February 1, 2014

I Can Haz Stock Optionz?

Here’s a piece of investment and career advice: If your job doesn’t give you a piece of equity in the company you’re working for, it’s time to move on.

You Need Equity To Live In Silicon Valley

140131-stanford-memeMay 22, 2013 – Andy Rachleff Wealthfront

The other day we were modeling our typical client’s spending when we realized something disturbing – an average Bay Area-based young couple has to own equity in a business if they hope to send their kids to a good university and be able to retire well.

Investing well alone can’t get you there.

Our analysis found you need to work for at least one company where your equity stake can generate at least a few hundred thousand dollars after tax to make your economics work in the Bay Area.

The problem is the hole that opens up in a typical couple’s budget when they are in their late 30s. Three big pressures converge then: the mortgage on your expensive Bay Area home, and the dueling needs to fund your retirement and your kids’ college early so that you take advantage of compounding.

That’s why we say: You need equity to live in Silicon Valley.

And we say, you need even more equity to live in The Real Silicon Valley.  Then again, you could always rent AND send your kids to Community College and Cal State AND move to Arkansas for your Golden Years.

Basically this is another one of those “We make $250,000 a year and we feel sooooooo poooooor” pieces. Please all join in this First World Problems Pity Party because in lieu of another crap house for your disapproval.

Comments (9) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:06 am






January 14, 2014

Rare Find in Palo Alto!

Every area in life has The Three Words.  In relationships, it’s “I love you,” in business, “It’s a deal,” in math, “Quod erat demonstratum,” and in Latin, “Igpay Atlinlay Erehay.”  We’re sure you can also name The Three Words of Real Estate.

202 EMERSON St140113-pa-location-redfin.jpg
Palo Alto, CA 94301
$1,000,000

2 Beds
2 Baths
1,154 Sq. Ft.
$867 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1910
Lot Size: 2,775 Sq. Ft.
On Redfin: 36 days
Status: Active
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Stories: 1
County: Santa Clara
Style: Cabin
Community: Downtown
MLS#: 81342791

Location, Location, Location! Charming home downtown Palo Alto near Stanford University. This is a rare find in this area. Home is in need of some repairs and it is being sold "AS-IS" Perfect for an Investor looking to remodel or a builder . Seller has also listed adjacent home at 170 Hawthorne.

Yes, The Three Words of Real Estate are “Sold AS-IS.”  Unless it’s “Palo Alto million.”  Perfect for investor.

Comments (22) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:08 am

September 27, 2013

Speaking of million dollar fixer uppers, here’s one

Only this one isn’t in Palo Alto or even Piedmont. Indeed.

130926-3rd-redfin402 N 3RD St
San Jose, CA 95112
$1,650,000

— Beds
— Baths
3,192 Sq. Ft.
$517 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1898
Lot Size: 6,302 Sq. Ft.
On Redfin: 30 days
Status: Active
Stories: 2
Community: Central San Jose
MLS#: 81331712
View: Neighborhood
County: Santa Clara

great investment

Not that we’re going to let you, you know, LOOK IT OVER.

This property isn’t all that big and neither is the lot, but it’s supposedly divided (or could be) into little apartments. Buy this house and set yourself up for life as a future slumlord!

Comments (5) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:04 am

August 17, 2013

Palo Alto still clinging to its one and only trailer park

The owner of the Buena Vista Mobile Home Park wants out of the business, the units are vintage architectural treasures, and the residents love the value they get in the high-priced city. In this installment of As The Park Blights, the City hits the property owner with yet another stalling tactic. 

Thanks very much to Burbed reader Petsmart Groomer for sending this important update to our attention.

Application to close Palo Alto mobile home park deemed incomplete — again

By Jason Green, Daily News Staff Writer
POSTED:   08/10/2013 01:52:55 PM PDT | UPDATED:   7 DAYS AGO

PALO ALTO — For a second time, an application to close the city’s sole mobile home park was rejected as incomplete this week.

Toufic Jisser, the owner of Buena Vista Mobile Home Park, is required by Palo Alto’s municipal code to follow a specific process to shutter the decades-old facility. It includes completing a "resident impact report" that spells out how displaced residents would be compensated.

That report is still missing critical information, according to a letter Grant Kolling, senior assistant city attorney, sent to Jisser’s attorney, Margaret Nanda, on Thursday. Nanda, for her part, has said the report meets all legal and technical requirements, as well as the spirit of the municipal code.

