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

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

August 12, 2012

Send not to know for whom the house Tolls… it took thy deposit

120808-producersRemember the basic premise of The Producers?  If you oversell interest in a Broadway show, and then deliberately produce the worst musical you can, none of your investors will complain when they lose all their money… and you keep their 40,000% ownership.  So our intrepid producer duo went off in search of the worst script they could find, and… hilarity ensues.

So why hasn’t anyone tried this idea with real estate as well?  Maybe it’s because not enough in the industry figured out the same trick: in a market downturn you can make more money not selling houses than you can selling them.  Read on to know it Tolls for thee.

How did Toll Brothers survive the housing slump? By keeping buyers’ deposits

By Matthias Gafni, Contra Costa Times
Posted:   07/27/2012 09:12:51 AM PDT, Updated: 07/27/2012 05:00:58 PM PDT

120808-tollbros-lotAs newly minted empty-nesters, Daven Sharma and his wife, Anu, spent 2010 searching for a spot for their dream house with views of San Francisco Bay. They found it in the Hayward hills, within a Toll Brothers development.

Shortly after plunking down about $100,000 in deposits, the couple’s dream fizzled. The Sharmas lost not only the house, but their deposit, attorney and arbitration fees — and a sense of justice.

Critics say and records show that Pennsylvania-based Toll Brothers — the nation’s largest luxury homebuilder, with developments in Contra Costa, Alameda, Santa Clara and San Mateo counties — has made it a regular practice to collect forfeited deposits from prospective homebuyers. In fact, it was the builder’s No. 1 source of profit during the down years of the housing market, according to a Maryland class action lawsuit.

From fiscal years 2006 to 2011, according to its own SEC reports, the publicly traded company retained $123 million in forfeited deposits from 3,300 prospective homebuyers.

120808-tollbros-sharmaRead that again: during the housing slump, the number one source of profit was forfeited deposits.  At least that’s what one lawsuit says.

There are 155,000 results for the search Toll Brothers LawsuitThis website has quite a story to tell.  While it’s about severe construction problems, the other part of the story is the lengths their attorneys would go to to avoid fixing the house.  Ellen Nevens has been fighting Toll Brothers for twelve years.  That’s a lot of time and effort to build a house badly and then not fix it.  It would be much easier to not build it in the first place. 

And that’s what happened to Daven and Anu Sharma when they put a $98K deposit on a Hayward hills homesite in a Toll Brothers community.  The Sharmas found out what many others have previously experienced: the sales contract has little flexibility on loan funding.  And if, or maybe we should say when, the loan isn’t funded, the contract says no loan means Toll keeps the deposit.  The Sharmas indeed lost in arbitration, plus they had to pay another $5600 in fees.

120808-producers-posterJim Daman had to sue to get some of his $104K deposit back on a home in Danville.  When Toll Brothers didn’t build his house within the promised six months, he watched its market value sink.  He eventually settled for $70K.   Compared to the Sharmas, he did well.  Someone the corporation won the arbitration, claiming that customization had been done and they had outlays.  Yet the photo of the dirt lot above is all that was in place when the Sharmas cancelled their contract because their current house didn’t sell.

Here’s the contract language that one attorney called confusing, Daman called “99.9 percent in their favor” and another tried diagramming on a whiteboard to understand it:

Buyer’s failure to fulfill any of such conditions or the termination or expiration of the mortgage commitment after it is received, for any reason, shall not release Buyer from its obligations under the Agreement.

120808-tollbros-arundelA latter attorney notes that Toll offered some of his Pennsylvania clients loan commitments with conditions that made no financial sense, such as amounts far larger than the agreed sales price.  When buyers balked, then Toll would keep the deposit, claiming they were in breach.

“They can make more money by not building the house,” he said.

While the Sharma’s Arundel Drive homesite is not listed, this nearby home on Stonebrae Road is.  It looks quite lovely when photographed with a sunset, and it’s “within the gates of TPC Stonebrae Country Club.”  According to the virtual tour, the builder is not Toll Brothers, but a firm called True Life Communities who seem to be avoiding any hint of describing themselves with specifics.

