June 23, 2011

Downtown Mountain View for $600 a Month. Plus Mortgage Payment

Think Mountain View is all Google and Microsoft?  Think again!  It’s also got a dynamic downtown, with, um, restaurants!  Yeah, that’s the ticket!  Restaurants!

Many thanks to Burbed reader Alex for today’s featured property.

238 VIEW St, Mountain View, CA 94041



BATHS: 2.5
SQ. FT.: 1,332
$/SQ. FT.: $632
LOT SIZE: 1,160 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Condominium
STORIES: 1-3 (Low Rise)
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81117753
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 44 days

This amazing custom 3-year old Spanish style downtown condo unit has it all. Just blocks from desirable Castro St. 2 blocks from Mountain View farmers market, and walking distance to Cal-Train. – Marble kitchen and master bath – Grand master suite w/ walk-in closet – Marble bathroom w/ separate tub & shower – 2 parking spaces – Garage storage space – Stainless steel appliances

imageHere’s what Alex had to say about this listing:

At these prices, don’t expect to find any riff-raffs as neighbors. Nothing says exclusivity more than $600 in HOA. Take your children for a stroll down Castro and enjoy the artistic broken or papered windows. Or enjoy a romantic evening home with your partner, taking advantage of the constant vibrations from passing CalTrain. Who needs Santa Row when you have desirable Castro St? Move over, Palo Alto.  Make room for the new RBA.


And so convenient to City parking lots, which are always in use!  Think of all the new acquaintances you could meet there.

Comments (25) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:04 am

February 19, 2011

Reasons to buy NOW!

Reasons To Buy Now


Thanks to Burbed reader Alex for this find from Dr. Horton… I mean… D.R. Horton.

No Tax Deductions! Sweet! There’s nothing like getting a tax deduction for paying interest to a bank!

How would you rewrite this ad for Dr. Horton?

Comments (22) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:04 am

September 18, 2010

WSJ’s Top 10 Reasons to Buy a Home

Many thanks to burbed reader nomadic for sending in this provocative essay. And if there’s one thing we can rely on the Wall Street Journal for, it’s got to be meaningless flamebait!

10 Reasons To Buy a Home

Columnist's name

Enough with the doom and gloom about homeownership. Brett Arends explains why owning a home is a good thing.

Enough with the doom and gloom about homeownership.

Sure, maybe there’s more pain to come in the housing market. But when Time magazine starts running covers that declare “Owning a home may no longer make economic sense,” it’s time to say: Enough is enough. This is what “capitulation” looks like. Everyone has given up.


The Sept. 6 cover of Time magazine: This is what capitulation looks like.

After all, at the peak of the bubble five years ago, Time had a different take. “Home Sweet Home,” declared its cover then, as it celebrated the boom and asked: “Will your house make you rich?”

But it’s not enough just to be contrarian. So here are 10 reasons why it’s good to buy a home.

1. You can get a good deal.
2. Mortgages are cheap.
3. You’ll save on taxes.
4. It’s your house; you can do what you want with it.
5. You’ll get a better home then a crappy rental property.
6. It offers inflation protection.
7. Sooner or later real estate prices will head up again
8. It’s forced savings.
9. There is a lot to choose from.
10. Sooner or later, the market will clear.

I had no idea The Wall Street Journal was a wholly-owned division of the National Association of Realtors.  The calendar says it’s September, not April, so this isn’t a joke they’re playing on us either.  Either this writer just came back from a Kool-Aid party or he’s heavily long in residential construction.  Then again, it seems this isn’t the first time he’s made a complete idiot of himself just to generate traffic.

This is the most bizarre mix of naiveté, insouciance, and out-and-out Lawrence Yunnery.  Just as an example, here’s Arends’ reasoning for #5:

In many parts of the country it can be really hard to find a good rental. All the best places are sold as condos. Money talks. Once again, this is a case by case issue: In Miami right now there are so many vacant luxury condos that owners will rent them out for a fraction of the cost of owning. But few places are so favored. Generally speaking, if you want the best home in the best neighborhood, you’re better off buying.

I don’t know where these “many parts of the country” are, but I suspect they’re in places where homes are so cheap, anyone who can buy already has.  In high-income, high-housing cost regions, such as New York City, San Francisco, and Silicon Valley, rentals are readily available.  Knowledge workers are often on the move, and either won’t commit to buying, or simply rent their home out when jetting off to another assignment.

