April 18, 2010

Keeping it Real – Real Bay Area that is!

Thanks to Burbed reader madhaus for this guest post!

burbed reader SEA listed a few uses of “real” recently: Real Bay Area, Real Houses, Real Resident, Real drop in price, Real Buyer, and Real Home.  Goes on to wonder if there is a “real seller”  and if so, what would that be?  And reader nomadic responded: “Real Sellers never drop their price.  They wait patiently for ‘just the right buyer.’  After all, it only takes one!”

There’s plenty of uses for “Real” in this Real Special place we live.  All those hillside homes, we can find out the lot square footage, but what’s the Real Square Footage — the land you can actually use instead of slide to the bottom of your property line?  And how does the word “Real” makes almost anything better?

Real (adj.): Smaller, more exclusive, superior.  Way more Special.

So, watch the RBA get more concentrated and more special as time marches on.  Here’s burbed’s original Real Bay Area map:
clip_image002
Good, but needs a bit more detail.  So I came up with this a couple of years ago:
clip_image004

Well, it’s time to update the map, boys and girls!  Let’s see how things are looking in April, 2010!
clip_image006

Looks like the RBA has traded down!  Former RBA could soon be part of the Corridor of Not Quite!  And “Real” continues to be defined as getting smaller but better all the time!

Comments (130) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:24 am

130 Responses to “Keeping it Real – Real Bay Area that is!”

  1. maryjane Says:

    Luckily I know someone who explained to me over 30 years ago exactly what the RBA was. She pointed out that the ‘Lower” negated the ‘Heights’ in Lower Pacific Heights and the importance the right side of the street can make. She would seriously agree with this map and, wouldn’t you know it, she’s smack in the middle of the RBA!

  2. SEA Says:

    Don’t forget about Real Skoolz.

    It makes me wonder how many have a Real High School Diploma. Does a Real High School Diploma come with Real Logic?

  3. waiting_for_the_fall Says:

    I live in pumpkinville. I guess that’s better than loserville or pwn3d.

  4. maryjane Says:

    My friend told me that schools just aren’t that important because if you live in the RBA you use private schools.

  5. SEA Says:

    I thought the entire RBA was Real Private? Thus public schools are Real Private Schools (RPS), excluding the few guests, transients, and renters, who are not Real Residents.

  6. maryjane Says:

    The RBA is real private. That’s why, if you have to worry about school districts, you’re not in it. QED

  7. anon Says:

    Your friend is right, maryjane. The real real bay aryans don’t use public schools.

  8. maryjane Says:

    OMG – as of this morning there are THREE properties for sale on my street. The RBA IS shrinking!

  9. anon Says:

    Whoah whoah, MJ. Don’t fret. Calm down.

    It’s not important that there are properties for sale. Property values change hands regularly in the RBA.

    As our greatest fool real estater points out, what matters is whether or not the listing price indicates a double every 10 years. Remember: that’s listing price – not sales price. As long as the owners of those 3 houses still think that their homes have doubled every 10 years, they have. If the homes don’t sell for the owner’s wishing price, the owners will just take the house off the market and wait until they can sell for a double every 10 years. You know they can afford to wait because its the RBA.

    This is the nature of the RBA. This is why home values in the RBA are guaranteed to double every 10 years. Smart people like real estater know this.

  10. maryjane Says:

    I suppose you’re right. Better the houses sit for a while. Whoever buys them will naturally want to renovate since that always adds value and the last thing I need is three construction projects going on at once.

  11. SEA Says:

    “Better the houses sit for a while.”

    If the right buyer doesn’t come soon enough, and we know that with a pool of at least 70,000 all will be quick to sell, the Real Sellers will naturally consider increasing the asking price. This will accomplish two things: 1. It will keep up with the rate of housing price appreciation, and 2. It will make the property even more desirable, so the future price increases will follow. Reducing prices is for Unreal Sellers–fakers.

    And best of all, if there are construction projects going on, then your home is worth more too. It doesn’t matter that the construction was kitty-corner. MEOW! Instant equity for all in the RBA.

    Please don’t try this in the regular BA. And, of course, don’t even think of trying this anywhere in the rest of the entire United States, as most areas are only worthy of a simple flyover.

  12. Petsmart groomer Says:

    > OMG – as of this morning there are THREE properties for sale on my street.

    This is hardly relevant. You have to look at the velocity of the buyable inventory in your street, and also compute its first and second derivatives, in order to get the Real™ pulse of the market.

  13. madhaus Says:

    I’d argue that I have Real Cupertino Skoolz, but then again, Sunnyvale is no longer in the RBA, so I guess I can’t.

    Seriously, on the topic of private schools, there’s not much to choose from in the South Bay. All the interesting (and by interesting I mean Incredibly Expensive) private schools are in the Palo Alto/Menlo Park area. All we have down here are a bunch of religious schools, which by definition are not Special Enough.

  14. maryjane Says:

    Tip for next house staging – leave private school uniform hanging in closet.

  15. Real Estater Says:

    If you live in the RBA, there’s no reason to go to private school. The self-selection is far more effective from real estate prices than from private school tuitions.

  16. madhaus Says:

    The beauty of private schools is that they aren’t forced to enroll the noveaux riches (v.s.) who, honestly, would be far more comfortable among their own social class. A superior private school recognizes the importance of keeping out NOKD.

