February 1, 2011

The Vast Conspiracy to Raise Peninsula Real Estate Prices

And, lower East Bay prices too!  Win-win-win!

Officials push for higher tolls during rush hours on San Mateo, Dumbarton bridges

By Mike Rosenberg, The Oakland Tribune

Posted: 01/31/2011 07:23:07 AM PST, Updated: 01/31/2011 09:26:52 AM PST

imageDrivers crossing the San Mateo and Dumbarton bridges would pay higher tolls during rush hours under a plan Peninsula officials are urging Bay Area leaders to adopt.

A group of city, county and transportation officials this week released the new San Mateo Countywide Transportation Plan, which includes support for congestion pricing on the two bridges that connect the Peninsula and East Bay.

"I think it’s a shame they haven’t done congestion pricing," said Rich Napier, executive director of the county’s congestion management agency, which is overseeing the transportation plan. "It does work."

(Photo, above right: Drivers crossing the San Mateo and Dumbarton bridges would pay higher tolls during rush hours under a plan Peninsula officials are urging Bay Area leaders to adopt. File photo, The Oakland Tribune.)

Now, some readers of this site are really clever people, and will simply glance at the headline above and figure it out immediately.  Others of you need to be taken by the hand and have a few things spelled out really slowly and carefully.

Congestion pricing, in case you haven’t tried driving across the Bay Bridge during commute hours, means that the toll is higher during rush hour when everyone else is going to work.  At present, Bay Bridge congestion pricing is $6 during peak commute hours and $4 other times.  The San Mateo and Dumbarton bridges have a $5 toll at all times, rush hour or not.

Now, here’s the part you should have already worked out:

Drivers at the San Mateo and Dumbarton bridges typically wait less than two minutes to get through the toll booth, according to the Bay Area Toll Authority.

Still, officials said traffic data shows many of the logjams on Highway 101 are caused by commuters who take advantage of cheaper housing in the East Bay and cross the bridges for their jobs in the Peninsula. Slowing traffic on the bridges during the commute could have a ripple effect on Highway 101, where officials have struggled for years to ease bottlenecks, they said.

Ooooh, ripple effect!  Double rainbow all the way!  Across the sky!  By making commuting more expensive or more inconvenient, homes on the Peninsula close to jobs will become even more valuable.  Meanwhile, “cheaper housing in the East Bay” won’t be such a bargain once the commute costs more time and money.  Expect that desirability deficit to work itself into pricing homes in the East Bay if congestion pricing moves to Peninsula bridges.

In related bridge toll news, the Golden Gate bridge authority is getting rid of all their human toll-takers and switching to an all-electronic system.

Comments (15) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:08 am






January 29, 2011

Rent versus Buy, Take 117

Trulia has yet another view of the perpetual Rent versus Buy debate, and they’ve got lots of colored bubbles to help.  Bubbles are great.  They lead to high housing prices and if you own the house, you get to paint it any color you want (as long as you don’t live in a fascist HOA community).

imageThe map at right is from Trulia’s Rent vs Buy tool.  The rent ratio is calculated by comparing the median list price of a 2 bedroom condo or townhouse listed on Trulia to the average monthly rent, for the 50 largest cities in the United States.

You see the problem right away, don’t you?  2 bedroom condo or townhouse.  Excuse me, but who the heck wants to buy a 2 bedroom condo or townhouse?  Maybe some of us have to (if we want to own anything), but for those who can buy a single-family detached house, the ratio we want is the cost versus the rent of a three bedroom, two bath house with a yard.  Those are difficult to find in San Francisco, and almost nonexistent in New York City, but for everywhere else, such a thing is not only possible but highly desired.

So who cares if Trulia says San Jose has a price to rent ratio of 15 (which puts it right over the line for the BUY column)?  That means BUY don’t rent the condo.  The question is whether to buy the house, and they aren’t helping with that decision.

Here are Trulia’s Rent vs Buy numbers for some cities of interest.  Remember, under 15 means buy, over 20 means rent, and in between, it depends.  Maybe that means live somewhere else.

