December 14, 2013

Priced Out For-EVEH AGAIN!

Don’t look now, but the FHA just swiftly kicked California in the housing numb…ers.

Housing Agency Will Reduce Mortgage-Loan Limits

FHA will drop the maximum mortgage loan it will guarantee next month

131213-mortgageBy NICK TIMIRAOS, Wall Street Journal, Dec. 6, 2013 5:17 p.m. ET

The Federal Housing Administration will drop the maximum size of home-mortgage loans that it will guarantee beginning next month in nearly 650 counties, the agency said Friday.

The maximum for single-family homes in certain "high-cost" housing markets including Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York will fall to $625,500, from the current level of $729,750.

The FHA doesn’t make mortgages but instead insures lenders against defaults on loans that meet its standards. It allows borrowers to make down payments of just 3.5% and has played an outsized role backstopping mortgages in the aftermath of the housing bust.

You just know those New York and DC types are behind this, trying to harsh our mellow, and kill our housing price leadership.

131213-fhaWell, we just have one thing to say to that: PTHTHBBBT.  That’s not going to hurt us here where the Engines of Creativity run 24/7/365.25.  No FHA mortgage backstop means everyone has to put 20% down on their above-$625,000 loans.  But so what?  Everyone here has a brazillion stock options and can buy houses for cash found under their Tesla Model S seat cushions! You know who that’s going to hurt, instead?

Los Angeles.  Moohahahahaha!  Look at the reaction by the California Association of Realtards, who are terrified of county median values resetting downward.  Of course, in the Real Bay Area, prices continue to only go upwards.

And as this is the first Weekend Open Thread we’ve provided in a while, feel free to comment on government housing issues, why SoCal’s housing market sucks compared to ours, or anything on your mind.

Comments (7) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:03 am






December 13, 2013

Celebrate this Property’s Centennial by Making it Yours

Other than the grousing about infrequent updates, people often say to us: “If only Burbed would run more older homes full of character!”  If only.  This Woodside wonderama features a house built in 1914 complete with a stupid street name PLUS the designer of the flipping playhouse gets a name-check. If that doesn’t make you reach for your bank-check, we don’t know what’s wrong with you.

Thanks very much to Burbed reader Petsmart Groomer for sending something in even when we didn’t feel like posting squat.

131210-upenuf-redfin37 UPENUF Rd
Woodside, CA 94062
$1,995,000

5 Beds
5 Baths
2,800 Sq. Ft.
$713 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1914
Lot Size: 4.30 Acres
On Redfin: 102 days
Status: Active
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Stories: 2
Community: Old La Honda Road Area
MLS#: 81332003
Style: Cabin, Cottage/Bungalow
View: Bay, Valley, City Lights
County: San Mateo

Welcome to Upenuf View Lodge, circa 1914, one of the original lodges in the hills. 3 bed/3 bath on 4+ acres. Artist studio built in the 1860’s, and 2 bed/2bath guest house. Unique opportunity to bring this family compound into the 21st century. Live amongst the Redwoods with unsurpassed views of the valley. Barbara Butler designed playhouse. Award winning Portola Valley Schools. Only 10 minutes to 280

131210-upenuf-wutWait – artist studio built in the 1860s? That would be like being built in 1660 if this were the East Coast, or 1060 if we were in England.

Do you think this is the studio that dates from the Civil War, or just the Barbara Butler designed playhouse? Inquiring minds want to know… who the heck is Barbara Butler?

Also, check out the map on Redfin, this home is west of Skyline.  From some of the other Redfin photos, you’ll find this property is much more La Honda Hippie than Woodside Wealth.

Comments (5) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:07 am

December 11, 2013

Mountain View move-in!

Enough with the catty comments about no posts in two weeks. We’ll post when and if we feel like it, no matter what websites are on your toolbar. Today’s heralded homestead is from z2amiller and this is a hot, hot property! Why? Because it’s CLOSE TO GOOGLE!

131210-spring-redfin1639 SPRING St
Mountain View, CA 94043
$500,000

— Beds
— Baths
— Sq. Ft.
Built: —
Lot Size: 5,300 Sq. Ft.
On Redfin: 6 days
Status: Active
Property Type: Residential Land (Single Family)
Community: North Shoreline
MLS#: 81342322

Lot still has foundation left from house burn down Jan. 2013. Nice neighborhood close to HWY 101

The Streetview photos show the property before house burn down Jan. 2013 (but really, it’s a nice neighborhood close to HWY 101!)  Fortunately, z2a thinks bigger than that.

IMG_20131206-spring-fire2Okay so now I feel bad.  I went to take pictures of this place and there’s basically a person squatting here with possessions scattered around and it looks like they are taking shelter under a tarp tied up in a tree.

I am guessing it is the property owner, with as much stuff as there is the property, MV police would’ve kicked them out if they didn’t belong.  (I think?!)   Also based on the MV voice article the lady who lived there was a hoarder, so given the state of the property (all of the garbage bags and random stuff all over) maybe it is the same person.

IMG_20131206-spring-fire1You can see the back of the person’s head (DHO?) in one of the pictures, hanging out under the tarp.

