January 27, 2012

Good news, bad news

Some good news! A lot of the missing content was restored! Hurray!

Some bad news! Everything posted since yesterday is gone.

Hopefully the site will be a lot more stable now though!

-Burbed

Comments (5) -- Posted by: burbed @ 2:21 am






January 26, 2012

Looking for photo submissions!

Do you have some photos that you feel truly represent the Bay Area housing scene, and would like to see them in the banner area?

Send them my way!

-Burbed

(Real Bay Area preferred. Thanks.)

Comments (5) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:55 am

January 25, 2012

Yes the site looks funny…

Yeah, the site looks funny. I’m trying to rebuild it to improve performance. More changes to come!

-Burbed

Comments (9) -- Posted by: burbed @ 8:40 am

January 23, 2012

Apologies for the downtime…

Hey everyone,

I wanted to apologize for the downtime this weekend. I also wanted to thank those for reporting problems.

As you may have heard, Dreamhost, the hosting provider of this site, was hacked.

In theory, this security event should not have any impact on this site.

However, at around the same time, it appears that this site’s memory consumption has soared. I’m trying to understand why.

The next few days will be rough as I seek to figure out how to fix this. I apologize in advance.

Thanks!

-Burbed

In the meantime – how will Burbed’s terrible uptime impact the real estate market in the Real Bay Area? Discuss!

Comments (12) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:49 am

December 31, 2011

This year in Burbed–2011 [A serious post]

2011 was a year of transitions. Some things ended too soon (Steve Jobs), some things finally concluded (the Iraq War). For me personally, 2011 was also a year of transitions – second order impacts of the challenges of 2010.

I would like to thank the entire Burbed community for continuing to make this such an interesting, funny, educational place to be. I would like to thank all the commenters – quality, trolls – all alike (except spammers – thanks but no thanks.) I would like to thank the sponsors of Burbed for helping keep the site running. I would like to thank all those who sent in their “finds” – there were some awesome finds this year.

I would especially like to thank Madhaus for keeping this site going. To be frank, without Madhaus there wouldn’t have been a Burbed in 2011. Madhaus’ perseverance in delivering great posts on the site has amazed me, as is her persistence in getting me motivated to do some of the behind the scenes chores that I so suck at. (Like site uptime…)

It goes without saying that 2012 will be another interesting year for all. My involvement on Burbed will likely continue at its current level due to ongoing personal challenges. I look forward to continuing to see the great “finds” that you folks keep sending in.

I wish you all a Happy New Year.

Thank you for your support.
-Burbed

Comments (21) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:00 am

December 24, 2011

Your Holiday Weekend Open Thread

Last year, when we wished everyone the best wishes of the Season, we suggested you buy a house for some of your loved ones.  Looks like somebody took us seriously.

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Look at the last bullet on the flyer:

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imageSome home buyers purchase homes as gifts.  Hmmm, maybe by “some” they mean “I read this on a Real Estate website.  Therefore, somebody somewhere out there must have actually purchased a home as a gift.  Given that my income is about five percent of what it was in 2005, I will suggest almost anything to increase it in hopes that there is at least one suggestible person out there sitting on carloads of cash.”

Well, sure, this is a Bay Area real estate website, and we did indeed suggest buying a homes as a gift.  Whether these agents understood we were using the literary technique of humorous exaggeration to make a point is one of life’s eternal mysteries.

This is an Open Thread.  How many houses are you planning to purchase as gifts?  Are they all in the Real Bay Area?

Comments (1) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:04 am

December 17, 2011

It’s Search Engine Saturday!

imageWe haven’t had a Search Engine Saturday for a long time.  Do you know why?  It’s because there have been enough on-topic items to cover for our weekend open threads.  Search Engine entries mean either nothing’s worth discussing or I’m too lazy to write a real article.

And after researching and writing six very long pieces on zip codes, it’s time for a break.  For us.

Recently, someone used a Search Engine (I won’t say which one, but it rhymes with kugel) and found their way to Burbed using the term Palo Alto house crazy.  I’m pleased to report that Burbed comes up second on that term, losing out only to CineArts @ Palo Alto showtimes and tickets.  (Burbed readers are invited to speculate just why a foreign film theater would be of interest to off-their-meds real estate enthusiasts.)

I suspect that the searcher probably wanted this article from Palo Alto Online covering the crazy difficult time people are having in renting a place there.  But perhaps they were looking for the YouTube video with a crazy DUI high-speed crash in East Palo Alto.

That’s the great thing about using a Search Engine.  You can’t look for Palo Alto without getting its neighbor to the north as a “bunus.”  Anyway, this is an Open Thread, so have yourself a house crazy time today.

Comments (6) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:03 am

December 4, 2011

OMFG is this THE END of those %$#@ Zip Codes? Rly?

What with all the excitement from our Black Friday and Beyond DEALS, you may not have noticed that our last zip code installment finished out the 301-400 level of Forbes’ Most Expensive Zip codes.  You know what that means!

