March 24, 2013

Steve Wozniak’s House for Sale. Again. This time media creams themselves.

Steve Wozniak’s former Los Gatos mansion for sale for $4.4 million

By Dan Nakaso, San Jose Mercury News
Posted:   03/19/2013 06:19:05 AM PDT; Updated:   03/20/2013 02:22:17 PM PDT

130323-wozhouse-wozLOS GATOS — A six-bedroom, six-bath home formerly owned by Apple (AAPL) co-founder Steve Wozniak — complete with a bedroom mural of the "Little Mermaid," outdoor grotto and firefighters pole for the kids — is up for sale for $4.4 million.

The 7,500-square-foot home on Santa Rosa Drive near Shannon Road includes lots of high-end finishes and a few low-end personalized touches from Wozniak, such as the initials "S" and "W" that were scratched inside a drawer in the music room, said realty agent Arthur Sharif of Sotheby’s International Realty, who is listing the property.

In a brief telephone interview from an airplane as he prepared to fly from Florida to San Francisco on Monday, Wozniak told this newspaper that he liked the original three-bedroom home when he bought it for more than $1 million about 1986.

"I liked the architecture very much but the home kind of grew as my family extended," Wozniak said.

130323-wozhouse-redfin300 SANTA ROSA Dr
Los Gatos, CA 95032
$4,395,000

6 Beds
7 Baths
7,500 Sq. Ft.
$586 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1986
Lot Size: 1.19 Acres
On Redfin: 12 days
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Stories: Tri-Level
Community: Los Gatos/Monte Sereno
MLS#: 81307599
Style: Modern/High Tech, Contemporary
View: Mountains, Canyon, Valley
County: Santa Clara

Originally built for Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, This exquisite 7500 sq/ft, 6 Bed, 8 Bath on 1.19 acres, minutes to Los Gatos Blvd, combines post-modern style with majestic natural views. It is a natural abode full of light and warmth Euro chefs kitchen, wraparound terraces. Recent major re-design and renovation, one of a kind indoor/outdoor kids play area, pool w/ waterfall, Koi Pond +++.

Upcoming Open Houses

Sunday, Mar 24: 1:00-4:30 pm

130323-wozhouse-arielYes, open today! Burbed meet-up!  The password is When can I submit my overbid?

News media from all over are falling all over themselves reporting that a house once owned by Steve Wozniak is for sale. For some reason, when it was for sale last year, this did not happen.  We mentioned it, though.

130323-wozhouse-currentIt’s interesting reading all these sites. You might learn something if you do, like where Woz is living now. (Yes, that’s it on the right.  Where he is now, not the place above.) 

And the comments show most of them haven’t sussed to the fact that Woz hasn’t lived at the Santa Rosa house since 2004.  Some of the improvements he put in the house are still there, but articles don’t mention all of them. The secret kids’ room complex is still there:

It’s a warren of rooms accessed through a tiny, kid-size door surrounded by elaborate molding with a dinosaur design. The complex is a series of little rooms, nooks and crannies connected by ladders, stairs and crawl spaces. Any child would love to wiggle through the complex and curl up on the floor pillows with a book or toy. You can exit via the dinosaur door or slide out on the fireman’s pole.

The listing history is fairly interesting. After the curve-inducing renovation in 2006, the house was listed for even more (we heard ten million but it’s not in Zillow’s listing history).  Whoops.

image

Also, don’t worry about The Woz running off to Australia.  That’s not planned for a few more years.  So if you do buy his old house, feel free to ring him up and him the best way to unstop the grotto drain.

Comments (8) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:05 am






March 17, 2013

If the Bay Area Were a High School…

Found while perusing The Atlantic Cities and submitted for your consideration need for a weekend giggle:

‘Rich Kid Who Wears Pastel Shirts’ of the Day: Connecticut

130316-hstypes-redditHENRY GRABAR | The Atlantic CITIES | MAR 11, 2013

Sometimes, the hive mind just does it better.