Anyway I’m having a hard time being too snarky about it now.  :-/

I guess the neighbors will be pretty thrilled when the place sells.

And that could be you, Mr. or Ms. Burbed reader, all three of you. You could put up a six-story apartment house and become rich beyond measure renting out cubicles to Googlers who will only come home to sleep.

Comments (8) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:07 am

November 20, 2013

Location, location, location in Mountain View!

Here’s a fine find sent in by Burbed reader Melanie in San Jose.  Thanks very much for ensuring that this week had something worth overbidding on!

131120-alice-redfin495 ALICE Ave
Mountain View, CA 94041
$949,000

4 Beds
2.5 Baths
2,494 Sq. Ft.
$381 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1945
Lot Size: 6,250 Sq. Ft.
On Redfin: 45 days
Status: Active
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Stories: 2
Community: Sylvan Dale
MLS#: 81336831
Style: Contemporary
View: Neighborhood
County: Santa Clara

This contemporary style home offers a blend of traditional style and modern convenience. Located in the quiet, Family oriented neighborhood of Mountain view, This home was rebuild and updated in 2002 with your family in mind. The private backyard is designed for Family fun. with 2494sf home with 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, 2 car garage, very close to Mountain view down town and easy access to freeways.

131120-alice-yardUpcoming Open Houses

Saturday, Nov 23: Open House – 1:00-4:00 pm

Look at that!  Buy this house and you can talk about your upcoming move over Thanksgiving dinner next week!  Now let’s check in with Melanie:

Easy access to freeways! A Mountain View bargain @ $949K

Easy access, you say?

131120-alice-aerial

Comments (16) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 11:45 am

November 15, 2013

Short ‘n Simple in San Jose

Thanks very much to Burbed reader Swan for ensuring we had some content today.

131114-crestview-redfin738 CRESTVIEW Dr
San Jose, CA 95117
$785,000

3 Beds
2 Baths
1,481 Sq. Ft.
$530 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1954
Lot Size: 6,660 Sq. Ft.
On Redfin: 2 days
Status: Active
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Stories: 1
County: Santa Clara
Style: Traditional
Community: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81340890

There are no remarks available.

Yeah, we’ve been having a month like that.  Now let’s check in with Swan:

Once you see the realtard’s photography skills and the homeowner’s interior decorating skills, you’ll understand why, "There are no remarks available."

131114-crestview-shutters131114-crestview-tv131114-crestview-kitchen131114-crestview-dining

Click a pic to embiggen.

Comments (6) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:02 am

November 10, 2013

Building a new house is easy!

Nobody even noticed we had a new article yesterday. And it was on topic and everything! So just for that, we give you a lame-ass Ikea rip-off on what to do if they ever made any more land. And you managed to get some.

131109-houss-instructions

This is your weekend Open Thread.  Heck, this is probably going to be your Open Thread for the whole effing month of November at the rate we’re going.

We would love to properly credit and link to the author of these instructions. Let us know if you can figure out who it is.

Comments (14) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:02 am

November 9, 2013

We’re Number One! In Rent!

Take that, NYC.  San Francisco rents are even higher than yours.  Thanks very much to Burbed reader Petsmart Groomer for passing this awesome news along.

San Francisco Rents Skyrocket, Up 10.1% From Last Year

Forbes, LIFESTYLE | 11/05/2013 @ 12:59PM | 2,823 views

131108-rents-listTrulia TRLA +3.3% Chief Economist Jed Kolko dives into the latest findings from the Trulia Rent Monitor, the earliest leading indicator of how rents are trending nationally and locally. It adjust for the changing mix of listed homes and therefore show what’s really happening to rents.

Among the 25 largest rental markets, rents are rising fastest in San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle, while they’re falling slightly in Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia. San Francisco has not only the steepest year-over-year rent increase, but also has the highest median rent ($3250/month) for 2-bedroom units in the country, edging out the New York metro ($3150). No other market comes close to San Francisco and New York: Boston, the third-most expensive, comes in at $2300. At the other extreme, median rent for a 2-bedroom unit is less than $1000 in Phoenix, St. Louis, and Las Vegas.

Can you imagine how much higher SF rent would be if they threw in Santa Clara County? And there is a bit of a cheat in here, buried deep in the FAQ we discover this nugget:

Some MSA’s [Metropolitan Statistical Areas] are split into Metropolitan Divisions, which we use instead of MSA’s where available. For example, we report the “San Francisco – San Mateo – Redwood City” and “Oakland – Fremont – Hayward” metropolitan divisions separately, rather than the “San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont” MSA.  [explanation added –ed.]

Ho, ho, ho! So that’s how we did it, by throwing away away Oakland, Richmond, and Hayward, City of Diversity!  Meanwhile the New York City subcategory, according to this thrilling OMB document on Metropolitan Statistical Areas, is still saddled with all the working-class outer boroughs as well as the pricier suburbs.  At least we now know which government agency is responsible for splitting SF and SJ into two separate metro areas.

