January 11, 2011

Most Expensive Sale 2010 – San Mateo County

On Sunday, we took a look at some expensive home sales that Zillow Blog selected for their pricing and our amusement.  Now we’ll look at the Real Bay Area high-priced sales that went through this past year that they couldn’t be bothered to profile, even though many of them could have qualified for the list based on sale price.

Do you expect to see price reductions similar to what the other homes went through?  Let’s find out!

145 Josselyn Ln, Woodside, CA 94062

Sold on 10/28/2010: $15,400,000

<img missing due to burbed’s terrible admin skills. working on restoring>BEDS: 5
BATHS: 6
SQ. FT.: 9,472
$/SQ. FT.: $1,626
LOT SIZE: 4 Acres
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Traditional
STORIES: 2
YEAR BUILT: 1906
COMMUNITY: Central Woodside
COUNTY: San Mateo
MLS#: 81035104
SOURCE: MLSListings
STATUS: Sold

ONE OF THE MOST SPECTACULAR ESTATES ON THE SF PENINSULA. A MASTERPIECE BY RENOWNED ARCHITECT, BERNARD MAYBECK, WHOSE MOST NOTABLE PROJECTS INCLUDE THE SAN FRANCISCO PALACE OF FINE ARTS. ITALIANESQUE VILLA ON OVER 4 ACRES. GRAND SCALE ROOMS & DESIRABLE FLOORPLAN, BASEMENT & WINE CELLAR. 2 BEDROOM GUEST HOUSE, 4 CAR GARAGE W/ MOTOR COURT, POOL & GARDENS. LOCATED MINUTES FROM THE VILLAGE OF WOODSIDE.

<img missing due to burbed’s terrible admin skills. working on restoring>Oooooh, I’m excited already.  This agent was selling a property that was going to net him a $450,000 commission, which is more than some houses in San Mateo county cost, and he couldn’t be bothered to turn off the CAPS LOCK key.  That’s either extreme confidence or extreme ineptitude.  Which do you think it is?

When the property description calls it a “possible horse property,” in a location known for drawing horse-lovers, I would lean toward the latter.  The place sits on four acres, so there should be enough room to keep a horse or two.

You know, if I were showing this place to clients, and I knew that some nominal percentage of people who want to live in Woodside would ask me if they could keep horses, and I knew that I could be making enough from this transaction to buy two houses in East Palo Alto outright, you bet your riding boots I’d have researched this beforehand.  I mean, what does it take?  Either, “Yes, you could put in a barn here, and here’s the closest set of trails,” or, “No, most of the property slopes 79% and I wouldn’t even recommend you put in a garden shed for fear of triggering a mudslide.”

Also whoever was selling this property didn’t want to deal with any arriviste social climbers.  All cash, no loans it says.  At least this one wasn’t sitting on the market too long.  Listed in June for $17,500,000 and sold by October at a 12% markdown.  Just 12%!  That’s better than nine out of the ten non-Bay Area properties.

We told you it was Special here.

Comments (30) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:15 am






January 10, 2011

Bad News! We Missed the Bottom!

guestbloggerToday’s post is from Burbed reader sonarrat.  Let’s give sonarrat a warm, Real Bay Area welcome.

I was just thinking about a classic Burbed listing – the San Jose cubicle house. Whatever happened to it?

Now…

480 S Capitol Ave, San Jose, CA 95127
$360,000

image

 

Beds: 3
Baths: 2
Sq. Ft.: 1,056
$/Sq. Ft.: $341
Lot Size: 5,400 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Style: Ranch, Traditional
Stories: 1
View: Mountains, Neighborhood
Year Built: 1951
Community: Alum Rock
County: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81016789
Source: MLSListings
Status: Sold

COMPLETELY REMODELED THROUGHOUT, GLEAMING HARDWOOD, DESIGNER TILE, NEW DUAL PANE, GOURMET KITCHEN, AMAZING BATHROOMS w/ CUSTOM VANITIES, ITALIAN TILE, TOP OF LINE FIXTURES, NEW 200 AMP PANEL & CUSTOM LIGHTING, ALL NEW COPPER PLUMBING, FRESH PAINT, SKYLIGHTS, PROFESSIONALLY LANDSCAPED w/ BEAUTIFUL ARBOR, LAWN & SHRUBS & MUCH MUCH MORE. SPACIOUS INLAW UNIT w/ SIDE ACCESS. DONT MISS THIS TURN KEY HOME

Then…

image

cap2.jpgUnfortunately, it looks like we’ve all missed the bottom already. Look at the sales history.

Sold for $628K at the peak, gutted and fitted with cubicles. Foreclosed 2007. Sold to an investor for $276K the next year.

Fixed up over the next five months, rented out for $2200 a month.

Then sold for $345K, then sold 4 months later for $369K.

11/07/2010  Sold *  $369,000  7.0%  $246  —

06/30/2010  Sold  $345,000  -3.9%  $230  Public Record    Flag transactionClose

04/07/2010  Listed for sale *  $359,000  16,218%  $239  Agent  

10/25/2008  Listing removed *  $2,200  –  $1  Postlets 

10/11/2008  Listed for sale *  $2,200  -99.2%  $1  Postlets  

05/29/2008  Sold  $276,000  -1.4%  $184  Public Record 

03/19/2008  Listed for sale *  $365,500  -20.5%  $243  Intero Commercial  

03/06/2008  Listing removed *  $459,900  –  $306  –  

09/18/2007  Listed for sale *  $459,900  -26.8%  $306  Agent  

06/19/2006  Sold  $628,000  28.2%  $418  Public Record 

So if you’re looking at houses in East San Jose – ship has sailed! Sorry!

