September 14, 2013

Smug techies commission uber-pimped pads

Want to read another self-congratulatory article about how much money everyone is spending in Silicon Valley? You didn’t? See you tomorrow, then!  Thanks very much to Burbed reader PK for alerting us to this important development that nobody at all saw coming.

Silicon Valley techies spur home building and remodeling boom

130913-svbuilding-lahBy Pete Carey, San Jose Mercury News
POSTED:   09/10/2013 07:04:31 PM PDT | UPDATED:   3 DAYS AGO

Taking advantage of Silicon Valley’s robust economy, affluent techies are building or remodeling homes, transforming parts of the area’s older housing stock and fueling a boom for Bay Area architects and interior designers.

"The problem is finding time to sleep," said architect Roger Kohler, of Palo Alto, whose firm has more than 20 projects in construction or just completed in Los Altos, Palo Alto, Menlo Park and Atherton.

The tech workers range from midlevel engineers at startups or at tech giants like Apple (AAPL),Facebook and Google (GOOG) to older CEOs or founders selling their companies. Some are doing relatively straightforward, if pricey, remodels, while others are leveling old homes and building new ones with basement game rooms, large garages and the latest in high-tech features.

Catherine Jhung, a vice president at Cleantech.com, and her husband, Brian Buchholz, who works at Google, are including "a lot of the new technologies for green building" in the San Carlos Craftsman-style home they will soon break ground on. The existing home — which they bought seven years ago — was torn down. Construction bids are coming in at $270 to $285 a square foot, or about $900,000.

130913-svbuilding-steampunkThere really isn’t much to say about the article itself, although do check out the photo in the extended gallery of the steampunk bathroom pipes. No, once more the fun is in the comments.  Here are some we really enjoyed.

Oops here comes the haters. Techies forget they live in the bubble. Outside of the bubble, is the long lines of haters.

Wait, we live in a bubble?

This is the kind of Silicon Valley self-congratulatory stuff that is typical of the Mercury News. I can hardly believe that anybody smart enough to make that much money would be dumb and vulgar enough to flaunt it in print like this.

Yeah! Go hide your money in a Swiss Bank Account like we do!

Steampunk? 20 years ago we called it postmodernism. Don’t see any compelling reason to invent a new term when a perfectly good one exists.

You, my friend, do not get steampunk.  Then again, not sure the architect did either.  There’s a distinct lack of gears, valves, and, well, steam.  This looks more like the Rube Goldberg ball machine at the Tech Museum.

The final comment is our personal favorite, in reply to this section of the story:

130913-svbulding-exterior-lahTim Williams and his wife, Renee, both work in biotech and were "half looking around" when they found a lot in Los Altos Hills for sale on Craigslist. "We’re not in the 1 percent," said Tim Williams, "so it was a bit of a stretch for us."

CONTEMPORARY DESIGN

The couple lived in an old cottage on the property during construction of the 3,100-square-foot, contemporary home, designed by Bahi Oreizy and Mariela Pfennig-Mahmud of 360 Design in Los Altos. The new home is stucco, metal and wood on the exterior and has tile floors, under-floor heating and lots of south-facing windows to help sunshine warm the home in winter.

not 1% ??? bought a lot in Los Altos and put up 3100 sq ft home with heated floors? I got news for you, YOU ARE in the 1%. and your just too stupid to realize it.

I got news for you, when you call someone stupid, you’d better not confuse the difference between your and you’re.  Not that we don’t 100% agree with this, as we did stick the home photo in next to the text for some serious cognitive dissonance.

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






August 11, 2013

Harvey “Two Sheds” Blight on the Neighborhood

Let’s have a look at the joys of living in suburbia, courtesy of Burbed reader PK. Thanks very much for the reminder why we should buy in the Real Bay Area, and only in the Real Bay Area.

San Mateo County orders property owner to remove two big sheds in his front yard

By Bonnie Eslinger, Daily News Staff Writer
POSTED:   08/07/2013 06:32:45 PM PDT | UPDATED:   A DAY AGO

The clock is ticking for Harvey Blight to remove two large sheds in front of his home near Menlo Park that officials say give the property a blighted look.

San Mateo County Deputy County Counsel Eugene Whitlock filed an abatement warrant Friday ordering Blight to get rid of the sheds he never received permission to build, in 30 days.

If he doesn’t, the county would find someone to do the work and charge Blight for it, Whitlock said Monday, estimating that the cost could run up to $10,000.

