July 14, 2013

Agent Scammer to the Slammer for a fixed 15

Let’s have some more news about our favorite people: realtards. Or at least one particular realtard who was particularly clueless. Pro Tip: If you’re going to pull off a classic Ponzi real estate scam, don’t do it to your own friends and family. Pick people who won’t be continually reminded of you. They’re less likely to notice there’s a problem, and even if they do, they’ll keep forgetting to do something about it.

Thanks very much to Burbed reader Petsmart Groomer for passing this story along.

San Jose real estate agent who scammed friends and family gets 15-year sentence

130713-ponzi-mugshotBy Eric Kurhi, San Jose Mercury News
Posted:   07/10/2013 06:10:02 PM PDT; Updated:   07/11/2013 12:12:36 PM PDT

SAN JOSE — A real estate agent has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for using a Ponzi scheme to bilk friends and family out of more than $2 million, which she spent on luxury cars, expensive clothes and fancy furniture, according to prosecutors.

Jill Marie Silvey, 51, was convicted earlier this year in Santa Clara County Superior Court of 52 fraud-related felonies. Her scam involved convincing at least 20 investors to lend their money to homeowners whom Silvey had dealt with before. The homeowners would then send the investors monthly interest payments.

Unfortunately, there are still plenty of real estate agents out there not going to jail. Some of them might not have even scammed anybody!  This a good time to let us know your agent stories, both good and bad.

PG notes “She reportedly asked if we could refinance the sentence to a 5/1.” 

Comments (2) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:03 am






July 13, 2013

Congratulations! You now have your equity back!

Here’s an interesting piece of Real Estate pr0n received by Burbed reader nomadic.

130712-congrats-equity

In case you cannot view the graphic, here’s the text:

Congratulations!

You now have your equity back!
Prices have shot past the all-time
highs in many areas.
-As-Is Sales-
-Top Sale Prices-
-Minimal Preparation-

What’s Your Home’s Current Value?

Two Beautiful California Peaks

 

(with photos of Half Dome and a large red arrow labeled 2013 Real Estate Values getting bigger and fatter as well as higher on a graph with no labels). The last segment appears to have a rise to run ratio of 8, so perhaps the X axis is fortnights and the Y is mills.

For the record, real estate prices have gone up about 15-20 percent, which would be a rise to run ratio of, well, at most one fifth. You know. 20%.  A one to one ratio is a straight line at a 45 degree angle.

This is your weekend Open Thread, and it may have to last you all weekend, too. Do you have your equity back? You know if you lived in the Real Bay Area you never would have misplaced it in the first place.

Comments (4) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:05 am

July 12, 2013

Wire for Cable in Alviso

Time to wrap up the workweek, so let’s break out of the usual Eichler-lite Close to Google. Have you considered buying in Alviso? Maybe this home courtesy of Burbed reader Michael Boltonestater will convince you that the sky is the limit for Alviso.  Or is that the smell starts at the limits of Alviso?

130711-gold-redfin2052 Gold St #204
San Jose, CA 95002
$99,900

2 Beds
2 Baths
1,440 Sq. Ft.
$69 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1977
Lot Size: —
On Redfin: 101 days
Status: Active
Property Type: Mobile Home (Double Wide)
County: Santa Clara
Community: Alviso (Santa Clara County)
MLS#: 81310420

Cozy 2Bed/2Ba Home!Serial#:A/B27032. Living room w/ carpet & wire for cable. Family room w/ carpet & wire for cable. Dining w/ display cabinet & wire for cabinet. Kitchen w/ linoleum, refrigerator, disposal, dishwasher, ceiling light. Guest bed w/ carpet & wire for cable & phone. Guest bath w/ standing shower. Master bed w/ walk in closet & wire for cable. Master bath w/ medicine cabinet & tub. Space rent:$850.00

130711-gold-curvesPerhaps you might think that featuring a mobile home from Alviso is kicking a listing while it’s down. We just think there’s win, and then there’s Burbed win.  Kind of like how there’s property, and then there’s Alviso property. 

And then there’s Alviso property shot with a fish-eye lens. Or else this home is more than a few bubbles off plumb. But, there is carpet, and wire for cable.

