June 5, 2013

[PSA] Beware of residential burglaries

Dear Real Bay Area citizens,

Yes things are going well: the median house price in San Francisco is $1M; the median list price in Mountain View is $998,000 and $639 per square foot.

But not all things are well in our lands…

Residential burglaries up this year
Number of home break-ins higher than in past five years, police say

by Nick Veronin
Mountain View Voice Staff

Local residential burglaries are up, according to officials with the Mountain View Police Department.

MVPD spokesman Sgt. Dan Vicencio said 50 houses and apartments were broken into between January and April. There were only 31 residential burglaries over the same four-month period last year.

"That’s a 61-percent increase," Vicencio said, adding that the increase in break-ins is "significant." Over the past five years, on average, there have only been 35 burglaries between January and April.

The department only had official numbers through April of this year. But looking at data from CrimeReports.com, which tracks police activity in cities all over the country, it appears that the trend will continue through May.

According to the crime-tracking website, from January to April there were approximately 14 home break-ins reported per month. This month, as of May 24, the website shows there have been 21 reported burglaries and attempted burglaries of local houses and apartments.

Vicencio said there is no clear reason for the increase in home burglaries. However, he said, whenever there is an increase in home break-ins, the department’s detectives pay attention. "When we have a jump this significant, we take a look at it."

In fact, thanks to the intrepid reporters at the paper of our land, we know about the many latest incursions into our castles:

Wow.

Personally, I’m shocked. Don’t higher housing prices translate to higher commissions for realtors which translates to more salon visits, headshots, SUV sales, and more of all things that stimulate the economy? Shouldn’t higher housing prices defeat and end crime?

Until that day, be careful people. Be careful! Guard your castles! Keep driving those housing prices up so that we can help improve the economy and reduce burglaries!

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






June 4, 2013

Bay Area Bubble 4.0: Past Peak in Oakland

We keep hearing from supposed real estate experts who want to assure would-be buyers that This Time It’s Different and There’s No Bubble Here. And we’ll be here to keep reminding everyone that in the Bay Area, Where It’s Special, There Most Certainly Is A Real Estate Bubble.  There’s been one before and there’s one again right now. Today we have yet another in our continuing Exhibitions of Proof Beyond Ultimate Proof.  Thanks very much to Burbed Reader Bob in Oakland for sending in this luscious listing! 

130603-mandana-redfin719 MANDANA Blvd
Oakland, CA 94610
Sold for $720,000

2 Beds
1 Baths
1,155 Sq. Ft.
$623 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1920
Lot Size: 5,750 Sq. Ft.
Sold On: May 24, 2013
HOA Dues: $13/month
Style: Craftsman
View: Greenbelt
County: Alameda
Type: Detached
Stories: Other
Community: Crocker Hghlands
MLS#: 40611221

Very charming craftsman bungalow with abundant period details. Just blocks from Peet’s, Trader Joes, Farmers Market, Arizmendi and the Transbay bus. Large terraced back yard ready for your creative touches.

130602-mandana-kitchenLet’s listen in as Bob talks to himself, because nobody in their right mind would leave the Real Bay Area to visit Oakland.

This one just sold for more than at the peak of the last bubble: $720,000 this year, vs $677,000 in 2006.

The underwater seller sold it last year (3/23/12) for $465k.

Without any work having been done (at least, there was none mentioned in the listing), it listed on April 18 this year for $569k.

130603-mandana-kitchen2Redfin associate says ‘interior shows well, but could use some updates, especially the kitchen. Floors are a bit wonk.’

Went pending 11 days later, and sold for $720k.  Whoever sold it last year got taken, big time.

No bubble here folks. Just move along. Nothing to see.

130603-mandana-mapIt’s a decent part of Oakland, but a reasonably busy street…

Although at these prices it looks like the Real Bay Area is visiting after all.  And why not? This house is much closer to the Trestle Glen and Lakeshore neighborhoods than Crocker Highlands, but if it can go for 27% above asking in 11 days, why not choose a community 27% more impressive as well?

They’re on their way with the 27% busier street, now with more yellow on the map! Let’s see what your creative touches can do with that.

Comments (9) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:01 am

June 3, 2013

San Francisco median home hits $1 million

San Francisco median home hits $1 million

The median price for a single family home in San Francisco hit $1 million in April — the highest level since 2007.

The new median price is a 32 percent jump from $760,000 last year.

Told you so. <mic drop>

If anything, I’m surprised it’s only 32%. If my math is correct, this really should’ve been 200%.

Let’s face it – have you seen how much money is out there right now? Just look around – everyone has a brand new Tesla. Everyone just got back from an amazing trip. Geeks no longer wear free t-shirts… it’s all about $400 selvedge jeans. The premium bikes. Paying top dollar for a PBR.

