June 23, 2008

$3000 a month in rent for a 2/1 house in Mountain View?

1264 Latham St, Mountain View 94041 (Downtown)

* Status: Active
* Bedroom: 2
* Bathroom: 1
* Year Built: 1925
* Lot Size: 3049
* Square Footage: 728
* List Date: 11/19/2007
* Garage Spaces: 1
* MLS#: 763732

700+sf in finished basement, not included in living sf.(Plumbed for 2nd BATH). Finished 1 Car Garage. Add Baseboard heating and use as office. GREAT HOME, LOCATION, and PROPERTY FOR RENT OR LIVING!

Look familiar?

It should! It’s the house that was featured in the last post on Burbed in 2007.

Apparently, it’s still ready for move in! Except now you can also rent it. Unfortunately, the rental cost isn’t posted, but assuming a 90% LTV ARM, that would be $3000 for the mortgage payments alone! But isn’t the going rental cost of a SFH in Mountain View about $2500 a month?

So… would you rent this for $2500? Maybe. After all, it is Mountain View – free wifi and all. But wouldn’t you feel better about owning it and paying $3000 + property tax and more? Don’t forget about the income tax break you would get from paying that mortgage.

I don’t know what’s wrong with kids these days. Why won’t they man up and just buy this house already?

Comments (22) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:11 am

Support Prop 13: Broken sewage pipes swamp San Mateo Houses

Resident wages pungent battle – Examiner.com

When 75-year-old Naomi Silverstein climbed out of bed late one night last October, she was shocked that she stepped into raw sewage.

A city sewer had backed up, and flooded her home with sludge, she said. The damage was so great that all the floors had to be replaced and walls repainted.

Her home was repaired in December, but it happened again one month later. She was standing in the shower when she heard the sewage burbling through her pipes. She ran through the house, ready to gather towels to protect her new floors. Then she looked out her window: Excrement was floating in her flooded yard.

Silverstein filed a claim this spring with the city of San Mateo to reimburse her cleanup expenses. She said she the flooding was caused by the city’s broken sewage main lines near her home on Gillis Drive. City officials rejected the claim, saying the problem was on her end. But she argues none of it would ever have happened had the city’s sewer line not flooded during the rains, and she has now filed a lawsuit against the city. In the meantime, she has taken a part-time job as an office assistant to make ends meet.

» 20 to 25 per year: Claims received by the city about sewage backups into homes

» 30 to 40: Percent of those claims where the city accepts responsibility

» 236: Miles of sewers in San Mateo

» $2 million to $2.5 million: Amount devoted to maintaining the lines annually

» 37 million: Total cost of recommended sewer fixes

» $12 million: Amount the city is planning to spend on priority fixes

Source: City of San Mateo

Burbed reader Madhaus submitted this find. I figured it would be a good way to start off the week. This, to me, is an example of why we need to support Prop 13 more than ever. If it weren’t for Prop 13, many of these homeowners would be drowning in high property tax, and would be unable to afford paying to clean up these bursting sewage pipes. How awful would that be!

So keep on Supporting Prop 13, Californians. Otherwise, people will be unable to afford to fix problems caused by decaying infrastructure.

Comments (80) -- Posted by: burbed @ 4:51 am

June 22, 2008

The Bay Area is full of micro-markets – like this one

Bubble Markets Inventory Tracking: If Only I Waited… In East Valley, San Jose
The east side of San Jose is coming down hard. So far the west side folks are still patting themselves on the back for their “immunity,” just remember everything is connected and relative.

1701 Prudence Way, San Jose, CA 95116
–2 beds, 2.5 baths, 1,388 sq ft
–12/2004: purchased for $395,000
–09/2007: returned to bank as REO for $492,322
–01/2008: listed for $408,900
–Price Reduced: 03/18/08 — $408,900 to $379,900
–Price Reduced: 03/21/08 — $379,900 to $339,900
–Price Reduced: 04/15/08 — $339,900 to $334,900
–Price Reduced: 04/30/08 — $334,900 to $309,900
–Price Reduced: 05/17/08 — $309,900 to $284,900 ($205/sqft)

Thanks to Burbed reader Madhaus for this find. We all know that the Bay Area is incredibly unique in that it is full of micromarkets. One neighborhood might be doing super well, but it’s neighbor might not be. Now, it is down to a house by house basis!

