Thursday, January 19, 2006

If Grizzly Adams Lived in Mill Valley...

...then he'd probably live here... ~1000 sq ft of cabin built in 1968. Heck, two bedrooms is more than enough for a mountain man. The write-up says it was remodeled but failed to say when; judging by the pictures of the interior I'm guessing it was last remodeled during the late '70s or maybe early '80s. Asking a pittance really at $725,000 considering it's Marin after all, God's country, where people aren't supposed to care about the house, you know, the place where people are fond of saying 'everyone wants to live here', where you can wear your shorts in January while golfing and driving four to six hours to the slopes. Yeah, right, whatever.

37 Comments:

Anonymous by_palladium said...

Here is the full description from one of the local real estate sites...

Light & Airy Home, Lovely inside...Remodeled and updated kitchen...Open living room, dining room, kitchen floor plan for light and views...rear deck off living room...garage & laundry downstairs...Great commute location, less than 10 minutes to Golden Gate Bridge...Shows really well, ready to move right in...This one is a MUST SEE!

What is up with the alternative punctuation, capitalization and grammer??? Does the author realize that selling homes is a business and not an email conversation?

All kidding aside, it would be really sad if grizzly adams moved to mill valley. As far a tv characters went, he was a pretty decent guy. My hero growing up. Mill valley is really more of a Mr. T sort of suburb.

January 19, 2006 9:36 PM  
Blogger marin_explorer said...

"Shows really well"--to whom? I see a '70s hippie box decaying on a hillside, and the "kitchen remodel" isn't any better than an average apartment. I suppose there's room to expand (.23 acre), but you'd basically want to start over. That is, if your building plans get approved.

January 20, 2006 9:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just think, probably within a 3 hour drive radius from MV, a property like that would not get much more than say $350k. Might be less.

You think $400k might be worth the drive to go mountain biking on Tam a couple times a month?

Seriously, people are smoking too much dope out there.

January 20, 2006 11:38 AM  
Anonymous Pothead said...

Hey anon, why all the hating? Sure you could get the same house for less in Willits. But unless you're in the herb business, good luck finding a job you like up there.

Sure, this thing could be overpriced. Plus it's right on Hwy 1. But that means county land, so could be easier to expand the thing.

Agreed on the marketing by the agent though, attrocious!

January 20, 2006 12:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pothead said: "Sure, this thing could be overpriced"

hahaha... could be. IS my friend, IS.

Acutally what do you think that pad would go for in Fairfield or Antioch? You don't have to go that far away to see through the bong smoke. ;8-)

January 20, 2006 2:25 PM  
Anonymous pothead said...

apples to oranges comparison there anon. Check out schools, crime rates and commutes in both.

The point should not be "would this property list for less in a less desireable community". Of course it will and for a good reason. When was the last time you saw the Mill Valley Crips rolling down Miller Avenue?

The point should be "is this property lited too high for this community". By that standard, I'd say probably. $750/sq ft seems like a lot. Then again, if the lot is large enough to expand on and landscape then maybe there is upside to be had that does not just rely on appreciation. I haven't seen it in person, so I don't know.

January 20, 2006 2:46 PM  
Anonymous rejunkie said...

When was the last time you saw the Mill Valley Crips rolling down Miller Avenue? -pothead

This is the funniest thread I have read in quite a while.

Ah yes, living the dream in Antioch. Don't know why we haven't all moved there already.

January 20, 2006 2:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course, wasn't there a drug bust out at the KFC on Miller not too long ago? Are you that guy?

January 20, 2006 3:05 PM  
Blogger marin_explorer said...

Personally, I think it's far too easy for Bay Area locals to get cocky about the "standard of living" we enjoy here. Since we've "bought in" heavily for a lifestyle here, we justify the financial pain by dissing just about ever other place to work and live. An observation by visiting family--one that rings rather true to me.