This weekend, thousands of Redditors brainstormed an exciting new method of stereotyping American regional identity. If the U.S. were a high school, which states would fulfill which high school stereotypes?

A few of the top answers:

Oregon, by DVDAmoog: "Oregon is that white dude with dreadlocks."

Washington by GoopyCheese: "Washington would be that awesome kid who’s cool enough to roll with the cool kids, but not too cool to hangout with the weird kids."

Alaska, by JoeTromboni: "Alaska is the fat kid with a beard who wears flannel, and gets A’s in shop class."

130316-hstypes-map

Okay, you get the idea: let your worst stereotypes run wild. We’ve included the link to Reddit so you can find more, but while this is a fun game, we need remember that on Burbed, all real estate is local. What would each city or neighborhood in the Bay Area be like if they were a typical high school kid?

Let’s see…

Alviso is the runty guy on reduced lunch who lets off Silent But Deadlies on the staircases. Even Milpitas won’t sit next to him anymore.

Emerald Hills (Redwood City) are twin girls. One wears Juicy Couture and tries to hang out with Woodside and his gang but they usually blow her off.  The other Emerald Hills girl buys her clothes at Goodwill, cuts most of her classes, and spends all day in the Art studio.  Nobody can figure out what she’s making.

Mission San Jose (Fremont) used to be a pretty fun dude but once he got those 2380 SATs back he’s just unbearable.

Go.

Comments (4) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:01 am

March 16, 2013

The Hipster in Suburbia: Do I Dare Hipsturb the Real Bay Area?

San Francisco’s Mission District is Hipster Central for the Bay Area.  (Also mentioned: The Uptown, Oakland.  But that’s in the East Bay, so fuhgeddabowdit.) A recent New York Times column (motto: We Still Think New York Is Important!) notes that not all the East Coast Hipsters are found in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg district, either.

Creating Hipsturbia

130315-hipsturbia-illo

By ALEX WILLIAMS, The New York Times
Published: February 15, 2013

Illustration: Ryan Inzana

A yoga studio opened on Main Street that offers lunch-hour vinyasa classes. Nearby is a bicycle store that sells Dutch-style bikes, and a farm-to-table restaurant that sources its edible nasturtiums from its backyard garden.

Across the street is the home-décor shop that purveys monofloral honey produced by nomadic beekeepers in Sicily. And down the street is a retro-chic bakery, where the red-velvet cupcakes are gluten-free and the windows are decorated with bird silhouettes — the universal symbol for “hipsters welcome.”

You no longer have to take the L train to experience this slice of cosmopolitan bohemia. Instead, you’ll find it along the Metro-North Railroad, roughly 25 miles north of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, in the suburb of Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y.

130315-hipsturbia-decadeSo, barring any proper large city, where would hipsturbia be in the Bay Area?  Is Palo Alto too expensive to qualify?  Is Larkspar too tilted to aging hippies?  Could Hayward, City of Diversity, take the title of the “twee lifestyle”?  How can people who don’t want to be like everyone else find meaning in a subdivision full of identical tract housing?

Well, they can’t, that’s the point.  The challenge is to find low-density but non-conformist older single-family housing.  Or at least older and idiosyncratic housing amid primary low-density population centers and front yards.  We’d say look for neighborhoods near funky downtowns, with low Walk Scores or lots of bicyclists.

130315-hipsturbia-vansWe bet you could find something appropriate near the downtowns of Mountain View, San Carlos, or Willow Glen.  Where would you suggest?

Meanwhile, this is also your weekend Open Thread, to discuss any hipster sightings in the Open Houses you’re reporting on.

Comments (21) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:09 am

March 3, 2013

How do you REALLY feel about Real Estate Professionals?

It’s been a while since we had a realtards thread.  But today’s Not So Professional Agent isn’t being given the Burbed Loving Hug of Attention for his brilliant listing copy.  Thanks very much to Burbed reader J from Alameda for alerting us to this story.

