Poor Mr. Zip. The United States Postal Service put him out to pasture in 1986, when they introduced the ZIP+4 postal codes. But he was a familiar sight in the 1960s, urging everyone to include the new ZIP (Zone Improvement Plan) postal codes when sending mail.
Mr. Zip might not be around to nag you on addressing envelopes, because he’s in retirement. Mr. Z writes to say he hopes this series will go on forever, because he can’t play Name That Code all the time.
Today we bring you yet another installment of all the Northern California cities on Forbes’ Most Expensive Zip Code list. It features data crunched by local favorite Altos Research (and mangled by Forbes; you’d think after I’ve linked to them four different times and noted in each article that their data has a systematic error in every single entry, maybe somebody there would fix it, but NOOOOOOOO). Anyway, here’s what you may have missed while writing code or hanging out on a sunny sidewalk waiting to collect a faceful of pepper spray.
Previous Entries in the Most Expensive Zip Code Series:
- Top 50 Most Expensive Zip Codes, RBA Edition
- Next 50 Most Expensive Zip Codes, Almost-RBA Edition
- Third Tier Realty: Zips 101-200 or I have a feeling we’re not in the RBA Anymore
- Fourth Tier Cul de Sac: Submillion in Suburbia
Let’s see which cities can still scrape together a property median wishing price just under $850K. Remember, we correct the mistakes as we find them, and we added the comparison to last year’s list. That’s the kind of original work you’ll only find done by obsessive-compulsive bloggers who think zip codes are fascinating. Well, Mr. Zip certainly agrees!
- Median Home Price: $849,292
- Median Price Change: NA
- Average Days On Market: 200 114
- Inventory: 114 81
- Rank in 2010: 236 (-68 spots ⇓)
- Most Expensive Home: $13 Million
Now I am beginning to think that the people at Forbes were just making stuff up for that “Most Expensive Home” field. $13 million. In San Mateo. The most expensive place I could find sold for $3.3 mil in June, including the gated entryway. It’s just like what you get in mid-level condoplexes, including calling itself an ESTATE (complete with the CAPITAL LETTERS).
Ah, but that living room does look spacious enough to hold a very small charity ball. More goodness from Mr. Zip after the break!
- Median Home Price: $832,000
- Median Price Change: -2.4% ⇓
- Average Days On Market: 200 165
- Inventory: 165 22
- Rank in 2010: 298 (-21 spots ⇓)
- Most Expensive Home: $1.65 Million
So far I am 0 for 2 on finding these purported expensive listings. There’s some land for $1.95 million in an adjoining zip code (Napa) but since it’s been sitting unclaimed for a couple of years I suspect that value isn’t quite in the land.
This place on Yountville Cross Road is the most expensive one I could find in the Yountville zip, and it can be yours for a princely $899K. The price would more than double if you put this house on the same size (1/3 acre) lot in the good zip in San Mateo.
Mr. Zip butts in to mention that the image on the left is the earliest version of him extant. Yes, he was originally brought in to promote the Big Evil Banks, not the Big Evil Post Office and their Communist Plot to make us number our cities. (No, I’m not joking about that. There really were people who thought postal codes were an attempt to destroy the American Way of Life. It took more than 12 years for zip code compliance to reach the 85% level.)
- Median Home Price: $799,000
- Median Price Change: -2.9% ⇓
- Average Days On Market: 200 104
- Inventory: 104 106
- Rank in 2010: 346 (-2 spots ⇓)
- Most Expensive Home: $3.9 Million (489 El Alamo)
Finally, an expensive home that wasn’t yanked off the market, leaving me scratching my head wondering if it ever existed! This 8 year old property’s been listed almost a year, plus it was on the market a year ago August as well, guaranteeing that whatever the market value ought to be, $3.9 million is definitely the wrong answer.
Not only that, I found an even more expensive property in the same zip for $4.998 million! Any guesses what either of these places will end up changing hands for?
We also have another tie for this rank, and it’s another showdown between the East Bay and the North Coast. Danville may be disqualified on a technicality for having three different non-consecutive zip codes in this series, though. I’m fairly sure that’s a violation of some Federation Directive.
