October 14, 2013

We’re #1! We’re #1! We’re… PRICED OUT FOREVER!

Yesterday we shared a San Jose Mercury News (motto: Website now as thin as our newspaper!) piece showing many first-time buyers are going to remain full-time renters for the time being.  And that’s true even if we spot them places like Hayward and Mountain House.

That’s distressing news if you hate your blood-sucking landlord (but we repeat ourselves), your noisy neighbors, or your shiftless property “manager.”  Let’s balance that cup of cold crappy colloquy with some news that will turn your frown upside down.

Where Can the Middle Class Buy a Home?

131013-sf-least-affordable-ggbBy CONOR DOUGHERTY, The Wall Street Journal

If you’re in the middle class and want to buy a home here’s a piece of advice: Move to Ohio (if you’re not already there).

Some 86% of homes in the Akron, Ohio area are within reach of middle-class buyers in the area, the highest share in the nation, according to a report from Trulia, the real estate listings site. The next two cities on the list, with 85% of homes affordable to middle class, are Dayton and Toledo, respectively.

For those of you in the coastal elite who are reading this post for the perverse pleasure of finding out just how unaffordable your city is, you might be surprised to hear that New York isn’t No. 1. San Francisco is the least affordable place to be a middle-class buyer, with only 14% of homes within reach of those making the median San Francisco household income of $78,840, according to Trulia.*

However, we were slightly surprised by the next two most unaffordable places, Orange County and Los Angeles, respectively. New York was the fourth least affordable place to be middle class. After that were San Diego and San Jose and Ventura County.

Sooooo, SF is #1 but Silicon Valley is #6? But note, California completely PWN3D New York and the entire East Coast in the unaffordability sweeps. Washington DC? Shut out by the shutdown. Later, you imperialist running dogs no longer feeding at the public trough for the next few days!  When it comes to places nobody can afford to live in, we can revel in our Specialness!

131013-sf-least-listThe Trulia link above (yes, of course it works) says that while San Francisco has a 60% higher median income than most-affordable Akron, Ohio, homes there sell for (deep breath, now) seven times as much.  Only 14% of homes for sale are affordable to a household earning median income for the area.  Even worse, whoops, we mean better, San Francisco has dropped ten more percentage points in affordability since last October when 24% of homes could be purchased by a median income household.

To get slightly wonky, the real formula was what percent of homes’ monthly payments were 31% or less of the median household income, which shows the problem right there.  Everyone knows if you want to buy a house in SF, Cash is King. Monthly payment? Might as well ask if they’ll sell you the house for a hogshead of buggy whips.

San Jose’s affordability index per Trulia was 31%, but then again, none of the contenders were anywhere close to SF.  Second-place Orange County came in with only 23% of homes rated affordable by the “middle class.”

Trulia also provided a “maximum affordable home price” for each area.  Let’s take a look at what you get for that price.  Here’s a 5 BR/3 BA in SF at only $10K less than the maximum affordable amount. Of course this house is in Bayview and it has some permit issues, but you can’t have everything.

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Contrast to how far your dollar S-T-R-E-T-C-H-E-S in San Jose!

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Wow, a gated estate with lots of CAPITAL LETTERS and it’s yours AS IS, which means the seller won’t switch houses on you!  And just for giggles, let’s see what an “affordable” house in Akron (highest affordable house: $226K) looks like.

131013-sf-least-akron

OMG look at that house! Those bricks are going down into a big ol’ pile as soon as The Big One hits! Not only that, it would take at least a couple more hours to get to Google from here than the other two houses we showed you.  And when you look out in the boonies like this, notice what you don’t get: a decent fence around the place to keep the nosy neighbors away.

We won’t even get into the difficulty of transferring into Cupertino schools.

Comments (8) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:08 am






October 13, 2013

More of you are Priced Out For-EVEH!!!!!!

And now for some Totally Obvious News for Anyone Who’s Been Paying Attention, courtesy of the San Jose Mercury News (nickname: Adventures in Irrelevance).

Many first-time buyers shut out of Bay Area housing market

131012-pricedout-proudBy Pete Carey, San Jose Mercury News
POSTED:   10/06/2013 04:00:00 AM PDT, UPDATED:   10/07/2013 03:59:42 PM PDT

As the peak homebuying season ends, months of rising prices, tight inventory and competition from investors have left many would-be first-time buyers on the sidelines.

