June 15, 2015

Prop 13 – Real Examples of Property Taxes


(Estimates based on current assessed value in Zillow X .0125)


Comments (118) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:03 am

118 Responses to “Prop 13 – Real Examples of Property Taxes”

  1. Bill Lumberg Says:

    Yet another reason inventory is so low. No one can swallow moving up if it means reseting property taxes to a market rate valuation. Those that can afford to move up will simply keep the first house and rent it out, pushing another family to the permanent renting underclass.

  2. deertick Says:

    Its the same old story. Its basically a stark contrast of time passed and as a result that’s why there’s folks paying $500 a year in taxes for a zillion dollar house and the new owners come in and pay $10,000. I know because the house we bought had a previous tax rate of $600 a year and as soon as we moved in that tax went up to $7,000 a year.

    I will continue to believe that Prop 13 is one reason amongst several as to why home prices are as high as they are. Less turnover. Older residents elect to stay in their large houses long after the kids are gone. I’ve seen it over and over again. I go to occasional estate sales and its not uncommon to go to one in a huge Victorian home where a widow lived by herself for decades and for a good reason: she was paying next to nothing in taxes and of course it made no sense to downsize. With many, many examples like these its yet another reason why there continues to be a lack of housing simply because there exists zero incentive to downsize when staying put is the cheapest option.

    On the other hand just to be honest here I will say that as a homeowner I am glad the law exists. The value of my house has supposedly gone up by about 35% in the past 3 years. If taxes had gone up in the same fashion it probably wouldn’t be too long before I’d have to consider selling. BUT… let’s say we didn’t have prop 13. If there was a consequence for higher home values in the form of higher taxes then perhaps that would crimp the buyer’s desire to pay as much since there would be that painful reminder that the higher a price paid the greater the potential for crippling exponential taxes.

    That said… if people seem so eager now to shell out insane heaps of money for little shoebox houses then they would also probably gleefully pay out the nose for taxes too. So who knows?

  3. KikiSC Says:

    I get that it’s unfair; no one said taxes are fair. Taxes reward certain lifestyles – generally the lifestyles of those who write the laws. So let’s all just live like Congress! And although there’s a 10x disparity between like homes on our block, I really don’t want to see the old lady next door have a lien for taxes because of the wild value swings she simply couldn’t afford BUT we could fix Prop 13 with the simple adjustment that HOMES reappraise as soon as they become income properties. The difference between a dwelling and a business is clear to anyone. If all the property used for business reappraised every 10 years or so, that would bring in loads of money to the state and we could quit the weird parcel taxes which are SUPER unfair, as one parcel can be a 100 unit apartment complex or a single home.

  4. burbed Says:

    > Older residents elect to stay in their large houses long after the kids are gone. < Or they can just give it to their kids who will live "for free".

  5. Kenny Says:

    It is almost a 40 year program. The damage is too deep at this point. It certainly has been a great program for lenders, more money in their pockets rather than the state which would have gone to your local schools.

  6. Alex in San jose Says:

    50G’s a year for property tax is unbelievable. But then we’re at Middle Ages levels of income disparity now. I made the poverty rate for an individual last year and about two thirds that the year before, and too little to file a tax return on for a few years before that. And I feel lucky, thousands with as much intelligence, skill, and training as I have sleep outdoors each night here in San Jose.

    Yes I could leave CA and buy in Iowa, but how? By eating grass? Running a Nigerian email scam? At least living here I don’t have to resort to crime to survive.

  7. Frank Rizzo Says:

    No need to estimate and clutter your graphic with those ugly tildes, you can easily get the exact amounts at:

    A quick spot check shows your estimates off by thousands in several cases.

  8. BayFan Says:

    >>Is this fair?

    I guess All’s fair in love and war… though not sure how long this love affair will last?

    In the last month or so houses have been sitting a tad bit longer and for some places lowering the list price as well. This is for RBA.

    Alex: man you should seriously consider offering online music lessons… in addition to real estate the other place where people tend to throw insane amount of money is kids classes !

  9. Alex in San jose Says:

    Bayfan you flatter me! I’m in the position of needing lessons, not yet ready to give them!

    I’ve put myself through a training program i thought up to be able to play higher notes while being relaxed and it worked, but I need to work on some repertoire. now Its time to get out there, the fountains are on downtown and all the little kids are doing their usual thing, sitting on the water jets -San Jose, where the kids are happy and clean-tainted all summer! Yeah just keep your kids out of there, I’m pretty sure they recycle that water… At least where there are kids, there are parents who love to give the kids money to give to the musician – bunus if the musician plays a “band” instrument.

    I do know of the goldmine that is giving lessons.