Comments (18) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:01 am

January 9, 2011

We Wuz Robbed Again

Zillow Blog recently had a post covering “Some of 2010’s Top Real Estate Sales.”  Yet not one of them was in the Bay Area, let alone the Real Bay Area.  The ten featured home sales were mostly in Southern California, with one at Pebble Beach, one in Manhattan, and three in Florida.

Something has got to be wrong with those statistics.  The most expensive home in the article was a Bel Air beast, and another Bel Air battlement checked in at #5.  There were also two from Malibu, the aforementioned Pebble Beach, plus Santa Barbara.  Florida had disasters in Delray Beach, Naples, and Highland Beach.  (No wonder Florida real estate is hurting even more than California, at least we know how to spell del Rey over here.)

I was able to find several properties that sold in 2010 over $10 million in the Real Bay Area, and we’ll talk about those places another time.  Instead, there’s something more of interest about this Zillow piece:  How bad were the haircuts on each of these houses?  When the seller thought they could get $20 million, how much did they actually get?  Are we talking five percent?  Ten?  Fifteen?  Zillow didn’t feel this information was all that important, but we at Burbed know that watching the sellers chase the market down is the biggest part of the fun.

image

#1. Le Belvedere – Bel Air, CA

Original Price: $85 Million (February 2009)

Reduced Price: $72 Million (November 2009)

Sale Price: $50 Million (June 2010)

Haircut: -43%

This house leads to all kind of speculation since nobody is sure exactly who owns it.  It has since been sold to 2 limited liability corporations.  The 11 BR/14 BA 48,000 sf home (yes, 48,000 square feet) requires a staff of 15 and is on a 2.2 acre lot.  You can pick up this Bel Air listing for $53 million (9 BR/21 BA) if looking at this picture is making you think, “You know what?  I really want an insanely large and expensive home in Southern California.”

Redfin had this listing for a 7 BA/15 BA 35,000 sf house on 2+ acres, which Zillow says is the same one, but key details differ.  A 10/15 did sell for $18 million last January, but it was less than half the size of La Belvedere.

image

#2. Carbon Beach Gem – Malibu, CA

Original Price: $57 Million (March 2010)

Reduced Price: $47 Million (June 2010)

Sale Price: $36,969,000 (October 2010)

Haircut: -35%

This 8 BR/12 BA is 12,785 sf and has a mere 3/4 acre lot.  However, that lot includes 180 feet of Malibu beachfront.  Plenty of instant equity, this place has a Zestimate of $39,733,000!  While the first house write-up above freely speculated over who the owner is, not a peep as to who bought or sold a home on “Billionaire’s Beach,” where “you could run into celebrities such as Jennifer Aniston and David Geffen.” Or in this case, older ladies who go to lots of fundraisers.  Property Shark didn’t indicate who the new owner was.

image#3. Malibu Colony Beach House – Malibu, CA

Original Price: $23,950,000 (April 2010)

Sale Price: $21,475,000 (September 2010)

Haircut: -10.3%

Zillow points out that this house is only 5,000 sf, so we’re talking $4,295 a foot.  A half acre lot but only 60 feet of beachfront, and that’s 60 more feet than any house in Silicon Valley will have until the Pacific and the Bay rise a couple dozen feet.  The property has not one but two guest suites and a gym, separate from the main building.  Given that exterior has all the charm of a Santa Cruz 8-plex motel, that’s an improvement.  Plus, you might run into Tom Hanks, Bill Murray, and other celebrities even older than I am.

Property Shark doesn’t have the most recent sale record, but the seller lived in Tiburon.

image#4. Pebble Beach Jewel – Pebble Beach, CA

Original Price: $25 Million (March 2010)

Sale Price: $18.75 Million (May 2010)

Haircut: -25%

Almost twice as large as the last beach house, this 6 BR/4.5 bath on 1.3 acres has all the charm of a Presidential library, minus the historical documents or the gravitas.  Unlike Malibu Beach, here you have “Out one set of windows is the surf crashing along Pebble Beach’s craggy coast where harbor seals come to visit.”  Evidently out the back windows is some golf club or something.  Guess any celebrities worth running into would be out there clubbing the seals.

Seriously, does Zillow think nothing in the RBA has sold for more than $10 million last year?  Or just that they weren’t trying very hard?  I found this place in San Francisco that went for $15.5 million, and this one in Woodside.  Someday we’ll talk about those…

image#5. Bel Air Mediterranean – Bel Air, CA

Original Price: $24,500,000 (February 2009)

Reduced Price: $19,750,000 (July 2009), $18,950,000 (February 2010)

Sale Price: $16,250,000 (May 2010)

Haircut: -34%

Want it?  It’s for sale again, showing that flipping houses hasn’t gone out of style in some places.  Listed for $19.5M this October, only 5 months after it sold for $16.25M, the price was cut a whopping 3.8% to $18.75M a month later.  This is a 13,000 sf 7 BR/11 BA behemoth on 0.85 acre, plus the listing agent is married to a Real Housewife of Beverly Hills.  I swear I am not making this up.

