October 5, 2013

Open Thread Salute

It’s the weekend! Time to see what’s available because YOU SHOULD BE BUYING A HOUSE! Or selling one.


We hope you appreciate the two-tone paint job as well. Now tell us how your Open House visits go in this Weekend Open Thread.

Comments (12) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:05 am

August 31, 2013

I don’t want a roommate, but an Arch-Nemesis

Why oh why can’t roommate ads in Silicon Valley be like this?  Here’s an ad that caught Burbed reader NYC Exile’s attention. Why NYCE was reading NYC Craigslist is a mystery for another day.

And we’re reprinting the whole thing because Craigslist ads are about as temporary as 2.8% mortgage rates.

$1 Seeking an Arch-Nemesis Roommate (Williamsburg)

130827-arch-vennI’m looking to fill the vacant room in my small, two-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn with a roommate who is respectful and financially sound, and can double as my arch-nemesis.

If you haven’t closed this page yet — which if you did, even though you wouldn’t be reading this, would be very arch-nemesis of you — allow me to elaborate.

My arch-nemesis roommate will provide constant combat in the apartment. After living with far too many passive folk, I can say with certainty that I AM READY for this. I’m not looking for a bad roommate, per se (i.e. someone that doesn’t clean their dishes or someone that sleeps in my bed when I’m gone), but I am looking for a roommate who is willing to regularly kick my ass, or at least attempt to, so we can create an authentic hero (me) vs. arch-nemesis (you) living arrangement.

Here are my arch-nemesis roommate requirements:

1. You keep our feud inside the apartment. I don’t want to fight you outside of the apartment, even if we leave to get groceries or cleaning supplies. Also, I’m not looking for someone that’s planning some sort of world domination. Let’s keep this between us.

130827-arch-ad2. You adhere to a standard of cleanliness. This is a big one for me. "Neat Freak" is NOT my hero name, but I am seriously a neat freak. The only time you can choose to not be neat is if it’s an initiation for battle, like you filling my room with fertilizer, in which case, get dirty. It’ll pay off.

3. You have a normal work schedule. I don’t want any freelancers or work-from-homers. I’d like you to have a standard nine-to-five. When I’m at work, you’re at work. When I’m home, you’re home. Most importantly, when I’m ready for battle, so are you.

4. You don’t bring the party home. The only time "bringing the party home" is appropriate is if it’s a party with a staged hostage situation. I will try to free the hostage; You will try to stop me. Alternatively, you could just throw a really good party and not invite me.

5. You put your arch-nemesis weaponry away when it’s not in use. This is a SMALL apartment with even smaller rooms and even smaller closets. Any weapons, tools, and/or metal suits should be kept to a minimum, and at the very least, should fit comfortably under your bed.

130827-arch-venn36. Your powers must match or exceed mine. My "powers" are never forgetting to set my alarm clock, playing a few chords on the guitar, and making a decent omelet. In addition to being able to kick my ass, you should be able to sneak into my room to turn off my alarm clock, play the major and minor guitar chords, and make eggs in other variations besides the omelet.

7. You are truly my arch-nemesis. You HAVE to be my arch-nemesis and not just a "villain." There’s a big difference. My arch-nemesis is the Darth Vader to my Luke Skywalker, the salt to my slug, the orange juice to my toothpaste. We are the same person, but at the very same time, we’re complete opposites.
8. You pay rent on time. Speaks for itself!

DISCRIMINATION WARNING: I’m NOT looking for anyone that actually thinks they are superhuman. If you think you can fly, or are just good at climbing buildings, then good for you. If you can’t do these things, you should still feel free to apply. Also, I’m totally okay with a female arch-nemesis. I’m not one of those guys who thinks females weren’t "built" to be arch-nemeses. That’s silly.

130827-arch-tshirtIf you think you are truly my arch-nemesis and meet the roommate requirements outlined above, drop me a line and I’ll tell you more about the apartment. Or, maybe I won’t and that’s where things will truly begin.