But given the story of the Sharmas and their Arundel Drive site being so nearby, we assumed it was the same community.  (In fact there are several different builders.)  And if you buy this house you’ll have quite the run of neighbors to entertain!

120808-stonebrae-satellite

Comments (4) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:19 am

February 6, 2012

Need more land? It’s under the newspaper

Nothing is better than this street number for your next residence!  Thanks very much to Burbed reader sonarrat for this find in beautiful Hayward.

0 Chronicle
Hayward, CA 94542
$80,000

120205-redfin-0-chronicle

BEDS: –
BATHS: –
SQ. FT.: –
LOT SIZE: 5,800 Sq. Ft.
TYPE: Lots & Land
COMMUNITY: Hayward Hills
COUNTY: Alameda
MLS#: 40534298
SOURCE: EBRD
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 204 days

Located high in the Hayward Hills. Non Tract area to build your home. Need more land? Home next door which is part of the Trust may be purchased for addtional money to live in while you build your home.

No photo, no map, no bedrooms, no bathrooms, not even a house number.  Sheesh.  For some reason ZipRealty was able to locate the street when Redfin failed.

 

120205-ziprealty-0-chronicle

Here’s where this mysterious Chronicle is, right around the corner from Tribune and Call! 

120205-map-0-chronicle

What’s the name of this Non Tract area, Dead Tree Terrace? Fishwrap Farms? 20th Century Media Meadows?  And where’s the “addtional money to live in”?

Comments (4) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:09 am

December 18, 2011

BLACK FRIDAY DEALS: Cheapest house in Hayward!

Burbed doesn’t spend enough time in the East Bay, and when we do, we’re accused of being mean to them.  So let’s show them our Real Bay Area love, especially because there isn’t a lot of Real Bay Area to go around out there.

Today we’re going to find the cheapest house in the City of Diversity!

27878 MELBOURNE Ave, Hayward, CA 94545
$38,500

image

BEDS: 0
BATHS: –
SQ. FT.: 1,000
$/SQ. FT.: $38
LOT SIZE: 5,100 Sq. Ft.
TYPE: Detached
STORIES: 1
YEAR BUILT: 1955
COMMUNITY: Palma Ceia
COUNTY: Alameda
MLS#: 40553774
SOURCE: EBRD
STATUS: Pending
ON REDFIN: 8 days

WOW!!! . .. .. .. FINALLY ON THE MARKET. .. .. .. .. . AND NO ZEROS MISSING FROM THE PRICE, THAT’S JUST $38,500. TOTAL AND YES IT’S IN CALIFORNIA. BUT YOU WILL NEED TO BRING YOUR CONTRACTOR AS THIS ONE IS A POSSIBLE SCRAPER.

Possible scraper.  No bedrooms, no baths, and it’s a possible scraper.  If you want to leave one of these walls standing you could call it a remodel instead.  But for this price, you ought to get the pleasure of renting a bulldozer and destroying this place all by yourself.

imageimageimageimage

You couldn’t do worse than these guys did. (Thanks to Burbed reader Michael Boltonestater for sending in that link.)

Comments (2) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 4:09 am

April 10, 2011

SJ Merc Discovers Joy of Burbed Housing [Updated]

Here’s some copy that ought to have originated on Burbed.  But this is from from the San Jose Mercury News, or as the journos now call it, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Newsletter!  Thanks very much to Burbed reader Petsmart Groomer for calling this out in the Open Thread yesterday.

Bay Area homes you can buy for the national median price of $157,000

imageBy Patrick May, San Jose Mercury News   Posted:  04/09/2011 4:52 PM

The median price of a previously owned single-family home in America today is $157,000. What can you get for that in the Bay Area?

Headaches, mostly.

