March 26, 2009

Relive the 1920’s and 1930’s at 948 Rincon in Mountain View

It’s Herve week at Burbed! I’m catching up on all the listings that Herve had sent me. And now, Day 4:

948 RINCON St, Mountain View, CA 94040 | MLS# 80848932
948 RINCON St (Unable to map) Mountain View, CA 94040
Price: $1,299,950

1731819307-948
Beds: 4
Baths: 3
Sq. Ft.: 2,036
$/Sq. Ft.: $638
Lot Size: 4,080 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Style: Craftsman
Year Built: 2008
Stories: 2
Neighborhood: Grant
County: Santa Clara
MLS#: 80848932
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active
On Redfin: 89 days
Located on Los Altos side of El Camino, w/ in walking distance of Downtown Mtn. View, Miramonte Park is an exclusive collection of 58 SF homes with all the charm of the great Calif neighborhoods of the 1920’s & 1930’s. Nearby is the premier performing arts theatre on the Peninsula as well as outstanding schools & parks.

Apparently when Herve saw this listing, it said something different:

“Located on Los Altos side of El Camino, w/ in walking distance of Downtown Mtn. View, Miramonte Park is an exclusive collection of 58 SF homes with all the charm of the great Calif neighborhoods of the 1920’s & 1930’s. Nearby is the premier performing arts theatre on the Peninsula as well as outstanding schools & parks. Offering a graduated Broker referral- 3% 1st sale, 4% 2nd, 5% (3 or more sales) “

Here’s what Herve had to say:

Charm of the 1920’s and 1930’s? What could that possibly mean?
– no Prop 13
– racial segregation
– great depression

Err… well… uh… that’s possible. Let’s look at this timeline of Mountain View to see some of the events of the 1920’s and 1930’s:

1920 – Hoping to become a major deep water port, South Shore Port Co. dredges slough at the old Jagels Landing at the end of Whisman Road. Ferry and freight service to San Francisco begins in 1923. The port project includes an amusement park and large saltwater swimming pool called Kingsport Plunge that opens in 1925. The company declares bankruptcy in 1927.

1924 – The city’s first high school opens on El Camino in 1902. In 1924 a new school designed by noted architect William Weeks opens on Castro Street. The building is demolished in 1987.

1930 – Sunnyvale chosen as site for West Coast air base and research center. President Hoover signs legislation Feb. 20, 1931, to accept the land and approve development. July 31, 1931, land is transferred to U.S. Navy at a cost of $1. In 1933 Moffett Field Naval Air Station opens on the border of Sunnyvale and Mountain View as a base for Navy dirigibles.

1937 – Bayshore Highway (101) opens on the Peninsula after 13 years of construction at a cost of $7 million.

1939 – Flight research begins at the Ames Laboratory of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA, the forerunner of NASA).

Check that out! You can relive the building of 101. How historic!

Comments (47) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:02 am

47 Responses to “Relive the 1920’s and 1930’s at 948 Rincon in Mountain View”

  1. sonarrat Says:

    Offering a graduated Broker referral- 3% 1st sale, 4% 2nd, 5% (3 or more sales) “

    They’re getting into pyramid schemes now! Gotta love it.

  2. nomadic Says:

    Well over a million bucks and they can’t even provide a photo. Lazy, lazy realtor.

  3. anon Says:

    Human garbage selling shit.

  4. rick Says:

    Why they would provide a photo? That would surely make people less willing to take a look at it.

  5. UnrealAlex Says:

    But we’re already doing the 1920s-1930s thing, in fact with the Internet dying I’m limited to the typing speed I used to have on a manual typewriter. Better sna the next old Underwood you see in an antique shop window.

    Anyway, yes, the 1920s were fun, tons of imaginary money, I guess the Prohibition on weed takes the place of the one on booze in the 1920s, weed’s becoming decriminalized soon I think, and it won’t be in time to save the economy since we’re now in the 1930s. At least you’ll be near Castro Street so sell apples on, from there CalTrain to hop a ride on a boxcar. Better hope this house has room for a garden and a chicken coop in back.

  6. wesleman Says:

    Google Map says there’s no Rincon St in MV and gave me Sunnyvale’s Rincon St instead. WTF?

  7. madhaus Says:

    Collection of 58 SF homes? I know some of these places are “cozy” but 58 square feet is tiny. I’ve had bathrooms bigger than that.

  8. SoonToBeDad Says:

    Long time listener, first time caller here.

