over the I-5 Freeway looking Southbound
  8. Petco Park, East Village Downtown San Diego – Home of the San Diego Padres
  9. USS Midway Museum, San Diego Harbor
  10. Spreckels Organ Pavilion, Balboa Park
  11. Cabrillo Bridge
  12. Wave Runners at Fiesta Island in Mission Beach
  13. Otay Dam, Eastlake / Chula Vista
  14. Children’s Pool in La Jolla
  15. Flower Fields, Carlsbad
  16. Coronado Bridge
  17. Torrey Pines Beach, La Jolla
  18. The Junípero Serra Museum at Presidio Park
  19. Old Point Loma Lighthouse
  20. San Diego Trolley running through Mission Valley
  21. Qualcomm Stadium, Mission Valley – Home of the San Diego Chargers
  22. Mount Soledad
  23. Giant Dipper Roller Coaster, Mission Beach
  24. Saint Francis Chapel
  25. Clock Tower in the East Village
  26. Potato Chip Rock at Mt Woodson (The Most Difficult Portion of this Video)
  27. Mormon Temple in La Jolla
  28. 7th Street in Del Mar
  29. Hotel Del Coronado
  30. Unconditional Surrender Statue
  31. Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery
  32. Oceanside Pier at Sunset
  33. Sail Bay in Mission Bay with our wonderful agent Vanessa Charfen
  34. Old El Cortez Hotel, now Condo in Downtown San Diego
  35. The Quince Street Bridge
  36. 180° view of Coronado Island
  37. View of Downtown San Diego
  38. Along HWY 79
  39. Carlsbad Surfers

Closing Credits – Team Aguilar Outro Clip

Filmed & Edited by Alex Aguilar –…
Additional Editing by Anwar Halim –….

Music Stasys Wander –…
Filmed with DJI Phanton 2, 2D Gimbal, GoPro Black Hero 3