  17. anon Says:

    This is true. It another way you can tell the pretenders from the real bay Aryans. If you can afford to live in an area whose schools have API scores above 900 and you still choose to send your kids to a private school, then you can say that you are not a “transient.”

    Becuase, after all, Stanford gives preference to people who went to private high schools.

  18. maryjane Says:

    Unless your public school has at least a few nobel laureates amongst the parents your only option is to go private – in the RBA. To do otherwise would be like parking a Jetta in your driveway and having everyone know it’s not the maid’s. Anon is right – to pay for the school district AND private school separates the men from the boys.

  19. DreamT Says:

    In MJ’s world, what matters isn’t merely how much you can earn but how fast you can spend it. Thriftiness equates small balls!

  20. maryjane Says:

    Precisely!

    And I WISH it were my world.

  21. nomadic Says:

    Damn, I wish I had Pralay’s mad skills. I was tellin’ you guys a few months ago that the “real” RBAer will live in the best school district and still send his kids to private school. 😉

  22. DreamT Says:

    A good way to find out where the RBA lies is by job title. If there are a bunch of C-level, artists, attorneys and other retired dentists, you most likely stepped on an RBA puddle.
    How to identify job title, you say? Simple: taste a sample using last election’s political contributions…
    Scroll from 101 towards 280 and beyond and admire the job title dance.

  23. anon Says:

    Well it looks like both maryjane and nomadic get it. Nomadic, if you said it a while back (and even if you say it now 🙂 ) you’re absolutely correct. This is how you tell the phonies and pretenders from the people who should be there.

    Real estater? Are you out there? This is a valuable lesson for you to learn.

  24. SEA Says:

    “I was tellin’ you guys a few months ago that the “real” RBAer will live in the best school district and still send his kids to private school.”

    If you are a Real RBAer, you cannot lose. If you are not a Real RBAer, you’re lucky to win.

  25. madhaus Says:

    Damn, I wish I had Pralay’s mad skills. I was tellin’ you guys a few months ago that the “real” RBAer will live in the best school district and still send his kids to private school. 😉

    You mean this comment, nomadic?

    Some of us have mad skills because they were named after us.

  26. madhaus Says:

    I found something today that made me think of ol’ what’s-his-name, Red Estapler. You know, something to go with a Sub-Zero fridge, a Bang-and-Olufson wireless phone, or a Porsche.

    The six-figure cell phone, the perfect accessory for the man who has nothing and will spend everything to keep that Real Secret.

    Some things are Real the way the Real Bay Area is Real Special.

    Other things claim to be Real, but not only can’t Keep it Real, they fall apart like a Porsche transmission.

    This has been a Real Public Service. Had this been a Real Emergency, you would have been told where to buy RBA property not on an earthquake fault.

  27. nomadic Says:

    Thanks madhaus, you’re a Real Help! I don’t know why I couldn’t find it. I searched pretentious, wannabe and truly pretentious and just couldn’t find a match. Clearly that comment was made before we added to our Real Vocabulary.

  28. Alex Says:

    The six-figure cell phone, the perfect accessory for the man who has nothing and will spend everything to keep that Real Secret.

    Does Tiger Woods have one of these Real Expensive cell phones to keep his Real Top Secrets of his Real Sordid affairs with Real Hoochies or just one of those cheap regular phones?

  29. madhaus Says:

    #27 Thanks madhaus, you’re a Real Help! I don’t know why I couldn’t find it. I searched pretentious, wannabe and truly pretentious and just couldn’t find a match. Clearly that comment was made before we added to our Real Vocabulary.

    Ah, that was your error, nomadic, you focused on the character flaws rather than the commodity. I simply searched for “nomadic private school.” Guess that means I have Real search terms!

    #28 Does Tiger Woods have one of these Real Expensive cell phones to keep his Real Top Secrets of his Real Sordid affairs with Real Hoochies or just one of those cheap regular phones?

    Alex, you also notice the wallpaper and miss the lot size. Your question should have read, “Does Tiger Woods have Real Sordid affairs with Real Redheads and Real Asians in a Real Sandwich?”

  30. A. Lewis Says:

    madhaus, great work.

    But I still want to plug for the tiny pockets of RBA over here in the East Bay.

    There are some very Real & Special neighborhoods over here where $800-$1000/sqft pricing can be found (if you know a good Realtor):

    North Berkeley Hills/Grizzly Peak/”Gourmet Ghetto”. Million dollar views, Chez Panisse, the equivalent of “Professorville”.

    Special parts of Oakland: Montclair/Upper Rockridge – private golf courses, the Claremont Club and Spa, Million dollar views, $10k-a-year/student PTA donations. And easy freeway access!

    Piedmont: Effectively private school mini-district, huge mansions, old money in evidence.

    Runners up (OK, probably only $600-800/sqft pricing, but they have held a lot of value, if you make sure your Realtor shows you the Real properties):

    Kensington (extends on the North Berkeley thing, has a 950 API elementary school, Million Dollar views).

    Albany (superwalkable, again super-mini self-funding public district that is very good K-12, but only a small population of 3+ BR Real homes – the prices are astounding on the 900 sqft, 2/1s, but they aren’t very pretty).

    The ‘Estates’ in El Cerrito along the Arlington out of Kensington up past the Mira Vista golf course (giant estates, with Tilden or Wildcat Canyon park as the backyard, million dollar views as the front yard).

    C’mon, the East Bay wants Real Love!