#348 (tie): Bodega Bay 94923
- Median Home Price: $799,000
- Median Price Change: 5.5% ⇑
- Average Days On Market: 200 whoa, stopped clock right twice a day!
- Inventory: 200 33
- Rank in 2010: 360 (+12 spots ⇑)
- Most Expensive Home: $2.75 Million $2.5 Million (943 Seaeagle Loop)
With this “1st time on market stunning estate” waiting for that perfect buyer for more than 450 days, we were actually able to find it for you. And if this 8.5 acre spread is insufficiently impressive, how about this 750 acre parcel for $4.45 million?
Congratulations, Bodega Bay. You’re the very first place on this list to actually have a DOM of 200 when Forbes set every single place (yes, all 500) to that number. For that feat alone Burbed grants you victory over your Least Bay rival. Also Danville loses for never having had a Hitchcock movie set there.
#366: Millbrae 94030
- Median Home Price: $784,244
- Median Price Change: -9.5% ⇓
- Average Days On Market: 200 85
- Inventory: 85 76
- Rank in 2010: 291 (-75 spots ⇓)
- Most Expensive Home: $1.6 Million $1.38 Million (1270 Manzanita Drive)
When I imagine what a one and a half million dollar plus property ought to look like, a 2000 square foot house on an 8000 foot lot like this is exactly what I came up with. The listing information in NOTHING BUT CAPITAL LETTERS is just the icing on the cake that is Millbrae.
You may remember when one of our readers said it far better than I ever could. I hope Burbed reader Divasm has something special to add about this stunning example of seven digit ask for mid-six digit style.
#370: Sunnyvale 94087
- Median Home Price: $782,312
- Median Price Change: -3.7% ⇓
- Average Days On Market: 200 75
- Inventory: 75 93
- Rank in 2010: 331(-39 spots ⇓)
- Most Expensive Home: $1.8 Million
You would think if there were a house selling in my favorite zip code for $1.8 million that I would know about it. This is the best I could do, a $1.55 $1.45 million listing in the part with Cupertino schools. If you’re willing to go a little lower I found a Persian Palace in a really transitional neighborhood with Santa Clara schools and mawbul kawlums mammals! And for the same $1.45M as the one in the photo above, on the same street as the mawbul McMansion, there’s a house Burbed has already featured!
I haven’t even looked to see what’s in this price range in the Sunnyvale School District! That’s the great thing about this zip code: if your school district really ticks you off, you don’t have to move very far to get another one.
I am wondering if the $1.8 million mystery listing might be this house in Los Altos, which inexplicably showed up when I asked Redfin for the 94087 zip code. It once was listed for $1.8 million, but two reductions later it can be yours for just $1.68M.
Seriously, though, buying the most expensive house in Sunnyvale is like buying a Toyota Avalon with the luxury trim package. Why not look in Cupertino and buy the Lexus instead?
- Median Home Price: $780,027
- Median Price Change: -5.4% ⇓
- Average Days On Market: 200 116
- Inventory: 116 138
- Rank in 2010: 318 (-53 spots ⇓)
- Most Expensive Home: $6.8 Million SOLD for $5 Million (188 Minna Street #38E)
There are no houses for sale in this South of Market zip code, but you can find apartments for sale. This “Luxury, Condominium” at the St. Regis is 2750 square feet and has an incredible two bedrooms and two and a half baths. You know how the “value is in the land” for some properties? Well in this one, the value is in the view, because even a knockdown five million seems excessive for a 2/2.5. And wait until you see the fees! $225 a month for leasing two parking spaces and a whopping $2622.43 for HOA!
But on the bright side, you can get room service! Try that in Sunnyvale! Heck, try to find a restaurant open after 10 pm in Sunnyvale (9:30 Mon-Thurs).
If you really want to spend a fortune on room service without the costly hotel bills, this 23rd floor unit is available for only $3.95 million.
- Median Home Price: $759,000
- Median Price Change: NA
- Average Days On Market: 200 148
- Inventory: 148 29
- Rank in 2010: Not Ranked
- Most Expensive Home: $7 Million (5100 West Lake Boulevard)
This lakeside vacation zip is just south of Tahoe City, but as far as Redfin is concerned, nothing is for sale in Homewood. That’s very curious, because both Zillow and Trulia show property listings here. Maybe Larry Ellison bought the town out on Redfin.
