August 31, 2006

Cory Doctorow learns about Bay Area living

Boing Boing: Exotic debt-trap mortgages about to turn on their owners
Exotic debt-trap mortgages about to turn on their owners
It’s amazing that banks can get away with offering these “option ARM” mortgages that let people buy way more house than they can afford, and then give them the option of actually making no mortgage payments so that the interest owed is added to the principal, in a cascade of compound-debt that will rapidly mount.

The only question I have is whether the banks will be able to cash in on all those repossessed houses after the real-estate tumble, or will prices be so low that they also lose their shirts?

In order to get the $800,000 house he bought early last year in California’s Silicon Valley, Joe got an “option ARM,” an adjustable-rate loan that lets him choose from a variety of payments every month. The smallest payment included no principal and less than 100 percent of the interest due. The unpaid interest was tacked onto the principal, creating “negative amortization…”

The [lender’s warning] letters contain hypothetical examples of what lay ahead. One is a California homeowner making only minimum payments on a $402,000 loan. The current full interest rate on the loan is 7.6 percent, but the borrower has been paying just $1,348.47, far less than what’s needed to fully amortize the mortgage over its 30-year term. If the loan reset at today’s rates, the full payment required would be $2,887.50 — more than double what the homeowner is currently paying.

Apparently Cory has never looked at buying a Bay Area house. It’s special here – and that means you have to have 50 year neg am loan to buy an entry level house. Like this classic from earlier this year:

Cory… haven’t you heard?  Real Estate only goes up! There’s nothing to fear! BTW, I’ve got some houses near a jail that you might be interested in… buy now! Don’t get priced out! They’re not making any more land! It’s special!

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 6:12 am






"It’s not like it’s San Quentin" – And still not affordable

Thanks to Steve for sending this…

MercuryNews.com | 08/28/2006 | Sales of homes brisk despite jail
When construction is done on the new Terra Serena development in Milpitas, the gated community will boast almost 700 housing units surrounded by parks, swimming pools and tennis courts.

It will sit next to another gated community: the Elmwood Correctional Facility, a Santa Clara County jail.

Nonetheless, buyers are flocking to the $700,000-plus homes, $500,000-plus townhomes and $400,000-plus condos at Terra Serena — even though their neighbors down the street aren’t exactly the Joneses.

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“It’s not like it’s San Quentin,” townhome owner Joaquin Ramirez said.

Ah… nothing like the revised expectations of living in the Bay Area.

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 6:04 am

August 30, 2006

$585,000 gives you a garage bedroom

GLORIA AV, San Jose Property Details – San Jose Real Estate – San Jose Homes for Sale – Movoto
GLORIA AV, San Jose 95127

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Bedroom: 3 Bathroom: 1 Square Footage: 1180 $585,000
Status:
Active
Year Built: 1952 List Date: 8/12/2006 Lot Size: 4792
Parking Spaces: 0 MLS#: 650978
Ask a Question Neighborhood Data Comparable Sale Data Email this to a friend
DESCRIPTION –
GLORIA AV, San Jose
MAY BE RENTAL BUT SHOWS VERY WELL*REMODELED KITCHEN & BATHROOM*HARDWOOD FLOORS*NEW EXTERIOR STUCCO*LGE BEDROOMS*INSIDE LAUNDRY*SIDE ENTRANCE TO BACK* DETACHED GARAGE CONVERTED W/O PERMITS*SOLD AS IS

Wow… who knew garage conversions were so popular!

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:46 am

August 29, 2006

"garage converted, permit unknown ,has extra 2 rooms,no permit"

1790 WAVERLY AV, San Jose Property Details – San Jose Real Estate – San Jose Homes for Sale – Movoto
1790 WAVERLY AV, San Jose 95122

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Bedroom: 3 Bathroom: 1&1/2 Square Footage: 960 $599,000
Status:
Active
Year Built: 1961 List Date: 2/21/2006 Lot Size: 4791
Parking Spaces: 1 MLS#: 609731
Ask a Question Neighborhood Data Comparable Sale Data Email this to a friend
DESCRIPTION –
1790 WAVERLY AV, San Jose
good location ,ceramic floor in l.r.,kitchen,bath rooms,and hall, close to all shopping,and free ways ,and churches ,garage converted, permit unknown ,has extra 2 rooms,no permit, as is sale,,,,,,,

I have this suspicion that the garage conversion has no permit. Maybe I’m wrong, but that’s my guess.

