Saturday, January 21, 2006

Novato Bayou

This thing looks like it belongs in the bayou. But anyway, this Novoto PoS is within spitting distance of the 37 highway. The write-up says it is on 29,000 acres (marsh, not swamp) but somehow I think that is not totally accurate as other listings indicate that it is on 0.5 acre which is a bit more reasonable (ok, that was a cheap shot, I admit it). You're on septic here so be careful what and how often you flush. The cinder blocks supporting the house are a nice touch too. It's offered at a laughable $675,000. Pay that and it's yours to raise your kids in. It's so worth it because you can, um, wear your shorts in January while you golf...yeah, that's it...


Blogger sf jack said...

When are we going to have another "Golden Turd" vote?

Quarterly? Semi-annually?

I'm looking forward to it.

Perhaps because the bubble will deflate rather measurably rather soon, there may not be as many POS's to vote on in the future....

Though maybe that's a bit delusional. I suppose Marin may not run out of POS's for a decade.

January 23, 2006 11:42 AM  
Blogger marin_explorer said...

I have to laugh at those realtor photos; what does that say of the property? If that's the best shot they can muster, buyer beware!

29,000 acres? You could hide a few meth labs on that land. ;-)

January 23, 2006 12:51 PM  
Blogger Marinite said...

When are we going to have another "Golden Turd" vote?

I have to find a poll plugin that doesn't spam you all with popups. That's why I pulled the last poll so early.

January 23, 2006 5:28 PM  
Anonymous by_palladium said...

Run out of POS in a decade?

Well, we have 7319 people in fairfax, probably around 2000 homes. At least half are fair to middling POSs. So, that is about 3 years of daily supply.

MV is at 13,600 people, so probably around 3000 homes. While these pages are loaded with MV POSs, there are probably fewer such residences per capita. At least another year of supply.

I guess we could get additional newly built homes joining the POS roster in the next couple of years. Any of the newer subdivisions in corte madera or novato along 101 will move that direction surprisingly quickly as their owners get evicted and tumbleweeds grow in their front yards.

But 10 years of POSs is a lot...

January 24, 2006 12:36 PM  
Blogger marin_explorer said...

Palladium, others-
I agree that I don't see those PoS's running out anytime soon, if current demographic trends suggest a future direction. Here's a few stats of population changes for some Marin towns from 2000-04:

Belvedere -1.83
Corte Madera 0.79
Fairfax -2.24
Larkspur -1.87
Mill Valley -1.92
Novato 2.93
Ross -1.55
San Anselmo -2.21
San Rafael -1.04
Sausalito -1.49
Tiburon 0.07

I haven't seen stats on 05-06, but what's your guess?
I suspect housing prices play a part in this exodus, which may explain the growth in Novato. Of course, if homes eventually correct to more historic pricing, the term "PoS" will be a moot point.

January 24, 2006 1:35 PM  
Blogger Marinite said...

For me, a PoS is defined around what you get for the price you pay for it. If Marin houses were priced more in line with fundamentals then there would be no PoSs.

Incidentally, I am thinking of starting a "McMarin McMansions" blog featuring the highest of the high end houses. Any thoughts on that?

January 24, 2006 1:39 PM  
Blogger marin_explorer said...

Incidentally, I am thinking of starting a "McMarin McMansions" blog featuring the highest of the high end houses. Any thoughts on that?

I think that would be enlightening/amusing. Hopefully, you received my submissions sofar.

January 24, 2006 1:43 PM  
Anonymous by_palladium said...

I would contribute to a McMansion blog. The only issue that I see is that I usually associate McMansions with "affordable" or at least marginally affordable areas, where a marginal increase in "amenities" will turn a very average home into an uberhome.

For example, the first time I heard about McMansions was with the ripper downers in santa clara county - probably around 4 years ago. The zero set back monster homes on postage stamp lots. With all the architectural digest details. But these were in what was then "affordable" neighborhoods.

The latest such houses seem to be prominently on display in the more marginal commuting areas of the east bay, sacramento and yes even san geronimo valley. But are there really that many in marin?

Those are interesting numbers Skeptic - it looks to me that the median age of southern and central marin is increasing while novato is getting the refugees and starters. I can only see that trend continuing. A couple of renter families in this area of tib have left for greener pastures in texas.


January 24, 2006 10:46 PM  
Blogger marin_explorer said...

