March 23, 2013

Flash sales: DOM <= 1

Want to look at Open Houses but inventory is too low? Here’s yet another reason why Bay Area Bubble 4.0 is in full swing for Spring: Flash sales. Redfin coined this term for a house that’s in contract within 24 hours of being listed.

They also made a list of how many flash sales there have been in the last five months in each of the markets they cover, and San Jose came in 15th out of 15 with 74 quickies. San Francisco didn’t even make the cut at all!  All-time flash sales champion? Phoenix, with 540.

130322-skyline-redfin8271 SKYLINE Cir
Oakland, CA 94605
Sold for $650,000

3 Beds
2.5 Baths
2,090 Sq. Ft.
$311 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1998
Lot Size: 10,119 Sq. Ft.
Sold On: Dec 26, 2012
HOA Dues: $140/month
Style: Traditional
View: Bay, Greenbelt, Water
County: Alameda
Type: Detached
Stories: Split Level
Community: Skyline/Oakknoll
MLS#: 40598366

Amazing Oakland hills. 3/2.5 w/ extra office space. Incredible living space with 10ft ceilings, beautifully appointed thru/out. Chef’s kitchen with custom island, grnite, countertops, s. s. appliances. Electronic window coverings, deck with bridge views, gorgeous pergola/ backs to open space. Perfect!

This Skyline Circle home in Oakland was a Flash Sale and is featured on the Redfin Blog. It sold quick, and for list price. This is how we know Oakland, even in the hills, is not the Real Bay Area. Everyone knows Real Bay Area homes sell way over asking.  Also RBA homes don’t fester on the market for a year and a half until the Bubble finally blows up again.  The HOA dues are just the sickly sweet icing on the Not RBA cake.

130322-skyline-viewLocation: Oakland, CA
Listed By: Lynda Divito, Redfin
Listed: December 14, 2012
Pending: December 14, 2012
Closed: December 24, 2012
List Price: $650,000
Final Sale Price: $650,000

“This house never even hit the market! We had a brokers’ tour in the afternoon on the very same day the house was to hit the market. A broker came in with his buyers who offered all-cash at full list price and with the quick closing we had requested, making it an easy choice for my clients to accept their offer that same day.” - Lynda DiVito, San Francisco Bay Area Redfin Agent

Planning on visiting any Open Houses today? Let us know of any suitcases full of cash changing hands you see. This is also your Weekend Open Thread, so sky’s the limit!

Comments (3) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:06 am






March 16, 2013

The Hipster in Suburbia: Do I Dare Hipsturb the Real Bay Area?

San Francisco’s Mission District is Hipster Central for the Bay Area.  (Also mentioned: The Uptown, Oakland.  But that’s in the East Bay, so fuhgeddabowdit.) A recent New York Times column (motto: We Still Think New York Is Important!) notes that not all the East Coast Hipsters are found in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg district, either.

Creating Hipsturbia

130315-hipsturbia-illo

By ALEX WILLIAMS, The New York Times
Published: February 15, 2013

Illustration: Ryan Inzana

A yoga studio opened on Main Street that offers lunch-hour vinyasa classes. Nearby is a bicycle store that sells Dutch-style bikes, and a farm-to-table restaurant that sources its edible nasturtiums from its backyard garden.

Across the street is the home-décor shop that purveys monofloral honey produced by nomadic beekeepers in Sicily. And down the street is a retro-chic bakery, where the red-velvet cupcakes are gluten-free and the windows are decorated with bird silhouettes — the universal symbol for “hipsters welcome.”

You no longer have to take the L train to experience this slice of cosmopolitan bohemia. Instead, you’ll find it along the Metro-North Railroad, roughly 25 miles north of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, in the suburb of Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y.

130315-hipsturbia-decadeSo, barring any proper large city, where would hipsturbia be in the Bay Area?  Is Palo Alto too expensive to qualify?  Is Larkspar too tilted to aging hippies?  Could Hayward, City of Diversity, take the title of the “twee lifestyle”?  How can people who don’t want to be like everyone else find meaning in a subdivision full of identical tract housing?

Well, they can’t, that’s the point.  The challenge is to find low-density but non-conformist older single-family housing.  Or at least older and idiosyncratic housing amid primary low-density population centers and front yards.  We’d say look for neighborhoods near funky downtowns, with low Walk Scores or lots of bicyclists.

130315-hipsturbia-vansWe bet you could find something appropriate near the downtowns of Mountain View, San Carlos, or Willow Glen.  Where would you suggest?

Meanwhile, this is also your weekend Open Thread, to discuss any hipster sightings in the Open Houses you’re reporting on.

Comments (21) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:09 am

March 10, 2013

Time for a Bay Area Bubble 4.0 Open Thread

How crowded are the Open Houses you're looking at today? The one we visited was not very busy and the Realtard didn't understand the difference between a Census tract, a tract house, and a County parcel.

We wish we were making this up. Meanwhile, make up whatever you wish, because this is an Open Thread.

 

Comments (17) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 4:04 am

March 3, 2013

How do you REALLY feel about Real Estate Professionals?

