September 4, 2012

An awesome opportunity to own this terrific value, 75% complete sold AS-IS

Welcome back from your three-day weekend!  That’s assuming you didn’t work all three days because you’re up against some arbitrary deadline.  And if you did, maybe you’re thinking you really need a vacation.  Today’s property is for you!  Thanks very much to Burbed reader Dr. Jim for this superb bivouac in Big Sur!

120903-partington-redfin51422 PARTINGTON RIDGE Rd
Big Sur, CA 93920
$799,000

3 Beds 
3.5 Baths 
3,203 Sq. Ft.
$249 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 2003 
Lot Size: 2.03 Acres 
On Redfin: 483 days
Status: Active
Property Type: Detached Single Family
View: Green Belt, Mountains, Canyon, Ocean
County: Monterey
Stories: 2
Community: North Big Sur Coast
MLS#: 81120578

The essence of Big Sur, an awesome opportunity, to own an amazing Big Sur retreat property. A private & serene location, on 2+ acres with dramatic vistas of the Pacific Ocean, along with the green and gold flowered hills of the rugged Big Sur Coast. This diamond in the rough, a terrific value, property being sold AS-IS. 2728 s. f. main house, is 75% complete, & a separate 480 s. f. cottage.

120903-partington-ocean-viewAnd here’s why Dr. Jim took the time to share this with you:

Just found your web site – love it!
What’s going on with this one?  The property history is bizarre.

Property history?  What about the tiny little pictures that don’t show the 25% of the house that isn’t complete?  Talk about an awesome opportunity… to take on someone else’s money pit!

120903-partington-exposed-beamBut Dr. Jim is right.  Head over to the Redfin link and check out that property history.  We’d include it here, but it goes on for so long that we literally cannot copy it into one screenshot. Instead we’ll send you over there to have a scavenger hunt, where you have to find the not-an-arms-length transaction, the foreclosure, the sale at more than twice the above asking price, and count the exact number of times it went pending.

And then there’s this, back when the property was sold 9 years ago (for more than today’s asking price), when those plans for a “2800 SQ FT DREAM HOME MOSTLY FLAT” hadn’t been acted on yet.

120903-partington-redfin-old-listing$940,000 Last Sold Price 
0 Beds 
1 Baths 
500 Sq. Ft.
$1,880 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1999 
Lot Size: 2 Sq. Ft. 
Sold On: Feb 25, 2004
HOA Dues: $655/month
Style: Cabin
View: Mountains, Canyon, Ocean
County: Monterey
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Stories: 1
Community: North Big Sur Coast
MLS#: 80340955

PRIVACY, OCEAN AND CANYON VIEWS WITH THE COMFORT OF PAVED AND GATED ACCESS GARDENS BLOOM WITH FLOWERS ON 2.1 AC. APPROVED PLANS FOR 2800 SQ FT DREAM HOME MOSTLY FLAT. VIEWS OF THE OCEAN AND A NATIONAL PRESERVE WILL GUARANTEE YOU

Will guarantee you what?  Argh, this is like reading a mystery and someone tore the last page out of the book!  Maybe it’s “If you build it, the foreclosure will come.”

Comments (7) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:02 am






March 11, 2012

The Ultimate Man Cave in Carmel Valley. Or anywhere else.

If you’re willing to drive a little, you could either save a lot, or you could have it all.  Thanks very much to Burbed readers CLS and nomadic for sending this tidbit in.

21,000 Square Feet of Cold War Memories for Sale, Satellite Dish Included

120309-jamesburg-sat

By PATRICIA LEIGH BROWN, The New York Times, Published: February 9, 2012

CARMEL VALLEY, Calif. — Just in time for Valentine’s Day comes the ultimate gift for the Dr. Strangelove in your life: the 21,000-square-foot Jamesburg Earth Station, a satellite relay base from the 1960s that was built to survive a nuclear attack.

120309-jamesburg-dishPerched on a remote hillside overlooking the Ventana Wilderness here on California’s Central Coast, it is a white elephant that costs $3 million, a tech-lover’s paradise on 161 acres equipped with a 97-foot satellite dish. (Though the signs reading “Danger: High Voltage” are perhaps not the best marketing tool.)

In its glory days, this sprawling bunkerlike redoubt on Comsat Road played an essential role in national life. Built in 1968 by the Communications Satellite Corporation, the Jamesburg Earth Station and nearly a dozen others like it helped bring the first televised images of Neil Armstrong on the moon and President Richard M. Nixon in Beijing into America’s living rooms. They also pulled in signals from satellites in geostationary orbit that made international telephone calls fast and easily accessible for most Americans.