While the owner jumps through more hoops to get the park ready for the bulldozers, you’re probably out touring as many Open Houses as you can. Let us know if you find anything affordable this weekend, especially if it’s in a community like this one. 

This is your weekend Open Thread!

Comments (4) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:11 am

July 5, 2013

Be a Micro-Slumlord in SF

Here’s an interesting property for sale: a brand new building full of micro-apartments in SF. 23 studios are leased and await your bloodsucking.  Thanks much to Burbed reader Michael Boltonestater for sending this in.

130704-harriet-redfin38 Harriet St
San Francisco, CA 94103
$7,395,000

— Beds
— Baths
11,775 Sq. Ft.
$628 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 2013
Lot Size: —
On Redfin: 27 days
Status: Active
Property Type: Apartments, 16-30 Units
Stories: 4
Building Name: SoMa Studios
County: San Francisco
Style: Contemporary, Modern/High Tech
View: City Lights, Bay Bridge, San Francisco, Downtown
Community: South of Market
MLS#: 409189

130704-harriet-studioThe SoMa Studios are the first new micro-apartments in the booming SoMa neighborhood, home to Twitter, Square, and hundreds of other tech companies, cafes, restaurants and clubs. The building represents the culmination of four years of research in hyper efficient and super green development. It reflects fastidious attention to detail and the highest quality construction. Fully leased. State-of-the-art seismic and fire safety. In-house 100 mbs internet connection. Extra-heavy solid core doors. Enhanced, engineered soundproofing. Built-in window seats and tables. Wood and porcelain tile floors. Elfa shelving and storage systems. GE Profile Dishwashers. LG all-in-one Washer/Dryer in each unit. LEED Platinum (pending certification).

100 megabits per second? No wonder they’re fully leased. And they’re featured on national television! Our only question is why the owner would want to give up a sweet hyper efficient and super green development deal like this.

Comments (3) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 12:38 am

April 15, 2013

The Meat of the Matter is in Mountain View

BlogAtoZ-MToday we’re Making the last post of the first half of this Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Today’s letter: M for Mountain View. Of course Mountain View, what other city has best Manifested Bay Area Bubble 4.0? Sure, Palo Alto can show insane prices and we can find people camped out for days to buy a condo in the East Bay.  But Mountain View has More. More Multiple offers. More Maximum overbids. More Million dollar crapshacks.

And Most of all, More close to Google.  Thanks very Much to Burbed reader LomaLuvr for this Masterpiece.

130415-boranda-redfin1112 BORANDA Ave
Mountain View, CA 94040
$13,000,000

16 Beds
12 Baths
25,353 Sq. Ft.
$513 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 2008
Lot Size: 0.73 Acres
On Redfin: 24 days
Stories: 2
Community: Miramonte
MLS#: 81308939

Great opportunity to own a condo mapped project . Currently run as an apartment complex. Units may be sold individually. Quality built in 2008. Great location with walking distance to Bubb elementary, downtown MV. Each high end unit is 4/3, 2100 sq ft, 2 parking spaces plus storage room, private patio and yard. Luxurious master suite with walk in closet, inside laundry. Access controlled building.

130414-boranda-washer

Can’t Make an onsite visit? There’s a virtual tour where all you need is to Move your Mouse. Also that’s where we learned there are 12 units in the “community.”

We chose this because it’s a Mystery. Is it 4 units for sale in a 12 unit Maze? Who gets to Maintain the controlling interest in the other 8?  How Much will you have to Milk the Planning Commission to Metamorphosize these Maisonettes into condos? Who owns the rest of the Multiple-Family Complex? How Much is too Much to Mooch for HOA?

So Many Matters to Mull over.

Reminder: It’s tax deadline today. Don’t Mistakenly Meander with the Mail.

Comments (2) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:01 am

April 4, 2013

Day Deal in Danville: Dollar Deluge for Doing Diddlysquat

BlogAtoZ-DWelcome back to Day #4 of the Danged blogging from A to Z challenge. Despite Dropout, we’re Determined to Drag our Dozen Dear readers through Daily Dumps!

Excuse us.  We’re got a Delightful Domicile for your to Drool on the Drapes! But Don’t Despair! We’re Driving a Distance to Danville for this Detached single family Dreck.

Drop any Disgust; the Day’s Display Deserves Decent Drama.  Thanks very much to Burbed reader Kim from the East Bay for this Donation.