Given that the listing doesn’t mention a speck of improvement that the new owner put in, anyone want to predict their exit price point?

Bonus feature: The property was foreclosed on during bubblicious 2004 for $700,000, before the current structure was put in.

image#6. Dramatic Delray – Delray Beach, FL

Original Price: $24,900,000 (July 2008)

Reduced Prices: $21,900,000 (November 2008), $18,950,000 (June 2009), $21,500,000 (July 2009), $18,950,000 (September 2009), $18,975,000 (February 2010)

Sale Price: $12,650,000 (April 2010)

Haircut: -49%

Nothing says dramatic real estate crash like Florida real estate, and here’s a spectacular example.  Best of all, it’s up for sale again at $19.5M with the exact same agent, showing some people are very slow learners.  At least they have over 14,500 sf of house to learn slowly in, with 6 bedrooms and a WTF 7.3 bathrooms on 2.13 acres.  Florida real estate is definitely different than anywhere in the US.  Where else would a 16 foot elevation be described as “commanding”?  Features 160 feet of “frontage” but onto what isn’t clear.  Perhaps the 16 foot towering precipice above the Atlantic.

image#7. Upper East Side – New York, NY

Original Price: $17,000,000 (September 2009)

Reduced Price: $15,900,000 (January 2010)

Sale Price: $13,150,000 (September 2010)

Haircut: -23%

Gordon Gekko might have said that “Greed is good,” but in New York City, stock market traders have another slogan about making money: “Bulls make money, bears make money, pigs get slaughtered.”  And this “grand 20-foot wide mansion” sold for $10.5M in March, 2008.  Yes, you too can pay eight digits for a five story house that literally has the breadth of a double garage, and it doesn’t even come with one!  Boasting 6 bedrooms, 6 baths, 8000 square feet and a lot size of (get ready) 2000 sf (0.05 acres), and around the corner from an actual Park Avenue address.

The current owner is now a floplord, looking for a tenant for 109 E 69th St.  The rent?  $48,000 a month.  Hope they don’t expect three months’ security up front.

In case you’re interested, that makes this property have a rent ratio of 22.8.  Typical rent ratio for Manhattan is well over 30, which suggests some pig is about to get slaughtered again.

image#8. Santa Barbara Villa – Santa Barbara, CA

Original Price: $19.5 million (August 2008)

Reduced Price: $16 million (March 2009)

Sale Price: $13 million (September 2010)

Haircut: -33%

Whew!  That was too long outside of California.  Between the old people of Florida and the New York cabbies who enjoy speeding up to love-tap pedestrians in crosswalks, that was a definite dollop of cognitive dissonance.  Face it, high prices should stay in California where they belong.  Why would anyone pay lots of money to live in a city where 16 inches of snow shuts the whole place down?

No doubt the Zillow blogger who put this piece together was so relieved to cover a California property that s/he neglected to notice the original (and much higher) list price for this house.  Maybe this one item was farmed out to Tech Gal, the Peninsula real estate agent notorious for her sales to listing price ratios based on reduced asking prices.

Speaking of the house… This 8592 sf home thinks of itself as a Tuscan villa, but it’s got a modern tax bill to greet you.  A 5 BR/6.5 BA main house plus a 1 BR/1 BA guest home on the 3.4 acre grounds guarantee you’ll keep a gardening staff busy all year.

image#9 Gulf Coast Grace – Naples, FL

Original Price: $16.5 million (May 2009)

Reduced Price: $15.9 million (July 2009)

Sale Price: $13 million (January 2010)

Haircut: -21%

This over 9000 sf house on Naples Bay is situated on 3/4 of an acre but is still in the sinkhole of Florida real estate.  Even Zillow looks at last year�
��s sales figure and comes up with a Zestimate of $11,013,000, suggesting that this palatial estate lost another 15% of its value merely by spending all of 2010 in Florida.  Once more, the Zillow blogger missed the original price, misunderestimating the amount a Florida property can plummet.

image#10. Living the High Life – Highland Beach, FL

Original Price: $18,900,000 (May 2009)

Reduced Price: $15,950,000 (July 2009)

Sale Price: $12,650,000 (January 2010)

Haircut: -33%

If a second marriage is the triumph of hope over experience, then buying a 12,000 sf house on 0.95 acres of Florida real estate for 67% of the original asking price is the knifecatcher’s exhilaration.  This brain-damaged fool has put the place back on the market for $14,950,000, just six months after taking delivery.  Given that Zillow has depreciated the previous property by 15%, I would calculate that this Adventure in Real Estate is going to lead to another 28% trip down Equity Burn Esplanade.

Comments (49) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:06 am

January 8, 2011

Massachusetts to Banks: Foreclose This!

After reading about the truly depressing tale of the Foreclosure Express Courtroom (the Rocket Docket) in Florida, here’s some good news provided you aren’t a bank or a bank shareholder.  Thanks to Burbed guest editor DreamT for passing this news item along.

