December 4, 2011

OMFG is this THE END of those %$#@ Zip Codes? Rly?

What with all the excitement from our Black Friday and Beyond DEALS, you may not have noticed that our last zip code installment finished out the 301-400 level of Forbes’ Most Expensive Zip codes.  You know what that means!

Yes, this article, the Bottom 100 of the 500 Most Expensive, is The End of the Delivery Route.  Really.  Well, until 2012, when Forbes puts out a brand-new list, but there’s a good chance the world will end before then.  There’s an even better chance that Forbes will only have 5 places on that list instead of 500, with all the mistakes they made this year.  So you’re going to want to pay attention to every single zippy digit in this last entry for 2011!  But first… here’s your chance to catch up if you missed the earlier entries in this exciting, edge-of-your-seat-on-the-mail-truck, most beloved Burbed series of all time!  (Or was that most belittled?)

Previous Entries in the Most Expensive Zip Code Series:

Hold onto your mailbags, folks!  We’re entering an area with all the median prices under $750,000!  Watch out, there may not be any sushi available.

#406: San Anselmo 94960

  • Median Home Price: $749,000
  • Median Price Change: -17.4%
  • Average Days On Market: 200 129
  • Inventory: 129 52
  • 2010 Rank: 267 (-139 spots )
  • Most Expensive Home: $20.5 Million

imageA $20.5 million dollar house in Marin makes sense, but in San Anselmo?  I can’t find anything for eight digits anywhere near San Pablo Bay, and this zip’s most expensive place at 178 W Oak Knoll Drive comes in at only $3.4 million.  That’s very different. This 6000 square foot hotel-like structure on almost 10 acres has been on the market for just about half a year, so you’d better hurry!

Now, we know plenty of high-end places get yanked at the end of warm weather season.  But I find the idea of a $20 million ask going without comment pretty unlikely.  This Marin real estate blog didn’t note it under San Anselmo.  Or anywhere else.  The most expensive sale logged in MLS this year was only $8.75 million, in nearby Ross (#30 last year and mysteriously absent this one).

Zowie!! More zip code inZanity after ze break!

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Comments (7) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:15 am






November 27, 2011

Our Biggest Fan of This Series is Thrilled There’s Another Installment!

imagePoor Mr. Zip.  The United States Postal Service put him out to pasture in 1986, when they introduced the ZIP+4 postal codes.  But he was a familiar sight in the 1960s, urging everyone to include the new ZIP (Zone Improvement Plan) postal codes when sending mail.

Mr. Zip might not be around to nag you on addressing envelopes, because he’s in retirement.  Mr. Z writes to say he hopes this series will go on forever, because he can’t play Name That Code all the time.

imageToday we bring you yet another installment of all the Northern California cities on Forbes’ Most Expensive Zip Code list.  It features data crunched by local favorite Altos Research (and mangled by Forbes; you’d think after I’ve linked to them four different times and noted in each article that their data has a systematic error in every single entry, maybe somebody there would fix it, but NOOOOOOOO).  Anyway, here’s what you may have missed while writing code or hanging out on a sunny sidewalk waiting to collect a faceful of pepper spray.

imagePrevious Entries in the Most Expensive Zip Code Series:

imageNow, we’ll take the Fifth!  Fifth Tier, that is; the Top Half of the Bottom 200!

Let’s see which cities can still scrape together a property median wishing price just under $850K.  Remember, we correct the mistakes as we find them, and we added the comparison to last year’s list.  That’s the kind of original work you’ll only find done by obsessive-compulsive bloggers who think zip codes are fascinating.  Well, Mr. Zip certainly agrees!

image#304: San Mateo 94402

  • Median Home Price: $849,292
  • Median Price Change: NA
  • Average Days On Market: 200 114
  • Inventory: 114 81
  • Rank in 2010: 236 (-68 spots )
  • Most Expensive Home: $13 Million

Now I am beginning to think that the people at Forbes were just making stuff up for that “Most Expensive Home” field.  $13 million.  In San Mateo.  The most expensive place I could find sold for $3.3 mil in June, including the gated entryway.  It’s just like what you get in mid-level condoplexes, including calling itself an ESTATE (complete with the CAPITAL LETTERS).

