June 26, 2008

“REAR UNIT NOT INCLUDED in sqft” – Campbell

207 N Central Ave, Campbell 95008
$899,888


* 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

357 Responses to ““REAR UNIT NOT INCLUDED in sqft” – Campbell”

  1. Hellboy Says:

    “only on of it’s kind”…I can believe that.

  2. bob Says:

    Here’s another ” One of a kind” house in Raleigh, NC ( hey- there’s tech stuff there too,you Bay Area folks)

    Here’s a house that’s twice the size and less than half the price gets you.Plus, it’s a hell of a lot nicer than the POS shown above. But it ain’t in the Beautiful BA. oh well…

    http://raleigh.craigslist.org/rfs/732363004.html

  3. Fwdvw Says:

    That not a fairy tale window. That’s the room where Fonzi lives on Happy Days. They should get a Henry Wrinkler endorsement.

  4. Name Says:

    Heh heh – thank God SF is not in CA! Oh, wait …

    See:

    http://www.car.org/index.php?id=Mzg1MzE=

  5. madhaus Says:

    No, that’s where Chris Elliot (as Chris Peterson) lived in Get a Life! Only he’ll come shuffling into your kitchen to scrounge your food and laugh at his fellow thirtysomethings who were dumb enough to get married, have kids, and work at jobs where they have to get up at 7 in the morning.

    burbed, you gotta stop sitting on these properties. The place is off MLS, no doubt sold to someone for the lucky price of $988,888.

  6. sonarrat Says:

    Hey, sweet.. walking distance to Fry’s!

  7. San Mateo Home Sellers in Trouble Says:

    What does this mean?

    “NEW cement foundation w/6?”

  8. madhaus Says:

    What does this mean?
    “NEW cement foundation w/6?”

    Actually it says “NEW cement foundation w/6?H” So I guess that means they buried between 4-8 humans in it. Maybe Jimmy Hoffa’s under the refrigerator!”

  9. Ross Says:

    I think “w/6?H basement” means “6 foot high basement” but garbled by a bonehead web programmer who doesn’t know how to process apostrophes properly.

    Setting aside the price, not a bad little house, but what happened to that poor tree?

  10. San Mateo Home Sellers in Trouble Says:

    Haha, I like madhaus’s explanation, though the 6 feet high basement sorta makes sense too. Come to think of it, I’ve never seen a house with a basement in the Bay Area yet, so that’s sort of unusual.

  11. sonarrat Says:

    Some of the old Oakland victorians have basements. The depression-era bungalows did away with that extravagance of course.

  12. rick Says:

    Lots of houses in SF have basement, usually they rent them out while living upstairs, I think it was supposed to be for storage (kind of wonder where they store things now that they rent the storage unit out, backyard?).

    They are usually called in-law unit or something, pretty werid (probably for visiting in-laws to live since upstairs only have 2 bedrooms).

  13. sonarrat Says:

    I lived in an in-law apartment in the Sunset for about a month. That was on level with and behind the garage – not in the basement. Maybe that was the exception.

  14. rick Says:

    I don’t think basement has to be below the garage, it is just the place that air conditioning/heat located, with space left for storage. They are usually 2/3 beneath ground, with window that can peek from above ground, and connected to garage either at the same level or a bit lower.

  15. nomadic Says:

    You guys haven’t seen basements? It would be VERY unusual to have one under a garage. Too much structural support needed for the cars above.

    A basement is a wonderful thing to have for storage space. It’s just about the only thing I miss about living in a “fly-over” state. The houses I had with a basement had 7-8 feet of head room. Only really old houses had less.

  16. Pralay Says:

    it has the lucky price. This means that the house is lucky, and when you buy it, you will be lucky too.
    ——–

    Lucky $899,888? Or extra lucky $888,888 with two more 8?…$899,888 or $888,888?….$899,888 or $888,888?….$899,888 or $888,888?….$899,888 or $888,888?….$899,888 or $888,888?….$899,888 or $888,888?…………

    (after 24 hours)

    Ummmmmmmm, can I give away $11K? Nope. Let’s do the listing with $899,888. If that does not work out, I will reduce the price to $888,888 and make it extra lucky.

  17. nomadic Says:

    madhaus, I just read your comment #28 in the “San Francisco shedding” thread from a day or two ago. Wanted to mention that the thing about having to reinvest your home proceeds in 2 years went away at least 7-8 years ago when they starting allowing up to $250k ($500k for married couples) in tax-free appreciation for primary residences.

    I don’t think you’ll rush out and put your house on the market as a result, but figured you should know.

  18. madhaus Says:

    nomadic, thanks for that, but I have a further question. We will have a gain of more than $500K if we sell this house, so we will have to pay taxes on the remainder if we don’t buy another home, won’t we?

    You’re right, I’m not listing the house tomorrow because of this.

  19. RealEstater Says:

    >>We will have a gain of more than $500K if we sell this house, so we will have to pay taxes on the remainder if we don’t buy another home, won’t we?

    You’ll have to pay the tax on the remainder even if you buy another house.

    Why bother selling it? Just cash out the equity and buy another one. Keep the shack as a rental.

  20. nomadic Says:

    You’ll have to pay tax over $500k regardless of whether you buy another house or not. So for tax reasons, better to sell now and start accumulating tax-free appreciation on a new place when the market picks back up.

  21. madhaus Says:

    You sure? I thought if I buy a place for $300K, then sell it for $1m and buy another for $1.5m, there’s no tax on the gain because I’ve reinvested all the proceeds.

  22. madhaus Says:

    You’ll have to pay the tax on the remainder even if you buy another house.

    Why bother selling it? Just cash out the equity and buy another one. Keep the shack as a rental.

    That was our original plan, but becoming leveraged up the yinyang seems like an incredibly bad idea at this time. If it didn’t look like the whole house of cards was about to collapse, I would refinance this house on a 30 yr fixed. But we shouldn’t borrow more than the expected rent (plus taxes, insurance, keep a fund for repairs, etc). I am going to assume I could rent this place for $3200 without any problems.

    Now, if I “pull out the equity,” don’t I have to pay it back? Then I have TWO mortgages.

    If I pull out $800,000 – loan payment is $5300, can’t rent it anywhere near that
    $600,000 – $4000/month. Still too high.
    $500,000 – $3325/mo. This is almost right. the payment probably lower, if I borrow less, the interest rate would come down (I was assuming 7% on these jumbos)
    $400,000 @ 6.25% – $2460, this would generate a positive cashflow.

    But here’s the problem. If I only have $400,000 pulled out, how do I buy a bigger house?

  23. Renter Says:

    you could consider doing 1031 exchange to avoid tax.

  24. Herve Says:

    Madhaus,

    That was the case before the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997.

    Now the IRS “only” gives you a $500K capital gain exclusion ($250K if you are single), but this only works if you occupied the house for at least 2 of the last 5 years. I think the capital gain exclusion is prorated if you lived less than 2 years in the property but I’m not quite sure.

  25. madhaus Says:

    isn’t 1031 only for rental property?

  26. RealEstater Says:

    >>But here’s the problem. If I only have $400,000 pulled out, how do I buy a bigger house?

    I didn’t know you wanted a bigger house. I was just showing you how to turn one house into 2 houses, and let your tenant support one of them.

    In any case, if you really want a bigger house, you’d need to trade for a different zip, which would only be acceptable if your kids are off to college already.

  27. RealEstater Says:

    Yes, 1031 is only for rentals.

  28. Crossroads Says:

    what the heck is a 1031?

  29. Herve Says:

    http://www.1031.org/about1031/faq.htm

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internal_Revenue_Code_section_1031

    Enjoy the read :)

  30. burbed Says:

    Don’t do it Crossroads!

    To quote StrongBad, your head will asplode.

  31. madhaus Says:

    I didn’t know you wanted a bigger house. I was just showing you how to turn one house into 2 houses, and let your tenant support one of them.

    I could pull equity out of this house and buy rental property somewhere else, too. Maybe somewhere on the upswing. I keep hearing great stuff about Tennessee. :) But seriously, where are you proposing we live if we rent the shack and I pull out enough equity that we stay cashflow positive? I don’t see that being more than $450K.

    In any case, if you really want a bigger house, you’d need to trade for a different zip, which would only be acceptable if your kids are off to college already.

    The reason I want a bigger house is because this place, which was a nice size when we didn’t have kids, is too small with them. All four of us have stuff that takes up room. And I can only see us getting more musical instruments, not fewer. And I would love to have that Steinway grand.

    So I think it’s more sensible to trade up to a bigger house here (Svl/CUSD) rather than spend more money for same or smaller sized house on less land in a “better” zip code.

  32. RealEstater Says:

    >>But seriously, where are you proposing we live if we rent the shack and I pull out enough equity that we stay cashflow positive? I don’t see that being more than $450K.

    Well, it depends on a couple of things:
    1. Do you need the school district?
    2. Do you need to be within a certain perimeter due to your job location?

  33. madhaus Says:

    Yes, we need the school district, and we won’t trade down to Fremont HS either. I don’t see any point in downsizing just so we can own 2 properties instead of one. As it is, this house is too small.

  34. RealEstater Says:

    madhaus,

    Given your priorities, I would target one of those larger homes between Ortega Park and Homestead (e.g. around Eagle Drive). It’s CUSD with Homestead High. Homes there are newer, larger and quite comfortable. The problem is they are rarely available.

  35. madhaus Says:

    RE, you are incorrect about that. Ortega park area is Fremont HS. I know 94087 and I know where the Homestead/Fremont line is. The line moves from Sunnyvale Saratoga to Homestead, stay west for Homestead.

    Yes, those houses are quite nice, but I won’t touch ‘em.

  36. madhaus Says:

    Whoops, the line moves from Saratoga Sunnyvale to HOLLENBECK, not to Homestead. Homestead HS is ON Homestead.

  37. Pianist Says:

    Madhaus, before you buy that Steinway, look carefully at the 3 B’s – Bosendorfer, Bechstein, and Bluthner. If you must have a Steinway, get the Hamburg edition. Trust me on this, I know what I’m talking about.

  38. madhaus Says:

    Pianist, not buying any pianos of any size until I get a bigger house, and not clear I’m doing that in this current market. Think the best I can do now is get an 88-key weighted synth and get a double rack so it can live with my 61-key composing Korg.

    I’ve heard good things about the first 2 Bs, never heard of the third one. When I read it I thought of the horses neighing in fright a la Young Frankenstein. Bluthner!

  39. RealEstater Says:

    Madhaus,

    I know people who live there that went to Homestead High.

    Anyways, another option would be Los Altos, where they have larger homes. Be prepared to spend at least $1.5M. Might need to cash out some of your Web 2.0 stock options.

  40. madhaus Says:

    I know people who live there [near Ortega park] that went to Homestead High.

    Then they crossed the FUHSD boundary lines, maybe by applying for an in-district transfer, or they attended before 1981 when there was a third Sunnyvale high school.

    Anyways, another option would be Los Altos, where they have larger homes. Be prepared to spend at least $1.5M. Might need to cash out some of your Web 2.0 stock options.

    I know what it would cost in Los Altos and in Palo Alto, those have been the 2 places I’ve had my eye on (also Cupertino foothills). But I’ve already said I’m reluctant to do so now, because I expect a severe correction (30-40%) to hit over the next 2 years. Then I expect flat prices the next 4-6 years. I think my best bet is to sit tight, pay off this house (it will be paid for in 6 years), ride out the correction, and move up in 5 years when I will need $300K to move up instead of $500K. I have money overseas and will keep it there as a hedge against the dollar moving further down. I even expect keeping the money abroad that long will let trade up more than I could now.

    Meanwhile, maybe those Web 2.0 options will make me a millionaire, and then again maybe monkeys will fly out your butt.

    You did say (#19) I could rent the shack and buy another house, and I am curious how that’s doable if I want to trade up. I sure don’t intend on trading down.

  41. RealEstater Says:

    >>because I expect a severe correction (30-40%) to hit over the next 2 years.

    I’d like to here your rationale behind such thinking, because there sure is no indication of that happening in either Los Altos or Palo Alto. Do you have an idea how many people with cash on the sidelines will jump in if the market corrects even 10%?

  42. RealEstater Says:

    Damn those typos…I meant “hear”

  43. Frank Jewett Says:

    Fwdvw, good call on Fonzi’s room. LMAO!

    madhaus, good call on not “trading down” to Fremont High.

    You could turn the current home into a rental for two years, 1031 exchange for another rental, then move into the new rental after two years (effectively making it your new home), but I’ve been told that whole process isn’t worth the headaches.

  44. Frank Jewett Says:

    >> Do you have an idea how many people with cash on the sidelines will jump in if the market corrects even 10%?

    As Jerry Seinfeld used to say, “Who are these people?”

    During the bubble, the people jumping in had more nerve than cash. I’m not convinced there is a wave of cash rich investors waiting to come back to the table, especially when markets historically do not bounce. Why rush in to try to catch a bottom that should last for several years?

  45. RealEstater Says:

    Madhaus,

    Even in the unlikely event of the market correcting, wouldn’t your property correct as well? Therefore, does it matter if you move up now or later?

  46. RealEstater Says:

    >>As Jerry Seinfeld used to say, “Who are these people?”

    Frank,

    Where I work, plenty of people are watching real estate, waiting to buy a house and hoping for a market correction. It’s not exactly hard to find these people if you just pay attention.

  47. bob Says:

    Some of you that are imaging hordes of people itching to jump back into housing after marginal drops are forgetting the convenient fact that housing booms tend to happen when the economy is good. The fact that we’re in a tailspin downwards with no end in site doesn’t bode very well for anything positive happening in RE for the foreseeable future. I do suspect there’s a few people around with RE bubble hangovers who’ve yet to realize the scope of the era that we’re now in.

  48. rick Says:

    So nice that some old fart to give this opportunity for you to pay for his retirement while living at his front gate. Should we call the winner of the “house” a gatekeeper?

  49. WillowGlenner Says:

    Where I work, plenty of people are watching real estate, waiting to buy a house and hoping for a market correction. It’s not exactly hard to find these people if you just pay attention.

    Same here. I know dozens of people looking, and a few have bought. Everyone who has tried to buy a short sale has not succeeded, and I was aware of about 9 of those starting in Jan of 08. Most of these buyers claim the listing agent said they had preapproval from the bank, but clearly they did not have that. On MLSlistings it used to seem like every 4th house in the less desirable zipcodes were short sales. Now there are far fewer, those have all gone to foreclosure.

    As to how to move up if you are in Madhaus’ situation and need more space AND a school district- one answer is Almaden Valley. Almaden schools Williams elementary, Bret Harte middle and Leland high are the best schools in the bay area the apis are 954,904 and 856 respectively. You need to get below Camden up against the golf course and hills for the real Almaden- above Camden is just the same as any other burb.
    http://www.movoto.com/real-estate/homes-for-sale/CA/San-Jose/6723-Elwood-Rd-100_815186.htm

    I know this would never work for Madhaus because his kids are already in a school and district so he needs to stay there but for people looking for good schools AND spaciousness, Almaden is the spot.

  50. RealEstater Says:

    >>forgetting the convenient fact that housing booms tend to happen when the economy is good.

    This is obviously an ignorent statement. The entire housing boom that brought you the current prices happened right after the tech bubble busted, sending the economy into a tailspin.

  51. RealEstater Says:

    WG,

    The solution I offered him gave him everything he wanted. What he’s really looking for is more prestige. He already mentioned the brands he wants: Los Altos or Palo Alto. Palo Alto does not fit his needs at all, because at any given price point, Palo Alto house will be smaller than anywhere else (Palo Alto has the highest cost per sq ft).

  52. bob Says:

    RE,
    The housing bubble was a direct result of people looking for a “safe” investment, which at the time was deemed RE, which was also coaxed by the lowering of interest rates. It was a perfect storm for creating a bubble. Now that housing is now deemed a bad investment, everyone ran for commodities. Once commodities crashes, it’ll be onto something else as frothy. Housing had its time. Investors won’t be coming back anytime soon.

    You guys who are investing now are going to get burned. Trust me.

  53. madhaus Says:

    Frank Jewett, I still don’t see the point of buying a second $450K home here and doing a 1031 two-step. That would be a condo, and we sure don’t want to live there when we already have a perfectly acceptable house in a good neighborhood. I did the math above showing we can’t spend much more than that if we keep the house.

    Why rush in to try to catch a bottom that should last for several years?

    Well said. Although to be fair, while 92-96 was flat elsewhere, our neighborhood did steadily increase.

    Even in the unlikely event of the market correcting, wouldn’t your property correct as well? Therefore, does it matter if you move up now or later?

    RE, I already answered that question in comment #40. The money I have overseas will fund a future trade-up because the dollar will continue to decline. I expect $100 today there will be worth $200+ then. I expect the price differential between my house and Los Altos to drop from $500K to $300K. Then I won’t have to borrow much when we trade up, and could continue being a one-income family if we choose. If the dollar comes back, we have money here too.