Here is this house on Zillow, so you can enjoy the photos. It not only has a half acre of lakefront lot, it’s on State Highway 89! Oh, I almost forgot, it has a name, too: Villa Lago. (I think that’s Italian for Lake Estate. Original!) Plus it has exclusive rights to two (count ‘em, two!) buoys. It also has “semi-exclusive rights to a private, shared pier.” Private but you have to share it, for seven million dollars. Sign me up!
This “exquisite retreat” has been relisted for the third time since June 2010, with no price reductions. Purchased in 2007 for $7 million; the current owners have already cut the price to only $6,995,000. What do you want them to do, bleed out all their equity?
Moving On: No Longer in Fourth or Fifth Tier
That’s it above for the Fifth Tier of Bay Area and Beyond zip codes; there were surprisingly few. But here are a whole bunch from 2010’s results that are no longer on the 201-400 list. The number that have completely vanished altogether is astounding. Are we talking instant equity opportunities?
The bigger question: why has Northern California become so much less Special than it was last year?
#212: Burlingame 94010. Leapfrogged Cupertino to #144.
#220: San Francisco 94115. This is Pacific Heights! If Forbes says it dropped all the way to #476, then clearly the error is Forbes’.
#227: Larkspur 94939. Now #142.
#238: San Francisco 94118. Dropped all the way to #449. Seriously, Forbes, that’s just whack. Would you take out the danged condos already?
#255: Inverness 94937. Must have fallen into Tomales Bay, because it’s not on the list, either.
#263: San Francisco 94117. I see no ** 941117 ** here.
#265: Berkeley 94708. Must be Occupied by riff-raff now.
#267: San Anselmo 94960. 404. No, really! They’ve dropped to #404!
#278: San Francisco 94133. Left its heart. And its ranking.
#287: Jenner 95450. Keeping Up with the Kardashians cost its position on the list.
#295: San Francisco 94121. The cement condo overshoes pulled it down to #462 this year.
#297: Glen Ellen 95442. Advanced to #185.
#301: Montara 94037. Buried by Devil’s Slide.
#310: El Granada 94018. Took a grenade for Half Moon Bay.
#322: Granite Bay 95746. Swept away by avalanche.
#332: Berkeley 94707. Somebody have a word with Occupy Oakland.
#334: Kensington 94708. Sent back to Old Blighty with no return address.
#336: San Carlos 94070. What’s the 411? No, seriously! It’s #411!
#348: Greenbrae 94904. Guess somebody broke up with this –brae too.
#349: San Mateo 94404. See Foster City 94404, now appearing at #459!
#354: San Francisco 94109. The Western Addition has been subtracted.
#361: Penngrove 94951. Do you feel lucky? Because this town is now #443 on the list. You just missed a triple bullet!
#364: Salinas 93908. Can’t. Stop. Laughing.
#372: Pacific Grove 93950. Grover no show.
#377: Moraga 94556. Whoa. Remember what I said about Penngrove above? Meet #445.
#384: Hayward Hills 94542. You’re killing me!
#386: San Francisco 94111. Sorry, SF, if you ever want to be on this list again, please tear down all your multifamily homes.
#387: Mountain View 94040. Sunnyvale makes the list, but Mountain View doesn’t? What’s wrong with this picture, especially when this part of Mountain View has Los Altos schools?
#388: San Francisco 94122. You know how it goes.
#394: Aptos 95003. Since when do Aptos and Scotts Valley share a zip code? Because Forbes thinks Scotts Valley is 95003 and is ranked #479. I think they pulled something like this last year mixing up Pleasanton and Danville, but at least those two cities were next to the same freeway. Now we have a beach town confused with a mountain town. Woo-hoo Forbes!
#395: Castro Valley 94552. Right. Want to look at Moraga, above, and explain how this place ever made it on the list?
#400: El Grenada 94019. Shared with Half Moon Bay last year, El Grenada was disappeared along with so many other cities sharing postal codes without benefit of clergy.
I solemnly swear I have never played this game, or even seen it before.
Next time: Should we just run the entire Bottom 100, or should we break it up into four groups of 25? I know what Mr. Zip would suggest!