Blight couldn’t be reached for comment, but he left a voicemail message Tuesday night calling the county’s move a "misuse of judicial power."

imageOooh, this is gonna be good. But you know what would have been really good? A photo of the problematic portable storage. Fortunately, we have teh Google!

Um. Yeah.

Not sure that the two sheds (that would cost up to $10,000 to get rid of) were exactly worse than what was there before.

Unless the sheds were made out of the vehicles in this photo.

Let’s check out the satellite photo and see if that’s any better. And while we’re at it, who wants to see the house?

130809-blight-aerial615 11th Ave
Menlo Park, CA 94025
(Fair Oaks)
$674,000 Trulia Estimate

2 bed
1 bath
760 sqft
Single-Family Home
Stories: 2 story
Parking: Detached Garage
Subdivision: NORTH FAIR OAKS NO 3
2 Bedrooms
Lot Size: 5,227 sqft
A/C: Central
Parking Spaces: 1
County: San Mateo
1 Bathroom
Built In 1940
Heating: Central
5 Rooms
Tax Rate Code Area: 73-023

615 11th Ave This Single-Family Home located at 615 11th Avenue, Menlo Park CA. 615 11th Ave has 2 beds, 1 bath, and approximately 760 square feet. The property has a lot size of 5,227 sqft and was built in 1940. The average listing price for similar homes for sale is $3,337,532 and the average sales price for similar recently sold homes is $687,817. 615 11th Ave is in the Fair Oaks neighborhood in Menlo Park, CA.

That’s more like it. No permits, no picket fence, and plenty of pointing and yelling. Be sure to read the article for the Nazi Germany simile. Not too often that a news story gets Godwinned covering a permit issue.

Also the place is assessed for a whopping $44 grand, assuring the neighborhood that Harvey “Two Sheds” Blight isn’t going anywhere.

Comments (1) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:09 am

August 4, 2013

Another Bay Area Bubble Call!

We’ve been boosting the Bay Area Bubble 4.0 news all year. Now, another voice joins in the chorus we started months ago. And this is a one of our long-time fans, PK from DQYDJ! That stands for Don’t Quit Your Day Job.  Recently PK revisited the post that introduced the Bay Area Income and Home calculator, so this is definitely worth your while!

Bay Area Housing Prices: Beware the Inflating Bubble

130803-dqydj-graphPosted By PK    Last updated July 14th, 2013

Two years ago (well, September 28, 2011 anyway), we regaled you on this site with tales about how the Bay Area’s home prices – while admittedly quite high – were complete justifiable.  If you don’t have time to read those prescient words, I can summarize: home prices may have been high in 2011, but Bay Area households pulled in a ton of income (second only to the Government driven economies around Washington, D.C.), making houses somewhat affordable to many households in the area.

Am I proud of that call now that we’ve seen 20% year over year price returns in many areas, and 52% absolute returns on the house I purchased in July 2011?  Well, yeah, of course I am.  However, the mark of a truthful person is to change your opinion when presented with new data.  Here’s to being honest: the Bay Area is getting pretty frothy.

Told ya.

While we do want you to head over to PK’s site and read it, we’ve got the new calculators for you to play around with right here for afters.  First, here’s where you can see how well your income stacks up against the competition. Zuckerberg, you’re not, but go ahead and type in your income and see where you are compared to everyone else.

Remember, Inner Bay Area isn’t quite the same thing as Real Bay Area, because the former is by county. Everyone in San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara is included. Unfortunately they also invited Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, and by adding those East Bay locales the numbers already skew down.  Leaving out Marin County made prices even lower! Wanted: data so we can unskew these calculators by zip code!

Next, here’s the home edition, whoops, the home value edition.  Are you building a Larry Page-type compound in the most prestigious part of Palo Alto? Didn’t think so. But you can find out how affordable your home is, or the home you’re thinking of buying, or the home Larry Page is going to buy.

Let us know what you think of PK’s calculators, or anything else you’d like to talk about.  Yes, it’s Weekend Open Thread time!  How affordable were the Open Houses you saw this weekend?

Comments (4) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:02 am

May 19, 2013

Real American Area: No Bubble. Real Bay Area? Otherwise.

Here’s part 1643 of Proof there is indeed a Bay Area Bubble 4.0.

Housing Bubble Unlikely, Home Price Appreciation Should Slow – CoreLogic

BY JANN SWANSON, Mortgage News Daily
May 16 2013, 11:10AM

CoreLogic said today that home prices are projected to increase 3.9 percent on an annualized basis between the fourth quarter of 2012 and the same quarter in 2017.  However, a new housing bubble is not likely as market dynamics shift for both supply and demand.  Prices rose 7.3 percent in 2012.