  31. A. Lewis Says:

    Just move your favorite Real Estate Listings website over to the East Bay, and search for $1M plus homes – we have some very impressive listings to criticize in the True Burbed Spirit ™.

  32. SEA Says:

    A. Lewis- It isn’t about the $1M listings, but rather the price doubling every 10 years. In the RBA prices double every 10 years.

  33. Sio2 Says:

    Madhaus, don’t forget Harker. $25k for K, $30k+ for high school. 280 and Saratoga Ave, (but not in Saratoga), sounds South Bay to me. And there’s a couple in Los Gatos but the names escape me.

  34. nomadic Says:

    we have some very impressive listings to criticize in the True Burbed Spirit ™.

    That would be Real Burbed Spirit, A.

  35. anon Says:

    A lewis, nobody wants to talk about the east bay. The real bay area is located in the silicon valley where techies, bubbleheads, and IPOs abound. The east bay, by comparison, may as well be a bunch of bumpkins living in trailers up in northern California.

  36. A. Lewis Says:

    #35 – ouch.

    #32 – we have that! we have that! I personally know of some homes that were $70k in 1977, $200k in 1987, and $800k in 2007. No problem! Their underwater owners claim ‘I don’t see much drop in the prices in MY neighborhood’. ‘The crash has affected us much here’. ‘You don’t see the foreclosures like in those other towns’. ‘There’s hardly any listings for this time of year’. ‘They’re not making any more land’.

  37. A. Lewis Says:

    Oops, should have been ‘the crash HASN’T affected us much here.’

    I wish you had a preview feature…

  38. madEstater Says:

    A Lewis: take a look at the RBA map. We’re talking Location Fail!

    SiO2, yes, I know about Harker, but come on, it’s off a freeway ramp! I know of Hillbrook in Los Gatos (K-8) but don’t know which other school you’re thinking of.

  39. nomadic Says:

    How about this school for the Socialist K-5 set? 😉
    http://www.mulberry.org/

  40. maryjane Says:

    I love the requirement that parents have to work at the school for a few hours each week. If you have a job you need to be at between the hours of 9 – 3 you have no business sniffing around schools in the RBA.

    Of course, if I had been given the chance to go there I’d be sitting on a pile of cash in my totally paid for house right now.

  41. nomadic Says:

    maryjane, venture capitalists set their own hours, as do trophy wives.

  42. DreamT Says:

    Aar. surely you must know the three reasons why the East Bay isn’t part of the RBA. Let me restate them:
    1. Real Estater does NOT live in the East Bay
    2. 880 is full of trucks, bobs and other third-world hominids
    3. Easy Bay (therefore you by association) is barely civilized

    Here’s the illustration of #3: Who watched what? Try “Obsessed” versus “Julie & Julia”.

  43. maryjane Says:

    Look you guys, you’re too distracting. Now you’ve got me googling private schools and I want to go to Castilleja! How can a public school (shudder) compare to that?

  44. anon Says:

    “Of course, if I had been given the chance to go there I’d be sitting on a pile of cash in my totally paid for house right now.”

    Yes you would Maryjane. You know the drill – if your parents could show the winning combination of uh.. what’s that? Oh yes: something something and something then, well, you’re set for life. If not… I suppose all one could do is try to make the best of a life as a lowly renter.

  45. maryjane Says:

    Tuition is only $32,365 and parent annual giving is 100%. Now that’s what we call an RBA school.

  46. anon Says:

    No doubt every child who attends such as school will do extraordinary things.

  47. madEstater Says:

    nomadic, would you believe there are public schools with those requirements as well?

    From the Washington Open (Santa Clara School District) handbook, page 35:

    1. Basic Participation Agreement
    Each family will work four hours per week in their child’s classroom. Each teacher will determine specific reporting times and workdays. Families with two or more children at our school may choose to alternate between their children’s classrooms from week to week. Class field trips may require additional time.

    Parents must attend evening class meetings as scheduled by their child’s teacher and any mandatory curriculum training or parent skills training. Each family must also sign up for at least one classroom or community job.

    When unable to attend on a scheduled workday, parents must find a substitute parent to cover their shift (see “Substitutes” in Section B below). Long term leaves for maternity, family illness/emergencies may be obtained by applying through your Classroom Board Representative to the Parent-Faculty Group.

    Cupertino Union School District has a program with similar requirements, with that Mulberry Socialist vibe. (Mulberry wasn’t in the RBA, until they moved to Los Gatos a few years ago. They used to be in Cambrian. Heh heh.)

    Palo Alto’s Ohlone School requires parents work on the school Farm, but this isn’t a weekly requirement.

    Sunnyvale School District is about to institute such a program for 2011-12, in the very neighborhood of today’s radioactive house (see the paranormal thread).

    Now this is RBA living! Not even being able to send your kid to a public school unless you can afford not to work!

  48. madEstater Says:

    Sigh, my last comment went to spam. Again. I had a few things to say about parent-participation schools. It’ll be back sometime.

    Castilleja is a girls’ school, therefore, think of it as a trophy wife factory.

  49. maryjane Says:

    It’s not only the child who wins. Of course the parents know all the old money but how else do you meet the new billionaires? It’s hard staying on top of that sort of thing in PA.

  50. SanMatean Says:

    Anon- agreed! Casti girls always used to do the most extraordinary things to get the boys’ attention! Parents beware- the all-female environment at this school encourages some aggressive behavior. High school boys: if you haven’t discovered Casti yet, prepare yourself for an exciting time!

