January 20, 2011

Yeah, pictures are missing

Yeah, pictures are either missing or mismatched for posts after 1/8. I’m working on trying to undo this mess that I made this morning.

Comments (2) -- Posted by: burbed @ 11:36 am






January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

Have you made a list of New Year’s resolutions?  That’s a difficult, painful, and ultimately pointless task, because few people keep them for long.  It’s far more effective to make resolutions for what other people should do. So here are some 2011 resolutions for Burbed readers.

  • Visit at least ten open houses this year – This is a good idea for several reasons.  One, if you want to become a homeowner, you need to start thinking like one.  Two, the more homes you visit, the better you will become at telling a bargain from a disaster.  And three, if the place you visit is an absolute piece of crap, you can send it in to Burbed so we have more material.
  • Take a real estate class – Real estate is a fascinating field, with its own language, customs, paperwork and buzzwords.  Not only will you learn something about the homebuying process, you will be able to pepper your Burbed comments with useful phrases such as “leverage” and “negative equity.”
  • Choose a trade-up area – Even if you already own a home, there’s probably someplace more Special than where you live.  Find one of those places and learn about it.  Follow new listings that appear from your designated “new” neighborhood.  Figure out how much it will take to trade to this new neighborhood and then justify your staying put in comments.
  • Create your home budget – Calculate how much discretionary income you have.  Take your gross paycheck, subtract all required payments out such as taxes, utilities, coffee and sushi.  You can list discretionary expenses such as clothing and movie money, but don’t include them in your budget.  Is your number positive?  Take the rent out too. Once you buy a home you won’t be paying rent to a landlord anymore when you can rent your money from a bank!
  • Determine how much home you can afford – Did you create your budget in the previous resolution?  Of course you didn’t.  Why don’t you go back and do that one for real?
  • Make an offer – Learn about the homebuying process by working with an agent, visiting homes, and submitting an offer to buy property.  The key to not having to actually buy a house is to only submit lowball offers.  In a healthy market, a lowball offer is usually more than 12% under asking price.  In today’s market, the wishing prices are usually much more than 12% over actual market prices, so you are going to only offer 25% or more under asking.  Otherwise, you’re in danger of having your offer accepted. In the event it is, remind the seller’s agent that she won’t be earning her full commission.  If your (buyer’s) agent objects to your approach, assure her that Suzanne researched this.

Well?  What are you waiting for?  It’s 2011! The time to buy is NOW!

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

December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas from Burbed

Whatever traditions you and your family celebrate, we wish you peace, and joy, and happiness, and low interest rates, and RBA home prices doubling every ten years like they’re supposed to.

So, what gifts did you get that you loved, or loathed, or what did you give to your loved ones?  Or best of all, what did you want that you didn’t get, so you’re going to buy it for yourself when the stores re-open?

Did anyone get a house?  And if you did, was it one of the featured DEALS on Burbed?

And if you didn’t get a house for the holidays, it’s not too late.  We’ll be starting up our after-Christmas Clearance Sale on Monday, because the bank said everything must go!

Comments (4) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:15 am

December 18, 2010

They’re Baaaaaaaaack!

The Cheapest House In… series is so popular, what could be more appropriate than bringing back another one? That other perennial Burbed series, Most Expensive Zip Codes: RBA Edition!  Well, what indeed, other than some of the commenters saying they hated it?  But that’s okay.  That was just one or two hot-heads.  We know all the rest of you can’t wait to find out when San Jose makes an appearance on that list!

If you missed the previous entries in the ZIP code series, feel free to check them out.  The 500 most expensive zips were chosen by Forbes magazine, working with Altos Research’s data.  All the mistakes were entirely Forbes’, of course.  We just take credit for finding them.

And now, Burbed proudly presents (okay, not so proudly, we did get some Debbie Downers who moaned about this) The Most Expensive Zip Codes in the RBA: The Six Digit Edition.

#201 – 94506 Danville

Median Home Price: $1,072,360
Median Price Change: NA
Average Days On Market: 96
Inventory: 84 properties
Median Household Income: $142,459
Ignored Because: In East Bay, plus Forbes can’t figure out where Danville actually is.  Remember that expensive Danville zip here at #59?  That was actually Pleasanton.