Ah, but that living room does look spacious enough to hold a very small charity ball.  More goodness from Mr. Zip after the break!

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Comments (37) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:03 am

November 20, 2011

Moo-ha-ha-ha! Burbed’s Most Loved Series EVER!

Yes, we’re back with Northern California places on the Forbes most expensive zip code list.  As you get ready for Thanksgiving, one thing you can give thanks for this Thursday is that this all-time favorite series (if by “favorite” I actually mean “causes excited readers to fling household appliances”) only runs on Sundays.  That means it’s at least another seven days until the next installment!  If you missed the last ones, you’ll want to catch up RIGHT AWAY so you are completely up on every aspect:

Also, beginning Friday will be Burbed’s Black Friday Sales!  That’s where we scour the Real Bay Area in search of the best bargains out there for you.  While you may not be able to afford the most expensive house in the most expensive zip codes, maybe you can afford one on the other extreme!

And now, the Top 100 of the Bottom 300 Most Expensive Zip Codes in the Country: This is Fourth Tier: Under a Million Median Means Middleclass Metroplex.  Or the shorter version: Forbes screwed up again.

#212: Redwood City 94062

  • Median Home Price: $998,975
  • Median Price Change: -11.9%
  • Average Days On Market: 200 118
  • Inventory: 118 76
  • Rank in 2010: #185 (-27 spots )
  • Most Expensive Home: $3.6 Million $3.45 Million (610 Edgewood Road)

imageOne of the few shared zips to survive Forbes and Altos Research’s data parsing, the most expensive zip in Redwood City is shared with tony Woodside, California.  But you won’t find movers and shakers like Larry Ellison in Redwood City.

What you will find is this house, complete with Mawbul Kawlums, at a Woodside Price on a busy arterial that feeds I-280!  The owners have been trying to sell it since 2009, no doubt because its neighborhood of “High School Acres” fails to evoke wealth, exclusivity, or prestige.  Maybe they should rename it “Prep School Prospects” and see if that does the trick.

More exciting Zip Code ZAwesomeness after the break!  More! More! More!

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Comments (9) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:15 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.

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

November 6, 2011

Non-RBA Poseurs Not Priced Enough for Top 50

imageIn a previous article, we profiled the Northern California cities that hit the Forbes 50 Most Expensive Zip Codes out of 500 of those suckahs.  But we only care about the ones where the weather is nice, sushi is abundant, and you can get stock options without being the CEO.

These are the Zips that didn’t make the Top 50.  Forbes didn’t think they were worthy of home listing photos, so I had to dig them up myself.  And let’s remind Forbes about their messing up their detail data, what with every single DOM value set to 200.

Should any of these zips be allowed in the RBA?

#51: Los Altos 94024

  • imageMedian Home Price: $1,895,000
  • Median Price Change: -36.3%
  • Average Days On Market: 200 119
  • Inventory: 119 43
  • Rank in 2010: #18 (-33 spots )
  • Most Expensive Home: $5.5 Million (12445 Hilltop Rd)

Forbes avoided last year’s screwup with this zip by simply not admitting Los Altos Hills exists in 94024 this year.  Last year LA and LAH had identical data and ranks.  This year they screwed up by picking a property in Los Altos Hills as most expensive.  The most expensive I can find in Los Altos proper is this one (whose photo appears at right) at $4M.

And there’s plenty more, after the break!

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Comments (12) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:04 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!

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

December 18, 2010

They’re Baaaaaaaaack!

The Cheapest House In… series is so popular, what could be more appropriate than bringing back another one? That other perennial Burbed series, Most Expensive Zip Codes: RBA Edition!  Well, what indeed, other than some of the commenters saying they hated it?  But that’s okay.  That was just one or two hot-heads.  We know all the rest of you can’t wait to find out when San Jose makes an appearance on that list!

If you missed the previous entries in the ZIP code series, feel free to check them out.  The 500 most expensive zips were chosen by Forbes magazine, working with Altos Research’s data.  All the mistakes were entirely Forbes’, of course.  We just take credit for finding them.