  51. maryjane Says:

    Is it the all-female environment or does it have something to do with having more money than god and having hit the genetic lottery – dad was a financial genius and mom was the prom queen. That’s the sort of thing that makes you feel bullet proof.

  52. bob Says:

    I’d say Alameda is starting to get a hair of RBA-itus. It seems that since a lot of hip young couples ( in bay Area terms that means you’re 45 and now having your 1st child) from San Fran have ‘discovered’ Alameda and moving here in hordes as evidenced by the ever-escalating supply of baby strollers ( usually the 4WD trendy models too) parked on freshly acquired $600k homes.

    Ughh. Glad I’m out of here sooner than later. I despise gentrification and Alameda is now getting its fair share.

  53. anon Says:

    Awful bob, awful. Maybe you should move closer to your work so you can decrease your carbon footprint!

  54. nomadic Says:

    #42 from DreamT. Priceless!

  55. Alex Says:

    Alex, you also notice the wallpaper and miss the lot size. Your question should have read, “Does Tiger Woods have Real Sordid affairs with Real Redheads and Real Asians in a Real Sandwich?

    Madhouse, Tiger wouldn’t know how to appreciate Real Redheads and Real Asians. Have you seen the hoochies he’s banged? I think he only has a fetish for Real Hoochies.

  56. SanMatean Says:

    maryjane-

    It’s a combination of both, but the all-girls school environment on its own produces some exotic behavior. I remember the first time a friend of mine brought me to Castelleja (when I was in high-school), I felt like I was a porterhouse steak being carted through a Weight Watchers clinic. And these girls were hungry. I can’t help but compare them to cougars, ( I know, too age-loaded), but there was something disturbingly feline and predatory about the encounter. They literally circled us. There were a few girls who cut class to join the circle. I’m no Tyson Bedford, so this behavior surprised me. It was the tip of the iceberg.

    In retrospect, it was something to behold. The easy access to money and a general lack of parental supervision grease the wheels for one hell of a rollercoaster.

    WPriory, MA, and SacHeart, all suffer from the same cash-rich supervision-poor issues that are epidemic among the uber-preps (see Traffic for an extreme but entirely believable example), but the sexual one-upsmanship that I witnessed at Casti was unique to that venue. My experience is anecdotal (and old, *sigh*), but I have heard similar stories from younger vintages.

  57. maryjane Says:

    SanMataen –

    I guess knowing what you want and going after it is a highly prized trait in this crowd. Mom and Dad probably couldn’t be prouder.

  58. SanMatean Says:

    Too funny MJ! I hadn’t thought about the ambition aspect!

  59. anon Says:

    Baby cougers – ie. cubs.

  60. Petsmart groomer Says:

    > Here’s the illustration of #3: Who watched what? Try “Obsessed” versus “Julie & Julia”.

    94621 seems to be a sh*tty zip code. Neither Milk nor Slumdog Millionaire made it to the top 50 there (but Twilight, Obsessed, Transformers 2 and Mall Cop made it to the top 10).

  61. DreamT Says:

    I’m sure A. and bob loved Mall Cop. If they haven’t seen it, they should know that their neighbors strongly recommend it.

  62. steve Says:

    SanMatean in #56 may have the comment of the year.

  63. Real Estater Says:

    Anybody who’s still having downturn mentality toward Bay Area real estate needs to wake up and go see an open house. RBA is once again fully priced. Check some listings in Palo Alto, Los Altos, Mountain View, and Sunnyvale CUSD and you’ll find that prices are not far from the peak level, and buyers are out shopping. Silicon Valley home prices is poised for further gains. The two key drivers are:
    1. Silicon Valley companies are making tons of money
    2. Foreigners are buying RBA. As some of you are aware, there’s a real estate bubble in China. It’s like dot com all over again. A lot of people there made huge amount of money, and that money is making its way here. That’s right. They’re not going to move into fly-over land, nor would they send Snowflake to attend school with the amigos. There is only one place where that money can land — the real Bay Area.

  64. anon Says:

    Phew – our fool has returned. Don’t miss where I outed you as a pretender in the other thread, friend.

    http://www.burbed.com/2010/04/18/keeping-it-real-real-bay-area-that-is/#comment-58310

  65. anon Says:

    Not that you will respond, of course.

    But don’t worry: we all know you’re watching.

  66. Real Estater Says:

    anon,

    As I’ve already explained, private school is for people who cannot afford to live in a good school district. In a RBA school, your kid is in a class with those in the same neighborhood who live in million dollar homes. In a private school, your kid is with those who can afford a 10 grand tuition. It’s not the same crowd.

  67. anon Says:

    You still don’t get it? Well, I guess nobody can help you.

  68. anon Says:

    A little more on this topic. All one has to do to live in a good school district is buy a house – any house – and trade up a couple times. You have said this yourself. There is no skill involved. Because there is no skill required, there is no selection mechanism. You have made it very clear that all one must do is buy property and enjoy the appreciation.

    By the way, where did you say you spent your formative years? It sure is cute how you are impressed with the fact that your “kid is in a class with those in the same neighborhood who live in million dollar homes.” Million dollar homes are no big deal anymore and they certainly won’t affect the quality of your child’s education.

  69. maryjane Says:

    Real Estater –

    A Real Private School costs $30,000+ a year. You could probably go to St. Somebody for 10 but no one in a RPS would consider that ‘private’ and surely you wouldn’t argue that a million dollar house in the RBA is special unless you were pointing out how underpriced it was.