Comments (3) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:04 am

July 11, 2013

3000 SQ FT FALLING DOWN MANSION

130710-santacruz-thermosWe’ve been spending a bit of time in the flatlands, so time to check some elevated listings.  Our thanks to Burbed reader Swan for telling us about this find right off Highway 17. Oops, pending!  Even properties sitting around for almost a year go Pending when someone sends them in! It’s like a Real Estate Thermos. An insulated drink holder keeps hot things hot, and cold things cold. How does it know?

In this case, a correspondent sends in a tired listing… and BOOM! Again, how does it know?

130710-santacruz-redfin25000 SANTA CRUZ
Scotts Valley, CA 95033
$649,000

2 Beds
1 Baths
1,237 Sq. Ft.
$525 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1911
Lot Size: 9 Acres
On Redfin: 320 days
Status: Pending Without Release
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Stories: 1
Community: Scotts Valley North
MLS#: 81231740
Style: Cabin
View: Mountains, Valley
County: Santa Cruz

130710-santacruz-cabinIDEAL ESTATE HOME SITE WITH DIRECT ACCESS TO HWY 17 OR OFF LAUREL ROAD. INCLUDES 1,200 SQ FT GUEST HOUSE, BARN, AND A 3,000 SQ FT FALLING DOWN MANSION. THE MANSION SITE HAS ABOUT 2 FLAT ACRES, SWEEPING MOUNTAIN AND VALLEY VIEWS, CIRCULAR DRIVEWAY, PG & E, & WATER. GUEST HOUSE HAS ABOUT 2 FLAT ACRES WITH DIRECT ACCESS TO LAUREL ROAD. SELLER WILL FINACNE W/ 25% DOWN FOR 3 YEARS.

130710-santacruz-anotherWe don’t have any architecture credentials, but still contend the top picture above is not a cabin.  Now, which of the other two is the “guest house”? Perhaps this is why Swan thought we’d be interested. We certainly seem to have our choice of which crappy building not to live in.

With nothing better to do on a 100 degree day, I am looking for properties in need of some Burbed lovin’!

This may be a Burbed first, a 3000 square foot falling down mansion!!!  Scotts Valley may not be RBA, but $699K (Pending!!!) for a guest house, barn, and falling down mansion on 9 acres – who cares where it is.  Be sure to check out the ideal commute location!

Interestingly, Movoto lists the same address for $5,000,000 in an expired listing.

Oh yes, let’s see that expired listing.

130710-santacruz-movoto25000 Hwy 17
Scotts Valley, CA 95033
$5,000,000

Off-Market
Loan Payment: $19,097/mo
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 1
Size: –
$/sqft: -/sqft
Type: Single Family House
Year Built: 1900
Lot Size: 9,958,687
Days on Movoto: 649 days
Neighborhood: Scotts Valley North
MLS#: 80914701
Status: Expired

130710-santacruz-gatesMany potential uses/Estate Location/Equestrian Center = Great Trails, Preliminary Study Shows Location may be planted with as many as 130 acres of Grapes – Site is in BEST wine growing location = the Santa Cruz Appleation. Propety suppoorts several homes currently(4); several wells; Barns. Land may be subdividable; there are 9 APN’s Stunning Los Gatos Mountains property, Oaks, Redwoods, Madrone


Unlike the active (whoops, Pending!) listing, this older one can’t be bothered showing any buildings. It’s almost ten million square feet, who needs buildings? That’s 228 acres sitting on the market for 649 days, and only nine acres are in the listing above. That’s pretty good, it took only half the time to sell 1/25th the land!  So if you subdivide this place into a Planned Unit Development with a bunch of 1,800 sf lots, you should be able to get one of them sold in only five months!

Good luck finding what happened to the rest of those properties so you can run some comps. At least the seller will FINACNE W/25% DOWN IN 3 YEARS.  If you’re not sure what to do, just put that FINACNE in your Thermos. How does it know?

Comments (2) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:01 am

July 10, 2013

Nothing wrong with this listing that price cannot fix

There is nothing wrong with ANY listing that price cannot fix.  Remember that next time you find a place full of Burbed win and wonder just how the seller will unload it. Let’s take a look at a property that’s been on the market for so long, when it was listed Bush was still President.

Thanks very much to Burbed reader Tom Paine for this one.

