July 28, 2006

39 years young… sort of… $649,950

MLSlistings Property Detail for MLS number 633566
Daly City, CA 94015


This Single Family Residence has the following features:
MLS#: 633566 Approx Age: 39 Years Approx Sq Ft: 1280
Detached Single Family Bi/Split Level Traditional

What the heck? This house is only 39 years old and this is what it has become? Sheesh!

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:52 am

July 27, 2006

$560,000 for a South San Francisco … uh … house

MLSlistings Property Detail for MLS number 642983
Call Your Real Estate Professional
For The Address
South San Francisco, CA 94080

This Single Family Residence has the following features:
MLS#: 642983 Approx Age: 58 Years Approx Sq Ft: 1150

Oh. My. God.

This house truly took my breath away. I guess its a great deal with lots of potential. I like how the address is masked…

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:48 am

July 26, 2006

Do we need a Middle Class in the Bay Area?

Cities Shed Middle Class, and Are Richer and Poorer for It – New York Times
Obviously, cities benefit economically from the presence of the rich. Tax revenues go up when the rich pour into what some economists now call “superstar cities,” places like New York, San Francisco, San Diego, Boston and Washington that attract highly skilled people but have limits on the ability to build housing. In New York, fewer than 13,000 of the 2.3 million households that pay income tax are expected to account for nearly 30 percent of city income tax paid in 2006.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, the percentage of households earning more than $100,000 a year rose to over 30 percent in 2000 from approximately 7 percent in 1970, said Joseph Gyourko, a professor of real estate and finance at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. “Is that area worse off?” he asked. “At least so far, there’s a lot of evidence that economically they’re better off. Land prices are really high, lots of people want to move there.”

A pretty interesting thought piece. Is it a bad thing if the Bay Area becomes completely divided into “Louis Vuitton shoppers” and “Dollar Tree shoppers”? Do we need “Macy’s shoppers”? What are the implications?
Here’s a passage that echoes some of my thoughts about “diversity” in suburban-centric California:

“This trend toward living and interacting with people who are like you is intensifying a lot,” said Professor Gyourko, who lives in the affluent suburb of Swarthmore, Pa. “I do not meet the full range of incomes and social classes within my neighborhood. Well, think about what happens if metropolitan areas like New York, San Francisco and the like turn into my suburb. You’ll have even less interaction. The most interesting and potentially foreboding implication of this sorting is that it changes the way we view life.”

The future will certainly be interesting…

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:17 am

July 25, 2006

$699,000 to live in Santana Row

MLSlistings Property Detail for MLS number 635638
Santana Row
San Jose, CA 95128

Homeowners’ Association Fee:$397
This is the largest one bedroom floorplan in Santana Row! It overlooks “the Row” that has many restaurants, boutiques, designer stores, etc. This floorplan has the full catwalk upstairs; 22′ ceilings, modern architecture; large loft master bedroom upstairs with walk-in closet and large master bath; full-size washer/dryer; central air conditioning, plus two designated parking spaces in the secured underground garage. If you are looking for that “city” life, where everything is just downstairs, then this is the place to be! Call for private appointment – secured buildings so there are no lockboxes. Sandie Remus -408-497-4553

This Condominium has the following features:
MLS#: 635638 Approx Age: 4 Years Approx Sq Ft: 1247
Condominium 51-100 Units Low Rise (1-3 Stories)
Contemporary 2 Levels 2nd Floor Unit

Wow! I’ve always wondered how much one of those units would cost in Santana Row. And now I do. I love how “city” is in quotes!

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:16 am

July 24, 2006

Bay Area still isn't building enough houses

Bay Area still isn’t building enough houses
Bay Area cities and counties built 83 percent of the homes needed to meet population and job growth over the last seven years, exacerbating the region’s affordability crunch and lengthening many residents’ commute times, according to a study by a business-oriented think tank.

While cities from Hercules to San Jose approved more than their “fair share” of housing between 1999 and 2005, other municipalities such as Larkspur and Redwood City issued permits for only a fraction of the total condos and single-family homes prescribed by a regional group of governments, said authors of the Bay Area Housing Profile.


In fact, researchers at the council expect that unless the pace of building in the Bay Area increases substantially, the housing crisis will deteriorate over the next quarter-century with the region expected to grow by 600,000 households and 1.6 million jobs.