City Avg List Price Avg Rent Price to Rent Ratio
Fresno $90,446 $936 8
Sacramento $152,696 $934 14
Oakland $278,245 $1,625 14
San Jose $298,621 $1,691 15
Los Angeles $491,055 $2,460 17
San Diego $396,409 $1,670 20
San Francisco $774,728 $2,996 22
Portland $307,858 $1,145 22
Seattle $461,330 $1,546 25
New York City $1,383,612 $3,538 33

The biggest surprises on the full list?  Omaha, at 26 and Fort Worth at 30, although Trulia notes the Fort Worth sample size was insufficient. These numbers don’t show whether attached housing is seen as a city norm or not, and if not, at what discount does attached housing go for compared to detached.  I suspect the odd results for Omaha and Fort Worth are for that very reason.  There may be so few attached units that the results are meaningless.

So where does San Jose fit on the scale of urban to suburban?  Given the name of this website, perhaps San Jose house price rent ratios are in the thirties.

Comments (33) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:05 am

January 14, 2011

Biggest, Weirdest Reported Sale – Maybe Ever – Alameda County

I wanted to close out the week with one more property that could have made Zillow’s expensive home sales list (remember, not one RBA property on the list, the nerve!)  But there weren’t any over $10 million properties in Marin, and when I moved over to Alameda County… lookie here what I found.

1812 Bali Ter (Unable to map), San Leandro, CA 94578

Sold on 01/08/2011: $41,500,000

<img missing due to burbed’s terrible admin skills. working on restoring>

BEDS: 5
BATHS: 2.5
SQ. FT.: 2,192
$/SQ. FT.: $18,932
LOT SIZE: 2,543 Sq. Ft.
TYPE: Detached
STYLE: Contemporary
STORIES: 2
YEAR BUILT: 2009
COMMUNITY: San Leandro
COUNTY: Alameda
MLS#: 40492923
SOURCE: EBRD
STATUS: Sold

New Construction. .. Gated Community. No HOA. Many upgrades included. Great floor plan. Large kitchen island & pantry and gas stove. Huge master suite with jet tub, etc. Has 3-fireplaces. Seller says must sell bring offer!.

Guess this was the seller’s lucky day, huh?  Or maybe someone seriously fat-fingered that update?  From looking at that rather pedestrian kitchen (for $41 million, I want something that doesn’t scream 2005 at me), I suspect someone made a big mistake.  Let’s hope it wasn’t the FB fulfilled buyer.  So, have a look at the asking price.

<img missing due to burbed’s terrible admin skills. working on restoring>

Whoa!  I’ve heard overbidding is everywhere, but… let’s see what the lucky homedebtor got for (cough) $41 million.  Fortunately, this site and several others had lots of pictures and information and even managed to come up with a map.  There were 10 homes in this new gated community.  It must be really posh!

<img missing due to burbed’s terrible admin skills. working on restoring>

That’s some serious elbow room.  At least there should be some open space nearby, right?

<img missing due to burbed’s terrible admin skills. working on restoring>

Plenty of room across Liberty Street!  Awesome!  Now, gated community, right? Let’s get a good gander at the gate!

<img missing due to burbed’s terrible admin skills. working on restoring>

While a few security guards at an entry booth would be a touch more apropos, the riffraff won’t be crashing the cotillion!  In fact, don’t worry about the wrong element showing up uninvited to social events, because absolutely nobody will know where this house really is.  I’ll prove it.  Here’s where another Realtard site thinks it’s located:

<img missing due to burbed’s terrible admin skills. working on restoring>

Who wouldn’t pay a hundred times the asking price for an undisclosed location and guaranteed privacy?  Not convinced? Here’s where Zillow thinks it is:

<img missing due to burbed’s terrible admin skills. working on restoring>

And remember, Redfin didn’t even try to find the house.

Okay, I know you’re all laughing at this new construction in San Leandro (has Burbed ever been to San Leandro before?  Yes!) but it’s got 10 rooms!  The house yesterday had 14 (and zero bedrooms).  So there’s no reason why this house can’t sell for an eight digit price, too.  Plus you will avoid all that horrible traffic in The City.

Update 1/11/11: Well, dammit, Redfin now (as of 4 pm) says the house sold for $415,000.  I was so looking forward to watching this FB open the property tax bill, too.

Comments (26) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:06 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

December 31, 2010

Clearance Sale – Newark

Last house of 2010, and is it a STUNNER!  The banks say everything must go, so help economy as you help yourself to these incredible deals!

