Tuesday, February 28, 2006

So Where's Your Family?

This San Rafael PoS was built in 1951. It comes in at 941 sq ft, 2 br 1 ba, zero "life-style" upgrades but lots of good old fashioned vinyl and linoleum. What made me laugh (as usual) is the realtor's write-up: "basement could be family room, also under the house storage". Well good thinkin' Mr. Realtor! So does that mean [turns on real estate agent universal translator] that the basement could be converted into either a family room (there's no family room?!) or be used as storage, but not both? Besides, who wants to put their family room in the basement anyway? "Knock, knock. Hi Neighbor Joe. Hi, so where's the family. Oh, they are all in the basement err I mean 'family room'." All this Marin goodness for $675,000. Ah, the sacrifices one must make to live in Marin.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Losing Ten Grand a Year in Kentfield

Ok, so this is a duplex in Kentfield, not a SFR. But it's still a PoS. The owner is asking $945,000 and desires "a quick sale" (no kidding, I can see why). Rental income for the two units is $1,450/month and $1,475/month or a total of $2,925/month. According to my conservative math, if you made a 20% down payment (which no one does anymore of course) then your monthly mortgage (principle + interest assuming a 6% rate) works out to about $3,750/month or a monthly shortfall of -$825/month or -$9,900/year. Never mind maintenance costs, insurance, taxes, etc., which only exasperates the situation (hey, all you landlords out there, in your experience what would all the incidental costs add up to each year?). So, not only do you own a butt-ugly, gray PoS surrounded by cracked and oil stained concrete, but you can also expect to lose money each month. But hey! That only makes sense here in Marin. You see, no one buys here because of the house per se. Oh no, no...it's not about the house at all my naive reader. It's about the intangibles and intangibles, as everyone knows, are worth whatever you want them to be worth.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Lipstick and Rouge

This Mill Valley PoS was built in 1923, 2 br 2 ba, and comes in at 620 sq ft. The realtor doesn't even bother to go to the effort of writing a description for this one. So I will: "This is the perfect house to live the Top Ramen lifestyle in Marin that you've been dreaming about...le chic petite terre whatever... so come on down! Features 220 volt wiring, a laundry room, stacked washer/dryer, a shower and tub, and oooooh just look at that gas-only fireplace." Originally listed at $567,000 and now reduced to $549,000. Wow! What a frickin' deal! 3.2% off! Thanks Mr. Seller. I'm going out right now, calling my realtor, and getting me one of those interest-only, negative amortizing, stated income loans that everyone has been talking about because, you know, Marin is, like, just so worth it and, like, everyone wants to live here and they aren't making any more land dontchyaknow.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

"That Doesn't Look Like a Very Good House"

And so I am browsing the listings this evening and my young daughter walks in and says "Hey, that doesn't look like a very good house". And I say, being a good parent and all, "Oh, it's not so bad" when in fact what I want to say is "No, it's not; it's a boring, pink, stucco PoS". This Strawberry structure, built in 1943, comes in at 797 sq ft and sports 2 br 1 ba. The best the realtor can muster is to say that it is in "move in condition!" (they just always have to add that exclamation point like it is really going to seal the deal) and alludes to "updates" that for some inexplicable reason go unelaborated upon. And so how much shall you pay for a boring, Mill Valley, stucco waste? Why, a mere $775,000. That shouldn't be a problem at all to the 90% of all Marin residents who cannot afford the median priced house.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Bed Bugs in Mill Valley

A reader sent in this Mill Valley PoS (thanks!). It's 3 br 2 ba, 1314 sq ft, built in 1924, and very run down. The realtor's write-up describes it as "potential". One of the other pictures provided by the realtor is so fitting for these unfortunate times we live in -- a shot of the crappy one car garage with a silver Benz next to it (and not in it). They want $799,000 for this joke of a house. I'm sure the burnt mattress is a big selling point along with all the crap around the base of the house; seller hubris still reigns supreme in Mill Valley.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Time for a Poll

Ok, so I think it is about time we have another poll to see which one of the currently identified Marin PoSs wins the Golden Turd Award. Please review the various PoS posts and nominate your choice(s). I'll review the submissions and fashion a poll. The winner of the last Golden Turd Award will by necessity be on the new poll.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

A Stinson Beach Bottom Feeder

This 870 sq ft, 2 br 1 ba, 1940s beach shack in the least desirable flats of Stinson Beach could be yours for a mere $695,000. That's right. Don't let the fact that this is a total PoS bother you because the realtor's write-up assures us that you are "just steps from multimillion dollar beachfront homes". In other words, you are 'just steps from the real houses'. Blow a wad of cash on this dump and then live a life of inadequacy and house-envy, endure the stares of your 'multimillion dollar' neighbors. Or cave-in to the pressure of 'keeping up with the Jones' and tear this dump down and build your own beach McMansion. Sigh. Welcome to the new Marin.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Not for the Faint of Heart

Here is the realtor write-up for this Mill Valley 2 br 1 ba PoS; it speaks for itself: "This is a major fixer... Bring your contractor clients. This is not a property for the faint of heart! Please be careful when showing." So how much do you think a house that is dangerous for people to enter will go for in Mill Valley? How overpriced is Marin, really? This thing is asking $549,000.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Just Shoot Me Now

A ha ha ha ha! $449,000 in Forest Knolls. 'Nuff said.

Speechless in San Rafael

I'm speechless. What can I say about this PoS? Absolutely nothing has been done to this 1930s era, 2 br 1 bath San Rafael house. Nothing. It's for sale for $699,000. This is Marin after all...God's country or so it's said. You know, where the streets are paved with gold, the fountains are flowing with wine, and the local "aristocracy" pass marble. You would think for that price you'd get a decent house. Who looks at this and says to themselves "yes, that is worth every penny"?

Friday, February 03, 2006

Sausalito PoC

I admit, this thing has curb appeal. So I'll call it a PoC instead of a PoS. It was built in 1904, 1 BR/1 BA, and it is a puny 704 sq ft. What's more, it's owned by the realtor who is representing it. I wonder why a realtor is selling now? Hmmm... I wonder. Hasn't he heard that "real estate always goes up", "Marin real estate never goes down", etc.? It has been "updated" to have a disposal , a dishwasher, and a refrigerator in the kitchen. Wow! Who would have thunk it? And it's only $625,000; that's $887.78 per sq ft.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

A Princely Priced Tract Home

So do you want to know what is the cheapest that you will have to pay to live in Marin and not have to deal with a complete tear down? Well, this just might be it. It's a nothing-special tract home, built in 1955, no "lifestyle upgrades", and asking $689,000. So there you go. It's technically in Marin (it's in Novato) but according to many south Marinites Novato doesn't count as "being Marin" so you be the judge. It's a "blue collar" house asking a princely sum.