The CoreLogic Case-Shiller Index report notes that the increase in 2012 was the strongest rate of appreciation in nearly seven years and projected that prices will continue to improve in 2013 and beyond in the more than 380 U.S. markets it tracks.  The company’s current analysis says that, "Cities at epicenter of housing bubble/crash are clocking highest rate of appreciation, largely driven by investor demand."

130518-homeprices-map

This map comes to us thanks to Burbed reader PKamp3 over at DQYDJ.net, who linked us to the story in Business Insider. However they got the story from Jim the Realtor’s BubbleInfo blog, who in turn got it from Mortgage News Daily.  And it’s a good thing we traced the map (and story) all the way back to the original article, because it has some seriously amusing conclusions to anyone who lives Where It’s Special.  And that’s without making fun of the name of the Chief Economist for CoreLogic/Case-Shiller.  Nah, we’ll just make fun of his opinions of whether there’s a housing bubble:

Dr. Stiff tamped down concerns of another housing bubble. "Even if double-digit price appreciation were to continue in the former bubble metro areas, there is no reason to believe that new home price bubbles are forming. That’s because single-family homes in these markets are still very affordable, even after last year’s large price gains. Consider Phoenix, where home prices rose 27 percent since the market hit bottom in 2011, making it the strongest residential real estate market in the U.S. Yet, home prices there are still 45 percent below their 2006 peak," Stiff continued.

Yes, if you would consider living in a hellhole like Phoenix with summer daytime temperatures routinely above 110 degrees Fahrenheit, of course you’d note that these markets are still very affordable. But nobody uses the words “Real Bay Area home prices” and “affordable” unless they are separated by some sort of negating construction.

Lest you think we are making this up, the San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City metro is the least affordable in the entire country, with only 28.9 percent of homes affordable by a median income household. That’s right, we’re Number One again, beating out 221 other metros for the crown!  Santa Cruz-Watsonville is #4 (37.1%), while San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara isn’t far behind at #6 (43.3%) and Salinas (44.4%) at #7.

130518-homeprices-paragonWhere’s Phoenix, the brick oven that’s still 45 percent below their 2006 peak? They’re at number 57 in unaffordability.

Let us remind everyone that San Francisco and San Mateo Counties never dropped 45 percent below peak. The reason the San Francisco Case-Shiller numbers dropped as much as they did is because they’re completely weighed down by Alameda and Contra Costa Counties.

It’s the East Bay that dropped like a rock after 2006, not the Real Bay Area.  And like a pair of cement overshoes, the East Bay took the whole SF Case-Shiller index down with it. Even the upper tier (the top third of home prices) is affected by this home distribution.

130518-homeprices-paloaltoAnd let’s check those East Bay numbers.  Oakland-Fremont-Hayward turns in a respectable #24 in the You Can’t Touch This index, showing it’s no Phoenix, either.

So we have some words for that Stiff Doctor: There is too a Bay Area Bubble 4.0. We see it every single day even outside the Real Bay Area. We see peak pricing. We see bidding wars. We hear from readers reporting lines to enter Open Houses, or appraisals coming in higher in just a few weeks, or as-is cash overbids on homes where the would-be buyers didn’t even bother going inside.

Inotherwords, Dr. Stiff, maybe you need to get over your Phoenix fixation and check out the parts of the country where the housing bubble is very much back.

Comments (4) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:04 am

July 21, 2012

Mobile Home Living in Palo Alto

Yes, another article about Palo Alto.  It seems nobody can have too much of that place.  Thanks very much to Burbed reader PKamp3 for spotting this article in the Fox News Journal.

Vehicle-Dwellers Call Palo Alto Home

By DEBORAH GAGE, The Wall Street Journal
SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA Updated July 11, 2012, 6:17 p.m. ET

120720-live-car-wsjPALO ALTO—Kurt Varner moved to Palo Alto from Los Angeles in March to start an Internet company. But instead of renting an apartment, the 25-year-old has been residing in a different kind of abode: his car.

Every 72 hours, Mr. Varner moves his car around Palo Alto to avoid violating the city’s parking rules, and he tries to be as inconspicuous as possible to local residents and other car-dwellers. Mr. Varner sometimes does some rudimentary cooking at a co-working space in Mountain View, where he codes during the day. And he showers at a local 24 Hour Fitness gym. His total cost for the gym and co-working space is $139 a month.