“It’s the ultimate man cave,” said Jeffrey W. Bullis, a Silicon Valley electronics mogul, who bought the property in 2004 for $2 million from AT&T and is now selling it, complete with the hand-carved Tiki gods from Vanuatu that he placed at the entrance as a homey touch.

120309-jamesburg-welcomeIf you have a spare $3.5 million burning a hole in your pocket, I can’t think of a better use for it than a historical satellite dish made obsolete by fiber optic technology.  Especially because this 21,000 square foot bunker can also be used as an indoor shooting gallery.  Imagine the fun you will have with your remaining family members here!

While the 102 acre property including the satellite dish and its adjacent 46 acre parcel are currently “off-market,” the listing agent still features it on his website, and the current owner would be delighted to see it placed with someone who would appreciate just what this property is.

120309-jamesburg-houseThis is a must-have property for anyone who remembers the glory days of Apollo 11, and wants to own some of the technology that made it possible. 

Or you could just tear all this crap out and build 28 McMansions on 5 acre ranchettes and go bankrupt much more quickly.

Oh yeah, there is a house on the property somewhere, so you don’t need to bring a tent.  Also, lots and lots of room for storage, and by lots I think they mean enough room to fill a Saturn V.

Comments (7) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:30 am

December 5, 2011

BLACK FRIDAY DEALS: Cheapest house in Monterey County

Whoops!  Thought we were all done with our countywide specials, didn’t you?  I sure thought we were, but Burbed reader Wahnny was kind enough to send in these DEALS DEALS DEALS all the way from Monterey County!

Let’s see if we can “drive a little, save a lot” by driving past Gilroy.  Way past Gilroy.  And give your Guest Blogger for today, Wahnny, a big, warm Real Bay Area welcome!

175 SPRUCE Dr, South Monterey County, CA 93930
$99,999

image

BEDS: 4
BATHS: 2
SQ. FT.: 1,242
$/SQ. FT.: $81
LOT SIZE: 6,424 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STORIES: 1
YEAR BUILT: 1999
COMMUNITY: King City/Pine Canyon
COUNTY: Monterey
MLS#: 81147479
SOURCE: MLSListings
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 20 days

Great Single Story 4 bedroom , 2 bath home in quaint King City; in good shape, featuring good size bedrooms, tile flooring in the kitchen and more. Nice home; This one will go fast!

imageSunday’s Black Friday Deals mentioned finding deals near and far … well, Redfin’s coverage of the SFBA apparently ends in Monterey County, and here’s the furthest non-pending home for sale that they list.

This 4B/2Ba 1200+sqft SFR house was built in 1999 and is selling for under $100K. Not too bad if one can hack a 2+ hour / ~100 mile daily commute to the Bay Area. There are cheaper/older ones a little further north, the cheapest being this one.

 

136 7th St, South Monterey County, CA 93927
$64,900

image

BEDS: 2
BATHS: 1
SQ. FT.: 597
$/SQ. FT.: $109
LOT SIZE: 7,500 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STORIES: 1
YEAR BUILT: 1935
COMMUNITY: Greenfield
COUNTY: Monterey
MLS#: 81148985
SOURCE: MLSListings
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 4 days

Cute and adored 2 bed home on a huge lot with alley access, brick bbq pit, garden shed and mature garden. Newer kitchen cabinets and bathroom. Great curb appeal with picket fence and gorgeous yard.

Although it’s half the size and 60+ years older than the first one, it may be worth the $34K decrease in price for the 20+ minute / ~12 mile advantage in commute savings.

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: madhaus @ 4:01 am

November 13, 2011

The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves: The Third Tier Zip Codes

What will it take to make the zip code series stop?  Lots and lots and lots of quality submissions!  So until you send in your best guest post EVEH, we’ll be running these wonderful lists and photos for the next few hundred Sundays or until we run out of data, by which time Forbes (if they’re still a going concern) will have the 2012 list ready.  But look on the bright side.  No more annoying maps like last year!

Today we look at all the Northern California entries in Forbes Most Expensive Zip Codes 2011: The Top 100 of the Bottom 400.

Previous entries in this year’s series:

Quick recap: Forbes messed up their data even worse than usual this year, plus many areas on last year’s list have completely disappeared without explanation.  We add in the comparison to last year’s rankings and find the “most expensive” house (if it’s findable) that Forbes mentions for each entry.  While Forbes doesn’t seem that interested in hearing from their readers (registration is required), Altos Research, who did the number-crunching, loves talking data.  They’ve responded to a couple of my concerns here.