    I’m going to be a dad soon. The “host” is demanding we buy a place.

    The 2br rentals in Mountain View and Sunnyvale are all about 1800 and they suxxors.

    I think I can spend up $3500 in PITIZKLMUOK8J (everything all in) at most.

    Downpayment is a mixed story.
    I put it all in the stock market. Stooooooooooooopid me.
    I think have $100k left.

    What should I do? I’m thinking of a 2br+/1ba+. You guys have scared me away from condos and townhouses with HOAs.

    Where should I buy? What should I buy?

    Will it go up in value? (Just kidding. If it is RBA, I know it will. lolz!)

  9. SoonToBeDad Says:

    [Dupe Deleted by Burbed]

  10. SoonToBeDad Says:

    Oh nuts. Sorry for the dupe!!!

  11. nomadic Says:

    The “host.” LOL. The kid isn’t even born and it’s already a parasite? ;-)

    2BR/1BA? With all due respect, why bother buying? Save up some more, wait until next year.

  12. madhaus Says:

    #3: Talk about getting up on the wrong side of bed! I think anon woke up in the wrong house.

    SoonToBeDad, hmmm. $3500 a month and $100K down? The wife sez buy a place NOW? Have you considered school districts yet? Because you don’t want to move again when the litle dickens is ready for kindergarten.

  13. smart dads rent Says:

    Hi new Dad, I’m in the same boat. We sold our house in 2006 to move to CA and are we are renting a house. Equity was put in the stock market (it seemed less likely to loose money than the housing market!).

    We are now renting, and will rent at least until the kids are school age. My current rent is less than the interest payment would be to buy a similar house.

    Unlike the inefficient housing market, the stock market is much quicker to correct to economic reality. At this point, stocks are much more likely to appreciate while housing prices may continue to decline (except the RBA!).

    My advice is to move to a rental house and let your landlord eat the depreciation. I know it is hard for aspiring homeowners to understand, but owning a house (and the headaches of ownership) is overrated.

  14. SoonToBeDad Says:

    To Madhaus: Have I considered school districts? Yes. Anywhere in the RBA.

    To nomaidc: 2br/1ba is the minimum. Ideally I’d like to see 3br/2ba. Or more!

    Is $3500 and $100k for downpay not enough? Is that what people are saying?

    To: Smart Dads Rent
    Interest rates. So low. Cannot resist. They’re goin go back up.

    I don’t have an MBA. How can I calculate/justify renting a $3500 a month house versus paying a $3500 all-inclusive payment mathematically? How do I justify it to “the host”?

  15. Real Estater Says:

    >> We sold our house in 2006 to move to CA and are we are renting a house. Equity was put in the stock market

    Three letters for you: O.M.G.!

    Always keep your real estate money separate from your stock money. That way, your investments would never affect your living situation. If you had stayed in a RBA home, your equity would still be intact and you wouldn’t be a renter. Now with your money gone down the toilet with the stock market, you may be renting for a long, long time, and you just threw away your kid’s childhood. I’m surprised your host hasn’t kicked you out.

  16. nomadic Says:

    dad – I think steve originally posted this link. It’s a pretty good calculator to play with:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/10/business/2007_BUYRENT_GRAPHIC.html?_r=2

    Figure about 1.1% for property taxes.

  17. nomadic Says:

    always take RE’s “advice” with a giant block of salt. He can’t even keep two different people’s posts straight.

  18. Real Estater Says:

    SoonToBeDad,

    I think you’re making the right move. You’re planning for the future, instead of living day to day. You really can’t argue with the fact that now is a great time to buy a home. Interest rates are at historic lows, and home prices in the BA are about as low as you’re likely to see. You may not catch the absolute bottom, but the upside is way bigger than the downside at this point. Most importantly, you can’t put a price tag on raising your kids in a home of your own.

  19. Pralay Says:

    You really can’t argue with the fact that now is a great time to buy a home. Interest rates are at historic lows, and home prices in the BA are about as low as you’re likely to see.
    —-

    One more “right time to buy” from our favorite Realtard. :)
    Ooops, it is right GREAT time to buy.

  20. smart dads rent Says:

    To Realeater: Actually, my returns would have been much worse than the stock market if I had bought another house in 2006: I would have negative equity right now. Leverage works both ways you know.

    To Dad: the point is that I can rent a much nicer house than it would cost me to own. Home ownership in the Bay Area only makes sense if you have substantial price appreciation (which we are not likely to see for years until more greater fools like Real Estater show up again).