  • Location: Williamsburg
  • it’s NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

Posting ID: 4029623636
Posted: 2013-08-27, 4:14PM EDT
email to a friend

NYC is one of our many arch-nemesis metros (because Silicon Valley is so awesome we have to have several), so we need some better ads than this to defeat them. Please share if you can find any, and if you can’t, then write something better for a rented closet in a Campbell Crapbox.

Update: Heard back from NYC Exile, who says this ad was written by comedian Alex J. Mann.  (We’ll have you know we found the matching pictures ourselves.) That’s kind of a shame that this is professional work product. Could you imagine the roommate wars from a software engineer who needs an arch nemesis just to chill out?

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:09 am

December 9, 2012

10 Least Affordable Metros: We Are Number 2. You Are Number 6.

CNN/Money has another one of their Most/Least/Best/Worst/Good/Evil slideshows that could have been presented as a table, but then they'd get ten fewer click-throughs. This time it's one of our favorite regional competitions, for 10 Least Affordable Cities for buying. Actually it's Least Affordable Metros, but it sounds better if they call them cities, even if a couple of them are known locales for multiple Portals to Hell and very few yachts or polo ponies.

10 least affordable cities to buy a home


Looking to buy a home? You may want to skip these places. Prices are either so high or incomes so low that many families can't afford to buy homes here, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index.

Anyway, we lost to New York City again, which is just so unfair. This isn't even an SF to Manhattan comparison, so we should have kicked serious butt here. However, California totally owns the Least Coast as far as leaderboard spots, and Washington DC didn't even qualify. We present the results in one easy list, so you don't have to click through their annoying one-city-at-a-time-gee-who-could-be-next-and-if-this-was-so-exciting-why-didn't-they-put-it-in-reverse-order-Top-Ten-List-style?

  1. New York, where 28.5% of homes are affordible. They seemed impressed by $1100 a square foot, too. But they didn't define the boundaries of any of these metro areas, so of course we can (and will) complain we were cheated on geographical grounds. We doubt this was an apples-to-Big-Apples comparison.
  2. San Francisco, 31.4%. The piece laments it's unaffordable all over, because nearby communities are also expensive. Nearby high-priced places such as Sausalito, Berkeley, and… wait for it… Daly City. We swear we are not making this up.
  3. Santa Ana, 43.5%. I kid you not. Perhaps the nearby beach towns are pulling up its results. And Disneyland. Because Santa Ana is not what comes to mind when we think “delightful but so unaffordable California real estate.”
  4. Los Angeles, 44.1%. Because “bunus” hydrocarbons and ozone raise home prices. Seriously, when did LA rediscover the bubbly?
  5. Bridgeport, Connecticut, 44.2%. Look, if you have to tell us what state the metro is in, maybe it isn't really worth mentioning. Just sayin'.
  6. San Jose, 46.2%. Above is the lovely photo they used to feature the Capital of Silicon Valley, probably because the Quetzlcoatl statue made the photog drop a perfectly good camera. Not one other metro had a freeway interchange featured. Not even Los Angeles, which loves its freeways so much they get definite articles. We suspect they're also putting their thumb on the scale by adding in San Benito County.
  7. Honolulu, 48.8%. Houses cost more because of good weather, expensive shipping, and hotel jobs pay squat. But they get a photo with palm trees.
  8. San Diego, 54.6%. Here the filler text spends more time lamenting the glory days of 6% affordability during the last bubble. Well screw you, because we're already on our next one.
  9. Newark, 55.3%. No, not that one, in New Jersey. Although Newark itself is cheap. It's la-di-da luxury locales like Hoboken and Jersey City that cost the big bucks. We're sure it's a complete coincidence that NJ made the list even though the feature author's surname is Christie.
  10. El Paso, 61.7%.This is an honest case of low overall incomes ($41.7K) as opposed to expensive housing ($141K).

Let us know if you find any of these results surprising, or what you plan to do to ensure we never lose to New York or LA or The OC ever again.. Or mention anything you want, because this is Your Weekend Open Thread.


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

October 21, 2012

We’re Number… Three?

We lost out to both New York City and Washington DC, this time in the contest for the town with the highest earnings.  Here are the Top Ten, courtesy of CNN/Money, of the places with the highest median family incomes.