Comments (1) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:07 am

November 6, 2013

Waterfront Lifestyle in (okay, next to) Silicon Valley

Have you ever wanted to live right on the water, like some homes we’ve featured in Alameda, but thought to yourself, “Dang it, I don’t want a killer commute like that! I have to live near major employers and be able to hang out with my friends in downtown Palo Alto if we ever get any time away from work! Oh yeah, and I don’t want to pay a million dollars for the location! Plus I want a property listing that acknowledges how creative I am.” Now you can have it all!

131106-maple-redfin1548 Maple Street #82
Redwood City, CA 94063
$265,000

2 Beds
2 Baths
890 Sq. Ft.
$298 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1996
Lot Size: —
On Redfin: 31 days
Status: Active
Property Type: Other (See Remarks)
County: San Mateo
Community: Lenolt
MLS#: 81336823

This charming 2BR 2BA floating home features unobstructed Redwood City water views. The two level home is an entertainer dream home with open flr plan, modern Kitchen, expansive decks, and a two person hot tub. Bonus work room/ workshop makes this home a dream come true to every person who enjoys the outdoors, entertainment and being creative.

Yup, nothing screams “I am being creative” more than a houseboat in Redwood City, unless it’s a schoolbus in the Santa Cruz Mountains. And the houseboat not only has an open flr plan, it’s much closer to Facebook.

Bunus: Absolutely NO public info on this place except the fact it’s a mobile home. A floating mobile home. Speaking of sunk costs…

Comments (20) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 8:59 am

October 28, 2013

A house every agent will fall in love with

There are houses that wow buyers.  This is a house that will make the real estate professionals thrilled.  Why?  Take a look and find out!  Thanks loads to Burbed reader waiting_for_the_fall for this San Bruno spectacular!

131027-walnut-redfin359 WALNUT St
San Bruno, CA 94066
$439,000

3 Beds
2 Baths
920 Sq. Ft.
$477 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1948
Lot Size: 2,500 Sq. Ft.
On Redfin: 80 days
Status: Active
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Stories: 1
County: San Mateo
Style: Ranch
Community: Belle Air
MLS#: 81329313

Gorgeous and Affordable Single Family Home! 3 bedrooms, 2 bath with 1 master suite. Featuring a Delightfully Upgraded Granite Countertops, Stainless Steel Appliances, Hardwood floor Double Pane Windows, and Crown molding. Laundry Inside. Close to transportation, Tanforan Mall, SFO Airport and freeways. Street Parking. Good Size Backyard. Great for investment!

131027-walnut-yardSo, why is this a Realtard’s dream?

It’s not just the trifecta of stainless, granite and hardwood, or the “affordable” price of not much less than not a lot of money.  It’s not even the HDR photography that lovingly picks up every bit of the shredded plastic in the back yard.

Let’s hear the answer from wftf:

I have a perfect representation of the last 2 or 3 housing bubbles, all in one house!

131027-walnut-frontdoorMaybe people didn’t realize planes would be rumbling by overhead and couldn’t take it anymore after a year. This might explain the rapid turnover/flipping activity, but not all of it.

Selling 8 times in 25 years and going for number 9?  That’s got to be some kind of record.

Maybe the agent just has their card laminated onto the room divider when the residents give up.

That’s also a record for the fewest steps from the front door to the kitchen we’ve ever seen.  But check this out, the agent wasn’t kidding about close to transportation. And yes, that’s the airport off the right margin of US 101.

131027-walnut-aerial

Comments (10) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:06 am

October 24, 2013

Those of us about to be sold short salute you

Here’s a fantastic find in Fremont for ya with fab fotos!  Plus, there’s an AUCTION. Oooh, excitement!  Whoops, they already had it. Think it sold?

131023-bowling-redfin34179 BOWLING GREEN Cmn
Fremont, CA 94555
$385,000

HOA Dues: $275/mo.
4 Beds
2.5 Baths
1,474 Sq. Ft.
$261 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1970
Lot Size: 1,027 Sq. Ft.
On Redfin: 23 days
Status: Active
HOA Dues: $275/month
Style: Traditional
View: Other
County: Alameda
Type: Townhouse
Stories: 2
Community: Northgate West
MLS#: 40633445

This 4 BR and 2.5 BA townhome is convenient to shopping, park and 880. Lots of light in this two story end unit with patio. DP windows. Needs TLC. Finance incentives – Call Nationstar Mortgage 877.825.2432. Open house 10/12 & 10/14 11- 4. Offers to homesearch.com auction 10/18-24th.

Oh oh.  View is usually “Neighborhood” unless it’s something awesome such as “Golden Gate Bridge” or “Mountains” or “Skyline.”  What do you think an “Other” view is? Is this house appearing on Point/Counterpoint?

Then again, with real estate photography this poignant, this house is more likely to show up on some Reality (not Realty) show such as Real Housewives of Fremont.

131023-bowling-kitchen131023-bowling-salute131023-bowling-living

And since when is $385K under Redfin’s minimum commission?

Alas, the reserve for the auction was not met.  But check out the page for more awesome photos like these.

131023-bowling-auction1131023-bowling-toilet

Comments (5) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:07 am