IMO, there's a only a thin veneer of civility, infrastructure, culture, and real sophistication here--but at a high price. "Straw man" aside, the issue of cost/benefits still stands. If one travels to other metro areas (that support good wages), they may notice some benefits. Perhaps that's why many Californians have left the state altogether.

January 20, 2006 3:19 PM  
Blogger VO5 said...

Anyone know if you can still get extra biscuits at KFC?

January 20, 2006 4:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reskeptic,

I full agree. Often the first slap back marin people (I live in marin) have in justifying the incredible pricing on POS homes of late is that it's all location location, and "we have the best" which is highly debatable. While there is some truth to that, it's most always an overstatement based on a feeling that they bought high and thus it was a superior descision. Especially if you bought recently, like say in Mill Valley.

Of course this discussion is more about the crazy high prices of late. As usual good locations do command higher prices, as always supply and demand are in effect. That model is currently out of wack a bit relative to economic principals that bend due to a market of high speculation.

To concur, Marin is nice. But it is not all that above and beyond some other locations around.

January 20, 2006 5:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

vo5 - Maybe not there, but I am sure you can find "biscuits" like that in Marin very easily. Outside of those Cayenne driving Paradise Drive mall types and Tiburon "elite", when you peel back Marin a bit there is still the alt-society all over (think older Fairfax now) Marin. I would really dislike this place if even those eccentric people leave and all we have is Tiburon and MV types, and the poor in the canal that work for them.

Boy, I am in a mood tonight. No more coffee!

January 20, 2006 5:20 PM  
Blogger Marinite said...

we justify the financial pain by dissing just about ever other place to work and live.

Yep. Cognitive dissonance perhaps? Or just old fashioned snobbery?

Marin county residents are notorious for being inward looking and looking down their noses on pretty much everyone else. SoCal being the top favorite. It even shows internal to the county itself...how many times I've listened to southern Marinites dissing Novato or anything "over the hill" (meaning Greenbrae). Pretty sickening really. And sad that the county is so divided. If housing weren't so expensive I wonder if the division would not exist (although I suppose the "boutique" communities like Sausalito, Tiburon, Belvedere, etc. are hopelessly infected).

Anyone contemplating moving to and/or buying a house in Marin should be prepared for living a life surrounded by snobbery and a county that dislikes itself along with everyone else.

January 20, 2006 5:22 PM  
Blogger sf jack said...

"IMO, there's a only a thin veneer of civility, infrastructure, culture, and real sophistication here--but at a high price."

*******

"civility"

That's an interesting question to me.

When I first came to California 16 years ago (Mill Valley), I thought this place was more civil than the place of my origins in New England. People were mellow, they were cool, few were in a hurry (as much), things had their own pace. More women owned businesses and a greater number of minorities were contributing members of society.

Over time, my thoughts have changed. In part, because about 10 years ago an elder Berkeley professor (not the rabid liberal type, but a rational one) told me he was moving to Maine and retiring. I was incredulous - wasn't this here, California, the land of milk and honey and all that was good? Why was he leaving?

I'll never forget his answer? "Because it's more civil."

I've thought, at times, long and hard about that answer. And I realize now more recently why it makes sense.

Because it's true. People are more civil there - they respect the laws, the customs and traditions of a civil society, particularly the sense of personal responsibility and the obligation to help others.

I've found here that some of these things, the latter in particular, are talked about a lot around here - but rarely put into action. Not sure why this is, but an overwhelming feeling of fakeness seems to pervade many of my interactions here... where people seem to be more about "their talk" than "their actions."

We'll see. But perhaps over time I will prefer to be back among the "do'ers" rather than the "talkers."

January 20, 2006 5:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's a house of similar size in another part of the country:

http://tinyurl.com/ca26d

1300 sq. ft and 2 bedrooms for 100k. That's right, 100k. Put aside the location for a moment - just take a look at that POS, and then the MV POS, and tell me which one you'd like to live in.