130403-ferncroft-redfin531 FERNCROFT Ct
Danville, CA 94526
Sold for $678,000

3 Beds
2 Baths
1,938 Sq. Ft.
$350 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1974
Lot Size: 9,963 Sq. Ft.
Sold On: Mar 27, 2013
Type: Detached
Stories: 1
County: Contra Costa
Style: Ranch
Community: Danville
MLS#: 40604422

Wonderful ranch style home on a large, private lot. Vaulted ceilings in family room w/ wood burning fireplace. Dine in kitchen with newer appliances. Formal dining room and living room. Dual pane windows. Large parklike backyard with patio. Home needs some TLC.

130403-ferncroft-kitchenLet’s Dial in with Kim:

Look at the listing history:

Listed for $650 a mere 24 hours after being purchased for $565K (Feb 21-22) Closes on March 27 for $678

130403-ferncroft-dhoBUY NOW OR BE PRICED OUT FOREVER!!!

You can’t even call it a flip since he may as well just have used the same listing photos.. the only difference is the house is vacant. Not a bad profit for zero work.

Don’t Diss the Dealer! Why Do you Despise Democracy so much? Maybe you should Dig Ditches in Da Nang if you Don’t Declare Dittoes! Dude, we Direct you to the old Data.  The Dated Depictions are worth a Detour, as the Domicile is not only 130403-ferncroft-yardDecorated, we even found a Double-Double DHO (Dudettes Hanging Out) Distinction! (see left side mirror and its Doppelgangers).

Also the previous listing features lawn Décor from another Development, Different Date, Domain… it looks like a Disk from the Island of Yap.

Or a Demon-sized Donut.

D’oh!

The Detail:

130403-ferncroft-history

Comments (10) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:08 am

April 2, 2013

Beaucoup Bucks in Belmont: Bubble Buyers’ Big Break!

BlogAtoZ-B

It’s the second day of the A to Z Blogging Challenge and our readers are already Bored!  So let’s Blow off any more Bitching and proceed to today’s Bodacious Beauty!  Also Bear in mind that B is not only for Burbed, it appears twice therein!

Okay, we swear we won’t Bother Belaboring the Best Blog in the Bay Area!



130401-miller-redfin804 MILLER Ave
Belmont, CA 94002
$1,900,000

2 Beds
1 Baths
1,030 Sq. Ft.
$1,845 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1926
Lot Size: 4,500 Sq. Ft.
On Redfin: 4 days
Property Type: Detached Single Family
View: Valley
County: San Mateo
Stories: 1
Community: Belmont Country Club
MLS#: 81309791

Approximately 20,000 square feet per county records, made up of 4 beautiful lots with level areas. On one lot, there is a small 2/1 with a detached 2 car garage. See the city to determine the development possibilities of this property. .. possibly 4 new homes! Needs to be sold all as one package.

130401-miller-garage

Note that weasel word: possibly! Possibly 4 new homes! Possibly the most expensive 1000 sf house on 4500 square feet in the history of Belmont real estate sales. Possibly a Big Boost toward Buyer’s Bona fide Bankruptcy.  Inotherwords: Buy and Believe!

Buh-Bye!

Comments (17) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:03 am

February 17, 2013

How do you tell the difference between the RBA and Not the RBA?

Answer: The RBA is being bought up by foreigners with suitcases full of cash going to individual sellers.  Not the Real Bay Area is being bought up by investors with envelopes full of cashiers checks going to banks.

Report: Investors buy nearly half of Oakland’s foreclosed homes

Real estate firms turning properties into rentals, becoming "massive landlords" in some neighborhoods, critics say

130216-investors-suitcaseby Aaron Glantz, Bay Citizen — June 28, 2012, 11:01 a.m.

The rental listing advertises a “gorgeous remodeled craftsman-style house” with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a converted basement, a large deck and a backyard for $2,595 a month.

Eight months ago, this West Oakland home was owned and occupied by Theodros Shawl, a local chiropractor. Shawl bought the house in 2004, his first since emigrating from Ethiopia in 1990. Over the years, Shawl said, he rebuilt the home’s foundation and replaced its aging plumbing and electrical systems.

“I liked the fact that it was an older home, that I could repair and paint and fix there on the weekends. I was always at Home Depot,” said Shawl, 40. “I was living the American Dream.”

Last October, after being sidelined with a wrist injury, Shawl lost his home to foreclosure; in May, Bank of America sold it to a real estate investment firm, REO Homes 2 LLC, a company founded in 2010 by Bay Area businessman Neill Sullivan.

130216-investors-cashiersLest you think this is a trend only in the depressed parts of the Bay Area, we assure you that it isn’t.  Real Estate Investment Trusts are back, mostly because there doesn’t seem to be a lot of places to get reasonable returns these days.  A recent article in The New Republic covers the growing national trend of paying cash for foreclosures and turning them into rentals.  Needless to say, actual would-be buyers are finding themselves aced out of the bottom-feeding.

