July 4, 2013

Declare your Independence… from your home

Here’s another Housing Bubble of a sort to pay attention to: RV sales are up, too.  Thanks very much to Burbed reader Petsmart Groomer for alerting us to this alarming threat to vacation home prices.

RV-buying boom a sign of consumer confidence

By Dan Nakaso, San Jose Mercury News
Posted:   05/29/2013 05:43:55 AM PDT; Updated:   05/29/2013 10:36:14 AM PDT

130703-rv-sweetThe number of recreational vehicles delivered to dealers’ lots is expected to reach a six-year high in 2013 as fledgling RV buyers such as Karen and Jim Smith, of San Jose, shake off the economic slumber of the past few years and prepare to hit the road this summer.

"There are just so many things to see that we’ve never seen before: Mount Rushmore, the Grand Canyon, Lookout Mountain in Tennessee," Karen Smith said after writing a $21,000 check for her 18-foot 2014 White Water Retro Travel Trailer that came stocked with a queen-size bed, separate refrigerator and freezer, two-burner stove, microwave, full-size bath, shower and beds for three more people.

The Smiths represent new hope for a U.S. RV industry that sustained a series of body blows beginning with the 2008 recession but now appears to be rebounding in the Bay Area and beyond.

The industry has not seen more than 300,000 RVs shipped to dealers around the country since 2007, the year before the recession took hold. But deliveries this year were up 11 percent in the first quarter and the RV industry now expects to see a total of 307,300 deliveries of motor homes and tow-able RVs. Tow-ables make up the overwhelming majority of RV sales in the U.S.

Read the whole article. You will learn that yes, RV sales are up even in the Bay Area, despite this place being so awesome nobody would ever need a vacation from it. You’ll also learn that the #1 RV dealer in Northern California is in Gilroy and started up in 2008, right in time for the financial collapse that took out all its competition. Finally, just like there’s the RBA and everywhere else, it turns out there are different degrees of #winning with RVs.

130703-rv-fireworksThe cheapest kind are the ones that get towed, and that’s 90% of all sales. Think of it as the East Bay of Recreational Vehicles. And enjoy your recreation today, because it’s, in theory a holiday. We know that you’re actually hard at work since there are always new End of Quarter Goals now that you didn’t make your old ones.

Speaking of the East Bay, most Walmarts allow RVs to park in their lots, and there are more Walmarts in the East Bay so… just sayin’.

Comments (2) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:02 am

July 4, 2012

Fireworks for July 4th in San Carlos

Usually Burbed doesn’t visit the same city two days in a row, but today’s a holiday, and we need to celebrate!  Thanks very much to Burbed reader Overheard in San Carlos for passing along this celebration.

San Carlos, CA 94070


120703-chesham-windowsBEDS:  4
SQ. FT.:  2,420
$/SQ. FT.:  $682
LOT SIZE:  10,760 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
COMMUNITY:  Beverly Terrace
COUNTY:  San Mateo
MLS#:  81224328
SOURCE:  MLSListings
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN:  5 days

Stunning masterpiece. 4 bedrooms plus additional Zen space. Kitchen is a chefs dream. G. E. profile double oven with warming drawer, two dishwashers, Thermador side by side Refrigerator/freezer, Viking 5 burner cooktop. Property has Home Works lighting system. Custom sound system with source and volume control. Radiant Heat system with 7 thermostatically controlled zones. True Gem.

120703-chesham-grillHere’s what OSC had to say about this purposed property.


Where was I that day when the sky turned this color?   The sky was so intense that it literally ate the roof off of this house.

Fortunately if you go inside things won’t get any less exciting, although we can’t promise anywhere as much Cherenkov radiation.  How about… More cowbell!

Happy July 4th  everyone.  Enjoy another round of the colorful bursts from this fine listing as you enjoy your the day off.  Don’t worry, the work will be waiting for you tomorrow.  And so will we.


Comments (7) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:05 am

July 4, 2011

Happy Independence Day from Burbed!

What’s on the agenda for you today?  Parade, picnic, fireworks?  Yawwwwwwn.

How does any of that celebrate Independence Day?  What you want is Independence… from your landlord!  Buy a house today, or be priced out forever!  Then paint your house any color you want!  How about red, white and blue?

This is an Open Thread.  Tell us what house you bought, or the Open House you managed to find despite it being a holiday and all.

Or just tell us about the parade and picnic and fireworks.  I suppose you’ll have some silly excuse like you couldn’t buy a house today because your bank was taken over by regulators.

Comments (21) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 4:07 am

July 4, 2010

Independence Day 2010

It’s July 4th!

The day where we celebrate Independence. And nothing means independence more than having a mortgage for your house.

Enjoy watering your lawn!

(Speaking of Independence Day, I’ve heard rumors that in the UK, realtors only charge 1%. Can someone confirm or deny that, and explain why it is so much cheaper to sell a house in a place where a breakfast costs $30USD)?

Comments (49) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:11 am

July 4, 2008

What does a burned out house look like?

This July 4th, please don’t use fireworks. They can be dangerous.

