May 31, 2008

“I’m also not sure that we would have been willing to buy in … much of California”

Everyone knows that the NYTimes is full of capitalism hating Communists who hate California, freedom, and ownership. Here’s another example:

Economic Scene – Time to Buy? The Conversion of a Renter –

One of the big lies of the real estate business is the idea that renting a home is tantamount to throwing money away. It’s a useful fiction for real estate agents, because they make vastly bigger commissions on house sales than rentals. But the comparison isn’t nearly so straightforward for the rest of us.

Renting involves one obvious, recurring cost that can never be recouped: the monthly rent check. Buying, on the other hand, involves multiple expenses, some of which aren’t so obvious. On top of closing costs, there are repairs, property taxes, mortgage principal and mortgage interest. (The mortgage-interest tax deduction reduces this last cost but doesn’t eliminate it.) When you own, you also lose the ability to invest your down payment elsewhere, like the stock market.


I’m also not sure that we would have been willing to buy in Boston, New York or much of California, where the rent ratios remain above 20, according to data from Moody’s

In fact, if you’re now renting — almost anywhere — and do not need to move, I’d probably recommend that you wait to buy. The market is still coming your way.

How dare David Leonhardt say that he wouldn’t consider buying in much of California – world’s paradise?

Now, I will give David a chance, he did say “much of California”. That could mean that he wouldn’t consider buying anywhere in California except for the Real Bay Area. And if that’s the case, then he’s ok.

But still, can we trust him?

Does anyone have historical sales price/rent price data handy? Does it even matter?

Maybe it’d be better for everyone if the ratio hit 50! Then we’d finally topple Manhattan.

One can only dream…

Comments (10) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:12 am

May 30, 2008

Dining room could be converted back to fourth bedroom

920 Round Hill Road

Redwood City (Redwood City) 94061
Detached Single Family (Class 1)
Bed/Bath:    3 / 2 1/2
SqFt:    1,630
Lot:    8,400 sq ft
Age:    51 years
List Price:    $998,000
Assoc Fee:
Exceptional Value!!!
Exceptional Value in Farm Hill Estates, Quiet and Desirable street, Open Kitchen/Family room, Spacious Living Room/Dining Room Combination with Large Picture Windows and Wood Burning Fireplace, Hardwood Floors as well as Double Paned Windows Throughout, Dining Room could be converted back to Fourth Bedroom. Excellent Roy Cloud School (K through 8)

The anonymous Burbed reader who submitted this thought I should make note of the fact this house is pink. Like Pepto Bismol pink. Pink sure is a popular color in Redwood City – I think this one is even better than the Valentine’s Day special one.

I suppose one could also fall in love with this house because it is in Farm Hill Estate. When I see this house, and it’s 8,400 sqft lot, estate is definitely the first thing I think of.

But really, for me, the big catch is that the dining room can be converted back to the fourth bedroom. I really wonder how this works. With this make a cool transforming sound like in Transformers? Does this use nano-technology? Perhaps the floor flips when you move a vase and press a button – thus converting the room from a dining room to a bedroom. The imagination wanders!

What do you like best about this house?

Comments (21) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:49 am

San Mateo County Single Family Residential data and statistics

Thanks to Burbed Reader Frank for this San Mateo data.

Wow… go Menlo Park!

Comments (15) -- Posted by: burbed @ 4:48 am

May 29, 2008

Permanent guaranteed Odor removal by Rainbow Services

17140 La Rinconada Dr, Monte Sereno 95030

Status: Active
Bedroom: 3
Bathroom: 2
Year Built: 1955
Lot Size: 10126
Square Footage: 1711
List Date: 4/30/2008
Garage Spaces: 2
MLS#: 805414

Description of 17140 La Rinconada Driv, Monte SerenoExcellent Monte Sereno Location. Large lot. A definite fixer. Good bones. Double driveway with room for RV, Boat, etc. Seller’s illness has caused sale. Permanentguaranteed Odor removal by Rainbow Services of $16,800. Seller has two bedrooms unavailable to see-personal. 6 year old roof. Two driveways. New carpet. Bring your clients who want a home in an upscale location. Disclosures available.