Prices are up an astonishing 31.7 percent in August from a year ago for all types of homes in the nine-county Bay Area, and for moderate-income buyers that represents a growing hurdle.

And the slice of home sales for less than $500,000 has dropped from a combined 59.1 percent to 42.2 percent in August in Contra Costa, Alameda, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties, according to real estate information company DataQuick. Homes under $300,000 are down from a combined 29.7 percent in the four counties to 15.2 percent.

See the proud homedebtor in the piccie above? He got himself a house.  In Hayward, City of Diversity. And lately we’ve been seeing ads for new homes in Mountain House.  Not Mountain View, Mountain House.  Mountain House is what people in Livermore point to when asked where the “exurbs” are,  Extra chuckle points to whatever robot put that page together calling San Ramon a “nearby community.”  Sure, just like Prunedale is “nearby” Almaden Valley.

Just as there is nothing wrong with any house that price cannot fix, there is nothing wrong with any price that distance cannot fix either. It’s just that some of you are going to have to buy in Turlock.

This is not only your Weekend Open Thread, it may have to do for the entire week. Tune in tomorrow and find out if there’s going to be a new edition of Burbed or not!

Comments (8) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:04 am

October 9, 2013

Needs a lot of work

Here’s a house for the budget-conscious. You may not get much when you look for “affordable housing” in the Bay Area, but at least there won’t be huge swathes of ugly.  Just small ones.

131009-weld-redfin7324 WELD St
Oakland, CA 94621
$115,000

4 Beds
1.5 Baths
780 Sq. Ft.
$147 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1912
Lot Size: 3,500 Sq. Ft.
On Redfin: 2 days
Status: New
Type: Detached
Stories: 2
Community: East Oakland
MLS#: 40634301
Style: Bungalow
View: Other
County: Alameda

Fixer upper house this property needs a lot of work, two story building with a large back yard.

If a 3500 square foot lot leads to “a large back yard,” just imagine how much “a lot of work” adds up to. Our money is on that streetname illustrating just one of the many kinds of fixes in store.

image

Bunus: Dudette Hanging Out in the Streetview shot.

Comments (17) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:06 am

October 8, 2013

Seller Prefers No Photo in Willow Glen

A great listing should be chock-full of photos to make you drop everything you’re doing and run over to your agent to say I MUST HAVE THIS HOUSE THIS INSTANT.  A so-so listing will have at least a couple of photos that intrigue you enough to see yourself possibly moving in.  And then there’s today’s listing.

Yes, we know there was no listing yesterday.  Unless all three of our readers decide to send in voluntary donations to keep us motivated, there sure are times we just don’t feel like writing. You want fresh content each morning? Then go ahead and MAKE MY DAY.

Ahem. Anyway, on to today’s featured property!

131007-william-redfin572 W WILLIAM St
San Jose, CA 95125
$299,999

3 Beds
1 Baths
1,204 Sq. Ft.
$249 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1905
Lot Size: 6,000 Sq. Ft.
On Redfin: 122 days
Status: Active
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Community: Willow Glen
MLS#: 81320113
Stories: 1
County: Santa Clara

Great fixer upper in Willow Glen. 3 Bedrooms 1 bath, shopping and schools nearby. Large kitchen with cute built-ins. High ceiling adds space.

Why would the seller prefer no photo when their agent could give us this one?

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Or an even better shot, like the LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION! This place is close to EVERYTHING!  Like extra added emissions!

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And we’re sure you can find even more amazing benefits to this property that the agent neglected to share! Have at it!

Comments (14) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:05 am

October 5, 2013

Open Thread Salute

It’s the weekend! Time to see what’s available because YOU SHOULD BE BUYING A HOUSE! Or selling one.

131004-rikers-ugh

We hope you appreciate the two-tone paint job as well. Now tell us how your Open House visits go in this Weekend Open Thread.

Comments (12) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:05 am

October 4, 2013

Are you green with envy about this green house in Redwood City?

102 POPLAR Ave
Redwood City, CA 94061

20131004ab

Being green is all the rage these days. And I don’t think there’s a greener house than this!

Lime green? No not quite. Pea soup green? Hm. Guac green? Sinus green?

But let’s look at the opportunity to grow!

20131004c

I see… so if you expand the back of the house to touch the detached garages… uh… I mean mancaves and media center…. then you’d have a super house. Your house could fill the lot edge to edge! Neat!

