May 5, 2006

You don't need a vacation – you live in Silicon Valley!

It’s Friday! You’ve probably had a long and hard week. Thinking of the weekend? Thinking of a vacation? Thinking of going away?

Well, if you are – then maybe Silicon Valley isn’t right for you.

You see, living in Silicon Valley is such a gift, that you never have to leave. In fact, you should probably put in a few extra hours this weekend so that the bank doesn’t foreclose on your house. This is a good thing.

Realty Times – Real Estate News and Advice
In the land of technology and sunshine, it doesn’t appear to matter that, according to the California Association of Realtors, fewer than one in five residents can afford to buy the median priced home or that renting a decent apartment requires a two-income household.

Living in Silicon Valley (largely Santa Clara County) is just too good to give up over something as minor as a three-quarter million dollar home.

A recent study reveals residents who live in the county’s largest and capital city of San Jose are more concerned about crime, traffic congestion and public school education than they are about the cost of homes.

“It’s an absolute fact that people want to live here. That keeps housing prices high. If it wasn’t for the demand, prices would drop,” said Richard Calhoun, real estate broker and owner of Creekside Realty in San Jose.


When 1,000 residents where asked what issues most concerned them, 13 percent put crime at the top of their list, 11 percent said traffic congestion, 9 percent said education and public schools, but only 8 percent said housing.

Hm… so basically, there are so many other problems to worry about like the horrible traffic, the lousy public schools that people living here can’t be bothered to worry about the fact that they had to get a 50 year mortgage to buy a 800 sqft termiter.

I guess that makes sense.

After all, who needs disposable income when you have work? Apparently, living in the Silicon Valley means that you never need to go on vacation:

With the increase in jobs, especially in the technology field, landlords are able to lure shelter seekers who are not quite ready to buy, but, like home buyers, are attracted to the area by career opportunities, good weather, geographic and ethnic diversity, and a host of attractions that let them save money on vacation travel.

Hm… Silicon Valley attractions. Let’s see…

  • New York has the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Museum – we have the Winchester Mystery Mansion.
  • Washington DC has the Smithsonian – we have the San Jose Museum of Art
  • Egypt has the pyramids – we have the Fry’s in Campbell
  • Boston has the birth of America – we have Great America.
  • The Mediterranean has villages – we have Santana Row.
  • London has the Tube – we have Light Rail.
  • Alaska has glaciers – we have Valco.
  • China has the Great Wall – we have the Great Mall of Milpitas.
  • Everywhere else has an airport – we have Terminal C at SJC.
  • Paris has Champs Elysées – we have El Camino Real.
  • Asia has Shanghai, Hong Kong, Taipei – we have Cupertino Village.

Yeah… I guess those are all about equivalent. No need to leave.

In fact, for your own safety, you probably should avoid travelling outside the Bay Area! If you do – you might venture outside the bubble and realize that there are places with only 1 parent needs to work 50 hours a week, instead of both working 80 hours a week! And… then the Matrix would collapse.

But as whacked out as this article is (there seems to be a bias… if only I could pinpoint what it is in this issue of Realty Times), I think we can all agree on this:

“I’ve often said, I would rather live in a one-bedroom condo here than in a five-bedroom spread in Texas and that seems to be the opinion of 99 percent of my buyers. None of them seem concerned about prices. If interest rates rise they will still buy, but they will buy less. Whatever it takes to live here, that is what they will do,” says Boyd.

How insightful! I love using low expectations! Otherwise, if you using a reasonable comparison (you know, Seattle, New York, New Jersey, Washington DC) you might start to question things. And questions are bad.

So let’s all just agree with this new slogan for living in Silicon Valley:

Silicon Valley: 50 year mortgages for a 3 bedroom, but at least it’s not Texas… or Iraq.

Comments (17) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:00 am

May 4, 2006

Bay Area Home Appreciation Rate Graph

Marin Real Estate Bubble
DataQuick March, 2006 Graph

Oops, who flipped the graph upside down?

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:00 am

May 3, 2006

Santa Clara Real Estate Trends

The Silicon Valley Real Estate Report


Interesting facts, wouldn’t you say? Looks like the time on market has doubled since last year!

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:00 am

May 2, 2006

Tips for Living with Liquefaction

So you live in a place where the median house is $740,000. In some parts of the country (like that expensive “New York” place), you’d get a 4 bedroom house with a great school district. Here, you get sunshine and termites. Oh… and Liquefaction!

ABAG Tips for Living with Liquefaction
ABAG Tips for Living With Liquefaction

Did You Know? – Areas with moderate to very high LIQUEFACTION susceptibility have many more water and natural gas pipeline leaks in earthquakes.
Do you have a 3 – 5 day supply of drinking water for your family?
Do you know how to turn off your natural gas if you smell a leak?
Think about installing a gas shut-off device!

Did You Know? – Areas with moderate to very high LIQUEFACTION susceptibility have many more buckled roads in earthquakes.
Do you have a 3 – 5 day supply of food and medications for your family?
Do you keep walking shoes at work?
Does your child’s school have a list of others authorized to pick them up if you are delayed?
Do you have back-up plans for feeding and safety of pets?

Did You Know? – The Port of Kobe, Japan, handles over 10 times the cargo of Oakland. LIQUEFACTION caused major damage in a 1995 earthquake. After 3 years, 10 – 15% of business had still not returned to the Port of Kobe.
Plan other ways to get your products to other parts of the country!

I bolded the last sentence – because of its sheer ridiculousness. How can one even think of going to another part of the country?! Absurd!

Besides, everyone knows that Liquefaction means higher house prices.

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 4:00 am

May 1, 2006

$780,000 for 660 Sqft – smaller than a Dorm?

It’s Monday! Time for a reader submission!

C.C. writes:

I think I once lived in a dorm room bigger than this . . .


Submitted by a dejected newcomer from [somewhere in Middle America], where you can buy at least three McMansions for the price of this shoebox.

What is C.C. talking about? What could be so small?

MLSlistings Property Detail for MLS number 611766
Palo Alto, CA 94301



This Single Family Residence has the following features:
MLS#: 611766 Approx Age: UnavailableApprox Sq Ft: 660
Detached Single Family1 StoryCottage/Bungalow
2 Bedrooms1 Bathroom1 Shower over Tub

660 sqft is definitely larger than any dorm I ever had – but that’s because I went to school in the East Coast. Still, at this price point, this house definitely deserves to be listed here on

Nice find, C.C.! THanks!

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:00 am