1 Bethesda, MD $184,606
2 Greenwich, CT $167,502
3 Palo Alto, CA $163,661
4 Newport Beach, CA $156,928
5 Lower Merion, PA $153,309
6 Ashburn, VA $146,093
7 Newton, MA $145,639
8 Hoboken, NJ $140,780
9 Brookline, MA $139,756
10 Fairfield, CT $136,808

People, this is not good. Not only did High Tech lose out to High Finance and High Crimes and Misdemeanors, but there’s Highly-wood right behind us. Also this list is disturbingly full of Least Coasters.

Here’s what they thought of The Specialest Place of Them All (Not Including Mountain View, because for Pete’s Sake, Palo Alto may be Special but it does Not Have Google Anymore).

3. Palo Alto, CA          3 of 25

121020-highincome-paPopulation: 65,260
Median family income: $163,661
Median home price: $1,225,000

Nestled in California’s Silicon Valley, Palo Alto has attracted a pile of tech companies — and their CEOs. Not only does tech granddaddy HP have its headquarters here, but so do newbies like Pinterest and Ning. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has a house in Palo Alto, as did Steve Jobs. Stanford University, which falls within its boundaries, adds to the city’s prestige.

Palo Alto nurtures startups and the money that results from their successes. Its residents reap the rewards. Area schools are exceptional, while the city has 35 parks and a Mediterranean climate that varies by only 20 degrees year-round.

See complete data and interactive map for Palo Alto

Did you know that Palo Alto’s climate was More Special than that of any of the surrounding Not As Special cities?  Perhaps Redwood City (Motto: Climate Best by Government Test) is going to have to come over and punch them out for getting airs.

Oh yeah, and Mark Zuckerberg is mostly hanging out in San Francisco these days.  Could he have picked up this little pied-a-terre?  Just kidding, that place was sold to a school, which is now awash in neighborhood NIMBY lawsuits.  But have a look at this SocketSite discussion and see if you can figure out where Mark bought.  Two possibilities: 366 Liberty or 376 Hill.


Comments (19) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:11 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

January 19, 2011

Affordable house with great schools–just $284 per square foot!

So on Monday we looked at an affordable house with easy commutes in the Bay Area – just $288 per square foot in East Palo Alto.

Today, let’s look a house in the same category in the suburbs of our mortal enemy: New York

Beds: 3
Baths: 1.5
Sq. Ft.: 1,300
$/Sq. Ft.: $284
Lot Size: 8,084 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Residential, Detached
Style: Colonial
Year Built: 1924
Community: Westbury
County: Nassau
MLS#: 2306655
Source: MLSLI
Status: New
On Redfin: 191 days
Charming Colonial Has Been Updated With New Kitchen, Ss Appliances, Granite Countertops. Hardwood Floors On Main And Top Floors, Fabulous Sunlit Home, Sliders To Deck In Rear Yard, Beautiful Landscaping, Separate Shed On Property. Must See! Fabulous Yard
Hah. And people say New York is expensive. Look at this! Just $284 per square foot, with some of the nation’s best schools.
And, let me tell you one thing I know for sure: It’s a long drive from New York to Facebook – so you’re looking at a crazy commute. And they only have cannoli there, no sushi. Are there even smart people there?
Sorry NY suburbs – you have nothing on Bay Area suburbs.
Let’s all give a round of applause to East Palo Alto for helping us stand out!
Comments (41) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:33 am

October 30, 2010

Google Bidding Around $2B For Infested NYC Office Building

Now we know how Google feels about rent versus buy!

Google Among Bidders for $2 Billion Building


Google Inc. is a front runner to buy the massive building it occupies as its New York City headquarters in a deal that could be worth nearly $2 billion, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Other buyers from around the world are also chasing the block-long, 2.9-million-square-foot building in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood, the person said. If the deal is done near $2 billion, the building’s sale would make it one of the largest acquisitions of a single property in New York.

