August 17, 2011

Top of the world location, location, location!

Here’s a one-of-a-kind listing from Burbed reader Petsmart Groomer, who must fondly remember the days when the Real Bay Area could run as far north as Seattle, or at least San Anselmo.

40 Wolfback Ridge Rd, Sausalito, CA  94965
$995,000

image

BEDS: –
BATHS: –
SQ. FT.: –
LOT SIZE: 0.66 Acres
PROPERTY TYPE: Lots & Land, Single Family
VIEW: Bay, Bridges, City, Forest/Woods, Ocean, Panoramic, Park, Valley, Water
COMMUNITY: Sausalito
COUNTY: Marin
MLS#: 21107250
SOURCE: BAREIS
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 149 days

This top of the world location sits at nearly 960 feet elevation w/ absolutely incredible views of San Francisco, the mouth of the SF bay & west to the Pacific Ocean, Farallon Islands & sunsets. The lot is a natural penthouse on a private road behind two gates in an exclusive community. It is a very RARE buildable view lot minutes from San Francisco. Don’t be confused-this opp. is better than it looks.

imageHere’s what PG had to say about this top of the world location:

The world has never been so low.

I think you meant the price of this OPPORTUNITY has never been so low!  Don’t be confused-this opp. is better than it looks.

See?  It even has this free bridge thrown in!  That must be worth a couple thousand for the scrap metal alone!

imageIt’s a natural penthouse on a private road behind two gates in an exclusive community!  What more could you want?

Other than really, really hope the agents with this listing would deign to take your phone calls, assuming you could ever find their unlisted number?

Comments (21) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:06 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

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

October 14, 2010

I’m Shopping Around for Something to Do that No One Will Like

That’s a Jerry Garcia quote, but he wasn’t talking about his house.  Maybe someone will like it (the house, not the quote).  Maybe you could own it.  But unfortunately the previous owner sold all the Garcia fixtures to raise money for charity.  So you cannot have The Jerry Garcia Toilet.

55 El Mirador Dr Nicasio, CA 94946
$3,995,000

image

Beds: 5
Baths: 6
Sq. Ft.: 7,189
$/Sq. Ft.: $556
Lot Size: 10.47 Acres
Property Type: Residential, Detached, Single Family
Style: Spanish/Mediterranean
Stories: 2
View: Canyon, Forest/Woods, Hills, Mountains, Panoramic, Ridge, Valley
Year Built: 1989
Community: Nicasio
County: Marin
MLS#: 21025911
Source: BAREIS
Status: Active
On Redfin: 32 days

Former Estate of Jerry Garcia. Gated, private – situated on top of a sunny ridge with beautiful views. 5bd/5 full and 2 1/2 baths, 6 car garage, Artist Studio that was Jerry’s, pool w/ waterfall, organic garden, children’s playground, Fabulous for entertaining in this exquisite mediterranean estate with access to the outside grounds from most rooms. Close to SF.

Jerry Garcia

Jerry Garcia, the lead guitarist of The Grateful Dead, owned this house at his death in 1995.

Alas, the estate doesn’t even have a Deadhead name like Terrapin Station or (Crap) Box of Rain.  And while the current owner claims to have lots of stories about Garcia and the remaining members of the band, none of them were included in the listing.

And do check that listing out, as it is so overflowing with houseporn you’ll doubt Jerry ever had anything to do with this place.  Here’s just a sample of the purple prose that awaits when you read the property features:

The Master Suite is elegantly appointed with dark teak flooring, wood-burning fireplace, Fortuni chandelier, four door access to a paver deck overlooking the pool and back patio offering views to the East and South. This elegant sleeping area has two entrances. The Master Bath brings together function and form with his and hers sinks marble tops Elgin fixtures, and ample mirrors. Further in are private toilet and bidet with telephone accessibility. The master also offers full length glass enclosed Sauna with one-way glass enclosure to the outside grounds. The walk-in marble shower is also fully enclosed and contains two facing shower heads enclosed in a marble finish and with length size bench. The water pressure would make a power washer jealous. The Master Closet is a room in and of itself. One would be hard pressed to fill this closet and itis a room that has to be seen to understand how true that is.

It is easier to fill a large closet if you own a lot of crap.  Perhaps the agent doesn’t understand how true that is.  So, you think the above language is overdone?  There’s also clunky language:

Along with the stunning architecture and overall design of the house itself, the grounds boast impeccable landscaping.  Its rolling lawns, along with mature palm trees mix spectacularly with the surrounding native forest. Its 73,000-gallon swimming pool and enormous spa are complemented by palms, lawns, and rose gardens adjoining a spacious sun drenched patio area beneath sunlit skies during the day and moonlit skies at night.

