May 19, 2008

Earthquake proof house in Colma – just $399k!

360 2nd AVE Colma, CA 94014

Price: $399,000
Buy with Redfin and Save $7,980*
Beds: 1
Baths: 1
Sq. Ft.: 600
$/Sq. Ft.: $665
Lot Size: –
Property Type: Detached, Single-Family Home
Year Built: 1902
Stories: 1
Region: San Mateo County/Northwest
Area: Colma
County: San Mateo
MLS#: 335990
Status: Active
Contractor special. Small house on a big lot. Potential for new construction/addition.

$666 per square foot is pretty reasonable, given that this house isn’t in the Real Bay Area. But let’s face it, the real selling point of this house is that it is earthquake proof! Just from looking at this picture, you can already tell that this house has been stress tested and is well equipped to handle the next calamity.

Why risk the lives of you children by buying a brand new house that’s unproven? You want a house that you know has withstood the test of time. Furthermore, it’s like those $250 jeans – this house is distressed and distressed is HAWT.

It’ll also confuse robbers! “What is this? A pile of wood? A house? I’ll move on to the next place.” Safety first my friends!

So go ahead, go vintage. Go buy this house.

(Thanks to Burbed reader San Mateo Home Sellers in Trouble)

Comments (14) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:43 am

May 18, 2008

Bay Area Real Estate appreciation set to resume 10%!

Did you see this?

Stop the presses everyone.


At last! Mortgage rate relief arrives – San Jose Mercury News
Months after many eager homeowners started gearing up to refinance their mortgages, interest rates for Bay Area-size mortgages are finally falling.

Lower rates may at last bring the savings many owners and would-be home buyers have been looking for since February, when Congress passed an economic stimulus bill that aimed to deliver lower rates on mortgages of up to $729,750 in high-priced parts of the country.

Borrowers who last week would have been quoted a 7 percent rate for a 30-year mortgage of $500,000 could find a rate of about 6 percent on that loan by Friday. That difference could save a homeowner more than $300 a month on mortgage payments.

“People have been waiting for this to happen ever since they signed it,” said Susan McHan, president of Opes Advisors, a mortgage brokerage in Palo Alto, referring to the stimulus bill.


But until last week, rates for loans of more than $417,000 remained stubbornly high at about 7 percent. Meanwhile, rates for loans of $417,000 or less have been hovering around 6 percent. The gap between rates for conforming loans and jumbo loans has been stuck at about a full percentage point since the credit crunch struck in the summer last year.

What happened to finally push down rates for jumbo-conforming loans? Fannie Mae Chief Executive Daniel Mudd announced last week that the company will purchase jumbo-conforming loans from lenders using essentially the same pricing structure it uses for conforming loans. Freddie Mac has done the same.

“That brought a lot of certainty to what had been a very cloudy picture,” said Greg McBride of, a financial information company. With more clarity about how Fannie and Freddie would handle their loans, lenders began dropping rates for jumbo conforming loans last week.

“There are decent loans again,” McHan said, “and it’s the first time in a long time.”

In another effort to spur home buying, Fannie Mae announced Friday that it would back loans made with as little as a 3 percent down payment, even in markets where prices are declining.

Didn’t buy a house in the Real Bay Area this year so far? Or even in the Marginally Real Bay Area?

Guess what!

You’re now priced out forever.

Comments (41) -- Posted by: burbed @ 6:05 am

Gables End – Mountain View’s Most Succesful New Neighborhood

So… has anyone been? I would imagine the views of Google and Highway 101 must be amazing…

Comments (35) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:29 am

May 17, 2008

Which areas will be removed from the Real Bay Area next for falling home prices?

CELEBRITY FAME! This house in Redwood City could make you a millionaire! []
madhaus Says:
May 15th, 2008 at 1:37 pm

Well said, Pralay, in comparing apples to apples instead of oranges, or as some in this group would misdirect, to armpits.

Unlike Santa Ana (which is a pit), Irvine was considered a desirable location and had its premium sections such as Turtle Rock. ALL of them are underwater now, because so much of that region was tied to the funny mortgage money business.

Here’s my prediction of which areas will be removed from the RBA next, in order, with RBA defined as “where prices never go down.”

– Redwood City 94062 and everything north
– the 10 good blocks of Santa Clara near Mayfield Park in CUSD
– Sunnyvale 94087 non-CUSD
– Mountain View 94040
– Mountain View 94041 (94043 is not RBA)
– What little of San Jose was in RBA (some 95125, all 95129)
– Sunnyvale CUSD
– Los Altos 94022
– Cupertino 95014 except SW hills/Kennedy MS
– Los Gatos (I don’t know the zips, but it will be one and then the other)
– West Menlo Park (east is not RBA)
– South Palo Alto including everything east of Middlefield not already kicked out of RBA
– Saratoga
– Palo Alto, Middlefield to El Camino, central (east of Middlefield already ruled non RBA)
– Los Altos 94024
– Woodside/Portola Valley/Los Altos Hills
– rest of Palo Alto

Remember, premium places mean people can afford to wait until prices come back. Prices are down in the good areas, but people are choosing not to sell at market rates.