#202 – 93924 Carmel Valley

Median Home Price: $1,064,710
Median Price Change: 9%
Average Days On Market: 206
Inventory: 101 properties
Median Household Income: $71,053
Ignored Because: Another gazillion square mile zip full of nothing.

image#211 – 95014 Cupertino

Median Home Price: $1,042,581
Median Price Change: -4%
Average Days On Market: 69
Inventory: 155 properties
Median Household Income: $100,020
 
Finally,, a place we can call home; home to Apple, home to Hewlett-Packard – oops, not any more! But it is home to the world-famous Cupertino Union School District, where parents raised two million dollars to keep teachers from losing their jobs another year.  So if you move in, you know you’ll be hit up for even more next year!

The median price is still over a million, but not for long!  At least it has an eight in it.

image #212 – 94010 Burlingame

Median Home Price: $1,035,952
Median Price Change: -25%
Average Days On Market: 88
Inventory: 122 properties
Median Household Income: $82,188

Conveniently located at the nexus of US 101 and SFO, Burlingame has many advantages which I’ll leave to the imagination.  Just as Los Altos Hills has Los Altos pulling down the averages, Hillsborough will always have Burlingame.  And why not, when they share the same ZIP code?  And in an amazing coincidence, they also share the same median income.

Anyone who thinks the typical Hillsborough household income is $82K when the houses sell for $2.9 million, raise your polo mallet.

image #220 – 94115 San Francisco

Median Home Price: $1,018,459
Median Price Change: -21%
Average Days On Market: 93
Inventory: 99 properties
Median Household Income: $54,879

You ever see that movie, Pacific Heights, where the psycho tenant tries to drive the yuppie landlords out of their house?  This is where it supposedly took place.  (It actually took place at Texas and 19th Street, in Potrero Hill, but then the house wouldn’t have sold for $750,000 in the late eighties.) 

Pacific Heights: median home price, a million.  Median income, fifty thou.  Why was anyone surprised when an angry renter happened?  Disclaimer: I have actually lived in this zip code.  As a renter.

#227 – 94939 Larkspur

Median Home Price: $1,004,396
Median Price Change: -26%
Average Days On Market: 95
Inventory: 36 properties
Median Household Income: $75,747
Ignored Because: Location, location, location! Right next to San Quentin.

image #236 – 94402 San Mateo

Median Home Price: $982,903
Median Price Change: -10%
Average Days On Market: 103
Inventory: 103 properties
Median Household Income: $82,796

Whoa, look at that map!  This zip is cut into three different pieces!  Well seriously, if San Mateo gets to pick and choose separate parts that go to one zip, of course they can optimize it to get a couple of their zips onto the Top 500.  Place your bets which one we’ll see next, and when!

For this, 94402 is nominated for the Jerry Mander Prize for noncontiguousity.  But it’s still San Mateo so nobody is impressed.  Just the fact that we’re now under a million for the median home price tells us we’re not in Atherton anymore.

image #238 – 94118 San Francisco

Median Home Price: $976,434
Median Price Change: -8%
Average Days On Market: 71
Inventory: 86 properties
Median Household Income: $61,609

This zip contains Inner Richmond and Laurel Village, along with the nice places along the Presidio near Lake Street.  What’s surprising is how close the numbers are to Pacific Heights’ zip code.  Then again, zip codes were designed for postal workers, not real estate agents.

Then again, it includes 19th Avenue, and any house near there could be described as A Thoroughfare Runs Through It.

image #241 – 94127 San Francisco

Median Home Price: $969,776
Median Price Change: -8%
Average Days On Market: 103
Inventory: 50 properties
Median Household Income: $95,313

Remember what I was saying earlier about Portrero Hill?  Well, this isn’t it.  This is Mount Davidson, highest point in San Francisco (928 feet).  The neighborhood southwest of Mount Davidson is called Sherwood Forest.  Now all we need is a Robin Hood to steal from the people who live here (check out the median income).

This is also the site of the park scene with the cross in Dirty Harry, where Harry confronts serial killer Scorpio.

image #245 – 95120 San Jose

Median Home Price: $965,271
Median Price Change: -2%
Average Days On Market: 86
Inventory: 176 properties
Median Household Income: $120,117

San Jose?  No way.

