October 8, 2006

Well… at least there aren’t race riots here

So the Merc had a poll: Is the Bay Area worth it?

Here’s my favorite response:

News #4160.12
The answer is: HELL YES YES YES YES YES!!

I’ve lived in Boston, Portland, and Atlanta during the past 10 years and to put it simply, there is no place like the bay area!

And here are some of the reasons:


It may not be perfect, but 95% of the time, I can plan on a good tennis match without checking the weather. Oh, did I mention that I’ve lived in Boston? Why anybody would even consider living there is beyond me, unless you like blizzards EVERY FREAKIN WINTER! I mean, you can bank on it! You can complain about earthquakes all you want, but I haven’t felt a single earthquake since I’ve been here. And the natives have felt ONE in last 100 years. Pretty good odds if you ask me.


TOLERANCE! Yeap, I’ve also lived in Atlanta and people there throw the “N” word around like nothing! Generally speaking, irregardless of your religion, color, political views, … bay area people will accept you the way you are. Of course, there are assholes everywhere but you won’t find the kind of bigotry and intolerance here like the way you’ll find in Georgia (or any other southern states). You may, but not in mass numbers like in the south.

Here are some of the other reasons, Carmel by the Sea, Golden Gate Bridge, 17 mile drive, wine country, … all within few hours of driving distance. I mean, if you can afford it, you gotta be nuts if you don’t want to live here.

But we all pay the price. The price of paradise is lots of money. So drink your coffee in that dreary portland weather but I’m on my way for a bike ride across the golden gate bridge to Sausalitos… nice lunch and a ferry ride back. Tomorrow, hike by Muir woods…. day after that, maybe a walk with my dog in beautiful carmel beach.

People, weather, scenery, tolerance for difference, educated people, diversity, best ethnic foods, tons of outdoor activities, … I can go on and on… only bad thing…. TOO DAMN EXPENSIVE… Ah… price of paradise.

Interesting… so this person compared the Bay Area to Atlanta for tolerance… the same Atlanta that had a race riot in 1906?

Aside from history, is it even comparable?

Races in Atlanta:

  • Black (61.4%)
  • White Non-Hispanic (31.3%)
  • Hispanic (4.5%)
  • Other race (2.0%)
  • Two or more races (1.2%)
  • Asian Indian (0.6%)
  • American Indian (0.5%)


Races in San Jose:

  • White Non-Hispanic (36.0%)
  • Hispanic (30.2%)
  • Other race (15.9%)
  • Vietnamese (8.8%)
  • Chinese (5.7%)
  • Filipino (5.4%)
  • Two or more races (5.0%)
  • Black (3.5%)
  • Asian Indian (3.0%)
  • Other Asian (1.6%)
  • American Indian (1.5%)
  • Japanese (1.3%)
  • Korean (1.1%)

And as for this comment: And the natives have felt ONE [earthquake] in last 100 years. Pretty good odds if you ask me.

Apparently this person is writing from the year 2089… and has a very poor understanding of probability.

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:55 am

October 7, 2006

Our ramen-based economy – eating is overrated

MercuryNews.com | 10/03/2006 | ‘Burdened’: Area owners pay a big chunk of their income for housing
Lenders and other home buying experts said they’re not surprised by the numbers, which they said reflect a long-running trend in the Bay Area. And some questioned whether the 30 percent figure was outdated, saying many people can afford to pay more.


Lenders and real estate experts said home buyers in the Bay Area are used to paying more for housing than home buyers elsewhere, and that many, like Singer, use their homes as a savings plan. Most have figured out how to manage the extra debt, they said. In some cases, borrowers are making smaller down payments than previous generations of home buyers.

“(They) are going to make the lifestyle change necessary to own a home, which may mean that 50 percent of their income goes to their mortgage. . . . (They) don’t go out to dinner, they don’t go shopping anymore. It’s about changing their lifestyle,” said Andrea Lanier, a mortgage broker with the San Mateo office of Bankers Preferred Real Estate Loans.

The rules have changed! Everything is worth sacrificing to own a house!

Vacations, who needs those? Most offices have free sodas and ping pong tables! And, there’s always Great America!

Fortuantely, there’s a lot of Asian supermarkets in the Bay Area, so that the price of ramen is very competitively priced.

My prediction for 2020? When you get a new job, your pay check will be direct deposit to your mortgage payment. Safeway will be out of business – but that’s ok because you will be shopping at the local food bank.

And it’ll be cool – just like how bragging about working 100 hours a week used to be cool.

“Are you going to FoodMax?”
“No way… I’m going to Mountain View Community Center”
“Dude you so rock – that must be a killer condo.”
“Yeah, it’s really special and it’s only going to go up. I love it here – it’s paradise.”

Comments (6) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:50 am

October 6, 2006

What's better than a Pamela?

3 Pamelas… of course!

MLSlistings Property Search Results


I wonder why they’re all for sale right now…

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

October 5, 2006

SF – no crash – too special

Mixed outlook for local housing / Solano County’s forecast weakest, Economy.com says
There’s a good chance that housing prices across the United States will drop next year for the first time since the Great Depression, but West Bay homeowners may be spared by the area’s tight housing supply.