But if you do insist on using fireworks, please be careful. I’m not sure what the story behind this house is, and I certainly hope everyone is ok, but it’s pretty haunting…

395 LINKHORNE CT, San Jose 95133 (San Jose)
$249,900 Beds: 3 bed(s) Baths: 2 bath(s) MLS: 80810500

Bed/Bath: 3 / 2
SqFt: 1,101
Lot: 3,484 sq ft
Yr Built / Age: 1979 / 29 years
List Price: $249,900
Assoc Fee:

REO property – NOT a short Sale. Fire damaged property. No interior access. Make offer subject to inspection. The fire damage inside this property extends to almost every room. Fire report available upon request. PLEASE DO NOT GO INSIDE !!IT IS NOT HEALTHY!

I doubt this was due to fireworks, but still remember that fire can be very dangerous:

The only thing I wanted to add was that this looks nothing like wreckage from movies/TV. In some ways, it’s more haunting because things are only partially destroyed.

Please be safe this July 4th.

Comments (16) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:04 am

July 4, 2007

Hope you enjoy your July 4th BBQ – it’s special!

It’s July 4th! And to celebrate our independence, I’m going to simply repost the Memorial Day post!

As you may recall, last Thanksgiving I found that the exact same groceries at Safeway in the Bay Area were more than the exact same groceries at Safeway in Redmond, WA.

The point of this comparison was to see how Apple/Sony would compete against Nintendo/Microsoft. In that study, I found that on average, groceries cost 20% more here than there.

Which makes sense – have you seen Apple’s stock price? Have you seen our great weather? Of course grey poupon should be 30% more expensive here than there. Grey poupon is simply better here!

Well, Memorial Day is coming up, so I thought it would be fun to come up with a comparison for a BBQ. But to add a twist, I decided to compare groceries in the Cupertino, to groceries in Redmond, Washington – as well as Washington DC!

Yep, that’s right! There are Safeways there – and they sell the same Safeway Select stuff there.

Let’s take a look:

Cupertino DC Difference Cupertino Redmond Difference
Charcoal 4.99 3.69 35% 4.99 3.99 25%
A1 8.23 5.99 37% 8.23 5.45 51%
Foil 3.49 2.99 17% 3.49 3.49 0%
Butter 3.00 3.00 0% 3.00 3.00 0%
Pickles 3.69 2.99 23% 3.69 2.85 29%
Large Tomatoes 1.50 1.50 0% 1.50 1.25 20%
Corn on the Cob 3.19 3.29 -3% 3.19 2.99 7%
Pork Should Ribs 5.58 7.38 -24% 5.58 3.58 56%
Sausages 5.29 5.50 -4% 5.29 5.49 -4%
Coke 5.49 5.49 0% 5.49 5.49 0%
Ruffles Chips 3.49 3.49 0% 3.49 3.49 0%
Olive Oil 10.46 8.79 19% 10.46 8.39 25%
Dinner Rolls 0.39 0.55 -29% 0.39 0.39 0%
Ribeye Steak 10.99 11.99 -8% 10.99 10.49 5%
Ketchup 3.59 2.69 33% 3.59 2.59 39%
Mustard 2.49 2.04 22% 2.49 2.31 8%
Relish 1.49 1.49 0% 1.49 0.99 51%
Oscar Mayer Franks 4.99 4.29 16% 4.99 4.49 11%
Hot Dog Buns 1.69 1.19 42% 1.69 0.99 71%
Lettuce 1.49 1.79 -17% 1.49 1.59 -6%
Potatoes 0.32 0.25 28% 0.32 0.25 28%
Cucumbers 0.99 0.66 50% 0.99 0.99 0%
Chili 2.09 1.99 5% 2.09 1.86 12%
Appie Pie 6.99 5.99 17% 6.99 5.99 17%
Peach Pie 6.99 5.99 17% 6.99 5.99 17%
Ice Cream Sandwich 5.99 5.29 13% 5.99 5.49 9%
Paper Plates 2.19 1.99 10% 2.19 1.89 16%
Cutlery 1.99 1.99 0% 1.99 1.99 0%
Garbage Bags 7.99 7.59 5% 7.99 7.49 7%
Average: 11% Average: 17%

Woot! We win again! Groceries here are 11% more expensive than Washington DC, and 17% more expensive than Redmond, Washington.

Woot! We’re #1! We’re #1! Hurray! Huzzah!

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “WTF? Houses are 2x more expensive than renting, and now groceries are more expensive than in Washington DC, and Washington state – where they don’t even have an income tax? WTH am I doing here???”

Before you consider leaving the Bay Area, just remember that they don’t have any Chinese restaurants, Korean restaurants, Japanese restaurants, Thai restaurants, Vietnamese restaurants, gay-friendly, smart people, diversity, tech companies, snow sports, hiking, mountains, universities, In-n-outs, or 9 months of sun. And let’s not forget our cheap housing, amazing public schools, great roads, low taxes, lack of traffic, and our Governator.

I hope your BBQ turns out well!

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:05 am