Living in his car is the only way he can afford to be in Silicon Valley right now, says Mr. Varner, whose wife, a teacher, lives in Los Angeles. Mr. Varner, who has been effectively homeless for the past few months, says he can’t afford to pay rent on two places but will move into an apartment in the area this month when his wife moves up.

He says he is excited about working on something he is passionate about, but being homeless is “a little scary.”

120720-live-car-wsj-vanSo it’s not enough to find out that some people love Palo Alto so much they’ll live at the office.  Every single night.  Because they don’t live anywhere else.  Now we’ve got people living in their cars because it’s completely legal to live in your car in Palo Alto.

No wonder there’s only one mobile home park in Palo Alto.  There’s too much lowball competition!  How can Buena Vista possibly compete with BMW?

This is also your Weekend Open Thread, so have at it.  Did you see anyone living in their cars when you toured Open Houses this weekend?  Where are the best places to park?

 

Comments (31) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:14 am

July 14, 2012

Call the Doctor, Call the Nurse: Assault with a Frothy Weapon on the Lady without the Alligator Purse

And OF COURSE it’s in Palo Alto!  Thanks very much to Burbed reader PKamp3 for this one!

Woman hit with milkshake loses $2,000

Purse flies into vehicle after altercation in downtown Palo Alto

by Sue Dremann, Palo Alto Weekly Staff

A woman who was struck with a milkshake and angrily threw her purse at a vehicle full of teenagers lost $2,000 after the handbag flew into the open vehicle window, Palo Alto police said Monday.

The incident started Sunday, June 24, just before midnight, Sgt. Brian Philip said. The woman was walking east on University Avenue near Rudy’s Pub when a white Range Rover full of male teenagers driving recklessly southbound on High Street approached.


View Larger Map

120711-milkshake-rangeroverCould this incident have any more “Yup, this is definitely Palo Alto” touches?  A Range Rover full of rowdy teens and an alligator purse with two thousand in cash?  Too bad it doesn’t mention whether the milkshake was garnished with Madagascar vanilla bean shavings.

This story was picked up by NBC Bay Area and even nationally, but there isn’t anything new in either of those stories.  Miss Lucy, reached on her belled steamboat enroute to Heaven, says to be sure to read the comments in the Palo Alto Online story.

Oh yeah, and this is definitely an Open Thread.

 

Comments (11) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:08 am

July 11, 2012

COMPLETELY UPDATED: $4.2 million teardown in Belvedere

Burbed has visited this high-priced peninsula before, but we’ve never reported on a teardown at Hillsborough-with-Baywater.  Thanks very much to Burbed reader Pkamp3 for the find.

A $4.2 Million Tear-Down House in Belvedere, California

By ALAN FARNHAM | ABC News – Fri, Jun 29, 2012

120710-belvedere-abcIn Marin County, California, where people tend to have money, people in Belvedere tend to have more. Even so, a recent decision by Clark and Sharon Winslow of 337 Belvedere Avenue to buy the home next to theirs for $4.2 million — and then tear it down — might seem extraordinary.

It’s not, say locals and real estate professionals.

“There are houses being torn down all the time,” says Bill Smith, realtor and ex-mayor of Belvedere. In neighboring Tiburon, he says, a buyer not long ago paid $20 million for the home of tennis star Andre Agassi and wife Steffi Graf, then announced his plan to raze it.

While the article specifically mentions the house that isn’t being torn down, we’re left to guess which property is getting the extreme makeover.  And we think it’s this one.

Update 9:30 AM: And we are completely wrong.  Burbed reader gallileo provided the evidence that it’s the house on the OTHER side.  Correct info added to end of article, because we hate to waste a good housing rant.

341 Belvedere Ave
Belvedere Tiburon, CA 94920
Sold on 01/14/2000 for $2,100,000

120710-belvedere-redfin

120710-belvedere-satelliteSource: Public Records
BEDS: 3
BATHS: 2.5
FINISHED SQFT: 2,831
UNFINISHED SQFT: –
TOTAL SQFT: 2,831
FLOORS: –
LOT SIZE: 8,400
STYLE: Single Family Residential
YEAR BUILT: 1964
YEAR RENOVATED: 1975
COUNTY: Marin County
APN: 06022128
LAST UPDATED: August 24, 2011

The interesting thing about buying and tearing down a perfectly good house isn’t that someone with way too much cash went ahead and did it.  It’s how much the house was worth in the first place.  Zillow says… ZEstimate of $1,876,100.  Which means the new “owners” spent more than twice what this house may be worth just to make more land.