It’s a good thing this isn’t one of those ordinary properties that has moonlit skies during the day and sunlit skies at night.  I hate when that happens.

But the agent got one thing right.  Two photos of the hot tub,  (George HW Bush wrote an apology to Marin County residents, saying he’d never use the phrases “Marin County” and “hot tub” in the same sentence again.)

This is the perfect place to celebrate Proposition 19 passing, in a Marin County hot tub, formerly owned by Jerry Garcia.

Comments (6) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:23 am

October 9, 2010

The Most Expensive Zip Codes, Second Tier

In a previous installment, we looked at the Bay Area zips on the 25 most expensive zip codes piece in Forbes magazine.  But how could we leave the other 475 of the top 500 alone?  (Other than all those TL;DR comments.)

Here’s what’s local that made the list, between 26-50.  Try to guess if any of your favorites made it.  Feel free to comment on any of these zips if you’re familiar with them, or even better if you aren’t.  Maps courtesy of Forbes.

image #30 – 94957: Ross, CA

Median Home Price: $2,519,269
Median Price Change: 1%
Average Days On Market: 120
Inventory: 26 properties
Median Household Income: NA

I’ve heard of Ross!  I think the San Francisco Chronicle used to put it in the local weather stats because it got so much more rain than anywhere else in the entire Bay Area.

And no, this is not Fort Ross.  This is a zip in central Marin County (that’s for those of you who can’t read a map or never left your town).

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image#31 – 94028: Portola Valley, CA

Median Home Price: $2,509,962
Median Price Change: 5%
Average Days On Market: 112
Inventory: 38 properties
Median Household Income: $164,479

Yay, back to the Real Bay Area!  And PV might be the only zip code, anywhere, to be shaped like the Roadrunner’s head.  If that doesn’t explain why their median income is so honking high, I don’t know what will.

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.

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image #38 – 95030: Los Gatos, CA

Median Home Price: $2,293,268
Median Price Change: 39%
Average Days On Market: 105
Inventory: 53 properties
Median Household Income: $117,564

So far the Bay Area listings have either danced around the Stanford campus, or were located in Marin County.  Los Gatos is the first one within shouting distance of San Jose.

Los Gatos has two more zip codes.  Any suspicions when we’ll be seeing them?  (No peeking.)

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image #41 – 94062: Woodside, CA

Median Home Price: $2,228,269
Median Price Change: -8%
Average Days On Market: 152
Inventory: 63 properties
Median Household Income: $96,677And back to San Mateo County we go!
Don’t let the Post Office fool you.  94062 includes a slice of Redwood City, some of it practically on El Camino Real.  And if you haven’t ever driven El Camino all the way to SF, you may not know that in Redwood City, ECR is really, really, really close to 101.

Really!

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image #49 – 94528: Diablo, CA

Median Home Price: $2,111,588
Median Price Change: -20%
Average Days On Market: 133
Inventory: 16 properties
Median Household Income: NA

OK, who let the East Bay into the club?

I swear, you let a couple of them show up in burbed and next think you know they’re appearing on expensive zip code lists.  Fortunately, the market is reminding those upstarts why East is East, Best is Best, and never the twain shall meet.

Down 20 percent, yowza!

More good news.  The top 50 zip codes do not include a single flyover state.  Most are in California and New York, a couple in New Jersey, Greenwich, CT came in at #27, and somehow one in Miami Beach popped up. The only other West Coast zip not in California is Medina, Washington (#42).

Yes, we have 450 zip codes to go, but at after #50,we could stop providing these useless maps.  Or we could make them twice as big.  Anyway, please comment on these or any other expensive zip codes.  And if you hate, hate, hate this series, feel free to whine, whine, whine.

Next installment: The Also-Rans, part 37.

Comments (67) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:04 am

October 3, 2010

The Most Expensive Zip Codes! MOST EXPENSIVE!!!

Forbes Magazine has their annual most expensive zip code collection again, and high-end real estate agents rejoiced.  This feature is the Capitalist Tool’s usual suck-off to NAR, with the lovely pictures there to move some expensive houses.  Anyway, California, despite its budgetary and property value woes, completely cleaned New York’s clock.  Unfortunately, Los Angeles is getting ahead of San Francisco.