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:43 am

August 28, 2006

$800,000 – the new definition of affordable house

MercuryNews.com | 08/26/2006 | Choices driven by interest rates, commutes, schools
The Mountain View market has remained strong because it’s more affordable than some of the surrounding towns that are close to jobs, and has a good school system, said Howard Bloom, an agent with Intero Real Estate. “You can get in and buy a nice home in a good neighborhood for $850,000 or $800,000, it’s got good schools . . . based on that affordability it tends to move better,” he said.

For those doing math, assuming a 10% downpay, you’d need an income of $247,984 (assuming a traditional 30 year fixed loan.

As for good schools… it’s all relative…

Police address parents’ gang violence concerns — Los Altos Town Crier
Red or blue shoelaces may seem like the latest fashion trend, but they could put students in harm’s way, parents learned last week at a meeting hosted by the Mountain View Police Department following the possible gang-related murder of a Los Altos High School student.

The colors blue and red are affiliated with two locally dominant gangs: the Norteños and Sureños. (Norteños identify themselves by the color red; Sureños, by blue.)

Parents should be on the lookout for blue or red sweatshirts, backpacks, T-shirts, belts, bandanas, binders and baseball caps bearing gang symbols such as the Roman numerals XIII or XIV, three or four dots and the letters VMV (Varrio Montana Vista) or MVS (Mountain View Surenos), Mountain View School Resource Officer Alan Nelson said. Even red or blue shoelaces could indicate gang affiliation, he said.

“What I’m here to tell you is that we do have a gang problem in Mountain View,” said Mountain View Police Chief Scott Vermeer.

What does that say about other schools though?

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 7:00 am

NotToWay – a new Web 2.0 company?

MLSlistings Property Detail for MLS number 646841
2134 NOTTOWAY AV
San Jose, CA 95116

2134not.jpg

$589,000

This Single Family Residence has the following features:
MLS#: 646841 Approx Age: 28 Years Approx Sq Ft: 1066
Detached Single Family 1 Story 3 Bedrooms

Actually, the only reason I cited this house was because of the funny name of the street :)

That and… well… from the front it looks like people are living in the garage. Why else would you park all those nice cars outside?

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:40 am

August 27, 2006

Do you own either of these book?

Do you own this book?

Or its 2005 pre-quel?

If you do, please leave a comment about what you thought of the book(s).

Especially if you own a property featured on this site… like this one:

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Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:31 am

August 26, 2006

*NEWSFLASH*: "Reality Check" Presentation from Realtors!

A number of blogs are linking to this slide deck by David Lereah, the Chief Economist for the National Association of REALTORS. I found the link through this blog: Paper Money – A US Real Estate Bubble Blog: Lereah Mea Culpa?

Here are some key slides that you may be interested in:

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Go download the deck to see all 60 slides!
Fortunately for us, none of these things will apply – Silicon Valley is special ;)

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:44 am

August 25, 2006

Bad brakes? Steep lot? $599,950 to find out in San Jose

MLSlistings Property Detail for MLS number 633865
156 ROCKY MOUNTAIN DR
San Jose, CA 95127
(East Valley)

3156rocky.jpg

$599,950

This Single Family Residence has the following features:
MLS#: 633865 Approx Age: 46 Years Approx Sq Ft: 1040
Detached Single Family 1 Story Ranch
3 Bedrooms 2 Bathrooms 1 Stall Shower
1 Tub Eat in Kitchen Wall to Wall Carpeting

Why do those cars have chocks keeping them back?

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:38 am

August 24, 2006

Build a home… or a liquor store here in San Jose!

213 S KING RD, San Jose Property Details – San Jose Real Estate – San Jose Homes for Sale – Movoto
213 S KING RD, San Jose 95116

213sking.jpg

Bedroom: 2 Bathroom: 1 Square Footage: 680 $569,000
Status:
Active
Year Built: N/A List Date: 8/22/2005 Lot Size: 7405
Parking Spaces: 0 MLS#: 548530
Ask a Question Neighborhood Data Comparable Sale Data Email this to a friend
DESCRIPTION –
213 S KING RD, San Jose
IDEAL FOR INVESTOR OR DEVELOPER PROPERTY USE TO BE 2BR,1BA,NOW A VACANT LOT BUILD YOUR OWN HOME,OR COMMERCIAL BLDG.WHAT EVER THE CITY ALLOWS YOU 213 S. KNIG RD. IS A VACANT LOT NEXT TO THE GOLF COURSE,SELLER WANTS QUICK COE

Maybe I’m missing something… but this doesn’t seem very vacant to me.

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:33 am