  10. Alex in San jose Says:

    One teacher I’m considering charges $45 for a half hour and $60 for an hour. I’ve taken violin lessons as an adult and AT LEAST I sounded MUSICAL! The kids ahead of me sounded horrible! They had to put TAPE on their fingerboards, sheesh! Violins the most intuitive instrument I’ve tried but its not a weapon of war like the trumpet is – I need something with some durability.

    I do not think I can afford to get a music degree but there’s something called the ABSRM exam system that at least says a person is at a certain level.

  11. dollarbin Says:

    I don’t mind that I pay nine times what my neighbor pays in property taxes. Keep in mind that unlike me, he’s been paying those property taxes for 40 years. Looking at his property tax records, I did a back of the envelope calculation (ok, I used excel), and calculated that if he had taken all of the money he’s ever paid in property taxes (about $25K) and invested it in a fund earning 8% annual return he’d have about $120K in that fund, so by paying property taxes he’s out $95K in investment income, and if he had that whole $120K, it would earn about what I pay in property taxes in interest. So he pays $1K in property tax but there’s also about $9K in lost income resulting from his long history of tax payments.

  12. burbed Says:

    Thanks for the pointer Frank! I’ll try to find some time to update this.

  13. Alex in San jose Says:

    But who gets 8% on anything these days?

    I notice a lot of loan shark type lending ads on the radio, so maybe there’s a way to park your money with Rocky and Vito, earn your 8%, they make even more but take care of the threats and kneecapping?

  14. deertick Says:

    “But who gets 8% on anything these days?”
    I assume he was referring to stocks, which historically have returned between 7-10% over the long term. That’s certainly been my case.

  15. Single Pane Lass Says:

    Well, that nice old couple who bought their house in Los Altos in 1978 were taxed based on 1978 dollars. Back then $2K in property taxes would have meant something quite different than it does today. So maybe they did their share.

    I’m certainly hoping that the $11K in taxes I pay to live in a 1200 square foot slab house without air conditioning seems like peanuts in 30 years.

  16. Alex in SJ Says:

    I haven’t the slightest idea of how to buy stocks, so that’s not an option for me.

    I could seriously save up about $5k a year if I worked at it. That’s an enormous amount of money, and if I knew how, I could put it into stocks.

  17. Bill Lumberg Says:

    This probably isn’t the place for financial advice, but statistically no one knows how to pick stocks. There are just enough doing it that there will be (very loud lucky) winners and losers. Smart/dumb money is to just get your fair share out of the market with a Vanguard total stock market index fund.

  18. Bill Lumberg Says:

    In addition to this not being the place, I should add that I’m probably not the person that should be giving it.

  19. Alex in SJ Says:

    Bill Lumburg – I keep hearing about Vanguard so I guess I should look around (on some rare on-line time now) and see how to go about it. Thanks!

  20. nomadic Says:

    Yeah, if you have no idea how to invest and can tolerate the vagaries of the stock market, a Vanguard index fund is the way to go. They have the lowest fees and no load.

  21. Real Estater Says:

    The law actually makes a lot of sense. If you’ve been paying taxes for 30 some years, you should be done paying. It’s just like if you’ve been paying mortgage for 30 years, you should be done and own the house out right. Perpetual payment would be akin to slavery. Why should we be forced to pay forever? The better question is why don’t renters pay property taxes? They are the one who live in the house. They use the schools and the roadways around the house.

  22. Real Estater Says:

    >>Those that can afford to move up will simply keep the first house and rent it out, pushing another family to the permanent renting underclass.

    Sounds like everyday capitalism to me. A landlord is providing a service that is needed. There is a willing customer and a provider. That’s what makes a market.

  23. CBVA_AA Says:

    @Real Estater

    Yep, market rules.
    In Italy they call it “Legge del Menga: chi ce l’ha nel culo, se lo tenga”.

    Google it, you have full freedom of interpretation…

  24. deertick Says:

    “Picking” stocks is sort of dumb anyway. With regards to the 7-10% statement, that goes for the overall market. Someone who goes in and picks one stock here and there is either a pro or is likely going to lose lots of money.

    Most simply get a 401k and a mutual fund which sticks you in 100’s of different stocks from many industries, companies, and sectors. The idea is to try and spread that risk around enough to hopefully gain the desired overall long-term returns. For most that means perhaps not a rapid, but instead a slow but steady increase with compounding earning most of that value towards the end of those investments spread out over several decades.

  25. Bill Lumberg Says:

    regulations that help the stakeholders? That’s the everyday market.
    regulations that help the middle class? Those are job-killing government overreaches.

  26. nomadic Says:

    You got it, Bill. And after paying taxes for 30 years, let the next generation provide your fire & police protection, pay to keep the roads in good repair, and well, they can educate their own damn kids. Amirite?