And now, Burbed proudly presents (okay, not so proudly, we did get some Debbie Downers who moaned about this) The Most Expensive Zip Codes in the RBA: The Six Digit Edition.

#201 – 94506 Danville

Median Home Price: $1,072,360
Median Price Change: NA
Average Days On Market: 96
Inventory: 84 properties
Median Household Income: $142,459
Ignored Because: In East Bay, plus Forbes can’t figure out where Danville actually is.  Remember that expensive Danville zip here at #59?  That was actually Pleasanton.

#202 – 93924 Carmel Valley

Median Home Price: $1,064,710
Median Price Change: 9%
Average Days On Market: 206
Inventory: 101 properties
Median Household Income: $71,053
Ignored Because: Another gazillion square mile zip full of nothing.

image#211 – 95014 Cupertino

Median Home Price: $1,042,581
Median Price Change: -4%
Average Days On Market: 69
Inventory: 155 properties
Median Household Income: $100,020
 
Finally,, a place we can call home; home to Apple, home to Hewlett-Packard – oops, not any more! But it is home to the world-famous Cupertino Union School District, where parents raised two million dollars to keep teachers from losing their jobs another year.  So if you move in, you know you’ll be hit up for even more next year!

The median price is still over a million, but not for long!  At least it has an eight in it.

image #212 – 94010 Burlingame

Median Home Price: $1,035,952
Median Price Change: -25%
Average Days On Market: 88
Inventory: 122 properties
Median Household Income: $82,188

Conveniently located at the nexus of US 101 and SFO, Burlingame has many advantages which I’ll leave to the imagination.  Just as Los Altos Hills has Los Altos pulling down the averages, Hillsborough will always have Burlingame.  And why not, when they share the same ZIP code?  And in an amazing coincidence, they also share the same median income.

Anyone who thinks the typical Hillsborough household income is $82K when the houses sell for $2.9 million, raise your polo mallet.

image #220 – 94115 San Francisco

Median Home Price: $1,018,459
Median Price Change: -21%
Average Days On Market: 93
Inventory: 99 properties
Median Household Income: $54,879

You ever see that movie, Pacific Heights, where the psycho tenant tries to drive the yuppie landlords out of their house?  This is where it supposedly took place.  (It actually took place at Texas and 19th Street, in Potrero Hill, but then the house wouldn’t have sold for $750,000 in the late eighties.) 

Pacific Heights: median home price, a million.  Median income, fifty thou.  Why was anyone surprised when an angry renter happened?  Disclaimer: I have actually lived in this zip code.  As a renter.

#227 – 94939 Larkspur

Median Home Price: $1,004,396
Median Price Change: -26%
Average Days On Market: 95
Inventory: 36 properties
Median Household Income: $75,747
Ignored Because: Location, location, location! Right next to San Quentin.

image #236 – 94402 San Mateo

Median Home Price: $982,903
Median Price Change: -10%
Average Days On Market: 103
Inventory: 103 properties
Median Household Income: $82,796

Whoa, look at that map!  This zip is cut into three different pieces!  Well seriously, if San Mateo gets to pick and choose separate parts that go to one zip, of course they can optimize it to get a couple of their zips onto the Top 500.  Place your bets which one we’ll see next, and when!

For this, 94402 is nominated for the Jerry Mander Prize for noncontiguousity.  But it’s still San Mateo so nobody is impressed.  Just the fact that we’re now under a million for the median home price tells us we’re not in Atherton anymore.

image #238 – 94118 San Francisco

Median Home Price: $976,434
Median Price Change: -8%
Average Days On Market: 71
Inventory: 86 properties
Median Household Income: $61,609

This zip contains Inner Richmond and Laurel Village, along with the nice places along the Presidio near Lake Street.  What’s surprising is how close the numbers are to Pacific Heights’ zip code.  Then again, zip codes were designed for postal workers, not real estate agents.