130302-hitnrun-sceneSonoma Co. real estate agent held in fatal hit-run

Henry K. Lee, San Francisco Chronicle | Updated 7:52 am, Saturday, March 2, 2013

Photo from KTVU, no credit specified

(03-02) 07:49 PST SANTA ROSA — A Santa Rosa man turned himself in Friday in connection with a fatal hit-and-run crash that killed a pedestrian, police said.

Steven Harry Heath, 60, was arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and felony hit-and-run in the crash Wednesday that killed 64-year-old George Michael Black of Pacifica, Santa Rosa police said.

Black was walking on the 4600 block of Montgomery Drive shortly after 1 p.m. Wednesday when he was hit by a car that fled the scene, police said. Black died at the scene.

On Friday, a Santa Rosa law firm contacted police on behalf of Heath, who works as a real estate agent. Heath’s attorney told officers that the vehicle from the crash would be found at Heath’s home, authorities said.

130302-hitnrun-heathLet’s review.  Real estate “professional” in a Mercedes S550 hits a pedestrian in broad daylight, and flees the scene. Unlucky stroller who had traveled to Santa Rosa to attend a healing program is pronounced dead seven minutes later#1 Agent in Sonoma the last 3 years running then requests his lawyer contact police two entire days later to say they’ll find what they’re looking for at the hit-and-run driver’s house. Why two whole days? We’re going to make an educated guess that it was long enough for all possible alcohol in someone’s bloodstream to dissipate.

130302-hitnrun-pepperwoodPerhaps you think we’re being cynical.  Well, the readership of sfgate.com is far more so, as several commenters hypothesized that Heath had his attorney transfer his assets to the law firm. We think that’s nonsensical speculation, and that he asked the law firm to transfer his wealth to some deserving relative outside the United States.  Heath, we note, is British and probably has relatives in non-US locales.

Here is just one of those assets: his house on 5562 Pepperwood Road. None of the real estate portals have any specific information on the house other than the lot size (11,246 sf) because they aren’t in the public recorder’s office search results either (yes, we checked).

We are now opening the floor to discuss whatever you’d like about those wonderful real estate professionals in your life, or about anyone who would leave the scene and lawyer up when the right thing to do was fucking call 911 because you just ran your fucking 6,000 pound vehicle into some innocent party’s 175 pound body.  We usually don’t pick on realtards by name, but we’re going to make a giant-ass exception in this case because.

Oh yeah, and this is an Open Thread. It’s March! Time for some Spring Bounce! Let us know how many Mercedes S-class vehicles you see parked at Open Houses!

Comments (12) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:14 am

February 26, 2013

UPDATED: AOL tries being Burbed for a day: Let your imagination run wild

130225-aol-wg-front

Updated 11:30 AMSecond house found; see end for details and plenty of pix!

AOL has been doing a real estate area for a while, including a series of videos and articles beyond the listings and search tools. Someone over there must have been reading us, because they did a piece discovering that (gasp!) there are very expensive yet definitely crappy houses for sale in the Real Bay Area.  Worse, they had the gall to call this an “AOL original.”

Have they been living under a rock? This has been our signature claim for more than seven years! Let’s listen in as self-important talking heads who don’t bother introducing themselves tell us what we already know.  (Warning: dude with beard is extra smug.)

 

M’kay.  There’s some really useless accompanying text, so our mission is to do a slightly better job.  Remember, it’s fairly easy to succeed when you set your standards this low.

Decrepit Homes in San Francisco Bay Area Fetch Top Dollar for Mountain Views

130225-aol-rwcBy AOL Real Estate Editors | Posted Feb 21st 2013 5:14PM

A sorry-looking shack, with deep cracks in the cinder-block walls and busted windows, that looks like it’s ready to collapse: You wouldn’t pay a dime for that, would you? OK, say it’s nestled in the gorgeous hilltops of the San Francisco Peninsula with no shortage of pristine mountain views. Now how much would you pay? More than $1 million? Well, that’s how much it’s going for.

