June 7, 2013

Vacay of the Day

While we concentrate on housing insanity in the Bay Area, Burbed is a Northern California real estate blog.  So we’re happy to feature this find from Burbed reader Cindy in a likely little holiday spot for you. Remember, great real estate photography can be found everywhere, such as this stunning South Lake Tahoe Spectacular. Head on up and overbid on this one quick!

130606-paloma-trulia830 Paloma Ave
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150
$349,000

4 bed / 2 full bath
1,606 sqft
Single-Family Home
$1,563 / mo
6 Days on Trulia
205 views
Vaulted Ceiling
Deck
Status: For Sale
Parking: Garage
Parking Spaces: 1
Floors: Carpet, Tile, Vinyl
Exterior: Wood Siding
Roof: Composition Shingle
Heating: Space Heater
Heating Fuel: Natural Gas
Lot Size: 6,011 sqft
Built in 1962
MLS/Source ID: 120915
Zip: 96150

Lots of room in a sought-after neighborhood yet affordable. Just a couple of blocks from the meadow and a short walk to the shores of Lake Tahoe and Regan Beach, this four bedroom home offers the opportunity to own a spacious home ideal for large families or gatherings and at the same time, the potential for quick DIY equity. Downstairs living includes the main living area, an open fireplace, two bedrooms, guest bath and a bonus room which would serve well as a hobby room or home office. Upstairs are two more bedrooms and the second guest bath. All of the rooms are quite spacious. The backyard is sunny and fenced with… a large deck and storage shed.

130606-paloma-frontYes, that really is a giant-ass wooden bear statue.  Can’t believe Cindy forgot to mention it:

Location location location (1/2 mile from lake) In South lake Tahoe

Click on ‘enlarged photos’ for some of the worst photos of the day.

And by “worst” you mean “best,” don’t you?

130606-paloma-living130606-paloma-kitchen130606-paloma-bedroom130606-paloma-bedroom2130606-paloma-umwtf130606-paloma-decals

Worst, Best, they are definitely in a class by themselves, which is why it’s good these are far from the Real Bay Area.

Just imagine the chaos if any place could have overbidding.  For one, these weird-ass curtain designs would force their way in here and then where would we be? We’d have houses looking like day care centers, that’s what.

Bunus: Note the skateboard, showing the excitement you’ll have if you live here. Or showing the realtard was too fracking lazy to move it for the photo shoot.

Now that’s the potential for quick DIY equity.  That and using a large storage shed as fencing.

Comments (2) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:09 am






May 12, 2013

How do we know SF Bay Area Real Estate is in a Bubble? Part 712

In today’s installment of Yes There Is Too a Bay Area Bubble 4.0, we present a few signs what it looks like when a region is not in a real estate bubble.  Notice that there is nothing like this in the Real Bay Area.  When we have a recession here, homeowners simply don’t list their properties at a loss from typical RBA overbidding.

Not so in the “Gateway to the Delta.”  Remember, you can’t spell Solano County without S-O-L.  Thanks very much to Burbed reader Tom Paine for shooting us this article.

9 Worst Recession Ghost Towns in America

The Fiscal Times (Slideshow)

130511-recession-riovista

Rio Vista, CA

Once envisioned as an 855-home suburb with families populating the grid of freshly paved streets and sidewalks, now the only life you’ll see in this desert development are cows and eucalyptus shrubs. Thirteen abandoned model homes lie clustered in the center of the development, and streets like “Serenity Drive” stretch on past empty dirt lots into the barren distance. Construction was halted in November 2008 when developer Shea Homes abandoned the project.

Photo: Webecoist.com

These three photos below are from that link as well.  Truly stunning, spooky, and sad, these would make great material for Edgar Martins.

130511-recession-webecoist

Be sure to check out this older story from the Chronicle on this unsuccessful development.

