September 21, 2009

Silicon Valley home sales dip in August; fewer bargains on the market – San Jose Mercury News

The other day a Burbed commenter wrote this:

Valley’s uptick eclipses state: As California faces long, slow recovery, local economy poised for quick rebound with tech help – San Jose Mercury News | SF Bay Area Home Price and Mortgage Insanity Blog –
mike Says:
September 16th, 2009 at 4:04 pm

I hate the Merc.

It’s always rah rah bull; almost worse than realtards.


Well how about this then!

Silicon Valley home sales dip in August; fewer bargains on the market – San Jose Mercury News
For the first time since January, both the number of homes sold in Santa Clara County and their median price fell from the previous month, a surprising reversal in a housing market that had been steadily climbing out of the burst real estate bubble.

Home sales plunged 21 percent in August from July, a sharper drop than in any other Bay Area county, and the median price dropped to $515,000, a 5 percent decline from July and down 13 percent from August last year, according to a report Thursday from MDA DataQuick.

The numbers appear to reflect just how fragile the market is, with real estate professionals and analysts offering a number of varying reasons for the month-to-month changes, from fewer foreclosed properties listed for sale, to new rules that have resulted in longer escrows, to higher mortgage rates.

“Part of the midsummer pause in the market could have been caused by home shoppers becoming frustrated by market conditions they didn’t anticipate,” John Walsh, MDA DataQuick president, said in a statement released with the report, citing fewer cheap foreclosures and the high number of all-cash deals and multiple bids. “It might have driven some back to the sidelines,” he said.

The nine-county Bay Area saw the median price of previously owned single-family houses fall 8 percent from July, to $375,000.

“It’s not unusual to get 10 offers” on “reasonably” priced foreclosure properties, said Judi Seip, an agent with Coldwell Banker in Cupertino.

Some are intentionally underpriced, other agents said, which sometimes means 20 or 30 bidders make offers.

One of Seip’s clients recently offered about $16,000 more than the asking price on a home priced about $440,000, and had a 50 percent down payment, but still lost the house to another bidder. Seip said she’s working with several buyers who hope to find homes and close escrow by Nov. 30, which is the deadline to purchase a home and receive a credit of as much as $8,000 on federal taxes, an element of the economic stimulus plan. “What happens in December is anybody’s guess,” she said.


See? It’s not always rah rah news. But there’s no need to despair… it’s clear that the reason for this is that interest in houses have simply taken a nap. There’s so much hot startup activity right now (and look! facebook is break even!) that people don’t have time to shop around for houses.

Come this spring… back to July 2007 prices! You heard it here first!

Comments (12) -- Posted by: burbed @ 6:58 am

Evolution can be found at this Belmont house

2837 SAN JUAN Blvd, Belmont, CA 94002 | MLS# 80940132
2837 SAN JUAN Blvd Belmont, CA 94002
Price: $1,299,000

Beds: 4
Baths: 3.5
Sq. Ft.: 3,100
$/Sq. Ft.: $419
Lot Size: 0.28 Acres
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Stories: 3
View: Mountains, Canyon, Neighborhood
Year Built: 2009
Community: Haskins Estates
County: San Mateo
MLS#: 80940132
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active
On Redfin: 18 days
Just Completed July 2009, Gorgeous Brand New Custom Home Priced to Sell. Top of the line from top to bottom. Nestled in a beautiful Belmont neighborhood.

Thanks to Burbed reader Kevin for this find!

Here’s what he had to say:

I love picture 9…hey kids go play on the lawn on the back/side yard but stay away from the 12 foot drop off by the retaining wall.

Two words: Natural Selection

Let’s face it, the Bay Area continually needs to stay sharp and smart in order to remain competitive. So… sometimes we need to get rid of the less desirable people. People who might be superstars in a different city with lower standards (like Boston), but wouldn’t make the cut here in the Bay Area.

