June 30, 2008

Watch out for the downed power lines at this house

32 N Kingston St, San Mateo 94401 (Blossom Valley)

* Status: Active
* Bedroom: 3
* Bathroom: 1
* Year Built: 1947
* Lot Size: 4480
* Square Footage: 920
* List Date: 5/4/2008
* Garage Spaces: 2
* MLS#: 807005
2 Bedrooms 1 bath plus a loft (3rd Bedroom) with spacious kitchen, larger living room with fireplace, separate dining area with sliding glass door to large backyard with fruit trees. Extra room next to the kitchen could be improve to a family room or office

Last sold for $609,052 in 2007, is it just me or does it look like the power lines are falling into this house?

Doesn’t it also look like this house backs up against 101?

Fret not, neither is the case! This house is one street over from 101, buffered by some ugly looking rental(?) complexes, and instead backups against what appears to be a school.

But does any of that really matter? Just think about the instant $109k in equity you will earn by buying this house. I know that’s what I would be thinking of when I go to bed at night, looking out at this wall and window:

I’d scoop this up while you still can!

Comments (35) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:45 am

June 29, 2008

The Bay Area Jobs thread

Best City for Tech Jobs
#1: San Jose/Silicon Valley

Jobs per 1,000: 285.92
Total: 225,343
Rank: 3
Growth: 3%
Average wage: $144,828
Salary Rank: 1
Biggest sector: computer systems design
Area employers: Google (GOOG), Intel, Hewlett-Packard, Apple (AAPL)

#13: San Francisco
Jobs per 1,000: 93.84
Total: 79,442
Rank: 19
Growth: 3%
Average wage: $118,518
Salary Rank: 2
Biggest sector: computer systems design
Area employers: Salesforce.com (CRM), Genentech (DNA)

Burbed reader DreamT suggested this topic: Jobs!

No, not Steve Jobs, who, incidentally, deserves a Burbed Award for keeping house prices in the Real Bay Area nice and comfortably high. But jobs. You know, the thing you do during the day to make money, while your house appreciates at night and makes money for you.

So… what do you do? Is your company hiring? What are the prospects? Will college hires make $90k working there? Will it be generating the next round of millionaires to boost Palo Alto?

Comments (77) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:39 am

June 28, 2008

AgentGenius.com – a Real Estate Agent Blog


It’s a site for Real Estate Agents, by Real Estate Agents.

I love this sarcastic snippet:

Are most major universities moronic because they offer graduate degrees in real estate (which do not focus strictly on rental markets)?

Do most major universities really offer graduate degrees in real estate?

Be sure to read the other fascinating entries, and the fascinating comments that go with them.

(Thanks to anonymous Burbed reader for this find.)

Comments (6) -- Posted by: burbed @ 7:58 pm

Freddie Mac Conventional Mortgage Home Price Index SF NY – more useless data


Thanks to Madhaus for this chart, I guess. Frankly I’m not sure what the obsession with data is around here. After all, isn’t what your gut tells you more important than what your brain? Sheesh.

Here’s what Madhaus had to say:

I made this graph of just SF & SJ metro regions.
I added NYC for comparison (NYC metro, the yellow line)

Since they all cross 100 in 1987, that looks like the reference point for the index.

I guess this is supposed to make me feel good since we finally beat our dreaded enemy: New York.

Woot for us!

Comments (7) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:05 am

June 27, 2008

This Milpitas house has camo to protect itself from terrorists

253 Michigan Rd, Milpitas 95035

* Status: Active
* Bedroom: 2
* Bathroom: 2&1/2
* Year Built: 1984
* Lot Size: 2730
* Square Footage: 1350
* List Date: 3/7/2008
* Garage Spaces: 2
* MLS#: 40328737

This warm and elegant home is a rare find. Nestled in the heart of the Hidden Lake Villages in Milpitas, this remarkable home features include: newly painted interior, ceiling fans, 2-car garage w/add’l storage units, Air Conditioning, Upgraded tile floors, bay windows, and MUCH MORE!

These days you really don’t know when or where the terrorists will strike. Now, granted this is already in Hidden Lake Villages, which makes it harder to find, sometimes you need to do more. And that’s why this house comes with camouflage! Hah!

