Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The Ultimate Marin Real Estate Value

This one was sent in by a reader. Thank you whoever you are because this one is classic. Ok, so it's not a SFH. It's a "Condo/Coop/Other" PoS in Mill Valley, built relatively recently (for Marin that is) in 1972, that the realtor calls a "Superlative home".

Websters has two definitions for the word "superlative":
  1. Of the highest order, quality, or degree; surpassing or superior to all others.
  2. Excessive or exaggerated.
Aside from being b**t ugly, it is, according to the realtor write-up, "...the ultimate Marin real estate V A L U E!". So given that, the realtor must be using the first definition of "superlative" as I see nothing excessive or exaggerated about this one (other than its ugliness). Well there 'ya go; 'nuff said. And the 'ultimate Marin real estate value' will only cost you $600,000.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

La Very Petite Maison in San Rafael

According to the realtor's write-up, this 756 sq ft PoS in San Rafael (built in 1925) is "french country style" with a decent garden -- "La petite maison avec le grande jardin". I drove all through rural France for a month and I didn't see anything like this. And what's with all the French? Is that some lame selling tactic? So using French in the write-up helps it sell? I wonder if speaking French is a requirement to be a realtor in Marin. Anyway, no upgrades (not even the obligatory granite counter tops) but the seller is throwing in the VW Beetle -- "added bonus: an original vw bug, pour vous. Yours now! Merci". They must be desperate. Ok, so how much does 756 sq ft of PoS cost you in San Rafael? $699,000. That's $924.60 per sq ft.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Living the Mac & Cheese Lifestyle in San Rafael

Isn't this just lovely? This San Rafael PoS, built in 1948, has the shower-over-the-tub thing going for it, an industrial chain-linked fence in the back, unkept grounds, wall-to-wall mangy carpet, no upgrades, really nothing special at all going for it. It's you're perfect Marin dream house, isn't it? This is what people mortgage themselves to the eyeballs for, right? "Look honey, this is the perfect house to raise our kids in and live to the fullest the Mac & Cheese lifestyle that we've so dreamed about." It's just so worth every penny of this PoS' $755,000 price tag to live in Marin. If you got a 30-year fixed interest loan at a low 6% and put 20% down you would need to have an annual salary of $181,500 just to qualify for the loan. Is this the best that a $181,500/year income can buy?

Monday, November 21, 2005

Slip Slidn' Away in Sausalito

This PoS was sent in by an anonymous reader. Wait a couple of years and this one might be bay front property, or a house boat:
Anonymous said...
I rent in Sausalito and this PoS house down the street has been on the market since June when we moved in. They started out asking 650k and I just saw today that it has been reduced to 500k (a 25% reduction!). Of course they are not admitting to the reduction on the MLS listing. They do however list some other the property is a bank repo and this is your chance to get that house in Sausalito you always wanted! Yeah right...this place doesn't even have a foundation.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Dude, Where's the Car?

It's doubtful that you will find any pictures of this Inverness PoS on any MLS (I had to drive out there myself and take this picture). There's a reason for that. It's a PoS. Really, it is. Why? Well, the realtor write-up describes it as a charming "one bedroom cottage". But folks, it's a garage. That's right, it's a "converted" garage quite probably originally for boats as it is on Tomales Bay (and the San Andreas fault line to be sure). Look closely at the south facing wall (foreground). Those two squares are the original garage doors now permanently sealed shut. The "main entrance" is on the east facing's a sliding glass door. This house consists of one square room (not counting the small bathroom), zero upgrades, a worn beige carpet, a tar roof, and it's a one hour drive to civilization. Half of the lot that it sits on floods nearly every winter.

So, in Marin County how much does a garage an hour away from anywhere cost you? It will set you back $659,000 (originally listed at $795,000 about six months ago).

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Mill Valley Beater

This Mill Valley PoS is so pathetic that they had to hide it behind foliage so as to lessen the shock and dismay when you learn that you have to pay no less than $925,000 for it! Get a clue people. It's a beater -- from the realtor's write-up: "Remodel or rebuild into your dream home. Endless options." Yeah, I guess a total tear-down would imply "endless options".