The backyard of this house helps separate the wheat from the chaff, so to speak. Those who survive this house, can go on to become the next major super star, the next person who changes the world with a single 140 character post.

And, did I mention, this house is green? That’s a plus right there!

So help the Bay Area out, you breeders. Buy this house and use it to prune  your brood. It’s for the good of humanity – for Silicon Valley is destined to save it.

Comments (3) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:19 am

September 20, 2009

Washington, D.C. favorite area for wealthy young – Yahoo! News

Washington, D.C. favorite area for wealthy young – Yahoo! News
NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) – Washington, D.C. has become the favorite area for wealthy young adults, with the nation’s highest percentage of 25-34 year-olds making more than $100,000 a year, according to a new analysis.

Sixteen of the top 50 counties in the United States with the highest share of wealthy young people are in the Washington, D.C. area.

Loudoun county, which is part of the Washington metropolitan area, has 10 percent, or 10,327 young adults, making more than six figures — more than San Francisco and New York in terms of percentage of the population.

Seriously? Washington DC and its wretched boring suburbs?

What do they have that we don’t have?

They may have the national mall, but we have the Great Mall!

This is the most egrigious part:

Mancini believes part of the appeal of the Washington area is jobs in both the private and public sector. It also has strong education and healthcare institutions, a moderate climate and easy access to recreational facilities.

Moderate weather? Has anyone been there in July or January? It’s either so muggy that muggers can’t mug you because they’ll slip from your sweat… or it’s so cold the muggers simply freeze to death.


So now we are at war with New York, Seattle, and Washington DC. It’s a good thing that Burbed has been comparing grocery prices between Seattle and Washington DC and here – at least we have some competitive information.

Seriously. Washington DC? Why?

What can we do to make the Bay Area even more attractive aside from further taxing our youth?

Comments (23) -- Posted by: burbed @ 6:59 am

America’s 10 Best Places to Grow Up – San Jose!

America’s 10 Best Places to Grow Up – Yahoo! Real Estate
San Jose, Calif.

With 9 square miles of green spaces, 300 days of sunshine a year, and four different professional sports franchises to follow, San Jose, Calif., has everything you need for a happy childhood. At just over 1 million residents, San Jose considers itself the capital of Silicon Valley, but it doesn’t take a computer scientist to understand the city’s appeal to kids. San Jose is the country’s safest big city, and although it’s certainly expensive—the median home price is $449,000—the city offers all sorts of great activities for children. Rather than chasing its skateboarders away, San Jose has embraced them by opening six public skateboarding parks, including Lake Cunningham Regional Skate Park, the largest one in the state. And at the Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose, children can experience everything from theater to gardening.

Congratulations to San Jose for being one of the America’s 10 Best Places to grow up!

Interestingly enough, 5 of the 10 entries listed great schools – but they seem to have forgotten to mention that for San Jose. But then again, they also didn’t mention it for Boston, which probably has good schools as well.

That said… how can those cruddy museums in Boston compare tot he Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose? And who needs a stinkin’ education any way with all these great skateboarding parks. Your kid could become the next Tony Hawk! Cha-ching!

Did any readers here grow up in San Jose? Let’s hear about your childhood! What did you like and dislike?

Comments (155) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:02 am

September 19, 2009

The 2009-2014 World Outlook for Laminate Flooring Materials and Services: Icon Group Publications: Books

It’s Saturday, and that means it’s time for Burbed’s book of the week! The 2009-2014 World Outlook for Laminate Flooring Materials and Services: Icon Group Publications: Books

The 2009-2014 World Outlook for Laminate Flooring Materials and Services (Paperback)
by Icon Group Publications (Author)