130709-redwood-redfin6500 Old Redwood Hwy
Windsor, CA 95492
$400,000

— Beds
— Baths
— Sq. Ft.
Built: —
Lot Size: 1.88 Acres
On Redfin: 2,612 days
Status: Active
Property Type: Lots & Land, Single Family
Community: Windsor
MLS#: 20617574
View: Pasture
County: Sonoma

1.884 Acres of Development Potential. 2 LOTS Zoned Surrounding Residential. Reduced ! Owner Financing available with 25% down

Let’s check in with Major Tom:

130709-redwood-buildingsStarted at $860.5K ! And it comes with a teardown ( there’s a fee for that). Check out home prices in Windsor….

Okay, let’s check out home prices in Windsor.  There’s only two for sale, and they’re both right around this price. For the same money you can get a livable house on not that much land (5-6000 sf). Obviously nobody cares about the house and everyone cares about having lots and lots of space. You can always drag a teardown over from the neighbor’s lot.

But seriously, 2,612 days on Redfin? Which brings us to the next question, we know Redfin is seven years old, because so is Burbed.  So, do there exist listings that have been on the market longer than Redfin has been around?

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:04 am

July 9, 2013

Updated: Bay Area Real Estate Bubble 4.0: Not Over. Nuh Uh Uh.

130708-28th-priceisrightThis weekend we featured a Murky News article claiming that frenzied overbidding on Real Bay Area homes was done. It wasn’t the only such piece claiming that RBA overbids out of suitcases full of cash were coming to a halt.  To which we say: Sure it is. Redfin is tracking the bidding wars, and they say it’s cooling off… outside the RBA.  Specifically, there are fewer multiple bid situations outside California, and in the Golden State, things have eased up a bit in the Southland.  But don’t worry.  It’s Still Special Here.

Let’s find out just how special with this home sent in by Burbed reader mtv-renter.

130708-28th-redfin440 28th St
San Francisco, CA 94131
Sold for $1,756,000

2 Beds
2 Baths
1,057 Sq. Ft.
$1,661 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1910
Lot Size: —
Sold On: Jul 2, 2013
Status: Sold
Property Type: Attached, Full, Single-Family Home
View: Panoramic, Bay, Hills
County: San Francisco
Style: Victorian
Community: Noe Valley
MLS#: 408763

Much sought after charming single family home with spectacular southern views. Very bright and light. Main level features lovely dining area, spacious living room, office area, stunning remodeled granite kitchen and marble bathroom. Opening to a secluded charming backyard, perfect for entertaining. Second level features two bedrooms with original built-in dresser drawers. Fabulous, new bath with marble walk-in shower. One of the bedrooms overlooks the enchanting garden and the other captures the southern view. There is a lower level just waiting to be finished with great expansion potential!

130708-28th-bedroomTake it away, mtv-renter!

Oh holy hell, the good times are back!

I visited this place myself, but given the line out the door for the open house, didn’t even consider placing a bid. Good thing!

Asking price: $989k, sold for $1,756,000, that rounds up to 78%. This is an astounding $1,661/sqft.

It gets better,

last sold for $749,000 on Sept 24, 2010. That’s $1,007,000 in appreciation over 1012 days, or $995/day.

130708-28th-yellowEveryone should buy in San Francisco. Riches await!

But wait, there’s more!

It gets better, check out the buyer’s agent’s name:

Trim Wellbeloved, 
Pacific Union International
DRE #01209860

You know, we prefer to point ‘n laff at realtard behavior rather than their names, but in this case… well, there it is.  Meanwhile Burbed reader Petsmart Groomer notes that this house has come to the attention of SF Curbed.  Where, asks PG, is the million dollar upgrade?  After all, in 2010 it took 3 price cuts to finally change hands at… $749K despite appearing on television!

130708-28th-redfin2010440 28th St
San Francisco, CA 94131
Sold for $748,000

2 Beds
1 Baths
— Sq. Ft.
Built: 1910
Lot Size: —
Sold On: Sep 27, 2010
Status: Sold
Property Type: Attached, Full, Single-Family Home
View: Panoramic, Hills
County: San Francisco
Style: Victorian
Community: Noe Valley
MLS#: 370108

Big reduction. Please come see this Victorian Noe Valley Home as featured on the TV Show Sell This House. It has amzing Southern Hills Views. Two bedrooms and One Bath. Period detailing throughout the house. Near shops and restaurants.

Why that million dollars is clearly in the kitchen. The stainless steel fridge must be worth $400,000 all by itself.

130708-28th-kitchen-2010130708-28th-kitchen

130708-28th-redfin-restatedBunus: extra bathroom! That’s got to be the other $600,000!