    For the housing bulls, would you please explain why it is smart for me (or anyone) to move from 90% equity to 50% equity and 4-5 times the debt in a declining market? Even a 40% correction and tanking job market cannot possibly make me lose my house. How many of you can say the same thing if you lost your job? Do you have 1-2 years’ salary cached away?

    The solution I offered him gave him everything he wanted. What he’s really looking for is more prestige. He already mentioned the brands he wants: Los Altos or Palo Alto. Palo Alto does not fit his needs at all, because at any given price point, Palo Alto house will be smaller than anywhere else (Palo Alto has the highest cost per sq ft).

    You call it prestige, but that’s your thing, not mine. We want the best schools we can afford and at least in Los Altos, a bigger house on more land (whole town zoned minimum quarter acre). We like being near shops and restaurants, so if I had five million I would not move to Woodside, but to Palo Alto. (This is not blue sky dreaming, at some point we’re going to inherit a bunch. And maybe those monkeys really will fly out your butt.)

    WG suggested Almaden. That doesn’t work for us. School scores are slighly lower than CUSD, and it’s much further away from where we work, study and play. I wouldn’t move further south than Cupertino or further east than Southwest Sunnyvale. North and west is the direction we’d head, closer rather than further from San Francisco.

  54. bob Says:

    Well…
    Looks like another fantastic drop on Wall Street today. The economy is just flopping ain’t it? Sounds like its a GREAT time to be buying some of them there investment homes so that all the folks who are getting rich from the recession can go buy your ghetto houses. Now… go out and buy!Hurry before the crashing economy makes those prices drop even more!

  55. Pralay Says:

    Do you have an idea how many people with cash on the sidelines will jump in if the market corrects even 10%?
    ———-

    No idea. Do you have any idea? Anecdotal examples from your workspace does not count.

  56. bob Says:

    Do you have an idea how many people with cash on the sidelines will jump in if the market corrects even 10%?

    Yes. 99% of all people are ready to jump in right this minute.Even me. But they’ll only buy if you go in and buy the houses first and re-sell them to them. So you might as well go out and buy 5 more houses to take advantage of the coming stampede of foaming at the mouth buyers! You’ll be rich I tell ya, rich rich rich!

  57. Frank Jewett Says:

    madhaus, I’m not encouraging you to go the 1031 route. As I mentioned, I’ve been told it isn’t worth the hassle, and that advice came from an agent I trust who lives in Sunnyvale. They aren’t all bad.

    I was simply trying to fill in the blanks on how that process works. The missing piece, as you noted, is what you do for housing during the four year interval (last two years of old house as rental, first two years of new house as rental), not to mention the headache of becoming a temporary landlord and having tenants put wear and tear on your “new” house before you get to enjoy it.

  58. Frank Jewett Says:

    Bob, do you have an idea how many people with cash on the sidelines will jump in if the stock market corrects even 10%?

    What? Oh, that comment only applies to real estate?

    Nevermind. ;)

  59. madhaus Says:

    bob, LOL at #56.

    Frank, I know how it works, what I don’t get is why I would want to do it, especially in a declining market.

    Who are all these people with cash at the sidelines? Are you referring to Facebookers or the mythical foreigners who are going to swoop down and buy everything at 15% markup?

    And maybe monkeys might fly… etc etc

  60. madhaus Says:

    Bob, do you have an idea how many people with cash on the sidelines will jump in if the stock market corrects even 10%?

    What? Oh, that comment only applies to real estate?

    Hello, Frank! The DOW is down 20% since October.

  61. Frank Jewett Says:

    mh: Hello, Frank! The DOW is down 20% since October.

    I know. I was riffing on someone else’s comment about money on the sidelines waiting to jump in once the real estate market corrects by 10%. That theory doesn’t appear to be saving the stock market. Down 20%. Is the cavalry asleep?

    Of course you can’t live in stocks, but I find the idea that there is cash just sitting and waiting a little farfetched. That cash obviously isn’t sitting in stocks or it is dwindling as we type. Maybe they have it stashed under mattresses?

  62. WillowGlenner Says:

    The cavalry isn’t asleep, people like me who used to have all their money in the stock markets in the 90s won’t touch stocks again, UNLESS there is real evidence the dollar is stabilizing. Completely different than real estate- I am fine with real estate as long as I like the price point, but then I never overpaid even in the bubble. My most expensive house was $450/sq ft. bought in 06.
    There are countless silicon valley execs out there who WILL NOT touch stocks again, ever. This hurts all of us because stocks were supposed to be the vehicle for baby boom retirement, now a lot of that money has gone kaput.

  63. WillowGlenner Says:

    Realestater, its amazing how much prestige everybody thinks their own locale has. I heard somebody (who lives in cupertino) say that Cupertino school district was #1 in the NATION just last week. HAHAH! Almaden thinks their schools are better than Cupertino, plus a lot of Almaden residents would NEVER live in Cupertino or Sunnyvale or Willow Glen (the FLATS) – they see their 20K sq ft mansion in the hills lifestyle as better than everybody else. Personally I would never live in Mountain View. Definitely don’t see that as a prestige address. I think everybody just likes where they live.

  64. Frank Jewett Says:

    Stocks were supposed to be bought and held for the dividends. You invest in a business to share in the profits. Investing in the future value of the shares rather than the profitability of the business is a ponzi scheme. Most of the big dot-com losers were never profitable, begging the question of why their stocks went so high. The obvious answers were greed and stupidity on the part of “greater fool” investors.

  65. sonarrat Says:

    That approach to stocks went away forever when the online discount brokerages got big.

  66. Real Estater Says:

    >>I wouldn’t move further south than Cupertino or further east than Southwest Sunnyvale. North and west is the direction we’d head, closer rather than further from San Francisco.

    Personally I would do the same…don’t really want to stray too far from RBA civilization.

    >>Who are all these people with cash at the sidelines? Are you referring to Facebookers or the mythical foreigners who are going to swoop down and buy everything at 15% markup?

    I’m referring to every white collar professional who has any sense in planning their life. Unlike most parts of the country, BA has a high concentration of this type of profile. Coupled with limited supply of homes, this is a major reason the housing market here remains healthy.

  67. Real Estater Says:

    Bob,

    You keep thinking in terms of timing the housing market, as though it were a stock. When the market is going up, you think it’s a bubble therefore would not buy. If the market is down, you think it’s heading into the abyss therefore would not buy. Well, I have news for you. You don’t have a crystal ball. Real estate is a long term investment. When you are ready to buy, there is no point in putting your life on hold. As a matter of fact, when the market psychology is such that people are pessimistic, it is in fact a bonus. That is the time to buy anything.

  68. Pralay Says:

    Real estate is a long term investment.
    ———–

    So does stocks. He he!

    ————
    When you are ready to buy, there is no point in putting your life on hold.
    ———–

    Even if that means paying 3X every month for rental price. That sounds like used car salesman – “You need a car right? How much you can you pay per months?”

    ———-
    As a matter of fact, when the market psychology is such that people are pessimistic, it is in fact a bonus. That is the time to buy anything.
    ———-

    It’s always great time to buy. :) Are you buying 5 homes RealEstater, before foreigner investors come here and snap up homes?

  69. madhaus Says:

    I said: Who are all these people with cash at the sidelines? Are you referring to Facebookers or the mythical foreigners who are going to swoop down and buy everything at 15% markup?

    And then RE said: I’m referring to every white collar professional who has any sense in planning their life.

    You know, if don’t want to continue being considered an utter fool, you’ve got to learn that not everyone who chooses differently than you is less informed than you. It’s doubly amusing as you’re one of the poorest advocates, for any position, posting here.

    I’m still chuckling over your informing ME where to buy in 94087. Read that district map? Like, epic fail.

  70. sonarrat Says:

    I’ve been watching on the sidelines since 2006. I didn’t have enough job history to buy then, but if I knew what I know now, I could probably have bought a nice condo on the Embarcadero in Oakland. I had a real estate investor friend who was encouraging me to get a duplex in San Jose. But I saw the foreclosures mounting and decided to wait it out. Now, after having been through a major apartment fire as well as seeing prices in places like Redwood City drop 30% since January, I decided it was time to start taking it seriously. I don’t mind if I’ve mistimed it by a couple months. But I can see that the only way to stem the bleeding is if people start buying again, so I’m doing my part.

  71. Pralay Says:

    Ooops, too many mistakes in #68. The correction:

    Even if that means paying mortgage 3X every month for compare to rental price for similar home. That sounds like used car salesman – “You need a car right? How much you can you pay per months?”

  72. Pralay Says:

    You know, if don’t want to continue being considered an utter fool, you’ve got to learn that not everyone who chooses differently than you is less informed than you. It’s doubly amusing as you’re one of the poorest advocates, for any position, posting here.
    ——–

    Madhaus,
    It would be pointless to say that to a guy whose self-worth is tied to his house and “management class neighborhood”.

    I wonder if he writes the zip code in his name. E.g John “94306” Doe.

  73. burbed Says:

    But I can see that the only way to stem the bleeding is if people start buying again, so I’m doing my part.

    You sir, are a patriot!

  74. rick Says:

    WG,
    Executives will not touch stocks again? Huh? I thought their jobs are mostly about stocks, they are paid mainly in stock options or grants. Are they demanding to be paid in mortgages now?

    Almaden San Jose? 95120? That dope must be really high, there are only 5 schools in that zip scores higher than 900, out of 12. Cupertino has 5 under 900, out of 32. People are entitled to their opinions, but opinion without base is simply stupid thinking.

    Hey can someone tell me what’s up with Beverly Hills 90210? It’s schools are pretty average, does the riches really send their kids to these schools to have sex?

  75. Frank Jewett Says:

    rick, Almaden actually is known for their schools, but that only applies to half of the area. Seriously.

  76. Real Estater Says:

    Madhaus says,
    >>It’s doubly amusing as you’re one of the poorest advocates, for any position, posting here.

    Feel free to stick to your position. After all, it’s your life. You’re the one who has to deal with living in your shack, not me. You’re the one who is struggling to move up, not me.

    Pralay,

    >>It would be pointless to say that to a guy whose self-worth is tied to his house and “management class neighborhood”.

    If your opinion were worth anything, you wouldn’t be stuck in a priced out position. The outcome has already shown who’s right.

  77. DreamT Says:

    Arrogant RealEstater is back with a vengeance!!!

  78. Real Estater Says:

    DreamT,

    I was here minding my own business, and the two mad dogs started biting for no reason.

  79. Pralay Says:

    If your opinion were worth anything, you wouldn’t be stuck in a priced out position. The outcome has already shown who’s right.
    ——-

    Ha ha! When did you buy your home (and make yourself worthy), RealEstater? May be I should have moved to bay area in same year (instead of 2004) to avoid being priced out forever. 10 years back? Ooops, I was still in college that time.

    Or may be my parents should have moved from all the way from India to here so that their son would not have to be “Priced Out Forever”? Prop 13 would have helped too. :) Is it how you did RealEstater?

    BTW, let’s revisit the comments:

    I said: It would be pointless to say that to a guy whose self-worth is tied to his house and “management class neighborhood”.

    RealEstater said: If your opinion were worth anything, you wouldn’t be stuck in a priced out position. The outcome has already shown who’s right.

    RealEstater, by making above comment, did you just re-enforced my argument? Your self-worth is tied to home ownership. You think you are right because you own a home and a “Priced Out Forever” guy got to be wrong, just because he does not own a home. is it so? :)

  80. Pralay Says:

    the two mad dogs started biting for no reason.
    ———-

    Help me, help me, stop me from biting two dogs! I started biting those dogs, those dogs started biting me! But I am the victim and those are mad dogs. I love being victim!

  81. Real Estater Says:

    >>May be I should have moved to bay area in same year (instead of 2004) to avoid being priced out forever. 10 years back? Ooops, I was still in college that time.

    Did you study any physics in college? Time keeps moving forward. When I bought my house, there were surely people who bought 10 years before me at a much lower price. By the year 2118, right now would be “10 years back”. Why are you not buying now?

    >>Or may be my parents should have moved from all the way from India to here so that their son would not have to be “Priced Out Forever”? Prop 13 would have helped too. :) Is it how you did RealEstater?

    I already showed you how I did it. I did it the old fashioned way. I earned it. When I bought my first house, I rented 2 out of 3 rooms to pay the mortgage. I remember back then, there were plenty of losers complaining how they were priced out. Give me a break. When there’s a will, there’s a way.

    >>Your self-worth is tied to home ownership.

    Who cares about my self worth? You always like to take things down to a personal level, rather than debating the issue. What we’re discussion here is who’s view of real estate is correct. I’m telling you that by the outcome we already know who’s right. You can make all kinds of lame arguments or fantastic predictions, at the end of the day who would prefer your outcome?

  82. Real Estater Says:

    Pralay,

    If you have any clue about the economy, you might have noticed we are already in an inflationary cycle. Last week I had my first $100 fill-up at the gas pump, and paid $6 for a double-double combo at In-N-Out. Can you see what’s coming? If you don’t get into a house right now, you will be over-run by inflation. The price you pay for a home right now, it’ll seem cheap in just a few years even if home prices don’t increase. Why? Because money is worth less and less each year.

  83. Pralay Says:

    When I bought my house, there were surely people who bought 10 years before me at a much lower price.
    ———–

    And I am sure when you bought your home renting a similar house was lot cheaper than owning a similar one, right? What was the monthly mortgage vs rental price ratio that time? 2X? 3X?
    If you are not good at math, why don’t you just tell us when you bought your home? We will find out the ratio. You haven’t told us so far.

    ————

    Why are you not buying now?
    ————

    Don’t you know that I am “Priced Out Froever”? :)

    ———
    When I bought my first house, I rented 2 out of 3 rooms to pay the mortgage.
    ———

    Wow! That explains how you afforded 3X mortgage vs rental ratio. When was it? 1995? Or 2005?

    ——–
    I’m telling you that by the outcome we already know who’s right.
    ———

    Really, you know it? You are right because you say so?

  84. Pralay Says:

    if you don’t get into a house right now, you will be over-run by inflation.
    ———

    RealEstarer,
    People don’t come here to get those crappy advises. Most of the visitors in this blog have some knowledge of economy and real estate market. They are not clueless. You have more chances getting success in catching a stranger on University Avenue and convince him to buy a home now. And as you are not doing so, that tells me that you are not very bright.

    In the end, market will be corrected by the fundamentals. Convincing and adding two or three more suckers in the market won’t help. NAR does not get it and you don’t get it either.

  85. Pralay Says:

    The price you pay for a home right now, it’ll seem cheap in just a few years even if home prices don’t increase.
    ————–

    This one takes the cake! Couldn’t you write something more innovative and fresh, RealEstater? When I read it, it sounded more like those subprime lenders.

    Borrower: Tell me how am I going to afford $6000 every month when rate resets after two years?

    Lender: Oh, just refinance.

    BTW, hedging against inflation – is it your best case for buying a home now? Where were those flashy arguments – home price double every 10 years, real estate is better than stock etc? Oh, yes, I forgot some more
    – if I own a dog I need to buy home
    – foreigners coming
    – I can water my own lawn
    – I don’t have to live cold in winter. :)

  86. sonarrat Says:

    Even making payments and earning equity in a depreciating home is better than renting long-term, simply because it’s possible to reach the point where you make no payments at all. If you buy early when you’re poor and then make more income, you can then pay it off faster, save hundreds of thousands of dollars in interest, and then get rental income. If you move every three years, then you may be better off renting so you don’t wind up upside-down after paying commissions, in the same way that if you need a new car every couple of years, you’re better off leasing so you don’t have to sell a car that’s worth less than you owe. It’s econ 101.

  87. Real Estater Says:

    sonarrat,

    I think you’re absolutely doing the right thing. Even though it may not look like it now, you’ll qualify for “millionaire in the making” in 10 years time.

  88. austindweller Says:

    sonarrat.

    >> Even making payments and earning equity in a depreciating home is better than renting long-term, simply because it’s possible to reach the point where you make no payments at all.

    Unfortunately the guy who will be selling his house to you knows this. What he does is thet he prices that advantage in the selling price of the house. So you pay for it in current dollars. Also you assume that there is no risk for you in making hugh interest payments there by guarantee that your employablity for next 30 years. Also there are and will be dowturns in RE and you assume the risk of having to make payments when you can’t sell the house. And afterall, the biggest assumption you make is “RE will keep appreciating in inflation adjusted dollars”

  89. Pralay Says:

    Even making payments and earning equity in a depreciating home is better than renting long-term, simply because it’s possible to reach the point where you make no payments at all.
    ——–

    I don’t think anybody here is arguing against long term benefits. But the problem I find is that some guy here asking people to ignore short term risks altogether and showing a tunnel vision picture.

  90. Pralay Says:

    RealEstarer,
    When did you buy your own home? You are totally avoiding this question.