Yeah, it's in Cleveland Heights, OH, and it's not God's Country, it's not warm, you can't go to Wine Country, blah, blah, blah. But the MV POS is about 7.5 times the cost of this POS. So answer this question for me:

Will your life REALLY be 7.5 times better if you live in the MV POS rather than the Cleveland Heights POS? Will your take home salary REALLY be 7.5 times as high as it would if you worked in Cleveland, OH? Is playing golf and skiing in the same weekend in January REALLY worth this price differential?

If the answer to any of those questions is NO (like most nominally sane people), then you really need to think seriously about moving out of this area. I know several who already have, and MANY others who are on the verge of doing so.

January 20, 2006 5:41 PM  
Blogger Marinite said...

http://tinyurl.com/ca26d

Gah! $77 per sq. ft.!

January 20, 2006 5:47 PM  
Blogger marin_explorer said...

I've listened to southern Marinites dissing Novato or anything "over the hill" (meaning Greenbrae).

Haha! We're like some feudal state...or maybe the Ozarks. I happen to like that "hill", as it keeps much of the fog south of me...one of those "intangibles" I suppose. That said, there are ratty neighborhoods (and nice ones) both N. and S. of that imaginary 'Marin-Dissin' line. ;)

January 20, 2006 5:50 PM  
Anonymous rejunkie said...

I have a friend that moved to Cleveland 5 years ago and every single time I talk to him, he talks about if and when he can move back.

And I host numerous guests from around the country and overseas and every single one of them start making noises about moving here. Of course, they had not been to any open houses while they were here.;-)

I am not saying the Bay Area (or Marin) suits everyone otherwise all 300m Americans would live here, but I think it safe to say this is one of the most desirable parts of the country. To the detractors I say: where else have you lived that had this natural beauty (and decent weather) right next door to the most open-minded and one of the most culturally rich cities in the US? Alot of people bitch about Marin but I hear no one saying they found some Utopia elsewhere. Please, cite some examples. Of course, there are a few rivals outside the US...

The argument should not be about whether or not Marin is desirable, it should be about whether or not it is worth $600-700/SF? Personally, I don't think so, but please, stop the Marin-bashing. The folks in Bayview-Hunters Point/East Palo Alto/Antioch/Vallejo/West Oakland/etc. might think it is a bit disingenuous.

Let the flaming begin...

January 20, 2006 10:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a friend that moved to Cleveland 5 years ago and every single time I talk to him, he talks about if and when he can move back.

And I host numerous guests from around the country and overseas and every single one of them start making noises about moving here.


Well, isn't that just so convenient.

Of course, there are a few rivals outside the US...

Well, isn't that also just so convenient.

You are just the perfect Marin snob spokesperson aren't you.

January 21, 2006 12:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

rejunkie:

The point I made re Cleveland is not Marin bashing at all. I was born and raised in Marin, and don't need anybody to tell me how nice it is (particularly smug, no-nothing transplants). I have spent a total of 22 years living in several other states and two foreign countries (Russia and Japan), and have visited about 35 other countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America, so spare me the you-natives-don't-know-what-the-rest-of-the-US/world-is-like BS.

I would gladly pay a 2X or even a 3X premium in order to live in Marin. It's my home, and I love it. However, I will NOT pay a 4X, 5X, 6X, or 7X premium to live here, because it is NOT that much better than other parts of the US. Not by a long shot.

January 21, 2006 1:30 AM  
Blogger marin_explorer said...

"...where else have you lived that had this natural beauty (and decent weather) right next door to the most open-minded and one of the most culturally rich cities in the US?"

Ultimately, this is a matter of opinion, unless one can somehow prove the bay area is the very best option. Everyone has their own criteria, but if you begin with a loaded premise, you'll reach your conclusion every time. I could name a couple of other cities that suite my tastes, but would be "disproven" by the above statement.

Overall, this is what makes me skeptical of the "intangibles" argument: it's usually self-referential, based on opinion, selection bias, and ultimately unprovable.

January 21, 2006 10:49 AM  
Blogger Marinite said...

