October 23, 2006

Why house prices will never fall in Silicon Valley

It’s Not the People You Know. It’s Where You Are. – New York Times
Sequoia makes its preference for the 20-minute rule almost explicit, telling applicants whose companies are at the “seed stage” (receiving less than $1 million) or “early stage” ($1 million to $10 million) that “it is helpful if the company is close to our offices” because they “require very frequent contact.”

Kleiner Perkins has only one office, the one in Menlo Park. Sequoia has reached out to entrepreneurs more considerately, providing five offices. But only one of the five, the one in Menlo Park, is in the United States. The others are in China (two), India and Israel.

If you have a brilliant idea for the New New Thing and want Sequoia to provide its funds and blessing — using the same golden touch provided not long ago to Google’s founders — you would be much better off in Beijing, where Sequoia has an office, than in Boston, where it does not.
[snip]

The ecosystem in Silicon Valley, Mr. Sternberg said, includes “incredible techies, who live here because this is the epicenter, where they can find the most interesting projects to work on.” The ecosystem also includes real estate agents, accountants, head hunters and lawyers who understand an entrepreneur’s situation — that is, emptied bank accounts and maxed-out credit cards.

“In New York, it would be extremely difficult to find a law firm willing to defer the first $20,000 of your legal fees,” Mr. Sternberg said. “Here, we got that. It’s a pretty standard thing in Silicon Valley.”

On the East Coast, a business plan contest at the Harvard Business School in 2004 prompted one M.B.A. graduate, Arijit Sengupta, to found BeyondCore, a software company, in his apartment in Boston. Mr. Sengupta, who earlier had earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science and economics at Stanford, was determined to develop a finished product and to acquire customers by the oldest method of all: bootstrapping, or starting a business without outside capital.

He did end up needing Silicon Valley for something else: technical talent that would be willing to accept equity in place of any salary. Six weeks ago, he moved to Silicon Valley to recruit more people like his chief technical officer, who has been working full time since Jan. 1 for equity only.

And this is why house prices will never fall in Silicon Valley.

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 7:03 am






$985k for a 1080 sqft Cupertino home – magic word?

MLSlistings Property Detail for MLS number 644520
10154 AMELIA CT
Cupertino, CA 95014
10154amelia.jpg

$985,000

This Single Family Residence has the following features:
MLS#: 644520 Approx Age: 58 Years Approx Sq Ft: 1080
Detached Single Family 1 Story 2 Bedrooms

You know what the magic word is. :)

Teardown. 

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:06 am

October 22, 2006

The poor architecture of San Francisco. – By Witold Rybczynski – Slate Magazine

The poor architecture of San Francisco. – By Witold Rybczynski – Slate Magazine
The San Francisco Paradox

When good cities have bad architecture.

[snip]

. By contrast, San Francisco epitomizes a different, older model: a thriving city with a prosperous commercial past (in this case a port) that gradually became what urban economists call a “glamour city.” Glamour cities are centers of international business (New York), political power (Washington, D.C.), and the New Economy (Boston). They usually have a 19th-century infrastructure of museums, concert halls, and well-preserved residential architecture, and they are where the wealthy, the well-educated, and the ambitious want to live. High-end demand, in turn, produces real estate values that—even in the current slump—are an order of magnitude greater than elsewhere. These cities are vibrant, livable, prosperous, and well-managed. San Francisco, on top of all this, has a temperate climate and a great natural setting. What it doesn’t have is great architecture.

[snip]

Architecturally speaking, San Francisco has been like a beautiful, rich woman who has never developed an interest in cooking and serves TV dinners to her family, then occasionally—somewhat frantically—hires caterers whenever she has company for dinner.

Well this is certainly interesting read.

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 3:02 pm

Bay Area roads some of the worst on the nation

MercuryNews.com | 10/18/2006 | Roadshow: Bay Area will be billions short for much-needed pothole repairs
Q I find the report claiming San Jose’s roads are worst in the nation flawed. As someone who drives more than 50,000 miles a year around the Bay Area, San Francisco’s roads are far worse than San Jose’s troubles. Want potholes and bumpy, bad roads? Try just about every road near the financial district in San Francisco.

Alex Dykes
Sunnyvale

A Today, you may get more bad news. The Metropolitan Transportation Commission will release its annual pothole report and it estimates that the nine Bay Area counties need $20.4 billion over the next 25 years to maintain the aging roadway system, but only $9.4 billion will be available. A recent national report rated San Jose’s freeways and city streets as the worst in the nation. As for San Francisco and Oakland, they ranked third on the pothole chart. San Francisco says it spent $4.3 million between 2001 and 2005 paying claims in 744 cases where drivers suffered car damage or pedestrians were injured because of potholes, cracked sidewalks or broken curbs.

Bad roads mean that you should spend more time at home. More time at home means that you need to own more houses. And that’s why property prices will always go up!