  70. SEA Says:

    “A Real Private School costs $30,000+ a year.”

    Oh, yes, who sends their children to a $10k a year school? The $30k+ is inexpensive compared to the $100k the home goes up in value every year. You know, you start with a $1.5M home today, and in 2020 it’s worth $3.0M. That’s $1.5M/30k = 50 years worth of Real Private Schooling–enough for all twelve primary years for four kids with a bit of pocket change left over for college.

    In the RBA, public skoolz are exclusive to transients, those who rent, or those who should be renting.

  71. SEA Says:

    Speaking at Stanford, Gates clearly does not know what’s in the best interest of children!

    “And finally on the subject of child rearing, he [Gates] was asked: How are your children influenced by your wealth?

    “By telling them they won’t receive the wealth,” he said, to laughter. “Even before I had kids, I believed in the idea that wealth should overwhelmingly go back to society.”

    He recommended exposing children, early on, to the developing world.

    “We have been to orphanages in South Africa. We’ve been to slums. They would not consider that highlight of a trip to Africa, but it had a huge impact of how they think about things.”

    “Charity is what you directly experience,” he said. “I’ve gotten into the wholesale mode. But this was the retail experience. It’s fascinating to look through their eyes and talk about problems.”

    http://www.mercurynews.com/bay-area-news/ci_14917940

  72. Sio2 Says:

    Don’t forget Challenger. For those who think that Cupertino schools are too low-key.

    There’s another one in Los Gatos, that is kind of like Mulberry. but I can’t remember what it’s called.

  73. Sio2 Says:

    I’m wrong about Los Gatos. I was thinking of Waldorf, but that’s in Los Altos. Far removed from South Bay. It’s even 650.

    There’s a Stratford in Los Gatos. But only $12k per year, is it Real Private School?

  74. nomadic Says:

    A Real Private School costs $30,000+ a year. You could probably go to St. Somebody for 10 but no one in a RPS would consider that ‘private’ and surely you wouldn’t argue that a million dollar house in the RBA is special unless you were pointing out how underpriced it was.

    Lovely smackdown by the newbie. 😛

  75. Real Estater Says:

    At 30 grand a year, that’s $5000/month if you have 2 kids. You might as well buy a RBA house.

  76. SanMatean Says:

    5K per month is chump change for real RBAreans.

  77. maryjane Says:

    Thanks Nomadic-

    Real Estater seems to be having trouble with the concept of REAL Bay Area. There’s nothing wrong with being a striver but don’t think that just because you bought the estate’s garage and turned it into a lovely 3 bedroom/2 bath that you’re part of the RBA. No one is going to be fooled into thinking you have a mansion.

  78. nomadic Says:

    Look out, earthquake heading for Castelleja:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8631775.stm

  79. Alex Says:

    5K per month is chump change for real RBAreans.

    Especially when 500K is not considered big money in the Bay Area.

  80. A. Lewis Says:

    SEA, I just wanted to thank you for your contributions to the blog. Kick ass.

    RBA home prices are poised to drop!

  81. madEstater Says:

    A, (I can still call you A, right A?)

    RBA home prices are not poised to drop. They are clear for take-off! Since they have already dropped in 90% of the former RBA, the remaining RBA homes that are not near power lines, train tracks, airports, busy streets, bowling alleys or steakhouses have been found ready, willing, and able to meet the RBA challenge. They held their value (because if they didn’t, we kicked them out), they kept doubling in value every ten years (because if they didn’t we kicked them out), they made their owners enough pocket change to pay for a Real Private School for each of their four trophy children (because if they didn’t we kicked…) you get the idea, don’t you A?

    Oh man, don’t get me started on WALDORF. The stories I could tell you… Waldorf is Socialist Parent Volunteer Huggy Lovey Happy Kum-Ba-Yah meets Crystal Therapy by way of Geocentrism. One kid playing video games at home spoils the entire CLASS if not the whole SCHOOL.

    Don’t know if you saw (or cared) about my comments (#47) yesterday on parent participation schools, since they were directed straight to the sp4m filter. There was a lively discussion going on at the time about the danger of Casti girls, so by the time it was revived, well, nobody cared (sniff, sniff). But I would like to hear your opinions on which is more Real:

    – buying the best school district and sending your kids to a Real Private School
    – sending your kids to a public school with such strict volunteer requirements you can’t hold down a full-time job

    That is, do you have to have a trophy spouse in order to live in an RBA house?

  82. Alex Says:

    SEA and Pralay are one and the same? No?

    Haven’t seen Pralay in a while.

  83. madhaus Says:

    Re: 1502 Kennewick

    This house is not in the RBA, for the following reasons.

    1. Check the map above. Sunnyvale has been removed entirely from the RBA.

    2. House is on corner of 2 busy streets. Kennewick gets lots of Homestead traffic and is an arterial into that part of the neighborhood, while The Dalles is a secondary arterial in its own right.

    3. Per home’s Movoto listing, high school under 900 API. And everyone knows Homestead isn’t a Real Cupertino School, since it doesn’t have a Majority Asian Population!

    4. Construction quality only 8 out of 10 per Property Shark. Real Bay Area homes have Real Good Construction.

    5. Interior mostly fresh paint — RBA homes have fresh paint throughout.

    6. Roof approximately 11 years — RBA homes cannot have approximate aged roofs unless they are over 80 years old and made of slate or copper.