  91. sonarrat Says:

    “Unfortunately the guy who will be selling his house to you knows this. What he does is thet he prices that advantage in the selling price of the house. So you pay for it in current dollars. Also you assume that there is no risk for you in making hugh interest payments there by guarantee that your employablity for next 30 years. Also there are and will be dowturns in RE and you assume the risk of having to make payments when you can’t sell the house. And afterall, the biggest assumption you make is “RE will keep appreciating in inflation adjusted dollars”

    Property is an REO. The bank isn’t in the business of holding property – they want to get rid of it. And if I can’t get another $15 an hour job after losing my current one, then I wouldn’t be able to rent either and I may as well just shoot myself.

  92. madhaus Says:

    RealEstarer,
    When did you buy your own home? You are totally avoiding this question.

    Are you kidding? Comment #81 above was the first time RE even alluded to ever having bought a home, as opposed to telling everyone else they ought to be one because it’s a great time to buy NOW NOW NOW. Also notice RE refused to mention how much equity he has in his current home, if he even actually owns one.

    We have 2 years’ salary saved up, plus 90% equity in the house, plus other investments here and abroad. Which one of us would the rest of you bet on to weather the next five years? And do you think arrogant RE will still continue telling sonarrat where to buy in Laurel, or DreamT about 95051, or WG about ’25, or myself about Sunnyvale/CUSD?

    Tune in tomorrow, for another exciting episode of As The Market Crashes.

  93. Real Estater Says:

    Pralay,

    You’re totally ignoring the point of this discussion. Did you understand the “Theory of Relativity” that I alluded to? There’s ALWAYS people before and after you. By default, I bought a home before you did, since you haven’t bought one yet. However, I am still looking for another house at this time, so I face the exact same situation as you do. Look at all the excuses you’re giving:
    – I was in college when houses were cheap
    – My mother was in India
    – I don’t have enough data
    – House market may crash
    – I will buy when mortgage payment becomes lower than rent

    It’s time for action. Don’t let me beat you to it again!
    -

  94. Real Estater Says:

    madhaus Says:
    >>Are you kidding? Comment #81 above was the first time RE even alluded to ever having bought a home, as opposed to telling everyone else they ought to be one because it’s a great time to buy NOW NOW NOW.

    This is complete nonsense. I even told you before what my interest rate was, and that I can pay off my house if I wanted to. You just need to pay attention.

  95. madhaus Says:

    This is complete nonsense. I even told you before what my interest rate was, and that I can pay off my house if I wanted to. You just need to pay attention.

    Give me a link to where you told me that, because I do not believe you.

  96. Real Estater Says:

    >>Give me a link to where you told me that, because I do not believe you.

    Are you trolling? I don’t have time to dig it up. I think Pralay may remember, or you can ask Burbed to search the database.

  97. madhaus Says:

    You never told me that. You’re lying.

  98. Real Estater Says:

    Madhaus,

    If Burbed or I find the post, will you issue a public apology?

  99. Pralay Says:

    I think Pralay may remember, or you can ask Burbed to search the database.
    ———-

    I don’t remember you ever mentioned. Although this blog does not have at search option, but with right combination of keywords I can google most of the past comments from this blog. I don’t think you ever said that. The only thing you said that you could pay off your mortgage anytime if you want to (go back to Milpitas week and find out RealEstater’s amazing reasons for employment – earning frequest flyer mileage etc :)).

  100. madhaus Says:

    RE — if you don’t have time to find an old post (that doesn’t exist) then why are you posting here? You’re a busy management guy. (snort!)

    You make a lot of nonsense claims on this board. You also have an obnoxious tendency to demand other people give you cites or data, something you won’t provide unless you’re making a joke. You know like “Market is back, see!” linking to an article showing it’s worse than ever.

    You are about 150 to 1 behind in providing proof of anything and have no standing to ask anyone to find something for you.

  101. Real Estater Says:

    >>The only thing you said that you could pay off your mortgage anytime if you want to

    That already proves this is not the first time I ever mentioned owning a home.

    Madhaus, are you man enough to offer an apology?

  102. Pralay Says:

    It’s time for action. Don’t let me beat you to it again!
    ———-

    RealEstarer,
    Do you get paid for posting these crappy advises? Should anybody care for advise from a guy who even cannot answer some simple questions straight? It it too difficult to answer straight when you bought home? Keep it vague. Because the image you are trying to create about yourself (successful investor, reason for working 9-5 is earning frequent flyer mileage and paystubs :) etc ), you do need to be vague as much as possible so that nobody can prove you wrong.

    You sound like a used car salesman who owns every car model he sells.

    BTW, “Theory of Relativity” very funny. He he!

  103. burbed Says:

    Whoa… I feel the temperature rising here. And I’m not even driving to Gilroy.

    Let’s been like the Inner Sunset and chill.

  104. Pralay Says:

    Look at all the excuses you’re giving:
    – I was in college when houses were cheap
    – My mother was in India
    – I don’t have enough data
    – House market may crash
    – I will buy when mortgage payment becomes lower than rent

    ———–

    Hell, NO, I never gave those excuses. Don’t twist my words and quote me out of context. I never said that houses were cheap when I was in college. All I said that the market situation of the time when YOU BOUGHT home could lot different from today. Therefore, it it very dishonest of you to tell people “I did it, hence you can do it too” WITHOUT DISCLOSING the market condition you bought your home. And guess what, when I asked you when you bought your own home, I refuse to answer it.

  105. Real Estater Says:

    Pralay,

    If you pay attention, I told you many times about move-up strategy. I’ve bought many homes, in many different market conditions. Market condition is your new excuse? Didn’t I just tell you I am looking at homes right now, in today’s market condition? Did you understand what I said about buying a house in the long term, and not focusing on market timing?

  106. Pralay Says:

    When I did you buy your home RealEstater?

  107. Pralay Says:

    I’ve bought many homes, in many different market conditions.
    ———-

    Read the user car salesman analogy in post #102. :) You are too predictable.

  108. Real Estater Says:

    >>When I did you buy your home RealEstater?

    I don’t know which home you’re talking about.

  109. Pralay Says:

    I don’t know which home you’re talking about.
    ———–

    If you have little bit of IQ left you would have figured out already and volunteered to provide this info while giving advise (a fake one though) to A RENTER (hint).

  110. Real Estater Says:

    I’m sorry, I have more EQ (equity) than IQ.

  111. Pralay Says:

    That why you need to add zipcode in your name.

  112. madhaus Says:

    RE – since you won’t tell us where you live (city or zip code), I assume it’s because you are ashamed of it. It doesn’t fit the fake persona you created.

    Just about everyone here has volunteered that info. Unless you have your own personal zip code, giving that out does not reveal who you are.

    Provide your location and when you bought the house you live in. Until you do, you have no standing to ask anyone here for anything.

  113. Pralay Says:

    Madhaus,
    Although many other burbed readers volunteered to provide info within contexts, none of them bragged about home ownership like this guy RealEstater. Specifically I wanted know when he bought his home because his common theme is “I did it, You guys can do this too. Jump and buy NOW.” More I read his stuffs, more he sounds like an used car salesman who owns every car model he sells but he is never going to tell you when he bought them and how he could afford with his meager salary and commissions.

    Secondly, the last guys I would seek advise is this guy. Hence, his pretense of giving advise make it more funny.

  114. RealEstater Says:

    Madhaus,

    If you check the records here, you’d find that I’ve always been upfront and open. Our chat about work is just one example.

    Will you encourage your friend Pralay to talk a bit about what he does for a living? By your logic he must be ashamed of his job.

    I have no problem telling you my city, zip, whatever, but in the spirit of community let’s have Pralay do the same, so that he won’t be in the corner making sour remarks.

  115. RealEstater Says:

    Pralay,

    The crux of the problem is that you interpret everything as “bragging”. For Christ sake, owning a home is called bragging? You’re not in India anymore!

  116. Pralay Says:

    Will you encourage your friend Pralay to talk a bit about what he does for a living? By your logic he must be ashamed of his job.
    ——–

    RE,
    I am a tech guy. The rest is irrelevant, because, unlike you, I never ask people to jump off the cliff giving “I did it and became rich” kind of personal example.

  117. Pralay Says:

    The crux of the problem is that you interpret everything as “bragging”. For Christ sake, owning a home is called bragging? You’re not in India anymore!
    ———

    No, owning a home is not bagging. That’s why most of the burbed readers, many of them are homeowners, never do it. They talk about it ONLY WITHIN A CONTEXT. You are exception. You always love to give your personal example, although you never disclose anything fully (e.g. I asked you when you bought home but you did not answer).

  118. RealEstater Says:

    >>You always love to give your personal example, although you never disclose anything fully

    You are contradicting yourself. If I’ve never disclosed anything, how can it be a personal example?

    >>I am a tech guy. The rest is irrelevant

    You can do better than that. Madhaus and I both shared more info. At least you can tell us what kind of tech guy? For examples:
    – Programmer?
    – Support guy?
    – Business analyst?

  119. RealEstater Says:

    Pralay,

    You never answered the question about your zip.

  120. bob Says:

    RE,
    I’m not necessarily trying to time the market because there are already so many obvious signs that the market is still out of whack. Even the most basic fundamentals are still being violated.Of course I also realize that housing in the BA requires a special type of person willing to make personal lifestyle and often risky financial decisions in order to get into the bare-basics. As mentioned numerous times before, I am not head over heels in love with the area nor do I care to place my family in a precarious situation just for a crappy little house that’ll rot unless I spend even more money fixing it. No thanks. So the equation also has to do with what your value system is, and for me, there is no value in the Bay Area even if prices drop 50%

    I’ll tell you one more thing. I don’t like RE investors in general because their tactic is all about trying to sell suckers their bags of excrement. The hope of course is that there are enough suckers who will keep buying and buying until the day comes that the entire system corrupts itself, just as we’re seeing now. I feel that RE investors are in large responsible for the shape of the economy and the erosion of neighborhoods as well.In essence, they artificially manipulated the supply by purchasing homes they had no intention of living in. I’d much rather see people use their heads to think of useful,ingenious, intelligent products. Apple is a good example. Toyota is also. Selling and bartering homes as if they’re being held for ransom is non-beneficial to anybody. There used to be a time in the US where people like Thomas Edison and Henry Ford made revolutionary changes to our world. Now we just have a society full of people who want to make a quick, dirty buck by selling crap back and forth to each other.

    Anyhow, that’s my stump speech for today.

  121. RealEstater Says:

    >>I feel that RE investors are in large responsible for the shape of the economy and the erosion of neighborhoods as well.

    Without RE investors, how can you have a place to rent?

    RE investors are not all that different from the investors for your company. They are providing a service for a market need, and trying to profit from it. Under our capitalist system, it is legitimate business.

  122. bob Says:

    There’s a big difference between someone who buys a place to rent for 10-20 years and someone who buys and sells in less than 6 months, which was rampant and unprecedented during the boom. I’m talking about investors going into poor neighborhoods and subsequently pricing out all the locals in hopes that they could force the area into gentrification.

    My parents rent a little house above theirs. They’ve owned it for 20 years. The family has been there for 10. They make pocket money off of it. I have zero problem with people renting homes as homes have typically been rented. But all the horse crap that happened in the housing boom with all those greedy retards buying up everything effectively got us into this mess, and even to this day, there’s still too many people who think exactly like that and need to get burned a bit more in my opinion so they’ll learn a lesson or two.

  123. Pralay Says:

    Oops, forgot to close the link. Burbed, could you delete post #123?

    —————
    You are contradicting yourself. If I’ve never disclosed anything, how can it be a personal example?
    —————

    Funny. You cannot even read your earlier post (post #81).

    Read the line “When I bought my house…..”. When I asked the details, you cleverly avoided it.

    ——–
    You can do better than that.
    ——–

    I don’t need to, because I never asked you that kind of question either. The only reason I asked when you bought home is because you started giving me unsolicited advises like an used car salesman (or Amway agent).

    In case you are too curious (and honest about it), no I am not a “management class” guys. And these are NOT the reasons for me working 9-5
    – earning frequent flyer mileage
    – paystubs.

  124. Pralay Says:

    Pralay,

    You never answered the question about your zip.
    ———

    Let me answer you in your style (post#108) – I don’t know which zipcode you are talking about. Being “Priced Out Forever” renter I rented many places and moved many times. :)

  125. RealEstater Says:

    Pralay,

    What’s up with avoiding the questions? You want answers from me but don’t want to say anything about yourself? Your buddy Madhaus believes it’s a sure sign of being ashamed of your job, and being ashamed of where you live.

    If you can be open and transparent, I’d be happy to do the same.

  126. RealEstater Says:

    >>I don’t know which zipcode you are talking about.

    Let me make it real simple. The questions are:
    1. Which zip do you currently reside in?
    2. What kind of job do you do that prevents you from owning a home?

  127. RealEstater Says:

    Bob,

    Do you have any problem with day-traders? This kind of person is not really investing in the companies, but just trying to make a quick buck.

  128. Pralay Says:

    You want answers from me but don’t want to say anything about yourself?
    ——–

    I answered this question earlier posts. The only reason I asked you about the year of your home purchase because you made sales pitch like “If you don’t get into a house right now…. bla bla bla” in the pretense of giving advise.

    Too bad that you haven’t figured this out already. :(

    ——-
    Your buddy Madhaus believes it’s a sure sign of being ashamed of your job, and being ashamed of where you live.
    ——

    Madhaus would be in best position to answer it, not me. My best guess is that he asked you because most of your posts sound like a real estate agent – asking people to jump into housing market and buy home NOW. It raises doubt if you really tech guy. There are other homeowners and real estate investors who visit this blog regularly (e.g. WillowGlenner). They never make sales pitch like you. Due to this reason, although many people disagree with WG, they never question about his profile.

  129. Pralay Says:

    1. Which zip do you currently reside in?
    ——-

    Although I have mentioned it somewhere else, I have no reason to answer your specific question, because you never answered which year you bought your home.

    ——
    2. What kind of job do you do that prevents you from owning a home?
    ——-

    Nice try. I have to repeat the old used car salesman’s analogy again “How much you can you pay per month?”

    What prevents me? Just common sense. Does it answer your question?

  130. madhaus Says:

    You can do better than that. Madhaus and I both shared more info. At least you can tell us what kind of tech guy? For examples:
    – Programmer?
    – Support guy?
    – Business analyst?

    RE, Business analysts are not tech d00dz, they’re finance d00dz. Totally different part of the company, rarely part of engineering division. You demonstrate your lack of technicity with every post. You’re not a tech d00d if you’re in management unless you came out of the tech ranks to begin with, which I doubt. You don’t have the mindset for it. Too sloppy. Tech d00dz don’t make constant logic errors.

    Again: What zip code do you live in, RE? Why is this question so threatening? Is it because it’s a non-prestige zip? (Yup.)

    When did you buy the house you live in now? What are the terms of your mortgage (don’t have to give amount, just % down, interest rate, fixed/variable, does it convert, any neg-am, etc). Why is this question so threatening? Is it because you own much less than you’ve told us? (Yup.)

    These are not difficult questions, but you sure are having a hard time answering them. Now why would that be?

    You did not provide “more info.” Pralay has. You’ve played little “I know you are but what am I” games that even my kids are too old for. Very second grade.

    My best guess is that [madhaus] asked you because most of your posts sound like a real estate agent – asking people to jump into housing market and buy home NOW. It raises doubt if you really tech guy. There are other homeowners and real estate investors who visit this blog regularly (e.g. WillowGlenner). They never make sales pitch like you. Due to this reason, although many people disagree with WG, they never question about his profile.

    Yup, you got it in one, Pralay. I have no issue at all with WG because he isn’t playing games about who he is and why he’s here. If you ask him something, he either answers it or doesn’t, but no bs.

  131. Crossroads Says:

    this is pretty silly. he could just say he lives in any zip code. what would do next? ask for his ssn?

  132. madhaus Says:

    You’re right, Crossroads, it is silly. Why do you think he’s so reluctant to even make one up? Is it because then when he makes another comment showing he doesn’t know that zip, he’ll be exposed again?

  133. Pralay Says:

    RE, Business analysts are not tech d00dz, they’re finance d00dz.
    ——

    Madhaus,
    As far I know, they are all same – Business Analyst, System Analyst, Psycho-Analyst. And New York and York are same place too.

  134. madhaus Says:

    And yet, RE has never once confused Palo Alto with East Palo Alto. Kind of like matter and anti-matter, or firmware and firm wear.

  135. Pralay Says:

    Why do you think he’s so reluctant to even make one up?
    ——–

    The key of being “I am always right” is to remain vague.

    It reminds me politics. One can aways use some vague term like “mushroom cloud”, so that later he can deny saying “I never said Iraq poses nuclear threat”.

  136. RealEstater Says:

    Madhaus,

    I already told you, I will be happy to give you the information, but we can’t have a double standard with respect to Pralay.

    If he provides two basic bits of info:
    – Type of job
    – Zip of current residence

    I guarantee you I will tell you my real zip. I never make up anything here, and I never break any promises. It’s a fact shown here over and over again.

    P.S. If Pralay is unemployed, then skip the first question.