Here are the top ten:

    1. 91008, Duarte, Calif.
    2. 94027, Atherton, Calif.
    3. 90274, Rolling Hills, Calif.
    4. 07620, Alpine, N.J.
    5. 10014, New York, N.Y.
    6. 90210, Beverly Hills, Calif.
    7. 10065, New York, N.Y.
    8. 94920, Belvedere, Calif.
    9. 10012, New York, N.Y.
    10. 93108, Santa Barbara, Calif.

If ever a list defined what flyover land was, this is it.  All ten are California or New York City suburbs.  How did Greenwich, Connecticut get knocked off this list?  More importantly, how did a town full of ginormous houses next to Monrovia get on it?  91008 is mostly big, expensive homes in Bradbury, but the post office calls the zip Duarte. High-priced enclave surrounded by working-class city, good thing we don’t have anything like that in the Real Bay Area (RBA)!

And we sure don’t have anything like this:

High-End Slump Slows
The median price of America’s high-end homes continues to slide, but not as fast as it did last year. Our index of 500 high-end ZIP codes saw the average home price fall 5%, to $1.2 million, from the same time last year. In 2009 the markets on our list saw a 7% price drop.

About 35% of the ZIP codes in our index saw median prices increase or stay flat, but that’s likely because more high-priced homes are coming on the market, while more affordable housing continues to falter. “The year-over-year price changes we’re seeing here aren’t necessarily the change in price for your house, if you have a house in this area,” says Simonsen. “It’s a change in the mix of homes on the active market.”

Anyway, on to the high-priced zips in the Bay Area.  Photos, stats, and smarmy real estate copy is from Forbes.  You’ll recognize what isn’t, and I’ve hunted down all the real estate so you don’t have to.

#2 – 94027: Atherton

Median Home Price: $4,010,200
Median Price Change: 4%
Average Days On Market: 109
Inventory: 57 properties
Median Household Income: $200,001

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This remodeled mid-century four-bedroom, four-bathroom, 4,010-square-foot ranch with a cathedral ceiling, fireplace, media room, two-car garage and gardens sells for $4,488,000. It is listed with Alain Pinel.

And it’s up 4%.  RBA Win!  This house on Fredrick Ave is still for sale, listed 63 days.  Buy now with Redfin and save $56,100!

#8 – 94920: Belvedere

Median Home Price: $3,283,269
Median Price Change: 51%
Average Days On Market: 149
Inventory: 39 properties
Median Household Income: $106,492

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This three-bedroom, four-bathroom 4347-square-foot Spanish-style stucco home in the section of 94920 that’s in neighboring Tiburon offers views and a fireplace and sells for $3,195,000. William J. Smith has the listing.

What’s this?  The zip is shared with Tiburon?  Outrage!  If Belvedere had its own zip, it would kick Bradbury’s butt!  But wait!  This house isn’t in Belvedere but in Tiburon?  That’s bait and switch!  Just for that I won’t buy the house on Buckwheat Court.  In Tiburon.

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#15 – 94022: Los Altos Hills

Median Home Price: $3,048,846
Median Price Change: 34%
Average Days On Market: 176
Inventory: 58 properties
Median Household Income: NA

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This 4,000 square-foot, five-bedroom, six-bathroom Mediterranean-style home has a stucco exterior, vaulted ceilings, a fireplace and study and is selling for $3,195,000. Alain Pinel has the listing.

Up 34%!  New York is our beeyotch.  And so is Forbes, because this house is on Jay St, in Los Altos, No Hills.  It’s also new construction.  Three lots down from busy El Monte.  You’re welcome.

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#18 – 94024: Los Altos Hills

Median Home Price: $2,974,058 <
/dt>
Median Price Change: -9%
Average Days On Market: 179
Inventory: 15 properties
Median Household Income: NA

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This 4,673 square-foot six-bedroom, four-bathroom home has hardwood floors, a fireplace, vaulted ceilings and a swimming pool. It is listed for $2,899,000 with Campi Properties.

Sloppy work again, Forbes.  This house is also in Los Altos, not Los Altos Hills.  And it’s only 4,367 feet, so you’re off by almost 300 sf.  It’s on Young Ct, off Summerhill, off Magdelena, off 280.  Talk about any easy commute, provided you don’t work anywhere near 101.