Way, even San Jose finally cracks the list of Most Expensive Zip Codes, although #245 doesn’t exactly serve up bragging rights.  This part of town is on a hill like San Francisco above, but if you can name a movie shot at Calero Reservoir as notable as Dirty Harry (heck, our Governator said that movie influenced his acting career), go for it in the comments.

image #250 – 95033 Los Gatos

Median Home Price: $940,654
Median Price Change: 7%
Average Days On Market: 172
Inventory: 98 properties
Median Household Income: $106,675

Los Gatos’ third zip code squeaks under the wire at number 250, joining more chichi 95030 (#38) and 95032 (#199) in the list of Most Expensive Zip Codes in the United States.

This from the zip that provided the Cheapest House in Los Gatos earlier this week.  But it’s also got its tail cut off!  Did Mean old 95030 bite it when they were duking it out over Monte Sereno?

Next Installment: You’ll be on the edge of your seat wondering if Sunnyvale makes the next cut!  Only on Burbed!!!!

Comments (14) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:05 am

November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Post!

It’s Thanksgiving!

The best part about Thanksgiving is how much work you’re able to get done because your lazy, slacker, co-workers aren’t around to bug you. So keep going Bay Area Work Bee! We give our thanks to you – helping build the next AppleGoogleFacebook which will continue to fuel housing prices!

Enjoy the day of productivity, while the rest of us enjoy the day off!

Comments (1) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:56 am

November 21, 2010

This Could Never Happen in the RBA. Could It?

Today’s feature is a guest post by Burbed reader SEA.  Wow, Southern California just has a thing for squatting in a foreclosed house you no longer own.  Thanks very much, and I’m sure all the people who hate the Most Expensive ZIP Codes series thank you even more.

—–

What happens when amateurs compete with professionals?

“Since the day that we were married, we have been working hard, and saving our money for the day we purchase our dream home. With the depression of the housing market, we believed the time has finally come for us to find our house.”

“The owners of the house had just foreclosed on, and were awaiting eviction. Already were several buyers lined up to purchase up this home as soon as the previous owners were removed (contingent offers had already been placed.) Since the house was at already pushing the limit of our budget, we could not afford to raise our bid and have a chance to outbid the others.

“Today is October 28th, the day we should take possession of the home. What we found out early this morning is that the pervious owners have no intention of leaving. In fact, they filed for bankruptcy — this automatically puts a stay on the eviction process.Even though the house is not theirs, even though they agreed to move out, the eviction is instantly frozen.”

The Full Story is at Evict Struiksma.

Let’s see… No professional would buy this place with the former owner inside, but this guy thought it’d be a good idea. I’m not a bankruptcy attorney, but deals in the past can get undone by a bankruptcy court–preferential payments for example. Ever had a bankruptcy court ask for cash from you? It’s not a fun experience to have to pay back the cash you were owed.

Also bankruptcy filings have spiked, so courts and judges are experiencing heavy loads, and, it’s been my personal experience that judges are a bit more sympathetic to these foreclosures–the end result might be the same, but additional time might pass.

What’s even more comical is there is a Short Term Occupancy Agreement that provides for certain fees and expenses to be paid by the “occupant,” such as attorney fees. I have no idea what David Potts, or the attorney for that matter, was thinking about how to collect from someone who has gone through foreclosure. Isn’t bankruptcy likely?

I’m sure this house will be left in pristine condition, if David Potts can survive financially…

Oh, and now that it’s in bankruptcy, I doubt that David Potts could legally just go pay the guy to leave. Rather than expect magic for free, I’d have paid the occupant to leave before the bankruptcy was filed, but when you spend every last dime on the purchase, well, uh, what kind of contingency planning is that?

I know; I know. This could never happen in the RBA.

Comments (8) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:03 am

November 13, 2010

It’s Search Engine Saturday!

And you know what that means!  It means no zip codes today.

