September 14, 2013

Smug techies commission uber-pimped pads

Want to read another self-congratulatory article about how much money everyone is spending in Silicon Valley? You didn’t? See you tomorrow, then!  Thanks very much to Burbed reader PK for alerting us to this important development that nobody at all saw coming.

Silicon Valley techies spur home building and remodeling boom

130913-svbuilding-lahBy Pete Carey, San Jose Mercury News
POSTED:   09/10/2013 07:04:31 PM PDT | UPDATED:   3 DAYS AGO

Taking advantage of Silicon Valley’s robust economy, affluent techies are building or remodeling homes, transforming parts of the area’s older housing stock and fueling a boom for Bay Area architects and interior designers.

"The problem is finding time to sleep," said architect Roger Kohler, of Palo Alto, whose firm has more than 20 projects in construction or just completed in Los Altos, Palo Alto, Menlo Park and Atherton.

The tech workers range from midlevel engineers at startups or at tech giants like Apple (AAPL),Facebook and Google (GOOG) to older CEOs or founders selling their companies. Some are doing relatively straightforward, if pricey, remodels, while others are leveling old homes and building new ones with basement game rooms, large garages and the latest in high-tech features.

Catherine Jhung, a vice president at Cleantech.com, and her husband, Brian Buchholz, who works at Google, are including "a lot of the new technologies for green building" in the San Carlos Craftsman-style home they will soon break ground on. The existing home — which they bought seven years ago — was torn down. Construction bids are coming in at $270 to $285 a square foot, or about $900,000.

130913-svbuilding-steampunkThere really isn’t much to say about the article itself, although do check out the photo in the extended gallery of the steampunk bathroom pipes. No, once more the fun is in the comments.  Here are some we really enjoyed.

Oops here comes the haters. Techies forget they live in the bubble. Outside of the bubble, is the long lines of haters.

Wait, we live in a bubble?

This is the kind of Silicon Valley self-congratulatory stuff that is typical of the Mercury News. I can hardly believe that anybody smart enough to make that much money would be dumb and vulgar enough to flaunt it in print like this.

Yeah! Go hide your money in a Swiss Bank Account like we do!

Steampunk? 20 years ago we called it postmodernism. Don’t see any compelling reason to invent a new term when a perfectly good one exists.

You, my friend, do not get steampunk.  Then again, not sure the architect did either.  There’s a distinct lack of gears, valves, and, well, steam.  This looks more like the Rube Goldberg ball machine at the Tech Museum.

The final comment is our personal favorite, in reply to this section of the story:

130913-svbulding-exterior-lahTim Williams and his wife, Renee, both work in biotech and were "half looking around" when they found a lot in Los Altos Hills for sale on Craigslist. "We’re not in the 1 percent," said Tim Williams, "so it was a bit of a stretch for us."

CONTEMPORARY DESIGN

The couple lived in an old cottage on the property during construction of the 3,100-square-foot, contemporary home, designed by Bahi Oreizy and Mariela Pfennig-Mahmud of 360 Design in Los Altos. The new home is stucco, metal and wood on the exterior and has tile floors, under-floor heating and lots of south-facing windows to help sunshine warm the home in winter.

not 1% ??? bought a lot in Los Altos and put up 3100 sq ft home with heated floors? I got news for you, YOU ARE in the 1%. and your just too stupid to realize it.

I got news for you, when you call someone stupid, you’d better not confuse the difference between your and you’re.  Not that we don’t 100% agree with this, as we did stick the home photo in next to the text for some serious cognitive dissonance.

Comments (5) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:02 am

5 Responses to “Smug techies commission uber-pimped pads”

  1. nomadic Says:

    meh, they’re probably down around 3%. I don’t think the vulgar part is spending the money in that way; it’s agreeing to have the Murky News splash it out to the public.

    Personally, I love the commenter who (I assume) picked an American name that doubles as a candy bar. His first name is Charleston.

  2. madhaus Says:

    Hm, 1.6 acres in Los Altos Hills plus the cost of builing a house on it?

    Although if Zillow is to be believed, they bought the lot in 2006 for a mil. The same lot would cost a lot more now, but it wouldn’t have been at much of a discount in ’06.

  3. nomadic Says:

    Moody Road? Oh, hell no. Fails the gallon of milk test.

  4. SiO2 Says:

    Definitely 1% for the usa. For SV, maybe 3%.

    Although in LAH perhaps they are just 50%. One can forget the rest of the US if life is commuting from LAH to Palo Alto.

  5. nomadic Says:

    Depends on their savings and move-up money from previous houses.

    The top 1 percent of American households had pretax income above $394,000 last year. The top 10 percent had income exceeding $114,000.

    I have to admit, the 1% threshold is lower than I expected. I thought it would be “not a lot of money” ($500k) or above.


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