  137. RealEstater Says:

    >>The only reason I asked you about the year of your home purchase because you made sales pitch like “If you don’t get into a house right now…. bla bla bla” in the pretense of giving advise.

    If that’s the only reason, then you already have the answer. I’m looking to buy another property right now. Year is 2008! If I’m practicing what I preach, how can it be pretense?

  138. Pralay Says:

    If Pralay is unemployed, then skip the first question.
    ——

    You are dead right, RealEstater.
    Answer to second question: 95050.

    Now, could you answer all the question in post #131?

  139. RealEstater Says:

    Pralay,

    94301. Bought in 2003. 5.5% fixed. $500K down. Over $1M in equity.

    Not bragging, just answering the questions. Promise delivered, again.

  140. Pralay Says:

    I’m looking to buy another property right now.
    ————-

    Ha ha! That you have said more than 3 months back. Buy it before foreigners comes. They are coming! :)

  141. RealEstater Says:

    Pralay,

    3 months is nothing. A lot of prep work and research goes into each buying decision.

  142. madhaus Says:

    RE,
    Thank you for answering this question after, I believe, 2 months of requests. Why was that so difficult?

    I note you bought at the beginning of the most recent bubble. It made more sense to buy then than it does now. You might in turn ask why I didn’t trade up then, since I also had at least $500K in equity.

    The answer is twofold. One, my kids then went to a Cupertino alternative school and we love the program. If we moved to PA, then they’d lose it. Palo Alto does not have this program, although they do have others. Two, mrs madhaus no longer works, which is a lifestyle issue. Having one parent home for the kids after school is more important to us than having a larger home or a more prestigious address.

  143. Pralay Says:


    94301. Bought in 2003. 5.5% fixed. $500K down. Over $1M in equity.

    ——-

    That explains why you had to rent out other two bedrooms to pay for the mortgage. I am assuming you are a single guy. Unfortunately, I am not single and we have no intention of sharing home with renters.

    And buying home 2003. It seems that Malcolm guys was right when you referred you as “bubble sitter”.

  144. RealEstater Says:

    >>Thank you for answering this question after, I believe, 2 months of requests. Why was that so difficult?

    I don’t recall you ever asked the question. If I’m mistaken, please show me a link.

    >>I note you bought at the beginning of the most recent bubble. It made more sense to buy then than it does now.

    That’s what you see in the rear view mirror. Back then, people were saying the exact same thing.

    >>One, my kids then went to a Cupertino alternative school and we love the program. If we moved to PA, then they’d lose it. Palo Alto does not have this program, although they do have others.

    PA has multiple alternative programs to suit all kinds of needs.

    >>Having one parent home for the kids after school is more important to us than having a larger home or a more prestigious address.

    PA has all kinds of wonderful programs after school, from sports to arts to academics. It can be advantageous to send your kids out as opposed to keeping them at home.

  145. Pralay Says:

    That’s what you see in the rear view mirror. Back then, people were saying the exact same thing.
    —————

    Well, it would be futile make your argument based on some anecdotal examples like “people were saying”. How about some statistical comparison? Was renting much cheaper than owning in 2003? Nope.

  146. bob Says:

    RE,
    Not meaning to add more fuel to the fire, but I’m wondering exactly why you’re spending time on a site that is very heavily tilted as anti-housing bubble Real estate. You seem fairly confident that you have a million in equity… But do you actually believe that to this day, you could actually sell it for more than what you paid, or are you perhaps just a tad concerned that in reality, you might very well break even, if not even eventually get LESS than what you paid once this all blows over? Remember, we’re still way off from the end of this downturn. So if you’re here, then I am somewhat assuming that you might actually have some concern.

    Again, I will never buy a home as some sort of investment, but to people like you and WG,it seems that a home is nothing but an investment.

    Anyhow, I’m done pickin’ on ya.

  147. RealEstater Says:

    >>Well, it would be futile make your argument based on some anecdotal examples like “people were saying”. How about some statistical comparison? Was renting much cheaper than owning in 2003? Nope.

    Renting was absolutely cheaper back in ’03. Nothing futile about it. It’s a fact.

  148. RealEstater Says:

    As a matter of fact, renting was cheaper in 2003 than now. It was after the dot-com bubble bursted, and the rental market took a big hit.

  149. RealEstater Says:

    >>but I’m wondering exactly why you’re spending time on a site that is very heavily tilted as anti-housing bubble Real estate.

    Because this is where you can find people who need the most help. Majority of my friends have done similar things as me, and don’t have any of the priced out issues found here.

    >>You seem fairly confident that you have a million in equity… But do you actually believe that to this day, you could actually sell it for more than what you paid, or are you perhaps just a tad concerned that in reality, you might very well break even, if not even eventually get LESS than what you paid once this all blows over?

    I can never sell it for what I paid, because people will just bid it up to market value or higher. Houses in my area priced under $3M generally take less than 2 weeks to sell, and over-bidding is the norm here in June 2008.

  150. madhaus Says:

    >>I note you bought at the beginning of the most recent bubble. It made more sense to buy then than it does now.<<

    That’s what you see in the rear view mirror. Back then, people were saying the exact same thing.

    Tell ya what, let’s see what your place is worth in a year. I say it loses equity June 30th, 2009 compared to June 30th, 2008. So send burbed your address and burbed will post today’s estimate of what it’s worth.

    Willing to do that and see who has a better view of the road ahead?

    The rest of your answer is the usual, where once again you’re incapable of accepting that different people have different priorities. What a senseless waste.

    Anyone else playing along at home remember RE being asked where he lives before?

  151. bob Says:

    Well,
    I certainly don’t require your assistance, As I’ve already laid out my detailed plans. The fact that you had to rent out some of your rooms to cover expenses makes me think that you put most of your money into the house. That’s not uncommon in the BA, which in retrospect might explain why your interest in RE is along the lines of an investment. You’ll find that many people don’t care to do that, myself included.

    Basically, I read a lot of comments on this and other sites where people put a lot of “ifs” in front of their comments regarding homes. “If they live in it for 10 years… maybe they can refinance.” If they do this, or do that, then they’ll be able to own a house.”

    I’m not sure if most people in the BA realize that buying a house in 90% of the country doesn’t involve extreme measures like renting out rooms, etc etc.

    Lastly, you haven’t sold your house yet. Until you do, then you don’t actually know if you have x number of additional equity dollars.

  152. Pralay Says:

    As a matter of fact, renting was cheaper in 2003 than now.
    ——–

    Not really. Do you have any data? We are renting our current home from Dec 2004. It only went up $200 in last four and half years. How much did home price increase in same period. Do the math.

  153. RealEstater Says:

    >>The fact that you had to rent out some of your rooms to cover expenses makes me think that you put most of your money into the house.

    Bob, you’re very confused. I made the necessary sacrifices when I bought my first place, which enabled an average guy to get on a fast track. I have never rented out my current home.

    >>I certainly don’t require your assistance

    Just like a guy who won’t ask for directions after getting lost…

    >>Lastly, you haven’t sold your house yet. Until you do, then you don’t actually know if you have x number of additional equity dollars.

    I’ve done it a few times already. Based on my normal practice, I should be moving up again, but I can’t think of another place I’d rather be. Therefore, I decided to just by another house.

  154. Crossroads Says:

    what’s a cupertino alternative school?

  155. RealEstater Says:

    >>Tell ya what, let’s see what your place is worth in a year. I say it loses equity June 30th, 2009 compared to June 30th, 2008. So send burbed your address and burbed will post today’s estimate of what it’s worth.

    Madhaus,

    How many times have I told you it does not matter? I’m never looking at a 1 year horizon. This is not day trading.

    If home values drops I will more than welcome it. I have cash in the sidelines ready to be put to use.

  156. bob Says:

    RE,
    go for it. But I suspect that you’re still imagining that things are just like they were during the bubble.Sorry, but things have changed and we ain’t done yet either.

    As far as getting lost, well I know for a fact that I will not have to make any sacrifices whatsoever, buy the house I really want to buy with cash out of my pocket, and I’ll probably also have a considerable amount of land to go with it.

    Good luck “trading up”. I’ll be exactly where I want to be in a few years, in exactly the home I want, without any of the silly trading/moving up scenarios you seem quite proud of.

  157. RealEstater Says:

    >>As far as getting lost, well I know for a fact that I will not have to make any sacrifices whatsoever, buy the house I really want to buy with cash out of my pocket, and I’ll probably also have a considerable amount of land to go with it.

    The pathetic thing here is that you don’t realize you end up making a much greater sacrifice. I gathered more than a million dollars of equity by just living my house. How many times will you have to get up in the morning and go to work to accumulate the same amount of wealth?

  158. Pralay Says:

    Because this is where you can find people who need the most help.
    ————

    Give me a break, RealEstater. Are you really trying to help people! Let’s see what you said in last few weeks:
    – You taunted Bob because he worked in retail store.
    – You taunted FremontRenter because he was living in East Bay (as if Palo Alto is the only place that worth living).
    – You make derogatory comment about non-RBA places and people who live there (especially “flyover country”).
    – You mentioned about “fitting” Honda Fit on your SUV bumper in accident.
    – You call renters as losers and refer them “angry renter”.
    – You fail to understand that every person/household have different priorities in life. Hence their perspectives about buying homes and willingness to take risks are different. Instead you ask people to jump without realizing their situations.
    – You make come clueless comment about Indians and Chinese.

    These are a few example I remember at this moment. There are more. Are these comments coming from a guy who is trying to help? Give me a break! You would be the last person whom people would be seeking help.

    Secondly, how many Burbed reader come here to seek help? If there is none, who care about your help?

    One does not need to be rocket scientists to figure out that you have no intention of helping people. The only thing you are doing asking people to buy home with typical NAR-like propaganda (home price doubles in 10 years, real estate is better than stocks etc etc etc).

    “Beware the glib helper who fills your head with fantasies while he fills his pockets with fees.” – Warren Buffet

  159. Pralay Says:

    Just like a guy who won’t ask for directions after getting lost…
    ——-

    RealEstater,
    Bob did not say that he would not ask for help. He said that he does not “require your assistance”.

    My question to you: What qualification do you have to offer help/assistance?

    I don’t see any. You are just, as someone said already, “bubble sitter”. You are definitely not the guy who understands investment or economics all that well.

  160. madhaus Says:

    what’s a cupertino alternative school?

    An alternative to the neighborhood school your kids would attend by default. Cupertino has four alternative programs for elementary aged kids and two of them continue on into middle school. Admission is by lottery, with priority to siblings of currently enrolled students.

    If home values drops I will more than welcome it. I have cash in the sidelines ready to be put to use.

    How much of a drop would it take for you to invest that cash? 5%? 10%? 15%? 20%? What are you going to do when the prices drop 30-40% after you invest?

    Why aren’t you buying in Milpitas right now? Prices are down! Now is the time to buy! Now! Now! Now!

    But do tell us when/where you splurge. I’ll google up a few good chainsaw catcher graphics.

  161. RealEstater Says:

    Pralay says,
    >>My question to you: What qualification do you have to offer help/assistance?

    To repeat what I said before: just look at the outcomes. Review the numbers in post 139. If you listen to me, you too can hit the sweeet spot.

  162. RealEstater Says:

    Pralay,

    By the way, if you paid attention, you should have figured out that I’m not a single guy. Did you miss all the conversations around school districts and after school programs?

  163. Pralay Says:

    To repeat what I said before: just look at the outcomes. Review the numbers in post 139. If you listen to me, you too can hit the sweeet spot.
    ——-

    That’s not a qualification.

  164. RealEstater Says:

    Pralay,

    What’s up with the job situation? Are you even qualified to talk real estate when you don’t have any income? How do you even pay the rent?

  165. austindweller Says:

    Wow Pralay,

    You seem to have a noce collection of RE’s rudeness.

    RE,
    Just like Pralay says, nobody needs your help here. If I am wrong on this, those who need help from RE, should reply sepcifically that they do need his help. No reply would mean nobody needs your help.

  166. madhaus Says:

    By the way, if you paid attention, you should have figured out that I’m not a single guy. Did you miss all the conversations around school districts and after school programs?

    Actually, today was the first time (since I joined the blog) you ever posted anything at all about afterschool programs, and it was, like most of your posts, so vague that it said pretty much nothing at all.

    You also seem somewhat misinformed about school districts. Read that FUHSD map yet?

    I do remember one reference to “spouse of RE,” though.

    PS – Your “help” is not needed. We wish you success in your future endeavors. Elsewhere.

  167. Pralay Says:

    Are you even qualified to talk real estate when you don’t have any income?
    ———

    Of course! I can talk whatever I want and whatever I feel. This is free country.

    You can question my qualification only if I offer to help you (or pretend to help you). Last time I checked, I offered you none.

  168. madhaus Says:

    Hey austindweller, how are you enjoying Austin? Do you miss Fremont even a little?

    Find out when Eric Johnson is playing in town!

  169. RealEstater Says:

    Guys,

    Don’t blindly follow Pralay’s mis-interpretations. Here’s exactly what I said:

    “Because this is where you can find people who need the most help.”

    Did I say anything about me being here to offer help? I’m only here to participate in the discussions, just like everyone else here.

    Next time, please take a moment to read the actual posting, rather than rely on Pralay’s misinformation.

  170. RealEstater Says:

    >>Actually, today was the first time (since I joined the blog) you ever posted anything at all about afterschool programs, and it was, like most of your posts, so vague that it said pretty much nothing at all.

    If you read up above, people were asking YOU to clarify what are alternative programs. Talk about vagueness, you did not even explain what’s different about these programs.

  171. RealEstater Says:

    Pralay,

    Why are you avoiding the question again? How do you come up with the rent money without a job?

    I see a couple of scenarios:
    1. You lied.
    2. I’m supporting you with my tax dollars.

    Which one is it?

  172. Stepford Says:

    “Having one parent home for the kids after school is more important to us than having a larger home or a more prestigious address.”

    Madhaus – Your kids are lucky. I admire you and Mrs. M’s. decision to have one parent stay home with your children even though it means you might have to sacrifice a larger home. Not many people in the BA are willing to do that.

  173. Stepford Says:

    RE says Why are you avoiding the question again? How do you come up with the rent money without a job?
    I see a couple of scenarios:
    1. You lied.
    2. I’m supporting you with my tax dollars.
    Which one is it?

    That is rather presumptuous of you RE. There is a Mrs. Pralay. She probably works and they don’t need your tax dollars.

  174. Crossroads Says:

    sorry, this is the worst thread i’ve seen on this site. let’s go back to answering my questions. :)

    >>Madhaus – Your kids are lucky. I admire you and Mrs. M’s. decision to have one parent stay home with your children even though it means you might have to sacrifice a larger home. Not many people in the BA are willing to do that.

    is that something to admire? it is not a decision for most. i think the madhauses are rich from stock options. how many can choose to have 1 parent work -and- have a house (not a condo).

  175. madhaus Says:

    Stepford, thank you for your kind words. Interestingly, most of the 2-income people we know tell us the same thing, and say they would do what we did but they couldn’t afford their house otherwise. Many of them own less expensive places than we do, either they bought later or didn’t save as much as we did.

    The people we know who live large (big house, lots of land, expensive zip codes) are almost all one-income or retired. Yeah, I know some doctors married to doctors etc but the majority are one income.

  176. madhaus Says:

    is that something to admire? it is not a decision for most. i think the madhauses are rich from stock options. how many can choose to have 1 parent work -and- have a house (not a condo).

    We do have stock options, but we got them long after we bought this house (15 years ago). We were both working when we bought the house, mrs madhaus chose to stay home after second child was born. Stock options came long after.

    What do you mean by rich? I don’t want to tell you we are or aren’t if I don’t know your terms.

  177. austindweller Says:

    >> What do you mean by rich? I don’t want to tell you we are or aren’t if I don’t know your terms.

    I once defined this term quite prcisely. Could you live your rest of your life with what you consider a good standard of living with what you have saved so far without having to slave(work) for somebody ? If yes, you are rich, else I wouldn’t call you rich even though you may be richer than me. For thosw who don;t fit this definition, the number one priority is to remain employable till they attain that kind of saving.

  178. Stepford Says:

    Yes Crossroads, it is something to admire if those are your values. I understand a lot of people can’t have 1 parent stay home and it is not a decision for them. In the Madhaus situation there is a decision. Ms. Madhaus is able to stay home if they stay in their current house, but may have to work if they buy a bigger house. Those are their values and they are sticking to them. That is admirable since Madhaus has said they need more space.

  179. austindweller Says:

    BTW,

    I am loving austin on CA salary. Savings have gone up. Less stress. More time to do be with my family. Here is the comparison.
    Fremont Austin
    rent 2000 1220
    school 1350 625 (by sept it will be $0)
    gas 300 75
    groceries 300 225
    PG&E Vs City of Austin 60 90
    NWP Vs Texas Gas 90 50
    Water 0 18

    Plus me and my spouse make same salary as in CA. 5 years down the line, I may be able to call myself rich.

  180. austindweller Says:

    And most inmportantly no state tax. That’s a hugh bonus.

