October 5, 2012

UPDATEDx2 with a MURDER: WOW! Sunrise and Sunset included! PRICED TO SELL !!!

9:50 AM: See end for update.  It’s worth it.
12:09 PM: Another update on the other murder.

It’s time to play Build a Ginormous House Somewhere Not As Expensive As The Real Bay Area and then try to find a buyer! Ready?  It’s Burbed reader J from Alameda‘s turn with this lovely Lafayette listing.

121004-hunsaker-redfin1901 HUNSAKER CANYON Rd
Lafayette, CA 94549

4 Beds
3.5 Baths
6,200 Sq. Ft.
$322 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 2003
Lot Size: 13.50 Acres
On Redfin: 39 days
Type: Detached
Stories: 3+
Community: Burton Valley
MLS#: 40587017
Style: Other
View: Canyon, Carquinez, City Lights, Forest, Hills, Mountains, Mt. Diablo, Valley
County: Contra Costa

WOW! $1+M price reduction! What a buy!! 13+- acres. Gated 360% View! Italian Villa/ stone, hardwood fls, custom & antique lighting. Finest materials including stone, hardwood, beautiful moldings and mllwork. Sunrise and Sunset included ! Rm for pool tennis/guest house/vineyard. PRICED TO SELL !!!

121004-hunsaker-kawlums-archHere’s why J from A sent this in:

As promised, a lovely chateau – in the Lafayette hills. Of note: a million dollar price reduction, a reasonable $322 a square foot and lots of columns.

Somehow it seems that 3.5 bathrooms spread across 6,200 sq feet of living space is not quite the usual ratio – a new way to measure houses – bathrooms per square feet? I am sure the buyer will be happy to have an elevator to navigate all those stories. Enjoy!

121004-hunsaker-kawlums-balconyYou’re right, J. We’ve noted the business of beaucoup bathrooms in ginormous houses for people with too much money and not enough taste. No wonder this place had a million dollar price reduction.  According to the LA Times, this house needs at minimum 8 rooms for waste disposal and sluicing.

Good thing it was PRICED TO SELL !!! We’ve seen enough houses that were priced to stay empty or priced to sit on the listing service for years and years.

Like, um, this house:


Even Zillow thinks the house is worth $2,169,784. Instant equity!  Ka-ching!

Update 9:50 AM: Burbed reader magdalena alerts us to this 2005 SF Chronicle article that specifically mentions the house.  In a this-would-never-be-believed-as-fiction tragedy, the wife of criminal defense lawyer Daniel Horowitz was murdered in “the entryway of the home.” Wikipedia says she was murdered in a mobile home on the property while their “dream house” was being completed.  The murder occurred four days after the beginning of a high-profile trial where Horowitz was defending Susan Polk, accused of killing her husband in their Orinda home. Horowitz had taken the case after Polk had fired her previous lawyers for encouraging her to plead insanity.

This led to a mistrial, but as Horowitz prepared for Polk’s second trial, she fired him, convinced that he had something to do with his wife’s murder.  16 year old Scott Dyleski was convicted of the murder; supposedly he intended to kill a neighbor who had run over his dog and went to the wrong house.  Polk’s story manages to get even more bizarre after Horowitz was fired (this Dateline NBC link confirms the mobile home claim from Wikipedia).

WOW!  Sunrise and sunset is just the entryway of what’s included with this house!

Update 12:09 PM: Murder kills home values as well as people.  Check out Susan Polk’s house.  We found a listing e-flyer, and Redfin has the price history:



Comments (29) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:03 am

June 30, 2012

Stockton Declares Bankruptcy; Burbed Declares Open Thread

Stockton, Calif. files for Chapter 9 bankruptcy

StocktonMove stops a barrage of lawsuits and allows the city breathing room, city manager says

SAN FRANCISCO — Stockton, California, became the largest city to file for bankruptcy in U.S. history on Thursday, after years of fiscal mismanagement and a housing market crash left it unable to pay its workers, pensioners and bondholders.

The filing by the city of 300,000 people followed three months of confidential talks with its creditors aimed at averting bankruptcy.

“We are now a Chapter 9 debtor,” Marc Levinson, the lawyer who filed the city’s voluntary petition in the Eastern District of California, in Sacramento (Case 12-32118) told Reuters.

Pleadings in support of Stockton’s eligibility for Chapter 9 bankruptcy will be filed on Friday, Levinson said.

120629-stockton-kawlumStockton, home of the second highest foreclosure rate in the nation.  And the winner of Forbes’ “America’s Most Miserable City” not once but twice! We offer this as a cautionary tale to any of you considering buying a house that is NOT in the Real Bay Area.  When your definition of “Real” is so flexible that it includes the 209 area code, you have officially drunk the Realtard Kool-Aid.

Stockton now has to open their books to a Federal Judge, and we are going to open this thread to anything you wish to discuss.  Did you visit any Open Houses in Stockton this weekend?


Comments (6) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:03 am

August 7, 2011

$123 a square foot. Per year.

We’re going to have to do something about Manhattan.  They’ve outdone us again in the rental department!

New Yorker pays $800 a month for 78-square-foot apartment

There was a young architect who lived in a shoe(box)

By Anika Anand, msnbc.com contributor
updated 8/4/2011 1:19:20 PM ET2011-08-04T17:19:20

imageNEW YORK — It may be small, but it’s no bargain.