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#20 – 94010: Hillsborough

Median Home Price: $2,948,423
Median Price Change: 11%
Average Days On Market: 109
Inventory: 101 properties
Median Household Income: $82,188

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This 4,190-square-foot, six-bedroom, five-bathroom home has a double-height foyer, two-car garage, fireplace and swimming pool, and is offered at $3,095,000 by Alain Pinel Realty.

What the – 101 properties listed in Hillsborough?  Are there even 101 properties in Hillsborough?  Trick question!  The zip is shared with Burlingame!  And this listing on Eucalyptus was a trick, too.  Everything in the description lined up, and here I thought they were going to put it in the wrong city.

But who the heck buys a 6 bedroom house with only a 2 car garage?  Where will the servants park?

There’s plenty more zip code madness to come, in another installment.  Although if you’re buying things on installment, you’re priced out of these zips.  Forever.

Comments (39) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:05 am

June 15, 2010

truly exemplifies the belvedere

You can fool some of the people all of the time, you can fool all of the people some of the time, but you can’t possibly sell this problematic house to anyone fortunate enough to live in the Real Bay Area.

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101 Belvedere Ave Belvedere, CA 94920
$27,500,000

Beds: 6
Baths: 6.5
Sq. Ft.:  7,063
$/Sq. Ft.: $3,894
Lot Size: 0.69 Acres
Property Type:
Residential, Detached, Single Family
Style: Custom
Stories: 3
View: Bay, Bridges, City, Lights, Marina, Mountains, Water
Year Built: 1987
Community: Belvedere
County: Marin
MLS#: 21014179
Source: BAREIS
Status: Active This listing is for sale and the sellers are accepting offers.
On Redfin: 19 days

Sited on the western-most promontory of Belvedere Island w/ the Bay directly below & unobstructed views from Mount Tam through Sausalito, the GG Bridge & the entire SF skyline, this property truly exemplifies the belvedere. Warren Callister designed, west-side waterfront w/ 5 bedrooms, 4 full & 3 half-baths in the main residence & separate 1-bedroom, 1-bath guest apartment w/ kitchen & living room.

I don’t even know where to begin with this one, so let’s get the biggest problem out of the way first.  This house is at least 45 miles from Silicon Valley.  I’m sure you could handle a lot of your business via email, Skype and SMS, but.  But.  You’re still 45 miles, that’s an hour and half in traffic, from the people you need to see.  There’s something to be said for “smart” communities, and Belvedere wasn’t anywhere on the list.  Face it, with a density of 1856 people per square mile, you’re not going to find 1259 of them being college grads as you will in San Jose.

Next problem: Serious water hazard.  I mean, would you LOOK at this?

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And that isn’t a koi pond.  That’s San Francisco Bay, and it’s 56 degrees in there.   Brrrrrr.  So don’t waste your money on koi.  They’re freshwater.

Now, let’s look at one of those words the listing agent used.  “Promontory,”  No, not promissory, promontory,  As in exposed, windswept cliff.  As in “I sure hope you have a lot of liability insurance, because you are going to need it when your daughter’s best friend starts playing Wuthering Heights on that promontory.”  As in, “Did you hire a geologist to see if the whole house is going down in the drink because a big chunk of promontory just collapsed?” 

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Promissory probably doesn’t pertain to this property.  At an asking price of $27,500,000, your loan of $729,750 will leave you to come up with a 97.3% down payment.  There is good news!  With that much cash up front, there’s almost no chance of a low appraisal sinking the deal!

Next problem: Isn’t the entire point of buying rather than renting so you can water your own lawn?  This property seems to have neglected the lawn.  Big minus.

Another big lose for this property is the Golden Gate bridge toll.  What is that up to now, six dollars? Five with FasTrak?  Your only way around that is to take the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge and come down I-880.  Well, that or put in a helipad on the roof.

Now, did you take a look at this interesting number?  Price per square foot: $3,894.  I’m going to say that again.  Three thousand, eight hundred ninety four.  Most of the properties on burbed are smaller than that in square feet, let alone cheaper per square foot.  This might indeed be a record.  What is this place made out of, unobtanium?  And for this kind of money, are there any marble columns?

image Nope.  There might be some marble in the bathroom, but none of it was column-shaped.

What a rip-off.

And speaking of rip-off, note how the listing gives and then takes away.  It said 6 BR/6.5 BA, didn’t it?  What you don’t find out until you read the fine print is that one bedroom and one bath are in the guest apartment.  So you’re really only getting 5 BR/5.5 BA in the house, and that 5.5 BA is really 4 full and 3 half bathrooms.  That’s right.  3 of the “bathrooms” don’t have a bath or a shower.  If that isn’t false advertising, I don’t know what is.