  181. Real Estater Says:

    Pralay,

    Isn’t it true the reason you are priced out is because of your own failings (unable to hold a job), rather than something with the market? Isn’t market conditions just another one those endless excuses?

  182. Real Estater Says:

    Pralay,

    Actually, is it even legal for you to stay here without a job?

  183. madhaus Says:

    I once defined this term quite prcisely. Could you live your rest of your life with what you consider a good standard of living with what you have saved so far without having to slave(work) for somebody ? If yes, you are rich, else I wouldn’t call you rich even though you may be richer than me. For thosw who don;t fit this definition, the number one priority is to remain employable till they attain that kind of saving.

    I think I heard Bob Brinker, a finance guy on the radio, define this as “Critical Mass.” We could live like that now, but not in the Bay Area. But when the house is paid for in 6 years, maybe the numbers would work. Things would be different when that mortgage payment is paid off forever.

    Also I’d define rich in a non-financial way. If you love who you are with, love what you do, and love where you live, you have wealth in what is far more important than mere acquisitions. This is in line with the Franklin (the organizer people) program in living within your values rather than at odds with them.

  184. madhaus Says:

    austindweller, sounds like things are going well for you so far. Glad to hear it. I had some friends who moved to Corpus Christi and it wasn’t so happy for them, but that’s a very different part of Texas. They came back, and now they’re priced out… for now.

    Pralay, recognize when someone is yanking your chain.

  185. Real Estater Says:

    Stepford,

    For the presumptuous posts of the day, see #112 and 130.

    Loved the build-up until the answers were given! Still waiting to see what answers Pralay will give for his turn.

  186. WillowGlenner Says:

    Austindweller, ask the women in your life how they like austin (assuming you are male). The gun culture in texas blew my mind- every 19 year old kid has a gun, and what does that mean? It means armed guards at every social watering hole, or any public venue open at 11pm on a weekend (like grocery stores). If you want to see what guns do to a society go to texas. They are so acclimated to it they don’t see it. As for me, I don’t want my teenage male kid to have a gun, and I don’t want my teenage daughter anywhere near teenage males with guns (I don’t have teenage kids, this is just a hypothetical- a 19 year old male with a gun is an accident waiting to happen).

  187. Real Estater Says:

    Austindweller,

    >>PG&E Vs City of Austin 60 90

    Somehow these numbers don’t look right. Do you sweat it out rather than use your AC?

  188. burbed Says:

    They are so acclimated to it they don’t see it. As for me, I don’t want my teenage male kid to have a gun, and I don’t want my teenage daughter anywhere near teenage males with guns (I don’t have teenage kids, this is just a hypothetical- a 19 year old male with a gun is an accident waiting to happen).

    Good grief. I can only imagine what would happen if an NRA board happen to catch wind of this topic. This would instantly become a 9000 comment thread.

  189. burbed Says:

    Somehow these numbers don’t look right. Do you sweat it out rather than use your AC?

    Uh, did you know that California has one of the highest electricity rates in the nation?

    Some states give you bulk discounts for buying electricity. That’s right – the more you use, the more you save.

  190. WillowGlenner Says:

    California is also a clean energy state. We don’t have coal burning fuel plants, our plants are either natural gas, or hydroelectric etc. Thats the key difference in cost. It would be more expensive for energy here anyway just due to the high cost of living where everything is more here, but in energys case.. there is a reason for the expense.
    http://www.environmentalleader.com/2007/01/26/coal-fired-power-off-limits-to-california-utilities/

  191. WillowGlenner Says:

    Yes RE, PG&E is literally 50% more than what you will pay elsewhere for power, and definitely much more than Texas. Of course in TX you need AC and heat more than you do here, plus more McMansions so in terms of actual expenditures for a family, there is much less of a differnce.

  192. madhaus Says:

    Good grief. I can only imagine what would happen if an NRA board happen to catch wind of this topic. This would instantly become a 9000 comment thread.

    Remember, if you buy a house, be sure to buy a house with a gun safe. Otherwise some whippersnapper’s going to take your guns and your house. And your equity!

  193. Pralay Says:

    Here goes my answer, RealEstater,

    ——-

    I see a couple of scenarios:
    1. You lied.
    2. I’m supporting you with my tax dollars.
    Which one is it?

    ——–

    No, you are not supporting with your tax dollars. The amount of tax breaks you are getting from mortgage, it’s very likely I am supporting your home with my tax dollars.
    Regarding the question of unemployment, my answer was as vague and twisted as your answer about “management class guy”. You can serve it, but cannot take it, right?

    ———–
    Actually, is it even legal for you to stay here without a job?
    ————

    Of course it is legal. Last I am checked even Bill Gates is unemployment from last Friday when he quit Microsoft. I don’t think he is illegal.

  194. Pralay Says:

    Loved the build-up until the answers were given! Still waiting to see what answers Pralay will give for his turn.
    ——

    RealEstater,
    Although I gave you the answer, I don’t see any relevance of my personal info in this thread. I never claimed “I owned this, I owned that and moved up X number of times and became wealthy”. I understand your frustration after your pretentious I-am-here-to-help-you image was exposed in this thread. Now you are just trying to come after me. Nice try.

  195. madhaus Says:

    Of course it is legal. Last I am checked even Bill Gates is unemployment from last Friday when he quit Microsoft. I don’t think he is illegal.

    Don’t be silly. Bill Gates is a homeowner, which means he can do whatever he wants. He even chose a location where he wouldn’t have to water his own lawn because the Washington weather would do it for him.

    If people like RE wrote the laws, vagrancy would be expanded to mean renting for more than six months.

  196. DreamT Says:

    burbed #103 – Wasn’t hot at all in Gilroy today. The beach at Carmel-by-the-sea was wonderful (but somewhat crowded). This thread was indeed the hottest place to be it seems.

    RE, I realize you’re in mgt – so am I.
    Because I can, I’ll post gratuitous guesses. Based on your constant taunting of less fortunate posters and the matter-of-factly, literal logic you peruse, I’d venture you’re an unhappy person, either ignored or disliked by your peers and direct reports. At least you seem to spend way too much time here to love your job.
    Your advice to others is misguided because it is based on personal experience only and disregards their personal circumstances. You have most credibility when you use ‘I’ instead of ‘You’ in your posts.
    That said, congrats for being able to trade up within/to Palo Alto at the right time.

  197. Pralay Says:

    Pralay, recognize when someone is yanking your chain.
    ———-

    I understand his frustration due to our refusal to get help from him. May be we can ask him to start his own blog solely dedicated to help “Priced Out Forever” people, Angry Renters, people who love “useless data”.

    Or may be once in a week Burbed should dedicate one day for Dr Phil Dr RealEstater where people could seek help related to housing market. Sounds like a good plan, Burbed?

  198. Pralay Says:

    The beach at Carmel-by-the-sea was wonderful (but somewhat crowded).
    ——-

    Wow! Carmel and Dream Cookie in Forge In the Forest. Did anybody here try it?

  199. Pralay Says:

    that said, congrats for being able to trade up within/to Palo Alto at the right time.
    ——-

    I congratulate him too. Palo Alto is a great place to live, especially if it is within walking distance to University Avenue.

  200. madhaus Says:

    DreamT, fairly spot-on assessment. I don’t know if RE will cop to being as unhappy as you illustrate, but his identifying certain cities with “winning” and others with “losing” belie a shallowness leeching into despair.

    The funny thing is, we very likely have a much higher net worth than RE. Money is something that shallow people use to keep score, but he still would insist my zip code alone makes me a “loser.” He reminds me of the whiny kid who constantly changed the rules of whatever game you were playing. He’d insist that he won every time, so the others learned to ignore him and play by their agreed rules, not his made-up ones. And oh, did that make him angry! How DARE they not admit that he WON, damn it!

    Now we’re all grown up, except RE still thinks he won the game playing by his own rules. Thing is, at some level he knows he didn’t win at all, and it really bugs him. Because if he really had won, he sure wouldn’t need to tell us we lost.

  201. madhaus Says:

    Or may be once in a week Burbed should dedicate one day for Dr Phil Dr RealEstater where people could seek help related to housing market. Sounds like a good plan, Burbed?

    It’s only a good idea if Burbed wants a comedy feature. Priced-out-forever renter asks how to make an offer on a place in 901 Bush in San Francisco, and gets told what he really needs to do is find a job with Facebook so he can buy in Palo Alto! Hilarity ensues!

    But for an actual advice column I’d suggest someone with more empathy and tact, like California Resident.

  202. DreamT Says:

    Pralay – I’ll ask you next time. We were at Em Le’s this time, and I thought their food&wine and I were a complete mismatch.
    What Dream Cookie? DreamT is a reference to a NY band.

  203. madhaus Says:

    DreamT is a reference to a NY band.

    Dream Theater?

  204. DreamT Says:

    madhaus – yes, there are not that many bands fitting the description :P I (still) am a fan of their early work, from the demo as Majesty to the somptuous and daring Awake.

  205. madhaus Says:

    I liked their early stuff too, and didn’t really hear of what they were doing later. When I first saw your user ID I immediately thought of the band but you didn’t mention music all that much… well, this is a real estate board!

  206. Pralay Says:

    What Dream Cookie?
    ——-

    Your screen-name DreamT reminded me that dessert.

    Actually it is called Cookie Dream – hot chocolate sauce and ice-cream on a skillet. Hot and cold together makes it great. Other food is not great in this restaurant, outdoor sitting ambiance is nice. It has fireplaces next to tables.

  207. Pralay Says:

    Don’t be silly. Bill Gates is a homeowner, which means he can do whatever he wants.
    ———–

    Don’t be silly. Bill Gates is not a homeowner in RBA. As he could not move-up to 94301 zipcode, he is a plain simple loser. The last time I heard he tried to buy a company from RBA. Nice try. Losers never own anything in RBA – neither Yahoo nor a home.

  208. Pralay Says:

    Money is something that shallow people use to keep score, but he still would insist my zip code alone makes me a “loser.”
    ———-

    Madhaus,
    That’s why the idea of having zipcode in name came to my mind. In some part of old Europe one could tell a visitor’s/stranger’s village just by knowing his surname. I heard in some part of India there was a tradition of having village name as last name.

    That’s what we need here in RBA. If you have a last/middle name with number 94087, you are a loser. Sorry.

  209. DreamT Says:

    Pralay,
    Zips haven’t replaced villages just yet. I’d rather be called say DreamT of Maywood Park (or even just DreamT of Cascade Tract, ah ah!) than DreamT 95051.
    How about non-homeowners? Pralay wannabe of ? Pralay almost-of-but-priced-out-of-? Pralay tout court?…

  210. RealEstater Says:

    >>Of course it is legal. Last I am checked even Bill Gates is unemployment from last Friday when he quit Microsoft. I don’t think he is illegal.

    This is gotta be joke of the year. I didn’t know that Bill Gates came here on H1B.

  211. RealEstater Says:

    Quote of the day (and the day is young):

    “The funny thing is, we very likely have a much higher net worth than RE. Money is something that shallow people use to keep score.”

    Author: Madhaus

  212. RealEstater Says:

    >>Palo Alto is a great place to live, especially if it is within walking distance to University Avenue.

    That was actually a major criteria when I shopped for a home. Never really considered the part in the south, which is really the city of Mayfield in the old days.

  213. RealEstater Says:

    DreamT says,
    >>Based on your constant taunting of less fortunate posters

    DreamT,
    Selective reading is not a good practice for a manager. Your subordinates would not like you. I started out trying to help with good intents (see posts 32 – 34), but things went down hill after “the less fortunate” started the taunting (see posts 112, 130). It’s all documented, so don’t make things up next time.

  214. RealEstater Says:

    WillowGlenner says:
    >>Yes RE, PG&E is literally 50% more than what you will pay elsewhere for power, and definitely much more than Texas.

    I guess I wouldn’t know, since my city does not use PG&E.

  215. WillowGlenner Says:

    RE, even if you don’t use PG&E (and I know there are some cities that do not- Santa Clara is another one), you are still subject to CA clean energy requirements which is what drives up the costs. Coal utilities are the cheapest by far in the nation- USA has an abundance of coal. But if you ask me, its a small price to pay- higher utility bills- for a cleaner environment. This is something that adds to the quality of life here and well worth it. Complaints about PG&E or a municipal power district being more than other places in the country fall on deaf ears, for me.

  216. bob Says:

    Palo Alto is a great place to live, especially if it is within walking distance to University Avenue.

    Actually, I don’t get what people like about Palo Alto. It looks, feels, and is just as overcrowded as Berkeley.Except its full of snottier people. In fact, if the office has me go get lunch, I DREAD even driving through it. That’s why I live in Alameda, which pretty much has zero traffic, quieter neighborhoods, less people, and more parking. Different strokes for different folks.

  217. Herve Says:

    RE, I guess you never considered 94303 either since this zip code is shared by Palo Alto and East Palo Alto, right? It’s all about respect

  218. DreamT Says:

    RE – Taunting is about tone rather than content.
    Your posts #50 and #51 started the taunting, and your post #67 established it. You made judgment calls (“obviously”, “ignorant”) and inferred other posters had undeclared purposes(“prestige”) then proceeded with six accusatory ‘You’ in seven sentences. So I stand by what I said. :)

  219. Pralay Says:

    I didn’t know that Bill Gates came here on H1B.
    —————–

    Of course he didn’t. Even if he did (for the sake of argument), he had to get green card (and from green card to US citizenship) soon enough, because H1B expires in six years.

    I think that’s why it is called half (or little) knowledge is dangerous!

  220. Pralay Says:

    RE, I guess you never considered 94303 either since this zip code is shared by Palo Alto and East Palo Alto, right? It’s all about respect…
    ——–

    Herve,
    It’s really amazing that the overwhelming amount of respect he is receiving in this blog. I hope his real life in real bay area is lot better than this.

  221. Pralay Says:

    How about non-homeowners? Pralay wannabe of ? Pralay almost-of-but-priced-out-of-? Pralay tout court?…
    ———

    I think neighborhood/zip (PO) would be apprpriate. PO = Priced Out.

  222. sonarrat Says:

    For what it’s worth, the best ZIP in the RBA is 94010 – Burlingame and Hillsborough. The rest are upstarts.

  223. madhaus 94087 CUSD/Homestead +8 Says:

    This could be fun. We could all include our neighborhood/zip/school district/tract in our user names, but then the rest of the board would assign our karma, based on useful, funny, or supportive contributions to the board. If too many people take issue with your posts, your karma goes down, a free clue that it’s time to fix something.

    Most of the regulars would have a karma above +5, with two exceptions. DreamT is now DreamT Maywood Park/Cascade is-that-CUSD? +9 and Pralay is Pralay SC’50 PO +6 and WillowGlenner +9 already uses his neighborhood in his uid.

    sonarrat Oakland/Laurel +8
    austindweller aka fremontrenter PO +8
    bob Alameda renter by choice +9

    you get the idea

    Two exceptions: California Resident notRBA -7 PO and RealEstater East Palo Alto -5. East Palo Alto? Well sure, he lives East of El Camino. :)

  224. RealEstater Says:

    Herve says,
    >>RE, I guess you never considered 94303 either since this zip code is shared by Palo Alto and East Palo Alto, right?

    Wrong. I lived in 94303 for many years. Beautiful area. Only issue was the park lawn is sometimes torn up by EPA folks coming over to play soccer.

    Pralay,

    Let me get this right. You’re comparing yourself with Bill Gates?

    Madhaus,

    Sorry, not interested in kiddie games.

  225. Pralay Says:

    Let me get this right. You’re comparing yourself with Bill Gates?
    ———-

    Nope, you did not get it right. Find me the post where I compared Bill Gates with me. You asked whether a person’s unemployment makes him illegal in this country. I just gave one WELL KNOWN example – so that you understand better. I hope you will get it this time. If you don’t, that would be very unfortunate for a “management class” guy.

  226. CookieDreamer Priced Out At 95050 (aka Pralay) Says:

    but then the rest of the board would assign our karma,
    ————-

    Madhaus,
    This is a real estate blog. You got to add prestige point (ref: Post #218 by Herve). Karma is so un-realtystic thing.

  227. CookieDreamer Priced Out At 95050 (aka Pralay) Says:

    Correction: post #217 by Herve

  228. RealEstater Says:

    Pralay,

    Let me make sure you get this right. H1B guy cannot stay here without a job. Have you checked with immigration office lately?

  229. RealEstater Says:

    Pralay,

    Even if home prices drop 50% tomorrow, you still won’t be able to buy without a job. As I said, market condition is immaterial in your case, so why bother maintaining your agenda?

  230. RealEstater Says:

    Madhaus says,

    >>I note you bought at the beginning of the most recent bubble. It made more sense to buy then than it does now. You might in turn ask why I didn’t trade up then, since I also had at least $500K in equity.

    The key is time value of money. Having $500K in 2003 was useful coming out of dot-com crash. Having that amount today achieves much reduced affect. It’s all about doing the right thing at the right time.