Further proof that the Bay Area is special, and that they’re not making any more land. Just like I said – forget stock options, give me a house!

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 12:40 am

July 23, 2006

Paying off your mortgage is so 1991

Re-Refinancing, and Putting Off Mortgage Pain – New York Times
With his new loan, his third adjustable-rate mortgage, Mr. Perry, a former technology project manager, cashed about $200,000 out of his home’s equity and is investing it into his four-year-old financial planning business. “I could have sold my house and made my family move,” said Mr. Perry, 42, who lives with his wife and a 3-year-old son in Danville, about 20 miles east of Oakland. “But I didn’t do that. I said, ‘Look, I want to start a new business,’ and this product allowed me to do that.”

He said he was taking on more risk than many of his clients would be willing to because he believes his business will continue to grow. After spending 15 years in the technology industry, which put him on the road constantly, Mr. Perry said that being self-employed allowed him to spend more time with his family, which he also expects to grow. As far as the house, he said: “I am not going to be here for 30 years. Why is it important to have a fixed mortgage?”

That sentiment resonates nationally, and especially in California.

So that’s the secret to California living – continual refinancing!

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:10 am

July 22, 2006

South Bay rents rising fast

MercuryNews.com | 07/20/2006 | South Bay rents rising fast
Rents at San Jose-area apartment complexes rose more this spring than at any time since the peak of the tech boom.

Landlords no longer need to woo customers with a free month’s rent or a DVD player. Rent for apartments in large complexes rose 9 percent compared with a year before, the biggest jump in any of 29 cities in California and elsewhere studied by RealFacts, a Novato company that does research for the apartment industry.

The average monthly rent in the area was $1,414. Palo Alto was the most expensive city at an average $1,929, and Campbell the least at an average $1,231.

A revitalized local job market and rising home prices are two factors driving the rental market, said Caroline Latham, owner of RealFacts. With higher prices and mortgage rates making homes less affordable, there’s increasing demand for rental housing.

“This has been a very weak market until maybe about a year ago,” Latham said. “We’re finally catching up in San Jose” to the rental rate growth that Southern California, for example, has experienced for the past few years.

I guess there wasn’t a housing bubble after all! At this rate, in just a few years, those $500k condos won’t be so laughable! Heck, maybe the $829k condo that used to rent at $2550 might make sense!

Indeed it looks like we’re in a soft landing.

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 10:15 am

Rent is going up up up!

Home prices inch up; rents rise, sales ebb / High costs — and interest rates — cause more people to hit ‘the affordability wall’
From Sunnyvale to Walnut Creek, apartment shoppers are finding rental properties are harder to come by — and more expensive.

The average for a one-bedroom apartment in the Bay Area climbed nearly 7 percent, to $1,218, according to a quarterly report by RealFacts. In Silicon Valley, where the fallout from the dot-com blowout drove rents down by about 30 percent, the average rent ticked up 9 percent to $1,259 amid a strengthening economy and improving corporate profits.

The average mortgage payment Bay Area buyers committed to paying in June was $3,183, DataQuick said.

Will the rent/mortgage price ratio finally hit 1? Time will tell!

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:09 am

July 21, 2006

You know you’re in a rush to sell when you can’t wait to take a picture

MLSlistings Property Detail for MLS number 640587
San Jose, CA 95122

This Single Family Residence has the following features:
MLS#: 640587 Approx Age: 47 Years Approx Sq Ft: 1040
Detached Single Family 1 Story 3 Bedrooms

Either this homeowner was in so much of a rush to sell that he couldn’t wait for the pickup truck to leave, or that the listing agent loves pickup trucks.

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:42 am

July 20, 2006

$800,000 for a 756 sqft riot in Campbell

MLSlistings Property Detail for MLS number 630140
133 S 1ST ST
Campbell, CA 95008

This Single Family Residence has the following features:
MLS#: 630140 Approx Age: 90 Years Approx Sq Ft: 756
Detached Single Family 1 Story Cottage/Bungalow

Alright… over $1000 a sqft for a 90 year old home – no big deal. Been there, done that.

Ok, so it’s in Campbell and not Cupertino or Palo Alto. That’s just a little strange.

But then comes the kicker:


Why in the world would you post this picture your in real estate ad? I mean… seriously! WTF?

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:22 am