  21. Real Estater Says:

    smart dads rent Says,
    >>the point is that I can rent a much nicer house than it would cost me to own.

    The point is that short-sighted will lead you down the wrong path.
    Did you know that you can also lease a nicer car than you can buy?

  22. DreamT Says:

    “Is $3500 and $100k for downpay not enough? Is that what people are saying?”
    Not enough for RBA cigars. In fact, not enough for grey area either. Unless you land a foreclosure or a fixer-upper, and you’re prepared to beat 50 other offers.

  23. DreamT Says:

    The city of Santa Clara’s housing plan – 1st draft – is out today at http://www.santaclaragp.com/pdfs/Santa_Clara_Draft_Housing_Element_032409.pdf
    check p. 11 and p. 111 for population growth figures, p.119 for income figures, p.120 for rent figures, etc.

  24. DreamT Says:

    .. and SoonToBeDad – you can buy a condo with $20k down and be in a good school district. Considering your budget, if education is a priority, you should definitely consider this alternative.

  25. karen Says:

    SoonToBeDad – please don’t buy yet!!! somehow convince the mom-to-be that renting is okay. I have incredibly fond memories of the rental places that we lived in when I was little (grad student housing and then a place very near to the beach that my parents could never have afforded to buy). my parents bought when I was about six, when they could genuinely *afford* to. this reduces stress!!!

    why not rent in a nice apartment complex with lots of other families with little kids? It’s really fun for little kids to have loads of other little kids around. and while your kid is a baby, there will be plenty of other moms around for your wife to commiserate with.
    Prices are going to keep going down, because the job market is going to get worse, and the resets are coming. better to invest now in loads of ice cream and milk shakes (mom bribes) and buy a house or apartment later.

    p.s. have you looked at rentals in Redwood City? my impression is that the schools are not so good (I don’t have kids, so ask someone else), but that ought to mean that you can get a better rental deal while your kid is too young for school. you can then move to a rental (or buy) in three years or so, in a better school area.

  26. DreamT Says:

    “Prices are going to keep going down, because the job market is going to get worse, and the resets are coming.”
    Perfect-pitch anti-RealEstater. But, can matter and antimatter coexist?

  27. DreamT Says:

    maybe it’s time to run away from this blog and hide in an underground shelter

  28. Herve Says:

    > Google Map says there’s no Rincon St in MV and gave me Sunnyvale’s Rincon St instead. WTF?

    Rincon St is most likely the name of new settlement’s thoroughfare.

  29. DreamT Says:

    “1931, land is transferred to U.S. Navy at a cost of $1. In 1933 Moffett Field Naval Air Station opens on the border of Sunnyvale and Mountain View as a base for Navy dirigibles.”

    Bob’s Granddad, in the meantime, was building a dirigible in his garage. And boy did he show’em!

  30. smart dads rent Says:

    New dad, the best thing to do is to compare rentals to the interest expense of owning. If you buy, remember that moving will cost you 6% in realty fees and you will pay 1% a year in property tax.

    There is no need to live in a good school district until your child is old enough for school. Until then you can rent more cheaply and invest the difference.

  31. karen Says:

    soontobedad – one more thing. Interest rates are, strangely enough, not really relevant. if rates go up, house prices will (must) go down. this is because (except when you have a bubble in which crazy alt-a no-doc NINJA loans are being made), each buyer has a set amount that s/he can pay for housing. if people have to pay more for interest, this will force down house prices.

    some people argue that it’s best to buy when interest rates are *high*, since then house prices will be at their lowest, and there’s the chance of refinancing the rate in the future (whereas you can never change the price you paid).

  32. DreamT Says:

    There’s truth to that, yet timing interest rates is as precise a science as timing the DOW. IMO the biggest element to consider in a primary home purchase is everything that can’t be addressed by the owner: the neighborhood, facilities, schools, safety/crime, turnover rate, ratio well kept/junk yards, traffic, parks, etc. This determines how stable valuations will be in the future much more accurately than interest rates or the overall economy. And you certainly don’t need to buy in the RBA to find such suitable places.