    In a few more years, when you feel you are “ready”, you’ll be more priced out of your anticipated upgrade than now.

  231. Pralay Priced Out At 95050 Says:

    Let me make sure you get this right. H1B guy cannot stay here without a job. Have you checked with immigration office lately?
    ——–

    RealEstater,
    It’s really getting boring to answer you. Even a kid understand faster than you. I am not in H1B. I actually voted in last California Primary. Get the clue.

    To answer your “immigration office” thing. That makes me laugh. I already mentioned earlier that little knowledge is dangerous. It’s get more dangerous when someone tried to suggest something based on this half baked (little) knowledge. The only time I had to talk to a CIS officer (what you called “immigration officer”) when I had to take citizenship oath. Before that I never talked to any officer. CIS is a lousy federal agency – very slow, mismanaged, underfunded and their officers are not good at “talking” (whatever you mean by it). There are immigration attorneys to deal with CIS.

  232. Pralay Priced Out At 95050 Says:

    BTW, regarding job I already posted the answer in post #193.

    PS: Your “help” is not needed. Your suggestions based on half-baked knowledge is not needed either.

  233. bob Says:

    Cmon’ guys,
    Call truce.

  234. Pralay Priced Out At 95050 Says:

    Bob,
    His silly questions and suggestions won’t stop unless he gets even, gets his prestige back and “win”. Those suggestive questions are not simple curiosity, but has motive behind it.

    Of course I am not doing good by answering his silly suggestive questions. May be I should stop now.

  235. bob Says:

    Well,
    I’m certainly guilty about doing the same thing. But at the end of the day, this is all about a blog that pokes fun of the absurdity of housing prices in the Bay Area made all the more hilarious given that those prices are crashing down as we speak. The real estate bulls have had their day in the sun, but even they realize that its over. Now it’s time to enjoy the show.

    Hopefully, we’ll look back at this era in the same way that people now look at the Texas savings and loan days.

  236. Crossroads Says:

    re:texas s&l

    how do we look back at that?

  237. RealEstater Says:

    I agree with Bob. Let’s have a kinder, gentler Burbed discussion.

    >>made all the more hilarious given that those prices are crashing down as we speak.

    Qualifier: In Alameda and other communities where price to value is out of whack.

  238. bob Says:

    “Qualifier: In Alameda and other communities where price to value is out of whack.”

    err… not sure what you mean by that RE, being that the even though homes are just as overpriced as anywhere else in the BA in Alameda, what 600k gets you in Alameda is a fully restored, historic Craftsman home on a older live oak lined quite street within walking distance of a quaint, lovely town with perhaps some of the best views of the Bay that you’ll find anywhere.

    That compared to the POS run-down, small, non-historic, non-interesting homes sold for 900k in PA, which in itself is simply a overcrowded city that looks like something out of the Midwest, complete with ugly-riffic shopping malls and the like.

    I gather you’ve never been to Alameda. If you did, you’d likely realize that perhaps PA and the price you paid for your home isn’t as fantastic as you are trying to make me and others believe, which as I hope you gathered – we don’t.

  239. RealEstater Says:

    “Priced out” implies price is the barrier to buying. However, that is not the only barrier. Another barrier is ability to qualify for a loan. These days the requirement is not just employment, but length of employment. If one has not been with the same employer for at least a year, there will be extra scrutiny.

    At the end of the day, these “barriers” are good for the market and good for the communities, as they ensure that unqualified buyers will not slip through the cracks.

  240. sonarrat94619 Says:

    am i doin this rite guise???

  241. madhaus 94087 Cupertino schools, baby! Says:

    Yeah, sonarrat94619‘s in the club!

    Bob, I’ve been to Alameda, I agree, it has some awesome views and great historic houses. Unfortunately it’s too far a commute to the jobs down here. it would be realistic if we were looking at the jobs in Emeryville.

    Got to tell you these Sunnyvale shax with all the charm of a box of Triscuits really lost the cheese off their crackers for ridiculous pricing, but at least you get an 8000 sf lot in much of South ‘vale.

  242. bob Says:

    madhaus,
    Me and my Wife make the commute just fine. I kind of see it two ways: Sacrifice paying a lot more for less house on the Peninsula, or Sacrifice paying less for more house at the expense of adding another 20 minutes to the commute. We leave for work early, and leave to go home early as well. We also commute together in a hybrid that gets 50MPG, plus we don’t pay bridge tolls.So it is rather inexpensive So it can be done if you make a bit of planning.

    I’ve found that people in the BA are super-attached to working close to work, which explains the huge swing in prices in areas fairly close to each other.

    I guess for me, commuting has never been a big deal since I grew up in the sticks and “commuting” anywhere, such as the grocery store, was a way of life for us.

    Then again, we don’t have kids, which I guess ads another bit to the equation.If I did, maybe I’d have to live closer.

    Anyhow, we all have our ideas of what’s acceptable, so there’s no wrong answer here.

  243. RealEstater Says:

    Bob,

    Here’s why the market disagrees with you regarding Alameda:

    1. As Madhaus 94087 pointed out, Alameda is too far from jobs. As a result, it’s too far from the high income contingency, and too far from the intellectual base.

    2. I’m sure the 100 year old Victorians are nice there, but there are plenty of alternatives. A lot of new homes in San Ramon, Dublin, Pleasanton are way nicer.

    3. You cannot enhance the value of an Alameda property. In PA, you can be confident to tear down a $2M property and build another one worth double that. If you try to rebuild in Alameda, you’re looking at foreclosure.

    Finally, want to add that the reason you experience the traffic problem in PA is because you only know about the major arteries. The locals know about the alternative routes. For example, instead of taking University Avenue, we take Hamilton Ave., which runs in parallel. Go check it out. Hamilton Ave. is one of the most beautiful streets in the BA, and among the most prestigious addresses in PA.

  244. RealEstater Says:

    To add one more reason (so obvious I forgot): Alameda is not in the CUSD!

  245. madhaus 94087 >> 95035 Says:

    Wow, it’s hard to believe the above isn’t some kind of performance art.

    Bob, believe me, once kids are in the equation, you do not want to spend lots of time commuting. Also we’ve set things up so both of us can volunteer in our kids’ activities including school, so working an hour away is simply not an option.

    For your situation, both of you willing to get up to beat the traffic, and no kids, it definitely can work.

    In 1987 I tried commuting from Walnut Creek to Cupertino. I think that lasted 3 weeks and then I moved. And I was carpooling!

  246. madhaus 94087 >> 94301 Says:

    Alameda is not in the CUSD!

    D’oh! Lots of places are not in the CUSD. Like PALO ALTO.

  247. RealEstater Says:

    Madhaus,

    Have a sense of humour. Remember we are striving for a kinder, gentler forum?

  248. bob Says:

    RE,
    First of all, two people I worked with at my last company in Redwood City lived in Alameda, owned homes, raised their kids there, and the whole nine yards. Alameda is also convenient to Three major metros: Berkeley, SF, and Oakland. It is right in the middle of these three places. The city of Alameda itself has no real industry. Thus the reality is that its a bedroom community of the Bay Area. Everyone that lives there works elsewhere.

    Your comment about teardowns sort of brings another point, which is that in Alameda, you can’t tear anything down, mainly because most of the homes are historic in nature and thus protected from such activity. That also suggests that PA doesn’t hold that distinction, which also suggests that the existent housing stock is poor. I’d argue that most of the old homes are way the hell nicer than the slip-shod pieces of garbage built today by the likes of Pulte, Beazer, KB, or any of those other now troubled homebuilders.

    Lastly, I don’t have to find secret little passages in Alameda: there isn’t hardly any traffic to start with.

    Anyway, I think PA is an overrated, ugly little city with a lot of rich people with zero sense. I’m glad that you and others are only so glad to buy homes here rather than where I live.

    You need to get away from the notion that housing is just to monetize. I seldom hear you talk about anything in regards to housing other than what you paid, how much it might be worth, and so on. That seems sad.

  249. madhaus 94087 >> 94301 Says:

    Gosh, I read post #243 and concluded you really didn’t mean it. What a condescending, obnoxious thing to say.

  250. RealEstater Says:

    Madhaus,

    Be rational. You’re not living up to your end of the bargain.

  251. madhaus 9 guitars 1 bass 2 keyboards Says:

    You need to get away from the notion that housing is just to monetize. I seldom hear you talk about anything in regards to housing other than what you paid, how much it might be worth, and so on. That seems sad.

    Yup, I’d say you got it, Bob.

  252. bob Says:

    Madhaus,
    Trust me, I’m not 100% thrilled about the commute. If we had plans to stay here permanently, we’d probably move closer. But as it is now, our rent is so cheap that it still makes more financial sense to rent there and work here. My dream after we relocate is to have some sort of little job where I can work within walking distance of my house or simply work from home. I suppose you can say that as of now, we’re “Payin’ our dues”

  253. DreamT Says:

    Yes, we’re actually supposed to be talking about a rear unit on this thread.. ;)

  254. RealEstater Says:

    >>First of all, two people I worked with at my last company in Redwood City lived in Alameda, owned homes, raised their kids there, and the whole nine yards.

    Try it after you have kids. You’ll agree with Madhaus.

    >>Alameda is also convenient to Three major metros: Berkeley, SF, and Oakland.

    Alameda feels like a sister city of Oakland. I’m not sure that’s a bonus.

    >>in Alameda, you can’t tear anything down, mainly because most of the homes are historic in nature and thus protected from such activity. That also suggests that PA doesn’t hold that distinction, which also suggests that the existent housing stock is poor.

    Not following your logic, but I’ll comment on PA. There are specified old homes in the city marked as protected. These homes are highly cherished. There are also homes built after the 50’s that are not worth protecting. These are frequently torn down and replaced by beautiful new homes. The “poor” housing stock in PA are highly prized due to the potential they bring.

    >>I’d argue that most of the old homes are way the hell nicer than the slip-shod pieces of garbage built today by the likes of Pulte, Beazer, KB, or any of those other now troubled homebuilders.

    That may be true, but most people are not antique collectors. For the same reason, people would rather drive a boring modern car than an old collectors car.

    >>I seldom hear you talk about anything in regards to housing other than what you paid, how much it might be worth, and so on.

    You’re not paying attention. I talked about school districts a few times in this thread already.

  255. burbed Says:

    I’ve found that people in the BA are super-attached to working close to work, which explains the huge swing in prices in areas fairly close to each other.

    Isn’t that because most people work 50-70 hours a week? Or am I the only one?

  256. sonarrat94619 Says:

    I should also add there’s a better way to get onto the Bay Bridge than suffering on 101.. take the 280 extension, exit Sixth Street, follow the signs to the bridge. It’s as easy during peak rush hour as it is in the morning on a weekend.

  257. bob Says:

    Alameda feels like a sister city of Oakland. I’m not sure that’s a bonus.

    You’re definitely out of touch. No, Alameda doesn’t “feel” like Oakland in any shape or form. In fact, it is an island.

    Houses are not like antique cars either. Yes, there are different preferences, but I can tell you that most anything built after 1940 is garbage. I’ll take my old house thank you.

    I don’t have kids, nor do I plan on it. But if I did, the same reasoning applies: Pay out the nose just to live a bit closer, or pay a lot less and live further out. Again- I’m not originally from a metro area, so I still fail to see what the big freakin’ deal is about how you MUST live so close to work and so on. It’s called making sacrifices people, and to me, I see zero difference between paying a $hitload of money for a POS just to live a few miles closer, and commuting an hour each way. The BA sucks in regards to no matter what you choose, so pick your poison.

    Anyhow, I’m off to go on vacation. I’ve had enough of the BA for awhile. Adios amiogos! Happy 4th.

    As far as talking schools, well that doesn’t have anything to do with anything except more totally cold, statistical bullcrap that RE gurus love to attach generically to Real estate along with crime. Seeing as how schools in the BA generally suck compared nationally, that doesn’t really sound compelling anyway. I should know. My mom has taught in TN for 35 years.

  258. austindweller Says:

    >> It’s called making sacrifices people, and to me, I see zero difference between paying a $hitload of money for a POS just to live a few miles closer, and commuting an hour each way. The BA sucks in regards to no matter what you choose, so pick your poison.

    I would say the same thing about renting and owning in BA. Both in BA are equally shitty option. Owning involves financial committment for life there by a guranteed suiside in financial downturn. Renting involves slow poisisoning in the form of paying hugh rent on after tax money. So pick your poison. Hence I bailed out on the region altogether.

  259. madhaus 94087/CUSD ooh ooh baby Says:

    Hey wait, I still want to know if Crossroads says I’m rich. I don’t even own a rear unit!

  260. RealEstater Says:

    Why is everyone talking about sh**? BA has a higher proportion of upper scale neighborhoods than anywhere else I can think of. Within a relative small perimeter, you have Hillsbourgh, Atherton, Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Portola Valley, Woodside, Saratoga, Monte Sereno, Pacific Heights (SF). In each of these neighborhoods there are a lot of fine properties. There are plenty of nice homes in Burlingame, Cupertino, San Mateo Park, parts of Redwood City, Dublin, San Ramon as well.

    It’s a matter of how much you pay, like anything else. Good homes are out there. If you go to Austin, I’m sure you’ll also see a range of homes.

  261. Must walk 2 work Says:

    RE: Are you available for hire to offer an opinion on my home buying prospects? I’m new to the BA. . .

    I know this is probably way improper on a message board. burbed, feel free to delete me.

  262. RealEstater Says:

    Must walk 2 work,

    I’d be happy to help you out right here. I cannot charge you for my services because I am not a realtor.

  263. madhaus 94087 really Cupertino really Says:

    RE: Are you available for hire to offer an opinion on my home buying prospects? I’m new to the BA. . .

    Why buy when prices are going down? If you want to throw your money away, you can do that more effectively by playing Roulette in Reno or getting fleeced at Pai Gow at Garden City.

    Rent at least 2-3 more years, save your money, pick a neighborhood you like, become an expert on it, be ready to move when prices are stable. Compare rents to sales prices to have an idea how out of whack the latter is with the former. If you can buy a house for $720,000 and rent it for $2000 a month, that’s a rent ratio of 30 (720k/24k (annual rent)), the current ratio here (peak was 34.7). Still too high to buy. Look for under 20, if we ever get there. SF peaked at 35 and is down to 26 now.

  264. RealEstater Says:

    Madhaus,

    If it were only that simple. There are many factors to weigh, particularly the affects of inflation. “Waiting for the perfect moment” is generally not a sound strategy. It failed for you in 2003, and it’ll fail for you in 2010. The reason is quite simple. When you are finally ready to “seize the moment”, so are ten thousand other people. Uncertainty produces the best opportunities.

    To digress, it’s the same way in politics. During normal times, there is no way Bush can start a war with Iraq. Only during extroadinary circumstances can extroadinary things happen.

  265. madhaus 94087 Cupertino Cupertino Cupertino Says:

    If it were only that simple. There are many factors to weigh, particularly the affects of inflation.

    You know, I don’t really think someone who doesn’t understand the difference between affects and effects has much to teach me. Maybe you should also look up the difference between affected and effected.

    “Waiting for the perfect moment” is generally not a sound strategy. It failed for you in 2003, and it’ll fail for you in 2010.

    I haven’t failed anything. Heck, Crossroads doesn’t believe I can possibly own a home in a decent school district on one income. C said I must be rich. How can I be rich and a failure at the same time in the same house? Once again, RE, you are playing by your own rules, rules ignored by everyone around you. You can keep calling others “failure” and “loser” all you want, all it demonstrates is how much self-hatred you’re trying to cover up. Really quite pathetic.

    The reason is quite simple.

    Well yeah, when all you have is a hammer, everything you pick up looks like a nail.

    When you are finally ready to “seize the moment”, so are ten thousand other people. Uncertainty produces the best opportunities.

    Really? How many of those 10,000 other people have money invested abroad waiting out the fall of the dollar? How many will have their homes paid off in 6 years? I’m going to do very well in 2010-15 range, and I won’t have to put my kids in aftercare to do it, either.

    Thank you for submitting your application, but you do not meet our qualifications, and very likely never will.

  266. WillowGlenner Says:

    madhaus, sadly there is an answer that others here do not consider…. You’re old!

    Heck, Crossroads doesn’t believe I can possibly own a home in a decent school district on one income. C said I must be rich. How can I be rich and a failure at the same time in the same house?

    I do agree with RE that the best time to buy tends to be when people say not to buy. The REOs are currently thinking theres this huge flood of EVEN MORE REOs around the corner. Once they can see the end of the tunnel on that huge flood- they will cease with the firesale pricing and “move em at any cost” strategy. Then it will be too late.

  267. Crossroads Says:

    i did not say i did not believe. i just said it is only possible for you to bought where you did and now live on one income because of when you bought it, and the stock options you have. you are lucky.

  268. Renter4 Says:

    I’m going to do very well in 2010-15 range, and I won’t have to put my kids in aftercare to do it, either.

    Ouch… watch out for us bystanders. It’s a very nice aftercare.