  27. Alex in San jose Says:

    When I was a kid the golden investment was US savings bonds, but I guess they are not any better than a CD or savings account now?

    What needs to happen is loosening the rules regarding living spaces, for instance allowing garage conversions, lofts, cottages, piss-in-sink hotels, etc. Where and how I live now is illegal, and I don’t have running water, but for my needs its great. Then rules are outmoded and based on most people being smokers, no longer true, and most people being drivers which is becoming no longer true.

    News bulletin: Bike Party is going past and loud bike music systems are definitely a thing now.

  28. Alex in San jose Says:

    I checked on savings bonds and ouch, they’re at 0%!

    To clarify my last post, usually someone running an informal rooming house results in tons of cars even the lawn covered with parked cars, we’ve all seen that. But more people are using bikes or public transit so that can be less of a problem now.

  29. Bill Lumberg Says:

    Here’s a great rebuttal to all the free-market-above-all Real Estaters out there. If we weren’t such self-loathing, “diversity”-loving “progressives” around here we might start discussing similar measures. Can’t believe the Canadians are besting us.


  30. Real Estater Says:

    >>Most simply get a 401k and a mutual fund which sticks you in 100’s of different stocks from many industries, companies, and sectors. The idea is to try and spread that risk around enough to hopefully gain the desired overall long-term returns.

    An average approach will only yield average results. The type of person who is drawn to such an approach is someone who clearly does not know how to invest, therefore has to do everything from a defensive vantage point. Instead of being so risk averse, why not work on developing some investing skills instead?

  31. Real Estater Says:

    >>Can’t believe the Canadians are besting us.

    Looking at Canada is comparing apples to oranges. Canada is basically a socialist country. One would expect them to be not a big fan of free market economy.

  32. Alex in San jose Says:

    Canada is beating us precisely because they are more Socialist. They’re even talking realistically about limiting or ending foreign ownership, bravo for them!

    The article further down about homelessness is just one other tiny indication to me that we were due for a swing hard Left, and it’s about time.

  33. deertick Says:

    “An average approach will only yield average results. The type of person who is drawn to such an approach is someone who clearly does not know how to invest, therefore has to do everything from a defensive vantage point. Instead of being so risk averse, why not work on developing some investing skills instead?”

    Most Americans don’t really understand the stock market and so it makes no sense for the average American to go out and pick random stocks unless they want to lose their shirts in a hurry. For most mutual funds and 401ks are perfectly fine. You can easily adjust the level of risk you’re willing to take but instead of making uneducated guesses the decision is left to the pros.

    7-10% ROI is pretty good. In a 30 year period that means over a million bucks assuming a typical middle class professional invests a mere 10% of their income. I have relatives who did that and they are now comfortably retired.

  34. Alex in San jose Says:

    Most Americans also know multiple people who lost their shirts in the stock market, or have themselves. I’ve stayed the hell out, myself. I remember a guy telling me I should buy Qualcomm. Then it tanked along with all the other tech stocks. I remember a young guy who had a bunch of Apple stock and took it for granted it would yield 20% a year. Last I saw him, he was heading back home to move in with his parents. A relative of mine lost half their total savings in the stock market.

    My great aunt had been through the Great Depression and she gave me the advice about savings bonds… At one time I think they paid quite well and it was just a matter of asking for them at the bank. I think they started out as War Bonds.

    So the stock market is a pretty scary place for most Americans. We’re risk averse because we have to be.

  35. Bill Lumberg Says:

    Again, buy the whole stock market, get your fair share. Don’t pay some broker or fund manager who isn’t good enough to even cover his costs. Picking stocks is a loser’s game.

  36. Alex in San jose Says:

    Which is why I’m thinking Vanguard. Or the other one I’ve heard of, Franklin Funds. And I need to read up on things like IRA and 401k because I think those allow me to avoid some taxes until retirement age.

  37. nomadic Says:

    You pay taxes, Alex? I thought your income was so low (and under the table) that wouldn’t matter. And if you don’t have to pay taxes now, put it in a Roth IRA because later you won’t have to pay taxes on it either.

    As for RE saying to “learn about investing,” I can’t believe I’m more cynical than he is. Most Americans can’t be bothered to figure out the terms of their mortgage. How are they going to become investment aces? Besides, it’s rare to find anyone who consistently beats the market.

  38. Real Estater Says:

    I’m not talking about most Americans. I’m talking about YOU. If you want to be like most Americans, then Bay Area is not the place for you.

    Any approach that involves investing to a targeted sum (such as a million dollars) to spend on retirement is inferior to one that generates perpetual income. That’s the reason so many people want to own rental properties. The property will be paid off by the time you retire, and you will always receive rental income at the current market rate on par with inflation.