Madhaus calls this Bay Area Bubble 4.0. I disagree. I call this “FINALLY!!!!!”

My only hope is that we can undo some of these onerous government regulations, and bring back innovation into the lending space. It’s been too long since we saw the introduction (and squashing) of disruptive things like NINJA loans and neg-am loans. It’s time to bring these back.

With additional lending innovation, I think we can easily see a 200% increase in the median price in SF by next year. $2M is a much more reasonable price for such an amazing, disruptive area. Just wait until Box and Evernote IPO for $1.4T each. That’s right. You heard it here first.

2020

$6M median home price in SF.

I see it. Can you?

Comments (7) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:02 am

June 2, 2013

The Village

Sent in by a Mountain View resident:

20130601-village-q

Friends of The Village. That just rolls off the tongue so nicely.  Would you like to be added to their email-list for updates?

130601-village-pennyfarthing20130601-village-movieBe sure to Check-off any or all that you like. Although last time we saw something by Check-off, everyone was pretty sad at the end.  (Spoiler: The cherry orchard gets cut down, which means it was actually about Sunnyvale.)

You are Number Six. And since this is your Weekend Open Thread, tell us about any Open Houses you found in The Village of Your Choice. Or which of these would you like in The Village Phase II, near Caltrain.

Also tell us about any Open Houses near Caltrain.

Comments (3) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:02 am

June 1, 2013

Northern California: Fit, healthy & wealthy

130531-afi-top10The American College of Sports Medicine has released their annual American Fitness Index, and we’ve got three spots in the top ten.  You can check out lots of details over on their site, but here’s the the ten fittest metros (out of 50) on their list.

Notice who isn’t here? That’s right, New York City.  They’re a practically dead-average #24 out of 50.  The least healthy and fit metro? Oklahoma City.

San Jose metro (Santa Clara and San Benito County), as all the metros, was given a list of Strengths and Challenges in the fitness and health department.  It seems we’re good at some aspects of healthy living (good eating, fewer obese people, lots of biking to work) but we’re failling down with all the asthma and diabetes sufferers, not to mention all the loons living here. Also we’re low on some of the dedicated sports areas per capita, no doubt because they’d be better off as residential property (sheesh, anyone knows that).

130531-afi-sj

Again, you can feel free to peruse the website, because it has all kinds of interesting stuff on how they made their list. But the reason we’re calling the list out in the first place isn’t just because we have three cities in the Top 10.

It’s because somebody’s pulled a Burbed and decided to critique how this list was made.  Even better, the complaining site is one we’ve previously called out for not including San Jose metro on their own lists.

Updated: Nope, that was actually Travel & Leisure.

The basic complaints are that too many of the indicators that produce the index tend to line up with who has the money. The above Top 10 has a high correlation with household income.

130531-afi-appsorsAnd the bitchfest goes on: there are too many indicators and they end up reinforcing each other.  Worse, some of the Community Health numbers are for how many facilities are in the city limits, rather than the larger metro areas. Yes, this is an actual case of mixing apples and oranges, which is actually a reasonably healthy thing to do.

Finally, our critic notes that this sort of data doesn’t change much, so creating an annual list sort of defeats the point. Minneapolis has gotten #1 for the last 3 years.

Comments (2) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:05 am

May 31, 2013

Two Two Too Good To Be True Home in Santa Clara

It’s been far too long since we’ve heard from Burbed reader Petsmart Groomer.  Today’s superlative siting is situated in supreme Santa Clara! Let’s hear it for those low-cost utilities, yayyyyyy! Notice we’re using Zillow today? There’s a good reason: Redfin’s already yanked the listing because… yup, PENDING!

130530-claremont-zillow22 Claremont Ave
Santa Clara, CA 95051
$1,089,000

Zestimate®:$954,704
Est. Mortgage: $4,040/month

Bedrooms: 3 beds
Bathrooms: 2 baths
Single Family: 1,833 sq ft
Lot: 8,712 sq ft
Year Built: 1956
Heating Type: Contact for details
Days on Zillow: 14
Addition Size: 432
Construction Quality: 6.0
Garage Size: 437
Last Remodel Year: 1956
Lot Depth: 110
Lot Width: 80
MLS #: 81316927
Parcel #: 29617012
Room Count: 7
130530-claremont-playhouse# Stories: 1.0
Structure Type: Contemporary
Unit Count: 1
Zillow Home ID: 19602034

Too good to be true home. Tremendous amounts of living space, huge backyard on prime culdesac with CUPERTINO schools. Inspections show this house is in great shape. Heat/AC, hardwood floors, CAT 5 wiring,special sound resistant windows and walls,black out shades, Audio.Visual tech dream home, granite counters,surround sound, etc. This home will not last long. Office area is built in & stays.