Overall, this is what makes me skeptical of the "intangibles" argument: it's usually self-referential, based on opinion, selection bias, and ultimately unprovable.

Exactly. Well said. It is a hand-picked, self-supporting argument and always made after the fact.

Most everyone likes where they choose to live and most everyone can come up with reasons to justify their choice. Haven't you been reading the news paper and web articles about this RE bubble? No matter what location in the US it is there are folks who live there and who are quoated as saying that prices are supported by their own local version of the "intangibles" argument and "everyone wants to live here" sort of thing.

January 21, 2006 12:57 PM  
Anonymous rejunkie said...

You are just the perfect Marin snob spokesperson aren't you. - anonymous

You know, I regretted my last post as soon as I wrote it as I knew what the outcome would be. I should not have posed it this way because the choice of where one lives is very personal and influenced by a multitude of factors, not the least of which is cost of living. And I knew I would be accused of being a narcissistic snob for even posing the question, which makes me sad that I cannot even ask the question without people writing something in a blog they would probably not dare say to me in person. I guess this proves the civility (or lack thereof) argument made earlier.

I guess if you can't be happy where you live (whether it is here or Cleveland or anywhere else), then you should leave. Life is too short to be longing to live some Mayberry-like existence for $300k (or whatever we think Marin is worth) in a locale that clearly will never be that way.

I was hoping to get some thoughtful commentary (which eventually surfaced -- thanks reskeptic) and perhaps some suggestions of other places people had experienced that might make rethink my choice of place to live and raise my family but I guess it is more fun to call me a snob than provide constructive feedback.

Lesson learned.

January 23, 2006 12:47 PM  
Blogger Marinite said...

Lesson learned.

rejunkie -

You are right and strongly encouraged to continue voicing your opinion and ideas and facts.

Shall I turn off anonymous comments again? Cast your vote here or send me email.

January 24, 2006 12:22 PM  
Blogger marin_explorer said...

Shall I turn off anonymous comments again? Cast your vote here or send me email.

That might be a good idea; I've seen more sniping lately.

January 24, 2006 4:08 PM  
Blogger fredtobik said...

"particularly the sense of personal responsibility and the obligation to help others."

This raised the crazy liberal alert in my head.

Let me state that I have volunteered ALOT, mentored at risk teens, worked at non-profits, served in the Army... etc...

Pay your taxes and obey the law are the only things anyone in this country is obligated to do.


+1 to no more anon posters.

January 24, 2006 4:25 PM  
Blogger fredtobik said...

I moved here because I liked it and I can afford it.

If you can't afford it move to somewhere you can.

This is a country where cash is king, if you don't have any you get pushed around by those that do.

January 24, 2006 4:29 PM  
Blogger marin_explorer said...

"If you can't afford it move to somewhere you can...cash is king, if you don't have any you get pushed around by those that do."

Ah...this is the sort of thinking that has transformed the Bay Area into that warm, holistic community that we enjoy today. ;) That said, it's no surprise that the best areas to live actually contain the fewest "my assets can beat up your assets" types.

January 24, 2006 5:10 PM  
Blogger fredtobik said...

"Ah...this is the sort of thinking that has transformed the Bay Area into that warm, holistic community that we enjoy today. ;) That said, it's no surprise that the best areas to live actually contain the fewest "my assets can beat up your assets" types. "

Just because I recognize it does not mean I subscribe to it, I mean OJ IS innocent right? Bush deservers to be president!

January 25, 2006 9:58 AM  
Blogger marin_explorer said...

Just because I recognize it does not mean I subscribe to it, I mean OJ IS innocent right? Bush deserves to be president!

I know...it's a common mantra, and my tongue-in-cheek didn't intend to nail you personally.

January 25, 2006 10:54 AM  
Anonymous rejunkie said...

Marinite-

Thanks for the encouragement. I get far worse abuse from my clients than I ever get on these blogs -- no harm done, although maybe I will try harder to stay on-topic.