I’m sure burbed readers will find plenty of fault with this list, and so conclude with this simple rebuttal:

Top 10 Reasons Not to Buy a House Now

10. Enjoy the bankruptcy-free lifestyle
9. Can live close to work no matter where work ends up being
8. No public record in county recorder’s office of where you live
7. Time Magazine finally catches up with a trend that you’ve been ahead of for years
6. When you’re tired of being underwater, you just climb onto the shore and towel off
5. Three words that don’t apply to you: Monthly equity burn
4. You want to have all your cash on the sidelines with interest rates this low
3. Payback for those smug jerks showing off the toys they bought in 2006 from mortgage equity withdrawal
2. Landlords have plenty of people to evict ahead of you if you’re a few days late with the rent

And the Number One reason not to buy a house now:

1. It’s the economy, stupid.

Update: Looks like several burbed readers couldn’t wait for this article and the party has already started.  Here are some of the lists they’ve come up with so far.

From burbed reader Alex:

Top 10 reasons to delay buying a home

1) better deals are coming
2) mortgages will get cheaper
3) you’ll save more by avoiding the impending price drop
4) you don’t have to maintain the house (change light bulbs, draino) if you rent for a while longer; if your big sh*t clogs the toilet, just call the property manager
5) for the same amount of money, you can get a much better rental than a crappy house
6) you’re protected against deflation
7) it’s forced saving by not throwing your money away at depreciating assets
8) real estate ain’t going up for a loooooong time
9) there will be even more to choose from in a few years
10) the market will clear in a few years when the shadow inventory is finally put up for sale and the government stop d*cking around with their feeble market-propping measures

This would be a perfect list if only the author had properly spelled out the word “ducking.”

From burbed reader DreamT:

Top 10 reasons to buy a home now

1. If you don’t buy it, someone else will. You wouldn’t want to be a loser, would you?
2. Grass will be greener than your current place, which has none.
3. You can mock the renters, or treat them with contempt, or just haughtily ignore them
4. Now you Belong!
5. Your wife’s happy. Your kid’s happy. If your family’s normal, you’re therefore happy.
6. Nothing worse than idle money sitting on a savings account. Make it work for you! An empty savings account is a good savings account.
7. [Another burbed reader] will be your friend, or your BFF if you’re Chinese and like to eat at Dynasty.
8. You’ll get promoted, just like [Another burbed reader]. It’s inevitable.
9. You can stop wondering when is a good time to buy. Done!
10. You missed your chance yesterday. Care to make the same mistake again today?

Top 10 reasons not to buy a home

1. Surprise – you don’t own it – the bank does, then whomever you pay property tax to who can repossess your property.
2. No matter how many times you water the plants, they still die – or they grow too fast.
3. That roof shingle flew off again, and what’s up with that toilet anyway. Oops, what’s that sound, was that the tree?
4. You’d only get pissed off at the renters who don’t keep up their grass and litter the sidewalk. Not to mention the ruffians who dare walk on Your neighborhood park.
5. There’s no money left for a good old hostile takeover.
6. You can walk away when the meth lab in the garage explodes. The owner’ll clean it up.
7. You’ll have enough money left to buy that promotion.
8. You don’t have to suffer any kind of kinship to [Another burbed reader].
9. You can mock the homeowners who turn blue every time a foreclosure rears its ugly head in the neighborhood. And nothing compels you to check zillow valuations six times a day.
10. You were smart enough not to buy in 2006, you’re not going to be dumb enough to buy now!

Please add your owns lists on the best reasons to buy or not to buy.  That is today’s question.

Comments (29) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:19 am

October 23, 2009

If you love sunsets, you’ll love this house!

5648 CEDAR CREST Ter, DUBLIN, CA 94568 | MLS# 40431698
Price: $710,000

Beds: 5
Baths: 3
Sq. Ft.: 2,659
$/Sq. Ft.: $267
Lot Size: 4,041 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Single Family Detached
Style: Custom
Stories: 2
View: Greenbelt
Neighborhood: DUBLIN
Year Built: 2000
Community: DUBLIN
County: Alameda
MLS#: 40431698
Source: EBRD
Status: Active
On Redfin: 12 days
Beautiful home in the Dublin Ranch development, on a cul-de-sac in a child friendly neighborhood 3 blocks from new elementary school. Home backs up to protected green space – privacy and fabulous sunsets.

Thanks to Burbed reader Alex for this find.

Although Burbed doesn’t regularly venture to Dublin, this is a nice relaxing find for a Friday.

Who knew that a house could have multiple sunsets per day! Apparently this house lives in the special Tatooine district on Dublin, and thus you can enjoy sunsets multiple times a day.

For those who value their privacy, this picture is reassuring – your house will blend into the sunset. No one can find you. Your children will be very safe.

So if you don’t mind the short drive to Dublin, this house may be right for you. Just be sure not to stare into the sunsets!

