October 25, 2006

Cupertino citizens fight new housing

MercuryNews.com | 10/24/2006 | Foes say measures could jam schools
Supporters say two projects will provide much needed housing and revenue for Cupertino. Critics say they are part of a trend that threatens to turn their community into “Condotino” and overcrowd local schools.

Measure D on the Nov. 7 ballot seeks to revitalize the sagging Vallco Fashion Park by building a Santana Row-like mall and scores of condos. A victory for Measure E would mean hundreds of new condos on the northwest side of town.

Currently there are about 1,000 condos in some stage of development in Cupertino.

The two measures are opposed by the same group of residents, under the moniker Cupertino Cares.

The group challenges city and school board assertions that more housing doesn’t necessarily mean more students in schools, where some students already learn in portable classrooms.

“The study says that condos don’t generate lots of kids,” said opponent Patty Chi. “But in reality it does.”

We can all thank Prop 13 for the strangeness of how adding more residents, don’t add more money to the local school districts. Only in California would people fight to build more Walmarts and Best Buys to get more money, instead of more houses.

Thanks Prop 13! Way to go.

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 9:51 am

Worst Street Name Ever

MLSlistings Property Detail for MLS number 658331
Redwood City, CA 94063


This Single Family Residence has the following features:
MLS#: 658331 Approx Age: 47 Years Approx Sq Ft: 740
Detached Single Family 1 Story Cottage/Bungalow
3 Bedrooms Ground Floor Bedroom 1 Bathroom

Did some one really hate Burlingame that much that they called this street Hurlingame??

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:11 am

October 24, 2006

Stated income loan (aka liar loans) statistics in California

10 mistakes that made flipping a flop – USATODAY.com
In California, 75% of purchase loans this year have little or no documentation of income, up from 34% in 2000, First American LoanPerformancesays.

Oh. My. God.

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 9:18 am

This is outdoors – really!

MLSlistings Property Detail for MLS number 657613
Santa Clara, CA 95050

Open House Showing
Saturday, September 30, 2006 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM

This Single Family Residence has the following features:
MLS#: 657613 Approx Age: 86 Years Approx Sq Ft: 626

I’m not sure why, but for some reason this house looks like it’d be inside a casino or a theme park. Maybe it’s the strange lighting – who takes pictures of a house at dusk anyway?

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:00 am

October 23, 2006

Why house prices will never fall in Silicon Valley

It’s Not the People You Know. It’s Where You Are. – New York Times
Sequoia makes its preference for the 20-minute rule almost explicit, telling applicants whose companies are at the “seed stage” (receiving less than $1 million) or “early stage” ($1 million to $10 million) that “it is helpful if the company is close to our offices” because they “require very frequent contact.”

Kleiner Perkins has only one office, the one in Menlo Park. Sequoia has reached out to entrepreneurs more considerately, providing five offices. But only one of the five, the one in Menlo Park, is in the United States. The others are in China (two), India and Israel.

If you have a brilliant idea for the New New Thing and want Sequoia to provide its funds and blessing — using the same golden touch provided not long ago to Google’s founders — you would be much better off in Beijing, where Sequoia has an office, than in Boston, where it does not.

The ecosystem in Silicon Valley, Mr. Sternberg said, includes “incredible techies, who live here because this is the epicenter, where they can find the most interesting projects to work on.” The ecosystem also includes real estate agents, accountants, head hunters and lawyers who understand an entrepreneur’s situation — that is, emptied bank accounts and maxed-out credit cards.

“In New York, it would be extremely difficult to find a law firm willing to defer the first $20,000 of your legal fees,” Mr. Sternberg said. “Here, we got that. It’s a pretty standard thing in Silicon Valley.”

On the East Coast, a business plan contest at the Harvard Business School in 2004 prompted one M.B.A. graduate, Arijit Sengupta, to found BeyondCore, a software company, in his apartment in Boston. Mr. Sengupta, who earlier had earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science and economics at Stanford, was determined to develop a finished product and to acquire customers by the oldest method of all: bootstrapping, or starting a business without outside capital.

He did end up needing Silicon Valley for something else: technical talent that would be willing to accept equity in place of any salary. Six weeks ago, he moved to Silicon Valley to recruit more people like his chief technical officer, who has been working full time since Jan. 1 for equity only.

And this is why house prices will never fall in Silicon Valley.

