January 17, 2014

Selling Shortly in Hayward

Let’s visit the East Bay today, always good for a fresh angle. 

140116-ocie-redfin466 OCIE Way
Hayward, CA 94541
$460,000

3 Beds
1.5 Baths
1,185 Sq. Ft.
$388 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1958
Lot Size: 5,005 Sq. Ft.
On Redfin: 14 days
Status: Active
Type: Detached
Stories: 1
Community: Alameda
MLS#: 40641549
Style: Ranch
View: Other
County: Alameda

Great Opportunity! Easy access to Hwy 880 and 92. House Needs TLC. 3 bedrooms one and a half bath. As is Sale.

140116-ocie-tiltWe’re going to take this one if this is really As it Is —>

And while some of the interior shots are almost maddeningly normal, fortunately the agent did not disappoint us with this careful study of the dining room.

140116-ocie-dining

One could almost think the Real Estate Professional was so excited about this Great Opportunity that she couldn’t be bothered to focus the iPhone before running to her car to post the shots.

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

July 3, 2013

Peak Pricing: Not Just for RBA Homes

We’ve been talking about the Bay Area Real Estate Bubble 4,0 for half a year now. One way to tell things are getting bubblicious and frothy is when areas we don’t think of as expensive start acting like Real Bay Area markets.  Today’s featured home is from the East Bay, and it joins the peak parade,  Thanks much to Burbed reader Brittney for alerting us to this disturbance in the Force.

130702-westbury-redfin5670 OLD WESTBURY Way
Dublin, CA 94568
Sold for $825,000

4 Beds
2.5 Baths
1,972 Sq. Ft.
$418 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 2003
Lot Size: 3,117 Sq. Ft.
Sold On: May 31, 2013

HOA Dues: $126/month
Style: Mediterranean
Community: Tassajara Creek
MLS#: 40615019
Type: Detached
Stories: 2
County: Alameda

Corner location! Features include two tone paint, plantation shutters and crown molding throughout. Kitchen with stainless appliances, honey maple cabinets and granite counters with backsplash. Upgraded fireplace in family room with custom tile work. Backyard w/ grassy area and custom patio!

130702-westbury-livingYes! Corner location! Twice as much traffic who can all appreciate your two-tone paint job! Now let’s hear from Brittney.

Just saw this listing go sold recently. It was listed at $724,900 and sold for $825,000 which is incidentally the exact amount paid for it by the owners back in Oct 2005 – peak of the peak during that bubble. Nothing new was done to the house and it’s not anything special in that area….

130702-westbury-patioThat’s one diference between the RBA and the East No Way, namely when the market peaked. RBA homes peaked in 2008, except You Are Priced Out Forever AGAIN this year. What’s great is you can choose whether you can’t afford Palo Alto or whether you can’t afford Dublin.

Just remember what you can’t afford for $825K in Palo Alto.

Bunus: Holy Planned Unit Development, Batman, this place has a FAR of 0.63.  That’s what your HOA fees bring: the bribes development fees to make that even legal.

Comments (5) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:10 am

April 24, 2013

Ultimate Upwardness: Union City!

BlogAtoZ-UAs we move Unto the remainder of the alphabet, our regular readers may be Upset with our Undue Urgency in Upholding this Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Uh-Uh-Uh! Remember, we’re here to help, and that means finding anywhere in the Bay Area where prices are Up. 

Uh, right now that’s, Um, pretty much all of it.  Today we’re more Understanding of just how many places are Undulating Upwards, even the Underfunded, Underdeveloped, or Underhyped Urban Uniqueness that is… Union City.

Not even pending yet. Urrah!

130423-smith-redfin3771 SMITH St
Union City, CA 94587
$449,950

3 Beds
1.5 Baths
1,216 Sq. Ft.
$370 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1953
Lot Size: 7,740 Sq. Ft.
On Redfin: 1 day
Type: Detached
Stories: 1
County: Alameda
Style: Custom, Ranch
Community: Alvarado Dist
MLS#: 40611658

Welcome to this fine home with so much to offer, new carpet, frest paint inside, large lot with access to rear from front with drive through garage. This home is zoned residental and commercial buyes should check on what type of business can be placed should that be the use selected.