Yes, the purchasers live in that 9524 square foot housing tumor on the left.  Let’s see what they got for $4.2 million!

120710-belvedere-streetview

Oh yeah.  Perhaps they’ll be tearing down this place next, since it’s blocking their Bay access.  (See #42.  Only 1017 days on Redfin!)

Update: Here is the correct house.  gallileo provides a link to SocketSite with the story, and there’s a further link to a piece in the Marin Independent Journal.  So, without further adieu, the actual house that was purchased for $4.2 million only to be torn down.  That and more, after the break.

(more…)

Comments (10) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:15 am

May 29, 2012

Wow! What a price!

Last week we looked at a series of very expensive houses.  Let’s return to our Burbed roots and examine some less stratospheric home options.  Today’s featured façade is a Milpitas mansion, thanks to Burbed reader PKamp3.

436 COELHO St
Milpitas, CA 95035
$340,800

120527-coelho-redfin

BEDS: 6
BATHS: 3
SQ. FT.: 1,962
$/SQ. FT.: $174
LOT SIZE: 7,975 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Contemporary
STORIES: 2
YEAR BUILT: 1964
COMMUNITY: Milpitas
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81215571
SOURCE: MLSListings
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 30 days

Wow! What a price! This beautiful 5 bedroom 3 bath home has enough square footage for a large family. Grand entry with pillar columns opens into a large living area with fireplace. Some bedrooms downstairs and the rest upstairs. 1 full bathroom downstairs as well!

120527-coelho-backyardHere’s why PK thought we should check this one out:

How about revisiting a house which has been featured on Burbed before?

So… if it was featured on Burbed on June 17, 2011 for $674,950 and it costs $340,800 today… is a 54% annualized loss the new 7.2% gain?

Yes, indeed, this house was featured before.  Bet you didn’t recognize its new look above, either.

120527-coelho-reprise

120527-coelho-bath[5]According to Zillow, the price was only lowered one other time from the original $674,950 “WON’T LAST!!” listing, to $660,000.  And if the place didn’t sell at $674,950 between May and October, slashing $14,950 off (a whopping 2.2%) should have commenced the overbidding immediately.

The new asking price has been sitting for a month, despite the amazing features of the house (Some bedrooms downstairs and the rest upstairs).  I know that when I buy a six bedroom house, I’m always 120527-coelho-kawlumsreally cheesed off when discovering some of the bedrooms under the septic tank.

Also, the price cut also reflects another cut: this new listing no longer features a view.  But the kawlums are still included.  Do check out the pictures on this new listing, though, as there are surprisingly few of the inside of the house compared to last time.  There are four different shots of the back yard, and every single one of them features the portable grill.

Meanwhile, three different Redfin agents have left comments on the house.  Let’s share in their expert opinion.

120527-coelho-agents

Question: Does the master bedroom have a Jacuzzi tub in it?  Second question: How come two out of three realtards can’t spell Jacuzzi?  J’accuse!

Comments (17) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:07 am

November 12, 2011

Special Weekend Open Thread Extra: Nearly NARmal

imageHere’s a great place for an Open Thread: right on top of a Can You Top This letter from the President of NAR (the National Association of Realtards). 

This is Ron Phipps’ letter to The Wall Street Journal in its entirety, because you won’t want to miss one single stupefying word of it.

Thanks very much to Burbed reader PKamp3 for mentioning this exchange in comments.

The Wall Street Journal would have people believe that hard-working, middle-class families are not affected by lower conforming loan limits, when nothing could be further from the truth ("More McMansion Subsidies," Review & Outlook, Nov. 1). The representatives in Congress who support higher loan limits understand that this is not a partisan issue, as you are trying to make it out to be.

The majority of markets impacted by the loan-limit decline are not high-cost areas. For example, more than 100 counties throughout the Midwest and more than 200 counties in the South have seen loan limits decline by more than $64,000.

And despite how your editorial tries to position the issue, the loan limits are not the same as reforming Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Allowing the mortgage loan limits to expire in October was an arbitrary decision. Creating more market disruptions before reforming mortgage markets will only hurt our recovery.

The Senate measure to reinstate the limits is temporary—restoring the higher limits while the housing and mortgage markets stabilize. Recently, economist Mark Zandi said policy makers could shore up the housing market by "extending the current higher conforming loan limits that are set to decline in a few weeks." Borrowers, not taxpayers, will bear the entire cost of the higher loan-limits provision.

As people across the country are trying to gain a foothold in these trying times, we need to give them the resources to do so. The National Association of Realtors applauds the members of Congress who are standing up for America’s families rather than turning their backs on them.