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

$985k for a 1080 sqft Cupertino home – magic word?

MLSlistings Property Detail for MLS number 644520
Cupertino, CA 95014


This Single Family Residence has the following features:
MLS#: 644520 Approx Age: 58 Years Approx Sq Ft: 1080
Detached Single Family 1 Story 2 Bedrooms

You know what the magic word is. :)


Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:06 am

October 22, 2006

The poor architecture of San Francisco. – By Witold Rybczynski – Slate Magazine

The poor architecture of San Francisco. – By Witold Rybczynski – Slate Magazine
The San Francisco Paradox

When good cities have bad architecture.


. By contrast, San Francisco epitomizes a different, older model: a thriving city with a prosperous commercial past (in this case a port) that gradually became what urban economists call a “glamour city.” Glamour cities are centers of international business (New York), political power (Washington, D.C.), and the New Economy (Boston). They usually have a 19th-century infrastructure of museums, concert halls, and well-preserved residential architecture, and they are where the wealthy, the well-educated, and the ambitious want to live. High-end demand, in turn, produces real estate values that—even in the current slump—are an order of magnitude greater than elsewhere. These cities are vibrant, livable, prosperous, and well-managed. San Francisco, on top of all this, has a temperate climate and a great natural setting. What it doesn’t have is great architecture.


Architecturally speaking, San Francisco has been like a beautiful, rich woman who has never developed an interest in cooking and serves TV dinners to her family, then occasionally—somewhat frantically—hires caterers whenever she has company for dinner.

Well this is certainly interesting read.

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 3:02 pm

Bay Area roads some of the worst on the nation

MercuryNews.com | 10/18/2006 | Roadshow: Bay Area will be billions short for much-needed pothole repairs
Q I find the report claiming San Jose’s roads are worst in the nation flawed. As someone who drives more than 50,000 miles a year around the Bay Area, San Francisco’s roads are far worse than San Jose’s troubles. Want potholes and bumpy, bad roads? Try just about every road near the financial district in San Francisco.

Alex Dykes

A Today, you may get more bad news. The Metropolitan Transportation Commission will release its annual pothole report and it estimates that the nine Bay Area counties need $20.4 billion over the next 25 years to maintain the aging roadway system, but only $9.4 billion will be available. A recent national report rated San Jose’s freeways and city streets as the worst in the nation. As for San Francisco and Oakland, they ranked third on the pothole chart. San Francisco says it spent $4.3 million between 2001 and 2005 paying claims in 744 cases where drivers suffered car damage or pedestrians were injured because of potholes, cracked sidewalks or broken curbs.

Bad roads mean that you should spend more time at home. More time at home means that you need to own more houses. And that’s why property prices will always go up!

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:26 am

October 21, 2006

Rental market is red-hot / Bay Area rents are climbing; units going fast

Rental market is red-hot / Bay Area rents are climbing; units going fast
More than 25 people packed an open house Saturday for a studio apartment on Russian Hill with hardwood floors, a view of the Bay and a monthly rent of $1,450.

By Sunday the unit was snapped up.

That sizzling demand is driving up prices, experts said. The average asking rent for a Bay Area apartment jumped 8.2 percent to $1,415 in the third quarter compared with $1,378 for the same period a year earlier, according to an analysis by Novato research firm RealFacts that included apartments of all sizes from studios to three bedrooms. The occupancy rate rose 1.2 percent, to 96.2 percent.

The apartment rental market and the housing market have traded places.


According to RealFacts, the biggest rental increases occurred in the South Bay and Silicon Valley in the third quarter, with average rents for all types of units rising 17.5 percent in Mountain View, 10.9 percent in San Mateo and 13.4 percent in Santa Clara compared with the third quarter of 2005.

At this rate, it might one day be as expensive to rent as to buy!

Better buy now in this buyer’s market before you get priced out of silicon valley forever!

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:58 am

October 20, 2006

Welcome to America (Av) – Cheapest House in Silicon Valley

MLSlistings Property Detail for MLS number 658848
Sunnyvale, CA 94085


This Single Family Residence has the following features:
MLS#: 658848 Approx Age: 86 Years Approx Sq Ft: 672

This is the cheapest standalone house in Silicon Valley (if you exclude Los Gatos mountains) – and it’s just fun thinking that you might get a gift basket that says “Welcome to your 672 sqft home on America”

Comments (4) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:38 am