It’s that kind of cheap fitting out that leads people to say rude things about contractors.  And let’s just note one thing about the home’s designer, Warren Callister.  He is responsible for Rossmoor.  That’s a retirement community.  In Walnut Creek.  Walnut Creek is even less RBA than Belvedere, because the former is a suburb of Oakland.

imageHere’s another problem with this property: can you imagine having to wash all these windows?  I can’t either.  Keep looking at the pictures in the listing, because this isn’t the only room where one window would have been enough, so Callister put in six.  Did he own stock in Andersen or something?  I mean, if you’re going to spend so much on fixtures, why not throw in a few marble columns instead?

Yup. I’ll say it again.  Custom home, not one marble column.  It’s like they weren’t even trying.  It “truly exemplifies the belvedere.”  A belvedere is a structure built to take in a commanding view, usually above a building or city.  So this house, in not having one, truly exemplifies it.

Comments (27) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:05 am

April 29, 2010

$300,000 for a Water Meter

Thanks to Burbed reader madhaus for this guest post!

Everyone knows construction costs in the Bay Area are “through the roof” because it’s so Special here.  What everyone did not know is that some places are so Special that it will cost more for a water meter than a house almost anywhere else.

image Bolinas is north of San Francisco, but the residents don’t want you to find them.  The state has given up replacing any direction signs to the town, because they keep getting torn down.  And even if you can find your way there, don’t plan on moving into a new house.  There are exactly 580 water meters allowed in Bolinas, and they don’t come up for sale very often.  No water meter, no new construction.

One is coming up for sale very soon, and it’s going up for auction.  Minimum bid: $300,000.  It’s for sale because a the town, aided by billionaire venture capitalist Michael Moritz, bought a house that burnt down and is turning the lot into a park.  The auction ended Friday, April 16th, after this NY Times article was published.

For most of the last 39 years, “the only way a water meter came free was when a house burnt down, or fell off a cliff,” said Barbara Rothwell, a longtime Bolinas resident.

The meter moratorium has survived, even through protracted litigation, with the support of residents who like this isolated town the way it is.

The last water meter to come up for auction was in 2005, and it sold for $310,000.  Now, that’s Special!  How are your Special communities keeping out the riff-raff?
Incidentally, don’t you think The Bolinas Water Meters would be an awesome name for a rock band?

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Update, 4/20/10:  Nobody submitted a bid for the coveted water meter. The deadline has been extended another week, ending on Friday April 24th.

Update, 4/28/10:  No bidders on water meter, auction extended to May 14th

Your chance to get a rare Bolinas water meter has been extended to May 14.

“We want to give people more time,” said Flower Fraser, owner of Seadrift Realty, who is ready to collect the bids.

The original deadline was April 16, then was extended to Friday and now until mid-May. Seven parties have inquired about the meter, but no one has submitted a bid.

Maybe some properties outside the RBA aren’t all that Special.

Comments (20) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:16 am

May 26, 2008

Where are you going this Memorial Day? To this San Rafel Resort?

It’s Memorial Day! You may or may not have the day off (this is Silicon Valley after all – not Wall St.) How are you spending it? Are you going to a resort?

If so… have you ever thought about moving to this San Rafael house?

Just think, if you bought this house, you would never have to leave the Bay Area to go on vacation because you would be on vacation every day at your own home. Nothing says resort living like this! It’s like having your own Club Med, and your own investment vehicle at the same time! And like a time share in Las Vegas, you can be sure you can sell this for a profit when you’re tired of living in a resort.

San Rafel. Resort. San Rafel. Resort.

Go for it. Who knows, maybe you can host some poker games there!

(Thanks anonymous Burbed reader.)

Comments (9) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:44 am

April 11, 2007

Marin: "It's God's country"

April 10, 2007

Marin Independent Journal – Economist sees Marin holding its own in housing slump
A prominent real-estate economist predicts that troubles will persist in the California housing sector throughout the year, but she said Marin’s unique market is weathering the downturn better than other areas.

“It’s God’s country, what can I say,” Leslie Appleton-Young, chief economist for the California Association of Realtors, told an audience of agents Tuesday in Terra Linda. “When is the 30 percent decline in Marin County’s market going to happen? Not in my lifetime.”

Yep, this is going in the quotes bucket.

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 3:49 pm