Saturday, April 29, 2006

Mill Valley Disconnect

Here's a sorry Mill Valley POS (3 br 2 ba, 1216 sq ft, built in 1953) that is described by the realtor as "a fixer" and that will cost you $825,000:

Here's what you get for a similarly located house near Seattle, WA (3 br 2 ba, 3205 sq ft, built in 2006) that comes with all the lifestyle upgrades that you could possibly imagine for $819,500:


Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Cashing Out in San Rafael

This thing looks like one of those nicer cabin thingys at some large national parks. Anyway, this POS in San Rafael comes in at 2 br, 1 ba, unknown square footage, built in 1956, and is asking $685,000. The sale is contingent on the current owner closing escrow on his new house (I called the realtor and the assisstant said the current owner is moving out of state...cashing out of the insanity here I guess...good for them).

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Oozing Insecurity in Mill Valley

Somewhere under all of that overgrown foliage is a Mill Valley POS. It comes in at 888 sq ft, 2 br 1 ba. At the laughable asking price of $965,000 you are looking at $1087 per sq ft. Here's the realtor's write-up:
Incredibly charming updated cottage in serene idyllic setting. Living room is quite large with windows on 3 sides, fplc & deck. Bath has claw foot tub (w. Shower)and wainscotted walls. Country ktchn+dining area also ooze marin charm. Plenty of outdoor space plus storage shed & fort. Very sweet home on sunny lot surrounded by upscale properties.
Let's dissect this one, shall we:

"Charming" = POS.

"Cottage" = tiny POS.

"Idyllic setting" = overgrown. Not to be removed as that is what is holding the place together.

"Ooze Marin charm" = now we know what disease has infected Marin buyers (although in damp south Marin mold comes to mind).

"Fort" = a place to hide out and shoot looters when the economy crashes.

"Surrounded by upscale properties" = that would be your (the buyer's, the wannabe's) insecurity and feelings of inadequacy as you come to realize you bought the neighborhood POS.

Visionless Bones in San Anselmo

There's just no end to the overpriced crap in Marin. Here is a San Anselmo POS (2 br 2 ba, 1116 sq ft, built 1940) that'll cost you $639,000. Don't let those fancy doodad support thingys and the white picket fence fool you. The best the realtor could muster was "Fixer! Got the bones...Needs the vision...Creekside property". Yeah, right; let's hope the buyer has enough vision to see that this is a POS. If not, they had better buy flood insurance this time.

Underwater in Kentfield

Here's a 3 br 3 ba house in Kentfield (built 1955 and remodeled in 2003) for $975,000. Looks pretty nice, right? Come on, it's Kentfield...yuppie central...if you can live there then all your friends, acquaintances, business contacts, etc. will worship you, right? That's Marin's notion of respect after all. But check out this bit from the realtor's write-up:
Flood damage has been removed reconstruction to be done by buyer as is sale...
In case you haven't been paying attention, Marin has very recently been subjected to huge amounts of rain. There have been numerous floods all over the county and a whole lot of property damage as a result. This POS is one of the casualties of the floods. But instead of forking over some cash to repair the flood damage (they must have been one of the surprisingly numerous Marin residents who didn't think flood insurance was worth it), these owners are choosing to cash-out now. Why? Maybe they know that we are at the top of the market and it is all down hill from here so it isn't worth reinvesting in this house to fix it back up to the way it was? Or maybe they're just another bunch of financially stressed Marin wannabes who got over their heads (and for a while literally underwater) and cannot afford to fix the house? Or maybe they were going to move anyway.

Friday, April 21, 2006

"Me Tarzan, You FB" in Novato

This 2 br 2 ba Novato POS (1098 sq ft, built 1949) is so crappy the realtor doesn't even want to show you a picture of the structure. Instead all you get to really see is the overgrown "tropical jungle yard". I bet you didn't know that Novato is in a tropical zone, did you? Do 4" cockroaches come with that too?

Here's the write-up:
Great fixer-upper! Small cottage with great protential. Privacy and tropical jungle yard.
That's all she wrote. Oh, yeah, and for this tropical "paradise" you have to fork over $565,000.

Hey, all you insane FBs out there who are buying all of this Marin crap: I'll soon be running psychotherapy sessions out of my house specifically for poor SOBs just like you. I may even make you famous and post about you. You know, a case study like Freud's Anna O. Putting one's insecurities, fears, and failures on public display is quite therapeutic you know.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Contractor's Special in Stinson Beach

This Stinson Beach POS (2 br 1 ba, 855 sq ft, built 1940) proves its POSness (despite being near the beach) by the fact that it has been on the market for 240 days straight and its price has been reduced 12% from $850k to $750k and still no takers. Perhaps the fact that the realtor describes it as a "contractor's special" has something to do with it. And is that outdoor dining area set up on the driveway or what?

Thursday, April 13, 2006

No Place to Sleep in Lagunitas

This POS is way the heck out in Lagunitas and comes in with 0 br 1 ba (that's not a typo, we're talking no bedroom... zero, zilch, nada), unknown square footage, unknown build date. Despite all these unknowns the original owners are still quite certain it is worth every penny of the $290,000 asking price making this perhaps the cheapest "house" currently on the market in all of Marin County. But hey, it has "mature vegetation" all over the place and at least the "original buildings [still] stand". What a deal.

