October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween readers!

This is a pumpkin.

This is the CEO of Countrywide: Angelo Mozilo.

Comments (4) -- Posted by: burbed @ 12:27 pm

Is that a fireplace? or are you happy to see me?

San Jose (San Jose) 95122
Detached Single Family (Class 1)
Bed/Bath: 3 / 2
SqFt: 1,386
Lot: 2,178 sq ft
Age: —
List Price: $539,888
Assoc Fee:


This is a 2 bedroom 2 bath home with open loft -Great family starter home Seller to credit for NRCC. W/D Refri stays-Fireplace in LR fenced backyard 1 car garage. Lowest priced single family in this area

No kidding – were it not for this description, I would have never in a million years guessed that there was a fireplace in the living room.



Good use of space in the listing to point that out!

Comments (2) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:02 am

October 30, 2007

Finally a house without staging!

3365 E HILLS DR, SAN JOSE 95127 (San Jose)
$479,000 Beds: 2 bed(s) Baths: 1 bath(s) MLS: 719133


Property Overview
SAN JOSE (San Jose) 95127
Detached Single Family (Class 1)
Bed/Bath: 2 / 1
SqFt: 660
Lot: 5,227 sq ft
Age: 86 years
List Price: $479,000
Assoc Fee:
$479000 now! OBO! Short-sale OK. Great starter home, 2B1B, small office, Large lot, stone patio, 1Car gar. 1B/1B apt in back. Permits? Side driveway provides access to back for RV or boat

When you’ve looked as many houses as I have, you get really really really really sick of staging. Brightly colored towels, giant clocks that Buster Keaton could hang off of, French poster ads turned into art – blah blah blah.

I like this ad. It’s authentic. It’s got a certain realism that really resonates. What is the artist attempting to establish in this scene? Despair and dereliction perhaps? The human condition?

Why not other pictures of this house?


Oh. Nevermind. Picture of a sink it is.

Comments (10) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:56 am

October 29, 2007

$603 per sqft Milpitas … school?

Milpitas (Milpitas) 95035
Detached Single Family (Class 1)
Bed/Bath: 3 / 2
SqFt: 1,044
Lot: 4,800 sq ft1580pine.jpg
Age: —
List Price: $630,000
Hardwood floors all around, close to school and park, minutes away from great mall close access to 680 880 101. Beautiful front and back yard! Short sale!! All terms and conditions subject to lenders approval

Oh yes, those beautiful front and back yards are so beautiful that this school is featured instead.

I feel kind of misled – I really thought I could buy this school at this price point. I’d turn it into a chip factory so that neighborhood children can work there, so as to help their parents pay the mortgage. It’s all about the 4 income family baby!

Comments (11) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:47 am

October 27, 2007

“real estate prices in bay area” and why Antioch is messing them up

The other day, someone found this site by searching for “real estate prices in bay area”.

They were probably confused: “why is it that all of my neighbor’s houses in Los Altos doubled in price last month, yet I keep hearing the Main Street Media (MSM) say that the bubble is popping in the Bay Area? Facebook is valued at $15 billion – this doesn’t make any sense.”

Well Internet User, the reason is because of places like Antioch – just look at this picture:


See, Antioch used to be part of the Bay Area – but it’s not anymore. Problem Solved.

Comments (4) -- Posted by: burbed @ 9:16 am

Why “california bay area home price” will never fall

 The other day someone found this blog by searching for “california bay area home price”  – I bet they were wondering if prices would ever fall.

Fortunately, a Kevin posted a good explanation:

What would you say to these Manteca folks? — Burbed.com: Your San Francisco Bay Area Home and Mortgage Insanity Blog
The median household income for all bay area counties is $72,000. For Santa Clara County, it’s $78,000.

The median income is not what you should use to guage the median house price. Historically, in virtually every part of the country (including the bay area), the median house price has hovered around 5.0-5.5x the local median income. This means that if the median income is $80,000, the market will support house prices in the range of 400-480k.

The median house is NOT bought by the median income family. Generally speaking, only the top 60-80% of incomes can/should realistically qualify for the mortgage on anything, with the remaining 20-40% renting permanently.

Lop off the bottom 30% of households from the “buyers” category and you wind up moving that median from $80,000 to around $120,000 — suddenly the $500k house looks reasonable. At 20% down and a 6.5% fixed 30 year mortgage you’d be paying under 30% with property taxes included. If you’re making $120k a year and can’t save $100k over the course of 4-5 years while renting, stop buying so much crap.