Here we go, numbers 101-200, which are now under the Million and a Half Median!  How Low do we have to go to sink under a million?  Remember, this is the Third Tier, so Real Bay Area (RBA) bragging rights are gone (except for some exceptions).

#106: Alamo 94507

  • imageMedian Home Price: $1,396,000
  • Median Price Change: -7.8%
  • Average Days On Market: 200 134
  • Inventory: 134 102
  • Rank in 2010: #101 (-5 spots )
  • Most Expensive Home: $11.8 Million (322 Lark Lane)

This high-end (for the East Bay) location south of Walnut Creek is stuck in atop the third tier right where it belongs, just a few spots above Newport Beach.  This luxury home that looks more like an administration building kind of says it all.  Free architectural clue: It’s the windows that make this place a façade fail.

A new $13.8 million property has come on the market since the Forbes article ran, and it has a more traditional (and attractive) look, in the classic “Let’s build a French country estate in Contra Costa County” style.

Plenty more to enjoy after the break!  In fact, we promise the very next one is a Burbed favorite, so click on through.

(more…)

Comments (7) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:08 am

October 30, 2011

Updated: For Halloween Weekend, Here’s a Scary Treat for You from Burbed!

imageOoops, my bad.  It’s a trick.  It’s a trick!

You see, Forbes has their new list of the 500 Most Expensive Zip Codes out, and it’s time to see how much of the Real Bay Area (RBA) can Occupy The Forbes Zip List!  Since this series is a perennial Burbed favorite, we’re going to devote the next five hundred weekend posts to lovingly analyzing every single aspect of this new set of delicious demographic domicile data.

Today: The Top 50 Most Expensive Zip Codes

Hey wait, come back!  This is going to be really good!  We’re going to see which zip codes gained or lost ground since last year!  Maybe some of them get kicked out of the RBA for this!  This is a Burbed exclusive, too, Forbes didn’t bother doing any analysis of their own list changes.

imagePlus this year’s Forbes feature has the top 50 places show the most expensive house so we’ll link to each listing, plus what you can get for a mere million. That means nothing in the RBA except one crapshack in Los Gatos despite their featuring 20 different “expensive” zips.  Ha ha!  Our expensive zips are so Special we don’t let any stinking one million dollar properties in!

We also love to catch Forbes in mistakes, so if there’s something more expensive they missed, or if they otherwise screwed up like last year, we’ll be sure to let them know with as much obnoxious chortling good-natured ribbing as possible.  It’s going to be awesome!

Updated: And the TRICK is on Forbes for a Burbed Treat!   They have screwed up very, very badly.  Badly enough that I’m wondering if their (bad, really bad) mistakes made it to the print version of this feature.  If anyone has a copy, please let us know in comments.

I’ve grabbed the Days on Market (DOM) from the big table as Burbed readers Divasm and nomadic point out every single zip had a DOM of 200.  That’s highly unlikely.  Nice going, Forbes!  I can’t wait to see if your other numbers disagree too!  (Yes, they’re fvcked.)

I’m also putting a break in right after the first entry, because this article is not one of our shorter pieces.  And now, here they are!  Every Northern California entry in Forbes Top 50!

#2: Atherton 94027

  • Median Home Price: $4,295,000
  • Median Price Change: +7.1% ⇑
  • Average Days On Market: 200 162
  • Inventory: 162 41
  • Rank Last Year: #2 (no change)  Exclusive BURBED content, Not on Forbes!
  • Most Expensive Home: $20 Million (52 Tuscaloosa Avenue)

imageOh little town of Atherton
How high we see thee lie
Above thy rich and floodless ditch
You burst with equitie
Yet in they dark streets shineth
No mortgage meltdown mess
The hopes and quips of other zips
Are met in thy address

Oops, Tuscaloosa now listed for $18.9 million.  Sorry about that!  Are you Astonished?

Also I found this $24M home, listed a month ago.  Guess they missed it when putting their article together, since it ran a couple of weeks ago.  But Homes of the Rich found it too.

More after the break!  Much more!

(more…)

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

August 29, 2011

Price Reduced Again! And Again! And Again! And Again!

Last week we featured a home in Sunnyvale with a series of deep price cuts, and asked what was wrong with the house that required a 30% price cut.  Here’s an even more extreme example.  We had to go a little (okay, more than a little) further afield this time, so please enjoy this listing courtesy of Burbed reader Petsmart Groomer!