Then again, it includes 19th Avenue, and any house near there could be described as A Thoroughfare Runs Through It.

image #241 – 94127 San Francisco

Median Home Price: $969,776
Median Price Change: -8%
Average Days On Market: 103
Inventory: 50 properties
Median Household Income: $95,313

Remember what I was saying earlier about Portrero Hill?  Well, this isn’t it.  This is Mount Davidson, highest point in San Francisco (928 feet).  The neighborhood southwest of Mount Davidson is called Sherwood Forest.  Now all we need is a Robin Hood to steal from the people who live here (check out the median income).

This is also the site of the park scene with the cross in Dirty Harry, where Harry confronts serial killer Scorpio.

image #245 – 95120 San Jose

Median Home Price: $965,271
Median Price Change: -2%
Average Days On Market: 86
Inventory: 176 properties
Median Household Income: $120,117

San Jose?  No way.

Way, even San Jose finally cracks the list of Most Expensive Zip Codes, although #245 doesn’t exactly serve up bragging rights.  This part of town is on a hill like San Francisco above, but if you can name a movie shot at Calero Reservoir as notable as Dirty Harry (heck, our Governator said that movie influenced his acting career), go for it in the comments.

image #250 – 95033 Los Gatos

Median Home Price: $940,654
Median Price Change: 7%
Average Days On Market: 172
Inventory: 98 properties
Median Household Income: $106,675

Los Gatos’ third zip code squeaks under the wire at number 250, joining more chichi 95030 (#38) and 95032 (#199) in the list of Most Expensive Zip Codes in the United States.

This from the zip that provided the Cheapest House in Los Gatos earlier this week.  But it’s also got its tail cut off!  Did Mean old 95030 bite it when they were duking it out over Monte Sereno?

Next Installment: You’ll be on the edge of your seat wondering if Sunnyvale makes the next cut!  Only on Burbed!!!!

Comments (14) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:05 am

October 31, 2010

The Most Expensive Zip Codes – The Series You Hate, The Cities You Loathe

Welcome to Part 5 of the least popular series ever on burbed, ever.  You’re welcome.  Forbes thanks you too, since we’re making fun of their mistakes when they wrote an article on the 500 most expensive zips, and hired Altos Research to do their data crunching.

Here are the first four parts for you masochists who can’t get enough numbers, maps, and boring fascinating statistics.

Today we’re going to cover the zips ranked 151-200.  But to reduce the complaining just a tiny bit, we’ll leave out anywhere that isn’t within reasonable commuting distance to the Googleplex.  Actually if I left out everywhere more than 10 miles from Google we’d only have four cities today, which might not be such a bad thing.

image #151 – 94306 Palo Alto

Median Home Price: $1,270,424
Median Price Change: 4%
Average Days On Market: 67
Inventory: 69 properties
Median Household Income: $82,314

At least this time we’re going to start much closer to where the jobs are.  This is a very important zip code.  If you remember this article, 94306 is the only zip code that’s left in the Real Bay Area (RBA) anymore, if you define RBA as the place where prices don’t go down.  So despite being the #2 zip in Palo Alto (94301 came in at #73 on the list), it’s #1 in the RBA.  It’s also last in the RBA, because none of the other zips qualified at all.

The real reason 94306 went up while prices everywhere else collapsed is because it’s the cheap section of Palo Alto.  This area, formerly the city of Mayfield, featured small homes on small lots which people now tear down and put in oversized mini-mansions that loom over the remaining bungalows.  Unfortunately, real estate statistics are oblivious to such trends, such as someone paying money to remodel or replace a house.  Instead you see crazy price increases and think the neighborhood is red-hot rather than full of sawdust and paint fumes.  If the sale price stats subtracted out the money paid for construction, there’s a good chance 94306 would have dropped as much or even more than the other zips around it.

#160 – 94549 Lafayette

Median Home Price: $1,225,110
Median Price Change: -4%
Average Days On Market: 88
Inventory: 126 properties
Median Household Income: $101,555
Ignored Because: In the East Bay

#170 – 94941 Mill Valley

Median Home Price: $1,185,211
Median Price Change: NA
Average Days On Market: 106
Inventory: 197 properties
Median Household Income: $91,283
Ignored Because:  Model for Hill Valley in Back to the Future

#171 – 94563 Orinda

Median Home Price: $1,184,089
Median Price Change: -5%
Average Days On Market: 101
Inventory: 101 properties
Median Household Income: $119,832
Ignored Because: In East Bay, even closer to Oakland than Lafayette

image #173 – 94303 Palo Alto

Median Home Price: $1,175,241
Median Price Change: -5%
Average Days On Market: 59
Inventory: 34 properties
Median Household Income: $64,256

It’s a pretty safe bet that the median home price hasn’t been contaminated by East Palo Alto (which shares this zip code), but take a look at that median household income.  It’s about $20,000 less than 94306, which has a fairly similar set of residents (in the Palo Alto part of the zip, anyway).

