August 15, 2009

Beyond the Bubble: How to Keep the Real Estate Market in Perspective — and Profit No Matter What Happens

It’s Saturday. That means it’s time for another Burbed book recommendation!

Beyond the Bubble: How to Keep the Real Estate Market in Perspective — and Profit No Matter What Happens


Great review of BEYOND THE BUBBLE from Robert Bruss:

“This is a thinking-person’s book explaining local ‘real estate bubble’ and how individuals can profit from them…Whether you are just getting started in real estate or you are an old pro, Thomsett and Kahr have written this book for you. On my scale of one to 10, this well-researched, outstanding book rates a solid 10.”


“On my scale of one to 10, this well-research, outstanding book rates a solid 10.”
-Robert Bruss, nationally syndicated real estate columnist

Although the Bay Area has never been in a significant bubble in the WSJ, this book is good reading for all so that can learn how to invest in real estate in the rest of the nation.

Let’s face it, the bottom has been reached – we’re now officially beyond the bubble. Please use exploit this opportunity to become wealthy. Sure you might not be able to afford spec properties in Palo Alto, or even East Palo Alto, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start in Phoenix or Miami!

Get on the escalator today!

And when you do become from keeping real estate in perspective, please help this site out, click this link to learn more!

Comments (44) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:03 am

August 14, 2009

Follow up: Jericho High School versus Monta Vista, Cupertino

Hey, the 2009 US News and World Report High School rankings came out!

I figured I’d use this opportunity to follow up on this older entry:

Jericho High School – Competitor to Monta Vista, Cupertino, and Lynbrook? | SF Bay Area Home Price and Mortgage Insanity Blog –

Please read it first for background information on how this eww York (pinches nose) school is trying to beat Monta Vista.

Ok, let’s look at this year’s rankings:

38      Jericho      Jericho      N.Y.
140      Monta Vista      Cupertino      Calif.

Oh cool. The gap has narrowed. Now they are down to just 102 schools versus 127! Now, let’s look at the most important aspect: House prices.

According to Redfin, the median sales price for houses in Cupertino was a healthy $975,000. So let’s take a look at a house near that price:

21675 OLIVE Ave, Cupertino, CA 95014 | MLS# 80919151
21675 OLIVE Ave Cupertino, CA 95014
Price: $979,999

Beds: 3
Baths: 3
Sq. Ft.: 1,628
$/Sq. Ft.: $602
Lot Size: 5,335 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Style: Colonial
Stories: 1
View: Neighborhood
Year Built: 1944
Community: Cupertino
County: Santa Clara
MLS#: 80919151
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active
On Redfin: 106 days

Nice nice nice. $602 per square foot is a bit low, but the lack of interior pics really helps make this house more Real Bay Area. I don’t really see how it is in a cul-de-sac, but let’s just go with it anyway.

Now, let’s look at the challenger: – Long Island Real Estate – Find A Home in Nassau, Suffolk & Queens

Taxes: $15,195

List Price: $935,000

SEC/AREA: West Birchwood
Colonial, Detached, # Families: 1
10.0 rooms, 5 Bedrooms , 2 Full Baths , 1 Half Baths

School District: Jericho
Year Built: 1961

Construction: Vinyl/
Lot Size: 82 X 125 (10250)
Appearance: Mint

Mint Condition Center Hall Expanded Colonial In West Birchwood. Updated Kitchen With Beautiful Wood Cabinetry, Granite Counter Tops, Top Quality Appliances (Bosche,Russel). Kitchen Opens To Den With Floor To Ceiling Brick Fireplace Wall.All New Windows,Pella With Interior Shades Or Marvin.Built In Oak Library.Great Home In Interior Location.Jericho School District.

Unfortunately, New York real estate listings don’t show the square footage of the house, but I’m going to guess that with 5 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, it’s going to be a little larger than the house in Cupertino. The fact that the lot is twice as large is also a hint.

But just look at all those photos – can you smell the desperation? It’s practically begging people to buy it – those poor poor houses.

Let’s face it, the house is shockingly cheap. It’s even got a built in oak library! Everyone in California knows that libraries are unnecessary – I get all my information from the wikipedia. Don’t you?