What’s unfortunate is that the person who writes the blog that this links to is in SoCal, and those people simply don’t understand how things work around here.

Comments (45) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:30 am

June 21, 2008

S&P Case-Schiller Home Price Index (CSI) for San Francisco

Paper Economy – A Real Estate Bubble Blog

Burbed reader Madhaus thought this might be interesting for readers. If you go to the site, you can generate your own graphs.

Personally, I’ve given up on data – if your mind sees something, but your gut knows it’s wrong, you simply have to go with your gut. Truthiness.

Is this data valuable to you?

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

June 20, 2008

Boulder, Colorado is expensive to live in? Let’s take a look!

Last month, there was this interesting comment:

Target-Addict Says:
May 25th, 2008 at 9:10 am

The previous commenter seems awfully bitter and should probably move elsewhere if he hates it here so much. Like “Been there done that”, I appreciate the Bay Area for the great outdoors, mild weather, diversity and culture. Try living anywhere else after living here, and you’ll either regret it or miss certain things. I know someone who decided to “cash out” of their big Marin home last year and move near his wife’s family (in Ohio) in order to gain a “simpler lifestyle”. And guess what? Within six months, he was back. Another friend moved to Colorado a few months ago, just outside of Boulder (because keep in mind, Boulder is now just as expensive as it is here, so it’s hard to get IN to Boulder). She absolutely hates it; says there’s no culture (restaurants close by 8pm there!) and the weather is too harsh. So don’t take the Bay Area for granted, because it truly IS “special”.

Well – now that certainly sounds like a challenge to me. Let’s take a look and see if this is true. For a compare and contrast, let’s use this modest Real Bay Area house featured earlier as a starting point…

Alright… now let’s see what that price gets you in Boulder:

199 S 80 St
Boulder, CO 80303
MLS ID# 570349

5 Bed, 5 Bath, 8,068 Sq. Ft., 1.75 Acres

Single Family Property, Area: Suburban Plains, Subdivision: Davidson Mesa, County: Boulder, Approximately 1.75 acre(s), Year Built: 1990, City view, Hill/mountain view, View, Single story, Central air conditioning, Basement, Dining room, Handicap features


I knew it! Thank god! Boulder housing is absolutely dirt cheap! Look at the monstrosity. Why would you want to live there? It’s insane! You’d go broke furnishing it. Better all getting a smaller house so you don’t need to buy as many Wifi repeaters!

Sorry Target-Addict, I know you meant well, but really, you should have used an example like Paris, London, Manhattan, Russia, or Tokyo when comparing to Cupertino and San Jose.

Comments (54) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:57 am

June 19, 2008

Phones ringing off the hook – deals soaring to 2005 levels!

Lower prices luring home buyers in Silicon Valley – San Jose Mercury News
Far fewer homes sold last month in Santa Clara County than in May last year, and median prices fell 12 percent. But amid the grim figures may be a glimmer of good news.

Sellers and buyers are striking as many deals now as they did in 2005 at the height of the boom, according to data from local brokerages, and the number of homes for sale in the county has been falling steadily – not at all typical for this time of year.

Real estate information firm DataQuick Information Systems reported Wednesday that the sales of 1,040 previously owned single-family houses closed escrow in Santa Clara County last month, up from 924 in April, but down 27 percent from May 2007. And the median price paid for those houses was $696,500, down 12.3 percent from $793,750 a year earlier.

The figures will strike some homeowners – loath to see their property values fall – as somber. The bright side is that the Silicon Valley market has sped up recently. More houses are selling, and the supply of homes on the market is falling.

“Were getting more consumers putting deals together,” said Dave Walsh, president of the Santa Clara County Association of Realtors.


Howard Bloom, an agent with Intero Real Estate, said he recently listed a fourplex in San Jose’s Berryessa neighborhood, a bank-owned foreclosure priced at $759,000. The property got more than 12 offers and will sell for about $100,000 over its list price, he said. “It was a pretty attractive price. The phone was ringing off the wall,” he said.

