Sunday, July 09, 2006

A Great Ending POS in San Rafael

This 2 br 1 ba, 703 sq ft San Rafael POS (built 1930) is asking $549,000. Here is the realtor write-up:
Charm and walk to town location make this cute 2br 1 ba home an exceptional opportunity. Currently br used as dining room - front sun porch, lr with fireplace, small back porch or utility room, lush gardens and foliage make this a gardener's delight. One car garage and lots of adjacent storage. Opportunity is knocking - great starter property - write your offers
I see nothing "charming" about this place. Again, "charm" is a realtor code word for "tiny" and "no upgrades to speak of".

The point of interest here is "Currently br used as dining room". You see, tiny Marin POSs like this (and many that grace this blog) are all that most people can afford nowadays. But buyers want to live in a more normal house; you know, one with a dining room as in this example. So they have to make a single room dual-use -- a bedroom/dining room combo in this case.

That is just plain pathetic. You buyers should be demanding more. At least boycott housing for a while.

Next thing you know people will be spouting at parties, etc. about how living in a small house like this is the current trendy/desirable thing to do.

Oh, and I cannot pass on the "great starter property" comment. The phrase "starter property" is being used here like "starter car". A starter car was that beater car you drove when you were a kid so as to learned how to drive. Your parents figured if you dinged it or worse, then no great loss. There is no such thing as a "starter house" as it doesn't make any sense to "practice" owning a house.

No, what this realtor really means by "starter property" is simply a first-time purchase. Most first-time purchases are made by young couples who want to start a family. This POS is totally inappropriate for young couples planning to have kids. I'm sorry, but calling this POS a "great starter property" is irresponsible IMO.

If anything, this POS should be described as a "great ending property" as it would be perfect for someone who has retired, the spouse has passed on, and the kids are living their own lives somewhere else (almost certainly not in Marin as they probably could not afford it anymore).


Blogger addamillion said...

Or, a "starter house" is your opportunity to join the Ponzi scheme. Overpay now, and pray that there will be at least one more foolish buyer when you want to sell. The resulting profit is more equity (assuming you sell for more than you paid.) Realtors call this trading up, and love it as it leads to two more commissions: a commission on the sale of your original POS, and the new POS you buy.

July 09, 2006 3:54 PM  
Blogger marin_explorer said...

Another overused phrase: "exceptional, unique opportunity," (because dumps like these may never come your way again.) Whatever happened to "Opportunity cost?" I think that's far more relevant concept for 2006.

opportunity cost: the added cost of using resources (as for production or speculative investment) that is the difference between the actual value resulting from such use and that of an alternative (as another use of the same resources or an investment of equal risk but greater return)

July 09, 2006 6:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"starter house"

at $549,000?!!?

thats a starter house only if you are making $200,000 a year.

July 10, 2006 10:28 AM  
Blogger Marinite said...

thats a starter house only if you are making $200,000 a year.

If you are making $200,000/year then you deserve a nicer house than this POS IMO.

July 10, 2006 12:37 PM  
Blogger marin_explorer said...

"starter house"?

It might also be "code" for "starter" Marin RE investor. A lot of wording in local writeups seems to wink at those short-term investors--a rapidly dying breed I now suspect.

July 10, 2006 12:49 PM  
Blogger fredtobik said...

We never use our dinning room, talk about a waste of space. Same for the garage, nothing but storage.

July 10, 2006 2:06 PM  
Blogger Marinite said...

I use my dining room all the time. And I have a car in my garage. Is that strange?

July 10, 2006 3:26 PM  

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