Wow… that’s a pretty bold prediction. 94040 and 94041? Palo Alto?

Personally, I’m thinking the Real Bay Area might actually expand! Didn’t you hear about CNet? Isn’t Facebook ready to pop? Look, even Plaxo got aquired! The money tap is wide open – $’s are a gushing.

Here’s a counter claim – Gilroy will be back in the RBA by the end of 2009! You heard it here first!

What are your predictions?

Comments (69) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:49 am

How will the Bay Area compete against Billion dollar homes?

Inside-the-World’s-First-Billion-Dollar-Home: Personal Finance News from Yahoo! Finance
Like many families with the means to do so, the Ambanis wanted to build a custom home. They consulted with architecture firms Perkins Will and Hirsch Bedner Associates, the designers behind the Mandarin Oriental, based in Dallas and Los Angeles, respectively. Plans were then drawn up for what will be the world’s largest and most expensive home: a 27-story skyscraper in downtown Mumbai with a cost nearing $2 billion, says Thomas Johnson, director of marketing at Hirsch Bedner Associates. The architects and designers are creating as they go, altering floor plans, design elements and concepts as the building is constructed.

The only remotely comparable high-rise property currently on the market is the $70 million triplex penthouse at the Pierre Hotel in New York, designed to resemble a French chateau, and climbing 525 feet in the air. When the Ambani residence is finished in January, completing a four-year process, it will be 550 feet high with 400,000 square feet of interior space.

Oh great. More competition. Together, I know we can beat this price. I can’t wait for the day when a typical Eichler can go for $1 billion. All we need is that good ol’ 20% year over year appreciation to return…

Then Nita and Mukesh Ambani will wish they had bought here instead of being priced out forever!

Comments (5) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:43 am

May 16, 2008

Seller willing to negotiation $0.00 off price

Sent in from an anonymous Burbed reader. Frankly, I think this is an amazing example of how generous some Bay Area sellers are. For example, this seller realizes that some people simply need to negotiate in order to feel good about their purchase – so that they feel that they did their due dilligence.

So go ahead, negotiate! This seller is willing to give away his house! Just bring in an offer of $1,385,000 and there’s no doubt this seller will work to make it happen. Go for it!

Sheesh, you greedy renters. What will you want next? No wonder you’re not on the escalator to riches…

Comments (4) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:35 am

May 15, 2008

Who is behind

Mortgage Bailout Infuriates Tenants (And Steve Forbes) – looks a bit like a digital ransom note, with irregular fonts, exclamation points and big red arrows — all emphasizing prudent renters’ outrage over a proposed government bailout for irresponsible homeowners.

“It seems like America’s renters may NEVER be able to afford a home,” laments. The Web site urges like-minded tenants to let Congress feel their fury by signing an online petition. “We are millions of renters standing up for our rights!”

Angry they may be, but the people behind are certainly not renters. Though it purports to be a spontaneous uprising, is actually a product of an inside-the-Beltway conservative advocacy organization led by Dick Armey, the former House majority leader, and publishing magnate Steve Forbes, a fellow Republican. It’s a fake grass-roots effort — what politicos call an AstroTurf campaign — that provides a window into the sleight-of-hand ways of Washington.

Wow. I’m fairly shocked actually.

Comments (13) -- Posted by: burbed @ 9:51 pm

San Francisco population soars to new high! House prices to soar!

New jobs, houses spur S.F. population in 2007
Thousands of new technology industry and other professional jobs and a burst of new housing construction attracted more new residents to San Francisco in 2007 than in any year in nearly a decade and drove the city’s population to a new high of more than 824,000.

The 12,284 arrivals were drawn to an estimated 10,000 new jobs and the city’s enduring panache – good weather, views, arts and culture, restaurants, and access to the outdoors.

But San Francisco still has some of the highest housing prices in the world and a long-standing housing shortage, so where will all these people live?

Congrats to San Francisco! I’m sure these people will find a place to live. They’ll just have to invest more in housing, thus helping to keep our economy vibrant and healthy.

Nothing indicates health of an economy like high housing prices!

Workforce observers say that computer-systems designers and people who perform other professional, scientific and technical services have seen San Francisco as a good job market in recent years. Meanwhile, technology companies such as Yahoo and Google have opened offices in the city in part to accommodate employees and clients who don’t want to commute to Silicon Valley.

