July 27, 2008

Thanks to all who donated last week…

Thanks to all who donated last week!

Thanks to RinkRat, Pralay, Sonarrat, SG, and Rob (username?)!

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:44 am

What’s Lurking in Your Countertop?

What’s Lurking in Your Countertop? – NYTimes.com
SHORTLY before Lynn Sugarman of Teaneck, N.J., bought her summer home in Lake George, N.Y., two years ago, a routine inspection revealed it had elevated levels of radon, a radioactive gas that can cause lung cancer. So she called a radon measurement and mitigation technician to find the source.

DETECTION Using devices like the Geiger counter and the radiation detection instrument Stanley Liebert measures the radiation and radon emanating from granite like that in Lynn Sugarman’s kitchen counters.

“He went from room to room,” said Dr. Sugarman, a pediatrician. But he stopped in his tracks in the kitchen, which had richly grained cream, brown and burgundy granite countertops. His Geiger counter indicated that the granite was emitting radiation at levels 10 times higher than those he had measured elsewhere in the house.

“My first thought was, my pregnant daughter was coming for the weekend,” Dr. Sugarman said. When the technician told her to keep her daughter several feet from the countertops just to be safe, she said, “I had them ripped out that very day,” and sent to the state Department of Health for analysis. The granite, it turned out, contained high levels of uranium, which is not only radioactive but releases radon gas as it decays. “The health risk to me and my family was probably small,” Dr. Sugarman said, “but I felt it was an unnecessary risk.”

Thanks to all the people who sent this to me. The fact is that there’s really nothing to fear with regards to this. How often are Bay Area people at home anyway? The weather is beautiful, so you’re always outdoors – unless you work for a start up or VMWare where 14 hour days are mandatory. Radiation shmadioation.

A bigger fear IMHO would be not living in the Bay Area. Dragons lie ‘yond there.

Comments (18) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:30 am

July 24, 2008

$205k – “Home is in deteorirated condition and is not livable”

87 BELLEVUE Ave San Jose, CA 95110

Price: $205,000
Beds: 2
Baths: 1
Sq. Ft.: 864
$/Sq. Ft.: $237
Lot Size: 6,287 Sq. Ft.
Age (Years): 110
Year Built: 1898
Type: Detached Single Family
Stories: 1 Story
Neighborhood: Central San Jose
County: Santa Clara
MLS#: 80817162
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active
On Redfin: 24 days
Total fixer-upper, As Is Sale, Home is in deteorirated condition and is not livable, has been disconnected from utilities. Check with Building/Planing for permits. .. Property been sold is APN 434-24-041 Lot 11, certificate of compliance has been approved by city, new APN not yet available.

Burbed reader Brian had this to say:

Yet it is still $205,000! And it’s not even in a good zip code!

Check out the street view for a picture of the house. Remember when we had that burned down house in Detroit? Well…. apparently THIS is how much it would have gone for in East San Jose.

Alright. Now I’m really intrigued!

Drum roll please!

This is another proud Bay Area moment. Maybe not REAL Bay Area, but Bay Area nonetheless.

That said, clearly there’s a lot potential. Just look at the sweet house next door. Hey, is that pickup lowered?
Thanks Brian for this great find. The only thing that would’ve made this better: “great opportuneity for investers”

Comments (203) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:19 am

July 21, 2008

Roche-Genentech: Welcome South San Francisco to the RBA

Roche-Genentech: A Drug Powerhouse
Big Nod to Genentech

Schwann intends to keep research independent. The Genentech Founders Research Center, a massive state-of-the-art complex devoted to biotech research, will operate autonomously. And in what Schwann says is a “big signal” to Genentech, Roche will move its existing commercial U.S. headquarters from Nutley, N.J., to Genentech’s base in San Francisco. The U.S. business of both companies will trade under the Genentech name, and sales and research staff will probably increase.

Wow. Wow. Wow.

New Jersey – set for fail.

South San Francisco – set for soar.

Not planning to buy in South San Francisco this year? You’ll be priced out forever next year.

Comments (22) -- Posted by: burbed @ 10:46 pm

July 20, 2008

You can totally afford this with your high median income in the Bay Area…

Given that the Bay Area has many of the highest median incomes, that means I know you can afford to donate to Burbed.

Donate at whatever level you feel comfortable with.


Comments (3) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:48 am

July 16, 2008

Silicon Valley Rent Rises, you are now very priced out forever

South Bay leads increases as rents soar
The sharpest increases occurred in the South Bay counties, with the average rent jumping 8 percent to $1,786 in San Mateo and 7 percent to $1,679 in Santa Clara in the second quarter compared with the same period a year earlier. Even rents in the East Bay, where growth was more modest, climbed, helped by the strength of the San Francisco and Silicon Valley markets, according to Jerry Smith, regional manager for Marcus & Millichap’s East Bay office.

“The East Bay is being framed by some very, very strong bordering markets that are experiencing 7, 8, 9 percent rent growth,” Smith said. “Silicon Valley and San Francisco are leading markets on a nationwide scale for rent growth. We’re seeing a lot of pressure on those rents, and it’s spilling over into the East Bay market.”