Today’s first search term that bought an Escondido reader to Burbed was more business and people leaving california.  That’s negative talk, and we don’t need no negativity on Burbed.  We do snark and sneer, not doom and gloom.  Besides, if more business and people are leaving California, that means everyone left is going to have low Prop 13 tax bases and nobody will ever sell.  BAD IDEA!

Our second interesting search term that brought a San Francisco someone to Burbed is most intelligent city san francisco.  Our readers sure are confident!  And modest!  Yet the search makes perfect sense.  With all the foolish business and people leaving California, the only ones staying are the smart folks.  End result: San Francisco is the most intelligent city.

This is an open thread (like we ever had one that wasn’t).

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

November 2, 2010

Don’t forget to vote today!

Hey everyone! Don’t forget to vote today!

Now, I know the cool thing to do amongst the nerd elite is to use Pete Rates the Propositions as a guide to voting.

Here’s his guide:

image

However, this guide takes into effect strange things like reason and logic.

Here’s the Burbed guide, based purely on property values! Remember, Prop 13 was the best thing to happen to the state – by driving up prices, which should be your only goal!

Proposition 19: Sort-of Legalization of Marijuana – Yes
By legalizing marijuana, we will reduce the price of marijuana, thus freeing up more income for people to spend on housing. And, while they’re high on the wacky tobacky, prospective buyers won’t even realize what they’re signing at closing time. If the California Association of Realtors isn’t for this, they must be high… oh wait…

Proposition 20: Commission to Draw Congressional Districts – Doesn’t matter, but may be No
I can’t figure out which would increase property values more. So vote either way. Maybe No so that we can protect our very senior politicians so they can get more funding for our areas. More pork = higher property values?

Proposition 21: Vehicle License Fee for Parks and Wildlife – No
Another fee means another $18 that would be taken away from prospective buyers looking to buy a house. That $18 could mean the difference of getting a loan or not!

Proposition 22: State to Keep Its Paws Off Local Budgets – No
If I’m reading this right, a vote of Yes may help encourage development. As we all know, development is the anathema to housing prices – basic supply and demand. Let’s ensure that Cupertino doesn’t become Condotino, and Palo Alto doesn’t became Condo Alto. NO NEW HOUSES.

Proposition 23: Suspension of Greenhouse Gas Law – Yes
Sure Greenhouse Gases are a problem – but not in the Real Bay Area. I’m sure the same people who came up with Facebook and Google will come up with innovative ways to keep the rising waters away from our real estate. (Sorry East Bay.) And, maybe this will help keep the price of gas down so that people can spend more on housing!

Proposition 24: Repeal of Big-Business Tax Breaks – No
This is obvious. We should be funneling more money to big business (especially from useless schools) so that they’ll create more jobs here, so that more people will compete for housing, so that property values will go up. Duh!

Proposition 25: Simple Majority to Pass State Budget – I don’t know
Would a vote of Yes or No help property prices more? I’m at a loss.

Proposition 26: Two-Thirds Vote to Impose Fees – Yes
We must keep companies fee free (see Prop 24) to encourage them to create jobs and increase house prices.

Proposition 27: Kill the Redistricting Commission – Yes
See Prop 20.

I hope this has been helpful!

Now go vote!

Comments (9) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:09 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 24, 2010

The Bottom 400 of the Top 500 Most Expensive Zip Codes, Part 4 of a Series that Will Never End. Ever.

We can thank Forbes Magazine’s The Most Expensive Zip Codes for selecting the prestige postal zones and then managing to mess them up.  So far we’ve caught them describing one town while showing houses from another, forgetting the difference between a zip code and a town boundary, mixing up their data sets, and showing a zip code 10 miles and $2 million away from what they labeled.

Since we don’t concern ourselves with other parts of the country where prices go down, homes need maintenance, streets get busy, and airports allow planes to land while children are sleeping, we’ve been looking at the Bay Area zips only.  In case you want to refer to the previous articles, you can click over to:

  • The 25 most expensive zip codes in the entire country, featuring Atherton, Belvedere, Los Altos Hills and Hillsborough!
  • The next 25 zip codes, not quite as Special.  Portola Valley, Los Gatos, Woodside, and other places too far away from Google to matter make their appearances.
  • The 50 after that, at cut-rate prices compared to the first 50.  These entries in the Corridor of Not Quite include Los Altos, Saratoga, Monte Sereno, and Palo Alto.