Frankly, I’m a bit confused as to what is going on here. Is the Seller including permanent guaranteed odor removal by Rainbow Services? Or is the Seller saying that $16,800 of permanent guaranteed odor removal by Rainbow Services is required?

But in the end, does it really matter? This house is in Monte Sereno – can you say executive class? Sure you can’t see 2 of the bedrooms, but does it really matter? It’s got new carpeting! And besides, for $1.3 million, this is a deal – houses in that area regularly go for $3 million.

The hallmark of a good executive is being able to make decisions with incomplete information. Let’s face it, if you couldn’t make the easy call to buy this house, then you’re not an executive. And if you’re not an executive, you’re not meant to live here.

’nuff said.

(Thanks to Burbed reader Brian for this find.)

Comments (19) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:14 am

“California ranks toward the bottom of the barrel”

Top Suburbs To Live Well –
School quality and crime are obvious indicators. School rankings come from Department of Education data on graduation rates, per-pupil spending and student-to-teacher ratio. By most measures of school quality, California ranks toward the bottom of the barrel

And that, my friends, is why it’s essential that you buy a place in Palo Alto or Cupertino – so your kids can go to top part of the bottom of the barrel.

If you moved somewhere cheap like Northern New Jersey, then your kids might end up at the bottom part of the top of the barrel.

Isn’t it better to be at the top of the bottom than the bottom of the top? It makes Web 2.0 sense to me!

Comments (52) -- Posted by: burbed @ 4:41 am

May 28, 2008

Tired of San Francisco prices? Want sunny weather?

1714 13th St Oakland, CA 94607
Price: $430,000

Beds: 6
Baths: 2
Sq. Ft.: 1,004
$/Sq. Ft.: $428
Lot Size: –
Property Type: Detached, Modified, Single-Family Home
Property Style: Victorian
Year Built: 1895
Region: Alameda County
Area: Oakland
County: Alameda
MLS#: 337112
Source: San Francisco MLS
Status: Active
On Redfin: 86 days
Classic detached Victorian located in hot, developing West Oakland has 6 Bedrooms/2+ Baths. Used currently as two units with combined rental income of $2350/month. Vintage construction requires some TLC. Less than one block away, 29 acre Central Station development for 1200 townhomes is under construction! Located not far from 12th Street BART with easy access to Bay Bridge this home in sunny Oakland offers a good opportunity for buyers tired of San Francisco prices.

Burbed doesn’t generally venture to Oakland, but I simply had to feature this house that Burbed reader ElectraVoltz shared.

6 bedrooms and 2+ baths in 1004 sqft. If nothing else, this is a testament to the ingenuity of the residents of the Bay Area. In most other places with less resilient citizens, with a less educated populace, you probably would have heard “That simply can’t be done.” But not here. And in a house that is 113+ years old. If that doesn’t amaze you, I don’t know what will!

Oakland isn’t in the Real Bay Area, but who knows, someday it might rejoin. Is now the right time to invest there? After all, it’s sunny, cheap, and close to Berkeley. What could possibly go wrong?

Comments (15) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:52 am

What personality do you need to succeed in Silicon Valley

Here’s another awesome comment I thought I’d feature:

Home sales jump 29% in the San Francisco Bay Area []
fremontrenter Says:
May 23rd, 2008 at 5:30 pm

I think I agree with bob 100%. I think to live and survive in BA, one requires a different mentality. These are the type A personalities who treat life as a running race with no end line. It’s all about keeping on running. Good for them. I personally tend to enjoy smaller things in life. If you belong to this class and ready to devote all your life for working, stay in BA. I’ll quote something I read on internet. BA is about overoworking to facilitate overspending to facilitate overconsumption. I guess one aught to be like a machine to think this way.