Two Banks Lose in Foreclosure Cases

By ROBBIE WHELAN, ALAN ZIBEL and VICTORIA MCGRANE, The Wall Street Journal

housingThe highest court in Massachusetts ruled against Wells Fargo & Co. and U.S. Bancorp in two foreclosure cases that cast doubt over whether some home loans were properly handled when packaged into securitizations.

Justices in the state’s Supreme Judicial Court upheld a lower court’s decision to void foreclosure sales of two homes in Springfield, because owners of the loans couldn’t prove that the mortgages had been assigned to them. Both loans were assembled into mortgage-backed securities sold to investors.

Photo, above right: A Wells Fargo branch in San Francisco. Shares of the bank fell 2% on the ruling, and other banks saw share-price losses as well.  — Getty Images

Bank stocks fell on worries that Friday’s ruling could make it harder for financial firms to foreclose on mortgages that wound up in securities. The defeat also might provide ammunition to mortgage-bond investors who have accused and even sued servicers for what the investors claim is systematically shoddy loan documentation.

….

The Massachusetts case is a closely watched example of what some mortgage experts describe as “show-me-the-paper” cases over widely used procedures for transferring loans after they are made. Individual loans often are sold to an investor, with the new owner’s name left blank in loan documents to minimize paperwork hassles as the loan subsequently changes hands before being combined with other loans into mortgage-backed securities.

These cases only apply to Massachusetts, though.  Banks in California and nonrelevant parts of the country can continue to foreclose on homeowners without proving they actually own the mortgages in question.

Comments (17) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:12 am

January 7, 2011

Imagine

766 Thornton Ave, San Francisco, CA 94124
$359,500

Ahh, the Bayshore Boulevard. Its 76 gas station fills me with nostalgia. Gorgeous view on 101′s belly (and she’s a beauty, especially when she dances). The ultimate gas station before a convenient hop on Southern destinations. A neighborhood not afraid to shoot bullets THROUGH a gas station. Glorious times. I have to thank Sonarrat (who sent this over) because this property made me wish I was fifteen years younger.

Well, that was then, and the neighborhood surely has gentrified since.  Place has become huge. Lots of bathrooms. Lots of in-laws. Desirable owners.

But don’t just take my word for it!

I asked my 3-year old how best to describe the place for a highly-educated, very sophisticated audience.

He can work magic with scissors and glue, but still needs assistance with case, plurals and punctuation.

Here’s his take on it:

Huge Fixer upper with unwarranted price.  Wonderful property with “location potential”.
Very desirable owners: 2 upstairs, 1 downstairs. Use your imagination to see what you will be able to do (bedroom has a lot of bath)!
In-laws >> THIS << motivated!!!

Somehow he was not able to place in the word “reduction”. He probably did not want to offend RBA sensibilities.

Comments (23) -- Posted by: DreamT @ 5:02 am

January 6, 2011

a home, or at least an agent, that e.e. cummings would love

There’s a neighborhood in Palo Alto where all the streets are named after famous authors. But where would those authors want to live if they were teaching at Stanford?  Here’s a great house for a poet who likes to break conventions.

3858 Magnolia Dr, Palo Alto, CA 94306
$1,150,000

image

Beds: 3
Baths: 2
Sq. Ft.: 1,621
$/Sq. Ft.: $709
Lot Size: 7,500 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Style: Ranch
Stories: 1
View: Neighborhood
Year Built: 1952
Community: Barron Park
County: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81100414
Source: MLSListings
Status:Active
On Redfin: 1 day
New Listing (24 hours)

charming california ranch located in sought after barron park! huge 7,500 square foot parcel, three spacious bedrooms, including master suite w/ office or den area. two full bathrooms, spacious living/dining room, new comp roof, hardwood floors, fireplace in living room. with a little TLC this could be a great home!

imageTalk about a living in a pretty how town.  Too bad the agent had to ruin the literary fun by capitalizing TLC.  Instead, the features of the property should have been turned into blank verse.

patio cracked leafs oh my
step falls back oh no head hurts
smells like autumn wait that’s mold under my window

the paint fresh smooth dust falls covers my quilt with powdery fluff cough

imagei sit greet the new day the sink dripping dripping washer replacement need trip OSH again fourth trip this week

knees cannot fit grab the bar grab the bar

my bank calls me mortgage late again more fees fees fees

a little tlc i have none why this could be great home someone with more money than me maybe for

you know this piece is over over over when photos don’t intrigue just lead
to more bad prose

Comments (122) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:07 am

January 5, 2011

Can Be a Showcase Home Again!

Every house has a story.  Your job is to find out what went wrong with this one.

1580 Meadow Ln Mountain View, CA 94040
$1,495,000

image

Beds: 4
Baths: 3
Sq. Ft.: 2,531
$/Sq. Ft.: $591
Lot Size: 0.31 Acres
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Style: Ranch
Stories: 2
View: Green Belt
Year Built: 1954
Community: Miramonte
County: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81047957
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active
On Redfin: 96 days

almost 13,500 lot w/ HUGE backyard! ~2500 sf of opportunity! Needs TLC but can be a showcase home again! Prime location with Top Los Altos schools, walk to 3 neighborhood parks; coffee-groceries-banks-bagels all around the corner! Even close enough to Castro St shops/restaurants! Hardwood under the carpet, big family room, giant master suite upstairs, original master downstairs, southern exposure

Mountain View has plenty of homes built during the 1950s.  The nation was on a home-building kick, the Baby Boom was booming, VA loans made buying easy, and people wanted houses in the suburbs.