 

22 STORY Rd, Carmel Valley, CA 93924
$439,000

image

BEDS: 5
BATHS: 3
SQ. FT.: 3,258
$/SQ. FT.: $135
LOT SIZE: 1 Acre
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Ranch
STORIES: 2
VIEW: Valley
YEAR BUILT: 1962
COMMUNITY: Village Views
COUNTY: Monterey
MLS#: 81102444
SOURCE: MLSListings
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 221 days

This bank owned home in the heart of Carmel Village features over 3200 sq ft of living space on a 1 acre property. Home has 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, separate family room, an oversize office above the 3 car garage. This is a great opportunity and a contractors dream.

imageOne the great realignments after the housing bubble popped was the death of the exurbs.  Homes requiring far-flung commutes were no longer desirable, while closer-in properties held their values better. 

Monterey County was hit with a double-whammy.  Not only are people less willing to drive a long way to work in Silicon Valley, the entire county is being hit extra hard by the new conventional mortgage limitations that are scheduled for October 1st (and already implemented by several large banks).  In most of the high-priced Bay Area, this limit is lowering from $729,750 to $625,500.  But Monterey County now has a much imagelower median home price than the Bay Area counties to the north, so they are being cut all the way back to the default limit: $417,000. If you want to borrow more than $417,000, you’ll have to get a jumbo mortgage.

Meanwhile, a much higher number of homes in Monterey County are under water (the FB owes more than the house worth) than in the Bay Area counties (Solano County is a special case). 

But what happened to this house?  Here’s the listing history from Zillow.

image

That’s some price chopping! And not mentioned in the Zillow history, but on Redfin, is when the homeloaner stopped fighting the inevitable:

image

imageSo not only was this house not worth the $1.65M the owners wanted when they were trying to sell it themselves, it’s not clear it’s worth much more than a quarter of that now that the bank has it. 

imageLet this be a lesson to you.  Don’t build a big ol’ house on an acre of land and then put in linoleum everywhere.  Also, don’t buy a house on a street with the same name as an infamous one in a really crappy part of San Jose.

Or at least do a better job of hiding your mistakes.  Is it 22 Story or 2 Stories?  Can a 2 Story house be a Ranch Style?  How about a 22 Story house?

Meanwhile, what do you think this house is going to sell for?

Comments (18) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:07 am

January 9, 2011

We Wuz Robbed Again

Zillow Blog recently had a post covering “Some of 2010’s Top Real Estate Sales.”  Yet not one of them was in the Bay Area, let alone the Real Bay Area.  The ten featured home sales were mostly in Southern California, with one at Pebble Beach, one in Manhattan, and three in Florida.

Something has got to be wrong with those statistics.  The most expensive home in the article was a Bel Air beast, and another Bel Air battlement checked in at #5.  There were also two from Malibu, the aforementioned Pebble Beach, plus Santa Barbara.  Florida had disasters in Delray Beach, Naples, and Highland Beach.  (No wonder Florida real estate is hurting even more than California, at least we know how to spell del Rey over here.)

I was able to find several properties that sold in 2010 over $10 million in the Real Bay Area, and we’ll talk about those places another time.  Instead, there’s something more of interest about this Zillow piece:  How bad were the haircuts on each of these houses?  When the seller thought they could get $20 million, how much did they actually get?  Are we talking five percent?  Ten?  Fifteen?  Zillow didn’t feel this information was all that important, but we at Burbed know that watching the sellers chase the market down is the biggest part of the fun.

image

#1. Le Belvedere – Bel Air, CA

Original Price: $85 Million (February 2009)

Reduced Price: $72 Million (November 2009)

Sale Price: $50 Million (June 2010)

Haircut: -43%

This house leads to all kind of speculation since nobody is sure exactly who owns it.  It has since been sold to 2 limited liability corporations.  The 11 BR/14 BA 48,000 sf home (yes, 48,000 square feet) requires a staff of 15 and is on a 2.2 acre lot.  You can pick up this Bel Air listing for $53 million (9 BR/21 BA) if looking at this picture is making you think, “You know what?  I really want an insanely large and expensive home in Southern California.”