While the zip shares with the Oaklandesque East Palo Alto (hey, at least it brought you IKEA), it also has some nice areas in midtown as well as the West Marine on San Antonio Road.  (Remember, yachties spend like drunken sailors because they are drunken sailors.)

Since 94303 has just everything in the whole city that hugs US 101, that isn’t helping matters.  Some of the lower-cost Eichlers in South Palo Alto that get torn down and replaced by monster houses are in 94303, too.  Hope they put in triple-pane windows like they did at Gables End.

#175 – 94965 Sausalito

Median Home Price: $1,173,479
Median Price Change: -11%
Average Days On Market: 149
Inventory: 84 properties
Median Household Income: $76,808
Ignored Because: Has stupid song written about it

#179 – 94705 Berkeley

Median Home Price: $1,152,174
Median Price Change: -1%
Average Days On Market: 70
Inventory: 30 properties
Median Household Income: $68,112
Ignored Because: Shares zip code with Oakland, lousy state-funded college

image #184 – 94025 Menlo Park

Median Home Price: $1,134,946
Median Price Change: -9%
Average Days On Market: 88
Inventory: 179 properties
Median Household Income: $89,572

When you realize that this zip stretches from the foothills near I-280 all the way to the slums of Belle Haven, that median home price is rather impressive.  Not every city the size of Menlo Park has to make due with a single zip code.  Palo Alto has four distinct zips, and Redwood City has five.

And while a ranking of 184th most expensive zip code in the country is clearly not good enough for the RBA, perhaps Menlo Park could petition the
postal service to split the city into East and West postal zones, in hope of the western half aspiring to the RBA.

Nah, prices down 9%.  Forget it.

image #185 – 94062 Redwood City

Median Home Price: $1,133,462
Median Price Change: -5%
Average Days On Market: 97
Inventory: 111 properties
Median Household Income: $96,677

Ha ha!  What was I just talking about above?  Redwood City is nowhere as high on the snootiness index as Menlo Park, and yet by having several zip codes, they managed to get one of them to qualify for the Forbes list.  And this is the one zip that shares with Woodside, which is quite a bit higher in the rankings (#41). 

Oh, speaking of Woodside, you’ll never guess what Forbes says their median household income is.  That’s right. $96,677.  Nice going, Forbes.  That means the Woodside median should be higher and the Redwood city number lower, but you managed to miss yet another muck-up.

This part of Redwood City includes the Emerald Lake Hills area, which is a delightful mix of new construction and bizarre old places featuring old cars in the front yard.  You know how some places in Atherton look like Greenwich, Connecticut?  Well, Emerald Lake Hills looks like Appalachia where half the residents won the lottery.

#193 – 94515 Calistoga

Median Home Price: $1,102,625
Median Price Change: -17%
Average Days On Market: 140
Inventory: 67 properties
Median Household Income: $44,320
Why Ignored: Can’t take place named after bubble water seriously

#194 – 94610 Piedmont

Median Home Price: $1,094,846
Median Price Change: -51%
Average Days On Market: 64
Inventory: 7 properties
Median Household Income: $49,066
Why Ignored: Not only down 51%, but completely surrounded by Oakland.  Completely.  Rival zip 94611 is #74 on list.  I also call BS on Forbes for that median household income.  It’s probably mixed up with the part of OAKLAND this zip shares with.  Oakland, it’s full of Oakland.

image #199 – 95032 Los Gatos

Median Home Price: $1,079,587
Median Price Change: -1%
Average Days On Market: 111
Inventory: 183 properties
Median Household Income: $93,118

It’s the home of Netflix!  Woo-hoo!