  39. Real Estater Says:

    Food for thought. Suppose with advances in medicine you get to live to 120 years. What happens to your Vanguard IRA? It will mostly likely be depleted before you die. However, if you have rental property, you will be supported no matter how long you live. After you die, it will continue to support your family members.

  40. deertick Says:

    “I’m not talking about most Americans. I’m talking about YOU. If you want to be like most Americans, then Bay Area is not the place for you.”

    Oh I see, so you’re making this about me? First of all, Funny you ask. I bought my home 3 years ago it is now almost entirely paid for. Beyond that let’s just say I can probably retire in less than 10 years even though I’m not even 40 yet. PS: I didn’t do anything other than save and invest.

  41. dollarbin Says:

    “If you want to be like most Americans, then Bay Area is not the place for you.”

    Quote of the year.

  42. Alex in San jose Says:

    Nomadic – my income is indeed low, I made $10600 last year. But it is not under the table, so I have to pay taxes. My tax for last year was $1550, although with the earned income tax credit helping out I paid $1300. Think about that, I made less than a thousand a month but still have to come up with over $100 a month. Being sneaky converted Socialist, I actually see no problem with this, my problem is that the fat cats pay a smaller percentage, or nothing, thus the sad state of the social safety net in the US.

  43. Alex in San jose Says:

    Deer tick – you may have seen the Mr Money Mustache site, it sounds like you may have done !ich as he has, he hit all the flippers in the pinball game of life just right AND knew that savings are golden!

    I am realizing now that making $5 an hour in the 1980s I was more wealthy than many people are now and saving was not a thing for later, it’s a thing for now. I eventually worked my way up to $11 an hour, paid off my student loans, had a small apartment not too far from the beach, and spent too much on motorcycles. I should have been saving all along.

    Now we are in something between The Greater Depression and The Depression That Will Never End, and all I can do is save what I can. Electronics technician is an extinct career, me and all the buggy whip makers.. My trumpet playing is coming along nicely, and soon I will make more per hour than I do at my legit job. Since my 1099 job only pays $15 an hour, it’s not saying much but in a year or two more I’ll be good enough to hit the farmers markets and festivals and make much better money.

    My knowledge of electronic surplus is handy, but there is no future in tech. The job is in a side business of a friend’s. Right now our sales are dropping quite a bit. This is precisely what happened in 2007, as people could no longer re-fi their houses, their hobby money dried up and they stopped buying parts and stuff from me.

  44. Alex in San jose Says:

    Deetick this fucking thing g w

    Thing thing was correcting your name to fucking Renaldo or some goddamn thing and it makes me out to be a fucking sneaky Socialist when I meant a new one… This is another thing I see, the internet just getting shittier and shittier. Text is a decent technology, almost as good as Morse code, but I see current trends going on, internet access getting rarer, more expensive, and more cumbersome to use.

    Thus, coupled with a trend I see of the average person’s wealth halving each decade, and not having saved up a nest egg in the 1980s when it could be done, my personal strategy is to save what I can (I have money in my credit union, cash in various little stashes) and invest in a skill that does not depend on the internet or even access to electricity. I keep thinking about shoemaking, since cheap Chinese sneakers are now $50 a pair, more than I make in a day. My trumpet playing is another example, there’s a huge shortage of people who can play a decent Taps at a funeral. Music is becoming more expensive, and I believe the future will see people having to pay not $1per shitty quality song on iTunes, but $1 per playing! Pulled with the gutting of school band programs and the increasing unaffordability of music study for most, a real live trumpet player will have an edge. Besides, I don’t have the good eyesight and back to drive a truck.

  45. nomadic Says:

    “If you want to be like most Americans, then Bay Area is not the place for you.”

    Can you imagine how horrific traffic would be if the Bay Area was for most Americans???

  46. Alex in San jose Says:

    Interestingly I’ve lived outside the bay area where buying a house is possible… Living in a glorified fruit drying shed near the airport still wins.

  47. Real Estater Says:

    Low blow of the year:

    “You pay taxes, Alex? I thought your income was so low (and under the table) that wouldn’t matter.”

    – By nomadic

  48. Alex in San jose Says:

    It’s not a low blow at all, low as my income is a year, if it was under the table, I’d probably not file a tax form. But I have to file so the guy I work for doesn’t get in trouble.

    I’m kind of surprised by how much I have to pay, but then the little guy pays most of the taxes in this country, they are the wide base of the pyramid.

  49. nomadic Says:

    I’m glad that was taken in the proper spirit. I only thought maybe it was off the books because of Alex’s references to playing music for tips.

    It is surprising you have to pay as much as you do. Paying $1500 on $10k of income seems pretty steep.

