October 13, 2013

More of you are Priced Out For-EVEH!!!!!!

And now for some Totally Obvious News for Anyone Who’s Been Paying Attention, courtesy of the San Jose Mercury News (nickname: Adventures in Irrelevance).

Many first-time buyers shut out of Bay Area housing market

131012-pricedout-proudBy Pete Carey, San Jose Mercury News
POSTED:   10/06/2013 04:00:00 AM PDT, UPDATED:   10/07/2013 03:59:42 PM PDT

As the peak homebuying season ends, months of rising prices, tight inventory and competition from investors have left many would-be first-time buyers on the sidelines.

Prices are up an astonishing 31.7 percent in August from a year ago for all types of homes in the nine-county Bay Area, and for moderate-income buyers that represents a growing hurdle.

And the slice of home sales for less than $500,000 has dropped from a combined 59.1 percent to 42.2 percent in August in Contra Costa, Alameda, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties, according to real estate information company DataQuick. Homes under $300,000 are down from a combined 29.7 percent in the four counties to 15.2 percent.

See the proud homedebtor in the piccie above? He got himself a house.  In Hayward, City of Diversity. And lately we’ve been seeing ads for new homes in Mountain House.  Not Mountain View, Mountain House.  Mountain House is what people in Livermore point to when asked where the “exurbs” are,  Extra chuckle points to whatever robot put that page together calling San Ramon a “nearby community.”  Sure, just like Prunedale is “nearby” Almaden Valley.

Just as there is nothing wrong with any house that price cannot fix, there is nothing wrong with any price that distance cannot fix either. It’s just that some of you are going to have to buy in Turlock.

This is not only your Weekend Open Thread, it may have to do for the entire week. Tune in tomorrow and find out if there’s going to be a new edition of Burbed or not!

Comments (8) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:04 am






November 11, 2012

A Livability Index

We’re always interested in ways to measure how Special a place is.  A website called areavibes.com has a Livability Index that has some interesting assumptions.

First, let’s see what it makes of some places most of us agree are Not Particularly Special (by which we mean we wouldn’t live there for free and we also wouldn’t live there unless we were paid Larry Ellison’s stock options).

Here’s areavibes on Detroit.

121110-areavibes-detroit

Detroit, MI is “Somewhat Livable.”  The only “A” grade it received was in cost of living, and that’s because the city will pay you to take one of their excess houses so they don’t have to pay to tear it down.  We can’t imagine what kind of city would merit a “Completely Out of the Question.”  Let’s move another to another Perennial of Pwnage: Stockton.

121110-areavibes-stockton

I can see the new Civic Motto over City Hall (if they have any staff capable of hanging banners): Stockton! Four Points More Livable Than Detroit!  But they are an important four points, as Stockton is considered “Very Livable.”

We now move on toward the Bay Area, but not the Good Part.

121110-areavibes-hayward

When Stockton has finer amenities than you do, and their weather is better too, plus your housing costs are unacceptably high to anyone outside the Bay Area, what’s the point of even entering the race?  Let’s try a better zip code.

121110-areavibes-sanjose

Ooooo!  Exceptionally Livable!  And what’s really exceptional is that if we type in an actual zip code, the score went down.

121110-areavibes-95129

Good luck figuring out why.  Finally, we arrive at the pinnacle of Real Bay Area Living.

121110-areavibes-cupertino

We invite you to try to score higher than that, either in the Bay Area, or anywhere else.  And we don’t want you to think these “grades” are completely pulled out of Mitt Romney’s car elevator.  Here, for example, is what the housing grade is based on:

121110-areavibes-cupertino-housing

Cupertino scores higher than average in every category.  Why would they be marked down for better numbers?

This is also your Weekend Open Thread, so go crazy.

Comments (17) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:11 am

November 3, 2012

Stockton: Gateway to Exurban Misery

Burbed has often featured links to real estate and economy pieces on the weekends, provided by both local and national news sites.  Today’s article comes from The Guardian, based in the United Kingdom.  Its excellent reportage capturing the civic death throes of California’s 13th largest city (4th largest in the Central Valley), and its British perspective offers an outsider’s look at some of our issues we can’t see ourselves.

Stockton, California: ‘This economy is garbage’

The middle-class families Obama claims as his bedrock are suffering in a city where foreclosure and violence are rampant

Aditya Chakrabortty, The Guardian, Friday 2 November 2012 13.12 EDT

121102-stockton-gatedIn some towns, visitors are warned to keep an eye on their stuff, or to watch out late at night. In the Californian city of Stockton, the anxiety is more precise – and it kicks in early. “Take care downtown after 5pm,” one local person told me. “Don’t hang out too long.”

A few hours later, I saw what she meant. Almost as soon as the offices shut, the city centre empties. Then the sun goes down and a different cast takes to the streets: the homeless, the drug dealers, and clusters of young men patrolling up and down on bicycles.

Stockton ranks among America’s 10 most dangerous cities, and everyone here seems to operate under a self-imposed curfew. The commuter admits she doesn’t dare go to the cinema after 8pm; the father expects his 18-year-old daughter home by 10 – “and she totally gets why.” Others prefer not to go out at all. All give the same reason: the spiralling number of violent crimes.