Redfin had this listing for a 7 BA/15 BA 35,000 sf house on 2+ acres, which Zillow says is the same one, but key details differ.  A 10/15 did sell for $18 million last January, but it was less than half the size of La Belvedere.

image

#2. Carbon Beach Gem – Malibu, CA

Original Price: $57 Million (March 2010)

Reduced Price: $47 Million (June 2010)

Sale Price: $36,969,000 (October 2010)

Haircut: -35%

This 8 BR/12 BA is 12,785 sf and has a mere 3/4 acre lot.  However, that lot includes 180 feet of Malibu beachfront.  Plenty of instant equity, this place has a Zestimate of $39,733,000!  While the first house write-up above freely speculated over who the owner is, not a peep as to who bought or sold a home on “Billionaire’s Beach,” where “you could run into celebrities such as Jennifer Aniston and David Geffen.” Or in this case, older ladies who go to lots of fundraisers.  Property Shark didn’t indicate who the new owner was.

image#3. Malibu Colony Beach House – Malibu, CA

Original Price: $23,950,000 (April 2010)

Sale Price: $21,475,000 (September 2010)

Haircut: -10.3%

Zillow points out that this house is only 5,000 sf, so we’re talking $4,295 a foot.  A half acre lot but only 60 feet of beachfront, and that’s 60 more feet than any house in Silicon Valley will have until the Pacific and the Bay rise a couple dozen feet.  The property has not one but two guest suites and a gym, separate from the main building.  Given that exterior has all the charm of a Santa Cruz 8-plex motel, that’s an improvement.  Plus, you might run into Tom Hanks, Bill Murray, and other celebrities even older than I am.

Property Shark doesn’t have the most recent sale record, but the seller lived in Tiburon.

image#4. Pebble Beach Jewel – Pebble Beach, CA

Original Price: $25 Million (March 2010)

Sale Price: $18.75 Million (May 2010)

Haircut: -25%

Almost twice as large as the last beach house, this 6 BR/4.5 bath on 1.3 acres has all the charm of a Presidential library, minus the historical documents or the gravitas.  Unlike Malibu Beach, here you have “Out one set of windows is the surf crashing along Pebble Beach’s craggy coast where harbor seals come to visit.”  Evidently out the back windows is some golf club or something.  Guess any celebrities worth running into would be out there clubbing the seals.

Seriously, does Zillow think nothing in the RBA has sold for more than $10 million last year?  Or just that they weren’t trying very hard?  I found this place in San Francisco that went for $15.5 million, and this one in Woodside.  Someday we’ll talk about those…

image#5. Bel Air Mediterranean – Bel Air, CA

Original Price: $24,500,000 (February 2009)

Reduced Price: $19,750,000 (July 2009), $18,950,000 (February 2010)

Sale Price: $16,250,000 (May 2010)

Haircut: -34%

Want it?  It’s for sale again, showing that flipping houses hasn’t gone out of style in some places.  Listed for $19.5M this October, only 5 months after it sold for $16.25M, the price was cut a whopping 3.8% to $18.75M a month later.  This is a 13,000 sf 7 BR/11 BA behemoth on 0.85 acre, plus the listing agent is married to a Real Housewife of Beverly Hills.  I swear I am not making this up.

Given that the listing doesn’t mention a speck of improvement that the new owner put in, anyone want to predict their exit price point?

Bonus feature: The property was foreclosed on during bubblicious 2004 for $700,000, before the current structure was put in.

image#6. Dramatic Delray – Delray Beach, FL

Original Price: $24,900,000 (July 2008)

Reduced Prices: $21,900,000 (November 2008), $18,950,000 (June 2009), $21,500,000 (July 2009), $18,950,000 (September 2009), $18,975,000 (February 2010)

Sale Price: $12,650,000 (April 2010)

Haircut: -49%

Nothing says dramatic real estate crash like Florida real estate, and here’s a spectacular example.  Best of all, it’s up for sale again at $19.5M with the exact same agent, showing some people are very slow learners.  At least they have over 14,500 sf of house to learn slowly in, with 6 bedrooms and a WTF 7.3 bathrooms on 2.13 acres.  Florida real estate is definitely different than anywhere in the US.  Where else would a 16 foot elevation be described as “commanding”?  Features 160 feet of “frontage” but onto what isn’t clear.  Perhaps the 16 foot towering precipice above the Atlantic.

image#7. Upper East Side – New York, NY

Original Price: $17,000,000 (September 2009)

Reduced Price: $15,900,000 (January 2010)

Sale Price: $13,150,000 (September 2010)

Haircut: -23%

Gordon Gekko might have said that “Greed is good,” but in New York City, stock market traders have another slogan about making money: “Bulls make money, bears make money, pigs get slaughtered.”  And this “grand 20-foot wide mansion” sold for $10.5M in March, 2008.  Yes, you too can pay eight digits for a five story house that literally has the breadth of a double garage, and it doesn’t even come with one!  Boasting 6 bedrooms, 6 baths, 8000 square feet and a lot size of (get ready) 2000 sf (0.05 acres), and around the corner from an actual Park Avenue address.

The current owner is now a floplord, looking for a tenant for 109 E 69th St.  The rent?  $48,000 a month.  Hope they don’t expect three months’ security up front.

