September 22, 2008

The bottom has been reached in San Jose’s housing market! Unreal!

Welcome to Day 1 of San Jose week here at Burbed! Let’s look at our first entry:

2022 Huran Dr, San Jose, CA 95122 Alum Rock MLS# 80785678 – Property Details

* Status: Active
* Bedroom: 3
* Bathroom: 1
* Year Built: 1960
* Lot Size: 5670
* Square Footage: 912
* List Date: 3/17/2008

* Garage Spaces: 2
A single family home for this price!! Unreal! Ideal home for first time buyer * Large back yard * convenient location * A little TLC will go so far * Check out this price * Why buy a condo when you can buy a single family home at this price * Hurry don’t wait.

Seriously! A 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom house for just $249,000? This is completely unreal! And it’s in a very, very, very convenient location.

What’s even more unreal is the instant equity you’ll gain when you buy this fine piece of real estate! Let’s look at what the Big Z has to say:

ZESTIMATE®: $363,000

Sold 09/12/2007: $515,056


$256k+ of instant equity can be yours!

What’s stopping you now? Oh I see – you have to get married so you can get that additional $6k of profit tax free! Alright… but after that, it’s straight to this house, got it?

Comments (38) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:27 am

September 21, 2008

Bay Area home sales sluggish, prices continue to slip

Bay Area home sales sluggish, prices continue to slip
PDT SAN FRANCISCO — Bay Area home sales stagnated in August as the median price continued to drop under the weight of bargain-priced foreclosures, according to a real estate report released Thursday.

In the nine-county region, a total of 7,232 new and resale homes and condos changed hands in August, according to MDA DataQuick of San Diego. That was down 0.9 percent from last August, and down 4.7 percent from the prior month. It was the slowest August since 1992.

A total of 36.1 percent of all resold homes had been foreclosed upon in the past 12 months, compared to 4.4 percent a year ago, MDA DataQuick said.

The median price dropped 31.8 percent to $447,000, compared to $655,000 a year ago. It now stands at the lowest point since January 2004 when it was $440,000.

Sounds gloomy until you realize that this is about the Bay Area – not the Real Bay Area. Proof:

As has consistently been the case, counties with the most foreclosures saw the most sales activity and the biggest drops in prices. Contra Costa County sales rose 35.5 percent, to 1,733 compared to 1,279 last August. The median price plunged 42.1 percent to $330,000 from $570,000 a year ago. More than half – 54.4 percent – of Contra Costa resale homes were foreclosures, MDA DataQuick said.

Contra Costa? East Bay? Seriously! That’s totally flyover country. Might as well be Ohio or Detroit.

Typical Main Street Media (MSM) reporting.

Comments (92) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:28 am

Thanks to all who donated last week…

Thanks to Burbed reader Michele for your donation!

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 4:53 am

September 20, 2008

Why house prices in Silicon Valley will always soar – NERDS LOVE IT!

Here’s some weekend reading – it’s a piece by the famed Paul Graham on why Silicon Valley rocks, and why no other place can possibly beat it. And as a result, rich nerds will always flood into the Valley, snapping up houses no matter what the salary/income ratio is.

Here are some key snippets:

How to Be Silicon Valley

I think you only need two kinds of people to create a technology hub: rich people and nerds. They’re the limiting reagents in the reaction that produces startups, because they’re the only ones present when startups get started. Everyone else will move.

Observation bears this out: within the US, towns have become startup hubs if and only if they have both rich people and nerds. Few startups happen in Miami, for example, because although it’s full of rich people, it has few nerds. It’s not the kind of place nerds like.

That’s right. Nerds hate Miami. I bet you didn’t know that!

Bureaucrats by their nature are the exact opposite sort of people from startup investors. The idea of them making startup investments is comic. It would be like mathematicians running Vogue– or perhaps more accurately, Vogue editors running a math journal. [2]

Though indeed, most things bureaucrats do, they do badly. We just don’t notice usually, because they only have to compete against other bureaucrats. But as startup investors they’d have to compete against pros with a great deal more experience and motivation.

And I can’t think of any place more government free and apolitical than the Bay Area. Everyone in the private or public sector is strictly there to move mankind forwards – never to squabble for their own career. Silicon Valley is also a place where you will be rewarded for doing great work, not for knowing the sister of the nanny of the VC’s child. No way. Never!

A lot of nerd tastes they share with the creative class in general. For example, they like well-preserved old neighborhoods instead of cookie-cutter suburbs, and locally-owned shops and restaurants instead of national chains. Like the rest of the creative class, they want to live somewhere with personality.