130423-smith-kitchen130423-smith-paintjob130423-smith-living130423-smith-seethru

So many Uses, yet zoned residental.  Say “Ugh!”

Comments (1) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:08 am

April 7, 2013

A Day of Rest Should be Observed with Real Estate

Today is Sunday, and that means… no A-Z Blog Challenge today. The schedule’s been set that we do a new letter every Monday through Saturday, and on Sunday you can go to church or look at Open Houses.  Or in the case of this story, courtesy of Burbed reader nomadic, you can combine both.

Judge Rules Against Bay Area Church Leaders In Real Estate Case

130406-vallejo-marqueeVALLEJO (KPIX 5) – A California state judge has ruled against two leaders of a prominent Bay Area church accused of bilking parishioners in an alleged investment scheme.

The judge ruled that General Assembly Church leaders Lacy Hawkins and Michael Parker operated a real estate investment company without a license, in violation of securities law.

KPIX 5 has been investigating Lacy Hawkins and Michael Parker’s involvement in the business deal, that church members said cost them millions of dollars. General Assembly Church has locations in Union City and Vallejo.

Hundreds of parishioners mortgaged their homes and drained retirement accounts on the promise of investment returns as high as 30 percent. Some said they were even promised salvation.

Yes, it’s not enough to have a religious leader in a fraud case, it has to have a realty component. And this one’s actually pretty interesting. Seems this was one of those We’re Here To Run Your Life For You kinds of churches, where you can’t even wipe your nose without permission.

130406-vallejo-churchAnd the Supreme Leader pretty much was ordering parishioners to buy into their real estate trusts or tout them to each other.  The investment vehicles weren’t exactly transparent about the real estate in them.  Unless you count the Woodlands of Ascension project they bought in Louisiana. Which was, mo konmprann, swamp.  Leadership blamed lack of progress on Katrina, but the Army Corps of Engineers said the land was always swamp.

The victims are claiming they were brainwashed into investing with the church’s leaders. We’re imagining just what kind of techniques were used. Maybe “Buy now or you’ll be priced out forever and that, my friends, is the definition of HELL.” 

Also the church leadership quickly realized that paying the real estate agent (who was part of the church) regular commissions for flipping properties was a loser… for them. The agent went from $20,000 a month to $1600 biweekly, as straight salary.  Meanwhile, the church reported to the IRS that they had paid him the commissions, so he owes more than a million in taxes.

The investment’s books were not open to the membership, either, so they didn’t realize that the vehicles were classic Ponzi schemes.

This is an Open Thread. Are you attending religious services this weekend, Open Houses, both, or neither?  And we’ll be back with the next letter in the Challenge tomorrow, G for God. Or Grab. Or both.

Comments (2) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:02 am

December 6, 2012

Return to the Whine Country: A must see!!

Yesterday we showcased the cheapest house we could find in Napa County.  Today we continue with our vineyard labors.  Except, we’re late to the grape-stomping.  Burbed reader JL sent this one in a couple months ago and we’re only now getting to it.  We apologize to all our readers who would have bought this house instantly if only we had featured it sooner.

121205-vineyard-redfin18069 VINEYARD Rd
Castro Valley, CA 94546
Sold for $475,000

4 Beds 
2 Baths 
1,991 Sq. Ft.
$239 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1960 
Lot Size: 10,125 Sq. Ft. 
Sold On: Nov 16, 2012
Status: Sold
Type: Detached
Stories: 2
Community: Castro Valley
MLS#: 40589131
Style: Contemporary
View: Valley
County: Alameda

Beautiful upper Castro Valley home with a great private backyard that has valley views. The property has a new roof, interior doors, paint, carpet, laminate flooring, and other miscelaneous improvements recently performed. A must see!!