That said, I would not miss the anonymous posters taking random, thoughtless, shots at other people.

I will make my moniker "official" so I can continue to participate in your blog.

Thanks again for providing the forum.

January 26, 2006 9:36 AM  
Blogger Marinite said...

rejunkie -

Out of curiosity, what sorts of clients do you cater to? IOW, what do you do for a living? Don't feel obliged to answer. I'm just curious.

January 26, 2006 2:46 PM  
Anonymous rejunkie said...

I work for an enterprise software company somewhat attached to sales, meaning I am not a rep, but pretty damn close to it. I work with existing accounts, not new business.

My customers are Fortune 1000 companies and most of them are HQ'ed in the Bay Area and mostly technology companies themselves. I also have a patch in Denver (land of the $300k McMansion set in a treeless plain with miles of interstates and strip malls) and I must admit the folks there do require less ego-stroking than the ones here.

Perhaps it is because they don't need to be Vice-Presidents of their companies to own their own homes and are feeling less stressed ;-)

January 27, 2006 4:35 PM  
Blogger sf jack said...

fred, first quoting me, then said:

"'particularly the sense of personal responsibility and the obligation to help others.'

This raised the crazy liberal alert in my head.

Let me state that I have volunteered ALOT, mentored at risk teens, worked at non-profits, served in the Army... etc...

Pay your taxes and obey the law are the only things anyone in this country is obligated to do."

********

fred -

I'm not a crazy liberal. According to some, I'm not even a liberal.

I said that because of the humanistic aspect that is "missing" around here. I've seen more evidence in areas that are supposedly "less liberal" (New England, Salt Lake City, the Midwest).

Perhaps I didn't word that correctly (I should have used quotes around obligation; like this: "obligation"). What I tried to show was that many people in northern California are all about "the talk" of helping others - but are lacking on the action part of it.

IMO - People talk about the "obligation" here and do relatively less; than the people who never talk about it, but actually do something.

January 28, 2006 12:04 PM  
Blogger sf jack said...

junkie said:

"My customers are Fortune 1000 companies and most of them are HQ'ed in the Bay Area and mostly technology companies themselves. I also have a patch in Denver (land of the $300k McMansion set in a treeless plain with miles of interstates and strip malls) and I must admit the folks there do require less ego-stroking than the ones here.

Perhaps it is because they don't need to be Vice-Presidents of their companies to own their own homes and are feeling less stressed ;-) "

**********

From what I have seen, I agree with that.

High cost of living = high stress.

Those who remain often have the personality/egos that need stroking, no question.

January 28, 2006 12:06 PM  
Blogger fredtobik said...

"What I tried to show was that many people in northern California are all about "the talk" of helping others - but are lacking on the action part of it."

Noted.

I could not agree more.

January 31, 2006 9:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Governor Taft of Ohio was rabidly complaining that NO ONE was interested in moving to OHIO for business! He said that high tech companies are simply NOT interested in OHIO! Ohio is the hub of the "rust belt" that is a loser in these times of Globalization. On the other hand as BAD as California is, over 90% of all venture capital spent in America goes there! That means the area is far from dying like Ohio is.

IF you study demographic shift you soon learn that the Bay Area is still attractive. A lot of aging hippies, minorites, religious cults simply can afford to stay, BUT those with money from business or retirement can enjoy it! AND WHY NOT? Well until a MAJOR Earthquake strikes. The real drop in prices come after a major quake. A friend bought a real bargain just after the last big quake in Santa Cruz... the scared owners were more than happy to vacate. Of course quake memories are always short! AND the property shoots up again!

So heres a toast to the next BIG ONE! Which will be the real bubble popper! I predict it will be the Hayward Fault where all the tension is building building building......!

But the silver lining is that the the FED funds pour in and the area rebounds and BOOMS! By the way a friend built the coolest "roll cage" for his bed..... just in case!

February 07, 2006 7:36 PM  

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