    7. Hardwood floors resemble bowling alley, and the kitchen is shaped like one. RBA residents do not go bowling. They play polo.

    8. Listing price has no 8s and neither does address.

    9. Amazingly, every single comparable property on Movato is on even busier streets than this one! RBA homes are not on busy streets and neither are their comps.

    10. If you can find it online, it isn’t in the RBA.

  84. maryjane Says:

    madEstater-

    It is better to buy into the best school district and send your children to a Real Private School. Don’t be fooled into thinking that the RPS doesn’t expect the parents to be active. Every month there will be a fundraiser of some sort to ‘plug the gap’ between the $30,000 tuition and the ‘real’ cost of educating the child. You start with the Annual Fund where you will need to be in one of the 5 figure giving groups. True, that only takes a few minutes to write the check but it’s only the absolute minimum. Next will be the Gala where you will be expected to donate something of value – perhaps a few weeks at your house in Provance and to get into a bidding war with someone over the chance to have an intimate dinner with the Headmaster. Often when the bidding gets absolutely ridiculous they’ll take the top two bids and have two dinners. There’s usually some ‘winter solstice’ type of celebration where everyone is expected to do something, either by actually working the event or by snagging some huge donation. If you own a winery it’s relatively easy to just provide the beverages but those on scholarship (and we all know who they are) will have to man booths and such. Expect to have to call your friends to drum up pledges to the capital campaign (new math and science building) and, if you’re a proven fundraiser, of course you’ll be asked to serve on the board. Volunteers need to be coordinated, invitations will be addressed by hand and planning meetings attended. Don’t think you can shirk your share of the duties. If you’re not there you’ll be what we talk about so clear your schedule, put on that St. John suit and get busy!

  85. Insecure Techie Says:

    As I’ve already explained, private school is for people who cannot afford to live in a good school district.
    —–

    And public school is for the people who cannot spell correctly.

  86. Insecure Techie Says:

    All one has to do to live in a good school district is buy a house – any house – and trade up a couple times. You have said this yourself. There is no skill involved.
    ——

    That’s right. According to his “Move up strategy”, Palo Alto is full of East Bay people.

  87. anon Says:

    Yep. No skill, no money, nothing. Anyone can do it. So, what again is the selection process?

  88. anon Says:

    I suppose I can answer my own question. In the past couple of years (5-10) the selection criteria has been those stupid enough to borrow their way in. Those who could actually afford it and were smart recognized this.

    Put another way: Why would I bring a half mil or more to the table only to be outbid by a migrant worker willing to borrow 750k? I wouldn’t. That would be stupid. Stupid like our favorite pretender.

  89. SEA Says:

    “So, what again is the selection process?”

    Proper identification of the RBA and knowing its pulse.

  90. SEA Says:

    anon- “In the past couple of years (5-10) the selection criteria has been those stupid enough to borrow their way in.”

    No! No! That’s not right at all. You have to remember that Real Estate is a long-term investment. It’s all about selecting the correct RBA property, and that takes mad skillz.

  91. anon Says:

    I understand. Skills like the ability to breath (most likely through the mouth) and sign your name and then “enjoy appreciation.” All highly desirable skills in today’s competitive job market.

  92. A. Lewis Says:

    madEstater (I can call you mad, right?)

    It’s more real to buy in the best district and send to RPS. This helps keep prices EVEN HIGHER in RBA neighborhoods with good schools. Whether you use the schools or not, you want to keep those prices as high as possible, right? I mean there is NOTHING that higher prices can’t solve, right? No one ever, in the whole world, loses if we can just keep the prices higher.

    I read and enjoyed your parent participation comments in the other thread. Great stuff.

    I know I’m not in the RBA, b/c at our schoool, not only is parent participation not strictly required (our family only does about 3 hours a week, and some weeks we just don’t!, and I’m merely Treasurer on our PTA, not even a hard job like fundraising VP #3), but the highest priced items at our auction last week were:

    #1 the big 10 person dinner catered by a world-class chef at your home only went for $1650 this year ($1800 last year)

    #2 Kindergarten classroom 2 made an artistic, kid-autographed serving plate, very cute, that was bid on heavily up to $800. $800 plates! Very RBA!

    But those were the highlights…we’re so far behind. It’s hard to believe our children will survive in the world with this pitiful level of support. They certainly won’t have what it takes to break out of this $500/sqft HELLHOLE and live in the RBA one day.

    Well, maybe some of them are attractive enough to marry into an RBA family…

  93. DreamT Says:

    “Well, maybe some of them are attractive enough to marry into an RBA family…”

    Why, you have a local Castilleja? If not, do you realize what they’re up against?…

  94. nomadic Says:

    If no Castelleja, there’s always plastic surgery to improve their odds.

  95. anon Says:

    Alright, well enough distractions. Let’s recap.

    I think we can all agree that there are no properties that reliably double every 10 years. There are (and always will be) properties which have anomalous behavior but, in the long run. Property values roughly track inflation. No matter where they are.

    Now, with respect to forward looking statements, we can say with reasonable certainty that higher end property will continue to decline because of the lack of move-up buyers who have equity.

  96. nomadic Says:

    Except my house. It’s special.

  97. DreamT Says:

    yeah, my house is special too. How about your house, anon, is it special?