    So, speaking of needing looser restrictions on housing, has everyone seen the tent rental in Mountain View yet?

  50. Alex in San jose Says:

    Nomadic – so far I’ve paid far more into music than I’ve gotten out. The IRS does know that hobbies exist, and I think when a hobby pays you more than $600 a year, that has to go on the books. I think the IRS even has a publication about hobby income.

    Sigh… I just shelled out $100 for an old cornet today and am looking at shelling out $60 or so for a mouthpiece tomorrow! If it works for me I can stop renting a trumpet for $40 a month so it’s win if it all works out.

    I did some busking last year I think to prove to myself that I can make money doing it, and I can. Now I find myself very concerned with quality… If you’ve heard the trumpet guy who plays near Sharks games or the saxophonist who plays by Johnny Rockets, or for that matter the flautist who plays by the Camera 12, you will understand why I don’t want to and up lumped in with these fine folks.

  51. Alex in San jose Says:

    Update, the cornet has been thoroughly cleaned and I think it’s going to work out pretty well. It’s in really good shape for a 1959 horn. The mouthpiece with it is a specialty one that I’ll keep but I need a standard one. The cornet even fits in my fancy $100 pro-tec armored gig bag that’s for a trumpet. To e to do my practice on it then g’night all.

  52. Petsmart groomer Says:

    > but then the little guy pays most of the taxes in this country


    See tables 1 and 6.

  53. DreamT Says:

    It’s OK to talk out of your ass if your mouth is busy with a trumpet

  54. Alex in San jose Says:

    I’m not on eal internet now so I can’t do the PDF thing. I’ll take a look at it Tuesday when I’m on real internet.

    I know that at least in theory $1500 in tax hurts someone making $10k a year more than $15k hurts someone making $100k a year, but both are the little guy, part of the broad base that supplies the tax revenue. Big guys start at at least $250k a year and that’s where you get into the land of write-offs. Once you’re “pretty” big and a person who is a corporation, it’s not uncommon to pay no tax at all. And this is why people making $10k a year have to pony up their 15%.

    I know you are all dying for trumpet news so, yes I got the mouthpiece and yes it was $60 and change. This horn is win. It has some small faults but none that affect playing and the build quality is amazing. I found it by going back to a place that had listed something else on Craig’s list, hadn’t sold it, and I guess got discouraged because they never relisted. So here I come 3 or so months later with cash in hand “to look at those old cornets again”.

    I’ve seen this happen in real estate. One guy got a big property because the old lady he was renting from liked him, finding him a lot nicer that the jerk who kept pressuring him to sell. People who don’t want to be bothered with real estate agents, people you might know through some connection and may not care that much about the money. Don’t want to get rooked, of course, but just want to get a reasonable price.

  55. 2million$shack Says:

    Saw this on SFist. Crazy if it is true. I think it probably is…my husband is convinced it is a joke.
    Apartment Sadness: A Tent Near Google For $965/Month

  56. Alex in San jose Says:

    That tent story’s been making the rounds, the tent in the photo looks like a pretty lousy place to stay, for that level of comfort I could just throw my stuff into a storage unit and get a tent from big 5 and just camp out here and there. Join a gym for morning shit shave and shower.

    If the guy set up a proper pad under the tent, non-cheapo tent, nice bed, etc. fresh sheets every day, the price might be justified. Doing airbnb means you’d better be fairly serious about being a hotelier. I’ve read about people making pretty good money but they find themselves washing a lot of sheets.

  57. nomadic Says:

    The link I posted from SFGate (#49) said that in addition to the tent, the renter gets to use the kitchen and bathroom in the house.

  58. 2million$shack Says:

    Sorry nomadic. I missed that you had already posted it.

  59. Alex in San jose Says:

    Taking another look at the photo though, the tent is on a concrete surface, very uncomfortable. Even a layer of cardboard would make it much more comfortable.

    If I were going to do this I’d honestly spend a thousand bucks and make it a very nice setup I’d be happy to live in myself.

    By the way, the linked articles on SFist are interesting, especially the one about how it’s not all it’s cracked up to be working for Google, the original Quora thread it’s taken from is a good read. EssentiallyGoogle hypes itself up, hires the best and brightest, and puts them to work on things far below their ability. T keeps them from working at their ability for the competition.

  60. nomadic Says:

    No problem, shack. The more the merrier.

    I wonder if the tent could be moved to the grass. The property owner probably isn’t watering it anyway.

  61. Alex in San jose Says:

    There are all kinds of ground coverings that people use around pools, hot tub gazebos, etc. There are a ton of ways to make a tent downright enjoyable to be in.

    OK so I rode my bike up to McDonalds to do my part toward killing off the rainforest, and 3 intersections on Brokaw had blacked out signals, and at mcds the aircon was out.