130225-aol-wgWe’ve probably violated Fair Use by quoting an entire graf, because there’s only one more.  There’s also only two homes in the video, and only the more than $1 million OMFG Emerald Hills (Redwood City) place (shown above in a clip from the video) has mountain views.  The other (at left, also clipped from the video) is in Willow Glen, and didn’t seem to have any views beyond the neighborhood street.

We were able to find the place in Emerald Lake in about 3 minutes, and it definitely could use a big ol’ Burbed sloppy kiss, Of course it’s already pending.  This is the Real Bay Area we’re talking about!

130225-lakeview-redfin209 LAKEVIEW Way
Redwood City, CA 94062
$1,275,000

3 Beds
2 Baths
1,490 Sq. Ft.
$856 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1948
Lot Size: 0.38 Acres
On Redfin: 207 days
Property Type: Detached Single Family
View: Mountains
County: San Mateo
Stories: 1
Community: Cordilleras Heights
MLS#: 81228879

Incredible opportunity in Emerald Hills. Originally three lots under two APN#’s (APN #057-031-480 and APN #057-031-049) which have been combined into one lot at approximately 25,150 SF. The value is in the land and the views of the surrounding hills with easy access to 280. Walk the site and let your imagination run wild. Dream big and build new or renovate. Plans are available for viewing.

130225-aol-wg-kitchenWe didn’t have the same success in finding the Willow Glen weedery.  This one is similar to it (Craftsman style bungalow, over 12,000 square foot lot, to be sold as-is) but we don’t think it’s the right house.  Can any enterprising Burbed readers find the house in the video? 

Update: House in video found by Burbed reader Chris. See end of this article for details and photos. We’ll also throw in a break as this is starting to get long, so click on through!

(more…)

Comments (10) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:01 am

February 23, 2013

Who Wants Another $100 Million Property?

More importantly, who wants another $100M property enough to put up with a sales condition like this?  Thanks very much to Burbed reader nomadic for alerting us to yet another nine-digit property.

130222-deguigne-front

Estate and Lands of De Guigne
Undisclosed Address in Hillsborough, CA
$100,000,000

130222-deguigne-umTo the south of the Golden Gate Bridge, large parcels of land are rare. Located half-way between San Francisco and the Silicon Valley in the bucolic Town of Hillsborough, an approximately 16,000 sqft. Mediterranean-styled, Bliss and Faville mansion is positioned on approximately 47-acres which have been owned for 150 years by one family. Decorated by celebrated interior designer Anthony Hail, the mansion interiors encompass elegant and ornate public rooms, which evoke the sophistication and grandeur of a bygone era. Grand-scale Ballroom, Living Room, Library and Pavilion are aligned to open to a Pool Courtyard, revealing sweeping views of San Francisco and the East Bay. Formal gardens and park-like grounds adjoin dozens of undeveloped acres surrounding the mansion, providing ultimate privacy and security. Timeless, sophisticated and elegant, the deGuigné Estate represents a rare opportunity to own one of California’s few remaining mansions surrounded by substantial acreage near an urban center.

Yadda yadda big yadda yadda acreage yadda yadda old yadda yadda history yadda yadda expensive.

130222-deguigne-entranceOh, and Mr. De Guigne isn’t leaving this house alive. Literally.  You buy this house, and you have to wait for him to croak before you can move in.

This, by the way, seems to be Plan B.  Plan A was when he tried subdividing the heck out of the place in 2009, which did not endear him to his neighbors. And he did that because he had an expensive divorce to finance.  Also the house cost much more to run than he got living off his investments, the poor dear.

Also, we likely found an actual address, because this sure looks like the entrance: 60 Glenbrook Drive.  Note the road going from Glenbrook to the Big House.  While the property records indicate a smaller home, the lot is 10,000,000 square feet on Zillow, or 227 acres.  The listed house is probably a gatehouse/caretaker’s cottage.