Product Description
This econometric study covers the world outlook for laminate flooring materials and services across more than 200 countries. For each year reported, estimates are given for the latent demand, or potential industry earnings (P.I.E.), for the country in question (in millions of U.S. dollars), the percent share the country is of the region and of the globe. These comparative benchmarks allow the reader to quickly gauge a country vis-a-vis others. Using econometric models which project fundamental economic dynamics within each country and across countries, latent demand estimates are created. This report does not discuss the specific players in the market serving the latent demand, nor specific details at the product level. The study also does not consider short-term cyclicalities that might affect realized sales. The study, therefore, is strategic in nature, taking an aggregate and long-run view, irrespective of the players or products involved. This study does not report actual sales data (which are simply unavailable, in a comparable or consistent manner in virtually all of the 230 countries of the world). This study gives, however, my estimates for the worldwide latent demand, or the P.I.E. for laminate flooring materials and services. It also shows how the P.I.E. is divided across the world’s regional and national markets. For each country, I also show my estimates of how the P.I.E. grows over time (positive or negative growth). In order to make these estimates, a multi-stage methodology was employed that is often taught in courses on international strategic planning at graduate schools of business.

Did you think the age of Pergo was over already? Wrong wrong wrong!

All homeowners should purchase this book so they can fully understand how their home flooring decisions will impact their house’s future value, and the value of the industry as whole. Is now the right time to go laminate floor? Should you buy options on laminate floor to hedge on potential market fluctuations? Which will be the new black? Oak? Cherry?

In these topsy turvey times, you can’t afford to make the wrong investment – this book will help you chart out the future, and make sure that you are on track with the most important decision you will ever make: what to do about laminate flooring.

And when you become rich from your laminate flooring adventures, please help this site out, click this link to learn more!

Comments (2) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:48 am

September 18, 2009

Mountain View Voice : City official explains bad odor

Mountain View Voice : City official explains bad odor
City official explains bad odor

There have been a number of complaints about a mysterious rotten egg smell all over town, which turns out to be the smell of nature taking its course with the bay ponds near Shoreline Park, some of which were Cargill salt ponds until 2004.

Assistant to the city manager Kevin Woodhouse said the city gets these complaints the same time every year. Algae that grow in the bay ponds die off in the late summer months, producing a gas that smells like rotten eggs.

The odor reportedly goes away in a short period of time.

“Our Shoreline employees have noted the smell is particularly strong right now,” Woodhouse said.

And now you know.

Take that all you Silicon Valley wannabe cities… do you have anything to compete with this?

Comments (4) -- Posted by: burbed @ 10:42 am

A house fit for an executive in Palo Alto

1781 ARASTRADERO, Palo Alto, CA 94304 | MLS# 80930540
1781 ARASTRADERO Palo Alto, CA 94304
Price: $23,950,000

Beds: 6
Baths: 4
Sq. Ft.: 12,000
$/Sq. Ft.: $1,996
Lot Size: 12.96 Acres
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Style: Mediterranean
Stories: 2
View: Bay, Green Belt, Mountains, Lake, Valley, City Lights
Year Built: 2001
Community: Palo Alto Hills
County: Santa Clara
MLS#: 80930540
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active
On Redfin: 75 days
Welcome to this exceptional private gated estate of approximately 12,000 square feet with breathtaking Bay, lake and hill views from nearly every room of this residence. Situated on approximately 13 acres, this property is unmatched in the attention to everydetail. 7 bedrooms, 9.5 bathrooms, family room, living room, office, library, lounge, game room, theater, and infinity pool.

Thanks to Burbed reader Pralay for this fine Friday find.

Wow. Just wow.

Personally I love houses… no… estates like this. These are the kind of listings that really help the Real Bay Area stand out. It’s a shining beacon to people everywhere – sending a message of prosperity, hope, and fortune.

You could be the next engineer that creates a startup that gives you this house. All you have to do is move here.

Kudos to the listing agent for this clever shot. It really is eye catching, and it definitely stood out in my mind.

How long is it before you move into this house, you crazy, successful, entrepreneur you?