The bust is OVER.

Spring Bounce worked!

Silicon Valley is back and on track! Is it no surprise? After all, Apple’s introducing iPhone 3G, Yahoo struck a deal with Google, and LinkedIn is now valued at $1billion.

Now, let’s be clear, things aren’t perfect – we might not return to our god given 15% YoY appreciation just yet – but I think we have a good shot at something reasonable like 8%.

Another reason? Sushi has been getting better and better here!

Comments (10) -- Posted by: burbed @ 10:49 am

Want to enjoy the Bay Area’s famed sunrises and sunsets?

651 Port Dr #00306, San Mateo 94404 (Other Mariner’s Isle)

* Status: Active
* Bedroom: 1
* Bathroom: 1
* Year Built: 1982
* Lot Size: N/A
* Square Footage: 746
* List Date: 1/14/2008
* Garage Spaces: 1
* MLS#: 771762

At some houses you get a free week of condo in Maui. But what if you wanted to live on the beach and enjoy the sunrise and sunset forever?

Introducing 651 Port Drive #306. This highly personalized and distinctive address alone assures you that when you plunk down $399k for this condo, you know you’re set for a lifetime of sunrises, sunsets, and your own personal beach. Things the Bay Area is famous for. It’s like living in Maui, but with easy access to Highway 92.

Let’s now take a look at the other, unretouched photos of this paradise property:

Are you sold on this dream yet? Think: sunrise, sunset, private beaches. Oh yeah!

(Thanks to Burbed reader Alex for this find!)

Comments (10) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:39 am

Revised Option ARM Reset Schedule

The next real estate crisis

Blue bars on the chart represent the recast schedule if all the loans were to recast five years after origination date. Gray bars represent the expected schedule of option ARM resets, which show loans recasting sooner after hitting the principal cap. Credit Suisse

Thanks to Burbed reader Madhaus for this submission.

The premise of this piece is that the ARM reset problem is going to surge as property prices decline, and minimum payments rise, both conspiring to drive more houses underwater, and thus triggering ARMs to reset.

Is that really the case though in the Bay Area? As we’ve heard, people who bought houses in the end of 2006 actually saw appreciation (condos… not so much… but may next year.) That and FaceBook is going to pop at any moment – flooding the Valley with thousands more millionaires. Also, soon we’ll be heading into Fall – and Fall bounce can be pretty strong!

Nice try Madhaus. You can’t scare us Burbed readers.

Comments (66) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:29 am

June 18, 2008

Site outage coming…

Some of the slowness issues have been resolved (I hope!) and I have a few more ideas.

One of them will take down this site in the next few hours, and for an unknown amount of time.

Just lettin’ ya know.

If you really want to help make the site faster, feel free to donate!

Extract some of that trapped equity and help Burbed talk more about the Bay Area – which will in turn lead to higher home values. A virtuous cycle if you ask me! 🙂

Comments Off on Site outage coming… Posted by: burbed @ 6:14 pm

Free Maui Hawaiian Vacation with purchase of $1.18 million dollar house

629 W 30th Ave, San Mateo, 94403

* Status: Active
* Bedroom: 4
* Bathroom: 2
* Year Built: 1941
* Lot Size: 5096
* Square Footage: 1600
* List Date: 4/3/2008
* Garage Spaces: 2
* MLS#: 20810506

Best of both worlds. This family home has been completely refreshed, while retaining its original charm. Four spacious bedrooms including the private master suite,plus an abundance of closets. 2 full baths., formal DR. Fully remodeled kitchen and sunny breakfast bar. Pool & spa, lg, 2 car garage and storgage.

Wow. What an unbelievable deal.

A free week of the user of a condo?

OMG. That’s like… $8000 of value right there!

Unbelievable! So you’re telling me if I spend $1,188,000, I’ll get $8000 for free? Wow… .6% back! What an amazing deal!

Now I really can’t wait to buy this house that’s best of both worlds and has storgage!

My god! What else do you want these sellers to give? Their first born child’s placenta??

(Thanks to Burbed reader Rink Rat for this find.)

Comments (20) -- Posted by: burbed @ 10:11 am