December 17, 2011

BLACK FRIDAY DEALS: Cheapest house in Downtown SJ!

DEALS DEALS DEALS just keep on coming!  And if you’re interested in downtown San Jose, you’re very busy so we’ll keep this quick.  Now, you may be asking yourself, how can this be the cheapest house downtown when the cheapest house in the entire county cost (gasp!) a hundred dollars more?

Well, that’s simple.  There are actually several houses listed for around this price, and the official cheapest house was one of the few that wasn’t pending.  But look, you read Burbed.  You know how the real estate business means real funny business.  You know a “pending” on a short sale means the seller is doing everything possible to jinx it, and a pending with release on a short sale means the buyer isn’t exactly trying their hardest either.  So this listing is like an irresistible force meeting an immovable object, or maybe the opposite; say a buyer with better places to invest making an offer to a seller who doesn’t want to go anywhere and won’t see a dime from the transaction.

That means all you have to do is threaten bribe heartily encourage everyone involved: seller, buyer, listing agent, buyers’ agent, bank agent, and of course, your agent to sell you this property!

560 E JULIAN St, San Jose, CA 95112


SQ. FT.: 1,188
$/SQ. FT.: $126
LOT SIZE: 1,242 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Victorian
VIEW: Neighborhood
COMMUNITY: Central San Jose
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 80840481
STATUS: Pending With Release
ON REDFIN: 1154 days

Back on the market! No fault on property! Beautiful Victorian Home waiting for you.

imageYup, if you’re wondering how they got a 1,188 square foot house on a 1,242 square foot lot, that’s no fault on property.  If you’re wondering why it’s been listed 1154 days, that’s no fault on property, either. Maybe agent means no tennis matches have been played here.

Also I don’t know what’s on the counter next to the sink, but I think it qualifies for the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval.  Or at least the Burbed good housekeeping tag.


Comments (4) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 4:03 am

February 6, 2011

Luxury Downtown SJ Condos Transforming Into Apartments

In case you were wondering if downtown San Jose needed more luxury condominium towers, looks like the answer is a big, fat no.  Thanks to Burbed reader sonarrat for alerting us to this story.

Struggling downtown San Jose condo tower to switch to rentals

By Joe Rodriguez, SJ Mercury News –  Posted: 02/02/2011 04:45:28 PM PST, Updated: 02/03/2011 08:34:16 AM PST

imageThe Three Sixty Residences, a luxury condominium tower offering panoramic views of Silicon Valley, has done a 180-degree fizzle. The downtown San Jose project will become a rental apartment building.

Condos or rentals, who cares?

That’s how downtowners feel after waiting years for four large condominium projects to dump thousands of new residents onto sidewalks and into coffee houses, restaurants and retail shops. So far, sales at the projects are creeping along after the housing market tanked.

Thank heaven that nonsense is over.  The idea of building apartment towers and selling off the interior units one by one was a great way for developers to make money.  As long as real estate kept going up, it was even a great way for condo owners to make money.  However, the game of musical chairs came to a halt and a number of condo owners find themselves under water.  Units filled with renters, or even worse, units filled with nobody, means the condo lifestyle isn’t at all what they imagined.  Homeowner fees climb even faster when not everyone is paying them.

imageSo take a look at this diagram from the article.  How did The Three Sixty manage to not sell a single condo if they used to have 90 of them under contract?  Did they just cancel them all?  Did the would-be owners get their deposits back?

And do you see what’s wrong with this picture?  Actually what’s wrong is the statistics.  We don’t care how many floors versus sold units there are in each building.  What’s important is how many units didn’t sell, because that would tell us how well these other three projects are doing.  Or, more likely, how not well.

Edward Tufte, where are you and why aren’t you publicly calling out the graphic designer for this image?

Since the Merc didn’t bother to tell you what you need to know, we will.  Here is how well each of the four major downtown high-rise condominium projects have sold.

Project Year Built Total Units Units Sold % Sold
City Heights 2007 124 99 80%
Axis 2008 329 138 42%
The 88 2008 197 117 59%
Three Sixty 2010 213 0 0%


And an even more important thing you need to know: Three Sixty Residences has been featured in Burbed, back when there were units for sale. So much for “finally got a piece of the pie.” Only owners get pie.  Renters just get to sniff it coming out of the oven.

The solution?  Make the pie higher!

Comments (40) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:15 am

June 24, 2010

We Finally Got a Piece of the Pie

There once was a TV sitcom about an upwardly mobile African-American family called The Jeffersons that ran from 1975 to 1985.  (It was a spinoff from All in the Family, if you care about that sort of thing.)  This was the theme song:

Well we’re movin on up,
To the east side.
To a deluxe apartment in the sky.
Movin on up,
To the east side.
We finally got a piece of the pie.

George and Louise Jefferson moved from a duet home in working-class Queens to a big apartment in a ritzy doorman building, somewhere in Manhattan’s East Side.  Can you imagine them singing that song of triumph and accomplishment if they had found the way to San Jose instead?  No, neither can I.  Too bad nobody told the developer who brought us today’s featured listing.