    But the economy’s doing great rite?

    At least my Ben Franklin aircon works, just go full naked.

  62. Alex in SJ Says:

    Not to McDonald’s! In my shop.

  63. maryjane Says:

    May we have a new discussion topic for when we need to get away from our relatives this weekend?

  64. BayFan Says:

    Let your relatives know that you are using topnotch 40 year meat for barbecue this weekend your problem may get solved –

  65. Alex in SJ Says:

    OK I took a look at that .pdf file and I think it’s the most made-up, fabricated BS I’ve ever seen.

    Utterly. Not. True.

  66. Bill Lumberg Says:

    Happy 4th everyone!!!


  67. Alex in San jose Says:

    Are we far enough into the bubble to post really shitty teardowns for outrageous prices again? I spotted some real humdingers yesterday.

  68. Bill Lumberg Says:

    What bubble? These home values are completely normal and are reflective of the fact that the Bay Area is the best place in the world, bar none.

  69. Alex in San jose Says:

    “You most certainly should have known” – Rondo Talbot, noted motorcycling fount of advice.

    Hell, I should have used that as my user name, that would have been cool.

  70. Real Estater Says:

    If you can’t afford it, then it’s always a bubble. Just man up and become a home owner!

  71. Bill Lumberg Says:

    Surprised that you didn’t comment on the Chinese stock market melting down, Real estater. Next to the Fed increasing rates this is the biggest story affecting Bay Area real estate.

  72. Alex in San jose Says:

    Lumberg – I read your comment too fast and got Red Estater…

    Man up and live in your parents basement until they die of old age and leave the house to you!

  73. maryjane Says:

    For some reason Marin Magazine comes to the house. For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, it’s a few fluffy articles, a recipe or two and 100 pages of real estate ads. This month there’s an article on ‘The New Economy’. What I found interesting was this: “Buying property in Marin just shouldn’t be considered an investment at this point. People should buy a home if the pleasure they’ll derive from living in their own home outweighs the pleasure they might derive if they invested elsewhere the considerable funds they’ll pay.” I thought that was a pretty bold statement from a magazine whose sole purpose seems to be selling high priced real estate.

    By the way, the flip down the street still hasn’t sold (almost three moths on the market) and last time in went within the week – for cash.

  74. Alex in San jose Says:

    Maryjane – the guy I work for lives in a million dollar plus house, which I know well because I stay over a couple nights a week, where I have real internet to upload photos as part of my work, plus do laundry etc.

    It’s basically standing because the termites are holding hands, as they say. Not literally, no termite problem, but Oh God the amount of deferred maintenance! 1970s tastic everything, things constantly breaking down, place needs a paint job and I know my friend will finally do it when the city gets on his case.

    I’ve mentioned that I make about ten grand a year, this guy makes 15X what I do and has constant money problems. He works his day job then the eBay thing he and I do are his second job, then he does contract design work as a third job…. I do not envy his life.

    This is what real estate wealth looks like in the bay area, more often than not. They get real estate magazines in the mail all the time, plus real estate card things, you know the ones.

    So some old duffer in Marin decides to tell it like it is, cool.

  75. BayFan Says:

    >>Surprised that you didn’t comment on the Chinese stock market melting down
    The answer/comment is being prepared, have patience, let’s just hope it doesn’t come laced with lead, melamine and all the other good stuff…

    Termite Holding hands … could be advertised as a feature… ROTFLMAO………………..

    On a serious note…. heard on the radio (no-kidding) in some real-estate discussion market stabilizing, some price reductions, more inventory blah blah…

  76. Petsmart groomer Says:

    > OK I took a look at that .pdf file and I think it’s the most made-up, fabricated BS I’ve ever seen. Utterly. Not. True.

    Thanks for the analysis.

  77. Alex in San jose Says:

    Petsmart – glad you enjoyed it!

    Bayfan – remember real estate leveled off in 2006, started seriously dropping in 2007, and for some reason the official date of the crash was 2008, probably because that’s when the banks imploded. This is why I say we’re probably in the functional equivalent of 2005 right now.

  78. burbed Says:

    > This is why I say we’re probably in the functional equivalent of 2005 right now.< This time it's different.

  79. Alex in San jose Says:

    Gosh darn it you’re right I forgot!

    In light of recent news I’d say this is the time to jump into the Stock market with both feet.

  80. BayFan Says:


    point # 11: Govt crackdown on money laundering schemes/people and bring it back campaigns…

    Good Luck!

  81. Real Estater Says:

    >>Surprised that you didn’t comment on the Chinese stock market melting down, Real estater.

    Not sure why I’m invited to comment on something I have no stake in, but since you brought it up, I’ll bite.