130530-claremont-tvWait, what’s this about sound resistant windows and walls and black out shades? This makes it a too good to be true home?

Those shades aren’t even black! We think the agent is pulling a fast one here. Same thing with the “Audio.Visual tech dream home” when all that’s visible is a giant-ass flatscreen. For all we know those cabinets are full of useless things like cinnamon and pastry bags.

130530-claremont-locationWe did determine why they mentioned the special sound resistant windows and walls, though.  Location, location, location! Hoe Lee Crap, this house is on a six lane major thoroughfare next to an eight lane major expressway and an eight lane freeway.

This is a rare location fail trifecta: Busy street, expressway and freeway. Plus it backs up to a commercial zone.

Now what would you pay? Not only is Santa Clara hosting million dollar houses, but million dollar houses in challenging locations! Can you imagine what you’re going to have to pay for a house near nothing but other houses?

If you think we’re exaggerating about the commercial zone, check out what you see when you hit Redfin right now.

130531-claremont-redfin-nfs

Go on over there, click on the map to make it full size, and note where you find yourself. This home will not last long, indeed.

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

May 30, 2013

This house is OZZING WITH OLD WORLD CHARM! WOW

Wow, we must have been more upset about that ZipRealty schools report than we thought! Three houses in a row in the East Bay! Don’t worry, everything is back to normal now with this winner of a wigwam in Mountain View, on the best street in the whole city.  It isn’t in the newly named* neighborhood of CloGo (Close to Google), but you can’t have everything.  Thanks very much to Burbed reader dollarbin for smacking us upside the head. Um, we mean thanks for sending in a place that can pretend it’s in the Real Bay Area on a good day.

*Heck with that, we named it. And we’re durned proud we did.


130529-paloalto-redfin272 PALO ALTO Ave
Mountain View, CA 94041
$978,000

3 Beds
2 Baths
1,399 Sq. Ft.
$699 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1910
Lot Size: 7,000 Sq. Ft.
On Redfin: 1 day
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Stories: 1
Community: Downtown
MLS#: 81318417
Style: Traditional
View: Neighborhood
County: Santa Clara

OZZING WITH OLD WORLD CHARM! AN OPPORTUNITY BUY A HALF-WAY REMODELED HM ON A STREET LINED BY SOME OF DONWTOWNS MOST CHARMING PROPERTIES! LG LOT W/ REAR ALLEY ACCESS, GORGEOUS BATHS WITH HIGH-END MATERIALS, HANDCRAFTED FRONT DOOR AND INTERIOR TRIM WORK, BIG KIT WAITING YOUR SPECIAL TOUCHES, HIGH CEILINGS, PARTIAL BASEMENT, MOVE RIGHT IN OR EXPAND TO THE SIDE AND/OR TO THE REAR! POTENTIAL GALORE! WOW

130529-paloalto-bigkitNo wonder this place hasn’t cracked a million dollars, it’s a HALF-WAY REMODELED HM. We think they misspelled HMMM?

Also wondering what kind of BIG KIT awaits YOUR SPECIAL TOUCHES. Most KITS like to be scratched under the chin.  Maybe this one is waiting for the floor to choose just one color.

Here’s the streetview, for another look.

130529-paloalto-streetview

WOW

Comments (9) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:05 am

May 29, 2013

Welcome to Hilvista!!

Yesterday’s Fremont house was such a hit, let’s return to South Alameda County for today’s property.  Enjoy this premium listing in the highly regarded enclave of Newark!

130528-lakewood-redfin36623 LAKEWOOD Dr
Newark, CA 94560
$489,000

4 Beds
2 Baths
1,360 Sq. Ft.
$360 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1962 Lot
Size: 7,800 Sq. Ft.
On Redfin: 1 day
Type: Detached
Stories: 1
County: Alameda
Style: Ranch
Community: Hill Vista
MLS#: 40616298

Welcome to Hilvista!! This four bedroom home is located on a quiet cul-de-sac close to Lakeshore Park. Located on a 7800 square foot lot, this home has been very well maintained and comes with a 6 year old composition roof. Spacious kitchen, inside laundry, hardwood flooring under carpeting & more. .

130528-lakewood-yardYes, Newark is indeed an enclave, surrounded completely by Fremont because it didn’t want to join in the the fun when the other 5 towns merged into a ginormous, sprawling mini-Los Angeles, only without the film industry and Rodeo Drive. Instead there’s NewPark Mall, which is better because there’s waaaaay more parking.

Thing about Newark is it’s entirely in the flatlands, so the name Hill Vista (or Hilvista) is a bit of a conundrum. Then we realized the vista is in the back yard.