In case you’re interested, that makes this property have a rent ratio of 22.8.  Typical rent ratio for Manhattan is well over 30, which suggests some pig is about to get slaughtered again.

image#8. Santa Barbara Villa – Santa Barbara, CA

Original Price: $19.5 million (August 2008)

Reduced Price: $16 million (March 2009)

Sale Price: $13 million (September 2010)

Haircut: -33%

Whew!  That was too long outside of California.  Between the old people of Florida and the New York cabbies who enjoy speeding up to love-tap pedestrians in crosswalks, that was a definite dollop of cognitive dissonance.  Face it, high prices should stay in California where they belong.  Why would anyone pay lots of money to live in a city where 16 inches of snow shuts the whole place down?

No doubt the Zillow blogger who put this piece together was so relieved to cover a California property that s/he neglected to notice the original (and much higher) list price for this house.  Maybe this one item was farmed out to Tech Gal, the Peninsula real estate agent notorious for her sales to listing price ratios based on reduced asking prices.

Speaking of the house… This 8592 sf home thinks of itself as a Tuscan villa, but it’s got a modern tax bill to greet you.  A 5 BR/6.5 BA main house plus a 1 BR/1 BA guest home on the 3.4 acre grounds guarantee you’ll keep a gardening staff busy all year.

image#9 Gulf Coast Grace – Naples, FL

Original Price: $16.5 million (May 2009)

Reduced Price: $15.9 million (July 2009)

Sale Price: $13 million (January 2010)

Haircut: -21%

This over 9000 sf house on Naples Bay is situated on 3/4 of an acre but is still in the sinkhole of Florida real estate.  Even Zillow looks at last year�
��s sales figure and comes up with a Zestimate of $11,013,000, suggesting that this palatial estate lost another 15% of its value merely by spending all of 2010 in Florida.  Once more, the Zillow blogger missed the original price, misunderestimating the amount a Florida property can plummet.

image#10. Living the High Life – Highland Beach, FL

Original Price: $18,900,000 (May 2009)

Reduced Price: $15,950,000 (July 2009)

Sale Price: $12,650,000 (January 2010)

Haircut: -33%

If a second marriage is the triumph of hope over experience, then buying a 12,000 sf house on 0.95 acres of Florida real estate for 67% of the original asking price is the knifecatcher’s exhilaration.  This brain-damaged fool has put the place back on the market for $14,950,000, just six months after taking delivery.  Given that Zillow has depreciated the previous property by 15%, I would calculate that this Adventure in Real Estate is going to lead to another 28% trip down Equity Burn Esplanade.

Comments (49) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:06 am

October 24, 2010

The Bottom 400 of the Top 500 Most Expensive Zip Codes, Part 4 of a Series that Will Never End. Ever.

We can thank Forbes Magazine’s The Most Expensive Zip Codes for selecting the prestige postal zones and then managing to mess them up.  So far we’ve caught them describing one town while showing houses from another, forgetting the difference between a zip code and a town boundary, mixing up their data sets, and showing a zip code 10 miles and $2 million away from what they labeled.

Since we don’t concern ourselves with other parts of the country where prices go down, homes need maintenance, streets get busy, and airports allow planes to land while children are sleeping, we’ve been looking at the Bay Area zips only.  In case you want to refer to the previous articles, you can click over to:

  • The 25 most expensive zip codes in the entire country, featuring Atherton, Belvedere, Los Altos Hills and Hillsborough!
  • The next 25 zip codes, not quite as Special.  Portola Valley, Los Gatos, Woodside, and other places too far away from Google to matter make their appearances.
  • The 50 after that, at cut-rate prices compared to the first 50.  These entries in the Corridor of Not Quite include Los Altos, Saratoga, Monte Sereno, and Palo Alto.

Again, data crunched by Altos Research, info prepared (not always perfectly) by Forbes, criticisms (I’m starting early today) entirely home-grown at burbed.  The very first entry on Forbes’ Page 2 list is one of our own!  We may not be in the Real Bay Area (RBA) anymore, but remember, these zip codes are still more expensive than at least 44,000 others!

image_thumb[1] #101 – 94507 Alamo

Median Home Price: $1,513,739
Median Price Change: -11%
Average Days On Market: 139
Inventory: 113 properties
Median Household Income: $139,997

I just said we weren’t in the RBA anymore.  It’s never a good sign when the very first listing is in the East Bay.  That 11% drop isn’t surprising anybody.

Besides, pretty soon the home price medians are going to drop below a million and a half, and then where would we be?