By that metric, it’s probably safe to say that a reasonable median in the bay area is $400-500k. Currently the median is still nearly $700k. It would take a minimum 20-30% price drop to make things rational.

Unfortunately, bay area buyers are not rational. People are more than willing to spend more than half of their income on a house. Thanks to Prop 13 and reverse mortgages we aren’t seeing old people being “forced” to sell. Greedy owners who are overly concerned with property values refuse to allow any significant new development, despite the huge swaths of unused land all throughout the bay area cities. I fully expect people to continue shelling out outrageous sums of money for shitty houses for many long years.

Not only that, but the median includes a number of… shall we say… Pre-Prop 13 buyers. So it’s actually skewed down. There’s also the fact that most buyers don’t rely on paychecks – everyone has stock and stock options that are soaring.

Long story short: be prepared to spend a lot, to get very little, in a suburb. Prices are set to take off. $15 billion Facebook any one?

Comments (13) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:49 am

October 26, 2007

San Francisco Cited as Best Job Markets for High-End Execs

San Francisco, D.C., San Diego Cited as Best Job Markets for High-End Execs | workforce.com
San Francisco, D.C., San Diego Cited as Best Job Markets for High-End Execs
Study ranks cities according to the number of employment openings with salaries of $100,000 or more versus the number of individuals actively seeking jobs in this high income bracket.

Seriously. Do you know anyone who lives in the Bay Area and doesn’t make at least $100k?

Comments (5) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:39 am

$1.25 million in East Palo Alto – 1020 sqft house

PALO ALTO (East Palo Alto) 94303
Detached Single Family (Class 1)
Bed/Bath: 2 / 1
SqFt: 1,020
Lot: 32,670 sq ft
Age: 99 years
List Price: $1,250,000
Assoc Fee:868runny.jpg
HUGE LOT ! 32,670 sf. with a 2-story house -2 bedroom and 1 bath House is between “Rose-Garden”subdivision and 7 new 2story homes under construction.Call your investors and developers!!!

At first, you might think: Hm… $1.25 million for a 99 year old 2/1 with 1020 sqft?

But then you perk up: it’s East Palo Alto.

And then you perk up even more: It’s on a 32k sqft lot.

HOLY COW. 32,000 sqft! Good lord! What can youdo with all that land?

Personally, I’d take acue from the present owner:


What was going on there? Copper ore strip mining! You know – the commodities market is going through the roof these days after all! This is your chance to become rich!

Just think of the potential. It’s like the 1849’s all over again if you buy this $1.25 million property. Fulfill your Californian destiny – speculate today and profit!

Comments (10) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:31 am

October 25, 2007

Median prices fall 17.7% in the Bay Area – or did they?

Home sales plunge in September
In the Bay Area – which, by the California Association of Realtors’ measure is made up of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, Santa Clara, San Mateo and Solano counties – sales of existing, stand-alone homes plunged 45.6 percent between September 2006 and September 2007, while the median sales price slid 5 percent to $702,240. September’s median was a whopping 17.7 percent below May’s peak of $853,910.

That sounds bad – but look, it includes Alameda, Contra Costa, and Solano. It also includes Gilroy and Morgan Hill.

Everyone knows those aren’t part of the Bay Area.

The Bay Area is defined as where the money is. It’s not a place, it’s a state of mind!

I wish the SF Gate would up their reporting standards and clarify this. Let’s talk about real, representative, Bay Area places like Palo Alto, Cupertino, and the San Francisco. Not places where they don’t have Pluto’s.


Comments (4) -- Posted by: burbed @ 4:31 pm

I love garages with windows

MLS-2.com: Property Details
140 JASMINE WY, East Palo Alto,CA,94303 – $499,950140jas.jpg3 Beds 1560 Sq.Ft. Aprx. No Garage MLS#: 707780
1.0 Baths 5,000 Lot Size 56 Yrs Old Aprx. List Date: 2007-02-16Description – 140 JASMINE WY, East Palo Alto,CA,94303
3 Bedroom Home, Garage has been converted to 2 additional rooms. Nice Kitchen w/tile. Hardwood Floors.

You’re kidding me – the garage has been converted to 2 additional rooms?

Seriously, if the listing didn’t have that, I would’ve never guessed. For a minute, I was thinking “Wow, the cars sure will be cozy and comfortable sleeping at night in such a nice garage.” Instead, your kids can be!

Comments (3) -- Posted by: burbed @ 6:00 am