130511-recession-riovista-chron

20130511-recession-riovista-statsThere’s more of the death of this development’s boosterism on the Rio Vista Wikipedia page.  The Census data for 2007 predicted the city’s population of 7,800 would swell to 20,000 by the year 2020.  The 2010 Census update mentions no such expected population surge.  Meanwhile, population dropped to 7,300.

This charming graph, courtesy of Zillow, gives you an idea of just what a “recovery” looks like far from the Real Bay Area. This shows the median sale price per square foot over the past ten years.

There are photos of other places on both sites further from exurban Bay Area.  California City (Not Anywhere Near the Bay Area, Hell, Not Even in Northern California) has huge areas that were platted out but never built on.

130511-recession-CAcity

Just wait until you get to the Florida pictures!

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

January 26, 2013

Yet Another Map of California

Submitted for your edification.  At least this time we have a link, but it’s to a site that doesn’t know where it came from either.

130125-CA4beginners

This is, of course, your Weekend Open Thread as well.  Tell us what you love about California.  If you hate something about California, it’s because you don’t live in the Real Bay Area.

Comments (4) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:01 am

October 16, 2012

Burbed’s Election 2012 Voter Guide to California Propositions and more – Part 2

Burbians,

Yesterday I said I would publish a voter’s guide to our state’s amazing propositions. I have a lot of respect for our proposition system. After all, we all know that California (especially Silicon Valley) is only full of smart people who can enable direct democracy to work.

Proposition 30 Temporary Taxes to Fund Education. Guaranteed Local Public Safety Funding

Burbed recommends: No

Why? Because this increase the personal income tax on people who make over $250,000. These are the most important people in the Bay Area – the House Price Creators. Instead, this proposition seeks to redistribute their income to schools and whatnot. As we all know, Home owners are our nation’s future. Not children. Children are a terrible tax drain. They’re so obnoxious with their demands that we even banned them from working because they were so distracting to people who were adding value to our economy, and paying mortgages.

Save Home Price Creators! Vote no!

Proposition 31 State Budget. State and Local Government

Burbed recommends: No

Why? Because this is too complicated and if it doesn’t make sense in 30 seconds, it probably is bad. Also, I can’t see how a Yes for this would directly raise house prices. Pass.

Proposition 32 Political Contributions by Payroll Deduction. Contributions to Candidates

Burbed recommends: Yes

Forget the union aspect of this – let’s focus on the economics. Every $1 that is deducted for political contributions is a $1 that cannot be spent on a mortgage – which is a $1 that won’t go towards helping increase housing prices. If I could, I would ban all political contributions – except from the National Association of Realtors, of course, because their voice needs to be heard.

Help your union friends pay their mortgages! Vote yes on this. And if they lose their jobs/benefits/pay because they can’t collectively bargain anymore, then that’s ok – we don’t want poor people living here in the Real Bay Area anyway. $250k or bust!

Proposition 33 Auto Insurance Companies. Prices Based on Driver’s History of Insurance Coverage

Burbed recommends: No

It’s a good idea, but this doesn’t go far enough. I like the idea of insurance companies being able to charge a 200% surcharge for having a gap in insurance coverage (as it happens in other states) that have passed something like this. Let’s face it, if we don’t make this state more expensive to live in, we’ll attract more undesirables.

But the reality is that it doesn’t address the biggest problem: that renters should be charged more for auto insurance than real citizens – aka homeowners. Everyone knows that renters have no respect for law or lives – they’re a daily threat, clogging up streets that homeowners pay (almost nothing thanks to Prop 13) for.

Send the message that this doesn’t go far enough. Vote no.

Proposition 34 Death Penalty

Burbed recommends: No

California spends $200M a year on special death row housing and other expenses apparently. This money has to go somewhere! If we get rid of the death penalty, what will happen to all the lawyers that deal with death penalty cases? How will they be able to afford their homes.

Sure it’s kinda unfair that some people get executed wrongly. But it’s also unfair to live next to a death penalty expert lawyer, and then see your house price drop because they have to do a short sale.