But most importantly, let’s look at the elephant in the room: the property tax. New Yorkers aren’t smart enough to give themselves Prop 13 – so every year that tax is going to soar. 40 years from now, in 2048, when you pay off your mortgage – you will be paying just $21k a year in property tax if you bought the Cupertino house. If you buy the Jericho house? $70k a year.

Will your children still be going to school? Of course not. Will their children? Who cares! You’ll be able to reap the benefits of other people’s eagerness to get into districts with good schools with your sustained housing price, and they can pay for it. After all, you helped to establish the community.

So once again, Monta Vista wins by a landslide.

Congrats Cupertino!

Comments (23) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:44 am

August 13, 2009

This house is fine art in San Mateo

829 N IDAHO St, San Mateo, CA 94401 | MLS# 80937239
829 N IDAHO St San Mateo, CA 94401
Price: $799,500

Beds: 4
Baths: 2.5
Sq. Ft.: 2,110
$/Sq. Ft.: $379
Lot Size: 7,250 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Stories: 2
Year Built: 1929
Community: Bowie Estate
County: San Mateo
MLS#: 80937239
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active
On Redfin: 7 days
Classic Spanish Style Single Family Home in San Mateo! 4 Bedrooms, 2.5 Bathrooms, Living Room with Fireplace, Formal Dining Room, Kitchen with Breakfast Area, Sun Room. Hardwood Floors, Large Backyard with Patio & Lawn. 1 Car Garage, Large Lot!

Thanks to Burbed reader Wendy for this find.

Let’s look at the picture she found most intriguing:


While Wendy thought that this was simply a woman sleeping on a couch, this is in fact representative of a fine art style in San Mateo – I believe this is known as “Woman in Real Bay Area haute couture in gentle slumber”

But to truly understand what’s going on here, we must interpret the picture. What is the woman dreaming of? Is it the same dream as yours? Of owning this fine home in the center of the world? Is it a dream? Or is it reality? Your reality. Just stop by your local Realtor to realize this reality. Quickly!

This photo alone increase the house’s value by at least $50,000!

Thanks Wendy!

(And thanks to nomadic for pointing out there was no post today – stupid draft button…)

Comments (35) -- Posted by: burbed @ 10:05 am

August 12, 2009

Fine Spanish Revival in San Carlos, California

132 COLTON Ave, San Carlos, CA 94070 | MLS# 80935980
132 COLTON Ave San Carlos, CA 94070
Price: $949,000

Beds: 3
Baths: 2
Sq. Ft.: 1,650
$/Sq. Ft.: $575
Lot Size: 5,550 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Style: Spanish
Stories: 1
Year Built: 1926
Community: El Sereno Corte
County: San Mateo
MLS#: 80935980
Source: MLSListings
Status: Pending Without Release
On Redfin: 6 days
Built in the Spanish revival period utilizing Moorish architecture, this home offers grand entertaining areas combined with functional living spaces. Walk to downtown from one of the best streets in the “White Oaks” or enjoy your own level rear yard. Adorned with rich hrdwd flooring, recessed lighting, large open rooms, remodeled kitchen w/ unique granite, stainless appl and distressed cabinetry.

Burbed reader RinkRat sent this over – thanks RinkRat.

Spanish Revival, huh?

Let’s take a look at what that is:

The Spanish Colonial Revival Style was a United States architectural movement that came about in the early 20th century, starting in Florida as a regional expression related to both history and environment. The Spanish Colonial Revival Style was also influenced by the opening of the Panama Canal and the overwhelming success of the novel Ramona. Based on the Spanish Colonial style architecture that dominated in the early Spanish colonies of both North and South America, Spanish Colonial Revival updated these forms for a new century.

Early champions of the Spanish Colonial Revival include Orlando, Florida architect Frederick H. Trimble whose Farmer’s Bank in Vero Beach predates the Panama-California Exposition of 1915 in San Diego. The San Diego Fair has been credited with drawing national attention to the aesthetic potential of this style.

The movement enjoyed its greatest popularity between 1915 and 1931 and was most often exhibited in single-level detached houses.