It’s been a while since we had a realtards thread.  But today’s Not So Professional Agent isn’t being given the Burbed Loving Hug of Attention for his brilliant listing copy.  Thanks very much to Burbed reader J from Alameda for alerting us to this story.

130302-hitnrun-sceneSonoma Co. real estate agent held in fatal hit-run

Henry K. Lee, San Francisco Chronicle | Updated 7:52 am, Saturday, March 2, 2013

Photo from KTVU, no credit specified

(03-02) 07:49 PST SANTA ROSA — A Santa Rosa man turned himself in Friday in connection with a fatal hit-and-run crash that killed a pedestrian, police said.

Steven Harry Heath, 60, was arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and felony hit-and-run in the crash Wednesday that killed 64-year-old George Michael Black of Pacifica, Santa Rosa police said.

Black was walking on the 4600 block of Montgomery Drive shortly after 1 p.m. Wednesday when he was hit by a car that fled the scene, police said. Black died at the scene.

On Friday, a Santa Rosa law firm contacted police on behalf of Heath, who works as a real estate agent. Heath’s attorney told officers that the vehicle from the crash would be found at Heath’s home, authorities said.

130302-hitnrun-heathLet’s review.  Real estate “professional” in a Mercedes S550 hits a pedestrian in broad daylight, and flees the scene. Unlucky stroller who had traveled to Santa Rosa to attend a healing program is pronounced dead seven minutes later#1 Agent in Sonoma the last 3 years running then requests his lawyer contact police two entire days later to say they’ll find what they’re looking for at the hit-and-run driver’s house. Why two whole days? We’re going to make an educated guess that it was long enough for all possible alcohol in someone’s bloodstream to dissipate.

130302-hitnrun-pepperwoodPerhaps you think we’re being cynical.  Well, the readership of sfgate.com is far more so, as several commenters hypothesized that Heath had his attorney transfer his assets to the law firm. We think that’s nonsensical speculation, and that he asked the law firm to transfer his wealth to some deserving relative outside the United States.  Heath, we note, is British and probably has relatives in non-US locales.

Here is just one of those assets: his house on 5562 Pepperwood Road. None of the real estate portals have any specific information on the house other than the lot size (11,246 sf) because they aren’t in the public recorder’s office search results either (yes, we checked).

We are now opening the floor to discuss whatever you’d like about those wonderful real estate professionals in your life, or about anyone who would leave the scene and lawyer up when the right thing to do was fucking call 911 because you just ran your fucking 6,000 pound vehicle into some innocent party’s 175 pound body.  We usually don’t pick on realtards by name, but we’re going to make a giant-ass exception in this case because.

Oh yeah, and this is an Open Thread. It’s March! Time for some Spring Bounce! Let us know how many Mercedes S-class vehicles you see parked at Open Houses!

Comments (12) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:14 am

February 23, 2013

Who Wants Another $100 Million Property?

More importantly, who wants another $100M property enough to put up with a sales condition like this?  Thanks very much to Burbed reader nomadic for alerting us to yet another nine-digit property.

130222-deguigne-front

Estate and Lands of De Guigne
Undisclosed Address in Hillsborough, CA
$100,000,000

130222-deguigne-umTo the south of the Golden Gate Bridge, large parcels of land are rare. Located half-way between San Francisco and the Silicon Valley in the bucolic Town of Hillsborough, an approximately 16,000 sqft. Mediterranean-styled, Bliss and Faville mansion is positioned on approximately 47-acres which have been owned for 150 years by one family. Decorated by celebrated interior designer Anthony Hail, the mansion interiors encompass elegant and ornate public rooms, which evoke the sophistication and grandeur of a bygone era. Grand-scale Ballroom, Living Room, Library and Pavilion are aligned to open to a Pool Courtyard, revealing sweeping views of San Francisco and the East Bay. Formal gardens and park-like grounds adjoin dozens of undeveloped acres surrounding the mansion, providing ultimate privacy and security. Timeless, sophisticated and elegant, the deGuigné Estate represents a rare opportunity to own one of California’s few remaining mansions surrounded by substantial acreage near an urban center.

Yadda yadda big yadda yadda acreage yadda yadda old yadda yadda history yadda yadda expensive.

130222-deguigne-entranceOh, and Mr. De Guigne isn’t leaving this house alive. Literally.  You buy this house, and you have to wait for him to croak before you can move in.

This, by the way, seems to be Plan B.  Plan A was when he tried subdividing the heck out of the place in 2009, which did not endear him to his neighbors. And he did that because he had an expensive divorce to finance.  Also the house cost much more to run than he got living off his investments, the poor dear.

Also, we likely found an actual address, because this sure looks like the entrance: 60 Glenbrook Drive.  Note the road going from Glenbrook to the Big House.  While the property records indicate a smaller home, the lot is 10,000,000 square feet on Zillow, or 227 acres.  The listed house is probably a gatehouse/caretaker’s cottage.

130222-deguigne-satellite

This is also your Open Thread. Going to look an any Open Houses as spacious as this?

Comments (11) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:13 am

February 16, 2013

It’s Search Engine Saturday!

And we haven’t had a Search Engine Saturday for many, many Saturdays!