36570 Bonnie St, Newark, CA 94560
$206,900

image

Beds: 3
Baths: 1
Sq. Ft.: 942
$/Sq. Ft.: $220
Lot Size: 6,864 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Stories: 1
View: Neighborhood
Year Built: 1953
Community: Alameda County
County: Alameda
MLS#: 81040455
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active
On Redfin: 136 days

1st time home buyer or investment opportunity. 3 br, 1 bath home with large yard and wide driveway space. Add your style with some updates and a little sweat equity. Convenient to freeways and shopping.

image You’ll have plenty of opportunities to add your style here!  All it needs are some updates and a little sweat equity.  I think the agent is using “little” in the same sense that upper-class women use the term to mean “expensive.”  As in “Muffy, do you think I should wear my ‘little’ necklace to the regatta?”

Associating the house with shopping expeditions by the moneyed class is an excellent marketing strategy, because the house is “convenient to freeways and shopping.”

Convenient to shopping.  Really, really convenient.

image

image I’m not sure what amazes me more about this house: that the agent thinks these photos are going to help sell it, or that it’s only being offered for 15% less than its bubble pricing in 2006.  But that’s still more than twice what it sold for in 1990, proving that real estate will always go up in the long run.

It’s just that some places have to run longer than others.

Better make it your New Year’s resolution to elbow your way past the crowds to buy this one, because it’s selling shortly!

Comments (41) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:03 am

October 31, 2010

The Most Expensive Zip Codes – The Series You Hate, The Cities You Loathe

Welcome to Part 5 of the least popular series ever on burbed, ever.  You’re welcome.  Forbes thanks you too, since we’re making fun of their mistakes when they wrote an article on the 500 most expensive zips, and hired Altos Research to do their data crunching.

Here are the first four parts for you masochists who can’t get enough numbers, maps, and boring fascinating statistics.

Today we’re going to cover the zips ranked 151-200.  But to reduce the complaining just a tiny bit, we’ll leave out anywhere that isn’t within reasonable commuting distance to the Googleplex.  Actually if I left out everywhere more than 10 miles from Google we’d only have four cities today, which might not be such a bad thing.

image #151 – 94306 Palo Alto

Median Home Price: $1,270,424
Median Price Change: 4%
Average Days On Market: 67
Inventory: 69 properties
Median Household Income: $82,314

At least this time we’re going to start much closer to where the jobs are.  This is a very important zip code.  If you remember this article, 94306 is the only zip code that’s left in the Real Bay Area (RBA) anymore, if you define RBA as the place where prices don’t go down.  So despite being the #2 zip in Palo Alto (94301 came in at #73 on the list), it’s #1 in the RBA.  It’s also last in the RBA, because none of the other zips qualified at all.

The real reason 94306 went up while prices everywhere else collapsed is because it’s the cheap section of Palo Alto.  This area, formerly the city of Mayfield, featured small homes on small lots which people now tear down and put in oversized mini-mansions that loom over the remaining bungalows.  Unfortunately, real estate statistics are oblivious to such trends, such as someone paying money to remodel or replace a house.  Instead you see crazy price increases and think the neighborhood is red-hot rather than full of sawdust and paint fumes.  If the sale price stats subtracted out the money paid for construction, there’s a good chance 94306 would have dropped as much or even more than the other zips around it.

#160 – 94549 Lafayette

Median Home Price: $1,225,110
Median Price Change: -4%
Average Days On Market: 88
Inventory: 126 properties
Median Household Income: $101,555
Ignored Because: In the East Bay

#170 – 94941 Mill Valley

Median Home Price: $1,185,211
Median Price Change: NA
Average Days On Market: 106
Inventory: 197 properties
Median Household Income: $91,283
Ignored Because:  Model for Hill Valley in Back to the Future

#171 – 94563 Orinda

Median Home Price: $1,184,089
Median Price Change: -5%
Average Days On Market: 101
Inventory: 101 properties
Median Household Income: $119,832
Ignored Because: In East Bay, even closer to Oakland than Lafayette

image #173 – 94303 Palo Alto

Median Home Price: $1,175,241
Median Price Change: -5%
Average Days On Market: 59
Inventory: 34 properties
Median Household Income: $64,256

It’s a pretty safe bet that the median home price hasn’t been contaminated by East Palo Alto (which shares this zip code), but take a look at that median household income.  It’s about $20,000 less than 94306, which has a fairly similar set of residents (in the Palo Alto part of the zip, anyway).