130222-deguigne-satellite

This is also your Open Thread. Going to look an any Open Houses as spacious as this?

Comments (11) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:13 am

February 17, 2013

How do you tell the difference between the RBA and Not the RBA?

Answer: The RBA is being bought up by foreigners with suitcases full of cash going to individual sellers.  Not the Real Bay Area is being bought up by investors with envelopes full of cashiers checks going to banks.

Report: Investors buy nearly half of Oakland’s foreclosed homes

Real estate firms turning properties into rentals, becoming "massive landlords" in some neighborhoods, critics say

130216-investors-suitcaseby Aaron Glantz, Bay Citizen — June 28, 2012, 11:01 a.m.

The rental listing advertises a “gorgeous remodeled craftsman-style house” with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a converted basement, a large deck and a backyard for $2,595 a month.

Eight months ago, this West Oakland home was owned and occupied by Theodros Shawl, a local chiropractor. Shawl bought the house in 2004, his first since emigrating from Ethiopia in 1990. Over the years, Shawl said, he rebuilt the home’s foundation and replaced its aging plumbing and electrical systems.

“I liked the fact that it was an older home, that I could repair and paint and fix there on the weekends. I was always at Home Depot,” said Shawl, 40. “I was living the American Dream.”

Last October, after being sidelined with a wrist injury, Shawl lost his home to foreclosure; in May, Bank of America sold it to a real estate investment firm, REO Homes 2 LLC, a company founded in 2010 by Bay Area businessman Neill Sullivan.

130216-investors-cashiersLest you think this is a trend only in the depressed parts of the Bay Area, we assure you that it isn’t.  Real Estate Investment Trusts are back, mostly because there doesn’t seem to be a lot of places to get reasonable returns these days.  A recent article in The New Republic covers the growing national trend of paying cash for foreclosures and turning them into rentals.  Needless to say, actual would-be buyers are finding themselves aced out of the bottom-feeding.

Your New Landlord Works on Wall Street

130216-investors-hedgeHedge funds are snatching up rental homes at an alarming rate

BY DAVID DAYEN, The New Republic, February 16, 2013

Housing analysts have been giddy for the past year about the comeback of their industry, whose collapse led to the Great Recession. Sure, 2012 was actually the third-worst year for housing ever—but it still beat 2010 and 2011. New and existing home sales, housing starts, and prices jumped in 2012, and experts expect an even stronger recovery for 2013.

It’s clear why people are so excited: Housing typically leads economic recoveries. As more people build equity in their homes, they feel more free to spend disposable income and increase economic activity, a phenomenon known as the “wealth effect.”  So a bullish outlook for housing would seemingly augur a long-awaited recovery to Main Street. But the more you look into it, the clearer it becomes that it’s not being driven by the typical American families who lost their homes in the economic crash. In fact, it’s being fueled by the banks and hedge funds whose speculation caused that crash in the first place.

If you’ve signed a lease in the past year, there’s a good chance your landlord wears a tailored suit and works on Wall Street. One of the hottest trends in the financial sector is known as “REO-to-rental.” Over the past couple years, hedge funds, private equity firms and the biggest banks have raised massive amounts of capital to buy distressed or foreclosed single-family homes, often in bulk, at bargain prices. Their strategy is to convert them to rental units for a while before reselling them when prices appreciate. The Wall Street firms are scooping up properties in the hardest-hit areas, promising high returns for the rental revenue streams—up to 10 percent annually —and starting bidding wars that have driven up some prices well above national averages. It’s the next Wall Street gold rush, with all the warning signs of a renewed speculative bubble.

Enjoy the Open Houses you’ll be making offers on but not buying because some sovereign wealth fund is outbidding you.

Comments (7) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:18 am

February 13, 2013

We’re Number Two! We’re Number Two!

The good news: We beat LA and Chicago and New York and Washington DC and even SAN FRANCISCO. W00t!

