April 24, 2010

Top 29 Cities to live in for men – San Francisco beats New York in cost of living!

Top 29 Cities to live in

1: New York City

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10: San Francisco

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I think this is a case of good news/bad news. The good news is that San Francisco scored 9.2/10 for cost of living, while our mortal enemy New York scored a mere 8.9/10. WOOHOO!

That said, it’s clear the methodology of this report was wrong. They should’ve been comparing Silicon Valley!

Comments (76) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:57 am






April 18, 2010

Keeping it Real – Real Bay Area that is!

Thanks to Burbed reader madhaus for this guest post!

burbed reader SEA listed a few uses of “real” recently: Real Bay Area, Real Houses, Real Resident, Real drop in price, Real Buyer, and Real Home.  Goes on to wonder if there is a “real seller”  and if so, what would that be?  And reader nomadic responded: “Real Sellers never drop their price.  They wait patiently for ‘just the right buyer.’  After all, it only takes one!”

There’s plenty of uses for “Real” in this Real Special place we live.  All those hillside homes, we can find out the lot square footage, but what’s the Real Square Footage — the land you can actually use instead of slide to the bottom of your property line?  And how does the word “Real” makes almost anything better?

Real (adj.): Smaller, more exclusive, superior.  Way more Special.

So, watch the RBA get more concentrated and more special as time marches on.  Here’s burbed’s original Real Bay Area map:
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Good, but needs a bit more detail.  So I came up with this a couple of years ago:
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Well, it’s time to update the map, boys and girls!  Let’s see how things are looking in April, 2010!
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Looks like the RBA has traded down!  Former RBA could soon be part of the Corridor of Not Quite!  And “Real” continues to be defined as getting smaller but better all the time!

Comments (130) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:24 am

April 17, 2010

Who doesn’t love taxes?

Thanks to Burbed reader Herve for this guest post. Take it away Herve!

I (heart) taxes

Taxes. Can’t live with them, can’t live without them.

Did you know California’s 2010 business tax climate ranks 48th while our archenemies New York and New Jersey rank 49th and 50th respectively? Shocking!

Obviously, the formula was biased towards boring states like Texas (#11) and Washington (#9) but once you include Real Bay Area values like weather, sushi and property tax, California goes where it belongs, i.e. NUMBER ONE! Yes, even Kanye West won’t challenge that: California’s property tax ranks 27th despite our more valuable houses whereas New Jersey, New York, Texas and Washington rank 1st, 6th, 14th and 26th respectively. Booyah!california

(Data compiled from The Tax Foundation)

Comments (63) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:12 am

April 15, 2010

what to do to get additional driveway in san mateo

Recently someone found this site by searching for: what to do to get additional driveway in san mateo

Um. Uh. Well. That’s certainly an unusual question.

My advice? Buy a house near SFO. Perhaps you can use some of the runways or taxiways during offpeak hours for parking your RVs and boats.

Comments (5) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:30 am

April 11, 2010

What are the best real estate tips that you have?

Thanks to Burbed reader nomadic for this post:

Rumors of increased activity for house flippers have been circulating, so it’s time to share some basic rules of flipping.  Anyone who undertakes a house flip should be focused on using their funds wisely (think style over substance) and not tying their money up any longer than absolutely necessary.  In that spirit, these tips are short – inspired by a blogger who calls them “triplets:”

Use maximum leverage.

Always landscape first.

Brazilian hardwood floors.

Travertine all bathrooms.

Granite kitchen countertops.

Stainless steel appliances.

Red front door.

Staging: angle bed.

Plant bright flowers.

8s in price.

Plus a bonus tip for every seller based on my experience at numerous open houses:

Vacuum dead bugs.

What tips would you add?

Comments (22) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:57 am

April 8, 2010

will california house prices drop

It’s search engine result Thursday!

Recently someone found this site by searching for: will saratoga california house prices drop

But really, let’s broaden this out to be: will california house prices drop

The answer? Maybe.

Gasp! Shock! OMG! WTF!

It’s true! If you live anywhere but Saratoga, Palo Alto, Atherton, and a few other select cities, house prices may drop. Just look at Stockton.

Now… on the other hand, when house prices go up, being in California gives you a leg up because everyone wants to move here (except for all the people moving out.)

So… in summary… the answer is: maybe, for California and certainly not for Saratoga.

Real estate in California will always be a great proposition (like Proposition 13), but do be careful where you buy. Generally speaking, if you’re not paying at least $600 per square foot, you’re putting yourself at risk.

Comments (2) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:02 am

April 3, 2010

Let’s try charity 2

On most Saturday’s, there’s a plug for a book sold on Amazon, with unique commentary about why the book was chosen. And then a plea for funds to help keep this site running.

By all measurements, this has not been a success.

In the spirit of trying new things, Easter (do other religions have something going on around this time?), and general good heartedness, I figured I’d feature a charity instead this week – just like last week.

I chose:

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If you don’t find contributing to this site a worthy cause, then please consider the National Kidney Foundation.

Comments (2) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:02 am

April 1, 2010

100K salary and $500K in bank

It’s search engine result page Thursday!

Recently someone found this site by searching for: “100K salary and $500K in bank

And that, my friends, is why Bay Area house prices simply cannot possibly drop.

First, we all know that $100k is almost what the starting salary is for a person with a MS degree in CS from Stanford. And let’s face it, who doesn’t have a MS degree from Stanford these days? Ok… not even close to starting salary? Then 3 years afterwards – that you have to agree with.

Next, who doesn’t have $500k in the bank, after 3 years of working? You eat breakfast, lunch, dinner at work. You only wear free t-shirts from work. You bike to work. You don’t go on vacation because you don’t need to – you live in the Bay Area. You call your parents and they send you a suitcase of cash. Boom! $500k easily!

With $100k in salary, and $500k in the bank, you can easily afford a $1-1.1M house. No problemo.

What? You don’t have $500k in the bank? Where did it go?

Comments (152) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:07 am

March 30, 2010

Thanks to Burbed reader

Thanks to Burbed reader … unknown (I figure you don’t want me to post your email address) … for your contribution!

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 12:34 am

March 27, 2010

Let’s try charity

On most Saturday’s, there’s a plug for a book sold on Amazon, with unique commentary about why the book was chosen. And then a plea for funds to help keep this site running.

By all measurements, this has not been a success.

In the spirit of trying new things, Lent (do other religions have something going on around this time?), and general good heartedness, I figured I’d feature a charity instead this week.

I chose:

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If you don’t find contributing to this site a worthy cause, then please consider the Lupus Foundation of Northern California.

Comments (16) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:09 am