Comments (36) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:33 am

September 17, 2009

Driveway with 4+ car capacity in San Mateo

1953 IVY St, San Mateo, CA 94403 | MLS# 80941349
1953 IVY St San Mateo, CA 94403
Price: $868,000

Beds: 3
Baths: 3
Sq. Ft.: 1,439
$/Sq. Ft.: $603
Lot Size: 4,000 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Stories: 1
Year Built: 1921
Community: Fiesta Gardens
County: San Mateo
MLS#: 80941349
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active
On Redfin: 11 days
Extraordinary Fiesta Gardens home, completely remodeled, large master suite w/ 2 add’l bedroom suites. Detached garage converted to 237 sqft in-law unit (not incl in sqftage), driveway has 4 car capacity. Dramatic kitchen w/ granite counters, stainless apps & handsome cherry cabinetry. All baths have fun, artistic twists of color and textures. Lush gardens accented w/ fruit trees & roses.

Thanks to Burbed reader sonarrat for this find.

What an interesting listing! It has such a fun and festive combination of facts! Let’s take a look at this dramatic kitchen shall we?


Wow. Stainless steel! Granite! Wow. Very dramatic. I think we should call TNT and let them know about this kitchen, as they claim to know drama. (BTW, what’s that on the wall above the range?)

But let’s face it, the real benefit of this house is the fact that it has a driveway that can fit 4+ cars. With everyone aspiring to be Jay Leno these days, it’s quite easy to rack up a huge number of cars. And, the fact that you can monetize the garage as a rental means that there will be even more cars. Fortunately this house can accommodate it all.

You can probably even rent out part of that driveway for parking spots. Cha-ching!

And at the end of a hard day of work being an entrepreneur, you can go outside to your lush gardens and say “This is all mine (in 40 years).”


Comments (67) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:42 am

palo alto school rental writing

Let’s try another week of search result Thursday.

Recently someone found this site by searching for: palo alto school rental writing

Hm. This is a toughie.

I think the answer is: Yes, even renting in Palo Alto, will improve your writing skills at school.

Of course, owning would improve your writing skills even further… but renting is a good start.

Comments (6) -- Posted by: burbed @ 4:16 am

September 16, 2009

Valley’s uptick eclipses state: As California faces long, slow recovery, local economy poised for quick rebound with tech help – San Jose Mercury News

Valley’s uptick eclipses state: As California faces long, slow recovery, local economy poised for quick rebound with tech help – San Jose Mercury News
Valley’s uptick eclipses state: As California faces long, slow recovery, local economy poised for quick rebound with tech help

By Pete Carey and George Avalos

The luster is returning to Silicon Valley’s economy even while much of California is likely to stay stuck in recession through next year, according to a report released today by a California economic research team.

High tech is a relative bright spot in a state still caught up in the bursting of the housing bubble, according to the UCLA Anderson Forecast.

The report is another confirmation that the valley is gaining strength. Its high-tech companies are reporting stronger earnings, their CEOs have become more bullish and their stocks have soared in recent months. Even the local housing market is improving.

The University of California-Los Angeles economists said the valley’s exports are growing; infusions of capital from a federal stimulus package and investments in technology will combine to pull the region, and high tech in general, out of recession faster than much of the state. Silicon Valley’s economy is expected to gather strength late this year, they said.

“None of the really difficult trends are affecting Silicon Valley. We don’t have an overbought home market and the whole national agenda is going to help,” Levy said. “The stock market is coming back, and there’s a resurgence in China and Asia.”

Ladies and gentlemen. I now pronounce: THE BOOM IS BACK.

The Real Bay Area is set to take off. OMG – could it be true? Home prices to return to its god given 15% year over year appreciation?

There’s definitely hope. Together we can make it happen.

Hey look! Facebook is breakeven. Next year? Another Google.

And you know what that means? A googol of millionaires bidding up houses all across the peninsula.

2010 is shaping up to be a truly awesome year!

Comments (18) -- Posted by: burbed @ 11:59 am