121205-vineyard-kitchenHere’s why JL shared this house with us.

This one is not all that notable, other than that it’s a really ugly house. But the street view REALLY sells it.

Of course it’s notable! It’s on a street with a name straight out of Napa County, which makes us wonder why the trellis is so bare. 

Yet like yesterday’s home, the photographer gives us some of those artistic stairway views.  Plus the kitchen shot is completely awesome, that is if by awesome we actually mean another word that starts with “aw.”

121205-vineyard-stairs121205-vineyard-patio

The street view, you say?

121205-vineyard-streetview

Indeed.  These must be the “other miscelaneous improvements.”

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

November 26, 2012

Cheapest House yet for Cyber Monday!

121122-blackfridayWe’re not just having Black Friday deals, we’ve got the cheapest housing all throughout the Bay!  Today we’re looking for the cheapest house in Alameda County.

Think you can’t afford a house? Boom. You could buy this one and still have enough left over for… oh… ANOTHER HOUSE.  The argument e-store is now offline.

 

121125-91st-redfin1351 91ST Ave
Oakland, CA 94603
$39,888

1 Beds 
1 Baths 
634 Sq. Ft.
$63 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1927 
Lot Size: 2,725 Sq. Ft. 
On Redfin: 5 days
Status: New
Type: Detached
Stories: 1
County: Alameda
Style: Traditional
Community: Oakland
MLS#: 40596586

Nice started home, good for investor. Bring your offers

That’s right! Bring it!  When you do, maybe you can figure out what’s in the structure in the back and why the roof looks, um, distressed.

121125-91st-satellite

They did say it was a nice started home. You just have to figure out what they started.  But look on the bright side.  It’s a gated community!

Comments (12) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:03 am

November 11, 2012

A Livability Index

We’re always interested in ways to measure how Special a place is.  A website called areavibes.com has a Livability Index that has some interesting assumptions.

First, let’s see what it makes of some places most of us agree are Not Particularly Special (by which we mean we wouldn’t live there for free and we also wouldn’t live there unless we were paid Larry Ellison’s stock options).

Here’s areavibes on Detroit.

121110-areavibes-detroit

Detroit, MI is “Somewhat Livable.”  The only “A” grade it received was in cost of living, and that’s because the city will pay you to take one of their excess houses so they don’t have to pay to tear it down.  We can’t imagine what kind of city would merit a “Completely Out of the Question.”  Let’s move another to another Perennial of Pwnage: Stockton.

121110-areavibes-stockton

I can see the new Civic Motto over City Hall (if they have any staff capable of hanging banners): Stockton! Four Points More Livable Than Detroit!  But they are an important four points, as Stockton is considered “Very Livable.”

We now move on toward the Bay Area, but not the Good Part.

121110-areavibes-hayward

When Stockton has finer amenities than you do, and their weather is better too, plus your housing costs are unacceptably high to anyone outside the Bay Area, what’s the point of even entering the race?  Let’s try a better zip code.

121110-areavibes-sanjose

Ooooo!  Exceptionally Livable!  And what’s really exceptional is that if we type in an actual zip code, the score went down.

121110-areavibes-95129

Good luck figuring out why.  Finally, we arrive at the pinnacle of Real Bay Area Living.

121110-areavibes-cupertino

We invite you to try to score higher than that, either in the Bay Area, or anywhere else.  And we don’t want you to think these “grades” are completely pulled out of Mitt Romney’s car elevator.  Here, for example, is what the housing grade is based on:

121110-areavibes-cupertino-housing

Cupertino scores higher than average in every category.  Why would they be marked down for better numbers?

This is also your Weekend Open Thread, so go crazy.

Comments (17) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:11 am

October 29, 2012

It’s a Grand Old Flag… In Castro Valley

It’s Monday, and you know what that means! Time for more listing #winning!  Let’s start the work week with this Castro Valley catastrophe, which will have someone feeling castrated about yet another home selling shortly.  Thanks very much to Burbed reader JL for sending this house in, especially because we really need more East Bay listings.  To poop on!