Sorry death row inmates – you’ve gotta take one for the team on this one. Greater good and all that.

Proposition 35 Human Trafficking. Penalties

Burbed recommends: No

Let’s face it, human trafficking is terrible. Instead of penalizing these pimps, we need to retrain them to become recruiters for Dice so that they can grow their business and buy more billboards on 101. Nothing brings me more joy than seeing those – it’s a great reminder of how awesome the hiring scene is in the Valley, and that in turn drives up housing prices.

Proposition 36 Three Strikes Law. Repeat Felony Offenders. Penalties

Burbed recommends: Yes

Personally I think we need fewer people in jails, so we can make more room for renters who don’t pay on time. But until that becomes a criminal violation (fingers crossed!) let’s get more people on the street so that we can train them to become eventual homeowners. More demand is always a good thing. And, since we don’t really do much in the way of retraining for prisoners here in California, we can assume these folks will end up back in courts and jail – gotta think of those lawyers!

Help the lawyers, help the world. Yes on Prop 36.

Proposition 37 Genetically Engineered Foods. Labeling

Burbed recommends: No

Slippery slope my friends. First, we require companies to label food that may rise up and revolt in our stomach. Next, realtors will be required to verify claims in the descriptions in MLS. This is simply too dangerous. Less disclosure is always a good thing – moral hazard and all that.

Proposition 38 Tax to Fund Education and Early Childhood Programs

Burbed recommends: No

See Prop 30. Repeat after me: “Children are not our future. Baby boomers are our future.”

Proposition 39 Tax Treatment for Multistate Businesses. Clean Energy and Energy Efficiency Funding

Burbed recommends: No

This ends tax breaks for companies. As we all know, when you give tax breaks to companies, they pass these savings on to the employees in terms of higher wages. Just like how if you are constipated, the key is to buy more toilet paper because the supply will stimulate demand.

That said, this proposition does guarantee money for green projects – which could lead to even more hype for CleanTech which would mean more multi-trillion IPOs which would mean Manhattan level housing prices even in Redwood City.

This one’s a tough one. I’m going to have to stick with no for now though.

Proposition 40 Redistricting. State Senate Districts

Burbed recommends: No

Why? Because there apparently is no opposition. That’s got to be a trap. Vote no just to be on the safe side.

And there you have it folks, a guide to voting for the propositions this year!

Make me proud!

How many of these recommendations will you take?

Comments (14) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:00 am

October 15, 2012

Burbed’s Election 2012 Voter Guide to California Propositions and more – Part 1

Burbians,

I long contemplated whether or not I should write a voter’s guide for this election year. The fact is that I’m pretty jaded about the election process because of the rampant voter fraud.

Yes. Rampant voter fraud.

What?? You don’t know about the rampant voter fraud? Well, in that case, like my friend in this video says: “All you have to do is study it out.

The short version is this: Why do we allow renters to vote?

As we all know, renters are the collection of every worse stereotype you can imagine. Take everything we all hate about the poors, the gays, the blacks, the rich, the asians, the breeders, the hispanics, the liberals, the non-hispanic whites, the conservatives, the rednecks, the lazy youth, the elites, and the greedy boomers – put them in the blender you bought at Costco, and boom: Renters.

It is an absolute travesty that we allow these people who smell, are snobby, are flamboyant, don’t value education, drive too fast, keep popping out babies, drive too slow,  do drugs, are close minded, are too green, are too lazy, strive too hard, ruin our schools, are here illegally, pretend to be victims, oppress others, pay by check, make our schools too competitive, and are (UGH) vegan take part in our political process. First it was renters… what next? Should we let cougars (the mountain lion kind, not the aggressive kind) vote?

Fraud. That’s what it is.