Here is the realtor write-up for a good laugh:
Down a quiet lane, a long-loved property awaits a new era after 100+yrs of original family ownership. It's a half-acre+/- creekside lot w/mature vegetation & privacy; super location for new home. Original buildings stand but are in complete disrepair. Do not enter buildings; see w/agent. All info on requirements & possibilities for redevelopment of property must be verified by buyer. Sellers & agent do not guarantee anything. Sale to be as is.
This thing has "been in the family" for over 100 years and they are selling now? Gee, I wonder why?

Please, Please Buy This San Rafael POS

I didn't find any good pictures of this San Rafael POS. It comes in at 858 sq ft, 2 br 1 ba, built in 1961. Asking $499,000. What really got my attention was the realtor write-up:
Estate sale/as is/rear deck needs work, enter at your own risk. Home needs work but has potential. [Realtor BS] Offers if any on 4/21.
"Offers if any"...WTF!?!

Monday, April 10, 2006

Very Small Sausalito POS

This may be the smallest one yet. This Sausalito POS is 528 sq ft (the lot is smaller than most houses at 1,045 sq ft!), 1 br 1 ba, built in 1948. Asking $650,000. That's $1,231 per sq ft. LOL! Just enough room for you and your dog and maybe a plant. From what I hear people are being forced to buy smaller houses in Marin than they really want due to rising interest rates so this one must be really, really desirable.

Blah in Mill Valley

A reader sent in this total fixer with this comment:
Check out 27 Locke Lane...2 bedroom, 1300 sq ft, nearly 80 years old and falling apart. The lot is a weed choked mess. Asking $1.2 [million] and the realtor says "Value is in the land". $1.2 mil for a lot in a blah area of Mill Valley?

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Skinny POS in Corte Madera

This is the rear view of this POS in Corte Madera just to show how skinny it is. It comes in with 2 br 1 ba, unknown square footage, and was built in 1906. Entering the house from the front requires climbing a staircase. Asking $699,000.

'RTFRs Before Making Offer' in San Anselmo

Built in 1931, 2 br 1 ba, 1350 sq ft POS in San Anselmo. Asking $649,000. The realtor's write-up reveals it to be the POS that it is:
Contractor's delight...Grandma's sweet cottage in a delightful neighborhood needs some work...Please read pest and home inspection reports prior to making offer...This home has loads of potential...
Any grandma's out there with a spare $650K? Oh, I'm sorry, this is what today's Marin professionals have to look forward to. I forgot.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Le Petite Beige Bungalow in San Anselmo

2 br, 1 ba, 891 sq ft POS in San Anselmo; built in 1924. There's no realtor write-up to make fun of so I will have to provide my own:
Come live the sought after Marin POS lifestyle in this charming, cozy, le petite beige bungalow in San Anselmo. Never mind the big, fat, black power lines running right over the le very narrow and overgrown back yard. Perfect for young families with fewer than two kids or who like to double-up in the beds or even the loser professional who is only making a high six-figure salary and cannot afford a real house in Marin but nevertheless must be able to brag about living in Marin. The fresh coat of paint and the sagging, gray planter make this well worth the $729,000 asking price. Be sure to stock up on the Top Ramen and PB & J.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Dust-Colored POS in Novato

This 1 br, 1 ba Novato POS comes in at 678 sq ft. Built in 1935. Asking $619,000 LOL! That's $913 per sq ft. And what do you think of those stone pillars?

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Condomania in San Rafael

The realtor write-up for this San Rafael dump (2 br, 1 ba, 1152 sq ft, built in 1909) just goes to show that condomania is alive and well in Marin:
Contractors!! Build 4 condos here. Has design board approval. . . Geotechnical phase 1 complete. Acoustical study complete. Ready for tentative map. Minor subdivision, exempt from most restrictions.... May be able to have more units but this is a good plan. Tear down the house to build. Value is in the land. House was rented for $1300 monthly but condition is poor... Condos will be 1 bedroom,with garage. 3 over 900 sq feet. 1 over 600 sq ft.
So how much for a turn-of-the-century San Rafael POS? $699,000 asking. What a joke! Welcome to Marin. Now go home. You tried. You looked. And the rational part of your brain said "Are you freakin' crazy or what?" And your Id said "Buy it, you know you want to, you know you want to be one of the wannabe Marin aristocracy." Listen to your inner Einstein and not your inner Freud.

Novato "Junktique"

Ahahaha! Welcome to the Marin POS lifestyle where you must mortgage yourself to the eyeballs just to live in Marin. We are a county of speculative fools. This Novato POS comes in with 2 br 1 ba, 945 sq ft, built in 1953, brick foundation. The realtor write-up is classic:
One person's junk'' is another's antique''. Check out this home with potential: bring your contractors to this fixer. This is a probate with no court confirmation. Home has been added onto and may be bigger than original tax records. One car garage with 6800 sq. Ft. Lot and built in 1953 on tree-lined street in good location [realtor contact info deleted].
Of course, if it was priced appropriately, say $100K, then it wouldn't be a POS at all. But at an eye-popping $500,000 asking price, it's my latest Marin POS entry.