Here, where the median is nearly three times higher than the national, $157,000 will get you a 460-square-foot house in East Palo Alto that would fit inside a Saratoga walk-in closet. Or a two-bedroom in Antioch with mold, a squatter’s mattress in the kitchen, the oily remnants of an amateur grease-monkey operation out back, and what looks like a bullet hole dead-center in the front window.

image“Bring your tools & imagination to shine this piece of property,” the Realtor wrote on the online real estate site Redfin.

Want to spend that $157,000 on a San Jose bungalow on North 13th Street?

No problem.

OK. So there’s one small problem.

“Burned house,” says the real estate agent’s MLS note. “Don’t go in!”

Photos: Top right, 460 sf East Palo Alto house, Josie Lepe, SJMN.  Above left, SJ burnt house on 13th Street has received several offers.  Karen T Borchers, SJMN.

Wow, CAR (California Association of Realtors) must be pulling a Fry’s on the Merc for running this story.  Bet they’re going to pull all their advertising for weeks!  Nope, the Merc pulled this story within hours of posting it. In fact, the link above is to the mobile site, because it’s gone from the regular one (and if the mobile link doesn’t work, try this link to a cached copy from the Pasadena Star News.

But no problem, we’re going to find all the sites in this story and maybe even write them up in the coming days.  Meanwhile, what do you think is going to happen to Patrick May?

Update: This article mysteriously appeared yesterday afternoon for a few hours and then was thrown down the memory hole.  It’s back so I’ve changed the link, and also added the Merc’s pictures.  Too bad they didn’t take some inside the SF house.

image

This cozy charmer is at 2169 Addison Ave, East Palo Alto, weighing in at 460 square feet. Owner selling it only to establish a market value with bank so they’ll modify his loan.  Sold in 2003 for $278,000!

image

$157,000 will get you two homes in Antioch! 1117 Klengel Street, listed for $78,000, and conveniently bank-owned.  Bonus: Sold for $95,000 in… (drumroll) 1993!

image

Then take a look at 36 Texas Street:

Yes, it comes with roosters next door and a guy down the street dismantling his motorcycle on the front lawn. And yes, you’ll have to clear out that squatter’s mattress from the kitchen. And maybe, with all that motor oil soaked into the back yard, you’ll need the Environmental Protection Agency to sign off on the deal. But for $69,000, what do you expect?

image

A pre-heated house at 642 North 13th St. San Jose, plus agent had to threaten to Taser a squatter.  Price: $166,900.  The catch: Foreclosed in December for $350,000, and sold for $217K.  In 1998.  DAYUM, IT’S PENDING!

image

Vertigo house in Bayview-Hunters Point.  1482 Underwood Ave, SF.  “The easiest way to repair it is to tear it down.”   Price: $145,900  “The house is all crooked,” said realtor Alyce Cardinale.  Sold for $250K in 2000, foreclosed in 1997 and again in 2008!

image

imageHayward Contractor’s Delight, whoops the agent calls it “Carpenters Delights!”; train goes by every ten minutes.  22026 Western Blvd, Hayward.  Price: $155,000, originally listed for $189,000.
“It’s a fairly quiet neighborhood. Except for the train every ten minutes.”

Which one of these imagebargains will you be writing a check for?

Left, front of the house on Western Boulevard.  Right, agent David Ormonde shows door to garage from the kitchen in the Western Boulevard property. Photos, Karen T Borchers, SJMN.

Comments (7) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:03 am

March 20, 2011

2010 Census Data Displays Diverse Diversity Diversions

Thanks to Burbed reader Real Estater for nominating this article by posting it in the comments on Friday.

image

Image from USA Today

East Bay tops among California’s most diverse places

By Eric Kurhi and Matt O’Brien, Contra Costa Times
Posted: 03/18/2011 03:20:18 PM PDT

HAYWARD — Close to the geographic center of a city known as the “Heart of the Bay,” Luciano Ruiz peered out the pickup window of a burger joint in what is, by one measure, the most racially diverse neighborhood in California.

“There’s been a mix of people here ever since I grew up,” said Ruiz, 18. “It’s always been mainly Latino down here in South Hayward, but now you see more African-Americans, a lot more Asians. I’ve seen a little increase in Middle Eastern people.”

