January 22, 2007

What? You can lose money by buying a home?

Woman moves from 1,100 sqft $800/month rental to a $233,000 450 sqft studio with an $800/month mortgage and $355/month HOA.

And then her HOA jumps to $630… and that’s after a $4,000 assessment for unseen maintenance.

Not a good sign… but here’s the key quote:

Dues increase is threatening her ‘affordable’ home
But Hernandez’s story underscores just how complicated creating affordable homeownership can be — not only at the level of building and financing but also in education and culture.

When she learned of her new dues she contacted the Mayor’s Office of Housing and asked for help in paying the increased homeowner fees. When told that this was not part of their role, she went in search of lawyers who might take her case. When no one accepted, she began to worry she might lose her home. If she couldn’t pay the extra dues, her homeowners association could put a lien against her condo, which could eventually lead to foreclosure.

She contacted the Mayor’s Office of Housing to inquire about reselling her unit, but when she learned that the value of her studio had declined, she worried that after real estate agent fees, she might lose her down payment altogether.

Matthew Franklin, director of the Mayor’s Office of Housing, assured me that this was not the case, that the agency had a commitment to making sure clients didn’t lose their savings upon resale. When I relayed this information to Hernandez, she sounded relieved. “Why would anyone ever buy a house if they could lose their down payment?” When I explained that in a declining market, for an ordinary home buyer — not one supported by a government program — it was indeed possible, she seemed surprised.

If Hernandez seems a little naive when it comes to appreciation and depreciation, she’s got good company. Like so many of us who came of “real estate-owning” age in the past decade, she’d incorporated the idea that real estate always goes up into her world view. In making her decision to buy her place, she recalled everyone emphasizing that this would all be a great investment because real estate always appreciates.

Uh oh, sounds like someone needs some Realtor(R) therapy.

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 12:49 am






January 19, 2007

$850,000 house, you had me at hello

What a week it’s been! Welcome to the last day of Burbed’s Daly City Week!

First, a fact about Daly City: Median gross rent (dollars)     $1,074
And now, our final fine Daly City house for the week:

MLSlistings Property Detail for MLS number 665350
HANOVER ST
Daly City, CA 94014
$850,000

9hanover.jpg

This Single Family Residence has the following features:
MLS#: 665350 Approx Age: Unavailable Approx Sq Ft: 2500
Detached Single Family 2 Stories Victorian
2 Bedrooms 1 Bathroom 1 Shower over Tub

Wow. What can I say about you, house. You simply had me at hello. Your fine yellow coat. The funky van out doors. These are all things that make you Bay Area special.

You go house, you go.

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 12:54 am

January 18, 2007

$770,000 house – perfect for vampires

Welcome to Day 4 of Burbed’s Daly City Week!

First, a fact about Daly City: Population (year 2000): 103,621. Estimated population in July 2005: 100,339 (-3.2% change)
And now, a fine Daly City house:

MLSlistings Property Detail for MLS number 667607
368 WINCHESTER ST
Daly City, CA 94014
$770,000

368winchester.jpgThis Single Family Residence has the following features:
MLS#: 667607 Approx Age: 79 Years Approx Sq Ft: 1210
Attached Single Family 2 Stories Mediterranean
Victorian 4 Bedrooms 2 Bathrooms
1 Stall Shower 1 Shower over Tub 1 Tub

So you pay the Realtor(TM) a 3% fee usually. Do they charge less if you use them at night? Maybe that’s why this photo is the way it is.

But wait, let’s look at the other photos!

368winchesterb.jpg

There’s only one conclusion: this house was meant for vampires.

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 12:47 am

January 17, 2007

$599,000 – includes "Street art" on street sign

Welcome to Day 3 of Burbed’s Daly City Week!

First, a fact about Daly City: Median house value: $335,000 (year 2000)
And now, a fine Daly City house:

MLSlistings Property Detail for MLS number 669692
70 EASTLAKE AV
Daly City, CA 94014
$599,000

70east.jpg

This Single Family Residence has the following features:
MLS#: 669692 Approx Age: Unavailable Approx Sq Ft: 1042
Detached Single Family 1 Story Contemporary

Now some would call that graffiti. But I would have to call it Street Art. It really does add character to this $599,000 house in Fogville.

Let’s have a peek inside shall we?

70eastb.jpg

Are they working in the second photo to add more street art? I guess it’s a plus that the PG&E meter is easy to access. Oh wait… to use Realtor(TM) speak: “EASY ACCESS TO METERS!!!! BUY NOW!!!”

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:36 am

January 16, 2007

Did I see this at SF MOMA? Or on Pee Wee's Playhouse?

Welcome to Day 2 of Burbed’s Daly City Week!

First, a fact about Daly City: Daly City and neighboring Colma have emerged as a shopping mecca for San Francisco residents. The combination of plentiful free parking space (compared to the constrained and expensive parking options in San Francisco) and San Mateo County’s historically slightly lower state sales tax rate have contributed to this trend.
And now, a fine Daly City house:

MLSlistings Property Detail for MLS number 669552
372 GLENWOOD AV
Daly City, CA 94015
$699,000

372glen.jpg

This Single Family Residence has the following features:
MLS#: 669552 Approx Age: 53 Years Approx Sq Ft: 1220
Detached Single Family 2 Stories 2 Bedrooms
1 Bathroom 1 Stall Shower 1 Tub

So far… nothing out of the ordinary. (Well… except for the fact that it’s sunny in this photo of Daly City – how did they do that?) Until this photo:

372glen-b.jpg

SPROING!!!!!!!! What the heck?? I swear I saw this in the permanent collection at SF MOMA. Burbed reader John thinks its from Pee Wee’s Playhouse.