Another way to define the "McMansion" segment are homes that are built as egregious displays of wealth and consumption. Some of the criteria I've used are:
• Emphasis on square footage over style, taste, and design. There may be little cohesive design; the house is an odd jumble of stacked rooms (very common in Marin).
• Home looks more like a monument than a residence built for comfort; built beyond human scale. What Le Corbusier knew, these architects choose to forget.
• Poor use of architectural motifs intended to make the home look more palatial. There's turrets, spires, rock walls, "Tuscan villa" kitsch, exaggerated craftsman elements. A general lack of subtlety, and no interest in building to suit the environment.
• This is a personal peeve: numerous garages that become an integral part the design (visible on approach).
• Some cheaper homes share these qualities, but I find the worst offenders are in the $2M+ range. If I ever design my own home, I won't feel the need to be so obvious.

January 25, 2006 9:26 AM  
Blogger Marinite said...

by_palladium, reskeptic -

I think your definition of "McMansion" is in fact in good alignment with the popular use of the word. So I would tend to agree that there aren't all that many in Marin.

Maybe the blog should be called "Marin's Egregious Displays of Wealth and Consumption" or "Marin's Monuments to Ego" or some such.

Suggest some good titles.

January 25, 2006 9:33 AM  
Blogger VO5 said...

How about, small Penis, got my ass kicked alot in HS,never got the girl now I have a big house and a trophy wife blog ?

January 25, 2006 11:28 AM  
Blogger Marinite said...


January 25, 2006 12:29 PM  
Blogger marin_explorer said...

LOL to above.
Mine perhaps aren't as direct, but in jest:
"Supersize My Ego"
"Hummer Homes"
"Marin's 'Good Life': In the Worst Way"
"Why 5000 square feet, 2 smug homeowners, and their 5 yippy Bichon Frisé can't be wrong"
"You're just bitter that you can't buy this"
"Ugly and Big: Marin's New 'Style'"

January 25, 2006 12:57 PM  
Blogger Marinite said...


So I am currently leaning towards "Marin's Monuments to Ego: Why 5000+ Square Feet, 2 Smug Homeowners, and Their 5 Yippy Bichon Frisé Can't Be Wrong".

Suggest more; it's only getting better...

January 25, 2006 1:00 PM  
Blogger sf jack said...

"Though maybe that's a bit delusional. I suppose Marin may not run out of POS's for a decade."

Hey guys -

When I wrote that I wasn't talking about some factor of population or daily listings of POS's or anything like that... I was thinking that worst (best?) case scenario - Marin housing returns to sanity sometime around a decade from now.

And then - no more POS's!

Of course, some might argue that even in a sane market, there are a lot of shoddily constructed homes in the County. So even if things reach an "undervalued" state, I suppose a POS here or there could still exist.

POS's for everyone!!

January 25, 2006 6:46 PM  
Blogger sf jack said...

"Suggest more; it's only getting better... "


"I've got mine, so **ck you monster-ego homes of Marin"

"Keeping up with the Jones'... 'over the top' homes of Marin - since we've already got the implants, the 'cabin' in Tahoe, the condo in Hawaii and the gas guzzlers in the garage."

January 25, 2006 6:51 PM  
Anonymous by_palladium said...

True enough....I don't have anything against McMansions and POSs, just as long as I could get one for one years salary.

January 25, 2006 7:18 PM  
Blogger Wickedheart said...

Okay, I have to ask, can you wear shorts in January in Marin or are you JK? Maybe I'm just a pansy ass San Diegan but I always thought the bay area was pretty chilly during the winter months.

January 25, 2006 7:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can wear short pants almost anywhere on the earth in's just not recommended especially if you are male and want to reproduce.

January 25, 2006 8:17 PM  
Blogger marin_explorer said...

Okay, I have to ask, can you wear shorts in January in Marin or are you JK?

Sure, on warmer winter days. As recent as yesterday for me.

January 25, 2006 9:40 PM  
Blogger Marinite said...

Saw this play title over on another blog and so it might be a good subtitle to the Marin's Monuments to Ego blog that I am contemplating --

"People Who Spend Money they Don't Have to Buy Things They Can't Afford to Impress People they Don't Like"

There are just so many possibilities.

January 26, 2006 9:44 AM  
Anonymous by_palladium said...

Growing up in Minnesota, I sometimes wore shorts while skiing in january. Late it in the season, when it was pretty icy on the XC ski course, the result was the occasional very bad ice induced road rash.

Here is marin, you can wear shorts in january, but it isn't comfortable. Nor is it particularly comfortable for approximately 6 months of the year.

Consider that many of oaklands residents wear down jackets and stocking caps in August.

January 26, 2006 11:44 AM  
Blogger Riskbabe said...

"Conspicuous consumption, incoherently designed"

March 03, 2006 10:13 AM  

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