Wow! Nothing could possibly be more Spanish that houses built in the Spanish Revival style. After you buy this house, you should have a house warming party where you serve your guests authentic Japanese California rolls for appetizers, followed with an entree of authentic Spaghetti with meatballs, wrapped up with a dessert of authentic Chinese fortune cookies.

And clearly this is valuable – just 6 days listed and it is already pending. Congrats San Carlos! You’re definitely Real Bay Area!

Comments (14) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:36 am

August 11, 2009

2br/1ba in Menlo Park for just $1.8 million – house not included

441 MENLO OAKS Dr, Menlo Park, CA 94025 | MLS# 80924368
441 MENLO OAKS Dr Menlo Park, CA 94025
Price: $1,800,000

Beds: 2
Baths: 1
Sq. Ft.: 790
$/Sq. Ft.: $2,278
Lot Size: 0.43 Acres
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Stories: 1
View: Neighborhood
Year Built: 1923
Community: Menlo Oaks Area
County: San Mateo
MLS#: 80924368
Source: MLSListings
Status: Pending With Release
On Redfin: 76 days
Perfect setting for anyone???s dream home. This sunny, flat lot is located in a serene and rustic environment with mature Oak and Redwood trees. The numerous luxury properties that already exist in the neighborhood make this an ideal place to build a quality home. A perfect lot in a great neighborhood – don???t miss this exceptional opportunity! The Property is being sold as land value only.

Holy cow! .43 acres! That’s a huge amount of land!

Here’s what Burbed reader Sonarrat had to say about this house:

Could anyone justify this? Seriously. If it was zoned R3, sure. It’s close to the apartments on Coleman Road, so it would be a nice site for a new complex. But it’s not, it’s R1.

I think you’re missing the point. This is your opportunity to build your dream home, your trophy home. Your home that says “I just IPOed!” Your home that says “Silicon Valley makes everyone rich!” This one isn’t about monetization. It’s about showoffization.

Just think of how envious others will be when you build your own Menlo Park version of Versailles on this .43 acre plot of land.

The first thing I would do? Give the estate a name.

I’d call it “Athertonish”.

Comments (12) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:30 am

Silicon Valley real estate market: The bidding war is back – San Jose Mercury News

Silicon Valley real estate market: The bidding war is back – San Jose Mercury News
The affordable end of Silicon Valley’s housing market has taken off, with homes often attracting dozens of bids in a repeat of the overheated days of the dot-com boom and the housing bubble.

But despite prices that are in some cases half of what they were at the peak of the market, first-time buyers are being shut out, outbid by investors willing to pay cash for houses they think will bring a good return on their money as rentals, and eventually appreciate in value.

During the dot-com era, the frenzy was for high-priced homes. This time, the homes that are selling briskly are lower-priced bank-owned foreclosures or sales by distressed borrowers. Those homes are sometimes fetching 50 bids or more. But even homes in more expensive areas such as Willow Glen and Cupertino are getting multiple offers, agents say.

Bill Powers, a broker with Coldwell Banker, said he represented a buyer who made an offer on a home on Willowbrook Drive in the Cambrian area of San Jose that received 73 other offers.


“The very low end is so attractive for investors,” Bracamontes said. “You get a $220,000 to $250,000 home, and you’re able to rent it for $2,000 or $2,100 a month, and you’re getting 8 percent on your money, after expenses.”

Thanks to Burbed reader Ev (and others) for sending this my way.

This is most excellent and fantastic news. It’s true! The good times are back!

And with a vengeance! $220,000 homes are now renting for $2000 a month!

Can you believe that? My god! Every aspect of real estate is on fire – from home sales to rent! The long awaited Summer Soar has finally arrived!

Next up… Fall Frenzy, followed by Winter Winners, then Spring Bounce, with the cycle restarting again.


$2200,000 homes are renting for $2000 a month! Shocking! But if a realtor said it, it must be true!

Comments (19) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:23 am

August 10, 2009

$780,000 for a 2br/1ba in Oakland… free storefront?

1407 23rd Ave, Oakland, CA 94606 – Zillow

For Sale: $780,000


* 2 beds
* 1.0 bath
* Built in 1900

Thanks to Burbed reader Jason for this find. While Jason claims that this is a bargain, I’m a bit perplexed as to what exactly you’re getting. Let’s take a look at some of the other photos:


I don’t get it. Does this include the store front? If so, that’d be pretty awesome as you could turn that into your living room. You could fill it with LCD TVs that you’re buying with equity that you would otherwise be throwing away by renting. And when people walk by, they’ll be incredibly envious of your pride of ownership!

