Monday, October 31, 2005

Old World Dump

Built in 1907; 1862 sq ft. Absolutely nothing has been done to this house (e.g., master bath is a shower-over-the-tub sort of thing). According to the realtor write-up..."old world charm" (translation: it's a PoS). Price: $1,390,000. Get a clue people.

Friday, October 28, 2005

River Shack

This seemingly charming house in Novato doesn't look like a PoS until you consider its stats vs. its price: 1 bedroom 1 bath (so small the realtor does not dare to list the square footage) within a five minute walk from the Hwy 37 bridge crossing of the Petaluma River. This shack is on the river though. The realtor write-up also makes a big deal of "your own private dock". In violation of my one picture per post rule, here is a picture of "the dock" (boat not included):

And how much for this river shack? $759,000 and it's yours.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

A shabby Chic Pied a Terre

This 1419 sq ft PoS in Tiburon, built in 1915, is described in the realtor's write up as "a shabby chic pied a terre, or start from scratch and rebuild. To be sold as is." You don't speak Realtorese? "A shabby chic pied a terre" means "PoS". And how much for a place that should be taken out of its misery? Asking a mere $1,300,000.

Tragedy in San Rafael

Another typical ugly Marin County house. This one is in San Rafael. The grounds are just tragic (the 2005 picture is no different from this one by the way; I'd show it but it would betray the address). The only things going for it are the el cheapo upgrades to the interior: beige colored granite counter tops, beige tile floors, honey colored know, your typical, unremarkable "new home construction" upgrades. So what's the bottom line? Asking price is $725,000. Ha!

Marin Dump

How about a complete dump for $629,000? Built in 1954, 1309 sq ft. "But honey, we get to live in Marin, so it's just so worth it." This thing is so bad that even the realtor's write-up can't make it seem nice. Check out these code words in the write-up: "move-in condition" (translation: no renovations or upgrades at all), "perfect senior" (translation: 1950s style interior that would appeal to a senior), "or starter home" (translation: tear it down and rebuild or dump a lot of money into it just to bring it up to style).

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Lowering the Standards in Mill Valley

This ugly, 1216 sq ft PoS is dead center in what is traditionally considered the "low rent district" of Mill Valley. Built in 1953. The only upgrade is that they painted the walls a light brown color as opposed to the standard white. Features a cracked concrete back patio, pink tiled bathrooms, and a five minute walk to Hwy 101. Asking price: $935,000. At least the bright red fence might alleviate some of the buyer's remorse. Get real people!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Mill Valley Monument to Mediocrity

Another reader submission. This nothing-special house is in Mill Valley and was built in 1944. There are a gazillion of these in Marin. But this "monument to mediocrity" is only $980,000.

Doing Laundry in Mill Valley

This 1060 sq ft, Mill Valley PoS sitting on a generous 0.2 acres was sent to me by a reader. It was built as recently as 1926. According to the realtor's write-up, it even "features a living room, dining area & laundry room". Wow! No kidding? That's unusual. You see? In Marin you get living rooms, dining areas (no "dining rooms", forget it), and laundry rooms. We're special. All this for just $729,000. What a deal.

What's For Dinner?...Top Ramen

Here's a real charmer. According to the realtor it is "in need of some tlc"; I'll bet it is. This 1488 sq ft gem, built in 1955, will only require you to "mortgage yourself into the Top Ramen lifestyle"* for $679,000 as of today.

* I admit it. This phrase was used by a commentor in another blog. It's just so apt for Marin that I had to find a way to use it.

Monday, October 24, 2005

It's A Cabin

This PoS, built in 1900, is really more like a cabin than a house. It doesn't look like it's been upgraded at all. It's located way out in Forest know...that little green sign you drive by each time you are on your way to Pt. Reyes. If you have to commute, then you are only looking at a 45 minute or so drive just to get to Hwy. 101 and then however long it takes you to get to where ever it is you are going. Oh, and for all this bucolic goodness you must pay $729,000 as of today.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Dreaming in San Anselmo

Oh, this is just lovely. This 1097 sq ft PoS, built in 1940, interior not redone at all, is in San Anselmo. Nice garage doors though; although taken for granted in much of the country, attached garages are a real luxury in many parts of Marin. But hey, the sellers are only asking $719,000. Everyone wants to live here, right?

Incidentally, the house shown in the background and at the top of this picture is a different house.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Nothing Special

Why am I picking on this one? What's so special about this house you say? It doesn't look like a PoS. That's precisely my point. That's the point of this whole blog! This house and many, many others like it in Marin make it plain just how out of whack the housing market is in Marin (and elsewhere, of course). Sure, there are some very nice houses in Marin that deserve to command a million dollars or more. But this is a nothing-special house. Nothing special has been done to it. The lot is small and the interior is 1980s era. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that but nothing special either. It's a 1320 sq ft modest house, for modest income folks. And how much will this nothing-special house in Corte Madera set you back? Only $1,199,000 as of today.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Kentfield PoS

This 1646 sq. ft. beauty was sent to me by a reader. This is a real winner (I should start some sort of voting scheme for readers). It's in prestigious Kentfield and is asking only $1,049,000. Need I say more? It speaks for itself.


This boring PoS in Novato, built in 1960, goes for $679,000 if you can believe that. Of course, real Marin snobs will tell you that Novato doesn't count as being "Marin" so this post is disqualified. (In fact, anything "over the hill", i.e., north of Greenbrae, is not Marin according to these people.) Anyway, this house is so run-of-the-mill, even the picture of the kitchen is a joke at this price -- no upgrades whatsoever, not even the coveted granite countertops (they are that cheap plastic stuff). I'd post the picture but I want to keep each post down to one image.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Power Lines and Oil Stains

I just love this 1200 sqft PoS's grounds. "And look honey! We can even watch the birds in the morning lining up along the power lines! This is just so worth the $1,275,000 asking price!" Well, I guess when times get rough they can save money by listening to their neighbor's TVs or tapping the ambient electrical discharge.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Yellow Boredom

Usually, when someone puts their house on the market and places photos of it on the local MLS, they choose the most flattering pictures. So this one in Mill Valley has got to make you wonder. I mean, this is the best that they could do? Well, the price is right at least -- only $799,000 and you too could own a nondescript, boring, yellow PoS with sagging deck in Mill Valley!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Mud and Pickle Weed

This lovely 1 bedroom 1 bath 788 sqft PoS is surrounded by fragrant marsh mud and the verdant charm of pickle weed. It will only set you back $549,000. Quite a deal for Marin.

Initial Post

I decided that I wanted to start posting typical examples of our overpriced, crappy houses here in Marin. Starting a new blog seemed easier than posting to my main blog -- the Marin Real Estate Bubble blog. I'll probably make a new post once each week or so. Feel free to point me to other fine examples of overpriced Marin housing.