Try finding the kitchen to blow up now, you dastardly terrorists!

Try finding the bedroom where the innocent daughter sleeps – foiled again terrorists!

Note that this listing slyly hints that there is much more, but it never actually says what that is. There’s also the fact that there are no interior photos. I’m sure you can appreciate the sensitive nature of this listing.

Good luck dropping by to see this house – you might never actually find it!

Comments (13) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:56 am

June 26, 2008

“REAR UNIT NOT INCLUDED in sqft” – Campbell

207 N Central Ave, Campbell 95008

* Status: Active
* Bedroom: 3
* Bathroom: 2
* Year Built: 1900
* Lot Size: 7880
* Square Footage: 1185
* List Date: 3/26/2008
* Garage Spaces: 2
* MLS#: 786918

Unique! Majestic Beauty! Only one of its kind! Restored & upgraded charm historic Greek Revival home w/huge lot in downtown historic social circle walking distances 2 farmer’s market. REAR UNIT NOT INCLUDED in sqft, NEW cement foundation w/6?H basement/electrical/plumbing/gas line/heating/interior/granite counter/tankless waterheater.All New construction permits w/current building code, MUST SEE!!

This caught my attention in a few ways:

1) It has the lucky price. This means that the house is lucky, and when you buy it, you will be lucky too.

2) It has a basement. That’s pretty unusual, and actually kind of cool IMHO.

3) Something about a rear unit. Let’s take a look at some more photos:

Hm. No. I think that’s the back of the house. (Nice entrance to the basement though!)

Let’s look at another photo:

Wow… really that’s not what I expected. For some reason, I have this urge to say “Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair!”

Perhaps why this house is majestic – it’s like a fairy tale. Wouldn’t you tell your kids about this?

I can see the Craigslist ad already: “Room for rent in Campbell above garage. Very safe – you can be sure you won’t be burglarized. BYOCMD (Bring your own carbon monoxide detector).”

Comments (357) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:45 am

June 25, 2008

Case-Shiller housing index for San Francisco of 04/2008

Burbed reader Renter tersely said:

It is back to the level of 04/2004.  Please post it.

What’s he referring to?

To that, I say bah. Does it really feel like prices have dropped back to their 2004 levels to any of you?

It certainly doesn’t for me!

Comments (67) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:36 am

Kitchen cabinets included in listing price in Sunnyvale – you greedy buyer

616 Cypress Ave, Sunnyvale 94085

* Status: Active
* Bedroom: 3
* Bathroom: 1
* Year Built: 1955
* Lot Size: 5000
* Square Footage: 1008
* List Date: 2/24/2008
* Garage Spaces: 2
* MLS#: 780135

Nice home in a great location, hardwood floors throughout. Great for first time buyer, home needs a little love, easy access to 101. WASHING MACHINE, DRYER,REFRIGERATOR, AND KITCHEN CABINETS INCLUDED IN LISTING PRICE.

Does this house look familiar? It should! It was just featured here on Burbed not too long ago!

Last sold on 02/22/2006 for $620,000, this owner has an amazing value proposition for you: not only will you get $170,000 in instant equity, but you will also get the washer, the dryer, the refrigerator, and the kitchen cabinets.

Most first time buyers don’t know this, but often times, the kitchen cabinets aren’t included. You get the keys, you move in, and you’re like “Oh shit! Where do I put the dishes? The kitchen cabinets are gone!”

This seller is bending over backwards my friends. Squeezing blood from a turnip. Doing what it takes to make you the buyer happy. He’s even throwing in the kitchen cabinets along with the $170k in instant equity. What more do you want?

And, it still has lots of room for your fleet of cars!

Comments (22) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:30 am

San Francisco shedding lower and middle classes – thank goodness

Exodus of S.F.’s middle class

It’s urban flight flipped on its head: The number of low- and middle-income residents in San Francisco is shrinking as the wealthy population swells, a trend most experts attribute to the city’s exorbitant housing costs.

Many worry it’s increasingly turning San Francisco into an enclave of the rich, where nurses, firefighters, cops, teachers and other professionals aspiring toward homeownership or in need of cheaper rent can no longer afford to stay.