Hey check out what’s going on in the neighborhood:


That’s right… new housing. This area is starting to gentrify. Soon there will be a starbucks, a jamba juice, a babies r us, and 24 cupcake and fro-yo stores! And then your 1900 era propery will suddenly be worth $2 million as yuppies all over will be falling over themselves to buy your house.

What are you waiting for? You can’t possibly lose!

Comments (11) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:16 am

August 9, 2009

High-End Homes Frozen Out of Budding Housing Rebound –

High-End Homes Frozen Out of Budding Housing Rebound –
They paid about $1.58 million, staying below their self-imposed ceiling of $1.8 million. “We made sure we had a sufficient [financial] cushion,” Ms. Marks says. They made a down payment of about 30%, partly to qualify for a lower-cost loan, and plan to pay down a big chunk of debt as soon as the sale of their condo is completed.

When the foreclosure crisis began two years ago, there were few signs the high-end market would suffer. “It’s God’s country,” Leslie Appleton-Young, chief economist for the California Association of Realtors, told an audience of real-estate agents in 2007. “When is the 30% decline in Marin County’s market going to happen? Not in my lifetime.”

Home prices there have fallen by 21% from their 2006 peak, according to, a real-estate Web site. Ms. Appleton-Young now says there’s “no doubt that the high-end housing prices have adjusted and will continue to adjust.”

Congrats to the Wall Street Journal for having the courage to showcase how the California Association of Realtors has been right all along, and how those crazy bubble blogs and MSM (Main Street Media) have overblown the housing drop.

Has Marin fallen 30%? No. It’s fallen a mere 21%.

Take that everyone. You. Were. Wrong.

Comments (26) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:22 am

Thanks to NeighborCity and FHA Mortgage Center for sponsoring Burbed

A special thanks to NeighborCity and FHA Mortgage Center for sponsoring Burbed.

Find qualified San Francisco Bay Area real estate agents at

Find out about how to obtain a FHA Loan today!


Comments Off on Thanks to NeighborCity and FHA Mortgage Center for sponsoring Burbed Posted by: burbed @ 4:35 am

August 8, 2009

SHIFT: How Top Real Estate Agents Tackle Tough Times

It’s Saturday. That means it is time for Burbed’s book of the week!

SHIFT: How Top Real Estate Agents Tackle Tough Times (PAPERBACK) (Millionaire Real Estate)

SHIFTS happen…

Markets shift, and you can too. Sometimes you’ll shift in response to a falling market, and other times you’ll shift to take your business to the next level. Both can transform your business and your life. You can change your thinking, your focus, your actions, and, ultimately, your results to get back in the game and ahead of the competition. The tactics that jump-start your business in tough times will power it forward in good times. No matter the market-shift!

SHIFT explores twelve proven strategies for achieving success in any real estate market, including

* Master the Market of the Moment: Short Sales, Foreclosures, and REOs
* Create Urgency: Overcoming Buyer Reluctance
* Re-Margin Your Business: Expense Management
* Find the Motivated: Lead Generation
* Expand the Options: Creative Financing

About the Author

Gary Keller launched his sales career and later Keller Williams Realty International during two of the worst downturns in the recent history of the real estate market. With SHIFT, Gary and coauthors Dave Jenks and Jay Papasan deliver an authoritative resource for surviving and thriving in a shifted real estate market and the latest book in the bestselling Millionaire Real Estate Series.

Heh. Shift happens. Puns are punny.

Let’s face it, while experts agree that the real estate market has finally bottomed out, and can only go up from here (like in 2007 and 2008), one needs to adapt to the fast changing situation.

This book will show you how. The review stats are pretty impressive! 4.5 stars!

Seriously, I think you have purchased every book that was featured on this site, capped with this one, you would probably be enormously wealthy. When life zigs, you have to zag – and real estate is the place to be.

And when you do become wealthy from this mastering this shift, please help this site out, click this link to learn more!

Comments (3) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:23 am