The second-best zip in Los Gatos (95030 came in at #38), this zip features delightful estates in the foothills and higher, as well as ho-hum tract houses in the flats near freeways.

Now, take a look at that median home price, above.  It’s barely over a million smackeroos, and we’ve almost hit the 200 mark.  That means the next installment (if there is one) will feature houses in “expensive zip codes” that are under a million dollars dollars for a median price.

Think about that for a moment.  Where we live is so Special that we think of houses under a million dollars as not particularly worth commenting on.  At least most of the zips we’ve shown so far are above the average price for a house in this area.  But as we work our way down that list of 500 zips, we’re going to start to see some very ordinary places that are still more expensive than 44,000 other zip codes in the entire country.

Coming Soon: burbed guest editor forcibly retired for not stopping worst series ever, assailed by mob with pitchforks and torches.  Plus, Part 716 of Bing Maps Galore!

Comments (6) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:01 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

October 17, 2010

The Most Expensive Zip Codes: The Also Rans

Any zip that isn’t in the Top 50 shouldn’t qualify for Real Bay Area (RBA) status, right?  Here are the Bay Area zips in Forbes Magazine’s Most Expensive Zip Codes #51 through 100.  Since these aren’t good enough to have made the cut, we can assume any city featured here is no longer fit to inhabit the RBA.  So enjoy reading about these loservilles, that are still more expensive than most anywhere else in the country.

In case you missed the previous entries in this series, the Top 25 appear here, and #26-50 can be found here.  I encourage you to check them out, as obviously they are better places to live than what you’ll find in this article.

image #53 – 94920 Tiburon

Median Home Price: $2,046,939
Median Price Change: -22%
Average Days On Market: 126
Inventory: 116 properties
Median Household Income:$106,492

Yeesh, down 22%.  No RBA for you, Tiburon.  Wait, we already saw this zip.  It’s also #8.  So, um, they split Belvedere from Tiburon?

Well, well, well, there are 39 properties for sale in Belvedere (median home price, $3.28 million), and 116 here.  And yet both places have (what a surprise) the exact same median household income.

You blew it again, Forbes.  Am I going to have to rewrite that entire article for you?

image #59 – 94588 Danville

Median Home Price: $1,922,523
Median Price Change: NA
Average Days On Market: 276
Inventory: 4 properties
Median Household Income: $92,644

Be sure to check out this East Bay interloper: the idiots at Forbes got the wrong map.  They can’t tell Danville from Dublin. And with only 4 properties on the market, they have no idea if it’s up or down.

Maybe those East Coast provincials ought to be told they’ve managed the equivalent of confusing Westhampton Beach with Levittown.

 

image#62 – 94904 Kentfield

Median Home Price: $1,911,822
Median Price Change: 6%
Average Days On Market: 99
Inventory: 40 properties
Median Household Income: $82,528

This Marin County city is right next to Ross and may even manage to get more precipitation.  Why people would want to live here when they could buy a palace in San Jose is beyond me.  Plus San Jose only gets 11 inches of rain a year.

And San Jose is so much closer to Google!  Priorities, people!

 

image #69 – 94970 Stinson Beach

Median Home Price: $1,790,196
Median Price Change: -7%
Average Days On Market: 232
Inventory: 27 properties
Median Household Income: $88,184

Stinson Beach can’t be in the RBA, it’s down 7%, and next to Bolinas, home of the high-priced water meter.

First one to make a joke about this zip code’s ranking and “Sex on the Beach” is going to be asked to leave the room.

No, I do not want to hear about what that peninsula with Seadrift Road looks like.  You all have filthy minds.  Yes, especially you.

image #71 – 94024 Los Altos

Median Home Price: $1,746,928
Median Price Change: -6%
Average Days On Market: 91
Inventory: 67 properties
Median Household Income: NA

Down 6%, and another zip-splitter.

Seriously, is there anything funny to say about Los Altos?  Other than the featured listing that’s running tomorrow, that is?

Well, that and the dude with the cellular antenna farm.