Monday, November 14, 2005

Leave Your Brain on the Street and Run Your Car Over It a Few Times in San Rafael

This $795,000 San Rafael house (yes, despite its appearance this is technically a house; not a mobile home; not a pre-fab) is described by the realtor as "So much potential, this house is in move-in condition or could be upgraded to suit your taste!". So, it's a typical Marin PoS where, unless you like 1950's era interiors, you must pay to completely remodel it in addition to its over three-quarters of a million dollar price tag.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Tragedy in San Rafael

This 1385 sq ft, built in 1958 San Rafael PoS is described by the listing realtor as "Perfect opportunity for handyman or first time buyers! Needs tlc." The interior of this thing is just tragic; 1960s style, stains, weeds all through the lot. "Don't worry, the fence won't fall down because we braced it real good." And for this tear down you must pony up $599,000!

Size Matters

What will 950 sq ft, 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom cost you in Mill Valley? $849,000. That's $894 per sq ft!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Nice Bones

I truly laughed out loud when I read the description for this San Rafael PoS. Here is the realtor's write-up:
"This is a true contractors special. To be sold as is. No reports on file. This alliance home, has a nice open lot, nice bones, great neighborhood. Award winning dixie schools. Terrific up potential. All it needs is a buyer with imagination and tools."
This "nice bones" house will set you back $579,000.

Thinking About a House in Corte Madera

Now technically this house is not a PoS because it doesn't even exist yet! You see folks, people in Marin don't just throw away their money to buy a PoS, they tear it up and then flush it down the toilet just to buy the idea of a house. This one is just a plot of land (unspecified plot size) in Corte Madera with some specs drawn up for a house. No view, but this idea-of-a-house does have four bedrooms/three baths. And how much for this imaginary PoS? Just $1,750,000. Yup.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Battleship Gray in Greenbrae

This is just plain embarrassing. This Greenbrae eye-sore, at 1368 sq ft, built in 1949, is asking $1,250,000. Ok, so there is a dinky pool and the interior is not trashed, but it's not especially nice either. Welcome to Marin folks!

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Priced to 2002 Levels

What makes this 1892 sq ft, built in 1969, San Anselmo house interesting is that it is still a PoS even though its price has been reduced to what it sold for in 2002. That's right, its price has dropped to what it was in 2002 at $720,000. What's more, the realtor is actually advertising this fact and it is still not selling. Who ever said prices in Marin don't drop? If price reductions to 2002 levels is a portent of things to come, then we have some wild times ahead of us. Thanks to a reader for pointing me to this one.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Boring Novato PoS

This boring 1419 sq ft Novato PoS last sold for $598,000 in April of 2004. The exact same upgrades that are in place today (just a remodeled kitchen and some French doors, no granite, sorry) were originally put in before April of 2004. Today you have to spend $730,000 for this same PoS. So this place is selling for 18% more with absolutely no changes (other than being used) since the last time it sold. So in your opinion, dear reader, has Marin become 18% nicer than it was 18 months ago? Or are there now 18% more people trying to buy in Marin? Or are there now 18% fewer houses in Marin? Or is Marin's crappy public infrastructure now 18% better than it was 18 months ago? Or is the sky over Marin now 18% bluer? Or is it just that buyers are now 18% less discriminating?

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Buy It Before It Falls Apart (Again), Please

This 2 bedroom house, way out in Fairfax, built in 1958, is described by the realtor as a "Ny loft style home". I'm not exactly sure what that means but my realtor dictionary says it is synonymous with "it's a PoS". According to the write up the current owner has gone to great lengths to fix things up like patching the leaky roof, fixing the drippy faucets, replacing the rickety deck, fenced the yard, oh, and did I mention that there is parking? Phew, that's a relief...parking. And no, the house in question is not the one hanging from the tree branch. So how much would you pay for this PoS? Only three quarters of a million dollars folks -- that's right, $750,000 and this little den of hippiedom could be all yours.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

How Small Can We Go?

Riddle me this: How much would you pay for a 500 sq ft, one bedroom, one bathroom PoS in Mill Valley?

...I'm waiting...

Wrong! Try $695,000. This thing does not even deserve being described as a "single family home".

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Tam Valley Dump

This one story house in Tam Valley (Mill Valley) was built in 1947. Absolutely nothing has been done to it since then other than new windows and a new roof. No square footage is given but it looks really small. And how much is your typical herd-mentality buyer expected to pay for this? $749,000... three quarters of a million dollars for crying out loud! What a joke.