Again, data crunched by Altos Research, info prepared (not always perfectly) by Forbes, criticisms (I’m starting early today) entirely home-grown at burbed.  The very first entry on Forbes’ Page 2 list is one of our own!  We may not be in the Real Bay Area (RBA) anymore, but remember, these zip codes are still more expensive than at least 44,000 others!

image_thumb[1] #101 – 94507 Alamo

Median Home Price: $1,513,739
Median Price Change: -11%
Average Days On Market: 139
Inventory: 113 properties
Median Household Income: $139,997

I just said we weren’t in the RBA anymore.  It’s never a good sign when the very first listing is in the East Bay.  That 11% drop isn’t surprising anybody.

Besides, pretty soon the home price medians are going to drop below a million and a half, and then where would we be?

Right.  In the East Bay.

image_thumb[3] #106 – 94946 Nicasio

Median Home Price: $1,484,615
Median Price Change: 5%
Average Days On Market: 176
Inventory: 13 properties
Median Household Income: $76,194

You should have heard of this town before.  It was featured in burbed because of this listing.  Jerry Garcia’s house has been holding up this zip’s entire market.

Clearly Alamo and Nicasio are for two different demographics.  Alamo is for people earning good money now.  Nicasio is for people who already earned good money and want to get away from the people in Alamo still earning.  Then they can chillax and just enjoy it.  The money, I mean.  I’m still getting my head around trying to fill the closet in Jerry’s master bedroom.

Unfortunately, by not keeping enough cash coming into town, the residents of Nicasio let down the team.  Yes, the median home price is under one and a half million now.  Who knows what kind of vagrants and transients are living in those houses?  It’s not surprising one of them joined a rock band.

image_thumb[5] #120 – 93921 Carmel

Median Home Price: $1,412,704
Median Price Change: -9%
Average Days On Market: 153
Inventory: 84 properties
Median Household Income: $53,750

The income is down even more here at the other end of the Bay Area.  The Monterey Bay Area.

Carmel is a touristy little town that is expensive to live in, doesn’t sell anything useful to residents, and has a beach nobody can use since parking is between impossible and utterly impossible.  You shouldn’t have taken your time reading this.  They just ticketed your car.

Does that little bit right outside the zip environs, lower right corner, really say Trailer Park?

image_thumb[7] #120 – 93921 Carmel-By-The-Sea

Median Home Price: $1,412,704
Median Price Change: -9%
Average Days On Market: 153
Inventory: 84 properties
Median Household Income: $53,750

This is only a test to see if you’re paying better attention than Forbes did when they put this article together.

Yes, it is entirely possible that two cities can share a common zip code.  We’ve had many examples of it in the first hundred entries.

But what are the odds of the same zip code, the same ranking, the same data, and the same map just sitting there for two cities with practically the same name, and nobody noticed a damned thing?

image_thumb[9] #121 – 92603 Irvine

Median Home Price: $1,406,399
Median Price Change: -9%
Average Days On Market: 120
Inventory: 227 properties
Median Household Income: NA

Irvine has entered the building!

No, I have not taken leave of my senses.  I know that Irvine is not in the Bay Area, Real or otherwise.

But Irvine’s real estate issues have been so instructive, and the seminal Irvine Housing Blog so important to anyone trying to make sense of what happens when bubble
s pop.

And as much as there have been problems with the real estate market up here, one of our zip codes doesn’t have 227 properties in inventory, and so far we’ve avoided Mello-Roos taxes, too.  There’s a good reason we’ve avoided Irvine’s problems.  It’s because they’re not making any more land up here.  And that’s because they’re making it all down there, complete with Mello-Roos!

We now return you to our regular Bay Area real estate presentation, already in progress.

image_thumb[11] #125 – 93923 Carmel

Median Home Price: $1,384,643
Median Price Change: -7%
Average Days On Market: 191
Inventory: 298 properties
Median Household Income: $67,315

Now if i am reading this map correctly, this zip code includes Carmel and Carmel Highlands, but not Carmel-by-the-Sea or Carmel Valley.  Or the other part of Carmel that is covered by a simple street map and includes all the high-priced art galleries and jewelry stores.