The 2010 census shows a collection of census tracts in the Hayward flatlands as the most diverse in California and a microcosm of the state’s likely future. Latinos are the largest group, but share the space with many other people. Multicultural churches, mosques and businesses are in walking distance.

Thirty-five miles away, in the Walnut Creek retirement community of Rossmoor, a cluster of census tracts reflect an older, less integrated California. About 90 percent of residents are white and less than 1 percent are African-American in the Bay Area’s least-diverse neighborhood.

“It’s probably accurate,” said Rossmoor resident David Smith of the newly released statistics. “Our population is overwhelmingly white.”

imageSince this is from the Contra Costa Times, there’s little about neighborhoods in Santa Clara or San Mateo County, and which would be the most or least diverse. East Palo Alto was specifically called out as one of the 10 most diverse communities in California. The diversity index is the probability that two randomly picked people from the area would be of different race or ethnicity. Maybe you might have an idea which neighborhoods you’d nominate?

imageAnyway, I looked up the data, and East Palo Alto has a DI of 83.4 (the highest was 86.4 and Hayward was 85.1).  Oakland was 81.1. Not mentioned in the article are Sacramento, 79.6, South San Francisco, 79.0, San Jose, 77.1, San Bruno, 76.3, Santa Clara, Cholula Half Gallon - Click Image to Close71.8, and Sunnyvale, 70.7.  On the other end of the scale we find Belvedere, 16.4, Portola Valley, 22.3, Woodside, 25.2, and Boulder Creek at 26.  Don’t assume that a low DI means white-bread; the Central Valley’s Mendota is 96.6% Hispanic and has a DI of 26.0.

In case you’re wondering how some areas end up with lots of diversity, here’s the secret, according to the above article:

It didn’t happen overnight,” Bogue said. “Just like anywhere, somebody puts a house up for sale, somebody looks at it and somebody buys it.”

Yeah, that couldn’t happen in Atherton, where houses are bequeathed.  But while houses are occasionally listed for sale in homogenous census tracts, the diverse ones, such as Richmond, San Pablo, Pittsburg, Hayward, Vallejo, Oakland and San Leandro have another interesting thing in common.

imageLocal historian Frank Goulart said affordability has also long attracted a broad spectrum of people to parts of Hayward.

“If you want an honest answer, it’s the cheap housing,” Goulart said.

He said many of the homes in the city’s most diverse tracts “were built like shacks.”

There you go.  Diversity is code for crapboxes (like this one above, in Hayward, the City of Diversity).  But don’t worry about it.  The majority of California public school students are now Hispanic, so the Diversity Index must be heading down (see Mendota, above).  That means housing quality will go up, so the Real Bay Area will get bigger!

imageThere’s no danger of that in Silicon Valley, though.  Santa Clara County’s index is a kumbayah 74, almost as multicultural as Alameda County’s state-topping 78.  The least diverse Bay Area County?  Marin, at 45. The overall state index is 72.9, second only to Hawaii’s 81.1.

But what’s more important is housing!  And the county with the highest percentage of vacant housing units goes to Alpine, with a whopping 71% of its housing sitting empty.  For the Bay Area, the winner is Sonoma, with 9.2%, imagebut Santa Cruz’s 9.7% would have beaten it had any of the county physically come into contact with the Bay.  Meanwhile San Mateo and Santa Clara county are both in the 4’s, while San Francisco managed double: 8.3% of the housing units sitting empty.

There’s stats, stats, stats to play with, so have fun courtesy of USA Today.  Data is available by city as well, so go wild and wonder why the city (town?) of Almanor has 100% of their 75 housing units empty.

Photo above: foreclosed home in Hayward, showcasing diversity.

Comments (8) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:04 am

February 1, 2011

The Vast Conspiracy to Raise Peninsula Real Estate Prices

And, lower East Bay prices too!  Win-win-win!

