December 10, 2006

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Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:22 am

December 9, 2006

"MUCH of the growth of the United States in recent years has been financed by homeowners’ rising wealth."

Signs of Lean Times for Home Equity, the American Piggy Bank – New York Times
MUCH of the growth of the United States in recent years has been financed by homeowners’ rising wealth. But now the growth in that wealth has almost vanished.
The government reported this month that it estimated the equity of Americans in their homes — what the homes are worth less the money owed on mortgages — rose a scant 0.1 percent in the third quarter. At an annual rate, that was just 0.5 percent, the smallest gain in more than a decade.

From late 2003 through the first quarter of this year, the gain in home equity was running at more than 10 percent a year, more than enough to keep Americans feeling richer and to provide cash — through refinancings or home equity loans — for other uses.


Some of that borrowing came from home buyers who needed to borrow to pay the high prices, and some from homeowners refinancing their homes. But a lot also came from an increased willingness of Americans to use home equity lines of credit — and from the expansion of the asset-backed securities market that funds many such loans. The amount outstanding under them rose at a compounded annual rate of 22.9 percent over that period.

In my opinion this is a good thing – the best way to earn money is always to borrow it. And if you need more money, get a second job by returning things that you buy. You can’t lose!

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 2:26 pm

December 8, 2006

Interest only and Payment Options Mortgages take hold in Bay Area | 12/07/2006 | Brokers help borrowers untangle their mortgage options
“These exotic mortgages have kind of taken over,” said Mike Tacconi, president of the East Bay chapter of the brokers’ association.

Indeed, they have. In the Bay Area, 43 percent of loans taken out in 2005 were interest-only loans, according to San Francisco based LoanPerformance. Another 28.3 percent were payment-option, which can lead to a growing loan balance known as negative amortization.

Well, we love exotic foods. Why not exotic mortgages?

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 11:57 am

$499k for a pallet house in San Jose

MLSlistings Property Detail for MLS number 669230
San Jose, CA 95120


This Single Family Residence has the following features:
MLS#: 669230 Approx Age: Unavailable Approx Sq Ft: 1000
Detached Single Family 1 Story 3 Bedrooms

See that gap under the front door? I’m pretty sure that if you get bored of this location, that you can get a forklift and use it to move this house somewhere else. Great deal!

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:22 am

December 7, 2006

What a manly street to live on…

47152 MALE TER, FREMONT Property Details – FREMONT Real Estate – FREMONT Homes for Sale – Movoto
47152 MALE TER, FREMONT – Warm Springs

Bedroom: 2 Bathroom: 2 Square Footage: 926 $435,000
Year Built: 1987 List Date: 11/22/2006 Lot Size: N/A
Parking Spaces: 1 MLS#: 40226700
Ask a Question Neighborhood Data Comparable Sale Data Email this to a friend
Shows Well* Great Location within Complex*Near Shop School & Pubic Transit*Great Commute Location Minutes 680/880/237/084 / One of Owners ia a Licenced Real Estate Agent

There’s not enough to go on right now to make fun of this house – but the name of the street is mildly amusing. “What’s your address sir? Can you spell that please? Is this a prank call?”

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:01 am

December 6, 2006

California Affordability: 24% – WOOT!

3Q 06 First-time Buyer HAI
Housing affordability at 24 percent for first-time buyers in California

LOS ANGELES (Nov. 27) – The percentage of first-time buyers in California able to afford a median-priced home stood at 24 percent in the third quarter of 2006, compared with 28 percent for the same period a year ago, according to a report released today by the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.).

C.A.R.’s First-time Buyer Housing Affordability Index (FTB-HAI) measures the percentage of first-time buyer households that can afford to purchase a home in California. C.A.R. also reports first-time buyer indexes for regions and select counties within the state. The Index is the most fundamental measure of housing well-being for first-time buyers in the state.

Sweet! Only 24%! A drop of 28%. As we all know, the less affordable California gets, the more special it becomes.

I can’t wait until it becomes 10%! San Mateo is on its way already…

Santa Clara County
Q3 2006 27%
Q2 2006 26%
Q3 2005 33%

San Mateo County
Q3 2006 20%
Q2 2006 19%
Q3 2005 24%

Update: Readers pointed out that the formula changed. It used to be calculated based on a 20% downpay and a 30 year fixed. Now it’s a 10% downpay and ARM. I wonder what the affordability rate would be if they used the old formula…

Update2: Another reader had this to say: There was another change -> the new way of calculating the “affordable” house price is pegging it at 85% of the median statewide price. The rational behind this move was that first-time buyers don’t buy a median price home.