From 2002 to 2006, the number of households making up to $49,000 per year dropped by 7.4 percent, those earning between $50,000 and $99,999 declined by 4.4 percent, and those bringing home between $100,000 and $149,999 fell by 3.9 percent, according to Census Bureau estimates. In polar opposition, the number of households making between $150,000 and $199,999 surged 52.2 percent and those earning more than $200,000 climbed 40.1 percent.


Since 2002, the median price for all San Francisco home types has risen 113.5 percent to $790,000, according to DataQuick Information Systems. While the housing slump has dragged down values by more than a third in some parts of the region, it’s only nudged prices in the city down 5.4 percent from their peak.

A San Francisco household requires an annual income of $196,878 to afford a median-priced home in the city, according to a February report from the California Budget Project, a liberal research and advocacy group.


Rents have also climbed rapidly. In the first quarter, San Francisco was, as always, the most expensive Bay Area city for renters, according to RealFacts of Novato. The average for all apartment types stood at $2,326 in the first quarter, up nearly 25 percent from 2002 and 14.4 percent from a year ago.

All I can say is “Thank Goodness”.

Once in a while, Burbed wakes up at night drenched in sweat because of a nightmare. The nightmare? That the San Francisco Bay Area is no longer special.

Thanks to this article, I can sleep soundly again.

It’s hard to believe that people would actually lament the fact that San Francisco, and by extension, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Cupertino, Menlo Park, and the rest of the Real Bay Area are fast catching up to Manhattan. If anything, we should also hope that one day we can exceed Manhattan and claim our rightful place on the unaffordabiltiy chart.

That said, this article has a clear gaffe – some firefighters and cops can definitely afford to live in the Bay Area. In much of the South Bay, these folks, along with Bus Drivers easily clear $100k a year. I don’t know much about SF cops – perhaps they don’t get paid as well? Perhaps they should try working in the South Bay instead…

At the end of the day, do you really want to live in a place where people can easily afford houses, and not have to pay for private school? What kind of values would that teach to your children? That life is easy? Is that really what you want?

Keep your eyes on the stars folks, the Bay Area is going to take back off again in 2009!

Comments (49) -- Posted by: burbed @ 4:24 am

June 24, 2008

$788,000 for a house that proves Silicon Valley has great family values

325 Carroll St, Sunnyvale 94086

* Status: Active
* Bedroom: 3
* Bathroom: 1
* Year Built: 1920
* Lot Size: 9750
* Square Footage: 806
* List Date: 5/12/2008
* Garage Spaces: 0
* MLS#: 808321
OH Sun 1:30-4:30.Great opportunity to live at the property & build your dream home later,also potential to build 2 homes under one ownership for your extended family.Great walking distance to Downtown Sunnyvale location that they say will be like(Santana Row) to be build in Sunnyvale.Pls check with the city for more info.Big 9750 Sqft lot R2 zoning,wide & deep 75×130.This is priced low 2 sell fast

When people ask me “Burbed, I love families. Can you tell me where I can find the most family friendly city in America?” I tell them: Silicon Valley.

As we all know, things like rampant age discrimination, 14 hour work days, and 2 hour commutes are things instituted by our employers to ensure that at some point, we want to give up working and spend more time with our families. Otherwise, our Type A personalities would just want to work forever. And, since everyone is getting rich with stock options (VMWare!), people can afford to stop working. Think of it as tough love.

So just imagine, you finally give up because of the rampant age discrimination, the 14 hour work days, and the 2 hour commutes – you come home to this house. Actually, it’s not a house – but rather two houses because you spent your option money building 2 houses on this lot so that you can 10 feet away from in-laws. You can constantly see them, they can constantly see you. You can take care of them, they can take care of you.

Family. That’s what this is all about. I’m welling up in tears just thinking about this.

Before you plunk down your cash on this house which is going to be steps away from Santana Row 2.0, let’s take a look at some more photos:

You know what’s going to make this house look even better? Aside from building 2 houses? It’s the fact that soon you’ll be walking distance from the Sunnyvale branch of LV, Gucci, Emporio Armani, Blowfish Sushi, and the other fine establishments that Santana Row 2.0 is going to bring.

That’s instant equity my friends – instant equity you can share with your in-laws living 10 feet away. Your family.

Comments (43) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:20 am