If you’ve had an eye on a home of dubious virtue, and you’re thinking it belongs on Burbed, please send it to one of the email addresses in the upper right corner.  You’ll be glad you did!

121028-noree-redfin4777 NOREE Ct
Castro Valley, CA 94546
$499,000

4 Beds 
2 Baths 
2,125 Sq. Ft.
$235 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1971 
Lot Size: 5,002 Sq. Ft. 
On Redfin: 46 days
Status: Active
Type: Detached
Stories: 2
County: Alameda
Style: Contemporary
Community: Castro Valley
MLS#: 40589048

Roomy and inviting upper valley home in the Vannoy Elementary area. Large livingroom with fireplace plus a dining area. Bedroom and full bath on ground level. Large kitchen overlooks attached FR and rear decks. Inside laundry. Attached two car garage. Storage galore!! Quiet cul-de-sac location.

121028-noree-bedroomHere’s why JL nominated this house for some good ol’ Burbed lovin’.

Lovely staging. Needs more flags! Love the confederate flag on the bed of this one.

Wow, that is indeed a Confederate flag.  Should we tip the owner that California entered the Union as a Free State?  Maybe that’s why they took it down while they looked for another wall that didn’t have so many flags on it.

So, come to this listing for the standards, stay for the Burbed Housekeeping Seal of Approval! 

121028-noree-laundry121028-noree-kitchen

Evident pride of ownership starts in slowly with this listing but continues to build as you make your way through the photos.  Click on through to see what we mean.

(more…)

Comments (7) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:01 am

October 17, 2012

RV Access Parking is a PLUS!

Today’s featured home was sent in by Burbed reader waiting_for_the_fall.  We’re delighted to receive it, not only because this is the first contribution from this long-time regular we’ve seen in a while (or maybe even ever), but also because it’s from a part of the Bay Area we don’t cover as often as Silicon Valley.  This house is in the East Bay, and a part we don’t get too many nominations for, and best of all, it’s selling for less than not a lot of money.

Remember, if a house is in Northern California, it too can be Burbable!  Send your favorites on in to one of the email addresses in the upper right corner.

121016-briarwood-zillow8633 Briarwood Ln
Dublin, CA 94568
$425,000

Zestimate® $406,121
Est. Mortgage $1,489/mo
Beds: 4
Baths: 2
Sqft: 1,338
Lot: 7,649 sq ft / 0.18 acres
Type: Single Family
Year built: 1963
On Zillow: 1030 days
MLS #: 40562786
View Virtual Tour (opens new tab)

This is a four bedroom/two bathroom home with 1338 sq. ft. The roof is approximately nine years old and Dual Pane Windows throughout. Plus Converted garage into a large beautiful family room w/storage. The living room has a gas burning fireplace. Huge private backyard with a large patio and tall trees. RV Access Parking is a PLUS!

121016-briarwood-livingHere’s what wftf said when sending us this place:

Will you please check out the price fluctuations on this craptastic house?  It made me dizzy reading the wild price gyrations on zillow.
And it is pending!

I give up.  The banks are winning.

Did you know you can’t spell wftf without wtf?  Because wtf is definitely the best reaction to the price gyrations on Zillow.

121016-briarwood-price-history

121016-briarwood-bedroomSo is this house in the Real Bay Area or isn’t it?  It more than doubled in the ten years between 1996 and 2005, but then… not so much.  Since buying this house for 630 big ones, the current owner has tried listing it at $674K just two years later, and then started throwing prices at the wall seeing if any of them would stick.  Not sticking in addition to $674K were just under $600K (with lucky 8s!!!), reducing it to $429K (just 3 months later). 

Price goes down, price goes up.  Plus at least four different agents, at four different brokers.  It all adds up to an eyepopping over thousand day old listing!

Then again, perhaps this lovely room is what’s keeping the buyers away, since it appears to have girl cooties.

Comments (4) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:11 am