Today, this part of Mountain View sells for more than anyone buying those 50s tracts would have ever imagined: 100 times original sales prices.  But most of these homes are still very well-maintained.  What made this house lose its mojo, when it has coffee-groceries-banks-bagels all around the corner?

image

I don’t know and the listing isn’t telling me.  Maybe this can get you started:

Property Information

  • Earthquake Disclosure
  • Environmental Report
  • Geological/Flood Report
  • Pest Control Report
  • Preliminary Title Report
  • Property Inspection Report
  • Real Estate Transfer Disclosure Statement
  • Roof Report
  • CC&Rs
  • Home Warranty Split 50/50
  • Zoning: R1

It’s not enough that there’s hardwood under the carpet.  So, why don’t you make something up?  After all, doesn’t the idea of a fixer-upper for a million and a half deserve some kind of acclaim?  Better yet, buy it, fix it up right, and you, the home and the coffee-groceries-banks-bagels all around the corner can live happily ever after.

Especially the banks.

Comments (30) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 2:07 am

January 4, 2011

Many Possible Bussiness Possibilities

Yesterday’s house in Newark generated such excitement we’ll look at another fantastic property in South Alameda County.  Drive a little further to work and save, save, save!

3825 Washington, Fremont, CA 94538
$799,000

image

Beds: 4
Baths: 2
Sq. Ft.: 2,347
$/Sq. Ft.: $340
Lot Size: 10,560 Sq. Ft.
TYPE: Detached
STYLE: Cottage, Fixer/Handyman Special, Other
STORIES: 1
Year Built: 1890
Community: Irvington
County: Alameda
MLS#: 40493041
Source: EBRD
Status: Active
On Redfin: 78 days

Fixer built in the 1800 s 2 homes on one lot with a RARE Community Commercial Zoning. Units are sold AS-IS Lot faces Washington Blvd and back of lot on Main St. .Many possible bussiness possibilities or Residential Income. Do not enter property without Agent present. Zoned Multi-unit Res.

So much that is RARE about this offering!  Not one but two 120 year old properties in Irvington, with that RARE Community Commercial Zoning which is Zoned Multi-unit Res. That’s right, you can build an apartment complex and a shopping mall, both!  Think of the many possible bussiness possibilities there!  Just set up a 7-Eleven for your tenants’ late-night convenience and your round-the-clock profit!

image

But that’s not all that makes this place Special.  Look how sleek and streamlined this lot is compared to its dumpy plump neighbors.  And not every lot has a couple of scrapers on it older than your great-grandmother.  Think of all the Residential Income you will generate with these Units sold AS-IS.  Just be sure you do not enter property without Agent present.  No telling what could befall you if you did.  Maybe this is a bad neighborhood; somebody stole the For Sale sign from the agent’s photo.

Here’s what the Googlecam has on your new home!

image

Definitely an up and coming neighborhood to live in.  There’s your new place with all the palm trees!

image

So buy this RARE fixer build in the 1800 s! For this much commission, the Agent will stay at the property 24/7 after you move in.  Then you can always enter the property with Agent present.  Always.

Comments (9) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:02 am

January 3, 2011

A New House for the New Year

Just because the end of year sales are over doesn’t mean you can’t find a bargain in the housing market.  Here’s one all ready for you to celebrate moving in!  Thanks to Burbed reader SEA for finding this festive property.

37003 Arden St, Newark, CA 94560
$199,000

image

BEDS: 2
BATHS: 1
SQ. FT.: 816
$/SQ. FT.: $244
LOT SIZE: 5,000 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STORIES: 1
YEAR BUILT: 1922
COMMUNITY: Alameda County
COUNTY: Alameda
MLS#: 81042954
SOURCE: MLSListings
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 125 days

TLC Needed, but a good value.

Here’s what SEA had to say about the house:

If you really want some instant equity in that area, take a look at [this place].

Sold May 2006 for $581k.
Listed today for $199k.

That’s 2/3 off!

Of course all these homes at 50%+ off peak pricing, they cannot impact the RBA pricing. In fact, the ratio of RBA pricing to non-RBA BA pricing keeps going ever higher.

With all that positive cash flow from day one, it’s difficult for me to understand why these places are for sale, foreclosed.

And that’s not even considering all the income tax advantage that the landlord keeps. What person lets a cash cow go to foreclosure?

And let’s not even get started on the difference in cash flow if I were to buy this place today versus the landlord who owns another unit in the area purchased for ~$600k in 2006. I’m sure he’ll have no problem passing his extra expenses on to the tenant, or so the theory goes.

imageWe can talk cash cow if you want, but we’d be a lot further afield from Google if we did.  Supposedly the Price to Rent ratio in Fresno is (are you ready?)… 8.  So let’s stick with Newark for now, as it has more sushi shacks than silos.

Plus this house is ready to party down with your bad self.  So if you’re one of those people who need a big hank of the hair of the dog that bit you, head on over to the bank today. Tell them you heard it’s a short time to homeownership.

Comments (316) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:04 am

January 2, 2011

The Decline and Fall of the Real Estate Bubble Site

It’s 2011, and Burbed is still here.  Not every real estate site can say the same thing.