Now, there are some who would argue that making home ownership a prerequisite discriminates against poor people. To that I have two points:

  1. This is exactly what our Founding Fathers wanted. They only wanted propertied people to vote. Trust me, I saw a documentary on the Declaration of Independence (Nicholas Cage did a fantastic job.)
  2. Poor people can own homes. Strawberry pickers buy a $720,000 houses all the time.

BOOM. The argument store is now closed.

But, as a journalist, it is my responsibility to educate you. And educate you I will.

So despite my reservations, I will indeed publish a voter’s guide tomorrow.

However, this guide will be limited only to the state-wide propositions.

I cannot endorse Obama or Romney. Neither of them support my plan to restore our economy by taking the Mortgage Interest Deduction, and turning it into the Mortgage Interest Tax Credit. That’s right… under my plan, you wouldn’t be able to deduct interest – instead you would get that money back directly. This would help our starving banks who, as we all know, are doing God’s work.

Before I publish this guide tomorrow some questions for the Burbians:

  1. What are the (true) stereotypes that you hate the most about renters?
  2. Should homeowners get one vote, while condo owners get .5 votes? Discuss.
  3. What should I recommend for each of the propositions?

-Your humble Burbed

Comments (22) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:51 am

April 14, 2012

Saturday Soak: Your weekend Open Thread

120413-lightning-bridge

This image from SFGate shows eight lightning bolts hitting the Bay Bridge on April 12th.  How did you enjoy nature’s fireworks Thursday night?

You can also discuss this New York Times piece observing that California’s North/South divide is overblown.  The real divide is West versus East, and we coastal huggers are doing fine economically.  Inland is a much different story.  Stockton is looking into bankruptcy.  People moved inland, but the jobs didn’t follow, and then the housing values collapsed.  The coastal regions are more politically liberal and more eager for environmental policies that inland residents object to.  And geographically, a beach is not a desert.

This is an Open Thread.  How’s your weekend going?  Seen any good Open Houses lately?  How about those local sports teams, eh?

Comments (8) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:03 am

March 3, 2012

Some schools are just Way More Special than others

Have you ever heard that life just isn’t fair?  It’s true.  You know what really isn’t fair?  School funding.

Some California schools get twice the funding — and more — of others

By Sharon Noguchi, San Jose Mercury News
Posted:   02/26/2012 05:37:03 PM PST, Updated:   02/27/2012 03:09:47 AM PST

120302-merc-music

Thirty-six years after the California Supreme Court ordered the state to fix its unequal system of funding schools, a gaping disparity remains between haves and have-nots.

And it may not improve much any time soon.

A scathing report on California’s school finances not only repeats the indictment of an inequitable, insufficient and irrational funding scheme, but also details how California spends on average $620 less on a student living in a high-poverty area than one in an affluent neighborhood.

The report by the Education Trust-West, an Oakland-based education advocacy group, also attacks the complexity of California school financing. "The system is a haphazard collection of arcane and hard-to-navigate policies that manage to hide funding disparities from district leaders and policy makers, not to mention parents and the public," the report, released last week, reads. "The maze of programs and formulas makes it nearly impossible to understand whether dollars ever reach the schools and students for whom they are intended."

120302-cruel-divide-reportHere’s the report by Education Trust-West mentioned above.  Clearly this is a complex problem, which would probably require a 40,000 word essay on the topic to identify the problems and begin to propose some reforms and solutions to this mess. 

I could create lots of lovely charts, comparing and contrasting financing among different districts in the Real Bay Area (by going here to Ed-Data, and clicking Districts and then Compare Finances).  I could brood over these 40 pages of state and local per-student revenue by school district across the entire state. 

Then I could make a bunch of sarcastic comments so you couldn’t tell if I was in favor of replacing all public schooling with Google Search or wanted to buy every government school student a gold-plated Tesla Roadster to ensure they showed up on time.  (Plus I would make sure I got the statewide school parking lot contracts via no-bid.  And a Lamborghini.)