“San Francisco has had a lot going for it for a long time, but some of those things matter more now than ever before,” said Jed Kolko, a California economy expert at the Public Policy Institute of California. “There’s a very educated and skilled workforce here, and it’s a place where a lot of people want to live.”

Compared to much of the United States, San Francisco’s economy is not dependent on housing development and therefore was not hurt by a loss of construction and other housing-related jobs that were lost elsewhere as part of the mortgage crisis, Kolko said.

Didn’t buy a place last year? Didn’t buy a place this year so far?

Guess what – you are about to be priced out forever my friends.

BTW, did you hear that CBS bought CNET for $1.75 billion? The money tap is open again. Cha-ching!!!!

Comments (4) -- Posted by: burbed @ 10:35 am

Who lives here in Campbell? (When stagers attack!)

630 W Sunnyoaks Ave, Campbell 95008(Campbell)

Status: Active
Bedroom: 3
Bathroom: 2&1/2
Year Built: 2005
Lot Size: 3484
Square Footage: 1630
List Date: 1/20/2008
Garage Spaces: 2

Description of 630 W Sunnyoaks Ave, CampbellNEW PRICE,3 YEARS OLD AND TOP CONDITION, hardwood floor main level, large covered side yard, granite counters,gas range, stainless frig & appliances.Designer carpet, easy rise staircase to stunning upstairs with 3 large bedrooms + laundry room. Skylight, upgraded plumbing,2 car attached garage. Best location for Los Gatos/Campbell shops and restaurants. Convenient to Hwy 85/17

Top condition indeed. Let’s take a look at some photos, and see why long time Burbed reader Brendan
sent this in:

OMG. Who lives in this house? Is it the Pope? (No, he lives in Willow Glen remember?)

Why, of course, Sherlock Holmes lives here! Just think, you come home from a long day of work at eBay as one of their fraud detectives, you take off your hat, put on your robe and puff away at your pipe. You admire the Greek and Roman antiquities you acquired – appreciating how they were all made in places like Shenzen. You sip on your glass of aged port and wonder… what is Moriarty294’s next move? Will he pose as a Nigerian buyer? A high ranking Nigerian military official? Will he collude with others to rig a sale? So many questions – and luckily you have strong deductive reasoning skills. After all, you deduced that this house would be a great buy!

You’ll then think about stagers, and what happens when you give them a bucket of money and say “Make my place look fantastic.”

Frankly, if these photos don’t sell you on buying this house? I don’t know what will.

UPDATE: Fixed a typo. Also, a Burbed reader reports that this actually isn’t staging – that this is how the place actually looks as per the seller. WHOA.

Comments (28) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:14 am

May 14, 2008

CELEBRITY FAME! This house in Redwood City could make you a millionaire!

477 Topaz St, Redwood City

* Status: Active
* Bedroom: 2
* Bathroom: 1
* Year Built: 1952
* Lot Size: 2625
* Square Footage: 700
* List Date: 4/3/2008
* Garage Spaces: 1
Charming cottage is move-in ready. This well-maintained home is absolutely spotless with many updates throughout. Fully remodeled kitchen has granite counters and custom tile; all stainless appliances with gas stove, microwave, dish washer and refrigerator. Furnace is 2 years old and water heater is 1 year old. Front and back yards are gorgeous. Dual-paned windows throughout.Price reduced to sell.

Why did I pick this house to feature? After all, there’s nothing wrong with with it. It’s just your usual
$835 per square foot house in the geographic Bay Area.

Here’s what long time Burbed reader Jeff had to say when he sent this in a few weeks back:

477 Topaz St. is the least expensive home in Mt. Carmel, and for that matter the entire 94062 ZIP code which also encompasses Woodside. I rented an apartment on Topaz so I’m quite familiar with this area.. it’s attractive, and Red Morton Park is nice, but John Gill is only a so-so school and you get a lot of drunks riding their motorcycles around at 3 am.

So far so good. It’s $835, has lots of bikers passing by, but shares a great zip code.

But wait, there’s more!

Last sold in 2005 for $550K. That’s some sweet appreciation! I googled the address and the results were enlightening:

It’s official: Redwood City is the place to be if you win big on a game show.

That’s right! This house was owned by a high school teacher who ended up winning $250,000 on Who Wants to Be a Millionare? in 2000!


No wonder this house is going for $835 per square foot. It’s like buying a house that George Washington or Dennis Rodman slept in. You can’t put a price on fame like that.

And, even better, buying this house is like being on the show – except you’re guaranteed to win when the price doubles in a few years!

Comments (31) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:52 am