Update 7/10/13: Seems the realtard made a little mistake with that sale price. It’s actually only $1,150,000. However, realtards typing in completely WTF numbers into listings is simply a different kind of Burbed win. So it’s all good, as long as you aren’t the realtard.

See the comments for more details. You should be reading comments on all our articles, anyway. You should be posting in comments, too. Don’t agree? Explain why! In our comments!

Comments (26) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:03 am

July 8, 2013

Not just a house, an adventure in Lafayette!

We hope you enjoyed your four day weekend. Of course, Burbed went to work every day, and you can read the last few days’ articles while you’re avoiding yours.  For today, we’ve got another example of East Bay Real Estate Win courtesy of Burbed reader J from Alameda.

130708-hillview-redfin3256 HILLVIEW Ln
Lafayette, CA 94549
$849,000

3 Beds
2 Baths
1,427 Sq. Ft.
$595 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1959
Lot Size: 9,963 Sq. Ft.
On Redfin: 21 days
Type: Detached
Stories: 1
County: Contra Costa
Style: Ranch
Community: Lafayette
MLS#: 40619252

Fixer upper on private lane. Uncooperative tenant, eviction in process, no show at this time. Write offer subject to viewing.

Here’s why J ventured Off the Island to send this one in:

It’s all about the listing copy on this one. It’s simple. Just write an offer. No worries about the uncooperative tenant.

We like this listing. None of this namby-pamby open house, offers will be presented at 3 am a week from Tuesday nonsense. You want to see this house? Tough. The realtard couldn’t get inside and neither can you. If you dare to buy it, you get to find out what “uncooperative” means.

Comments (2) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:02 am

July 7, 2013

The End is Nigh? Or is that Ni?

Terrible bad news! Someone let the air out of Bay Area Bubble 4.0’s tires!  Tragedy!

Bay Area housing frenzy cooling off

By Pete Carey, San Jose Mercury News
Posted:   07/04/2013 04:00:00 PM PDT, Updated:   07/05/2013 08:44:05 AM PDT

130706-over-signThe Bay Area’s frenzied housing market, marked by soaring prices, short supply and a scramble for homes, is showing signs of cooling.

Some buyers, fearful of a new bubble or worried about higher interest rates, are putting their plans on hold, while new listings of homes for sale have been increasing since March, which should put the brakes on spiraling prices.

"It’s a welcome break in the trend, even if it ultimately means prices start to cool off a bit too," said ZipRealty CEO and President Lanny Baker.

Real estate agents in Silicon Valley, where homes have commanded offers hundreds of thousands of dollars over asking price, say bidding is less frenzied than a few months ago, although it’s still one of the hottest markets in the country with a median of 10 days to sell a home.

Santa Clara Median Sale Price / sq. ft.

This can’t be! The party isn’t over just because mortgage rates are going up, or more homes are being put up for sale. Not in the Real Bay Area, anyway! The above map of Santa Clara County real estate sale prices per square foot says so. The spiking rental market keeps pushing buyers forward as well. Besides, It’s Special Here!  (It’s so special we have to tell you that red is county, green is city.)

And that median of ten days to sell a home proves that things can’t be cooling off. Everyone knows the smart agents wait 10 days and get all the overbids all at once. Houses could sell in 15 minutes if the sellers wanted them to.

The housing frenzy isn’t cooling off. This is wishful thinking. Mortgage rates don’t affect the Real Bay Area, because every single house in it was purchased by suitcases-full-of-cash-wielding foreigners, who, HELLO, don’t care what the mortgage rates are because they have, HELLO, suitcases full of cash on hand.  And more houses being listed? That just allows more people the opportunity to lose out to overbids on an excellent property.

We don’t understand why anyone would be allowed to print something this misleading, although the quote from the president of a county Realtard association (in the East Bay, yet), makes us glad they did:

While the steep climb in median sales prices for single-family homes in the East Bay, Peninsula and South Bay has made some buyers nervous, it doesn’t necessarily mean there’s a bubble, said Robin Dickson, president of the Contra Costa Association of Realtors.

"Clients say they are just not going to buy at the top of market, but really, how do you know this is the top of market?" Dickson said.

Other things we don’t know is whether the sun will rise tomorrow morning, when the San Jose Mercury News will admit it’s just a website, and when real estate writers will stop asking realtards for economic analysis knowing damned well all they’re going to get is cheerleading and happy talk.

Really, how do you know this is the top of the market?  It could actually be the floor of the NEXT market, Mr. Negativity!