While the zip shares with the Oaklandesque East Palo Alto (hey, at least it brought you IKEA), it also has some nice areas in midtown as well as the West Marine on San Antonio Road.  (Remember, yachties spend like drunken sailors because they are drunken sailors.)

Since 94303 has just everything in the whole city that hugs US 101, that isn’t helping matters.  Some of the lower-cost Eichlers in South Palo Alto that get torn down and replaced by monster houses are in 94303, too.  Hope they put in triple-pane windows like they did at Gables End.

#175 – 94965 Sausalito

Median Home Price: $1,173,479
Median Price Change: -11%
Average Days On Market: 149
Inventory: 84 properties
Median Household Income: $76,808
Ignored Because: Has stupid song written about it

#179 – 94705 Berkeley

Median Home Price: $1,152,174
Median Price Change: -1%
Average Days On Market: 70
Inventory: 30 properties
Median Household Income: $68,112
Ignored Because: Shares zip code with Oakland, lousy state-funded college

image #184 – 94025 Menlo Park

Median Home Price: $1,134,946
Median Price Change: -9%
Average Days On Market: 88
Inventory: 179 properties
Median Household Income: $89,572

When you realize that this zip stretches from the foothills near I-280 all the way to the slums of Belle Haven, that median home price is rather impressive.  Not every city the size of Menlo Park has to make due with a single zip code.  Palo Alto has four distinct zips, and Redwood City has five.

And while a ranking of 184th most expensive zip code in the country is clearly not good enough for the RBA, perhaps Menlo Park could petition the
postal service to split the city into East and West postal zones, in hope of the western half aspiring to the RBA.

Nah, prices down 9%.  Forget it.

image #185 – 94062 Redwood City

Median Home Price: $1,133,462
Median Price Change: -5%
Average Days On Market: 97
Inventory: 111 properties
Median Household Income: $96,677

Ha ha!  What was I just talking about above?  Redwood City is nowhere as high on the snootiness index as Menlo Park, and yet by having several zip codes, they managed to get one of them to qualify for the Forbes list.  And this is the one zip that shares with Woodside, which is quite a bit higher in the rankings (#41). 

Oh, speaking of Woodside, you’ll never guess what Forbes says their median household income is.  That’s right. $96,677.  Nice going, Forbes.  That means the Woodside median should be higher and the Redwood city number lower, but you managed to miss yet another muck-up.

This part of Redwood City includes the Emerald Lake Hills area, which is a delightful mix of new construction and bizarre old places featuring old cars in the front yard.  You know how some places in Atherton look like Greenwich, Connecticut?  Well, Emerald Lake Hills looks like Appalachia where half the residents won the lottery.

#193 – 94515 Calistoga

Median Home Price: $1,102,625
Median Price Change: -17%
Average Days On Market: 140
Inventory: 67 properties
Median Household Income: $44,320
Why Ignored: Can’t take place named after bubble water seriously

#194 – 94610 Piedmont

Median Home Price: $1,094,846
Median Price Change: -51%
Average Days On Market: 64
Inventory: 7 properties
Median Household Income: $49,066
Why Ignored: Not only down 51%, but completely surrounded by Oakland.  Completely.  Rival zip 94611 is #74 on list.  I also call BS on Forbes for that median household income.  It’s probably mixed up with the part of OAKLAND this zip shares with.  Oakland, it’s full of Oakland.

image #199 – 95032 Los Gatos

Median Home Price: $1,079,587
Median Price Change: -1%
Average Days On Market: 111
Inventory: 183 properties
Median Household Income: $93,118

It’s the home of Netflix!  Woo-hoo!

The second-best zip in Los Gatos (95030 came in at #38), this zip features delightful estates in the foothills and higher, as well as ho-hum tract houses in the flats near freeways.

Now, take a look at that median home price, above.  It’s barely over a million smackeroos, and we’ve almost hit the 200 mark.  That means the next installment (if there is one) will feature houses in “expensive zip codes” that are under a million dollars dollars for a median price.

Think about that for a moment.  Where we live is so Special that we think of houses under a million dollars as not particularly worth commenting on.  At least most of the zips we’ve shown so far are above the average price for a house in this area.  But as we work our way down that list of 500 zips, we’re going to start to see some very ordinary places that are still more expensive than 44,000 other zip codes in the entire country.