Simply checking the blogroll links at right shows that a number of bubblicious blogs have either shut down entirely or exist in suspended animation, with the most recent post made months or even years ago.

This article from the old bubble days links to us right at the head of the California blog section.  It’s a 2007 list of 750 real estate blogs from every state in the Union, from a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania property blog.  How many of these 750 are still updated regularly?  How many are shut down completely?

Say goodbye, or at least maybe later, to these California sites on the list:

  • Grow-a-Brain (Riverside), which called itself “The original real estate blog,” abandoned January, 2010.  Blogged every day for 7 years, now blogging about his new baby.
  • Making a Killing in Real Estate – Killed.
  • Riverside Realtor Blog – Abandoned December 2007.
  • Sunny Spot Realty – Moved to new site, but only the newest post is accessible.
  • Laguna Niguel Real Estate Blog – 404
  • The Real Estate Blog (Los Angeles) – Essentially abandoned in April, 2010
  • San Francisco Real Estate – Abandoned this year by February with last post in August.  They had an interesting piece in May on how Google affects SF rental stock.
  • Southern California Real Estate Blog – Changed name to Long Beach Real Estate Insights and slowly dying; 5 real estate-related posts between March and September.
  • Desert Homes Today – Deserted
  • Eco-Almanac for the Landed Poor (San Diego) – Better known as Professor Piggington’s this highly-respected bubble site is now only updated once every two weeks with links from Voices of San Diego.
  • Southern California Real Estate Bubble Crash – Moved and now only updated every few weeks.  The owner “Chuck Ponzi” explains it’s because he bought a house (yes, it was a foreclosure) plus arrival of third child.  He says they were renters for six years because he sold their house in 2004 for being “overvalued.”  This was a thoughtful site whose only weakness was failure to link to us.  I like this graphic.
  • SF Home Blog – Evicted
  • The Oakland Real Estate Blog – Probably arson, because nothing left standing
  • San Diego Real Estate Blog / Peter Toner – Appears to be more current than it is by clever decision to leave dates off home page.  Articles appear in bursts when new writer is brought in.  One post for December 2010.
  • LA Real Estate – Lots of green.  So green.  So very, very, very green.
  • Rey Estate – The King is Dead.
  • VF Consulting’s Real Estate Blog (Los Angeles) – Last post, August 2010.
  • In the Trenches (Kevin Boer) – Buried
  • Sacramento Land(ing) – Last real (rather than automatic) post was October 2009.
  • Square Feet Blog (Silicon Valley/Mercury News) – Last post October 27th, killed by SJ Mercury News rather than by blogger Sue McAllister. 
  • Cameron Novak’s Real Estate Blog (Corona) – Last entry, January 2010.  Another ironic final post.
  • Beach City Blog (Long Beach) – Last entry, March 2007.  Only 2 entries, wonder why it made the list in the first place.
  • Orange County Real Estate News (Daniel Realty) – Last entry May, 2010, last regular series of posts, July 2009. In yet another whistle in the dark, this realtard not only calls bottom a year and a half ago, but makes his eight-grade English teacher cry.
  • America’s Most Opinionated Mortgage Broker – Appears to have gotten into a more profitable business: selling Japanese women’s clothing
  • Sacramento Real Estate News – Now a RE/MAX site called come2sacramento.com.  News no longer welcome or wanted.
  • HomesMax Bay Area Real Estate (Alameda & Contra Costa) – Last entry, June 2007: Open House Bandits Captured.  Goes real well with this entry about home sellers who accused the blogger or his clients of stealing a watch from their house.
  • Condocontessa San Francisco Real Estate (South Beach SF) – Last entry, July 2008.  St. Paul, MN native reinvented herself as contessa of real estate while posting in bursts and then ignoring site for months at a time.
  • Burbank life, filmmaking, and real estate – Two out of three ain’t bad
  • El Dorado and Amador County Real Estate – Now called Placerville Real Estate, last entry, July 2008.  This agent kept a Sacramento real estate blog going, though.
  • Maury Properties – It’s kind of blank.
  • Berkeley Homes – Last entry, January 2010.  The blog is about Berkeley rather than real estate (despite being the creation of a couple of agents), and has a lot of broken image links.  Other links on the page will take you to their real estate content.  This is also the only real estate site I’ve ever seen with what appears to be, but isn’t, a David Lance Goines-designed logo.
  • Lending Clarity – Clearly taken over a week ago by someone who has nothing to do with California real estate.  Can anyone figure out what the new blog is about?  There are six articles on it: raw dog food, nandina plants, article submission and SEO, syncing files among several devices, HVAC valves and moving services in New Jersey.
  • OC Prudent Bear (Huntington Beach) – Last entry, November 2009.  Blogger bought a house in Huntington Beach in September, 2009, so that might have something to do with the
    death of this housing bear site.
  • Starboard TCN (Bay Area Commercial RE) – While there are current posts, site is updated are more by the month than the week.  Plenty of posts in 2005.
  • Your Real Estate Voice – has been gagged
  • Jackie’s SF Real Estate Blog – Last entry, October 2010.  In fact, this is the only entry.  Where did her blog go?  No sign of it, except this fawning puff piece from NAR about why you should be just like Jackie and create a real estate blog.  It seems, like our vanquished rival Luba,(and her abandoned blog that she shamelessly hustled attempting to win a Zillow award) Jackie has moved to Facebook.
  • Real Estate Blog for Palo Alto, Mountain View, California and Surrounding Communities – That’s a mouthful, and the latest post is from October.  The second latest is from May. This was no high-volume blog, where 6 posts a month was a record.
  • Relocation A to Z (Carlsbad) – Another Realtown blog (as the awkwardly named mouthful above is), with six posts this month and very few earlier this year.  The agent running it used to post almost daily back in the glory bubble days.  In April 2008, his personal bubble popped and updates went to weekly or less.
  • Rancho Santa Margarita Homes and Lifestyles – Last entry, December 2008.  Another agent who would post tremendous amounts and then not show up for months.
  • Remodeling Blog by Elegant Kitchen Cabinets (San Carlos) – Whoops, all the cabinets ripped out.  Nothing new since 2008, anyway.  Who would have predicted kitchen porn would suffer from a housing downturn?
  • PopCasa – Mi casa es no casa
  • LA Land – Defunct LA Times blog that now links to its business section (and not even the real estate page).