Comments (85) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:24 am

October 14, 2008

The Most Affordable House In The Bay Area with instant equity

665 W. MacArthur Blvd., Oakland, CA
665 W. MacArthur Blvd., Oakland, CA
Wonderful Rehab Potential
2BR/1BA Multi-Family, 3 units

offered at $215,000
Year Built 1868
Sq Footage 2,088
Bedrooms 2
Bathrooms 1 full, 0 partial
Floors 2
Parking 3
Lot Size 4,429 sqft
HOA/Maint $0 per month

Large 3 unit building. 2 bedrooms upstairs, 1 bedroom or studios down. Lot Size 4,429 /- Property in middle of rehab and will be sold �AS IS�. Great potential with possible seller financing to approved purchaser. Large lot, permits available
to be transferred.

Thanks to Burbed reader Alex for thsi amazing find.

Dude this is a huge lot! It’s like 4429 square feet! Wowsers!

And guess what? It’s sold as-is – in the middle of a rehab. That means you have instant equity when buy this amazing find.

I mean seriously – this has got to be the most affordable house in the Bay Area with instant equity!

I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t want to buy it. Can you find a better deal than this?

Comments (21) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:12 am

August 22, 2008

Free guy on the couch with purchase of this oakland home

1470 17th Ave, Oakland, CA 94606 MLS# 80784432 – Property Details


* Status: Active
* Bedroom: 2
* Bathroom: 2
* Year Built: 1910
* Lot Size: 1498
* Square Footage: 744
* List Date: 3/14/2008
* Garage Spaces: 1

* MLS#: 80784432
Rare opportunity! You can own a single home for less than $300,000. Very cozy 2 bedroom and 2 full baths in a very quite neighborhood. Close to Hwy 880 and walking distance to park. This home has alot of upside potential and ideal for the first time home buyer.

Burbed doesn’t usually venture to Oakland, but since Burbed reader Alex sent this in, I figure I’d share it with you.

Frankly, I’m tired of people complaining that there’s no affordable house in the Bay Area. Oakland is part of the Bay Area, not the Real Bay Area, but the Bay Area nonetheless. This house has very easy access to 880, another draw.

But what I think fascinated Alex the most was some of the photos that the Real Estate agent felt necessary to include. Let’s take look:

Sweet! You get a pair of men’s legs and the right to sleep in your living room. You can totally be all starving artist like here. Like Salvatore Dali!

Wow. Check out this awesome kitchen. It leaves me speechless. But suddenly I’m sort of wondering if this is actually also the bathroom. How confusing.

Anyway, you get the point. There’s plenty of affordable housing – you just have to quit being whiny!

Comments (71) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:49 am

June 19, 2008

Want to enjoy the Bay Area’s famed sunrises and sunsets?

651 Port Dr #00306, San Mateo 94404 (Other Mariner’s Isle)

* Status: Active
* Bedroom: 1
* Bathroom: 1
* Year Built: 1982
* Lot Size: N/A
* Square Footage: 746
* List Date: 1/14/2008
* Garage Spaces: 1
* MLS#: 771762

At some houses you get a free week of condo in Maui. But what if you wanted to live on the beach and enjoy the sunrise and sunset forever?

Introducing 651 Port Drive #306. This highly personalized and distinctive address alone assures you that when you plunk down $399k for this condo, you know you’re set for a lifetime of sunrises, sunsets, and your own personal beach. Things the Bay Area is famous for. It’s like living in Maui, but with easy access to Highway 92.

Let’s now take a look at the other, unretouched photos of this paradise property:

Are you sold on this dream yet? Think: sunrise, sunset, private beaches. Oh yeah!

(Thanks to Burbed reader Alex for this find!)

Comments (10) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:39 am

March 3, 2008

4br/2.5ba for just $384,950! Guess where!

So on Friday, we saw what $387k gets you in Menlo Park:

Not bad. Not bad. Easily will be $900k by end of year.

I’ve heard about this place called Chicago. Burbed reader Alex had this to say:

As for zip codes in Chicago. Try 60563 (Naperville, IL) which is pretty much a middle class town in the middle of so called Silicon Prairie. Great schools, a lot of parks, low crime, lots IT jobs etc.

Alright… let’s take a look:

Single Family Home – 1509 INVERRARY DR, NAPERVILLE, IL, 60563 – Realtor.com


4 Bed, 2.5 Bath

MLS ID# 06552878
4 Bed, 2.5 Bath

Beautifully maintained 4 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom home in much sought after Cress Creek Commons. All newer windows, hardwood floors, upgraded neutral carpet. Great kitchen with oak cabinets, upgraded appliances and huge pantry. Family room complete with fireplace, overlooks patio and beautiful yard.

Gag! Puke! Cough! Choke!

Oh my god. No wonder no one lives in Chicagoland. Gross. Look at this hulking beast.

No self respecting green smart person would ever want to live in a giant home like that. Think of your carbon footprint.

This is clearly not a sign of smart, open minded people. Gah.

Thanks Alex for the wakeup call on why Silicon Prairie is doomed.


Comments (24) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:27 am