This zip also has a bigger inventory than Irvine’s.  Thanks for making us look bad, Carmel, when everyone at IHB clicked over to read this.  You’re making all of us look really pathetic to those Southern Californians.  We might have to ask you to move over there, permanently.  You and your 298 unsold properties.  Maybe when you get they’re you’ll be placed in a Mello-Roos district, too.

(I thought those 298 listings had to be a mistake on Forbes’ part, but it isn’t.  Entering this zip into Redfin yields 270 listings.  And just because the zip covers around 200 square miles isn’t going to get it off the hook.)

image_thumb[13] #131 – 94104 San Francisco

Median Home Price: $1,365,346
Median Price Change: 3%
Average Days On Market: 162
Inventory: 11 properties
Median Household Income: $14,609

Finally!  A zip that makes you really sit up and take notice.

A zip that not only includes a bunch of ginormous skyscrapers (well, ginormous as long as we don’t go comparing them with anything in Los Angeles, or Chicago, or Manhattan), but has the brass rivets to say LOOK AT ME.  The median home price here is $1.36 million and the median income is $14,609.  That’s right!  It would take the average resident here a hundred years to buy the average residence.

Only a zip code with serious chutzpah could issue a message like that, a message that says, “Want to buy here?  Sorry.  You’ve been Priced Out Forever.”

image_thumb[15] #132 – 94965 Muir Beach

Median Home Price: $1,364,462
Median Price Change: 7%
Average Days On Market: 34
Inventory: 3 properties
Median Household Income: $76,808

This tiny town is located right where California Route 1 cuts overland to the Pacific and heads north up the coast (that line mislabeled 1 is actually US 101.  I’m watching you Forbes.  Always watching.) This tiny town has about six streets.  Muir Beach shares a zip with Sausalito, which ought to be showing up at some point.

Muir Beach.  Like Bolinas, only closer and more expensive.  Water meters not included.

image_thumb[17] #134 – 94574 Saint Helena

Median Home Price: $1,354,277
Median Price Change: -5%
Average Days On Market: 186
Inventory: 102 properties
Median Household Income: $60,964

Looks like it takes half a year to sell a typical property in Saint Helena.  That means they named the place well.

Saint Helena was the second and final place that Napoleon Bonaparte was exiled to, and he died five and a half years later.  And there isn’t anywhere nearby called Elba, because that would mean you could escape.  Although you can at least drink heavily.

Able I was ere I bought in St. Helena.

image_thumb[21] #147 – 95452 Kenwood

Median Home Price: $1,294,385
Median Price Change: 46%
Average Days On Market: 152
Inventory: 19 properties
Median Household Income: $58,421

Honey, I shrank the zip code.

I had to.  When it took up about 20% of the page, the only thing I could find was State Highway 12 and Mt Hood Regional Park.  I figured Kenwood was somewhere between Santa Rosa and Fairfield but wasn’t quite sure which was closer.

And St. Helena is in convenient exile distance.  I suppose I should find something nice to say about the place because the prices are up 46%, but seriously, unless you’re cultivating 200 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon or really want the Smothers Brothers as neighbors, you should be looking a little closer to Facebook HQ.

image_thumb[23] #150 – 94705 Oakland

Median Home Price: $1,283,731
Median Price Change: 28%
Average Days On Market: 217
Inventory: 3 properties
Median Household Income: $68,112

Somebody is playing a joke, but I can’t figure out who the joke is on.

We started today’s batch of runner-ups to the runner-ups in the East Bay.  Not only are we going t
o finish there, we’re going to finish in one of the least RBA-like cities in the East Bay.

Then again, the zip includes a bunch of UC property in Berkeley, so that’s kind of cheating.  Plus the Claremont Hotel.  I bet the Claremont Hotel would sell for more than $1,283,731.

And the zip is up… twenty eight percent.  With the same kind of unobtanium inventory we saw in Muir Beach.  That’s it.  I’m out of here.  I know when I’m licked.

Next installment: The Most Expensive Zip Codes in the Richmond Flats between Cutting Boulevard and Solano Avenue.

Comments (10) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:04 am