October 14, 2013

We’re #1! We’re #1! We’re… PRICED OUT FOREVER!

Yesterday we shared a San Jose Mercury News (motto: Website now as thin as our newspaper!) piece showing many first-time buyers are going to remain full-time renters for the time being.  And that’s true even if we spot them places like Hayward and Mountain House.

That’s distressing news if you hate your blood-sucking landlord (but we repeat ourselves), your noisy neighbors, or your shiftless property “manager.”  Let’s balance that cup of cold crappy colloquy with some news that will turn your frown upside down.

Where Can the Middle Class Buy a Home?

131013-sf-least-affordable-ggbBy CONOR DOUGHERTY, The Wall Street Journal

If you’re in the middle class and want to buy a home here’s a piece of advice: Move to Ohio (if you’re not already there).

Some 86% of homes in the Akron, Ohio area are within reach of middle-class buyers in the area, the highest share in the nation, according to a report from Trulia, the real estate listings site. The next two cities on the list, with 85% of homes affordable to middle class, are Dayton and Toledo, respectively.

For those of you in the coastal elite who are reading this post for the perverse pleasure of finding out just how unaffordable your city is, you might be surprised to hear that New York isn’t No. 1. San Francisco is the least affordable place to be a middle-class buyer, with only 14% of homes within reach of those making the median San Francisco household income of $78,840, according to Trulia.*

However, we were slightly surprised by the next two most unaffordable places, Orange County and Los Angeles, respectively. New York was the fourth least affordable place to be middle class. After that were San Diego and San Jose and Ventura County.

Sooooo, SF is #1 but Silicon Valley is #6? But note, California completely PWN3D New York and the entire East Coast in the unaffordability sweeps. Washington DC? Shut out by the shutdown. Later, you imperialist running dogs no longer feeding at the public trough for the next few days!  When it comes to places nobody can afford to live in, we can revel in our Specialness!

131013-sf-least-listThe Trulia link above (yes, of course it works) says that while San Francisco has a 60% higher median income than most-affordable Akron, Ohio, homes there sell for (deep breath, now) seven times as much.  Only 14% of homes for sale are affordable to a household earning median income for the area.  Even worse, whoops, we mean better, San Francisco has dropped ten more percentage points in affordability since last October when 24% of homes could be purchased by a median income household.

To get slightly wonky, the real formula was what percent of homes’ monthly payments were 31% or less of the median household income, which shows the problem right there.  Everyone knows if you want to buy a house in SF, Cash is King. Monthly payment? Might as well ask if they’ll sell you the house for a hogshead of buggy whips.

San Jose’s affordability index per Trulia was 31%, but then again, none of the contenders were anywhere close to SF.  Second-place Orange County came in with only 23% of homes rated affordable by the “middle class.”

Trulia also provided a “maximum affordable home price” for each area.  Let’s take a look at what you get for that price.  Here’s a 5 BR/3 BA in SF at only $10K less than the maximum affordable amount. Of course this house is in Bayview and it has some permit issues, but you can’t have everything.

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Contrast to how far your dollar S-T-R-E-T-C-H-E-S in San Jose!

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Wow, a gated estate with lots of CAPITAL LETTERS and it’s yours AS IS, which means the seller won’t switch houses on you!  And just for giggles, let’s see what an “affordable” house in Akron (highest affordable house: $226K) looks like.

131013-sf-least-akron

OMG look at that house! Those bricks are going down into a big ol’ pile as soon as The Big One hits! Not only that, it would take at least a couple more hours to get to Google from here than the other two houses we showed you.  And when you look out in the boonies like this, notice what you don’t get: a decent fence around the place to keep the nosy neighbors away.

We won’t even get into the difficulty of transferring into Cupertino schools.

Comments (8) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:08 am






October 8, 2013

Seller Prefers No Photo in Willow Glen

A great listing should be chock-full of photos to make you drop everything you’re doing and run over to your agent to say I MUST HAVE THIS HOUSE THIS INSTANT.  A so-so listing will have at least a couple of photos that intrigue you enough to see yourself possibly moving in.  And then there’s today’s listing.

Yes, we know there was no listing yesterday.  Unless all three of our readers decide to send in voluntary donations to keep us motivated, there sure are times we just don’t feel like writing. You want fresh content each morning? Then go ahead and MAKE MY DAY.

Ahem. Anyway, on to today’s featured property!

131007-william-redfin572 W WILLIAM St
San Jose, CA 95125
$299,999

3 Beds
1 Baths
1,204 Sq. Ft.
$249 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1905
Lot Size: 6,000 Sq. Ft.
On Redfin: 122 days
Status: Active
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Community: Willow Glen
MLS#: 81320113
Stories: 1
County: Santa Clara

Great fixer upper in Willow Glen. 3 Bedrooms 1 bath, shopping and schools nearby. Large kitchen with cute built-ins. High ceiling adds space.

Why would the seller prefer no photo when their agent could give us this one?

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Or an even better shot, like the LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION! This place is close to EVERYTHING!  Like extra added emissions!

131007-william-aerial

And we’re sure you can find even more amazing benefits to this property that the agent neglected to share! Have at it!