  98. Petsmart groomer Says:

    I’m sure anon’s house is specialer.

  99. anon Says:

    Of course its special. Unique – like a snowflake. Perhaps even the most specialist.

    How do I know its special? Simple: I live here. Why do I live here? Well, obviously because I wanted to. Since I wanted to live here, that means everyone else must want to live here too. Well, that’s too bad because they can’t live here. I do.

    So let’s recap: It’s special because I wanted to live here and I wanted to live here because its special. Using this logic makes me special.

  100. DreamT Says:

    But anon, did you have to mutilate, eviscerate, decapitate fellow bidders to make the house yours? The rivers of blood is what makes it special.

  101. SEA Says:

    anon- “…but, in the long run.”

    There is a famous guy who said something about the long run:

    “In the long run we are all dead.”-Keynes

    I guess I’d rather know a bit more information about the the time before the long run, but that’s just me.

  102. SEA Says:

    “Except my house. It’s special.”

    Very special just like every other.

  103. nomadic Says:

    Unless it’s near railroad tracks or moves to a busy street.

  104. anon Says:

    Come on now – be serious. How many houses are near highways or railroad tracks? I would venture to say such houses are the minority. Minority means its exclusive. Being that that is the case, the special houses are, in fact, the ones near highways and railroad tracks. Railroads are a special part of American history. Wouldn’t you want to be near these historical constructions? Of course you do. If you don’t, then you obviously hate America.

  105. nomadic Says:

    Why is it the proper response seems to be “you betcha” and a wink?

    lol

  106. SEA Says:

    This is serious business!

  107. SEA Says:

    Correction:

    This is REAL serious business!

  108. anon Says:

    I can tell you understand value when you see it and do not hate America, nomadic. I have an investment property in the ghetto near the highway over in the east bay. Would you like to buy it for around 1.5 mil? You can rent it out. The current tenants are on section 8 and pay about $400 a month. It has serious deferred maintenance issues, but imagine the pride of ownership you could derive from this situation. Oh, and by the way, just to – you know – grease the wheels, this baby is speciousal.

  109. Real Estater Says:

    >>I think we can all agree that there are no properties that reliably double every 10 years. There are (and always will be) properties which have anomalous behavior but, in the long run. Property values roughly track inflation. No matter where they are.

    Generic, dummy statement of the night. Home prices go nowhere; obviously, that’s the reason we have this site, and that’s why you can only afford to rent in the east bay.

  110. Real Estater Says:

    >>Yep. No skill, no money, nothing. Anyone can do it. So, what again is the selection process?

    Well, it does require some basic judgement and willingness to outgrow boyhood by taking on certain responsibility. That apparently, is a major barrier to the anons of this world.

  111. SEA Says:

    anon- $400 a month? All those dumb section 8 renters are just tossing money to the landlord, who laps up the $400 per month. It’s a funny thing, so many of these renters think paying $400 each month is too much money, even if the purchase price is $1.5M. Think of all the lost opportunity. If you’re really lucky skillful and purchase a home in the RBA, does it really matter how much it cost?

    Yes, of course! The higher the purchase price, the more money the owner will make. Why buy a $1.5M place, when you can have the same place for $2.0M? I mean who wants to double $1.5M when you can double $2.0M? And remember that $500k is not considered big money.

    Getting back to that $4,800 per year in rent, why would anyone want to just toss money away like that? No doubt buying at $1.5M is a better deal, even in East Bay. But in the RBA, renting for $4,800 per year is like tossing out $100,000 the first year!

    Computation:

    $108k Appreciation on $1.5M
    $5k Less: Rent
    =====
    $103k lost opportunity

    And it’s a little worse the second year!

    Let’s be honest, who can afford to rent?

  112. anon Says:

    “Well, it does require some basic judgement and willingness to outgrow boyhood by taking on certain responsibility. That apparently, is a major barrier to the anons of this world.”

    Oh, absolutely! Home owners sure a responsible bunch. Please see all the foreclosures when the majority of them found out that “owning” was no longer free money.

    Moreover, how do you like your job? Do you find commuting enjoyable just to be a wannabe? That’s the bill of good you’ve been sold…

  113. Real Estater Says:

    >>Please see all the foreclosures when the majority of them found out that “owning” was no longer free money.

    The foreclosure crisis is essentially a one time event, and even for this event only a small percentage of homeowners are affected. It’s a pretty lame excuse for renting.

  114. A. Lewis Says:

    ALERT:

    #113: Predicts that there will never be another foreclosure crisis! You can safely bet your money on that.

    “…only a small percentage of homeowners are affected.”

    ROFLMAO.

  115. SEA Says:

    A. Lewis- When you say, “another foreclosure crisis,” it’s almost like you imply there was, or is, a foreclosure crisis. Certainly Real Estater is only referring to homes in the RBA, which always double in value. There’s nothing to worry about there, as the retail value will always be above the principal value of the mortgage. Negative Amortization? Does not matter, as the home is going up in value faster than the mortgage! What were you thinking? There never was, is, or will be a foreclosure crisis in the RBA. NEVER. Can not happen. Not possible.

    In third-world nation areas, like Vegas, Loserville, Detroit, and Location Fail, where more of the loans are underwater, I guess it’s still alright, since some of these “owners” are still making the payments. You know, it’s not really a loss until you quit making payments, right? And besides, who cares about Vegas, East Bay, Detroit and other Soweto-like communities.