Average rents and vacancy rates

It remains a landlord’s market as rents have increased and the vacancy rate has remained stable during the last year in all nine Bay Area counties.*

County 2nd quarter, 2007 2nd quarter 2008 Year-over-

year change

Vacancy rate
Alameda $1,337 $1,409 5.4% 4.7%
Contra Costa $1,250 $1,328 6.2 5.1
Marin $1,528 $1,591 4.1 2.8
Napa $1,264 $1,307 3.4 3.7
San Francisco $1,757 $1,926 9.6 4.0
San Mateo $1,654 $1,786 8.0 4.1
Santa Clara $1,569 $1,679 7.0 2.7
Solano $1,137 $1,164 2.4 5.0
Sonoma $1,140 $1,212 6.3 5.5

Didn’t you wish you had bought a place? Prices are still rising in the Real Bay Area. Rents are zooming. That giant gap between renting and buying? Well, it’s closing fast!

Pretty soon, if you don’t buy a place, rent will be $10,000 a month, and you will have no choice but to live in a Honday down by the river.

Comments (289) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:52 am

July 15, 2008

Terry Childs and the San Francisco FiberWAN computer network

S.F. officials locked out of computer network
A disgruntled city computer engineer has virtually commandeered San Franciscos new multimillion-dollar computer network, altering it to deny access to top administrators even as he sits in jail on $5 million bail, authorities said Monday.

Terry Childs, a 43-year-old computer network administrator who lives in Pittsburg, has been charged with four counts of computer tampering and is scheduled to be arraigned today.

Prosecutors say Childs, who works in the Department of Technology at a base salary of just over $126,000, tampered with the citys new FiberWAN Wide Area Network, where records such as officials e-mails, city payroll files, confidential law enforcement documents and jail inmates bookings are stored.

Childs created a password that granted him exclusive access to the system, authorities said. He initially gave pass codes to police, but they didnt work. When pressed, Childs refused to divulge the real code even when threatened with arrest, they said.

He was taken into custody Sunday. City officials said late Monday that they had made some headway into cracking his pass codes and regaining access to the system.

Childs has worked for the city for about five years. One official with knowledge of the case said he had been disciplined on the job in recent months for poor performance and that his supervisors had tried to fire him.

“They werent able to do it – this was kind of his insurance policy,” said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity because the attempted firing was a personnel matter.

This isn’t particularly housing related – ok, it’s not at all housing related. I just thought it was amusing.

Comments (15) -- Posted by: burbed @ 8:42 pm

July 12, 2008

Bay Area Demographics – are young people all leaving California?

Daniel Petelin speaks out [Burbed.com]
bob Says:
July 8th, 2008 at 11:06 a

The age remark is pretty much right-on. The youngest city in the US is Atlanta.The median age in that city is 32 years old. The median for the Bay Area is pushing 40. Alameda, where I live has an avg age of 48. Most other East Bay burbs are the same or even older. This number increases almost yearly, in step with the current age, which indicates that the majority of persons aged 25-32 do not stay. the 25-32 age group is the most highly prized in terms of growing a new economy. If the BA loses this demographic, then it’ll kill the economy eventually.

Is this really the case? For some reason I have a hard time believing that the Bay Area is that old. What about our competitors like Portland, Seattle, (cough) New York, Boston?

Comments (17) -- Posted by: burbed @ 6:54 am

San Francisco is only the 4th worst city for unemployement benefits

Unemployment: The 20 Best And Worst Cities For Unemployment Benefits

Losing a job is bad enough, but your unemployment benefits can vary wildly depending on where you live. The L.A. Times compared unemployment benefits to the cost of living and picked the twenty best and worst cities to be unemployed.

The 10 Worst Cities

10. Los Angeles, Calif.—$450 per week

5. Washington, D.C.—$359 per week

4. San Francisco, Calif.—$450 per week

1. New York, N.Y.—$405 per week

Good grief. Does NY really have to beat us in so many categories?

The more unemployed people we get rid of, the better off our properties will be and the more our housing prices could rise. Sheesh, do these people have no clue?

Comments (1) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:24 am

July 10, 2008

San Francisco is #1 Best City for Young Professionals

Why San Francisco Is No. 1 – Forbes.com
Why San Francisco Is No. 1
Matt Woolsey, 07.09.08, 5:00 PM ET

San Francisco is this year’s best city for young professionals because of its ability to attract and retain talent. It does this by offering long-term job opportunities, plenty of singles and impressive starting salaries.

The City by the Bay outshined the rest of the field in attracting alumni from the nation’s top schools. More of the class of 1998 from Harvard, Stanford, Rice, Princeton, Duke and Northwestern picked San Francisco as home, 10 years out of school, compared with any other metro. These are graduates with the skills to work virtually wherever they want, and this measure is an indicator of where high-caliber professionals have decided to settle, based on a combination of job and lifestyle factors.

It’s easy to see San Francisco’s attractive opportunities. Forbes rates the 400 best big companies and the 200 best small companies based on revenue and high rankings for corporate practices, as well as long- and short-term sales and earnings growth and stock market performance. Of the 600 companies in this index, 41 of them are in the Bay Area, which is the second-highest overall total, and when adjusted for population, this makes San Francisco the fourth-best place to find a top employer.

Congrats! Oh my god. We beat New York! I’m so happy!

So far house prices haven’t done so well this year, but with trends like this, you can be sure that our god given 10% year over year annual appreciation is right around the corner. The median here in the Real Bay Area might not $1 million this year, but 2009 – watch out!

Comments (45) -- Posted by: burbed @ 12:34 pm