  269. Herve Says:

    We had the Real Bay Area.
    Then we had the Real Cupertino Schools.
    Now we have the Real Palo Alto: 94301.

    Could have been a better show than Beverly Hills 90210. Palo Alto-native James Franco could have been in it.

  270. Herve Says:

    In addition to all the foreigners, don’t forget all the US citizens (millions? billions?) who moved to Canada after Bush’s re^H^Helection. They will be back with a vengeance and with Canadian dollars!

  271. madhaus 94087 Real Cupertino Schools! Says:

    Crossroads, I believe I’ve already mentioned twice in this thread (I know, it’s a long thread) that we did not use any stock options to buy this house nor to pay it down. When we bought the house we were closer to entry-level engineering salaries. Back then two people with 5+ years experience could buy a house together in a decent area if they had saved for a down payment. But houses have gotten much more expensive relative to wages. That’s why I am expecting a correction and have said so often here.

    Today, two similar people (5+ years, $100K each) can’t buy a house where we did. There are houses that couple could buy, but further away from the jobs. They’d qualify for a $600-700K loan, whoops, all the houses here are over a million. You are correct when we bought was less difficult. I agree we were very fortunate to have had that opportunity and equity ride.

    WillowGlenner is correct — we are old, if you count forties as old.

    I do agree with RE that the best time to buy tends to be when people say not to buy. The REOs are currently thinking theres this huge flood of EVEN MORE REOs around the corner. Once they can see the end of the tunnel on that huge flood- they will cease with the firesale pricing and “move em at any cost” strategy. Then it will be too late.

    Yes, but how long until the end? I think it’s going to be a couple of years, and things will stay flat after that. The last 4 years were wacko prices because of the ninja loans. Let’s both stay on this board and see who is right. If you’re right, at least my house will be worth more than I expect. :)

    Renter4, I’m not trying to hit anyone in this Toyota Sienna when my kids are in it!

    Herve I knew the dollar was down, I had no idea even the loonie was at parity.

  272. DreamT Says:

    madhaus – anybody saddled with a child counts as old. I should know. :)
    But yeah, extra points for forties of course.

  273. Crossroads Says:

    i’m 30. you are all old. :)

  274. madhaus Says:

    Crossroads, I am only 31.

    In hex.

  275. Herve Says:

    Speaking of age, does anyone know the average of first-time single-family home buyers?

    I found that link. It says the average age of first time home buyers is 33 but it must include condos and townhouses as well. I also wonder if the numbers would be different in the Bay Area.

  276. madhaus Says:

    Speaking of age, does anyone know the average of first-time single-family home buyers?

    I found that link. It says the average age of first time home buyers is 33 but it must include condos and townhouses as well. I also wonder if the numbers would be different in the Bay Area.

    It’s 33 in Silicon Valley too.

    In hex.

  277. Real Estater Says:

    >>Crossroads doesn’t believe I can possibly own a home in a decent school district on one income. C said I must be rich.

    Whatever you call yourself, you’re out of breath at 1.5Mil + 1 minivan.

    >>I’m going to do very well in 2010-15 range, and I won’t have to put my kids in aftercare to do it, either.

    Do you plan to send your kids (I assume you have more than 1) to college?

  278. DreamT Says:

    Herve, considering it was reported on this blog that the wealthier the neighborhood, the higher the proportion of single-income households, I doubt age holds any meaning. After all you’d expect that the pricier the location, the greater the need for a dual income.
    If anything it must be vastly different by zip. And as you know, real estate is subdivided in first-buyer/entry level markets (2/1 or condos/townhomes), first upgrade markets (SFR or expensive townhomes), second upgrade markets (large SFR or good school district or why not both), the respective size of which would skew any aggregate computation. There’s a large portion of un/under-qualified buyers (illegals, visa holders) in the bay area, and I suspect many engineer-level income earners haven’t been around long enough (> 10 years) to accumulate a sizeable downpayment.
    Sorry to cool your enthusiasm, but if you could expand on why age is relevant (besides possibly making you feel good about having bought earlier than the average) in a convincing way, I’ll retract my post. :)

  279. Herve Says:

    madhaus 94087, good one :)

    DreamT of Maywood Park, age relevant to what? We are supposed to talk about a rear unit in Campbell, so the discussion stopped being relevant a while ago (post #17) :-)
    I am actually just being curious. I like statistics, so if you or madhaus can find a link that shows the mean, the deviation, etc, all of this per zip code, I’m all ears. I do believe someone could afford a SFH at 33 (decimal) in the Bay Area (assuming average tech guy, working for 10 years and no ninja loan). Not in Palo Alto of course, but there are many alternatives. Now I also wonder whether 33 is also the average age of BMW 3-series buyers, which could explain why some don’t have enough for a downpayment…

  280. madhaus Says:

    Herve no time to research that now, maybe later. But you can do the math, if we bought 15 years ago clearly we were in our early thirties. It was not a trade-up although this neighborhood seems to attract almost all trade-up buyers now, it has gotten relatively more expensive. But not many people had $60K+ sitting around for a down payment then either. I’d say the down payment is a bigger bar than the loan size, and for those who win the stock option lottery, in the words of Emperor Josef, “There it is.”
    some people on this blog, we have never

    RE, I’m genuinely curious why you’re so concerned about my kids’ college funds. Do you wish to contribute to their 529s or their brokerage accounts?

    And why would you think that the price point I shared means we can’t choose to pay more than that? Unlike a certain Induhvidual, we need not spend everything we own on buying a house.

    Oh, and one more thing since you’re here:

    For example, instead of taking University Avenue, we take Hamilton Ave., which runs in parallel. Go check it out. Hamilton Ave. is one of the most beautiful streets in the BA, and among the most prestigious addresses in PA.

    Hey, thanks for letting us know where you live! Your use of the term “prestige” is a tell.

  281. DreamT Says:

    Herve, age relevant to a neighborhood’s ability to afford their homes (as in median house prices vs median income). In other words, I wouldn’t be surprised the average buyer in Mountain View is younger than the average buyer in a much cheaper city located outside of the bay area, where the norm is to use wages to save for a downpayment. Here the norm is tilted in favor of younger, extraordinarily (Note to RE: ‘a’ comes before ‘o’) successful folks, and the typical US home buyer does not qualify.
    Did I just write that the bay area is special?..:)

  282. sonarrat 94619 Says:

    I just turned 25 and I’m buying my first home now. Not really super successful but stable enough to afford – in the eyes of a reputable bank – a house.

  283. madhaus Says:

    Congrats, sonarrat on buying early in your life. I sincerely hope it works out well.

  284. Real Estater Says:

    Madhaus says,
    >>Hey, thanks for letting us know where you live! Your use of the term “prestige” is a tell.

    LOL…Let me save you the guessing: I don’t live on that street. I’m just an average tech guy; I don’t need no prestige!

  285. madhaus Says:

    LOL…Let me save you the guessing: I don’t live on that street. I’m just an average tech guy; I don’t need no prestige!

    “I’m an average tech guy” is another one of your tells. It tells me you’re making stuff up. I think you’re trying to back away from a big mistake.

    Gosh, that prestigious address means you can only afford stay-cations, too. Most people, when they get a month off from work, do something useful. Here’s a few things I’d do if I had a month off:
    – family time, at home and traveling
    – romantic weekend away without the kids
    – lots of extra guitar playing/practice
    – start jazz piano lessons
    – write a novel
    – compose a symphony
    – write an opera about the real estate collapse

    But the average tech guy spends it… here. I’m just so… unsurprised.

  286. Real Estater Says:

    Madhaus,

    Don’t worry about my vacation. We’re flying out next week after the kids finish camp. It was planned that way to avoid the 7/4 congestion.

    Never cared much for the old people hobbies you mentioned.

  287. RealEstater Says:

    >>It tells me you’re making stuff up. I think you’re trying to back away from a big mistake.

    Don’t forget my mantra from post 136: “I never make up anything here, and I never break any promises.” This is why deep down everyone knows I’m the most credible person here.

  288. madhaus 9 guitars 1 bass 2 keyboards Says:

    This is why deep down everyone knows I’m the most credible person here.

    Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha. Great job rallying the board gaining agreement last time your tried. I think you got 1 supporter, who was promptly chastised for using rude language. The good news is there is someone on the board with even less credibility than you. The bad news is he hasn’t posted since the Godwin thread.

    You’re so funny telling me electric guitar is an old person’s hobby. My 79 year old mother can’t take listening to any of us on electrics, we have to play acoustics when she visits. also, you ever try lifting an electric bass or moving an amp? Not an old person’s hobby unless they hire a full-time roadie to do it for them.

    None of my hobbies are “old people” hobbies. I wonder if you even know any old people. They’re big on knitting and model trains. And bluegrass. I assume you’re just playing your usual game of “if I don’t understand it, I must attack it” again. Yawn.

    This is probably the first time I’ve ever seen a mention from you about actually having kids. And I think it’s the only part in your entire comment that I believe .

  289. RealEstater Says:

    Here’s a nice read from 2002 about shopping the magical zip code:

    http://www.paloaltoonline.com/news_features/real_estate/fall2002/breakingin.php

    Much of it is still relevant today. Enjoy.

  290. DreamT Says:

    RE – very nice (if you already live there). My turn to move on to a different topic: what’s with the frozen yogurt places? They’re opening everywhere, sometimes several in the same strip mall. Is this the new fad replacing pearl drinks? They don’t seem to taste great. But there’s this lawsuit in south California requiring minimum milk content! So this must be serious business after all. And (to stay on topic) can you imagine living within walking distance of a frozen yogurt place!

  291. RealEstater Says:

    Personally I don’t see what’s so great about Yogurts, but it’s definitely a new Fad. In Southern Cal, some of these joints have long lines like movie theatres day and night, so there’s good money to be made there.

  292. DreamT Says:

    That must be why San Francisco’s Mitchell Ice Cream no longer has that 20 minutes-long waiting line. But the most puzzling question: how will the businesses pay the rent when the rainy season comes and frozen stuff isn’t so cool anymore?

  293. RealEstater Says:

    These Yogurt stands will go through the “Star Bucks cycle”. Eventually a lot of them will close.

    Personally I see Star Bucks is much more of a necessity. I’d probably cut the house cleaning lady and the gardner before I cut Star Bucks.

  294. RealEstater Says:

    >>how will the businesses pay the rent when the rainy season comes and frozen stuff isn’t so cool anymore?

    That’s the amazing thing. I wouldn’t believe it if I didn’t see it with my own eyes…people of all ethnicities lining up to buy Yogurt during dinner time in the middle of winter.

  295. RealEstater Says:

    There’s a Yogurt place that opened up on Emerson Street in downtime Palo Alto earlier this year. Their differentiator is by selling “organic” Yogurt, and the place is packed all the time.

  296. RealEstater Says:

    Looks like all the soft core guys have gone to sleep…

  297. DreamT Says:

    I see most of them closing after summer’s over, but if not, I can’t wait to find out what they diversify into. Hmmm… ramen? :)
    RE, there are many alternatives to Starbucks. Buy your beans online and grind them at home. Go to an independent roaster such as Barefoot Coffee Roasters (bonus points if you’re at walking distance). Grow your coffee beans in the backyard (but your zip may not be hilly enough).
    In any case, the Starbucks down cycle was a necessity. We no longer could use Starbucks as a landmark when giving directions. Now we no longer have to specify “Turn right after the Starbucks on the odd numbers side of the street.” We’ll just say “Turn right after Starbucks.”

  298. DreamT Says:

    RE, I’d be sleeping too but for the laundry. I couldn’t face myself or my family in the mirror anymore if I hired a “cleaning lady’ or a “gardner.” No judgment on you here, that’s just how it is where I’m from.

  299. RealEstater Says:

    Why are you doing laundry? You’re not single are you?

  300. DreamT Says:

    RE – Don’t you split household tasks with your wife? Were you lulling your baby to sleep while she was cleaning up? As it happens I prefer to run laundry and complete a quick 500 pieces puzzle in the meantime.
    You’re really from another world (or I am).

  301. RealEstater Says:

    DreamT,

    If you’re a VP type of guy, you shouldn’t bother with most of these work even though you know how to do them. If you think about how much money you make per hour (I’m sure it’s more than the cleaning lady), you’d realize how much money you’re losing.

  302. DreamT Says:

    RE – Yes I’ve read this line of thinking. Your post sounds straight from one of these books. Well I disagree. I love gardening – grew up in the countryside – and don’t value the activity purely based on the cost of a gardener. Laundry, puzzle and burbed provide welcome brain downtime. You can’t always live on overdrive – at least I can’t. Also I get paid on work accomplished, not hourly, so I don’t feel any twinge of guilt during down time. Basically I define success based on lifestyle not based on financial achievement. As I said we’re not from the same world, at least value-wise.

  303. RealEstater Says:

    We can agree to disagree. I think your life style will improve if you delegate certain chores. Of course if you enjoy the chores, that’s a different matter.

  304. DreamT Says:

    You’re taking a wild guess, not knowing my personal aspirations. In any case, delegating worked very well for me at work, I know how to handle it and have no insecurities about it. However by delegating private menial chores you turn to a semi-public figure with regards to your personal employees. It’s a different matter than just being a husband and a father, because this is a contractual, business relationship at the personal level. I can see how it could make sense to some but it takes a certain temperament and requires some sacrifices.

  305. DreamT Says:

    RealEstater – Beware categorizing people. There’s no such thing as ‘VP-type’. What I’ve observed is that people who type other people end up getting blindsided by these other people, who turned out to be more diversified and nimble than they’d thought (or conversely, more predictable and less smart than expected). It’s very tempting to classify, reduce and approximate – but it’ll be your downfall. Do the right thing and consider each person as his/her own unique type. Maybe you’ll even stop making racist/ethnicity-based comments.

  306. madhaus bubble guy Says:

    DreamT, while I admire your patience in attempting to rehabilitate RE, I fear you will repeatedly run into his limitations and be disappointed. I can definitely say which one of you two I’d rather have as a manager, a neighbor, or a brother-in-law. You’ve spent some time thinking about your values, and I’m sure it’s made you a better leader in all you do.

    FWIW, we have a gardener and cleaning service too. Hiring them doesn’t make me feel semi-public; they’re both in the same morning once a week and then they’re gone. And it doesn’t mean we think such work beneath us, it means we don’t particularly enjoy doing it. Just as you love gardening, we love music and spend much of our free time either listening to it, playing it, or both.

    I don’t go out of my way to do puzzles but am always happy to join in when someone’s doing one of those huge ones. One of my kids absolutely hates puzzles and won’t do them, period, one enjoys them if they’re around but doesn’t ask for them otherwise.

    It’s finding those differences among us that’s so fascinating.

  307. Crossroads Says:

    i would love to have a cleaning service. but how do you trust them not to rob you? and how much does it run for?

  308. madhaus 94087 it's practically Cupertino Says:

    Two ways to go with cleaning service. You either hire an actual service where they send 3-4 people to your house at a time, they are done with the whole job in about an hour. Since they’re bonded, if anything’s stolen, they have to replace it.

    Or, you get someone through a personal recommendation, already known to be scrupulous, honest, and reliable. Basically, same way you hire any employee, except this one is in your house. You wouldn’t hire someone without asking for references, right? If it’s just one person, he or she will take longer to clean everything.

    The service we use costs $65 a visit, but they haven’t raised their rates the whole time we’ve used them, more than 10 years. Our house is fairly small (that’s why I call it a shack), so I’m sure the price depends on how big your place is as well. Some of their clients have them come every week and some every other week, depending on filth level and their budget.

  309. Pralay Says:

    Or, you get someone through a personal recommendation, already known to be scrupulous, honest, and reliable.
    ———-

    We do similar kind of service once a week. Got them through friend’s reference. Two persons come and clean. Takes about a hour. It’s three bedroom house (although number of bedroom really does not matter, because most of the time they spend in cleaning kitchen and bathrooms). $75. They are pretty honest people. Sometimes we leave the house to them for cleaning. They clean it and leave it the house locked. I think the reason they don’t steal because they know that once a thing is missing, they are the ONLY people who would be blamed. Once they get the blame, they lose the whole chain of business they got through reference. Secondly, there is nothing steal as such in our home. We never keep jewelery and other valuable stuffs at home.

  310. Pralay Says:

    Also keep in mind that the first service is always priced higher. I think it was $90 or $100 in our case.

  311. burbed Says:

    Could you folks send me your referrals for cleaning services? Other folks who are interested can email me.

    -Burbed the connector

  312. Pralay Says:

    You’re taking a wild guess, not knowing my personal aspirations.
    —————-

    He is pretty good at it. For example, here he thought that I am on H1B just because I am from India. And funny part is that he started suggesting something without even clarifying it or knowing the facts fully. :)

  313. Pralay Says:

    If you think about how much money you make per hour (I’m sure it’s more than the cleaning lady), you’d realize how much money you’re losing.
    ———-

    RealEstater,
    I am curious how much money you are making by reading this blog and posting numbers of messages everyday?

    May be I should contact to same service. Get paid for free times – why not?