Comments (14) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:05 am

October 3, 2013

“Work done with permits” with the most lucky price ever!

1350 PEGGY Ave
Campbell, CA 95008

20131002a

First, let’s take a moment to observe that this house has the luckiest price ever. Whoever buys this house will be showered with years of good fortune and good SAT scores. There is no doubt.

Next, let’s just look at all the benefits this house has to offer! Long time readers of this blog know that permits are often just ignored. After all, this is the most disruptive place in the world – Silicon Valley doesn’t need stinkin’ permits. Ask for forgiveness, not permission! So the fact that this house has work done with permits – that’s definitely a unique feature.

But most importantly, once you plunk down this $888,888, you will have enormous flexibility to spend the rest of the $1M you have sitting around to grow this house. Just think of all the possibilities! After all, there’s a 200 amp panel and so much flat land. Will you be building the ultimate brogramming cave? A massive Singapore Math™ study zone?

Let’s hear your best ideas!

Comments (4) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:04 am

October 2, 2013

Investment opportunity! Tenants willing to rent back.

10200 TORRANCE Ave
San Jose, CA 95127
$399,000

20130930a

It’s Silicon Valley! Who doesn’t like an investment opportunity!

So, if this has been renting for $1,800 per month for more than 4 years, doesn’t that mean that this is underpriced? As the new landlord, would you immediately double the rent to the market value of $3,600? After all, the rent was based on the price before the remodel! That seems awfully low.

What’s your pricing strategy for this?

And let’s not forget this large lot in the back!

image

It’s so… triangular! That just means you can build an incredibly unique, and therefore, incredibly expensive (because it’s rare!) house in the back as well! You could market this as the Triangle House – TriHo for short!

Comments (2) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:48 am

October 1, 2013

6 SINGLE HOME OR APARTMENT UNIT OR CHURCH OR TEMPLE OR COMMERCIAL

898 TULLY Rd
San Jose, CA 95111

20130930

As we all know, one of the most important things you can have in life is options. Unlimited options = freedom, and freedom is the bedrock of our nation.

This plot of land has many options… almost unlimited options! Thus, this plot of land is freedom.

What would you build on it if you owned this? A church? A temple? A single apartment unit?

Please answer soon. HURRY UP!

Speaking of hurrying up, it’s interesting that this house has been on the market for 270 days. Where have I seen this before?

http://www.burbed.com/2012/08/14/instagram-makes-anything-better-right/

August 14, 2012

Instagram makes anything better right?

898 TULLY Rd
San Jose, CA 95111
$1,300,000

20120812898

Maybe the realtor should switch to Vine! Then this house would really hurry up!

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

September 30, 2013

Buying A Home Still Beats Renting By 35% In America’s Biggest Cities

Buying A Home Still Beats Renting By 35% In America’s Biggest Cities

Despite rising home prices and mortgage rates, it’s still cheaper to buy a home than to rent one in America’s largest cities. A new report from San Francisco, Calif.-based real estate site Trulia finds that, nationally, it’s 35% less expensive to own a home. Even in notoriously pricey, renter-heavy cities like San Francisco and New York, it remains 9% and 21% cheaper, respectively.

Of the top 10, eight are located in Calif., a state in which many cities, despite being plagued by high unemployment and the foreclosure crisis, never saw prices fall enough to fully align with other local economic fundamentals like median income.

The metro area that will swing back toward renting first is San Jose, Calif., when mortgage rates climb to 5.2%. It’s currently 4% cheaper to buy than rent in the Silicon Valley hub, a dramatic change from last year when it was 31% cheaper.

This really proves what we’ve all known: buying is cheaper than renting. It’s always a good time to buy.

I’m not sure what you’re doing this Monday morning, but if you’re not buying a home, you’re probably starting off this week in the wrong way.

What does your calculations show? Is buying cheaper than renting?

Comments (8) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:42 am

September 28, 2013

I like Eichs–21st Century Style. But did Steve Jobs?

Did anyone attend the ribbon-cutting of this house yesterday?  Anyone want to check out the Open House today or tomorrow?  Thanks very much to a connected reader who passed this on to us.

130927-21st-century-eichler

Here’s a few more pictures from the house’s website.

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Now, feast your eyes on this text:

Joseph Eichler built some of his first prototype “Eichlers” just one block away (here in Sunnyvale). Steve Jobs grew up in the area and was inspired by Eichler.  Designer/Builder, John Citrigno, is a third-generation native. His great-grandfather was a general contractor that built homes in the area.  Mr. Citrigno, a classmate of Steve Job’s at Homestead High, inspired by both Eichler and Jobs, asked the question at every step of design and construction:

“What would Joseph Eichler build if he were alive today?" (given the cultural changes such as the need for more closet space and current construction materials and technology) and “How would the home look, function, and feel… if Steve Jobs were project manager in charge of construction and design”? 

The result is the home that will be unveiled tomorrow in Sunnyvale!

Somehow, we’re having trouble seeing Steve Jobs approve of all the cement in these pictures. However, if he were the project manager the house would run over budget by a factor of ten and he would leave out the off button on all the light switches.  Kind of like the interior photos on the website.

