May 30, 2011

Memorial Day Memories

imageMost Memorial Day blog posts urge the reader to remember the sacrifice others have made so they can have a cookout.  Not here.  This Memorial Day entry will urge you to remember the sacrifice others have made to buy their RBA homes at the peak of the market so you can unlock all that instant equity. 

Do you know how much effort it took to qualify for 100% financing?  Banks expected to you sign your name and fog a mirror, both!  Some particularly fussy institutions even asked for documentation showing you were earning $400,000 a year as a strawberry picker!  It’s not like you had an HR department onsite who could help with that sort of thing!  And then, the nerve, when it was time to refinance and pull another hundred or two kay out of the property for a few new vehicles, they wanted you to sign your name again!  Who did they think we were, John Hancock?

Haha.  That was a joke, because Memorial Day was instituted to honor those who gave their lives during the American Civil War, and John Hancock is an insurance company in Boston!  Then again, you come up with someone who got shot in the Civil War and signed as many papers as a temporary bank VP in 2006.

Imagine how hard everyone in the mortgage business had to work just five years ago.  All those home inspections to delay, all those bank officers to look busy, all those properties to record with a dubious agency nobody heard of instead of county clerks who would probably lose your paperwork on their lunch break.  It’s a wonder the courts let the banks win anything with how little work they actually did, given how much there was!

That’s why we promise to keep bringing you as many overpriced houses that look like garbage as we can find. It was an amazing time, and we don’t ever want to forget it.  So, million dollar crapboxes on a busy street, we got your numbers, and we’re overbidding them!

This is an Open Thread.  Happy Memorial Day!

Comments (4) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:21 am






May 31, 2010

It’s Memorial Day – how are you celebrating it in the Bay Area?

It’s Memorial Day – how are you celebrating it in the Bay Area? How many open houses will you attend to help show interest and drive up prices?

Comments (73) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:10 am

May 22, 2007

How to save 17% on your BBQ groceries this Memorial Day

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. The Capital of Innovation versus the Capital of Politics vs the Capital of Rain.

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 @ 5:25 am