The bad news: We lost to Connecticut. Connecticut? Haven’t they been in the news enough already?

The US Metropolitan Areas Packed With The Most Rich People

Rob Wile | Business Insider | Feb. 11, 2013, 8:24 PM

The U.S. Census has published its list of U.S. metropolitan areas with the highest concentrations of wealth in the country.

These are places where a large percentage of your neighbors earn incomes in the top 5th percentile.

Here are the top five.  For the full list, see the article at Business Insider.

Rank Metro % MSA households in US Top 5% Primary Industry
5 Trenton/Ewing NJ 11.6% Protection, extralegal goods, beating the shit out of rivals
4 San Francisco/Oakland/Fremont CA 13.0% Social Media, Investment (hypothetical shit)
3 Washington/Arlington/Alexandria DC-VA-MD-WV 14.1% Lobbying (access to shit)
2 San Jose/Sunnyvale/Santa Clara CA 15.9% Inventing new shit
1 Bridgeport/Stanford/Norwalk CT 17.9% Insuring shit
Comments (3) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:07 am

February 3, 2013

Top Ten Reasons You Should Ignore Realtard’s Columns

Today we’re going to have a look at a realtard’s piece over on Trulia’s blog.  Thanks very much to Burbed reader Real Estater for letting us know about this essay.

Tough Year Ahead: Top 10 Issues Facing Bay Area Buyers

East Bay Real Estate Focus — Providing Definitive Information for the East Bay Area
By
Carl Medford | Agent in Fremont, CA
Posted under: Market Conditions in Alameda County, Home Buying in Alameda County, Home Ownership in Alameda County  |  January 26, 2013 8:22 AM  |  257 views  |  1 comment

“TWO recent national surveys of real estate agents suggest that first-time buyers are on the decline, their access to the housing market blocked by tight credit and eager investors,” states Lisa Prevost, of The New York Times (12/20/212).

Old news. In fact, I’ve been saying the same thing since August, 2012.

Truth is, no one knows exactly how many have decided to sit things out a bit until the market calms down. Although we’ve seen a decline in the number of buyers “actively in the hunt,” in reality, there are not “fewer” first-time buyers – if anything, there are more. LOTS more. The problem is that less of them are actually managing to buy a home, and, unfortunately, that’s the primary statistic that is being measured. No one is sitting outside open houses counting the bodies as they hit the front door and then compiling the numbers to a national database. If they did, a much different story would be on the evening news.

Buyers trying to purchase a home in the existing market conditions are facing into the teeth of a perfect storm, real-estate style, and it doesn’t appear that it will be ending anytime soon.

Here are the Top 10 issues facing Bay Area buyers:

130202-top10-suitcaseActually, as realtard happyprop goes, this is a little bit better informed than most.  It does say something other than “NOW IS THE TIME TO BUY,” and best of all, the disturbing faceless and sexless icons include the ever-popular, we swear we are not making this up, Dude With A Suitcase Full of Cash.  We know you won’t believe without seeing, so here he is.  (And from the minimal clothing, it’s either a Dude or it’s Annie Hall.)

Here’s that Top Ten list. If you’ve been a regular reader of Burbed, none of these should surprise you.