And the website left out something important: how much?  Burbed found out!

130927-21st-redfin609 W REMINGTON Dr
Sunnyvale, CA 94087
$1,298,000

4 Beds
2 Baths
1,755 Sq. Ft.
$740 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 2013
Lot Size: 7,245 Sq. Ft.
On Redfin: 1 day
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Stories: 1
Community: Sunnyvale
MLS#: 81335908
Style: Modern/High Tech
View: Mountains, Neighborhood
County: Santa Clara

NEW METICULOUS STATE OF THE ART "21ST CENTURY EICHLER" UTILIZING CUTTING EDGE ENERGY EFFICIENT "GREEN BUILD" CONSTRUCTION w/ INNOVATIVE USE OF TECHNOLOGY & CUSTOM DETAILS THROUGHOUT * ONLY THE FINEST MATERIALS, FIXTURES & FINISHES INSIDE & OUT * ZERO ENERGY HOME USING SCALABLE SOLAR CELLS * STUNNING KITCHEN & BATHS, ETC * TOTALLY WIRED * THIS HOME IS ABSOLUTE PERFECTION * TOP SCHOOLS:CUMBERLAND, SUNNYVALE, FREMONT

This must be the first use in a listing, ever, of the terms “TOP SCHOOLS” and “FREMONT” High.  Steve Jobs did not go to Fremont, and Mr. Citringo, “a classmate of Steve Job’s [sic] at Homestead High” knows it.

On the left is the house that Steve Jobs chose to live in. It doesn’t look a lot like this one. The non-Eichler he grew up in, though, may be designated a historic site.

Comments (11) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:03 am

September 27, 2013

Speaking of million dollar fixer uppers, here’s one

Only this one isn’t in Palo Alto or even Piedmont. Indeed.

130926-3rd-redfin402 N 3RD St
San Jose, CA 95112
$1,650,000

— Beds
— Baths
3,192 Sq. Ft.
$517 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1898
Lot Size: 6,302 Sq. Ft.
On Redfin: 30 days
Status: Active
Stories: 2
Community: Central San Jose
MLS#: 81331712
View: Neighborhood
County: Santa Clara

great investment

Not that we’re going to let you, you know, LOOK IT OVER.

This property isn’t all that big and neither is the lot, but it’s supposedly divided (or could be) into little apartments. Buy this house and set yourself up for life as a future slumlord!

Comments (5) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:04 am

September 20, 2013

Cheapest House in San Jose: Just add imagination & love

Tired of seeing three million dollars for a cracker box in Palo Alto?  Us, too.  Here’s how far you can S-T-R-E-T-C-H your dollar if you’re willing to look in San Jose. Well, the Special parts, anyway.

130919-drake-redfin602 DRAKE St
San Jose, CA 95125
$319,000

2 Beds
1 Baths
966 Sq. Ft.
$330 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1948
Lot Size: 4,840 Sq. Ft.
On Redfin: 8 days
Status: Active
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Community: Willow Glen
MLS#: 81333635
Stories: 1
County: Santa Clara

Diamond in the rough, Corner lot with potential, with some imagination and love you can turn it into your dream home. Large backyard with room for RV or boat parking. Detached garage, perfect for an at home workshop. ALL CASH ONLY. Property condition restricts financing options.

Didn’t we already have a diamond in the rough this week? This one appears to be a little rougher. At least it won’t set you back too much scratch. And here’s why.

130919-drake-patio130919-drake-rear

Not only do you get these lovely pavers, the shadowing on the house makes it look jauntily nautical. Um, that is if “tugboat” can go in that nautical category.

130919-drake-room130919-drake-bedroom

And don’t worry about the low price meaning you’ll do without amenities! As you can clearly observe, the house does have rooms in it!

130919-drake-rous

There’s more! Looks like we found another R.O.U.S, stronghold as well!  That’s two this week!

And here’s really why this place is such a bargain: Location, location, location! Although this location sure ain’t Willow Glen.

130919-drake-satellite

Bunus: Dorky datestamps on photos are from July!

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:03 am

September 18, 2013

Diamond in the rough. Really rough. For many diamonds.

We’re continuing this Week of Win, jumping to a new county each time. Today we’re headed to Santa Clara, the Mission City.  As in, your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to tell us everything you just love about today’s featured property!

We’ll start. It’s on a street named for an architect!

130917-wren-redfin990 WREN Ave
Santa Clara, CA 95051
$1,598,000

3 Beds
2.5 Baths
2,250 Sq. Ft.
$710 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1963
Lot Size: 0.52 Acres
On Redfin: 55 days
Status: Active
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Stories: 1
Community: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81326991
Style: Traditional
View: Neighborhood
County: Santa Clara

* Diamond in the rough * Huge Lot * Buyer to verify if the property can be subdivided into 3 lots * With TLC, this house is full of potential

130917-wren-lawnThis house is indeed full of something.  Unfortunately there are no pictures inside so we’re going to have to guess what that is.

Also we’re scratching our heads over how much potential this home is full of, especially with the subdivision suggestion. Maybe it has the potential to have even uglier houses much closer.

Comments (4) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:02 am