  314. RealEstater Says:

    Dude, you get paid for vacations if you have a job. It’s not a perk.

  315. Pralay Says:

    Ha ha! Looks like you are in vacation all the time. We will be missing you once the vacation ends.

  316. RealEstater Says:

    I do have a good amount of vacation, but not a permanent one like yours.

  317. RealEstater Says:

    :-)

  318. burbed Says:

    Play nice everyone.

  319. RealEstater Says:

    Burbed,

    Let’s just look at this latest “incident” starting at post #313. Pralay started provocations for no reason. I’m just defending myself from a mad dog. You’ll notice that it’s pretty much the same pattern every time.

  320. Pralay Says:

    I do have a good amount of vacation, but not a permanent one like yours.
    ———

    You are missing the whole point, RealEstater. I replied your comment for DreamT where you said:

    If you think about how much money you make per hour (I’m sure it’s more than the cleaning lady), you’d realize how much money you’re losing.

    It’s quite obvious that DreamT is NOT doing his laundry/cleaning works ignoring/leaving his “VP-type” job and losing income as a result. But you have an assumption that he is giving priority to his household works over his “VP-type” works. If your assumption is true, why won’t it be true for YOUR case? So, either you are losing income from your “management class” income by visiting Burbed.com. Or you must be earning money from it. My assumption is later one. :)

  321. madhaus +22 karma from song parodies Says:

    If your assumption is true, why won’t it be true for YOUR case? So, either you are losing income from your “management class” income by visiting Burbed.com. Or you must be earning money from it. My assumption is later one.

    I think RE is on the very thing he accused Pralay of, a permanent vacation. That’s why he’s sounds like an angry renter. There’s a term for people like him who strive, achieve (usually due to luck), and realize that they’re still empty and miserable inside. So they attack everyone around them. They don’t feel any better, but maybe at least the other people might feel worse for having met him.

    You know you can lead a donkey to water…

  322. Pralay Says:

    And don’t forget the “I am the victim” streaming.

  323. Real Estater Says:

    The two attack dogs barking in harmony again!

  324. Must walk 2 work Says:

    RE @ 262 — Thanks for the offer; I asked Burbed to send you my email address. I am not looking at anything specific yet — still working on the down payment and thinking about making a move about 5 months from now.

    For the board: I’ve been suprised and disappointed, based on my anecdotal observation, of how resilient real estate prices have been over the last eight months in all but the worst neighborhoods. As a first time home buyer I don’t think I’m asking for the world, looking at cambrian and campbell, but I haven’t really seen reductions anything like I expected. I don’t have any statistics, I admit, but I do want to say by way of background that I am frustrated renter that was always gratified to read the bearish predictions on the market on this site, and then quite disappointed when, to my observation, they have not materialized!

  325. Renter4 Says:

    Why are you doing laundry? You’re not single are you?

    Oh man. I cannot stop laughing at this.

    RE, if you have talked your trophy wife into taking second shift as well as working full-time, all I can say is, you are more persuasive than any man I know.

    Either that or you’re headed for a Trophy Divorce.

  326. madhaus Says:

    LOL @ 326. Renter4, I am so glad you post here.

    Must Walk, I must say, I’m surprised you’d ask RE for advice on an area he’s not familiar with. He may sound confident but when it comes to specifics he’s often wrong; did you see his “advice” on where I should buy, showing wrong knowledge of high school boundaries? And just yesterday he claimed ignorance of the worst part of Cupertino, (or that it had a worst part).

    Why not ask WillowGlenner, who buys investment property in or close to the areas you are checking out? Also WG won’t tell you you’re a loser for not buying in 94301.

    Prices are down overall in those areas, but if you’re looking at the best locations within them, some of them may well still be holding on.

  327. Renter4 Says:

    You know you’ve been reading Burbed too long when you’ve stopped feeling the sting of RE’s little bon mots, and are instead eagerly waiting for the next one.

  328. Pralay Says:

    Either that or you’re headed for a Trophy Divorce.
    ———

    Not so fast. Keep in mind that he works everyday 9-5 to earn frequent flyer mileage. His wife must be using those mileage to Europe vacations – Greece, Italy, Swiss Alps. I think she can do little bit of laundry in between vacations. :)

  329. DreamT Says:

    Renter4 – Les bons mots font les bons amis?…

  330. madhaus Says:

    If Mrs RE pulls a Laurie Coleman, she doesn’t need a Trophy Divorce, she just stays on the other side of the country and is green-screened into the family photos.

  331. Pralay Says:

    Damn! That ad is so fake. Where was she standing? On dining table?

  332. Pralay Says:

    Also WG won’t tell you you’re a loser for not buying in 94301.
    ——-

    What a silly comment. What does WG know about 94301 and the difference with other areas? On the other hand, the “winner” of 94301 lived in Losersvale many years. It was nightmarish life. The moment all the co-workers came to his zipcode, he lost all the respect. So he had to trade-up to regain all the respect. After all these, why would he advise Must-Walk to suffer same way and have nightmarish life?

  333. Pralay Says:

    Correction in above (#332) comment: ….The moment all the co-workers came to know about his zipcode…..

  334. Real Estater Says:

    To anyone who has been out looking at houses, it does not take long to confirm that what I’ve been saying about the market is true. When someone has money on the line to purchase real estate, they can’t afford to listen to amateurs. They need credibility and they need nothing but the truth. I can tell you want you want to hear, but at the end of the day, it’s your money.

  335. Real Estater Says:

    correction:

    >>I can tell you want you want to hear, but at the end of the day, it’s your money.

    should be:

    I can tell you what you want to hear, but at the end of the day, it’s your money.

  336. bob Says:

    Well…
    Seeing as how absolutely nothing is selling in my neighborhood, with more “reduced” signs than last year, I’d imagine anyone looking at houses has assumed that they have more than enough time to wait for prices to fall further.

  337. madhaus Says:

    When someone has money on the line to purchase real estate, they can’t afford to listen to amateurs.

    I cannot charge you for my services because I am not a realtor.

    Yes, both these quotes are from the same poster. Draw your own conclusions.

  338. WillowGlenner Says:

    Madhaus if you really and truly believed in that severe correction that you say is coming, YOU WOULD sell your house. The fact that you aren’t – means you aren’t sure which we all agree on. Your motivation for this massive correction you proclaim is the fact that you want to BUY, that is a suspect rationale for predicting a correction in itself.

  339. Pralay Says:

    This comment was deleted by burbed as requested by commenter.

  340. WillowGlenner Says:

    Mustwalk, we’ve actually had declines in Cambrian but I am sure they aren’t what you were hoping for, which is not all that surprising to me- because the “angryrenter” type real estate sites (this is one, sort of)- have a bunch of permabears- basically the same people who listened to Bill Fleckenstein for 10 years from 1990-2000 when he lost money every year when everybody else was making a fortune.
    The situation with bay area real estate is summed up on this site:
    http://www.housingtracker.net/reo/

    San Jose has 145 REOs, this is the ENTIRE BAY AREA, while the rest of the cities are in the thousands. The reason for this is simple-
    1. no subprime loans here to begin with
    2. too many good jobs for anybody to default
    3. rental market is robust so the mid level properties can just be rented

    Without REOs to any significant degree, there is much less downward pressure on prices. People pull their properties back in rather than selling for a low price. Thats what we have now, a lot of inventory sitting although it is finally getting worked through. These graphs look to me like the inventory has peaked and we are working through it.
    http://bp0.blogger.com/_8GEmmG-C-5g/SGwCTFv-IgI/AAAAAAAAAf4/CS67bbLcUuA/s1600-h/inventory+trend+by+MLS+area+(2).jpg

    If you want a cheap house, I would go to central san jose 95110 next door to rose garden. There are good deals there, because its a borderline/improving neighborhood where the price is right. the problem is you don’t get good schools there. If you want Cambrian schools and the distinguished schools in Willow Glen like Booksin and River Glen, you are probably going to have to pony up whatever they want right now. I would go on redfin, look at all 95124 properties on the market 45 days and up, and find 3 or 4 you like and offer 75K under ask. One of them might be an REO and they might go for it, who knows. But I would buy this year if I were you.

  341. Pralay Says:

    To anyone who has been out looking at houses, it does not take long to confirm that what I’ve been saying about the market is true.
    ———–

    Let’s see what this non-amateur said in past:

    In Jaunary

    No housing downtime in the real Bay Area! Prices held solid in SF, San Mateo, and Santa Clara. Who cares about the other places!

    Wow! He is talking about WHOLE Santa Clara County. Who cares about Napa County?

    In February

    There’s no bubble in the real Bay Area, because prices were up due to strong fundamentals, rather due to creative financing. There’s no evidence of foreclosure problems in the real Bay Area. By “real Bay Area”, I’m not referring to a small number of cities. I’m talking about all the core locations – Cupertino, Sunnyvale, Los Altos, Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Atherton, Woodside, Portola Valley, Saratoga, San Mateo, San Carlos, Foster City, Hillsborough, Burlingame, Millbrae, last and not least, San Francisco. That’s a pretty big area!

    Ooops, not whole Santa Clara county! He is talking about some cities – like Sunnyvale.

    And he says now:

    Sunnyvale is not uniform.

    OMG, Sunnyvale is not uniform? It was uniform 5 months back! What happened?

    The Real Question about Real Bay Area: How many cities are there which are not exactly “uniform” and their non-uniformity will be exposed over time?

  342. Pralay Says:

    Meanwhile, who is going to buy this 94301 baby?

    Price reduced from 14 to 12 millions. Still there is no taker after 116 days. Where are all the Facebookers and Googlers?

    Don’t forget to check the sale history:
    Mar 09,1990: $2,400,000
    Oct 01,1993: $1,650,000 (-10.0%/yr)

    Home price never drops – at least not in prestigious 94301.

  343. madhaus Says:

    WG said: Madhaus if you really and truly believed in that severe correction that you say is coming, YOU WOULD sell your house. The fact that you aren’t – means you aren’t sure which we all agree on. Your motivation for this massive correction you proclaim is the fact that you want to BUY, that is a suspect rationale for predicting a correction in itself.

    That doesn’t make any sense! My motivation for the correction I am predicting is that I want to buy? No, I want to buy and I am NOT buying because I believe we will have a massive correction.

    We have seriously talked about selling. We decided not to because 1. we need to live somewhere, 2. we like it here (this neighborhood), 3. rent would cost way more than our mortgage payment, 4. house will be completely paid for in 6 years, and 5. we’re too lazy to pack everything up, move to a rental house, and possibly be kicked out again before it’s time to buy. Remember, I told you we were kicked out of our rental house end of 1992 (landlord couldn’t afford his nicer one anymore), that more than anything else is why we bought this house as soon as we did.

    Our long term strategy, if we can swing it, is pay off this house and buy bigger house in 5-6 years, when we expect prices to be lower.

    What on earth is suspect about this? If I didn’t expect a correction we would sell this house, move in the funds we have overseas, and buy a bigger house or upgrade neighborhood TODAY.

    Also, on the reo list, you are using that number incorrectly. The site clearly states:

    REO (Real Estate Owned) is property that institutions are forced to hold when a loan that they either issued, purchased, or became legally responsible for was foreclosed on. Generally speaking, an increasing REO inventory indicates increasing foreclosure activity. The list of institutions here is far from complete and is meant to represent only the REO and foreclosure inventory trend for a metropolitan area, not the absolute REO or foreclosure inventory in a market. To accomodate additions and deletions of institutions, an inventory index is computed (the index was set to 100 on 4/6/2007). This inventory index — not the total inventory — should be used when inferring trends. More detail can be found by clicking on a city below.

    So, you say there are only 145 REOs in the metro region when the site clearly says this is not all, and you quote the total rather than the index. The San Jose metro index is 900. That means nine times the number of REOs just 15 months ago.

    Here’s a few other metros for comparison (INDEX not number of REOS):

    Las Vegas, NV 404
    Los Angeles 650
    Miami, FL 1015
    New York, NY 303
    Oakland 579
    Orange County 493
    Riverside 527
    Sacramento 298
    San Diego 244
    San Francisco 422
    San Jose 909
    Santa Cruz 383
    Stockton 628

    Again, this shows the trend, not the absolute number. And I don’t think the trend here is exactly something to ignore.

  344. WillowGlenner Says:

    Pralay, just for discussion, I personally think we HAVE had a correction in most (not all) bay area real estate. Maybe not in Atherton, Palo Alto and Menlo Park, but most other areas have experienced declines from the absolute peak whenever that was- maybe last summer? the problem is this correction for the decent areas has been nothing more than an average RE correction and not the rout many were predicting. The current declines remind me a little of Dec 06 when I bought my second to last property- back then there was a little mini crash because people were expecting 07 to be a bad RE year and those that were trying to sell were taking what they could (07 then turned out to be a boom year). People forget that in 07, there was already a subprime and REO crisis in most of the country but not here.

    This decade is not the 90s, it is more like the 70s. The stock market is acting like real estate did in the 90s.

  345. WillowGlenner Says:

    Pralay, I discussed that 900 number on another thread. What that says is that the new number of REOs, (145) is a NINE FOLD INCREASE of what we started with last April when they calibrated the index at 100. So we had 16 REO properties to start with.

    Its such a trace amt it doesn’t matter. thats reality. Now as it turns out if you go to Alum Rock, where most of those 145 properties are located, these are having an effect- but only there. Every other community including even mid san jose has at most 10 REOs, not enough to matter. To get some perspective go to Las Vegas- THERE you’ll see whole blocks empty.

  346. WillowGlenner Says:

    Yeah but madhaus the point is you want to buy and want to get a good price. Thats what EVERYONES motivation is in real estate here. EVERYONE wants to buy- nobody is selling and leaving like Las Vegas. People predicting large declines because they want to buy is a false trend that probably will never materialize.

  347. WillowGlenner Says:

    Pralay, sorry my post 345 was for madhaus not you.

    and Madhaus, SHEESH! You don’t think a trend of 900 off a base of 16 is something to ignore? Didn’t you say you were an engineer? COME ON!

    Sure that 145 REOs isn’t the absolute number. They have another page on that site where they list each bank and how many properties so they are including all the biggies- Countrywide, chase etc. But certainly not all. However the fact remains that San Jose (Silicon Valley) has 145 properties while Atlanta has 4600, Cleveland 2200, Phoenix 2000, Riverside 1994 etc and San Jose 145?!.

    yes the san jose INDEX is 900 because we started with 1/9 the properties to arrive at our REO “inventory” of a whopping 145. That means we started with SIXTEEN PROPERTIES.

    Trying to call this bearish is really a stretch.

  348. madhaus Says:

    WG, I am not predicting Las Vegas (50%+ correction and see-through subdivisions) but I am predicting 25-30% even in prime areas (and more in crap areas, which have already gone down 30%). I do believe this is like 1990 and there will be 5-7 years of flat prices after the drop. I’ve already told you why I think that. We don’t have to keep disagreeing over and over, just check the numbers next year. I am not going anywhere so we’ll talk about it then.

    But my not selling my house has nothing to do with my thinking there’s a correction coming, it’s because having to move really scarred us emotionally and I don’t ever want to do so on anyone’s terms but our own.

    If there’s no correction and I don’t buy now, how exactly does this hurt me? I still own a house in a decent area.

  349. madhaus Says:

    WG, 16 properties was not much, but 145 is more. San Jose is behind the curve on the correction, but they are not exempt from it.

  350. Real Estater Says:

    Madhaus says,
    >>But my not selling my house has nothing to do with my thinking there’s a correction coming, it’s because having to move really scarred us emotionally and I don’t ever want to do so on anyone’s terms but our own.

    Let’s see, Madhaus’ shack is worth approximately $1M today. A 30% correction he’s prediction amounts to around $300K. He is too scared to move and would rather miss out on $300K profit? Hello! I have a property in Las Vegas I’d like to sell you!

  351. RealEstater Says:

    Pralay,

    How’s the job search going?

  352. burbed Says:

    I sure wish the baiting would stop. From all participants.

  353. DreamT Says:

    Burbed – That’s what you call a “death wish.”

  354. Pralay Says:

    How’s the job search going?
    ——–

    Do I need a second job? I don’t think so.

  355. Pralay Says:

    BTW, RealEstater, you did tell us about other non-uniform cities. Palo Alto?

  356. Pralay Says:

    I personally think we HAVE had a correction in most (not all) bay area real estate. Maybe not in Atherton, Palo Alto and Menlo Park, but most other areas have experienced declines from the absolute peak whenever that was- maybe last summer? the problem is this correction for the decent areas has been nothing more than an average RE correction and not the rout many were predicting.
    ——-

    One word: Japan. I am sure there were enough people in Japan thought 2nd or 3rd or 4th or 5th year is the bottom. But in reality it lasted for decade.

  357. madhaus Says:

    I sure wish the baiting would stop. From all participants.

    I sure wish for world peace, free WiFi in Sunnyvale, and affordable houses in Palo Alto. But what I really wish for, right now, in my non-air-conditioned house is a big tall glass of lemonade.


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