Under the old standard—down here in the LA/OC area—the affordibility index was under 2%. So by jiving around with their index, CAR has magically made homes affordable to 12X as many (shee)people. We should all be grateful.

Sweet! Maybe the affordability for the Bay Area is actually just 1%. How awesome would that be? It’d mean that we’re very very very special!

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:48 am

December 5, 2006

Curbed SF: SF MLS to Shut Down Public Internet Access

Curbed SF: SF MLS to Shut Down Public Internet Access
In a move sure to make everyone feel warm and fuzzy this holiday season, the San Francisco MLS will shut down public internet access on January 1, 2007. The closure is expected to drive potential or casual consumers to realtor sites for information, removing access to the listings of small real estate firms and generally tightening control of listing information.

Realtors saw what happened to travel agents (online reservations) and stockbrokers (online trading) and they’re not going to let it happen to them, dammit. They’ve taken the position that the listing itself (the information about your house, or the house you want to buy) is proprietary; multiple listing services are mutual benefit associations, existing only for their members to share information, and as such are not required to share it with the public.

Aside from that, there’s never been recourse to listing inaccuracies or ommissions, deliberate or otherwise. The listing agents have always controlled the content, so what may look like two bedrooms and a porch to you really looks like three bedrooms to them. And let’s not get started on that other lump of coal, square footage. There’s no Listings Police (except maybe bloggers.) So perhaps it’s not such a big deal that you’ll get steered to the properties “your” realtor wants you to see. They’ll be positively giddy in 2007 with their new-found job security.

Remember, the industry is there to help you!

And remember, freedom is slavery! You just have to understand blackwhite…

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 9:43 am

The two sides of 12493 Saratoga Ave

Quick! What’s the difference between this house on craigslist:


And this house on MLS Listings?

MLSlistings Property Detail for MLS number 630122
Saratoga, CA 95070



This Single Family Residence has the following features:
MLS#: 630122 Approx Age: 49 Years Approx Sq Ft: 2480
Detached Single Family 1 Story Ranch
4 Bedrooms 2 or More Master Suites 3&1/2 Bathrooms

If you said “$40,000 because people love to dream on Craigslist” then you win!

(Thanks to SVRenter)

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

December 4, 2006

Have you ever wanted to buy a $900,000 driveway?

Burbed reader Steve writes in: “…have you ever wanted to buy a $900,000 driveway? Here’s your chance:”

MLSlistings Property Detail for MLS number 641707
5004 N 1ST ST
San Jose, CA 95002


This Single Family Residence has the following features:
MLS#: 641707 Approx Age: 46 Years Approx Sq Ft: 1300
Detached Single Family 1 Story 3 Bedrooms
1 Bathroom 1 Stall Shower Separate Family Room
Eat in Kitchen Gas Heat Wall Furnace Heat

Wait a sec… what’s being sold here? The house on the left side of the fence? or the garage on the right side?

Fortunately there are some more photos:


Oh, now it totally makes sense… you’re buying a driveway!
Get that and a few , you’ll have the perfect special Bay Area house!

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:55 am

I might be too scared to go in…

CRUCERO DR, San Jose Property Details – San Jose Real Estate – San Jose Homes for Sale – Movoto
CRUCERO DR, San Jose 95122crucero.jpg
Bedroom: 2 Bathroom: 1 Square Footage: 872 $519,950
Year Built: 1971 List Date: 9/28/2006 Lot Size: 3920
Parking Spaces: 2 MLS#: 661008
Ask a Question Neighborhood Data Comparable Sale Data Email this to a friend
Property Type Attached Single Family
Lot Description Lot: 1 to 4,500 Sq Ft, Corner Lot
Architecture Contemporary
Bedroom 2 Bedrooms
Bathroom 1 Shower over Tub, 1 Tub, 1 Stall Shower, 1 Bathroom

Ah, the usual “This place is terrible – so let’s say it’s great for a first time buyer!” deal.

I dunno… has that VW microbus moved in the last 20 years? Pretty creepy. I’d be a bit concerned about entering…

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:52 am