What I’m really surprised at is how the realtor left out the convenience factor!

20141004av

My goodness! This house is literally in the crossroads of the world… or Redwood City. Easy access to Target, Bed Bath and Beyond, Harry’s Hofbrau, Woodside, El Camino Real, Main Street, car repair shops – the opportunities are endless.

I don’t understand why no one has snapped up this jewel today.

How will you spend the weekend? And will it involve visiting this house?

Comments (3) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:28 am

October 3, 2013

“Work done with permits” with the most lucky price ever!

1350 PEGGY Ave
Campbell, CA 95008

20131002a

First, let’s take a moment to observe that this house has the luckiest price ever. Whoever buys this house will be showered with years of good fortune and good SAT scores. There is no doubt.

Next, let’s just look at all the benefits this house has to offer! Long time readers of this blog know that permits are often just ignored. After all, this is the most disruptive place in the world – Silicon Valley doesn’t need stinkin’ permits. Ask for forgiveness, not permission! So the fact that this house has work done with permits – that’s definitely a unique feature.

But most importantly, once you plunk down this $888,888, you will have enormous flexibility to spend the rest of the $1M you have sitting around to grow this house. Just think of all the possibilities! After all, there’s a 200 amp panel and so much flat land. Will you be building the ultimate brogramming cave? A massive Singapore Math™ study zone?

Let’s hear your best ideas!

Comments (4) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:04 am

October 2, 2013

Investment opportunity! Tenants willing to rent back.

10200 TORRANCE Ave
San Jose, CA 95127
$399,000

20130930a

It’s Silicon Valley! Who doesn’t like an investment opportunity!

So, if this has been renting for $1,800 per month for more than 4 years, doesn’t that mean that this is underpriced? As the new landlord, would you immediately double the rent to the market value of $3,600? After all, the rent was based on the price before the remodel! That seems awfully low.

What’s your pricing strategy for this?

And let’s not forget this large lot in the back!

image

It’s so… triangular! That just means you can build an incredibly unique, and therefore, incredibly expensive (because it’s rare!) house in the back as well! You could market this as the Triangle House – TriHo for short!

Comments (2) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:48 am

October 1, 2013

6 SINGLE HOME OR APARTMENT UNIT OR CHURCH OR TEMPLE OR COMMERCIAL

898 TULLY Rd
San Jose, CA 95111

20130930

As we all know, one of the most important things you can have in life is options. Unlimited options = freedom, and freedom is the bedrock of our nation.

This plot of land has many options… almost unlimited options! Thus, this plot of land is freedom.

What would you build on it if you owned this? A church? A temple? A single apartment unit?

Please answer soon. HURRY UP!

Speaking of hurrying up, it’s interesting that this house has been on the market for 270 days. Where have I seen this before?

http://www.burbed.com/2012/08/14/instagram-makes-anything-better-right/

August 14, 2012

Instagram makes anything better right?

898 TULLY Rd
San Jose, CA 95111
$1,300,000

20120812898

Maybe the realtor should switch to Vine! Then this house would really hurry up!

Comments (5) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:24 am

September 30, 2013

Buying A Home Still Beats Renting By 35% In America’s Biggest Cities

Buying A Home Still Beats Renting By 35% In America’s Biggest Cities

Despite rising home prices and mortgage rates, it’s still cheaper to buy a home than to rent one in America’s largest cities. A new report from San Francisco, Calif.-based real estate site Trulia finds that, nationally, it’s 35% less expensive to own a home. Even in notoriously pricey, renter-heavy cities like San Francisco and New York, it remains 9% and 21% cheaper, respectively.

Of the top 10, eight are located in Calif., a state in which many cities, despite being plagued by high unemployment and the foreclosure crisis, never saw prices fall enough to fully align with other local economic fundamentals like median income.

The metro area that will swing back toward renting first is San Jose, Calif., when mortgage rates climb to 5.2%. It’s currently 4% cheaper to buy than rent in the Silicon Valley hub, a dramatic change from last year when it was 31% cheaper.

This really proves what we’ve all known: buying is cheaper than renting. It’s always a good time to buy.

I’m not sure what you’re doing this Monday morning, but if you’re not buying a home, you’re probably starting off this week in the wrong way.

What does your calculations show? Is buying cheaper than renting?

Comments (8) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:42 am