The heck with it.  We’ve been having some beautiful weather, so why doesn’t everyone merely gripe about school funding, Prop 13, basic aid vs. revenue limit, and “voluntary” donations in this thread while you all pretend I said something brilliant.

This is also an Open Thread for everyone who doesn’t give a foreclosed lien about school funding.

Comments (17) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:37 am

February 25, 2012

Your Weekend Open Thread

It’s time to get out there and look at Open Houses!  Spring Bounce is just around the corner, so you don’t want to miss out on your dream house.

Speaking of fantasies, here’s a find that’s way out of Burbed territory. Some of you could pick up for couch cushion change.  I know, it’s SoCal, but hear me out.  Many thanks to Burbed reader BookingIt for this terrific tenement in Twentynine Palms!

3281 Blower Rd
TWENTYNINE PALMS, CA 92277
$14,500

120223-blower-zillow

Super cute cabin on 2.5 acres. Has had some work done. Owner may consider terms.Brokered And Advertised By: INSPIRE REAL ESTATEListing Agent: JULIANNE BEGGS

If you’ve been thinking about simplifying your life, this could be it!  Things couldn’t be much simpler than outfitting this 192 square foot desert domicile.  And if you don’t have enough spare change on your dresser to pick this up, “Owner may consider terms.”  “Bunus”: the ZEstimate is way above the asking price.  Win-win-win!

120223-blower-front120223-blower-setback

Redfin also has this property listed, only they give an address in the heretofore never discovered community of WOND, CA. 

This is an Open Thread.

Comments (37) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:06 am

February 18, 2012

Don’t just unlock your equity, make your house pay you!

Here’s an easy way to turn your house into another paycheck.  All you have to do is let a company with the staid, trustworthy and dependable name of Brainiacs from Mars paint it for you.  Sure, they’ll use the paint to it into a giant advertisement, but the longer their graffiti is up, the more your house pays you!  Have a look at what they did to this house in Buena Park.

Mortgage trouble? Try transforming your house into a giant BILLBOARD

Mail Online (UK)
By REUTERS REPORTER'; Last updated at 6:08 AM on 13th February 2012

When they saw the house on El Dorado Drive in this Los Angeles suburb being painted a startling orange and green and giant billboards hung on the outside, Scott and Beth Hostetler’s neighbors were initially angry and confused – some even considered calling the police.

But what they witnessed on Friday was not an offensive redecoration decision by the Hostetlers, but rather the debut of one of the more unusual schemes to arise from the housing crisis.

In return for allowing the front of their four-bedroom house to become a garish advertisement, the Hostetlers are getting their nearly $2,000 monthly mortgage paid by the marketing company behind the project, Brainiacs From Mars.

120216-brainiacs-1

Not clear if this lucky family (Beth and Scott Hostetler, with daughter Sarah) had to spring for the T-shirts or if they’re making even more money wearing them every day.

120216-brainiacs-mendoza

Here’s Brainiacs from Mars’ founder and CEO, Romeo Mendoza, showing us what the house looks like when the Reuters photographer remembers to check exposure properly.  And we have many more pictures for you after the break, so click on through!

(more…)

Comments (10) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:07 am

November 5, 2011

Special B-Ballin “Bunus”: Granite Bay Exclusive

We try to avoid running extra articles unless we have to, but this was too good to pass up.  You really don’t want to miss this EXCLUSIVE because the deadline is next week.  Many thanks to Overheard in San Carlos for passing this along.

bballin

imageHere’s what OSC has to say about this opportunity!

I know this is not in the RBA, but damn…what a concept!!   Are they going to wheel Meadowlark Lemon out in a wheelchair?  Does that count as the 1v1  ????

Wait, Granite Bay isn’t in the RBA?  Then where is it?  And why does the virtual tour make me so dizzy?  Check this house out more on Redfin, and let us know if you and your financial planner/family can beat Curly in a La-Z-Boy.

This is an Open Thread.

Comments (4) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 4:59 am