Coming Soon: burbed guest editor forcibly retired for not stopping worst series ever, assailed by mob with pitchforks and torches.  Plus, Part 716 of Bing Maps Galore!

Comments (6) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:01 am

October 17, 2010

The Most Expensive Zip Codes: The Also Rans

Any zip that isn’t in the Top 50 shouldn’t qualify for Real Bay Area (RBA) status, right?  Here are the Bay Area zips in Forbes Magazine’s Most Expensive Zip Codes #51 through 100.  Since these aren’t good enough to have made the cut, we can assume any city featured here is no longer fit to inhabit the RBA.  So enjoy reading about these loservilles, that are still more expensive than most anywhere else in the country.

In case you missed the previous entries in this series, the Top 25 appear here, and #26-50 can be found here.  I encourage you to check them out, as obviously they are better places to live than what you’ll find in this article.

image #53 – 94920 Tiburon

Median Home Price: $2,046,939
Median Price Change: -22%
Average Days On Market: 126
Inventory: 116 properties
Median Household Income:$106,492

Yeesh, down 22%.  No RBA for you, Tiburon.  Wait, we already saw this zip.  It’s also #8.  So, um, they split Belvedere from Tiburon?

Well, well, well, there are 39 properties for sale in Belvedere (median home price, $3.28 million), and 116 here.  And yet both places have (what a surprise) the exact same median household income.

You blew it again, Forbes.  Am I going to have to rewrite that entire article for you?

image #59 – 94588 Danville

Median Home Price: $1,922,523
Median Price Change: NA
Average Days On Market: 276
Inventory: 4 properties
Median Household Income: $92,644

Be sure to check out this East Bay interloper: the idiots at Forbes got the wrong map.  They can’t tell Danville from Dublin. And with only 4 properties on the market, they have no idea if it’s up or down.

Maybe those East Coast provincials ought to be told they’ve managed the equivalent of confusing Westhampton Beach with Levittown.

 

image#62 – 94904 Kentfield

Median Home Price: $1,911,822
Median Price Change: 6%
Average Days On Market: 99
Inventory: 40 properties
Median Household Income: $82,528

This Marin County city is right next to Ross and may even manage to get more precipitation.  Why people would want to live here when they could buy a palace in San Jose is beyond me.  Plus San Jose only gets 11 inches of rain a year.

And San Jose is so much closer to Google!  Priorities, people!

 

image #69 – 94970 Stinson Beach

Median Home Price: $1,790,196
Median Price Change: -7%
Average Days On Market: 232
Inventory: 27 properties
Median Household Income: $88,184

Stinson Beach can’t be in the RBA, it’s down 7%, and next to Bolinas, home of the high-priced water meter.

First one to make a joke about this zip code’s ranking and “Sex on the Beach” is going to be asked to leave the room.

No, I do not want to hear about what that peninsula with Seadrift Road looks like.  You all have filthy minds.  Yes, especially you.

image #71 – 94024 Los Altos

Median Home Price: $1,746,928
Median Price Change: -6%
Average Days On Market: 91
Inventory: 67 properties
Median Household Income: NA

Down 6%, and another zip-splitter.

Seriously, is there anything funny to say about Los Altos?  Other than the featured listing that’s running tomorrow, that is?

Well, that and the dude with the cellular antenna farm.

And the fact that this same zip in Los Altos Hills is ranked so much higher at #18.  And that Forbes couldn’t tell the difference between the two and showed houses from Los Altos when featuring The Hills Hills.  And yet, 67 properties here, 15 properties there. Household income, not available here, not available there. Oh, oh. They match.

image #73 – 94301 Palo Alto

Median Home Price: $1,730,889
Median Price Change: -6%
Average Days On Market: 128
Inventory: 58 properties
Median Household Income: $97,758

We already knew this zip code wasn’t in the RBA anymore.  Its low ranking merely proves it.  As does this listing which hasn’t sold in more than 2 years.

Didn’t we all agree not to talk about Palo Alto anymore?  Anyone?  Bueller?

Oh yeah, Steve Jobs lives here!

 

image #74 – 94611 Piedmont

Median Home Price: $1,709,577
Median Price Change: -3%
Average Days On Market: 96
Inventory: 23 properties
Median Household Income: $68,853

Down 3%, and suspiciously Bradburylike.  Oakland, I tell you, it’s surrounded by Oakland!

