Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Flood-Safe Shack in Mill Valley

Enchanting homestead hideaway. Quiet & secluded location at the end of a cul-de-sac. This charming home, on the market for the first time, sits high above a seasonal creek on a large, mostly level lot...Fantastic starter opportunity.
I think this is the smallest Mill Valley POS yet. It comes in with 1 br 1 ba, 988 sq ft (big lot though at 10,500 sq ft), built in 1955. Yet another write-up that hints at being flood-safe (I see a trend starting). At $729,000 the only thing going for it is the lot.

Lacking Merit in San Rafael

One level 4 bedroom 2 bath home with hardwood floors, fireplace, dining room,two car garage and great layout. Close proxmity to china camp and open space. This property does not require flood insurance. Great opportunity for first time home buyer.
What grabbed my attention by this San Rafael POS was not so much the picture of the structure itself but the fact that the realtor decided to post pictures of the China Camp State Park sign, a picture of the Civic Center, etc. In other words, for $669,000 this POS can't sell itself on its own merits.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Old Blue-Collar Tract POS in San Rafael

Wonderful home with some deferred maintenance-3be/2ba with original hardwood floors, detached two car garage and large back yard. Close to jcc, local k-8 school, open space, farmer's market. Great for first time buyers in marin county.
This San Rafael POS (3 br 2 ba, built 1953, 1542 sq ft) makes me sick just looking at it. I mean, you can see the stains and cracked stucco even in the picture. No upgrades whatsoever. The kitchen cabinets (as well as the carpets) are some sickly yellowish-green in color. The stove looks like it dates from the 1950s. The bathrooms? 1950s era. The junk-filled backyard is a muddy mess where even the grass struggles to hold on to dear life. And for this heap of ugliness you have to pay $645,000. That's six-hundred-fourty-five-thousand dollars, not pesos, but dollars.

It's an old blue-collar tract home and it should be priced like an old blue-collar tract home.

It really bothers me when a realtor says about a POS like this "Great for first time buyers in marin county". No, I'm sorry, but that is just plain BS. Am I the only person who sees a problem with this? No first time buyer wants to buy a wreck like this for that kind of money. Why are we now at the point where the first time buyer has to buy a joke of a house like this for such an astronomical amount of money? This sort of POS should be marketed towards people who make it a business of tearing down crap like this and building something better in its place; it should not be marketed to first time buyers who in all likelihood want to start a family. Would you want to start a family in this POS? Would you have wanted to have been raised in a POS like this?

Folks, it's time to stop the madness. Only you can do it and it has to be a collective effort. Boycott housing for one to two years.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Brown Box in San Rafael

Wonderful opportunity to find home with large patio, close to shopping and transportation at this price. Hardwood floors, 1-car garage great starter home. Views and light, large terraced garden.
What the heck is up with this San Rafael POS? This must be the ugliest thing ever. No upgrades whatsoever. "Wonderful opportunity to find home with large patio"? Huh? Is a large patio what we are to aspire to? Yeah, a large patio, like that's on the top of my list when buying a house.

Anyway, this piece of brown ugliness that is in need of a flush comes in at 2 br 1 ba, 784 sq ft, built in 1963, asking $599,950.

But in all seriousness, the sad thing is that there are people who buy stuff like this for these prices and think they are somehow special. The joke's on such people I'm afraid. You see, Marin County makes the rest of the country look better. So you live in what is (locally) considered to be an average house in Minneapolis (or where ever) and maybe you are feeling a bit despondent about it. Don't! It could be worse --> you could be holding a mortgage for a POS in Marin.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Novato Possibilities

Wonderful starter home or great opportunity! 2 bed 1 bath original home with detached garage close to downtown novato. Home boasts original charm throughout, with room to grow comfortably. Charming landscaping, mature trees and shady covered porch are only part of what makes this home shine. Home sits on a huge, level downtown lot, on a quiet street, with the possibility for development or a granny unit. The possibilities are endless!!
"Starter home", "charm", "possibilities" -- all realtor buzzwords for "POS". This thing definately does not "shine" unless buyers are willing to lower their standards of what constitutes a home. At 2 br 1 ba, 980 sq ft, built in 1951, no "lifestyle upgrades" at all, and asking $599,000 it's a true POS.

Mill Valley Possibilities

Sorry about the lousy photo quality; the realtor obviously does not know how to effectively use a camera.

Here is the realtor write-up:
Great possibilities in mill valley. This home is currently configured as two unwarranted units. Situated on a lovely level lot. Each unit consists of one bedroom and one bathroom, fireplace, and decks. Explore the potential!
Two unwarranted units in an ugly-arsed structure (built in 1958). No granite or marble countertops, no uber-appliances, nada, zip, zilch. In Mill Valley, $625,000 just buys you "possibilties".

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Stinson Beach Tree House

I just had to post this one because it is 1 br 2 ba. Two (full) bathrooms for one bedroom? Only in Marin does stuff like that make any sense. As for the rest...995 sq ft, built in 1923, asking $895,000 ("as is" sale). And it is not even near the beach.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Shack On a Stick in San Anselmo

Another Marin POS fan sent this one in. The write-up for this San Anselmo POS goes something like this:
Blah blah blah needs some definite TLC blah blah blah
This picture was taken by the reader who had this to say:
You had asked if I had any pictures of the San Anselmo wreck that I saw on Sunday. I had to go by that area today so I snapped a couple of pictures. I tried to take it from the side because it is on these ~scary~ looking stilts and looks like it will blow down in a stiff breeze! This architectural wonder is $699,000.

The side wood thingy is leaning dangerously to the left. The for sale sign says view, but it is in the woods. Hmmm, I think if you were standing on the roof with a telescope you could see hills…
This shack on a stick comes in at 3 br 1 ba, built in 1965, 1536 sq ft. Asking $699,000.