    I would recommend any investor to pour money into the Chinese stock market right now, hand over fist. Why? Because the all powerful Chinese Communist Party have ultimate control over the market, and they have essentially given orders requiring the market to go up now over the next 3 to 6 months. How do they accomplish that? Much like our own Fed — by pouring money into the market. In addition, they are disallowing major stakeholders to sell stocks. In layman’s terms, stocks are only permitted to go up from here. It is free money for the taking!

  82. Alex in San jose Says:

    Bayfan – I was being sarcastic, something that flies right over The Excretor’s head.

  83. nomadic Says:

    #81, wouldn’t you be the tiniest bit concerned your investments – particularly as a foreigner – could be subject to that pesky rule about not being allowed to sell? Hmm? After “major stockholders” they’re the ones to f**k with. They’re already making up rumors nefarious foreigners are shorting stocks (which is strictly limited and therefore impossible).

  84. Real Estater Says:

    Not concerned at all, since I am nowhere near being a major stockholder. They are talking about institutional stockholders.

  85. BayFan Says:

    >>I would recommend any investor to pour money into the Chinese stock market right now, hand over fist. It is free money for the taking!

    — Yours truly “Government of China”


    Coming soon:
    “Man up and invest in China……………”

  86. BayFan Says:

    Slight price decline predicted in second half of 2015


  87. Bill Lumberg Says:

    For once I agree with Real Estater, though for difference reasons. There’s gonna be one hell of a dead cat bounce. But the real question is how will this affect, if at all, Bay Area real estate? Will Chinese owners have to sell US property to cover margin calls? Or will we actually see increased demand due to money being pulled out of the Chinese market?

  88. Real Estater Says:

    Two kinds of people have been consistently wrong over the last 20 years:
    1. People who bet against China
    2. People who bet against Bay Area Real Estate

    Any kind of dip in either area is a great buying opportunity. Disagree with me at your own peril. The people who argued with me on this site 5 years ago are all gone now.

  89. Real Estater Says:

    >>Will Chinese owners have to sell US property to cover margin calls? Or will we actually see increased demand due to money being pulled out of the Chinese market?

    LOL. How are Chinese owners going to get a margin call when they pay cash?

  90. Real Estater Says:

    Recall how our Fed saved our stock and housing market — by pouring money into these assets. They accomplished the feat even though they have no money in the bank. All the money was borrowed from China!

    The same economic principle is at work here. The Chinese government can easily control a market downturn and in fact turn it into a bull market, because they have infinite amount of real money in the bank as opposed to borrowed money.

    Buy with confidence. The last time you saw me issue a similar recommendation was to buy into American real estate in 2010-2011 time period.

  91. nomadic Says:

    The other day, 72% of the stocks on the Chinese market halted trading because they hit the 10% maximum drop limit. That locks everyone out, no? From Bloomberg on Tuesday: The Shanghai Composite Index slid 5.9 percent to 3,507.19 at the close. With at least 1,331 companies halted on mainland exchanges and another 747 falling by the 10 percent daily limit, sellers were locked out of 72 percent of the Chinese market.

    As for margin calls, check this out.

    And last April, Bloomberg commented:

  92. Alex in SJ Says:

    As I type, I am sitting at the aforementioned suburban mcShitSion, with extra family members over to visit, and the conversation, Oh God the conversation …. I feel like I’m stewing in Rush Limbaughs crotch sweat.

    Please, please bring on the death of the American middle class!! These are some of the nicer members thereof.

    That is all.

  93. Bill Lumberg Says:

    “LOL. How are Chinese owners going to get a margin call when they pay cash?”

    Huge amounts of borrowed money is being invested in the Chinese stock market. When that ran out the Chinese gov’t allowed people to use their house as collateral to invest. These actions will have consequences, especially in light of the slow down in the growth of their economy.

  94. Bill Lumberg Says:

    Here’s a great resource for realistic views on the impact of the Chinese on the global housing market.


  95. nomadic Says:

    Aw hell, 90% of the stocks still trading hit their 10% upside limit it the rebound too fast to put on a “buy” order… It’s hard to get on a boat in heaving swells!

  96. Dewane Says:

    I know a couple of Chinese that got burned by Baidu and aren’t going anywhere near the Chinese stock market. Free market is an oxymoron there, but insider trading is not. They’d love to get the money over to here, where at the market is generally free (yes I know, but comparatively very much so).

  97. Real Estater Says:

    Strong buy recommendation on China. Don’t stand by the sidelines watching another opportunity fly by. We’ve seen this before. When Bay Area real estate dropped temporarily after the banking crisis, a lot of the doomsday folks, including many on this forum, jumped to erroneous conclusions, including some who even projected a line out to the future based on what was a one time, temporary event. Remember, greed and fear are for the losers. Buy now.