And the fact that this same zip in Los Altos Hills is ranked so much higher at #18.  And that Forbes couldn’t tell the difference between the two and showed houses from Los Altos when featuring The Hills Hills.  And yet, 67 properties here, 15 properties there. Household income, not available here, not available there. Oh, oh. They match.

image #73 – 94301 Palo Alto

Median Home Price: $1,730,889
Median Price Change: -6%
Average Days On Market: 128
Inventory: 58 properties
Median Household Income: $97,758

We already knew this zip code wasn’t in the RBA anymore.  Its low ranking merely proves it.  As does this listing which hasn’t sold in more than 2 years.

Didn’t we all agree not to talk about Palo Alto anymore?  Anyone?  Bueller?

Oh yeah, Steve Jobs lives here!

 

image #74 – 94611 Piedmont

Median Home Price: $1,709,577
Median Price Change: -3%
Average Days On Market: 96
Inventory: 23 properties
Median Household Income: $68,853

Down 3%, and suspiciously Bradburylike.  Oakland, I tell you, it’s surrounded by Oakland!

And a freeway runs through it!  Just like Oakland!

And this place hasn’t sold yet. And neither has this one.  This city is FAIL: 100% of its listings on burbed unsold!

 

image #83 – 95070 Saratoga

Median Home Price: $1,652,013
Median Price Change: -1%
Average Days On Market: 124
Inventory: 177 properties
Median Household Income: $138,206

Down 1%.  That’s borderline for remaining in the RBA, but coming in at #83 just cannot be allowed.

Can anyone remember why Saratoga used to be in the RBA?  What exactly did it do to get there in the first place?  Why should a city with seven different school districts thinks it’s real anything?

I say no, not until they manage to sell this house.

image #84 – 95030 Monte Sereno

Median Home Price: $1,647,239
Median Price Change: -34%
Average Days On Market: 142
Inventory: 84 properties
Median Household Income: $117,564

Stop me if you’ve seen this zip code before.

Down 34%. Wait, it’s right next to Saratoga.  Plus borrowing Los Gatos’ zip code.  84 properties?  WTF?  In a town of 3,483?  And only 53 properties listed in Los Gatos (#38), population 28,592?  That’s a real knee-slapper!  Now can you tell me the one about the Santa Claran, the San Joseite, and the Saratoger?

 

image #92 – 94123 San Francisco

Median Home Price: $1,609,753
Median Price Change: 9%
Average Days On Market: 58
Inventory: 63 properties
Median Household Income: $84,710

burbed, voted best real estate blog in San Francisco, would like to welcome 94123 to the list of Most Expensive Zip Codes!  This is the first zip in San Francisco to make the cut.  And that is really awful, because several New York City and Los Angeles zips have already shown up.  Congrats, you losers.

Up 9%.  This is the Marina District and includes some of Billionaire’s Row.  Yes, including the place selling for $45 million.

image #93 – 94506 Blackhawk

Median Home Price: $1,604,976
Median Price Change: 19%
Average Days On Market: 143
Inventory: 51 properties
Median Household Income: $142,459

Up 19%.  Wait, this is the East Bay.  Prices don’t go up in the East Bay.  The proper expression is “Blackhawk down.”

Seriously, this is a developer-designed golf-course community that didn’t even exist before 1980.  Having this zip appear right after one full of history, architecture, design, and taste is just wrong.

 

image #94 – 94022 Los Altos

Median Home Price: $1,600,139
Median Price Change: -28%
Average Days On Market: 87
Inventory: 53 properties
Median Household Income: NA

Wait, is today Groundhog Day?  Didn’t I just say something about Los Altos Hills, and that we already saw this zip, and that… someone must have hit me over the head, because I’m seeing double.  Los Altos Hills in this same zip is #15 on this list, with a median home price of $3.04 million.  And (what a coincidence), 58 properties.  Sloppy work, Forbes, very sloppy.

This place doesn’t even have the cell phone antenna farm!

And that’s it for the Also Rans of the Most Expensive Zip Codes in the Whole Fracking Country.  Except… the list goes to 500 zips.  If you don’t want to see anymore of these Bing Maps, commence whining.

Next installment in this thrilling series: The Most Expensive Zip Codes, Volume 714,

Comments (59) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:01 am