What do you think? Does that help make this place worth $699,000 or take away?

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:31 am

January 15, 2007

If your eyes are blurry, then you might not notice the price

Burbed is celebrating Daly City week! Welcome to Day 1!

First, a fact about Daly City: The median income for a household in the city was $62,310, and the median income for a family was $68,365.
And now, a fine Daly City house:

MLSlistings Property Detail for MLS number 638625
1053 BRUNSWICK ST
Daly City, CA 94014
$699,000

1053brun-a.jpg

This Single Family Residence has the following features:
MLS#: 638625 Approx Age: 57 Years Approx Sq Ft: 1020
Detached Single Family 2 Stories Traditional
3 Bedrooms 2 Bathrooms 1 Stall Shower
1 Shower over Tub 1 Tub Eat in Kitchen

Alright… what gives? Is this a new strategy by realtors to make you for get the price? Come on… this place is being offered for 7/10 of a million and the pictures aren’t even in focus?

Let’s look at some more:

1053brun-b.jpg

I don’t know about you – but maybe it’s best that bathroom stays out of focus!

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:25 am

January 14, 2007

What makes the Bay Area special…

In this recent post about a nice, huge house in Hawaii that’s the same price as a small house with metal bars on the door in Sunnyvale, a commenter wrote this:

If the Bay Area sucks so bad, then why do you live there?

That’s a fair question. Here’s what I wrote:

Fry’s. :)

I followed up with a more serious remark. But I just noticed that I wasn’t the only person who made this joke about Fry’s – this is why the famous Dave Winer had to say:

Scripting News: 1/13/2007
Fry’s is the closest we come to culture here in the Bay Area

And here’s what Time magazine’s Stephen Levy had to say about the world famous Cupertino:

Apple’s New Calling: The iPhone — Tuesday, Jan. 09, 2007 — Page 1 — TIME
If you’ve ever wondered how it works, this is how it works: I don’t call Steve, Steve calls me. Or more accurately, someone in Steve Jobs’s office calls someone in my office—someone at a much higher pay grade —to say that he has something cool. I then fly to the metastasized strip mall called Cupertino, Calif., where Apple lives…

Let’s face it – at the end of the day, the Bay Area (save for SF) is just a giant suburb. And suburbs are suburbs. What’s interesting is that I remember when I first visited Cupertino as a teen – it really didn’t look as sprawly and strip-mally as it did today. What happened!

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:47 am

January 13, 2007

How to get paid on your worst borrowers!

I got this in my inbox the other day:

brokers.jpg
If you’re a mortgage broker, and you found this useful, you owe me!!

If you’re a “homeowner” who used a broker who found this useful… then… uh… you might want to find some nice sturdy cardboard boxes and an overpass.

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:39 am

January 12, 2007

$925k for a 4br/2.5 2094 sqft house – guess where!

So yesterday Burbed covered a $925,000 house 3/2.5 1300 sqft house in Sunnyvale. Oh… and it had metal bars on the door.

Let’s take a look at what $925,000 can buy you somewhere else… somewhere less special…

REALTOR.com: Find a Home – Listing Detail
92-6030 MAKEKE ST
KAPOLEI, HI 96707
MLS ID#: 185939
$925,000
4 Bed, 2.5 Bath
2,094 Sq. Ft.
0.13 Acres
92-6030makeke.jpg

Panoramic view from Diamond Head to Barber’s Point. Upper lanai off master bedroom. Sunrise and sunset views from upstairs lanai. Complete landscaping and irrigation. Motion activated security lights. Extended rear lanai with ceiling fans. Recessed lighting throughout the house. Ceramic tile flooring in the kitchen, laundry room and bathrooms, remainder of house with laminate flooring. Glass block accent in Master Bath, Stairway Wainscoating (decorative treatment for the lower portion of wall in stairway). All new Tuscany ceiling fans with dimmer lights operated with remote. Custom linen storage closet. Large master bedroom closet with custom shelves. Split A/C. Custom painted interior. Crown molding throughout downstairs, stairwell and upstairs hallway. Custom French doors with tilt/moveable blinds installed between glass. Custom blinds. Custom bathroom mirrors. 4 speaker surround sound stereo system hook-up.

Single Family Property, Subdivision: Makakilo, County: Oahu, Lot is 5766.00 sq. ft., View,

Let’s face it though, Oahu ain’t Sunnyvale. They don’t even have a Fry’s. So… you could choose
to buy a $925,000 house there and not be special – or you could choose special and live in beautiful Sunnyvale. Besides – the mexican food is probably better.

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:28 am

January 11, 2007

The Worst Is Over! You couldn't afford NOT to buy!

SignOnSanDiego.com > News > Business — U.S. housing seen showing more life in second half
In California, where home sales tumbled 23 percent in 2006 and could drop another 7 percent this year, “the worst is over,” said Leslie Appleton-Young, chief economist for the California Association of Realtors.

Median home prices in the state could slide 2 percent this year, with inland inventories of unsold homes lingering on the market, she said.

“All that being said, I never subscribed to the bubble argument anyway so I’m feeling pretty confident about 2007,” Appleton-Young added.

“Remember we’re going from a market where you couldn’t afford not to buy. Rates were so low, and prices were appreciating 15 to 20 percent, you just had to do that deal,” she said.

I’m confused. The worst is over, so now is a good time to buy.

But wait, they never said when it was not a good time to buy!

But wait again, before you couldn’t afford not to buy. Does that mean now I can afford not to buy?

How confusing.

Regardless, I’m just glad to hear that the worst is over.

Let’s all work together! I want to see 1br/1ba condos in Mountain View for $500k this year! Together, we can do it!

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 4:16 pm