Kentfield Trailer

This is what the realtor says:
Lrge, charming 2br 1b family home on large lot. 1 blk from bacich elem. Dual pane windows lets in lots of light. Lrge, eat in kitchen w.Hardwood flrs. W/w carpet throughout. Fireplace in lr. Beautiful brick patio and yard w. Gorgeous rose garden. Drip system. 1 car garage. Top of the line engineered soundwall keeps sfd traffic to minimum. Home may be expandable to within 6' of fence according to seller. (buyer to verify with bldg dept).
Yeah, sounds like the greatest thing ever. Why would anyone dare to think otherwise? This is what the reader who sent in this POS says:
I toured it last Spring when they were trying to sell it for $750k. Believe me, it's a double wide moblie home disguised as a house.
The low-down on this Kentfield POS: 2 br 1 ba, 1270 sq ft, $968,000.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Mill Valley Outhouse

"Fixer upper on great lot in the sycamore park area. Property to be sold as is."
That's all the realtor said in the description. If she was my realtor I'd fire her for sure. Unless they are not paying her the 6% commission then I guess it is ok. I mean, if it was me I'd write something along the lines of:
"Run-down, dilapidated, ugly-arse Mill Valley POS "charmer" chic-pied-terre needs a truckload of TLC or else needs to be razed before you can even think about moving your family into it even if you have to live on Top Ramen and/or PB & J for many years to come then don't worry, be happy because they aren't making any more land don't you know and you don't want to be priced out forever because everyone wants to live here and besides I know a lender who can get you an affordable mortgage no matter what your situation even if you are a dead homeless person."
A POS like this only goes to show that if there is any value in Marin property it is in the land. But then, why do Marin condos and townhouses cost nearly as much? Just goes to show that buying real estate in Marin is most definitely not a rational process and the buyer's money apparently has little value (it's a borrowed/inherited vs. earned thing). Anyway, this POS is in Mill Valley, 1032 sq ft, 3 br 1 ba, built in 1942, and is asking $849,000.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Butt Ugly in Mill Valley

I am posting this Mill Valley structure just because it is so butt ugly, it "needs tlc", and the fact that the asking price has been reduced 10%. A few more of those and the 35% correction (at least) will be complete. Boycott RE for a while longer... Anyway, current asking price is $983,000 for 4 br 3 ba, 2068 sq ft, built in 1962.

Ignore the Bars on the Windows in San Rafael

This San Rafael POS comes in with 2 br 1 ba, 1,086 sq ft, built 1933. Ignore the bars on the windows. It is described by the realtor as "a fixer" if you can believe that. Ignore the bars on the windows. I mean come on, this is to die for in Marin. Ignore the bars on the windows. Anyway, this picture is conveniently cropped to hide the fact that this tiny POS is squeezed between two other buildings with about three feet of separation between each. Ignore the bars on the windows. Asking a pittance really...just $625,000. Ignore the bars on the windows.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Just a Roof in San Rafael

According to the realtor:
San rafael fixer-3b/2ba needs everything except roof is newer & hardwood floors under carpet seem in good condition. Brick fireplace in lr with insert & detached two car garage. Some cracks in walls & ceilings due to typical settlement in area...Perfect starter home, needs work...
So, for $645,000 you are basically getting a roof and maybe some floors because everything else needs to be replaced. That's considered the "perfect starter home" in Marin. Typical young families are not welcome here.

Stucco Box in San Rafael

No lifestyle upgrades whatsoever in this San Rafael POS. All you get is 2 br 1 ba, 1310 sq ft (built in 1948), a cubist's architectural design, and a bill for $709,000.

Monday, May 08, 2006

"House Must be Removed" in Tiburon

This Tiburon POS must be really, really nasty. Why else would the realtor write "Value in the lot.....House must be removed.....Opportunity knocks!.. "? At least the realtor had the good sense not to list a picture of the house itself which, by the way, comes in at 3 br 2 ba, 1542 sq ft, unknown build date, asking $899,000. LOL!

Saturday, May 06, 2006

San Anselmo Haunted House

$899,000 and this 1904 "haunted house" in San Anselmo could be yours. Now, just imagine how much a real house in Marin would cost you; you know, one you could actually live in. People, get a clue already. Don't be fools. Don't listen to the fork-tongued realtor's salesman-speak. That seemingly seductive and flattering smooth-talk is designed to separate a fool from his money. Don't be that fool (there are enough here). Thanks to the reader who sent in this "find".

Thursday, May 04, 2006

No Place to Sleep in Lagunitas -- Update

The realtor removed the picture that I used in "No Place to Sleep in Lagunitas"; the one with the "No Trespassing" sign hanging from the rope across the "driveway". It was replaced with these winners. LOL! I'll never understand the mind of a Marin realtor.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Vacation Rental in Stinson Beach

This Stinson Beach vacation rental comes in at 2 br 1 ba, 1008 sq ft, built in 1958. At an unfathomable $2,950,000 asking price you'd expect at the very least to get some granite countertops and stainless steel über-appliances or something along those lines, but no such luck. So for $2,927 per sq ft what do you get? The beach and this hard-sell:
Watch the sunsets from this charming beach house in private gated community of seadrift. Lowest priced oceanfront in seadrift. Great weekend home or investment property with good rental history in a popular vacation rental destination just 25 miles from san francisco. Great location with expansion possibilities. The perfect jewel..It will never be this affordable again to own on the beach...
The realtor is really working it in that write-up don't you think? I mean, for that asking price you would think the house would sell itself. Oh, I forgot, people don't buy houses in Marin for the house. Silly me. And you gotta love the way she pimps every possible angle on this vacation rental and can still close with "It will never be this affordable again to own on the beach".