    And, if I remember right, it takes over 50% to not be considered “a small percentage.” A small number like 10% is still very small, like the unemployment number, right?

    You just don’t understand all the joys of ownership.

  116. madhaus Says:

    Oh dear, why have you all forgotten that my house is far more special than any of yours? Do any of you have any idea what you’re missing by living in your homes instead of mine? Of course not! You continue with your uninformed little lives never having experienced the sheer specialositiness of my house. Not that I would dream of ever giving any of you the opportunity to visit this place, let alone buy it. Oh no. I am not only going to die in this house, I am going to take the whole neighborhood out with me to ensure it stays special forever.

  117. SEA Says:

    Price Change Gradients

    It’s is well-known that prices in the RBA double every 10 years. It is also well-known that prices in the non-RBA, including East Bay area, have gone down. Thus we have increasing prices in the RBA with decreasing prices in the non-RBA. We also know that the RBA has a very distinct boundary, even if the total RBA area keeps shrinking.

    Today’s question: What do the price gradients look like between the increasing RBA and decreasing “Triangle of Lost Equity?” Is there any point were prices might not be going up or down? Or, is one home doubling in value every 10 years, while the one across the street is going down in value?

    While I am at it, I have noticed that about four years ago the asking price on the 25th percentile home was over $500k in San Francisco.

    May 2006
    25th Percentile: $510,989
    Median: $668,570
    75th Percentile: $896,800

    Today these numbers are much lower:

    April 2010
    25th Percentile: $288,000
    Median: $495,000
    75th Percentile: $797,667

    Remember those Deltas that Real Estater was talking about?

    Deltas…

    25th Percentile Delta: negative $223k (down 44%)
    Median Delta: negative $173.5k (down 26%)
    75th Percentile Delta: negative $99k (down 11%)

    Source:
    http://www.housingtracker.net/asking-prices/san-francisco-california/

    Notice that the 25th percentile homes are down the most. I am sure the homes in the San Francisco part of the RBA are still increasing in value. Thus we have some homes increasing in value, while others are down 44%.

    I am sure the RBA would stick out nicely on a price change gradient map.

  118. nomadic Says:

    SEA, check out the Prestige Index:
    http://www.firstrepublic.com/lend/residential/prestigeindex/sanfrancisco.html

    We’ve discussed it on here occasionally and wondered how it would look if we could narrow it down to certain RBA zip codes, which of course would still have some undesirable non-RBA homes included.

  119. SEA Says:

    nomadic- That’s for million dollar plus homes in 8 counties (why not all 9?).

    I’m looking for something more like the SST anomaly. It shows how much above or below expectations the SST for a given area.

    Here is one example:
    http://www.osdpd.noaa.gov/data/sst/anomaly/anomwnc.gif

    We could have red areas for those that have gone up and blue areas for those that have gone down.

    The RBA will be the reddest of them all!

  120. SEA Says:

    nomadic- That’s for million dollar plus homes in 8 counties (why not all 9?).

    I’m looking for something more like the SST anomaly. It shows how much above or below expectations the SST for a given area.

    Here is one example:
    http://www.osdpd.noaa.gov/data/sst/anomaly/anomwnc.gif

    More about SST here:
    http://www.osdpd.noaa.gov/ml/ocean/sst/anomaly.html

    We could have red areas for those that have gone up and blue areas for those that have gone down.

    The RBA will be the reddest of them all!

  121. Petsmart groomer Says:

    nomadic- That’s for million dollar plus homes in 8 counties (why not all 9?).

    I’m looking for something more like the SST anomaly. It shows how much above or below expectations the SST for a given area.

    Here is one example:
    http://www.osdpd.noaa.gov/data/sst/anomaly/anomwnc.gif

    More about SST here:
    http://www.osdpd.noaa.gov/ml/ocean/sst/anomaly.html

    A cauliflower recipe:
    http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/roasted_cauliflower

    We could have red areas for those that have gone up and blue areas for those that have gone down.

    The RBA will be the reddest of them all!

  122. DreamT Says:

    I’d rather go with salsifi with gigot d’agneau or with blanquette de veau.

  123. nomadic Says:

    Is the price change gradient creating an echo in here?

  124. madhaus Says:

    HousingTracker is an attempt to gain a real-time understanding of regional housing markets by tracking aggregate asking price and inventory. The site is updated weekly on Monday evening.

    So, SEA, you DARE to come here and post useless aggregate data?

    We could have red areas for those that have gone up and blue areas for those that have gone down.

    Excuse me! Homes that go down in price are not in the RBA, and must be red. Can’t you read the map?

  125. madhaus Says:

    Nah, that’s just a SEA change.

  126. Petsmart groomer Says:

    > I’d rather go with salsifi with gigot d’agneau or with blanquette de veau.

    What wine would you recommend with that?

  127. SEA Says:

    madhaus- Yes, Yes, RBA homes would naturally be in BLUE!

  128. DreamT Says:

    why – a 14.5° California Zinfandel of course! That way, if the food isn’t cooked enough, the wine will finish the job. And Sauvignon Blanc is so passé – unless it says Marlborough on the label.

  129. Real Estater Says:

    Just submitted my YES vote on Measure A. Doing my part to keep Real Bay Area real.

  130. School Score Map Confirms RBA Boundaries [Burbed.com] Says:

    […] Whoa, check out that swath that runs northwest through southeast alongside I-280.  Does that area look familiar?  It should. […]


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.)