Most towns with personality are old, but they don’t have to be. Old towns have two advantages: they’re denser, because they were laid out before cars, and they’re more varied, because they were built one building at a time. You could have both now. Just have building codes that ensure density, and ban large scale developments.

And nothing describes this like our famed Cupertino! Sure Stephen Levy once called it an overgrown strip mall, but hey – check out all the locally-owned shops like [tbd] and [tbd], and amazing architecture. And how can we forget world famous Rivermark!

Most nerds like quieter pleasures. They like cafes instead of clubs; used bookshops instead of fashionable clothing shops; hiking instead of dancing; sunlight instead of tall buildings. A nerds idea of paradise is Berkeley or Boulder.

That’s right. Nerds love to go hiking. They just bring along their laptops, a portable generator, a giant thick hood to block out the sun – that way they can continue to add value to the world by Twittering, writing Java/C++ code, installing patches on their LAMP site. (BTW, I actually saw someone once take a Dell XPS
out of a bag and put it on a restaurant table.) Note that hiking spots are chosen by access to 3G networks. Also, who knew that nerds loved Boulder so much, or that tall buildings mean no sunlight!

What nerds like is the kind of town where people walk around smiling. This excludes LA, where no one walks at all, and also New York, where people walk, but not smiling. When I was in grad school in Boston, a friend came to visit from New York. On the subway back from the airport she asked “Why is everyone smiling?” I looked and they weren’t smiling. They just looked like they were compared to the facial expressions she was used to.

I can’t think of any place as walkable as Silicon Valley. All the time I’m walking around on El Camino Real, or Lawrence Expressway. I’m always bumping into friendly smiling people on Stevens Creek, especially near Agilent. That guy sure smiles a lot as he asks me for change. That guy loves nerds for some reason!

To attract the young, a town must have an intact center. In most American cities the center has been abandoned, and the growth, if any, is in the suburbs. Most American cities have been turned inside out. But none of the startup hubs has: not San Francisco, or Boston, or Seattle. They all have intact centers. [7] My guess is that no city with a dead center could be turned into a startup hub. Young people don’t want to live in the suburbs.

Uh. Um. Something something something Sunnyvale Town Center 2012 something something something! Nerds will love it!

For all its power, Silicon Valley has a great weakness: the paradise Shockley found in 1956 is now one giant parking lot. San Francisco and Berkeley are great, but they’re forty miles away. Silicon Valley proper is soul-crushing suburban sprawl. It has fabulous weather, which makes it significantly better than the soul-crushing sprawl of most other American cities. But a competitor that managed to avoid sprawl would have real leverage. All a city needs is to be the kind of place the next traitorous eight look at and say “I want to stay here,” and that would be enough to get the chain reaction started.

A friend of a friend once arrived in San Jose airport after a long trip from Asia. As he walked down the ladder (this was Terminal C, of course) on the phone he said to my friend “This is Silicon Valley? Are you kidding me?”

If that wasn’t lust at first sight, I don’t know what is.

Why do you think of Paul’s piece?

Comments (14) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:22 am

September 19, 2008

How much does a garage cost in San Francisco these days?

13 Lucky St
San Francisco, CA 94110
Price: $499,000

Status :
Type :
Attached Single Family
Neighborhood :
Inner Mission
Bedrooms :
Bathrooms :
Parking Spaces :
Days On Market :


Contractors special! Bring your developers to see this great opportunity to build your perfect SFH. Was zoned commercial but recently converted to RH-2. Variance only allows for RH-1 building to be built. Design sketches of building mass and envelope (shape) approved by City to be built pending final permit process.

Thanks to Burbed reader Lisa for this find.

I find this a bit ironic, of course. 13 Lucky? I wonder what 888 Lucky looks like.

That said, this amazing unit is a great example of how special San Francisco is. Formerly just a garage (click in to see the photos), this is now a RH-2. That means you can easily build two homes here. Hello, think of all the instant equity that’s just waiting to be tapped.

That said, let’s say you buy and keep it as a garage. Buy a comfy car – boom – you’re still living in San Francisco. Now that’s not too bad is it?

BTW, when this says bring your developers, it really means bring your software developers. This is the perfect opportunity to start your next HP, Apple, or Google. As everyone knows, most tech startups that start in an actual garage succeed – so this is your chance to launch The Next Big Thing!

No matter how this goes – you win! Buy it today!

Thanks Lisa!

Comments (19) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:32 am

September 18, 2008

Sorry for the brief outage…

I screwed up the htaccess file. There may be more outages this weekend and next week. My apologies in the advance. I hope this doesn’t cause WaMu to collapse.