  33. karen Says:

    DreamT – oh, I didn’t mean that one should try to time interest rates – you are quite right that one is not likely to get it right. I just wanted to point out to soontobedad that he shouldn’t feel compelled to buy because of low rates.

    and yes, the factors you listed are the major determinants of house price stability. a single horrid neighbor, or a crime spike, or a closed school, can tank your house’s value more than the interest rate affects it. that’s why I would never buy and would always rent – except that we have dogs so we were stuck buying. oh, well.

    since there are so many things about a house’s value that one can’t control, it’s rational to buy the cheapest acceptable house. that way if you get burned, you get burned less.

    the only reason to buy in the RBA that I can think of is to avoid a horrible commute (a miserable commute really lowers the quality of one’s life)(so say the social scientists and they’re right!)

    wow, I am the anti-RE. well, if I see a guy approaching carrying a Barbie glued to a plastic base (the trophy wife), I’ll run.

  34. sonarrat Says:

    soontobedad – one more thing. Interest rates are, strangely enough, not really relevant. if rates go up, house prices will (must) go down. this is because (except when you have a bubble in which crazy alt-a no-doc NINJA loans are being made), each buyer has a set amount that s/he can pay for housing. if people have to pay more for interest, this will force down house prices.

    some people argue that it’s best to buy when interest rates are *high*, since then house prices will be at their lowest, and there’s the chance of refinancing the rate in the future (whereas you can never change the price you paid).

    Bingo. This is what my parents did in 1989.. it was kind of a bubble then, too, but mortgages were in the double digits. Then they refinanced to a decent ARM when rates came down. Now they pay less than 4%, and set to go down further as we continue our Lost Decade, and they have ample equity.

  35. SiO2 Says:

    Dear Dads,

    Financially, right now, it’s certainly better to rent than to own. The best thing to do financially is to rent a studio in the cheapest place you can find. However you might not want to do that for other reasons. So we’ve established that people may do things for reasons other than financial.

    A big thing to consider is – do you like to move? Some people like the variety of living in different places, some don’t. If you do, then renting is much better. If you own and sell, you have to pay the 6% agent fees. Plus there’s other costs if selling in a down market, like now. Repairs for sprucing up the place – like new fixtures, doorknobs, paint, the leaky faucet you always meant to get around to fixing. Termite work. Buyer may ask that you fix things found in the inspection, and if you don’t they can move on to the next house. This could be $5k to 10k or more. So if you think you might move within 5-10 years, renting is better. Or, if you cannot find a place that you can afford, and would stay for 10 years, then renting is better.

    On the flip side – if you find a place that you can afford, and would stay, and you don’t like moving, then it’s not a bad thing to do. Even if the place is small, but has room to expand, that can work. If the house is laid out such that a room could be added without the Winchester Mystery House effect, that’s great – you can do a simple room add for about $60k. You can do a kitchen remodel with standard cabinets and fixtures for $20k. (of course you could spend $20k on appliances alone if you were so inclined). So that’s a strategy to consider.

    Basically it comes down to those points. Would you stay put for several years, and can you afford a place you would like to keep for a long time. If either is no, then renting is better. Plus you don’t have maintenance hassles. If you wait for buying to equal renting, you will wait for a long time in Silicon Valley – it has been cheaper to rent on a monthly basis for at least the last 15 years. So if you think there will never be appreciation or inflation again, it’s better to rent perpetually (at least financially). And also if you rent, every year there’s the possibility that your landlord decides to sell the place, or gets foreclosed, and then you have to move when maybe you didn’t want to.

    It’s not a simple decision. This blog will give you those who say it’s always better to buy, and those who say it’s always better to rent. I’d consider many factors, financial and non financial.

    And to let you know my personal bias, I currently own.

  36. SiO2 Says:

    Dear Dads,

    Financially, right now, it’s certainly better to rent than to own. The best thing to do financially is to rent a studio in the cheapest place you can find. However you might not want to do that for other reasons. So we’ve established that people may do things for reasons other than financial.

    A big thing to consider is – do you like to move? Some people like the variety of living in different places, some don’t. If you do, then renting is much better. If you own and sell, you have to pay the 6% agent fees. Plus there’s other costs if selling in a down market, like now. Repairs for sprucing up the place – like new fixtures, doorknobs, paint, the leaky faucet you always meant to get around to fixing. Termite work. Buyer may ask that you fix things found in the inspection, and if you don’t they can move on to the next house. This could be $5k to 10k or more. So if you think you might move within 5-10 years, renting is better. Or, if you cannot find a place that you can afford, and would stay for 10 years, then renting is better.