New York architect Luke Clark Tyler rents a 78-square foot studio apartment for $800 a month in Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen, where studios usually average $1,900 per month. But in a neighborhood where the average rental price per square foot in a studio is $72, Tyler is paying almost twice as much at $123.07 per square foot, according to Mark Menendez, the director of rentals at Prudential Douglas Elliman.

"I think it’s too high," Menendez said. He added that, especially with New York real estate, the price per square foot can increase as the square footage decreases, and vice-versa.

"But again it’s all relative. Where can you find something for $800 in Manhattan?," he said. "Location trumps value."

This place is adorable, provided you’re an architect who can build your own custom furniture and doesn’t mind having to share a bathroom with three other people.  The only reason he has a closet is because he built a door over a small shelving unit.  There isn’t even a sink in this “studio.”

"A sink is really great," he said. "My last [96 square foot] apartment had a sink, it was just awesome."

Come on RBA landlords!  Why are you renting huge 3 BR/2 BA places for $3400 a month when you could subdivide them into cute little storage compartments like this for $800?  2 bathrooms, that means there should be room for at least 8 people, at $800 $1000 each.  Can you say Ka-ching?

Comments (9) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:34 am

July 13, 2008

San Jose – #1 of 34 cities where it’s still better to rent

34 cities where it’s still better to rent – Rentals – MSN Real Estate
Hit worst would be home buyers in San Jose, Calif., the nation’s priciest market. By the study’s calculations, anyone who bought a low-priced home there with a 6% loan could be $355,000 in the hole in 2012. (A low-priced home was defined as 75% of the area’s current median price.)

In San Francisco, you stand to lose around $254,000 in the next four years, according to the study; in Honolulu, $115,000; in Seattle, $108,000; in Washington, D.C., $81,000; and Boston, $28,000.


Projected equity in 2012 …

Metro area 6% loan 7% loan 8% loan
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif. -355,346 -361,381 -366,603
San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, Calif. -253,875 -259,684 -264,711
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, Calif. -222,719 -227,598 -231,820
Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, Calif. -203,481 -208,464 -212,776
Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Conn. -183,685 -187,931 -191,605
San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, Calif. -157,371 -161,798 -165,629
Honolulu -114,657 -119,323 -123,360
Stockton, Calif. -109,757 -112,775 -115,386
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Wash. -108,427 -111,496 -114,151
Sacramento-Arden-Arcade-Roseville, Calif. -107,621 -110,772 -113,499
New York-North New Jersey-Long Island, N.Y.-Pennsylvania* -102,428 -106,287 -109,625

Ouchers. This begs the question: why does the MSM (Main Street Media) hate the Bay Area so much? Is it out of sheer jealousy? Do they hate the players, not the game?

I wanted to beat New York, but this wasn’t quite what I had in mind!

I think we need a Proposition to fix this fast!

Comments (42) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:16 am

August 15, 2006

Q&A: Housing Bubble Blogger – Newsweek Business – MSNBC.com

Q&A: Housing Bubble Blogger – Newsweek Business – MSNBC.com
But something about the mania just didn’t sit right with Ben Jones. The Texas native learned a hard lesson in the 1980s, when the savings and loan scandal hit and real estate slumped just as he was preparing for a career in the property market. “I jumped in at the worst possible time,” the 42-year-old recalled from his home in Sedona, Arizona. That experience, coupled with a background in corporate accounting, made him wary of highflying markets, so when he saw housing appreciations rocket up and mortgage-lending restrictions sink low, Jones decided that this was a housing bubble, and he was going to warn his friends.

At first Jones just sent his cautionary data and news bites by email, but after a couple of months, he found blogging was a better way to get the word out. The blog, www.thehousingbubbleblog.com, quickly evolved into an information supercenter for real estate addicts. Jones posts news stories economic data, and analysts’ reports on the housing market (often minutes after their release), then lets his many contributors loose to offer their own analysis and rebuttals.

In early 2005, Jones was one of a handful of bloggers raising the red flag about real estate prices amid a sea of industry pom poms. Now it seems that even realtors are talking about a “cooling”—if not a bursting of the bubble—as prices sag and interest rates rise. Meanwhile, Jones’ blog, one of many on the subject, has grown to 85,000 readers a month. NEWSWEEK’s Kathy Jones (no relation) talked to the real estate seer about the power of collaborative blogging and why some readers use his site as an anonymous confessional.

Congrats to Ben Jones for making Newsweek. Does that mean that the bubble is now officially over?

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:26 am

April 29, 2006

Think your home is a nest egg? Think again – Real Estate – MSNBC.com

Not that we as a country have good retirement strategies in general, but here’s another one by the wayside:

Think your home is a nest egg? Think again – Real Estate – MSNBC.com
Many, if not most, homeowners do expect to retire “on the house” according to the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.

But at the same time they are reducing their own equity by borrowing against their homes for other expenses. They may be counting on inflated home values that could fall by the time they are ready to sell and move. They may be counting on a resource they never really want to sell.
Story continues below ↓ advertisement

In other words, they may not be being very realistic.

“We all say people will sell their house and that’s how they are going to live,” says Bev Moore of MainStay Investments, a division of New York Life Investment Management. ”But the bubble might be in the process of bursting.”

Only 11 percent of older people who are already retired actually expect to live off of their home’s value, she says.

“Baby boomers have to stop going to Home Depot and start doing more planning and saving,” Moore said.

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 11:09 am