Right.  In the East Bay.

image_thumb[3] #106 – 94946 Nicasio

Median Home Price: $1,484,615
Median Price Change: 5%
Average Days On Market: 176
Inventory: 13 properties
Median Household Income: $76,194

You should have heard of this town before.  It was featured in burbed because of this listing.  Jerry Garcia’s house has been holding up this zip’s entire market.

Clearly Alamo and Nicasio are for two different demographics.  Alamo is for people earning good money now.  Nicasio is for people who already earned good money and want to get away from the people in Alamo still earning.  Then they can chillax and just enjoy it.  The money, I mean.  I’m still getting my head around trying to fill the closet in Jerry’s master bedroom.

Unfortunately, by not keeping enough cash coming into town, the residents of Nicasio let down the team.  Yes, the median home price is under one and a half million now.  Who knows what kind of vagrants and transients are living in those houses?  It’s not surprising one of them joined a rock band.

image_thumb[5] #120 – 93921 Carmel

Median Home Price: $1,412,704
Median Price Change: -9%
Average Days On Market: 153
Inventory: 84 properties
Median Household Income: $53,750

The income is down even more here at the other end of the Bay Area.  The Monterey Bay Area.

Carmel is a touristy little town that is expensive to live in, doesn’t sell anything useful to residents, and has a beach nobody can use since parking is between impossible and utterly impossible.  You shouldn’t have taken your time reading this.  They just ticketed your car.

Does that little bit right outside the zip environs, lower right corner, really say Trailer Park?

image_thumb[7] #120 – 93921 Carmel-By-The-Sea

Median Home Price: $1,412,704
Median Price Change: -9%
Average Days On Market: 153
Inventory: 84 properties
Median Household Income: $53,750

This is only a test to see if you’re paying better attention than Forbes did when they put this article together.

Yes, it is entirely possible that two cities can share a common zip code.  We’ve had many examples of it in the first hundred entries.

But what are the odds of the same zip code, the same ranking, the same data, and the same map just sitting there for two cities with practically the same name, and nobody noticed a damned thing?

image_thumb[9] #121 – 92603 Irvine

Median Home Price: $1,406,399
Median Price Change: -9%
Average Days On Market: 120
Inventory: 227 properties
Median Household Income: NA

Irvine has entered the building!

No, I have not taken leave of my senses.  I know that Irvine is not in the Bay Area, Real or otherwise.

But Irvine’s real estate issues have been so instructive, and the seminal Irvine Housing Blog so important to anyone trying to make sense of what happens when bubble
s pop.

And as much as there have been problems with the real estate market up here, one of our zip codes doesn’t have 227 properties in inventory, and so far we’ve avoided Mello-Roos taxes, too.  There’s a good reason we’ve avoided Irvine’s problems.  It’s because they’re not making any more land up here.  And that’s because they’re making it all down there, complete with Mello-Roos!

We now return you to our regular Bay Area real estate presentation, already in progress.

image_thumb[11] #125 – 93923 Carmel

Median Home Price: $1,384,643
Median Price Change: -7%
Average Days On Market: 191
Inventory: 298 properties
Median Household Income: $67,315

Now if i am reading this map correctly, this zip code includes Carmel and Carmel Highlands, but not Carmel-by-the-Sea or Carmel Valley.  Or the other part of Carmel that is covered by a simple street map and includes all the high-priced art galleries and jewelry stores.

This zip also has a bigger inventory than Irvine’s.  Thanks for making us look bad, Carmel, when everyone at IHB clicked over to read this.  You’re making all of us look really pathetic to those Southern Californians.  We might have to ask you to move over there, permanently.  You and your 298 unsold properties.  Maybe when you get they’re you’ll be placed in a Mello-Roos district, too.

(I thought those 298 listings had to be a mistake on Forbes’ part, but it isn’t.  Entering this zip into Redfin yields 270 listings.  And just because the zip covers around 200 square miles isn’t going to get it off the hook.)

image_thumb[13] #131 – 94104 San Francisco

Median Home Price: $1,365,346
Median Price Change: 3%
Average Days On Market: 162
Inventory: 11 properties
Median Household Income: $14,609

Finally!  A zip that makes you really sit up and take notice.

A zip that not only includes a bunch of ginormous skyscrapers (well, ginormous as long as we don’t go comparing them with anything in Los Angeles, or Chicago, or Manhattan), but has the brass rivets to say LOOK AT ME.  The median home price here is $1.36 million and the median income is $14,609.  That’s right!  It would take the average resident here a hundred years to buy the average residence.