Recently someone used a Search Engine and found his or her way over to Burbed by entering the following search:

what kind of toxic dump is whisman station on

What kind indeed?  The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) can certainly tell you all about it. But who wants to read a bunch of boring government reports?  That’s why there’s Burbed!  We’re happy to pass along any news about what kind of toxic dump your neighborhood is sitting on as well.  (Pro tip: Most Bay Area neighborhoods are infested with Bubbling Exuberance.)

Here’s our article that answers the above question, and the kind of toxic dump Whisman Station sits on is very nasty indeed.  Specifically, it’s a Tricoroethylene (TCE) plume.

Moreover, according to this article shared by Burbed reader Real Estater, this delightful area of opportunity is expanding into new territory!  Now who says they aren’t making any more land?

This is also your Three Day Weekend Open Thread!  W00t!

Comments (15) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:09 am

February 2, 2013

The Dignity Mortgage: Subprime with Training Wheels

Here’s a look at some new mortgage meshuggeneh from Burbed reader nomadic.

Housing advocates push for new type of subprime loan

The Dignity Mortgage would have a higher rate for higher-risk borrowers but include rate cuts after five years of on-time payments.

130201-latimes-dignityBy E. Scott Reckard, Los Angeles Times; January 28, 2013, 5:53 p.m.

PHOTO: Pattie and Ollie Sibug would like to buy their San Diego town house, which they are renting for $1,750 a month. They are among those who may benefit from a proposed subprime mortgage program. (Allen J. Schaben, Los Angeles Times / January 29, 2013)

With home prices rising, interest rates falling and builders building, some prominent housing advocates are calling for a new kind of loan for buyers with lower incomes or bad credit.

They’d like to call it the Dignity Mortgage, but it has another name — one that’s become more of an epithet since the housing crash: subprime.

Applicants might include people caught in the early stages of the mortgage meltdown who have since rebuilt their finances, said Faith Bautista, who heads the National Asian American Coalition.

"They lost their work, their homes and their credit scores four or five years ago," Bautista said.

And let’s see what nomadic has to say about this idea.

These people are pushing for a mortgage that not only gives them better terms after five years of timely payments (which seems reasonable) but they want the extra interest paid during the "trial" period REFUNDED to them after those five years. In other words, the banks take more risk but don’t actually get paid for it in the end. Not to mention all of the other extra costs of the program (e.g., "extensive" financial counseling). WTF? Also thought it ridiculous that the rate goes down to what people with "sterling credit" and 20% down are paying. I haven’t done the math, but I suspect people aren’t necessarily paying off 10% of the purchase price in the first five years of their loan.

Think this is a better way to treat the poor people who shouldn’t have been buying houses at all but want another swing at the property piñata?  Or was it all the banks’ fault from start to finish? Aaaaaaaaaand, this is an Open Thread.

Comments (15) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:16 am

January 26, 2013

Yet Another Map of California

Submitted for your edification.  At least this time we have a link, but it’s to a site that doesn’t know where it came from either.

130125-CA4beginners

This is, of course, your Weekend Open Thread as well.  Tell us what you love about California.  If you hate something about California, it’s because you don’t live in the Real Bay Area.

Comments (4) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:01 am

January 20, 2013

More Bubbly Brewing: Line-ups & Lotteries

New houses selling like they’re going out of style. In San Ramon, where they actually are making more land.

Hundreds of hopeful San Ramon buyers line up for new construction lotto

Posted By: Jenny Pisillo | San Francisco Chronicle | January 18 at 4:00 am

Back in August, local East Bay Redfin real estate agents forwarded us a picture of hopeful homebuyers camping out – yes, spending the night (some up to 1 month) – to be one of the first to have the opportunity to buy a new construction home in the Shapell Homes Solaire development of San Ramon’s Gale Ranch community.

Fast forward to January – only the 4 model homes are left. Knowing that there would be high demand and wanting to avoid the cluttered look of tents, Shapell decided to have a lottery system to release the homes. Tickets were given out last Saturday morning at 10, and the lucky drawing was an hour later at 11am.

These people in the photo aren’t lining up for a chance to buy a new release of homes. They’re in line to get one of four tickets in a lottery to buy the four remaining model homes. And they will cost $50-90,000 more than they did just five months ago. As is. Penalty if not purchased by 2/28.

Which leads to this weekend Open Thread. How long are lines at the open houses? Are they having lotteries for who gets the glossy fliers?

 

Comments (29) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:01 am

January 12, 2013

How to get customers excited when you’re selling a house

130111-queen-bikini

130111-queen-houseGot your attention already, haven’t we?  And if you like the little taste of hot bikini bondage babe above, just wait until you see the bodacious blonde on blonde action (which we swear we are not making up).

For this and more blatant uses of barely-clothed women to sell real estate, have a look at this video.  Then check out the page for the house.

It’s already been sold at auction, but it’s a mighty long commute to Google (even more removed than last weekend’s house).  According to Google Maps, it’s 480 hours away, but that’s because they wanted a stop in Japan first.

Enjoy the video.  And enjoy today’s weekend open thread!

Comments (8) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:04 am