    On the flip side – if you find a place that you can afford, and would stay, and you don’t like moving, then it’s not a bad thing to do. Even if the place is small, but has room to expand, that can work. If the house is laid out such that a room could be added without the Winchester Mystery House effect, that’s great – you can do a simple room add for about $60k. You can do a kitchen remodel with standard cabinets and fixtures for $20k. (of course you could spend $20k on appliances alone if you were so inclined). So that’s a strategy to consider.

    Basically it comes down to those points. Would you stay put for several years, and can you afford a place you would like to keep for a long time. If either is no, then renting is better. Plus you don’t have maintenance hassles. If you wait for buying to equal renting, you will wait for a long time in Silicon Valley – it has been cheaper to rent on a monthly basis for at least the last 15 years. So if you think there will never be appreciation or inflation again, it’s better to rent perpetually (at least financially). And also if you rent, every year there’s the possibility that your landlord decides to sell the place, or gets foreclosed, and then you have to move when maybe you didn’t want to.

    It’s not a simple decision. This blog will give you those who say it’s always better to buy, and those who say it’s always better to rent. I’d consider many factors, financial and non financial.

    And to let you know my personal bias, I currently own.

  37. DreamT Says:

    karen – Glad you didn’t take offense :) It was mentioned a while ago on this blog, another very important criteria when purchasing a house is – can you generally afford to make the payments on a single salary? If not, maybe you just shouldn’t consider that price range.

  38. Real Estater Says:

    SiO2,

    Rent is not significantly cheaper than owning if you take tax into consideration (assuming you earn a typical Silicon Valley tech worker’s income).

    Renting is sort of like a drug habit. It helps you get buy on a day to day basis, but in the long term it’s destined to be a failed strategy. This statement is not true everywhere, but it is true for the Bay Area.

  39. zanon Says:

    RE: Tax benefits do not bring rent vs buy to anything close like breakeven in RBA.

  40. Pralay Says:

    Renting is sort of like a drug habit.
    ———

    Ohoooooo, if renting was a drug habit then strawberry picker with $15,000/yr income is the poster-child of the success of drug-rehabilitation program. It seems this program, run by all the high-school drop out Realtards, worked pretty well in last five years, which in turn caused this bubble.

    So when anyone makes statement like this, shouldn’t he/she make come valid points to make it up? This guy, who won the Nobel Prize in economics, did in following interview:
    Why home ownership is U.S. obsession.

    So let’s talk about drug habit now.

    Of course, while house prices were going up, that became a substitute for saving. People would refinance their homes, take the profit and spend that, hoping that prices would go up again. And then they would do the same thing and spend that. But I do think this home-ownership craze does tie in with a newfound fashion for spending rather than saving. I’m old enough to remember in the 1930s and the 1940s when thrift, frugality was considered an important virtue. In those days we all knew Benjamin Franklin’s aphorism, “A penny saved is a penny earned.” Today, the official doctrine seems to be that a penny spent is a penny earned.

  41. zanon Says:

    New Dad: Honest answer — buy the house (because your wife wants you to). If your wife is happy, everyone is happy. If she isn’t… well.

  42. SoonToBeDad Says:

    What? Are you saying I can’t win an argument just because I’m married? :)

  43. nomadic Says:

    Maybe you can’t win an argument, but you can certainly deflect and stall! You should buy for a better reason than your wife’s hormones telling her to nest.

    :-)

  44. madhaus Says:

    SoonToBeDad:

    What? Are you saying I can’t win an argument just because I’m married? :)

    I know you guys are all missing my poetry, so here ya go:

    Roses are red
    Water is clear
    Now that you’re married
    Just say, “Yes, Dear.”

  45. Herve Estater Says:

    It’s on craigslist too: http://sfbay.craigslist.org/pen/reb/1296126331.html

    […] 58 single-family homes that evokes the romantic character of the great California neighborhoods of the 1920’s and 1930’s.

  46. Herve Estater Says:

    The listing has pictures now. Typical 1920s house.

  47. nomadic Says:

    $638/sf and you don’t even get a frameless glass shower? Pshaw! And what’s with the gate across the driveway? That huge 4,000sf estate lot needs a gated entry? Or maybe this is a model house fenced off from people wandering in without passing through the sales office first? (I hope!)


Leave a Reply

Please be nice. No name calling, no personal attacks, no racist stuff, no baiting, etc. Let's be nice to each other in the true Bay Area spirit! (Comments may be edited/removed without notice.)