Only a zip code with serious chutzpah could issue a message like that, a message that says, “Want to buy here?  Sorry.  You’ve been Priced Out Forever.”

image_thumb[15] #132 – 94965 Muir Beach

Median Home Price: $1,364,462
Median Price Change: 7%
Average Days On Market: 34
Inventory: 3 properties
Median Household Income: $76,808

This tiny town is located right where California Route 1 cuts overland to the Pacific and heads north up the coast (that line mislabeled 1 is actually US 101.  I’m watching you Forbes.  Always watching.) This tiny town has about six streets.  Muir Beach shares a zip with Sausalito, which ought to be showing up at some point.

Muir Beach.  Like Bolinas, only closer and more expensive.  Water meters not included.

image_thumb[17] #134 – 94574 Saint Helena

Median Home Price: $1,354,277
Median Price Change: -5%
Average Days On Market: 186
Inventory: 102 properties
Median Household Income: $60,964

Looks like it takes half a year to sell a typical property in Saint Helena.  That means they named the place well.

Saint Helena was the second and final place that Napoleon Bonaparte was exiled to, and he died five and a half years later.  And there isn’t anywhere nearby called Elba, because that would mean you could escape.  Although you can at least drink heavily.

Able I was ere I bought in St. Helena.

image_thumb[21] #147 – 95452 Kenwood

Median Home Price: $1,294,385
Median Price Change: 46%
Average Days On Market: 152
Inventory: 19 properties
Median Household Income: $58,421

Honey, I shrank the zip code.

I had to.  When it took up about 20% of the page, the only thing I could find was State Highway 12 and Mt Hood Regional Park.  I figured Kenwood was somewhere between Santa Rosa and Fairfield but wasn’t quite sure which was closer.

And St. Helena is in convenient exile distance.  I suppose I should find something nice to say about the place because the prices are up 46%, but seriously, unless you’re cultivating 200 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon or really want the Smothers Brothers as neighbors, you should be looking a little closer to Facebook HQ.

image_thumb[23] #150 – 94705 Oakland

Median Home Price: $1,283,731
Median Price Change: 28%
Average Days On Market: 217
Inventory: 3 properties
Median Household Income: $68,112

Somebody is playing a joke, but I can’t figure out who the joke is on.

We started today’s batch of runner-ups to the runner-ups in the East Bay.  Not only are we going t
o finish there, we’re going to finish in one of the least RBA-like cities in the East Bay.

Then again, the zip includes a bunch of UC property in Berkeley, so that’s kind of cheating.  Plus the Claremont Hotel.  I bet the Claremont Hotel would sell for more than $1,283,731.

And the zip is up… twenty eight percent.  With the same kind of unobtanium inventory we saw in Muir Beach.  That’s it.  I’m out of here.  I know when I’m licked.

Next installment: The Most Expensive Zip Codes in the Richmond Flats between Cutting Boulevard and Solano Avenue.

Comments (10) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:04 am

May 12, 2006

Congratulations to Salinas, Santa Cruz, and Santa Rosa!

The Least Affordable Place to Live? Try Salinas – New York Times
IN 2005, the least-affordable place in the country to live, measured by the percentage of income devoted to mortgage payments, was Salinas, Calif.

The second was the Santa Cruz-Watsonville area of California.

The third? Santa Rosa-Petaluma, Calif.

In fact, California has the distinction of having the 11 least-affordable metropolitan areas in the country. One would need to go all the way down to 12th place — and across the country to the New York region’s northern suburbs — to find a non-California metropolitan area on the least-affordable list of 2005.

Congratulations! And why is California so unaffordable? Is it because it’s the most special place on earth?

Another quintessentially California issue is Proposition 13, the 1978 measure that slashed property taxes by more than 50 percent and ignited a national property tax revolution.

The measure, which was supposed to facilitate home buying, has backfired to some extent; local governments prefer that land be used for retailing rather than housing because they collect more from sales taxes than from property taxes.

“Proposition 13 is a big stop sign saying ‘no housing needed,’ ” said Peter Dreier, professor of public policy at Occidental College in Los Angeles and an author of “Place Matters: Metropolitics for the 21st Century” (University Press of Kansas, 2001). “Every municipality is engaged in a bidding war for retail — they’re battling for Wal-Mart, to keep the libraries open.”

It is unlikely that will change, Professor Dreier and others say, calling Proposition 13 “the third rail of government — it’s untouchable.”

Maybe they can build dual purpose Best Buy’s – stores during the day, houses at night. Then, instead of having a Best Buy every 5 miles (East Palo Alto, Mountain View, Sunnyvale) – we could have one every block. Everyone wins!

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:00 am