Google, if it completes the deal, would be jumping into a real-estate market in which sales of well-located office buildings occupied by financially strong tenants—like Google—have been sparking bidding wars. Most recently, Boston’s tallest skyscraper, the John Hancock Tower, drew a flood of bids and a $930 million sale price.

image The building, known as both 111 Eighth Avenue and 76 Ninth Avenue, was a Port Authority of NY and NJ property, and is filled with backup generators, huge electrical power capacity, fiber optic cabling, and internet-ready offices.  Google is leasing half a million square feet of office space, including inside the building they hope to purchase.

At a $2 billion selling price, the deal works out to $690 a square foot for the 2.9 million sf, 18-story building in the fashionable Chelsea district.  The market for New York City office space has been selling for $400-500/sf, but $1500/sf was not uncommon during the bubble in 2007.

I hope Google is really determined to stay there, because, like several Manhattan office buildings, bedbugs have been discovered at Google-NYC.

“Like several other businesses in New York City, we’ve discovered bedbugs in a small area of our office,” the spokeswoman said. “We have notified employees and are taking steps to treat the affected area.”

I think they should get a vermin discount.  What do you think is fair?

No matter what anyone says about buying in the Real Bay Area, at least Mountain View office buildings are bedbug-free.  Are you listening, Google?

Comments (3) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:09 am

October 2, 2010

We’re #1! San Jose beats New York! MOST EXPENSIVE!

NY-area rents are not as high as one might think

Grumble, if you will, about high rents and warren-like apartments. Just be glad you don’t live in San Jose.

It may be little comfort, but the New York metropolitan area is not home—as a renter might think—to the highest rents in the country. That distinction goes to the San Jose metro area in northern California, where gross median rents cost $1,414, making it the most expensive in the country. San Francisco came in second, followed by the Washington, D.C., area, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2009 American Community Survey released Tuesday.
The New York metro area, which includes northern New Jersey and Long Island, was sixth. Median gross rent was $1,125 a month. The median rent in the city alone was $1,086.
Congratulations San Jose and San Francisco!!!
Woohoo! I’m so proud! I knew we could beat New York!
Take that Wall St! We’ve got Sand Hill! Take that Fifth Avenue! We’ve got Stevens Creek Blvd!
Next stop: Most Expensive Region in the WORLD!!!
Comments (11) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:28 am

May 2, 2010

New York versus California – Safe States

America’s 15 Safest States

15. New York

Assault: 25
Burglary: 47
Murder: 26
Motor Vehicle Theft: 45
Rape: 49
Robbery: 9

Ha ha! Look at that! New York is all the way at the bottom of the list of America’s 15 Safest States!

Let’s see where California ranks!

15 Most Dangerous U.S. States

#15: California

Assault: 18
Burglary: 25
Murder: 16
Motor Vehicle Theft: 3
Rape: 41
Robbery: 5

Booyah baby! #15 on the list of Most Dangerous States!

Further proof that if you can make it here in California, you can make it anywhere!

And while we’re at it….

25 Craziest Cities in America

2. San Francisco

Psychiatrists per capita: 1
Stress: 57
Eccentricity: 2
Drinking: 11 (tie)
Local Character: Samir “Sammy” Keishk spent 18 months and $12,000 working on a 2,260-pound rubber-band ball in a quest to set a Guinness world record.


7. New York City

Psychiatrists per capita: 4
Stress: 19
Eccentricity: 4
Drinking: 49 (tie)
Colorful Character: Robert John Burck, better known as the Naked Cowboy to anyone who’s ever walked through (or heard of) Times Square, stuns and entertains passersby with his outfit: cowboy boots, a hat, and briefs that he hides with a guitar. (AP Photo/Tina Fineberg)

Take that again New York!

Man… we are just rockin’ it out!

Comments (11) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:30 am

April 24, 2010

Top 29 Cities to live in for men – San Francisco beats New York in cost of living!

Top 29 Cities to live in

1: New York City



10: San Francisco



I think this is a case of good news/bad news. The good news is that San Francisco scored 9.2/10 for cost of living, while our mortal enemy New York scored a mere 8.9/10. WOOHOO!

That said, it’s clear the methodology of this report was wrong. They should’ve been comparing Silicon Valley!

Comments (76) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:57 am