Especially, when it comes to the schooling, California is about the worst one can get. State has no money to fund it. The tax money goes to all those who benefit from prop 13. As a new comer you are at a disadvantage from the get go. Add to that the income tax. It make you participate in a orgy of financial overcommittment. Becuase even if you don’t buy a home, you pay tax. So the state wants you to buy a house and save on taxes. That raises the demand and housing becomes unaffordable.

That in itself is further proof that Silicon Valley is the place to be if you want to become rich and successful. Sure you might be earning $300k (standard married couple income) a year, but spending $400k a year to have the same quality of life here as someone making $300k in a crappy place like New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut, but at least you have great company.

And isn’t that what life is about? Being surrounded by people who share your values? Who share your interests?

Why would you want to live somewhere full of boring, lazy people?

If fremontrenter’s comment isn’t the biggest case for why you should live here, I don’t know what is.

Comments (43) -- Posted by: burbed @ 4:41 am

May 27, 2008

Case-Shiller San Francisco Single Family Housing Index

I’m all verklempt. Talk amongst yourselves. The Case Schiller San Francisco Single Family Housing Index is neither San or Francisco. Discuss.

(Thanks to Burbed reader Renter for this find!)

Comments (70) -- Posted by: burbed @ 11:00 am

Authentic experiences in the Bay Area can be found in San Carlos

365 OLD COUNTY RD, San Carlos 94070 (San Carlos)
$525,000 Beds: 3 bed(s) Baths: 1 bath(s) MLS: 800775

Property Overview
San Carlos (San Carlos) 94070
Detached Single Family (Class 1)
Bed/Bath: 3 / 1
SqFt: 1,090
Lot: 5,000 sq ft
Age: 60 years
List Price: $525,000
Assoc Fee:
Short Sale Opportunity in San Carlos?! Ranch Style home with 3 bedrooms and 1 Bathroom..FIXER< FIXER, Call Now!
Short Sale Opportunity in San Carlos?! Ranch Style home with 3 bedrooms and 1 Bathroom..Call for more information: (650) 270-4733 CALL NOW! Governemnt Program Available for Loan Approval FIXER Opprotunity!

These days, people want demand authenticity. People don’t want Disneyland like experiences. They want the gritty, the hardcore, the real. People want to feel alive. They despise the fake. Look at how distressed jeans are in style.

And that’s what makes this house so simply amazing – when you look at it, you feel alive. You feel real. You feel like you’re the photojournalist stepping into virgin land.

Let’s take a look:

The gritty back yard with bull dog. The roof with the bricks hold it down. The kitchen. The outdoor washer and dryer. Just like how our manly forefathers lived.

My god. Just looking at these photos make me feel alive. My blood is flowing, my heart is pounding. I feel alive!!!!!!!!!!!!

But you know what? There’s more.

That’s right… it’s across the street from Caltrain. Oh yes! Bring it on!

Buy this house you hipster. You adrenaline junky. You thrill seeker.

Don’t you want to feel alive?

(Thanks to anonymous Burbed reader.)

Comments (10) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:33 am

May 26, 2008

Where are you going this Memorial Day? To this San Rafel Resort?

It’s Memorial Day! You may or may not have the day off (this is Silicon Valley after all – not Wall St.) How are you spending it? Are you going to a resort?

If so… have you ever thought about moving to this San Rafael house?

Just think, if you bought this house, you would never have to leave the Bay Area to go on vacation because you would be on vacation every day at your own home. Nothing says resort living like this! It’s like having your own Club Med, and your own investment vehicle at the same time! And like a time share in Las Vegas, you can be sure you can sell this for a profit when you’re tired of living in a resort.

San Rafel. Resort. San Rafel. Resort.

Go for it. Who knows, maybe you can host some poker games there!

(Thanks anonymous Burbed reader.)

Comments (9) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:44 am