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:26 am

October 21, 2006

Rental market is red-hot / Bay Area rents are climbing; units going fast

Rental market is red-hot / Bay Area rents are climbing; units going fast
More than 25 people packed an open house Saturday for a studio apartment on Russian Hill with hardwood floors, a view of the Bay and a monthly rent of $1,450.

By Sunday the unit was snapped up.

That sizzling demand is driving up prices, experts said. The average asking rent for a Bay Area apartment jumped 8.2 percent to $1,415 in the third quarter compared with $1,378 for the same period a year earlier, according to an analysis by Novato research firm RealFacts that included apartments of all sizes from studios to three bedrooms. The occupancy rate rose 1.2 percent, to 96.2 percent.

The apartment rental market and the housing market have traded places.

[snip]

According to RealFacts, the biggest rental increases occurred in the South Bay and Silicon Valley in the third quarter, with average rents for all types of units rising 17.5 percent in Mountain View, 10.9 percent in San Mateo and 13.4 percent in Santa Clara compared with the third quarter of 2005.

At this rate, it might one day be as expensive to rent as to buy!

Better buy now in this buyer’s market before you get priced out of silicon valley forever!

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:58 am

October 20, 2006

Welcome to America (Av) – Cheapest House in Silicon Valley

MLSlistings Property Detail for MLS number 658848
318 AMERICA AV
Sunnyvale, CA 94085
318america.jpg

$450,000

This Single Family Residence has the following features:
MLS#: 658848 Approx Age: 86 Years Approx Sq Ft: 672

This is the cheapest standalone house in Silicon Valley (if you exclude Los Gatos mountains) – and it’s just fun thinking that you might get a gift basket that says “Welcome to your 672 sqft home on America”

Comments (4) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:38 am

October 19, 2006

"2000 sqft was never so affordable" – $855,000

MLSlistings Property Detail for MLS number 659700
217 ADA AV #00037
Mountain View, CA 94043
217ada.jpg

$855,000
2000 Feet was Never so Affordable!
Large and beautiful 3 bdrm, 2.5 bath end unit two-level townhome with 2 car attached garage, driveway parking, new carpets, new laminate flooring, new countertops, new designer paint colors, newer appliance which will be included with sale! Come enjoy the best priced home in Mountain View. Hurry–won’t last long!

This Condominium has the following features:
MLS#: 659700 Approx Age: 20 Years Approx Sq Ft: 2009
Condominium 51-100 Units Low Rise (1-3 Stories)
Contemporary 2 Levels End Unit
Ground Level 3 Bedrooms 1 Master Bedroom Suite

That’s a pretty bold claim!

So I checked on zillow and guess what… a unit nearby with the same square footage was $280,000 back in 1993.

Another one, sold last year on 5/27/2005 was $735,000.

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:20 am

October 18, 2006

This garage is your bedroom – $515,000 in East Palo Alto

MLSlistings Property Detail for MLS number 654913
2253 GLEN WY
East Palo Alto, CA 94303
2253glen.jpg

$515,000

This Single Family Residence has the following features:
MLS#: 654913 Approx Age: 52 Years Approx Sq Ft: 790
Attached Single Family 1 Story Cottage/Bungalow
2 Bedrooms 1 Bathroom 1 Shower over Tub

Some people love spending time in the garage… now, you can sleep in yours!

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:23 am

October 17, 2006

Bay Area home prices fell on a year-over-year basis for the first time in more than four years last month.

DQNews – Bay Area Press Release – October 2006
Bay Area home prices fell on a year-over-year basis for the first time in more than four years last month. Sales were at their lowest level in five years, a real estate information service reported.

The median price paid for a home in the nine-county Bay Area was $611,000 in September. That was down 1.5 percent from $620,000 for the month before, and down 0.8 percent from $616,000 for September last year, according to DataQuick Information Systems.

Not to fear though. I spoke to a Realtor(R)(TM) recently and he told me that prices were just taking a break, and that they’re going to go right back to climbing up soon.

Buy now or be priced out forever!

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 10:43 am

Did you like doll houses when you were growing up?

MLSlistings Property Detail for MLS number 655184
579 MCCARTY AV
Mountain View, CA 94041
579mccarthy.jpg

$819,000
Open House Showing
Sunday, October 01, 2006 1:30 PM – 4:30 PM
A must see. (with 2-out/bldgs. approx. 120sf.each)

This Single Family Residence has the following features:
MLS#: 655184 Approx Age: 49 Years Approx Sq Ft: 1194
Detached Single Family 1 Story Ranch

What’s this “2-out/bldgs” business?

579mccarthy-b.jpg

Whooooooooooaaaaaaaaaaaaa. So you buy this house, and you get two… uh… “extra houses” for free?

Fun for kids and.. uh… adults!

This being the Bay Area, you could probably rent those back out for $400 a month – that’s $800 in income! Do you have friends named Kato?
This might actually be a good deal!

Comments (3) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:32 am