How many of the California blogs are still in business (updates at least once a week): 19.  Out of 63.

Among the still posting most days sites, don’t be in the least bit surprised that one is called The Mortgage Fraud Blog.  Also, I have to call out Sacramento Real Estate Voice for one of the most honest assessments of how 2010 went for anyone still in the real estate industry.

And of the 750 blogs in that list,I took a quick spot check by counting up six states (AL, CT, ID, KS, NV, WI).  How many of their blogs are still going?

  • Still publishing: 7, plus 2 that moved from originally listed sites
  • Dying on the IP with less than a new post a month: 7
  • Abandoned (last post more than a year ago, most untouched since ‘08): 13
  • Dead: 6
  • Private access only: 1

Actually you absolutely must check out this abandoned Las Vegas blog that I found in doing the spot-check.  The last entry is perfect.

In addition, here are a few more sites Burbed recommended that have departed us, alas:

  • Bubbletrack (San Diego County)
  • East Bay Housing Bubble
  • Housing Bubble Casualty
  • Jim Kunstler  — moved HERE (see below)
  • Patrick – still there, just a bad link (see below)
  • View From Silicon Valley – Sigh, this nicely done blog covering renting and buying woes just went pfft… The blogger used to comment here to mention new pieces were up, but never stuck around to chat.

Here’s a couple more sites I remember that have left us as well.

  • Central Coast Bubble
  • The Original LA Land

And some sites that stopped updating or tapering off, not already covered above (no links if already in the blogroll):

  • Another F@cked Borrower – Last entry, March 2009.  Straight-talk about how bad it was, written by a mortgage “insider”
  • Bakersfield Bubble – Blogger has enough in January 2009 and posted a May ‘09 local “expert” calling bottom
  • Bay Area Housing Bubble – Last entry, August 2010.  Written by Doug in Alamo, with almost all the latest posts obsessed with… gold.  The blog ran from January ‘06 until last year.
  • Bubble Markets Inventory Tracking – The San Diego bubble site that named names and hid from angry agents ended up going to invited guests only.  The only real estate site with an anti-SLAPP warning on the front page.  Alas, the last past was in October 2009.
  • examiner.com Real Estate San Francisco – Mr. Front Steps writes a blog, abandons it in July 2009
  • Home Girl – East Bay real estate – tapering off since blogger decided instead of writing about real estate she’d sell it.
  • Housing Panic – Attitudinal bubble site stopped updating in November, 2008, with an update 2 weeks ago that says, I kid you not, THE TIME TO BUY IS NOW.  Blogger went on to a new site, Soot and Ashes, only to abandon it in April, 2010.  Last few posts were getting pretty fried at Tea Party members.
  • Knifecatchers (Alameda) – A recent entry just 3 weeks ago, but posting is sporadic.  Definitely snarky, and they’re reading us.
  • Marin Real Estate Bubble – Last entry, December 2009. 
  • Marin POS Blog – Last entry, August 2009 but it was done by the end of 2006.  Now this was a snarky blog for the Land of Mellow, and I’m sorry the writer lost interest.  Yes, POS stands for exactly what you think it stands for.  This is the site that called an Eichler what it needs to be called: Ickler
  • Mr, Mortgage – ML Implode – Why you’re screwed.  Last post, January 2009.  Says he was moving the site.  He already had moved once, from here in 2008.  Mark Hanson seems to like moving his blog, as he posted here for a few months, and then here… abandoning that one too.  Maybe he just can’t get along with anybody.
  • Property Lines (SF) – Not updated much last 2 years. 
  • Rancid Truth – Orange County Real Estate Blog – Last entry, July 2010.  The title says it all: definitely a dollop of acid in those home descriptions.
  • Sacramento Landing – Mentioned above, it’s dying.
  • Santa Barbara Housing Bubble Blog – Last entry, June 2008.
  • San Mateo Home Sellers in Trouble – Specific breakdown of financial ruin on San Mateo county properties, with last update in September, 2009.  The blogger’s main site, The Baglady, still updates occasionally, but not much specific about real estate.
  • Silicon Valley Real Estate Blog – This is the site that won Zillow’s best real estate blog in San Jose.  Obviously they won it because our fans only nominated us for one region (yeah, we won too).  At least this site posts something once a month or so, unlike a certain agent in San Francisco.  What is it with the other entrants in this contest?  The San Jose runner up isn’t updating much either.
  • Sonoma Housing Bubble – Last entry, October 2008.  Noticing a pattern?