Your New Landlord Works on Wall Street

130216-investors-hedgeHedge funds are snatching up rental homes at an alarming rate

BY DAVID DAYEN, The New Republic, February 16, 2013

Housing analysts have been giddy for the past year about the comeback of their industry, whose collapse led to the Great Recession. Sure, 2012 was actually the third-worst year for housing ever—but it still beat 2010 and 2011. New and existing home sales, housing starts, and prices jumped in 2012, and experts expect an even stronger recovery for 2013.

It’s clear why people are so excited: Housing typically leads economic recoveries. As more people build equity in their homes, they feel more free to spend disposable income and increase economic activity, a phenomenon known as the “wealth effect.”  So a bullish outlook for housing would seemingly augur a long-awaited recovery to Main Street. But the more you look into it, the clearer it becomes that it’s not being driven by the typical American families who lost their homes in the economic crash. In fact, it’s being fueled by the banks and hedge funds whose speculation caused that crash in the first place.

If you’ve signed a lease in the past year, there’s a good chance your landlord wears a tailored suit and works on Wall Street. One of the hottest trends in the financial sector is known as “REO-to-rental.” Over the past couple years, hedge funds, private equity firms and the biggest banks have raised massive amounts of capital to buy distressed or foreclosed single-family homes, often in bulk, at bargain prices. Their strategy is to convert them to rental units for a while before reselling them when prices appreciate. The Wall Street firms are scooping up properties in the hardest-hit areas, promising high returns for the rental revenue streams—up to 10 percent annually —and starting bidding wars that have driven up some prices well above national averages. It’s the next Wall Street gold rush, with all the warning signs of a renewed speculative bubble.

Enjoy the Open Houses you’ll be making offers on but not buying because some sovereign wealth fund is outbidding you.

Comments (7) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:18 am

January 24, 2013

Value is in the land, and that value is $101.01 a square foot

How much should land in the Real Bay Area cost, when they aren’t making any more of it?  It’s hard to tell, as most of it is already covered with houses.  But today’s featured property, courtesy of Burbed reader Michael Boltonestater, may help us get an idea.  All together now: Mountain View, so close to Google!

130123-bryant-redfin344 BRYANT Ave
Mountain View, CA 94040
$4,400,000

3 Beds 
1 Baths 
1,216 Sq. Ft.
$3,618 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1953 
Lot Size: 0.93 Acres 
On Redfin: 1 day
Status: Active
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Stories: 1
Community: Grant
MLS#: 81301915
Style: Traditional, Cottage/Bungalow
View: Neighborhood
County: Santa Clara

3BR/1BA WITH SPACIOUS KITCHEN OVERLOOKING YARD. FEATURES INCLUDE LIVING ROOM WITH REFINISHED HARDWOOD FLOORS, INSIDE LAUNDRY ROOM WITH PANTRY, & APPROVED PLANS FOR REMODEL/EXPANSION INTO SPACIOUS ATTIC AREA. POSSIBLE 4 LOT SUBDIVISION ON APPROXIMATELY 40,000SF LOT (. 93 ACRES). OUTSTANDING DEVELOPMENT OPTIONS WITH ACCESS FROM BRYANT FILOMENA COURT. IDEALLY LOCATED IN WELL ESTABLISHED NEIGHBORHOOD.

130123-bryant-streetviewYou know the agent is just phoning this one in to long list of OPPORTUNITY-minded investors. Otherwise, this house with all its expansion plans could have easily been featured instead of just an aerial shot.  Heck, Google even managed to find something once we realized the Redfin map was pointing to the wrong place (over at Beaumont and Apricot, and wonder why that happened, huh?)

Also look at this very odd cul-de-sac that abuts the property (right underneath the lot on the lower right).  Looks like it only culled half de sac.

130123-bryant-satellite

130123-bryant-view-from-beaumontSo, do you think land in Mountain View in a good zip without the good schools is worth a million for a quarter acre?  Can you make money as a developer when your land costs are that high?  New homes in nearby Enclave at Waverly Park development (the old Pumpkin Patch property) went for $2M+, but they built 53 big houses there.  Hard to get economies of scale when this lot will support four of them.

Perhaps the third time’s a charm for this huge investment opportunity. The buyer is sticking to this price regardless of which agent has the deal.

130123-bryant-history

Comments (9) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:04 am