Comments (4) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:05 am

May 28, 2013

Bay Area Bubble 4.0 Not in Fremont Yet

Good news! There’s still parts of the Bay Area you can find a house without beg letters and overbidding! Let’s fasten our seat belts and ford every stream to Fremont!

130527-salinas-redfin34587 SALINAS Pl
Fremont, CA 94555
$620,000

4 Beds
2 Baths
1,402 Sq. Ft.
$442 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1972
Lot Size: 7,422 Sq. Ft.
On Redfin: 1 day
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Stories: 1
County: Alameda
Style: Contemporary
Community: Alameda County
MLS#: 81318199

Upcoming Open Houses

Saturday, Jun 1: 1:00-5:00 pm
Sunday, Jun 2: 10:30-5:00 pm

Regular sale! Great schools + Neighborhood + Quiet Cul-de-sac. Convenient to shopping. Near 880, 84 Freeways, & Ranch99 Supermarket. Open House Sat 6/1 1-5pm & Sun 6/2 10:30-5pm.

130527-salinas-streetviewSee that? Regular sale! Not an overbidding sale! Whew!  Only showing on exterior shot fooled us at first!

And this agent isn’t quite sure who to sell this house to. Note the mention of nearby 99 Ranch but not a single 8 in the price.

Also, you know how Palo Alto has 237 different neighborhoods, or “Communities” on MLS, but Sunnyvale, which has twice the population, only has one?  Look at this: Fremont, which was made up of five towns that merged together, doesn’t even merit its own Community. They put the whole thing together into Alameda County.  Sheesh, Wikipedia has a nice list of the various districts in Fremont and we were able to figure out where the house is (hint: the exact opposite of South not-Fremont).

Moral: the less Real Bay Area you are, the less Community you merit.  Houses in Stockton are in Community: Pacific Time Zone.

Comments (6) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:04 am

May 27, 2013

Overbids, in Berkeley? Mu.

Since we had a Sunday think piece (a really nice way to say TL;DR) yesterday on the supposed strength of schools in the East Bay (short answer: not even), let’s look at another property there. Today’s featured home for your holiday is brought to you from Berkeley by Burbed reader Bob in Oakland.  Thanks very much, and remember, if you have a listing that looks like it could use a little Burbed loving, please send it in!

130526-lincoln-redfin1411 LINCOLN St
Berkeley, CA 94702
Sold for $805,000

2 Beds
2 Baths
1,083 Sq. Ft.
$743 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1938
Lot Size: 3,570 Sq. Ft.
Sold On: Apr 10, 2013
Type: Detached
Stories: 2
Community: N Berkeley
MLS#: 40605874
Style: Bungalow
View: Other
County: Alameda

Charming N. Berkeley/ Northbrae Bungalow on charming Lincoln St. Updated baths, large front & rear yards, spacious laundry room plus bonus room perfect for office or guest suite. And, just 1 block to N. Berk BART, Ohlone pathway and bike routes.

130526-lincoln-kitchenNow let’s check in with Bob:

For your consideration:

This little shack sold for $805k, and went pending two weeks after listing for $599k.  Per a postcard sent out by the selling agent (and received by a friend who lives nearby), it received 16 offers.

Note the Redfin ‘tour insights’ (gotta love ‘em using the word ‘insights’ – it takes the deep intuitive gifts of a realtard to come up with gems like ‘nice house’):

  • 130526-lincoln-yard‘Not a fan of the kitchen’
  • ‘Kitchen is small and could use some updating.’
  • ‘There isn’t a great indoor outdoor flow. You need to go downstairs and out a side door to get to the backyard.’
  • ‘Upstairs bath a little funky….’
  • ‘Upstairs bath could use a remodel.’

130526-lincoln-faucetAlso:

There’s no garage – it was converted into a ‘guest room’ with sliding glass doors which provide a lovely view of the parking pad. 

The description says ‘large front and rear yards’, but the lot size is only 3,570 square feet.

The pix make it look decent sized, but ‘objects in wide-angle lens are smaller than they appear.’

130526-lincoln-fishmktNote the sideways-pointing faucet in the bathroom sink – never seen that before.

Yes, the neighborhood’s pretty nice, but $805k?  Maybe the buyer works in the financial district of SF, and decided that instead of a crappy condo for $1.5 million, they’d snap up this house which is a short, pleasant walk to North Berkeley BART.

I love ‘burbed’ – an island of sanity in a region gone batshit insane for real estate. Keep up the good work.

Not much we can add to that other than we’re talking a 34% overbid.  And how many times can one agent use the word “nice”?

130526-lincoln-nice

Comments (8) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:04 am