  98. Alex in San jose Says:

    Dawayne…. So, buy-do became buy-don’t?

    Banana I crack me up!

  99. Alex in San jose Says:

    I meant HA HA HA I crack me up stupid fucking piece of shit tablet.

    I see the internet experience just getting worse and worse until we’re back to exchanging mimeographed newsletters again because the bandwidth is higher.

  100. DreamT Says:

    Bananaaaa! Alex is a minion!!!

  101. Alex in San jose Says:

    DreamT your icon is a lot funnier on real internet, because the head jiggles around

    I guess you are making a reference to a movie or movies out now that have characters called minions, or the series of movies have Minions in the title? I don’t watch movies, they’re far too expensive for me. I will admit I do spend the odd 5-spot on a DVD, I just recently watched The Glenn Miller Story, its pretty good although that’s to be expected with Jimmy Stewart in it.

    I try to keep things to OLD OLD OLD tech as much as possible because it’s all going away.

  102. DreamT Says:

    yeah but Google’s still relatively free..
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P9-FCC6I7u0 at 2:00

  103. Alex in San jose Says:

    DreamT I’m in an industrial area so internet access would around $100 a month, and I can’t justify spending about 10% of my gross income on that. This is San Jose, WiFi hotspots are very rare, slow, and the nearest one is a mile away.

    This is why I’m such a tech skeptic. I don’t just theorize its unraveling, I see if happening g over time.

  104. DreamT Says:

    You’ve figured out how to post on burbed using smoke signals?…

  105. Alex in San jose Says:

    Just about….shitty 4g tablet that’s officially for work, typing away fist and fist like Strongbad.

    Weekend was OBON!!!! Man that was great! Centuries old pure land Buddhism dancing and I’ve been to every kind of concert and event but… Imagine your whole town getting g their boogie on and everyone’s doing the same boogie dead in sync. Little kids like 5 years old 95 year old granies, everyone. No I did not dance not this year anyway OBON will be around when the internet is long forgotten thank god.

  106. Alex in San jose Says:

    Why is this site so poopy lately? I’ve been back for weeks and have not seen a single mawbul cawlum, DHO, or giant red arrow. Or a single chicken shack selling for the better part of a million bucks.

    Are things still not bubbly enough?

  107. DreamT Says:

    The local economy’s so stellar that all contributors are working 18-hour shifts – preparing the nest egg for the next recession.

  108. nomadic Says:

    …and Madhaus has forsaken us.

  109. burbed Says:

    Feel free to post some suggested content!

  110. Alex in SJ Says:

    Aww DreamT I’m on real internet now and the head in your avatar still doesn’t jiggle around – it was hilarious a decade ago ….

    I guess I need to find some overpriced hilarious crapboxes to post links to.

    Ghost houses are a thing now that I don’t remember being a big thing in 05, maybe we can find hilarious ghost houses that are obviously ghost houses like … 20 newspapers stacked on the porch?

  111. Real Estater Says:

    >>and Madhaus has forsaken us.

    Actually she dragged her tail and fled out of self embarrassment.

  112. DreamT Says:

    Earthquake! 🙂

  113. Alex in San jose Says:

    I can’t believe the excitement over a little 4-pointer.

  114. nomadic Says:

    Hard to be “excited” for an 8.0, Alex…

  115. DreamT Says:

    Just like rain: so infrequent that they are cause for celebration and wonderment… Plus this one was cute (if you were awake)

  116. Alex in San jose Says:

    I’m a Pasadena product exported to Hawaii when I was just turning six… Where earthquakes are not a thing… Unknown! Then I extricate myself from braddahland at agen 24 or so and right spang back to socal when there are a series of epic quakes…. Feeling like I’m on a small boat out at sea…. In my living room just before leaving for work??? Water in the pool trying to jump out! The mid-80s were interesting! I got used to the salad of belongings in the room, literally being rolled around in bed while the earth growls below me and only halfway wàking up. I gotta say, though, when the bay area has a quake they don’t fool around.

    Now they’re to the point of predicting them, after decades of research, measuring earth strain and such things… Predicting a big one for Fremont where I’ll be tomorrow…. Might be interesting.

  117. Alex in San jose Says:

    I gotta say, I was like, wuts the big deal over a little pipper, then realized its part of a likely precursor swarm.

    Meanwhile I can’t believe the summer monsoon took out the I-10.

  118. Patrick Says:

    Payment of property taxes used to be part of a social contract. I grew up next to an old couple, and they paid their taxes just fine, even though their kids had long since left home. My older neighbors essentially put me and my brother through school, just as our neighbor’s parent’s neighbors put them through school. Why is this current retiring and retired generation not holding up the social contract started Many generations ago ?

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