Last weekend, the city notched up its 60th murder of the year, up from 24 for all of 2008. At just under 300,000 residents, this river port has about the same population as a London borough. Imagine a couple of your neighbours getting killed every week, and you’ll understand why almost all the conversations here touch on a recent homicide.

TL;DR: Sucks, crime, cuts, crash, foreclosure, not the Real Bay Area, affordable big houses, long commutes, upside down, civic decay, life downgrade, bust redevelopment loans, abandoned shops, cheap rentals, farmland. We highly recommend this piece but warn you it has a somewhat high bummer factor.  If you’re the type who gets weepy and emotional reading about mortgage rates going up 0.1 percent, we suggest you read this with either a supportive friend or a drink with plenty of kick.  This is a news feature with a Steinbeck vibe by way of Manchester.

Fortunately, this is also your weekend open thread, so you don’t just have to talk about this essay, or Stockton, or the crap house you toured today that might as well be in Stockton, or the demographics of Weston Ranch versus Brookside. 

You’re all ready for our Fantasy Real Estate League, right? This is going to be great!

Comments (4) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:12 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

July 14, 2011

Million Dollar Property, A Must to See

At least the seller thinks this is a million dollar property.  Maybe it was, in 2006.

19381 W Grant Line Rd, Tracy, CA 95391
$1,200,000

image

BEDS: 3
BATHS: 3
SQ. FT.: 3,165
$/SQ. FT.: $379
LOT SIZE: 1.63 Acres
TYPE: Detached
STYLE: Contemporary
STORIES: 1
YEAR BUILT: 1990
COMMUNITY: Tracy
COUNTY: San Joaquin
MLS#: 40506238
SOURCE: EBRD
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 166 days

Gorgeous custom home with country feel surrounded by 1.6+ acres. Completely updated with Brazilian Cherry wood flooring throughout, crown moulding, custom paint, solid granite in kitchen, all new appliances, stunning cabinets throughout, custom entertainment center in family room. A must to see. .. .

imageIt definitely is a must to see, because the nine pictures above are all you get on the virtual tour, too.  But the virtual tour has the added benefit of loud music appropriate to a seven-digit asking price for a home over an hour’s drive from the Googleplex. 

Speaking of commutes and sitting in traffic, let’s talk about its location, location, location?  Look at this!


image

Ahh, country life!

Don’t believe that “166 days” on Redfin figure above, either.  This house has been listed since March.  March, 2010.  The listing was canceled in January and they listed it anew.  And if you ever had any concern about how good those Zestimates are, you can put those silly little worries to rest.  Zillow says it’s worth every penny, see?  Okay, 5 out of 6 pennies!

image

Rent Zestimate: $2,250 a month!  That’s a rent ratio of 44!  Hope that Brazilian Cherrywood was worth it.

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

August 21, 2007

They’re not making any more land… unless they are

San Jose Mercury News – Mountain House community: From boom to bust on Bay Area’s edge
Mountain House, where Bay Area transplants are 80 percent of the population, is a dramatic illustration of a development that was built as a solution to Silicon Valley’s overpriced housing market. Now, it finds itself hurt by high gas prices, ever-worsening commutes and a growing desire among South Bay residents for housing close to Silicon Valley jobs – even if it’s condominiums and townhouses.

The trend of building high-density housing projects in the Bay Area’s urban communities has taken off in the past several years, the result of land-use policies that allowed developers to build condos and townhomes on former industrial property. This option
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wasn’t widely available when buyers began moving to Mountain House.

It’s all taken a toll.

Perhaps it’s time to clarify the ol’ nugget a little: They’re not making any more land (unless they are)!

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 10:48 am

September 2, 2006

Everyone’s moving east in California

FEATURE-California middle-class packing up, heading east | Bonds News | Reuters.com
Father Mark Wiesner has grown accustomed to wishing parishioners bon voyage as they flee the San Francisco area’s high housing costs for California’s Central Valley, where developers are increasingly transforming farms and ranches into a new suburbia.

“So many young couples I marry have to go to Modesto or Tracy to start their married lives,” said Wiesner, a Catholic priest in Oakland on the San Francisco Bay. “They simply can’t afford to stay here in the Bay area and to buy a single-family dwelling.”

Tracy and Modesto are 50 and 80 miles (80 and 129 km) east of Oakland respectively. Both have seen blistering growth in recent years amid a middle-class exodus from California’s famed coastal urban centers in search of affordable housing.

Analysts say the middle-class flight will press on even if coastal home prices sag amid a national housing slowdown. Home prices near the state’s coastline would need to collapse to make buying a home there possible for many households.

Barring a collapse, ever more Californians will call the state’s Central Valley home because homes there are relatively affordable. July’s median home price in San Francisco was $771,000, compared with $438,000 in San Joaquin County roughly 60 miles (97 km) to the east, according to real estate information service DataQuick Information Systems.

Who needs farms anyway. Growing food is so overrated.

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:15 am