Comments Off on Sorry for the brief outage… Posted by: burbed @ 12:28 pm

Just $675 per square foot to live next to power lines and more in Sunnyvale

1021 E Cardinal Dr, Sunnyvale, CA 94087 Sunnyvale MLS# 80830303 – Property Details

* Status: Active
* Bedroom: 3
* Bathroom: 1&1/2
* Year Built: 1954
* Lot Size: 11940
* Square Footage: 1227
* List Date: 8/27/2008
* Garage Spaces: 2
* MLS#: 80830303

Perfect opportunity to move in, add on, or rebuild this 3 bedroom, 1.5 bath home on an oversized lot in the sought after Cherry Chase district of Sunnyvale. Gleaming hardwood floors, spacious kitchen and living room/dining room combination with wood burning fireplace. Sliding door leads to covered patio and beautiful mature vegetable garden along with numerous fruit trees.

Wow. This is a great opportunity to move in, add on, or rebuild a house. Not every house can be rebuilt you know – it takes a house really special to allow that.

But more importantly, I appreciate the honesty of this listing – I like how the power lines are featured in this photo. It really adds a certain… intense… look. And at just $675 per sqft, you can be sure that the price is already adjusted!

But wait there’s more – look, this is located right next to bucolic Highway 85. Unfortunately, the Realtor couldn’t put easy access to freeways because… well… it’s not super easy to access the freeway, but still, you can be sure that you’re pretty darn close. In the mornings, you can listen to the traffic to see whether or not you should take the local roads. No need to rely on KCBS anymore!

Great buy if you ask me!

Comments (39) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:31 am

September 17, 2008

Possible downtime next week

Just as an early heads up, may have some downtime this weekend and next week for server maintenance purposes.

My apologies for any inconvenience in advance. Undoubtedly, this will somehow cause another 35 financial firms to fail.

Comments Off on Possible downtime next week Posted by: burbed @ 11:11 am

$850 per square foot – “Perfect starter or retirement home”

1758 Crane Ave, Mountain View, CA 94040 Miramonte MLS# 80826261 – Property Details

* Status: Active
* Bedroom: 3
* Bathroom: 1
* Year Built: 1952
* Lot Size: 5616
* Square Footage: 998
* List Date: 8/5/2008
* Garage Spaces: 1

Charming 3BD/1BA house in a fantastic cul-de-sac neighborhood. Refinished hardwood floors, fresh paint, new light fixtures, and fireplace. Spacious front and rear yards with distinctive gardens and beautiful rose beds. Walk to Cuesta Park and Blossom Valley shopping center with Starbucks and Safeway. Perfect starter or retirement home for anyone wanting a desired Mountain View location.

I’m always amazed at the ingenuity of the Bay Area. 3 bedrooms in 998 square feet? Wowsers. They must have had some top notch engineers working here on compression! Real Bay Area, my friends.

That said, it fascinates me that this $850 per square foot home is perfect for both couples that want to start a family, as well as people who want to retire and die in their homes. This is how amazingly versatile houses in Mountain View are.

You know what? This house is also perfect for starting a day care, or housing a data center. It can also be a floor wax, or a dessert topping!

What other purposes can this house serve for you?

Comments (23) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:23 am

September 16, 2008

This house has easy access to freeways and fire stations! Wow!

FARGO Ave (Unable to map) San Leandro, CA 94579
Price: $430,000

Beds:     5
Baths:     2
Sq. Ft.:     1,862
$/Sq. Ft.:     $231
Lot Size:     7,735 Sq. Ft.
Age (Years):    60
Year Built:    1948
Type:    Detached Single Family
Style:    Ranch
Stories:    1 Story
View(s):    Neighborhood
Neighborhood:    Alameda County
County:     Alameda
MLS#:     80813184

Needs your TLC. This is your chance to own a PRICED-TO-SELL-FAST home conveniently located near freeways, fire station, schools, restaurants & shops, but bring your toolbox because this house needs some work. This is great for big family having a big backyard, bonus bedroom and bathroom and in a quiet neighbohood. A once in a lifetime opportunity. Desperate owner needs action!

Burbed generally doesn’t venture much into the East Bay, after all it is fly over land. That said, Burbed reader James sent this great find in.

Usually Realtors, professionals at the craft of prose and poetry write in such amazing language that it takes scholars years to decrypt the hidden meaning.

This Realtor is clearly aiming at the common man. He’s helping make housing accessible to everyone. “Located near freeways, fire station” – the honest is refreshing. “Desperate owner needs action!” – wow, now the realtor is headed in the risque direction. Very bold. Very very bold.

Props to you for this literary work. People will be discussing this for years. Thanks James for this find!

Comments (46) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:20 am