Prices in San Francisco, Marin and San Mateo counties will rise about 3.6 percent a year for the next two years even as home values in the East Bay slip, according to a Moody’s Economy.com report.

Solano County will probably be hit hardest, with prices dropping 12.1 percent through 2008 from their peak at the end of 2005. Home values in Alameda and Contra Costa counties will slide by 6.4 percent, the report predicts.

“There doesn’t appear to be much excess supply in the San Francisco market,” said Gus Faucher, director of macroeconomics at Economy.com. “A lot of the growth has been occurring in the outlying metro areas. It’s the case in San Francisco that supply has not really gotten ahead of demand.


San Francisco is also protected by the fact that there are fewer speculators, according to Faucher. Only 9.2 percent of homes in the city and in neighboring Marin and San Mateo counties are occupied by people other than their owners. Nationally, that number is 16 percent, he said.

That, coupled with the fact that home prices in the three-county region aren’t out of line with historical values, suggests that market isn’t in for a major crash, Faucher said.

“San Francisco is perpetually unaffordable,” said Faucher, who noted that an analysis showed that prices in the three counties were just 7.5 percent higher than Economy.com predicted they should be based on historical comparisons. “We think the metro area should be able to sustain that.”

Congrats to San Francisco on being so special!

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

Insert your caption for this house! "Fully Armored"?

MLSlistings Property Detail for MLS number 654796
San Jose, CA 95125
(Willow Glen)



This Single Family Residence has the following features:
MLS#: 654796 Approx Age: 96 Years Approx Sq Ft: 885
Detached Single Family 1 Story 2 Bedrooms
1 Bathroom 1 Stall Shower 1 Tub
Separate Dining Room Gas Heat City/Public Water
Lot: 4,500 to 6,500 Sq Ft Patio

I give up – what would you caption this house? “Free camo”? “Fully armored”?

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:13 am

October 4, 2006

Introducing the Shedouse – now in San Jose

The Industry is always coming up with new names for its products. Tiny homes which people would rent for a week for vacation are known as “bungaloes”. Every other house is “Craftsman” or “Craftsman-style”.

Well, let me introduce today – The Shedouse.

MLSlistings Property Detail for MLS number 656836
San Jose, CA 95122

Open House Showing
Saturday, September 16, 2006 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Sunday, September 17, 2006 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM

This Single Family Residence has the following features:
MLS#: 656836 Approx Age: 47 Years Approx Sq Ft: 752
Detached Single Family 1 Story 3 Bedrooms

Yes – the Shedouse. What you call a house that looks like a Tuff Shed. These are very very very special. It’s a great time to buy!

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:07 am

October 3, 2006

"San Jose ranks high in percentage of owner-occupied homes"

This is fairly surprising…

MercuryNews.com | 10/03/2006 | San Jose ranks high in percentage of owner-occupied homes
Despite facing some of the highest home prices in the country, more San Jose residents own their homes than do people in almost any other large American city.

In 2005, 61 percent of households in San Jose were owner-occupied, according to data scheduled for release today by the U.S. Census Bureau.


Only two large U.S. cities beat San Jose for home ownership rates. In Jacksonville, Fla., 64.2 percent of residents owned their homes, and the median home value was $144,600. And Indianapolis squeaked past San Jose with a figure of 61.6 percent home ownership — and a median home value of about $118,000.

Among smaller, local cities represented in the survey, Fremont had 67.1 percent owner-occupied households in 2005, while Sunnyvale had 49.1 percent and Redwood City had 54.7 percent such households.

Wow… home sweet home I guess.

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 9:47 am

This is a detached house? Are you sure?

1980 TOBAGO AV, San Jose Property Details – San Jose Real Estate – San Jose Homes for Sale – Movoto
1980 TOBAGO AV, San Jose 95122


Bedroom: 2 Bathroom: 1 Square Footage: 853 $550,000
Year Built: 1973 List Date: 6/28/2006 Lot Size: 4500
Parking Spaces: 1 MLS#: 640141
Ask a Question Neighborhood Data Comparable Sale Data Email this to a friend
1980 TOBAGO AV, San Jose
Property Type Detached Single Family
Lot Description Lot: 1 to 4,500 Sq Ft, Level Lot

I guess it’s detached. But it’s a pretty tight fit.

Is there a law that says that everything awful must be advertised as a “GREAT OPPORTUNITY FOR FIRST TIME BUYER”?

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:54 am

October 2, 2006

7 mos on market? Repaint and raise price in East Palo Alto

So I noticed this house recently – and it really seemed familiar. Especially the car. Do you remember it?

MLSlistings Property Detail for MLS number 647188
East Palo Alto, CA 94303



This Single Family Residence has the following features:
MLS#: 647188 Approx Age: 58 Years Approx Sq Ft: 1010
Detached Single Family 1 Story Ranch
2 Bedrooms Ground Floor Bedroom 1 Bathroom

Of course you do! This is the third time it’s been on Burbed!

Last time, it showed up on Burbed (8/21) because the price had be hiked. And this is what it looked like then:

And before then it was on Burbed (2/21/06) as one of the first entries for $506,000:

Look! It’s the same car:

So everyone, if your house doesn’t sell for 7 months, raise the price and then repaint it. Be sure to leave the security bars though – the house is a “steal”!

Comments (1) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:46 am