  1. Sorry, you missed the bottom.  Sucks to be you.  Medford says February 2012 was the official bottom.  Maybe it was… in the East Bay.
  2. Inventory? What inventory?  Raw meat, here’s the sharks.
  3. Prices are going up.  Some areas are up 40% from last year.  Actually, if Mr. Real Estate Person had read the actual data instead of just looking at a piece in the Chron, he’d have seen that some areas are up a lot more than 40%.
  4. Lots of cash buyers out there.  Yeah, and not just in the hellhole that’s the East Bay.  RBA too, only these aren’t investors.  On this item the realtard confuses the difference between “Central County” (probably Alameda County given the link) and the entire Bay Area in claiming 30% of all offers are cash.
  5. Crowds lead to multiple offers.  Take low inventory and desperate sellers, what do you expect, other than the author citing hard numbers with his opinion columns from a different site.
  6. FHA or VA buyer? Don’t even bother in this market; even conventional buyers are losing out to Mr. Suitcase.  And Mr. Suitcase doesn’t care about appraisals.
  7. 130202-top10-house-familyNew homes are in demand againaccording to CNN, that is. That doesn’t apply to the RBA because they still aren’t making any more land.  Why the realtard didn’t quote this local story in his own backyard is left as an exercise to the reader.
  8. Appraisers haven’t a clue prices are up, which is preventing prices from going up even faster.  Includes helpful link to another of his columns mostly about packed open houses with one throw-away graf about appraisers.  What stayed with us was the tsetse flies.  But there was something useful mentioned: appraisers were blamed for the last bubble, and they’re not ready for this one.  Yet.
  9. Banks are mucking up your loan even more than usual, although the link provided explaining the loan approval process doesn’t look to us like anything has changed much.  We suppose if you’re a realtard remembering the glory days of If You Can Fog This Mirror You Can Buy This House, you’d have a different opinion.
  10. Bank underwriters especially are being poopy-heads, and Medford’s happy to give some examples. Most of them look like underwriters working through a pile of documents, marking off inconsistencies, and resolving them later, where later is some period greater than the five minutes realtards think is appropriate.

While we are perfectly capable of posting house after house in the five mile radius of The Googleplex, we would never confuse the RBA with the entire Bay Area.  Just because an agent can write a column even longer than one of ours doesn’t mean he won’t commit the Fallacy of Composition.  The East Bay isn’t the entire Bay Area any more than the South Peninsula is.  Market conditions vary, so may your mileage, and definitely will housing prices. 

But we can guarantee there will always be some real estate professionals out there who take a few shortcuts.  Let’s give this one a golf clap for giving the appearance of a housing market review, even if he found ten different ways to say You Are Now Priced Out Forever.

Comments (4) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:09 am

February 2, 2013

The Dignity Mortgage: Subprime with Training Wheels

Here’s a look at some new mortgage meshuggeneh from Burbed reader nomadic.

Housing advocates push for new type of subprime loan

The Dignity Mortgage would have a higher rate for higher-risk borrowers but include rate cuts after five years of on-time payments.

130201-latimes-dignityBy E. Scott Reckard, Los Angeles Times; January 28, 2013, 5:53 p.m.

PHOTO: Pattie and Ollie Sibug would like to buy their San Diego town house, which they are renting for $1,750 a month. They are among those who may benefit from a proposed subprime mortgage program. (Allen J. Schaben, Los Angeles Times / January 29, 2013)

With home prices rising, interest rates falling and builders building, some prominent housing advocates are calling for a new kind of loan for buyers with lower incomes or bad credit.

They’d like to call it the Dignity Mortgage, but it has another name — one that’s become more of an epithet since the housing crash: subprime.

Applicants might include people caught in the early stages of the mortgage meltdown who have since rebuilt their finances, said Faith Bautista, who heads the National Asian American Coalition.

"They lost their work, their homes and their credit scores four or five years ago," Bautista said.

And let’s see what nomadic has to say about this idea.

These people are pushing for a mortgage that not only gives them better terms after five years of timely payments (which seems reasonable) but they want the extra interest paid during the "trial" period REFUNDED to them after those five years. In other words, the banks take more risk but don’t actually get paid for it in the end. Not to mention all of the other extra costs of the program (e.g., "extensive" financial counseling). WTF? Also thought it ridiculous that the rate goes down to what people with "sterling credit" and 20% down are paying. I haven’t done the math, but I suspect people aren’t necessarily paying off 10% of the purchase price in the first five years of their loan.

Think this is a better way to treat the poor people who shouldn’t have been buying houses at all but want another swing at the property piñata?  Or was it all the banks’ fault from start to finish? Aaaaaaaaaand, this is an Open Thread.

Comments (15) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:16 am