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

October 19, 2013

San Francisco & San Jose: Two Different Metros. WTFF? WHY?

131014-sfsj-bayareaThe conventional definition of the Bay Area was always the nine counties that touched SF Bay somewhere.  These were:

  • San Francisco, which everyone used to acknowledge as The City, because it was a City and a County both!
  • Alameda, its close-by yet cheaper urban commuter residence, home to Oakland, Berkeley, and of course, Hayward.
  • Contra Costa, further away, and featuring the lovely features of Richmond contrasted with the excitement of the I-680 corridor.
  • San Mateo, the nicer bedroom county. Not as nice as Marin, but easier to get to, and more importantly now, waaaaay closer to Google.
  • Santa Clara, formerly the valley of fruits and nuts, now home to the real economic engines. As in Google and Apple and Facebook and Intel and Cisco and a bunch of other places that make it possible for you to read this blog every day.
  • Marin, home to aging hippies and even more aging real estate, it’s the whitest part of the Bay Area
  • Sonoma, rural and removed from, well, everything above.
  • Napa, even more rural and removed except when the tourists clog up the wineries.
  • Solano, our very own Stockton on the Bay. That’s a reference to their finances, not their cattle ranching. Vallejo has a different economy.

Yet The Bay Area is often missing from lists comparing different parts of the country because the Census Bureau (now in shutdown mode!) decided to break The Bay Area into two different metropolitan areas.  There’s the San Francisco Metropolitan Statistical Area, and there’s the San Jose one.  San Francisco also got Alameda, Contra Costa, San Mateo and Marin counties. 

What did San Jose get?  San fucking Benito.  Thanks a LOT, Census anal-retentives.  You take the fifth largest metro area in the country and bust us into number 11. And number 34. Thanks a fucking lot, people counting geeks.  We really appreciate all the respect for our geographic integrity.

131014-sfsj-commuter-map

Breaking SF and SJ into different metros is utterly stupid. Also, SF gets San Mateo AND Alameda Counties, which have plenty of commuters crossing into Santa Clara County.

I finally found some actual commuting numbers in this chart here.  72 thousand San Mateo County residents commute to SF and 61 thousand commute to Santa Clara County.  But… this was in 2010. Lots more people even in SF taking the Google Bus now.  (SF-to-SCC commuters was 18K, the reverse was 7K)

You know what else is stupid? This graph. The size of the arrows seems to have little to do with how many commuters they represent when compared to the same size arrow in another county.  That big-assed snot-green one coming out of Contra Costa to Alameda?  It actually is the biggest inter-county commute, with 120 thousand people crossing the line to get to work. But the two opposed arrows out of San Mateo County, going to SF and Santa Clara County?  The baby shit brown one is longer but the purple one represents 10,000 more people.  Similarly, the same two colors coming out of Alameda?  That fabulous purple arrow is longer and just as wide, but there’s 6,000 more people heading to Silicon Valley than The City.

The chart key says arrow width is what matters, not length. But that’s bad design.  A stubby arrow connotes direction but also represents area.  A longer arrow should either show a longer commute or also more commuters.  And both SF vs SJ (well, SCC) arrows are not equilinear, yet the danged chart doesn’t tell us why that is.

131014-sfsj-commuteThere are more jobs in SCC than any other county in the Bay Area, too, 953K.  The next biggest job center is Alameda County with 737K, and The So-Called City is third with 621K.

Feel free to talk about your commute, where your job is in relation to your house, or anything you want. It’s not like we’ve ever removed a post for being off-topic.

Comments (18) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:01 am

October 18, 2013

Large front yard-plenty of parking

Ha! Fooled you! Bet your thought we weren’t going to post until the Weekend Open Thread again. Nope, we have a winner of a house today from Burbed reader Lefty Lucy.  And you know by “winner” we mean it in the Charlie Sheen sense.

131017-hwy9-redfin12968 HIGHWAY 9
San Lorenzo Valley, CA 95006
$349,000

2 Beds
1 Baths
936 Sq. Ft.
$373 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1921
Lot Size: 7,492 Sq. Ft.
On Redfin: 18 days
Status: Active
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Stories: 1
Community: Boulder Creek
MLS#: 81336122
Style: Cottage/Bungalow
View: Neighborhood
County: Santa Cruz

Older private cottage tucked away at end of shared driveway. Large front yard-plenty of parking. Some updated plumbing and electrical. 2bdrm/1ba plus bonus room. Updated det studio/living unit in rear with separate patio/yard w outdoor fireplace. Combined w adj 13068 sf parcel #081-174-09-flat, sunny, fenced w separate access. C-2 zoning -check w county re options. Open Oct 3 9-12 & Oct 6 1-4

Upcoming Open Houses

Sunday, Oct 20: Open House – 1:00-4:00 pm

Let’s check in with LL on why this house got sent in:

The front of this house is sorta cute, and then this winner gets better with each picture.

yeah, I’m reduced to shopping in Boulder Creek, so what?! :-)

There’s the W word again. Let’s see what Lefty Lucy meant about “gets better.” Maybe that’s in the Charlie Sheen sense as well.

131017-hwy9-tv131017-hwy9-zoomout131017-hwy9-living131017-hwy9-bedroom

And we’re only up to picture #9!  It gets even better.

Comments (8) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:09 am

October 15, 2013

Front house one is main house

Let’s check out San Mateo today. Whoa – selling shortly!

131014-9th-redfin1105 9TH Ave
San Mateo, CA 94402
$830,000

6 Beds
3 Baths
2,410 Sq. Ft.
$344 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1940
Lot Size: 5,085 Sq. Ft.
On Redfin: 174 days
Stories: 1
County: San Mateo
Community: 19th Avenue Park/Sunnybrae
MLS#: 81313428

Duplex in good neighborhood. Front House one is main house 2 bedroom 1 bathroom and back House 4 bedroom and 2 bathroom, kitchen remodeled, close to transportation and freeways, needs some TLC

It’s not just the house that needs some TLC, it’s the listing copy. Also, really, there are still short sales? What are they waiting to happen? Is the FB going to magically pay off this loan and throw the bank an extra $500K for their trouble?

At least they told the truth about being close to transportation and freeways.

131014-9th-close-to-freeways

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

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.

131013-sf-least-newhall

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

131013-sf-least-waverly

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