Yes, this article, the Bottom 100 of the 500 Most Expensive, is The End of the Delivery Route.  Really.  Well, until 2012, when Forbes puts out a brand-new list, but there’s a good chance the world will end before then.  There’s an even better chance that Forbes will only have 5 places on that list instead of 500, with all the mistakes they made this year.  So you’re going to want to pay attention to every single zippy digit in this last entry for 2011!  But first… here’s your chance to catch up if you missed the earlier entries in this exciting, edge-of-your-seat-on-the-mail-truck, most beloved Burbed series of all time!  (Or was that most belittled?)

Previous Entries in the Most Expensive Zip Code Series:

Hold onto your mailbags, folks!  We’re entering an area with all the median prices under $750,000!  Watch out, there may not be any sushi available.

#406: San Anselmo 94960

  • Median Home Price: $749,000
  • Median Price Change: -17.4%
  • Average Days On Market: 200 129
  • Inventory: 129 52
  • 2010 Rank: 267 (-139 spots )
  • Most Expensive Home: $20.5 Million

imageA $20.5 million dollar house in Marin makes sense, but in San Anselmo?  I can’t find anything for eight digits anywhere near San Pablo Bay, and this zip’s most expensive place at 178 W Oak Knoll Drive comes in at only $3.4 million.  That’s very different. This 6000 square foot hotel-like structure on almost 10 acres has been on the market for just about half a year, so you’d better hurry!

Now, we know plenty of high-end places get yanked at the end of warm weather season.  But I find the idea of a $20 million ask going without comment pretty unlikely.  This Marin real estate blog didn’t note it under San Anselmo.  Or anywhere else.  The most expensive sale logged in MLS this year was only $8.75 million, in nearby Ross (#30 last year and mysteriously absent this one).

Zowie!! More zip code inZanity after ze break!

(more…)

Comments (7) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:15 am

September 3, 2011

Pictures, We Need Pictures

Burbed has been using this image for a few months to accompany reader Guest Posts.

I love this picture, but I have no idea where it was taken.  And I haven’t been able to find it again since I snarfed it from Google Images however long ago.  I’m suspecting this was hurricane damage to a new development but it would be nice to know.

I’d like to have a few more photos to use to label Guest Blog posts from our excellent Reader Contributions, especially some from this area.  Here’s a few I’ve been thinking of using. Let me know what you think, or link to some you like!

imageOn the left is one of my favorite photos from a Burbed listing.  We had to give the agent props for including this in on MLS, because it was awfully hard to shoot around it.

Best of all, this place has been pending for almost six months!

This one below is such a favorite, it generated its own number.  Yes, because the House Came With Dudes, we now have a Dudes Hanging Out (DHO) Index for any real estate photos that include people unwilling to clear out.

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There’s the typical Silicon Valley crapbox, and then there’s the crappy Silicon Valley crapbox:

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Or this kitchen that was supposed to help sell a $3.1 million dollar house.

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Or say it with class!  MAWBUL KAWLUMS!  With lots of RED ARROWS!

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So these are some starting points, but please share your favorite ugly house pictures from the Real Burbed Area!  This is an Open Thread.  (Not that not declaring an Open Thread ever stopped any of you.)

Comments (22) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:07 am

June 18, 2011

Movoto Moves Recent Sales Beyond Space and Time

imageIn a previous column, I was giving real estate site Movoto a little bit of friendly ribbing over how they “helpfully” provided high schools that were far from a featured home, while ignoring much closer (but lower-scoring) schools.  I suggested that they deliberately “lost” their distance data so they could upsell site visitors, who would see the high test scores and decide to buy a more expensive house.

Seems I’m not the only one wondering what’s up with Movoto and their data.  Here’s an observation from Burbed reader Robert:

You guys have a link to Motovo.com on your website. When I looked at San Jose, CA market stats on Motovo.com I get some strange data out… http://www.movoto.com/statistics/ca/san-jose.htm Over 5,000 new listings, but only 11 sales, in the last five months. How can that be?

Just in case Movoto actually reads the other column and fixes whatever was munging their data, here’s some screenshots to show what Robert is talking about.  This is the first part of Movoto’s San Jose statistics page.

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Since that’s not the easiest thing to read, here’s a close-up of the monthly listing and sales numbers:

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Notice the number of price reductions and listings sold or expired.  Robert is right.  What the heck happened here?  First, let’s see if the problem is everywhere or just this one site.  What does Redfin have to say about sales in San Jose?

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According to Redfin, sales dropped but not by several orders of magnitude.  Is Movoto showing weird numbers for all cities?  Here’s Santa Clara:

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Interesting: sales plummeted, but in March rather than January.  Let’s check a few more cities.  Everybody’s favorite: Sunnyvale!

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The elevens dearth continues.

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Cupertino’s numbers didn’t crash until April, and didn’t crash as badly, either.

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And Los Altos almost looks normal, except for May.

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Here’s the real answer: they don’t care about the South Bay.  Palo Alto’s numbers look okay, and that’s all that matters.

Comments (36) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 4:04 pm