360 MARKET St, Unit 3I, San Jose, CA 95113


Beds: 2
Baths: 2
Sq. Ft.: 1,345
$/Sq. Ft.: $394
Lot Size: –
Property Type: Condominium
Style: Contemporary
Stories: 9+ (High Rise)
Year Built: 2007
Community: Central San Jose
County: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81027052
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active This listing is for sale and the sellers are accepting offers.
On Redfin: 21 days

Destined to become an iconic landmark rising 23 stories above San Jose’s fashionably city center, these 213 exquisite one-, two- and three-bedroom residences are available for occupancy! 24/7 doorman, rooftop pool with spa, gym, and clubroom. Sales Center open daily 11am – 6pm, closed Wednesdays.

San Jose is definitely short of iconic landmarks.  There’s the statue of Quetzalcoatl, and there’s, um…  I suppose we should cheer The Mark Company for even trying.

Fish don’t fry in the kitchen;
Beans don’t burn on the grill.
Took a whole lotta tryin’,
Just to get up that hill.
Now we’re up in the big leagues,
Gettin’ our turn at bat.
As long as we live, it’s you and me baby,
There ain’t nothin wrong with that.

You might ask, “Why is anyone opening a luxury apartment tower in the middle of the worst economic situation since the 1930s, where there weren’t even any TV sitcoms?”  And there is a very good answer to that question!  360 Residences started taking deposits in 2007!  Remember 2007?  Anyone who could fog a mirror could get a loan, and anyone did.  And that is why someone thought there ought to be a luxury apartment tower in downtown San Jose.  Maybe they figured the Jeffersons would get tired of New York winters and surly sidewalk denizens, but still would want to live down the hall from wacky neighbors and a tip-cadging doorman.

Rosy views were still the norm in 2007, and here’s what the project director of another luxury apartment building in San Jose had to say about the economy, back in 2008:

McGoff also noted the depressing effect of the housing slump on San Jose, but suggested at least some of the problem is political, rather than economic.
“It’s the nature of the politics of a presidential election cycle that everyone is just holding off until the outcome,” he says. “I still think it’s a very good market in San Jose, but it’s at a time and a place where people are hedging their bets.”

image Yes, you could say bets were being hedged,  360 Residences was delayed for many reasons including a building inspectors strike and soil liquefaction onsite.  Oh, and some problems with the lender and two million dollars worth of liens.  You know it’s not a good day when the promised financing on your huge construction project is taken over by the FDIC.

Despite selling 90 of the units, the economic downturn has led some would-be buyers to move on and (unsuccessfully) ask for their deposits back.  But their loss is your gain, as prices have come down!  20 percent instant equity, baby!

Don’t quite like this unit?  Check out the different apartment types available if you want to be movin’ on up.  Perhaps you’d like to be more in the sky than this third-floor unit.  Perhaps you can!  There are 213 to choose from, including six penthouses, and one has to have your name on it!  It better!  Association fees are $655 a month for this two-bedroom condo.  Now how long will that pool will stay heated if nobody moves in and starts paying them?

Ralph the doorman says please move in, he needs the tips.

Well we’re movin on up,
To the east side.
To a deluxe apartment in the sky.
Movin on up,
To the east side.
We finally got a piece of the pie.

Comments (62) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:09 am

February 6, 2010

San Jose’s Historic Downtown (CA) (Images of America) (Paperback)

San Jose’s Historic Downtown (CA) (Images of America) (Paperback)
Lauren Miranda Gilbert (Author)

San Jose is the Capital of the Silicon Valley the high-rise, economic engine of advanced technology. Yet it was once a verdant valley, inhabited by wildlife, waterfowl, and the native Ohlone people. The Spanish who founded California’s first civilian settlement here in 1777 named it for Saint Joseph, the patron saint of the Spanish Expedition. Their farms fed the soldiers at the Monterey and San Francisco presidios, beginning an agricultural industry that thrived for nearly 200 years. Although serving briefly as California’s first state capital, for many decades downtown was the somewhat sleepy commercial center of the Santa Clara Valley. A housing and population expansion that began in the 1950s exploded with San Jose’s rebirth as a technological mecca.

Let’s face it – it’s all too often that we overlook the gem that is San Jose’s historic downtown. It’s like any other bustling metropolis, just lacking… uh… the bustle. Heck, it even served as the first state capital!

For those of you who don’t own real estate yet, you should buy this book so you can look back and reflect on how if you had invested in San Jose’s downtown earlier, you’d be… someone who owns real estate in San Jose’s downtown today.

More importantly, what will be the next chapter for San Jose’s downtown? Let’s be frank – overtaking Manhattan is probably a stretch for a long time to come. But… could it at least achieve parity with San Francisco? What could San Jose do to make its downtown better?

When you’re not busy brainstorming a better Downtown San Jose, you can help make sure this site continues to be great! Click this link to learn more about donating to this site’s hosting costs!

Comments (4) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:40 am