Let’s leave you with some good news.  Not only is Burbed still here, these sites are still here too, and if you haven’t given them a look, please wander on over.  Bonus: some of them aren’t in the blogroll yet!

These blogs are generalist real estate sites, follow a market outside the Real Bay Area or don’t follow places within commuting distance of it.  But that’s okay.  Reading them reminds us why It’s Special Here!

  • Bubble Info – Jim Klinge (Jim the Realtor) – North San Diego real estate.  Useful information without sugar-coating from an actual real estate agent.
  • Bubble Meter – National housing bubble blog.   Among other recent news items, price stagnation until 2014.  Oh boy!
  • Charles Hugh Smith – Of Two Minds – Economics and Markets affect YOU
  • Dr. Housing Bubble – Southern California implosion site, including recurring feature “Real Homes of Genius.”
  • Housing Bubble Blog – Nationwide – Everyone thinks its’ Special there.  Unfortunately most days are just comment collectors.  This site used to have bubble news from all over every day.  No easy archive links, either.
  • Housing Bubble Hall of Shame – Last entry was a month ago. Features homes with vanishing equity, strategic mortgage walkers, plus people with too much educational deb.  Not a blog you’d use the word “kind” to describe.  They link to us. ‘Nuff said.
  • Housing Doom – Still there, still sharing bad news.
  • Housing Kaboom – Inland Empire bubble site – Owner took a brief break but is hopefully back to keeping us updated.  High snark factor, little respect for real estate professionals.  What a shame.
  • Housing Opportunity Index from NAHB, new reports released when they want.
  • Irvine Housing Blog – Mouth gapes open in sheer amazement as borrower after borrower maxed out their home equity and property values dropped 40%.  If you only read one bubble site, read this one.
  • Jim Kunstler – This is the guy who called the whole housing crash.  Everyone at the time said he was nuts.
  • Long Beach Housing Blog – Real Estate in the LBC –  Snark meets rude in a Long Beach bubble site that never met an editor calling for a 500 word limit.  This site is one of the few real estate blogs funnier than Burbed.
  • Mortgage Lender Implode-O-Meter – Bad News Every Day!  Former home of Mr. Mortgage.
  • Portland Housing Blog – Oregon – In-depth coverage of Portland and national real estate trends.  A good place to get sense of how out-of-whack our prices and economy are with almost everywhere else on the planet.
  • Santa Monica Distress Monitor – The post-bubble site that says “This place is Special, don’t expect any bargains!”  Sound familiar?
  • Seattle Bubble – Includes monthly “Actual Listing Photos” feature sent in by readers.  At Burbed you only get to enjoy crappy real estate photography one house at a time!

And let’s finish up this post with the local sites still going into 2011!

  • Altos Research Blog – Analysis that only a graph geek could love, and so much of it!  A national site right in our back yard.
  • Cupertino Housing Blog – It hasn’t listed a house for sale since July, but it’s still being updated with various news clips related to housing, the economy, and the occasional Cupertino Schools piece.  Then again, it missed a huge CUSD item: Eisenhower and Stocklmeir elementary schools are now holding lotteries for admission… for the people who live in their attendance zones.  (And as to why I don’t list the blog who caught that item?  If they can’t be bothered to date their entries, that means they’re trying to hide how few they have.  11 for all of last year… color us not impressed.)
  • Flippers in Trouble – Sacramento – If you crave watching red ink spill, you’ll love this site. 
  • Healdsburg Housing Bubble (Sonoma County) – Looks like I’m late to the party.  This excellent site is winding down as of this week.  Blogger ran it for a year because he couldn’t stand all the misinformation put out by the real estate industry.  Clearly influenced by some of our favorite sites, and enough useful information that the major econ blogs linked to it.
  • On the BlockThe San Francisco Chronicle still has a real estate blog, unlike the Merc or the LA Times.
  • Patrick.netThe site for bubble news.  Unrelenting negativity will convince you now is the time to burn your house down for the insurance money and go live in a refrigerator box.  Or at least now is the time to sell.  Warning: owner is running a pledge drive.
  • Redfin SF – Bay Area Sweet Digs, this is Redfin’s local updates and stats, stats, stats!
  • San Francisco Real Estate Blog – Bill Quick’s take on the market.  Appropriately snarky yet informed.
  • SF Curbed – A little more on the gossip than the SF Real Estate Blog, nice pictures, plenty of useful info in the comments, too. 
  • SocketSite – The third of the trio of informative San Francisco blogs and probably the most informative.  Quite frankly one of these three should have won best real estate blog in SF and we should have gotten the nod for San Jose.
  • The Front Steps – Another SF site, and why no updates in three weeks? When you blog in your mom’s basement, you don’t get a whole month off!

And that site crowing over 750 real estate blogs?  Their last entry was Valentine’s Day, 2009, expressing relief that Pittsburgh wasn’t named one of Forbes’ Ten Most Miserable Cities.

Comments (85) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:16 am