Comments (33) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:15 am

July 6, 2013

Fake Realty Win: North Side of made-up city is “better”

Any reader of this blog knows that some parts of the Bay Area are just better than others, and that’s what we call the “Real Bay Area.” Do you know where the RBA is? According to this study, it’s probably north of you.

Study Points to Bias Toward a City’s North Side

People tend to see the north as more desirable and affluent, in turn fueling stereotypes about where the rich live

130705-north-mapBy Sanette Tanaka, The Wall Street Journal
SPREAD SHEET, July 4, 2013, 8:14 p.m. ET

North, south, east or west, researchers find north seems best.

Most people, knowing nothing else about a city, would rather live in the northern half of town than in the southern, says Brian Meier, associate professor of psychology at Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, Pa. People tend to see the north as more desirable and affluent, in turn fueling stereotypes about where the rich and the poor live.

"For some reason, people see the north and south as very different," Prof. Meier says. "When all else is equal, people have this bias to think that northerly areas are better or more affluent.

Prof. Meier and co-authors Arlen Moller of Northwestern University, and Julie Chen and Miles Riemer-Peltz, both of Gettysburg College at the time, conducted four studies with groups ranging from 28 to 87 participants to see how "north" and "south" affects housing preferences. The study, "Spatial Metaphor and Real Estate: North-South Location Biases Housing Preference," was published in Social Psychological and Personality Science in August 2011.

130705-north-heatscWe’re going to note a fairly seriously flaw in this study (or at least Tanaka’s description of it) right off the bat: the participants aren’t identified in terms of where they live. We know what schools the researchers did the study out of, but this article doesn’t indicate if the participants were from the surrounding regions, randomly chosen throughout the United States, or were a worldwide sample. And that’s actually an important bit of data. How could they possibly assume that all people, everywhere, prefer the north side of a city when we don’t know if anyone from the Southern Hemisphere was represented? Maybe South is the “better side” in Buenos Aires, Melbourne, and Christchurch.  Maybe South is superior if you get too far north as well, as it would get more sun.  Northern exposure isn’t a good thing if you want sunlight.

130705-north-mapmvThis silly study suggests people are so used to thinking of north as “up” on a map, that they conflate the direction with the emotion. We’ve just found that prices keep heading north as long as you’re looking at the RBA.  Although the heat map of Santa Clara County above suggests that high prices are found not in the north, but the northwest and to a lesser degree, the northeast. North Central, though, does not impress..And the map at right shows sales for hot, hot, HOT Mountain View, hottest in the part that is the Exact Opposite Of North.

And… open thread! What direction are you heading to check out Open Houses this weekend? Or, if you’re on vacation and can’t stay away from us, what direction did you head for your getaway?

Comments (5) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:22 am

July 5, 2013

Be a Micro-Slumlord in SF

Here’s an interesting property for sale: a brand new building full of micro-apartments in SF. 23 studios are leased and await your bloodsucking.  Thanks much to Burbed reader Michael Boltonestater for sending this in.

130704-harriet-redfin38 Harriet St
San Francisco, CA 94103
$7,395,000

— Beds
— Baths
11,775 Sq. Ft.
$628 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 2013
Lot Size: —
On Redfin: 27 days
Status: Active
Property Type: Apartments, 16-30 Units
Stories: 4
Building Name: SoMa Studios
County: San Francisco
Style: Contemporary, Modern/High Tech
View: City Lights, Bay Bridge, San Francisco, Downtown
Community: South of Market
MLS#: 409189

130704-harriet-studioThe SoMa Studios are the first new micro-apartments in the booming SoMa neighborhood, home to Twitter, Square, and hundreds of other tech companies, cafes, restaurants and clubs. The building represents the culmination of four years of research in hyper efficient and super green development. It reflects fastidious attention to detail and the highest quality construction. Fully leased. State-of-the-art seismic and fire safety. In-house 100 mbs internet connection. Extra-heavy solid core doors. Enhanced, engineered soundproofing. Built-in window seats and tables. Wood and porcelain tile floors. Elfa shelving and storage systems. GE Profile Dishwashers. LG all-in-one Washer/Dryer in each unit. LEED Platinum (pending certification).

100 megabits per second? No wonder they’re fully leased. And they’re featured on national television! Our only question is why the owner would want to give up a sweet hyper efficient and super green development deal like this.

Comments (3) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 12:38 am