Home News Why this Point Reyes woman sold her home for nearly half its $1 million value

Why this Point Reyes woman sold her home for nearly half its $1 million value

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For Bobby Loeb, her decision to sign a house that raised her two children in a land trust was economical and ideological.

A retired kindergarten teacher remembers that being a renter was a North Bay “nightmare” before she bought a lot of quirky bungalows over 30 years ago. Fast-forwarding her last year, Robe woke up at night worried about the impending cost of repairing the house she managed to buy.

So, in January, the 81-year-old signed a deal to sell Pointraise’s home to the West Marine Community Land Trust, known as CLAM, which buys and diverts real estate from the expensive private market at a significant discount. Did. For an affordable home. In the case of Robe, it’s a deal that allows her to live her rest of her life in her home without monthly payments, and then pay it to others in need of low-priced housing. Entrust to CLAM.

“This is my community,” said Robe, who has lived in West Marine for 46 years. “I want to do what I can.”

For many California families, passing a home that is mostly or completely rewarded is the greatest opportunity for a generation to build wealth. Loeb said her children upheld a plan to abandon some of their financial interests, and she calmed her down in her golden age and became more and more accessible. Seems to be leaving something for others who are struggling to break into the no housing market.

After discovering that renting was a “nightmare” in North Bay, Bobby Robe and her then-husband went with a friend over 30 years ago to a quirky two-acre site with multiple small homes. I did. Loeb currently lives on half the land of the small main building, with two one-bedroom rental units in front after her friend sold part of the property and left the state.

Scott Strazante / Chronicle

The $ 550,000 sale of one acre of land with three one-bedroom bungalows surrounded by mountains and cypress trees is estimated by Zillow to be worth more than $ 1 million. Age-In-Place Initiative In the crumb. This is also an example of an increasingly sophisticated way land trusts and community groups in the Bay Area are trying to mitigate the housing crisis. From a stock-oriented Auckland homeownership program to regaining an entire apartment from a Silicon Valley investor.

At Point Reyes, the population 895The average home value is about $ 1.6 million, up 22% from a year ago. Zillow quote.. But like other Bay Area tourist hotspots, the average local household’s income is disproportionately low at $ 74,000 a year. Census data Shows are fueling high demand for rare and affordable homes.

“It’s impossible to catch up,” said Ruth Lopez, CLAM’s program manager. Rental unit with income restrictions Currently managing. “There are 200 people on the waiting list.”

As far as Robe knows, the house she lives in was originally built as a chicken coop about 150 years ago. Another owner plastered the walls into a practical house with low ceilings and overhead plumbing. Robe and her then-husband bought two acres of land around them with her friend in the 1980s, and when her friend later sold to New Mexico and moved, one acre and their home. I kept it.

Today, the airy main building, renovated by a robe contractor for over 18 years, has blonde wooden floors, ample skylights, and walls full of robes and art made by her son. The bedroom with a loft feels like a tree house with vaulted wooden ceilings and balconies above the irises, apple trees and tomato trees that grow underneath.

“We wanted the outside to be inside,” Robe said. “That was all the point of coming to California.”

The house is rich and the cash is poor

Even on the edge of the countryside of Marin County, California today isn’t the dream of the 1960s that Robe was chasing when he moved here from New York at the age of 20. At Point Reyes, his son was being chased by the rancher’s children from school. To look like a “hippie,” Robe avoids crowds of tourists cramming small downtown this weekend. She is worried that her ex-school colleagues and other workers will be forced to commute for a long time.

For Lopez, who had three children attending the Paper Milk Leak Children’s Corner taught by Loeb, rising housing costs also make it difficult for nonprofit homes like CLAM to maintain a foothold. So, a few years ago, she and her colleagues began looking for places like Colorado in search of creative ideas for buying new properties with rising prices.

“The average age here is around 65,” Lopez said. “I thought there could be older people with abundant homes and a shortage of cash. That might be the best strategy to get a property and help them stay home. . “

It was in the spring of 2021 that Loeb began seriously considering selling her home to CLAM. “The property of life heldShe will live in her home for the rest of her life without a mortgage, continue to earn income from two small rental properties in real estate, and leave it to CLAM to turn her home into an affordable home after her death.

Both sides agreed that the land trust would also cover tax invoices and major repairs in exchange for a reduction in the sale price. This spring, the entire property was fumigated in a tent and a new roof was installed to exterminate pests.

Loeb said her daughter, who lives nearby, was in favor of the decision, and her son, an artist living in Memphis, told her, “Do it.” .. Land trusts also required family approval.

“We don’t want anyone to come back saying,’This is elder abuse,'” Lopez said.

“My heritage”

A family portrait on the Mantel of Bobby Robe's house in Point Reyes. Loeb moved from New York to California at the age of 20 61 years ago after reading an article about education at Big Sur. She also lived in Berkeley and Borinas before settling in her former ranch town.

A family portrait on the Mantel of Bobby Robe’s house in Point Reyes. Loeb moved from New York to California at the age of 20 61 years ago after reading an article about education at Big Sur. She also lived in Berkeley and Borinas before settling in her former ranch town.

Scott Strazante / Chronicle

The fine prints of retained life real estate transactions, such as those chosen by Robe, are different, but they are not new. Other types of charities and community agencies (food banks, universities, churches) have long provided donors with the option of transferring valuable property in this way. According to Lopez, after the homeowner transfers the certificate to a nonprofit at an agreed price and effectively secures “future ownership,” the owner receives tax incentives for charitable gifts. , You can continue to live there.

Homeowners who are seriously worried about losing their home may look to such arrangements instead of dangerous loans and reverse mortgages. This process is designed to avoid post-mortem red tape like the Probate Court. In exchange, land trusts or nonprofits acquire assets that would otherwise be too expensive to buy.

Affordable housing groups in other bay areas Sonoma Land TrustWe also offer to help promote the property of life preserved. In neighboring cities, residential nonprofits facing unique forms of gentrification are experimenting with different approaches. Some of them Wide racial wealth gap..

Auckland Community Land Trust Get a house – include Famous occupier By the activist group Moms4Housing — sold at a discounted rate or leased to own.In a working-class peninsula outskirts of the North Fair Oaks, the nun who leads the Catholic nonprofit St. Francis Center Accumulated An affordable housing portfolio of millions of dollars by leveraging personal donations to buy back buildings from real estate speculators.

Nationwide, philanthropic consultants like Chase Magnason are increasingly in demand to use the dollar, which can be a donor trapped in real estate, sometimes through volatile trusts and traditional will. I have seen it. The secret is to ensure that all sides can deal with potentially costly hurdles such as maintenance, insurance, and other financial or family disruptions.

“They need professional financial support so they can do great things and not run out of money,” said Magnason, president of Houston’s Charitable Real Estate.

At Point Reyes, CLAM agreed to pay Loeb $ 300,000 in advance for the house, followed by two payments totaling $ 250,000. Discount purchases were funded by a combination of personal donations, county affordable housing dollars, and funding from the Marine Community Foundation. County record Performance.

With an annual budget of about $ 850,000 and millions of dollars worth of assets, CLAM still appreciates the long-term options for Loeb’s house, Lopez said.Whenever the day comes when she no longer lives there, the trust in her land may be Sell ​​bungalows According to Lopez, you can either lease the land at a reasonable price or rent it all below the market price.

It all sounds fine to Robe.

“I don’t know how this town can survive without affordable housing,” she said. “That is my legacy, isn’t it?”

Lauren Heppler (she / she) is a staff writer for the San Francisco Chronicle. Email: [email protected] twitter: @LAHepler

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