And a freeway runs through it!  Just like Oakland!

And this place hasn’t sold yet. And neither has this one.  This city is FAIL: 100% of its listings on burbed unsold!

 

image #83 – 95070 Saratoga

Median Home Price: $1,652,013
Median Price Change: -1%
Average Days On Market: 124
Inventory: 177 properties
Median Household Income: $138,206

Down 1%.  That’s borderline for remaining in the RBA, but coming in at #83 just cannot be allowed.

Can anyone remember why Saratoga used to be in the RBA?  What exactly did it do to get there in the first place?  Why should a city with seven different school districts thinks it’s real anything?

I say no, not until they manage to sell this house.

image #84 – 95030 Monte Sereno

Median Home Price: $1,647,239
Median Price Change: -34%
Average Days On Market: 142
Inventory: 84 properties
Median Household Income: $117,564

Stop me if you’ve seen this zip code before.

Down 34%. Wait, it’s right next to Saratoga.  Plus borrowing Los Gatos’ zip code.  84 properties?  WTF?  In a town of 3,483?  And only 53 properties listed in Los Gatos (#38), population 28,592?  That’s a real knee-slapper!  Now can you tell me the one about the Santa Claran, the San Joseite, and the Saratoger?

 

image #92 – 94123 San Francisco

Median Home Price: $1,609,753
Median Price Change: 9%
Average Days On Market: 58
Inventory: 63 properties
Median Household Income: $84,710

burbed, voted best real estate blog in San Francisco, would like to welcome 94123 to the list of Most Expensive Zip Codes!  This is the first zip in San Francisco to make the cut.  And that is really awful, because several New York City and Los Angeles zips have already shown up.  Congrats, you losers.

Up 9%.  This is the Marina District and includes some of Billionaire’s Row.  Yes, including the place selling for $45 million.

image #93 – 94506 Blackhawk

Median Home Price: $1,604,976
Median Price Change: 19%
Average Days On Market: 143
Inventory: 51 properties
Median Household Income: $142,459

Up 19%.  Wait, this is the East Bay.  Prices don’t go up in the East Bay.  The proper expression is “Blackhawk down.”

Seriously, this is a developer-designed golf-course community that didn’t even exist before 1980.  Having this zip appear right after one full of history, architecture, design, and taste is just wrong.

 

image #94 – 94022 Los Altos

Median Home Price: $1,600,139
Median Price Change: -28%
Average Days On Market: 87
Inventory: 53 properties
Median Household Income: NA

Wait, is today Groundhog Day?  Didn’t I just say something about Los Altos Hills, and that we already saw this zip, and that… someone must have hit me over the head, because I’m seeing double.  Los Altos Hills in this same zip is #15 on this list, with a median home price of $3.04 million.  And (what a coincidence), 58 properties.  Sloppy work, Forbes, very sloppy.

This place doesn’t even have the cell phone antenna farm!

And that’s it for the Also Rans of the Most Expensive Zip Codes in the Whole Fracking Country.  Except… the list goes to 500 zips.  If you don’t want to see anymore of these Bing Maps, commence whining.

Next installment in this thrilling series: The Most Expensive Zip Codes, Volume 714,

Comments (59) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:01 am

September 24, 2010

Truly Unique Property in its Original Condition

Let’s continue our slumming in the East Bay one more day.  When sonarrat sent in yesterday’s property, also enclosed was this one as a little PS.  As in PS, this self-satisfied enclave, conveniently located in Oakland, doesn’t just have overpriced wrecks you can’t rebuild because they’re historically registered.  It also has out-and-out problem properties.  The difference is this is a problem with a view.

65 Wildwood Gdns  Piedmont, CA 94611
$875,000

image

Beds: 2
Baths: 1
Sq. Ft.: 1,494
$/Sq. Ft.: $586
Lot Size: 9,338 Sq. Ft.
TYPE: Detached
STYLE: Cottage
STORIES: 2
VIEW: Bay, Bay Bridge, City Lights, Downtown, Lake, Panoramic, San Francisco
Year Built: 1910
Community: Piedmnt/Wildwood
County: Alameda
MLS#: 40486849
Source: EBRD
Status: Active
On Redfin: 14 days

Truly unique property in its original condition. Entry from top street through a winding stair path. Majestic oak trees, sweeping views over Oakland & the Bay. No garage but possible access from bottom street. Rare potential for development. Privacy, harmony & simplicity best describe this property.