Ron Phipps

President
National Assn. of Realtors
Washington

Of course this is 100% Grade AAA horseapples and every one of us should feel stupider for having wasted three minutes in reading it.  In fact, this is such toxic waste even the WSJ editorial page couldn’t leave it without a response as an unsigned opinion piece.  (It’s behind the paywall, but the best way to find it for free, should this link not work, is to search for its title with teh Google.)

The Realtor Subsidy

Crony capitalism on parade.

To understand why 90% of U.S. mortgages are still underwritten by taxpayers, look no further than the nearby letter from Ron Phipps of the Realtors lobby. He makes clear that the Realtors, like the rest of the housing-subsidy crowd, are working hard to get Congress to reinstate a $729,750 loan-limit for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guarantees.

Notice how Mr. Phipps doesn’t mention that dollar figure, perhaps because it makes a howler of his claim that the loan-limit reduction in October to $625,500 is somehow a blow to the "middle class." As House Financial Services Chairman Spencer Bachus and several colleagues note in a November 7 letter to GOP appropriations conferees, "the lower loan limits only affect a very small slice of wealthier homeowners in high cost areas." Only 1.3% of all loans done by Fannie, Freddie and the Federal Housing Administration would be affected by the change.

imageAnd it goes on from there.  I’m sure you could write your own takedown of Phipps’ inane, self-serving, logic-free effluvia, and in fact I bet you could have a lot of fun with it.  I am chucking a bit noting the Wall Street Journal use the terms “crony capitalism” and “lobby” as if they’re bad things.  Should we look forward to them setting up a tent (mink-lined, probably) in Zucotti Park?

Here’s a few more things the WSJ neglected to mention but I’ll bring up.

  • The “non-high-cost areas” affected purportedly include more than 100 flyover counties in the Midwest and 200 in the South.  Phipps neglected to tell you how many total counties are worth flying over, but I suspect it’s more than 300.
  • A free clue: Georgia has 159 counties.
  • Borrowers will bear the entire cost?  Oh, now borrowers fund their own tax deductions?  Then why is the deficit so high?  Do corporations fund their own R&D credits too?
  • And remember, this is your Weekend Open Thread!
Comments (9) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:21 pm

October 2, 2011

A Bay Area Buying Calculator

Burbed readers are a fascinating bunch.  One of them has put together some Bay Area-specific buying calculators, and wants you, the Burbed readership, to have a look.  Since you’re all so hard to please and think everything out there sucks, this is your opportunity to ask the author to make it suck less.

Please welcome Burbed reader PKamp3 and the Don’t Quit Your Day Job blog, introducing lots of boring math, charts, and stats.  Some of you should just go back to sleep, while others should start a second pot of coffee and get ready to dig on in.

Here’s an article I wrote with 2 RBA calculators attached. I wrote it kind of in a Burbed mindframe: “who the hell can afford RBA prices”?

Here’s a preview:

image2362 LAURA Ln, Mountain View, CA 94043
$634,950

I can tell you before you click the link… using my default assumptions:(20% DP, 4.5% Interest, 30 Year Mortgage, 31% front end DTI.  You can change everything there.)  43% of Bay Area Households have the income to make the payment.  That’s 746,463, in the RBA 4… since I count Alameda County.

Might be interesting… now that I wrote the code I’m having fun looking at listings and running the numbers.  Maybe you can help come up with better house-hunter ranks?  I don’t want to spoil it, but based on home prices the rank changes.

image

Given how willing PKamp3 seems to be in helping make this tool more useful, please play with it and complain at length in the comments below.  I’ve already groused about the inability to put a cash amount rather than a percentage amount in the down payment, and noted that Alameda County’s presence in the dataset pretty much poisons the well of “Inner Bay Area” buyers.  It might be “Inner” but it’s not particularly Real.

Some of the limitations are due to what’s available.  Some cities have been removed from the dataset.  I felt that the RBA should be limited to San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara counties, with the possible addition of Marin.  Alameda County?  That’s a fine joke someone is playing on us.  Once those losers are removed, then we can talk about limiting the universe some more.  I would assume San Francisco residents probably don’t want to buy this crapbox in Mountain View, but you never know.

Head on over to the calculator and let us know what you think of this tool and how useless it is it could be improved.  Plug in some other home values and assumptions and see how many buyers you’re up against.  So, what do you think?  Do you see a use for this?  Or are you going back to sleep?

Comments (31) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:34 am