Officials push for higher tolls during rush hours on San Mateo, Dumbarton bridges

By Mike Rosenberg, The Oakland Tribune

Posted: 01/31/2011 07:23:07 AM PST, Updated: 01/31/2011 09:26:52 AM PST

imageDrivers crossing the San Mateo and Dumbarton bridges would pay higher tolls during rush hours under a plan Peninsula officials are urging Bay Area leaders to adopt.

A group of city, county and transportation officials this week released the new San Mateo Countywide Transportation Plan, which includes support for congestion pricing on the two bridges that connect the Peninsula and East Bay.

"I think it’s a shame they haven’t done congestion pricing," said Rich Napier, executive director of the county’s congestion management agency, which is overseeing the transportation plan. "It does work."

(Photo, above right: Drivers crossing the San Mateo and Dumbarton bridges would pay higher tolls during rush hours under a plan Peninsula officials are urging Bay Area leaders to adopt. File photo, The Oakland Tribune.)

Now, some readers of this site are really clever people, and will simply glance at the headline above and figure it out immediately.  Others of you need to be taken by the hand and have a few things spelled out really slowly and carefully.

Congestion pricing, in case you haven’t tried driving across the Bay Bridge during commute hours, means that the toll is higher during rush hour when everyone else is going to work.  At present, Bay Bridge congestion pricing is $6 during peak commute hours and $4 other times.  The San Mateo and Dumbarton bridges have a $5 toll at all times, rush hour or not.

Now, here’s the part you should have already worked out:

Drivers at the San Mateo and Dumbarton bridges typically wait less than two minutes to get through the toll booth, according to the Bay Area Toll Authority.

Still, officials said traffic data shows many of the logjams on Highway 101 are caused by commuters who take advantage of cheaper housing in the East Bay and cross the bridges for their jobs in the Peninsula. Slowing traffic on the bridges during the commute could have a ripple effect on Highway 101, where officials have struggled for years to ease bottlenecks, they said.

Ooooh, ripple effect!  Double rainbow all the way!  Across the sky!  By making commuting more expensive or more inconvenient, homes on the Peninsula close to jobs will become even more valuable.  Meanwhile, “cheaper housing in the East Bay” won’t be such a bargain once the commute costs more time and money.  Expect that desirability deficit to work itself into pricing homes in the East Bay if congestion pricing moves to Peninsula bridges.

In related bridge toll news, the Golden Gate bridge authority is getting rid of all their human toll-takers and switching to an all-electronic system.

Comments (15) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:08 am

March 15, 2010

Great deal, great Dutch Angle, all in Hayward

$350,000

image

Beds: 4
Baths: 3
Sq. Ft.: 2,161
$/Sq. Ft.: $162
Lot Size: 0.47 Acres
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Style: Traditional
Stories: 1
View: Neighborhood
Year Built: 1952
Community: Alameda County
County: Alameda
MLS#: 81010248
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active This listing is for sale and the sellers are accepting offers.
On Redfin: 4 days
Excellent potential! Huge lot. One house and two studios. Duplex house is rented and one studio. Had approved plans for fourplex. Duplex has been refurbished – new windows, siding, tile, floors, water heaters, appliances and MUCH MORE!!!

Thanks to Burbed reader Ben for this find!

Wow… now this is an amazing deal! Just $350,000 for some prime Hayward property! This is like practically living for free! Light bulbs and alarm bells should be going of for investors!

But wait, there’s more!

Just check out your neighbors!

image

Need help with your car? No problem – the guy down the street clearly knows what he’s doing.

Here’s what Ben had to say:

I love reading your blog.  Thanks!
I found a redfin listing where the listing agent must have taken a photography class and learned about the “Dutch Angle.”
The kitchen shot with the cupboard ajar is perfect.

Wow… I wasn’t aware of the Dutch Angle until now! Quick, let’s do a compare:

image

Ok… and now a reference pic:

image

Wow! That really helps the action quality to the photo! Good job realtor! Maybe next year you can enter into the race for an Oscar!

Comments (4) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:10 am