Hey, this property has something else in common with yesterday’s!  No garage!  Maybe this is a prestige thing.  You know, if one-car garages imply the land is too valuable to waste parking two cars, what could be more "this land is made out of unobtainium” than no garage at all?

The listing is, for the most part, pretty up-front with its challenges.  We’re talking about a hundred-year-old house that you have to cannot access unless you take the winding stair path.  We’re talking about no garage — heck, no driveway.  (Talk about prestigious!)  “Possible access from bottom street?” What’s that mean?  Maybe this house has possible beachfront if the Bay rises 250 feet, too!

But “Rare potential for development”?  Look, “development” is a listing codeword for “teardown.”  And “development” and “Piedmont” go together like “restraint” and “Palo Alto.”  We are talking about the place with the second oldest housing stock in the entire country.

Fortunately, there are always people in the know who want to help this site out.  So here, only on burbed, is the flowchart for how remodeling permits are handled in Piedmont:

flowchart_prbm

Whoever buys today’s listing has no idea what kind of pros they are up against.

Comments (9) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:03 am

September 23, 2010

Needs Much Updating and Restoration and Soundproofing and Relocating

Usually a property gets featured on burbed because it’s incredibly overpriced or a complete and utter disaster.  It’s rare to find a listing that’s both.  Thanks to burbed reader sonarrat, who has absolutely broken the mold by finding us this house.

342 Bonita Ave  Piedmont, CA 94611
$2,000,000

image

Beds: 4
Baths: 1.5
Sq. Ft.: 2,524
$/Sq. Ft.: $792
Lot Size: 0.28 Acres
TYPE: Detached
STYLE: Victorian
STORIES: 1
Year Built: 1878
Community: Central
County: Alameda
MLS#: 40367236
Source: EBRD
Status: Active
On Redfin: 745 days

The Wetmore House, Piedmont’s oldest home. Folk Victorian with much original detail. On Nat. Reg. of Hist. Places. Includes sep. “barn” , a 1+ bedroom LEGAL rental w/ $2000/mo. income. Lovely garden with fruit trees; well on the property keeps everything green. Needs much updating & restoration

This property has way more than merely a sky-high price and poor condition.  Not only does it need extensive repairs, but you have absolutely no say in how to improve it because it’s on the National Registry of Historic Places!  But this gets even better.

Do you like a bargain?  This house has had a 42% haircut so far!  That’s $1.5 million of instant equity right there!  And it’s been on MLS for two years!  Now what would you pay?

How about a big house on a quarter acre with no garage?  Because in 1878 nobody needed a garage.  There’s a “barn” for your “horses,” and if that was how rich people lived in 1878, then why should you complain?  This house is on the National Registry of Historic Places!  Be grateful they’re not making you dress in period costume!  And speaking of complaining…

Are you thinking location, location, location?  Well this two-million-dollar sinkhole is located in a place where the residents think they live in the Real Bay Area but they can’t possibly… because it’s in (gasp) THE EAST BAY.  Not only is Piedmont in the East Bay…. it’s completely surrounded by Oakland. And wait, there’s even more to love about this listing!

When I said location, location, location, I wasn’t kidding.

image

You’re not going to have to worry about emergency response time if you live here, because the only fire station in the whole town is located right next door!  Hope you’re a sound sleeper!

Plus you’ve got an elementary school across the street to ensure you can’t drive anywhere during the beginning or end of the school day, and forget about having any friends over because every parking space within five blocks will be taken by the suburban assault vehicles.  And just in case the school has a teacher-out-of-service day, the high school is conveniently nearby too.

Yes, this house is smack-dab in downtown Piedmont, so you’re right in the middle of ALL the action!  At least you can ensure you’ll always be first in line to sign up for classes at the Rec Center!

Plus, buy this house and not only will you have an insanely high monthly mortgage payment, you can also partake in the joy of being a landlord!  The agent said the rental onsite is LEGAL, and have you ever heard of a real estate agent being dishonest?

This has got to be the best burbed listing EVER!  So please buy it, because it’s only assessed for $104,000.  Everyone at the Fire Department will come over and thank you personally.

Comments (47) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:03 am