Wednesday, October 11, 2006

POSs Like This Make Me Mad

This 1 br 1 ba, 700 sq ft POS is in San Rafael. They are asking $559,000 which works out to about $800/sq ft. I don't know about you but that seems like a lot to pay for a yellow box with an old roof and with a tiny-arsed garage with one of its walls falling down. But hey, that's just me. What do I know? It's Marin after all and everyone wants to live here, right? Marin is the only place on Earth that is not an "armpit" or so they say. That means you just have to forget about how much stuff like this know, bring your bucket of money and box of stupid, shut the F up and suck it up like recent Marinites before you. And I'm sure the real estate agent who is peddling this thing off to the "lumpinvestorate" has a whole laundry list of reasons why this is the perfect Marin starter home for that young family.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

No reason to get mad - in this market that crap ain't selling at that price. Only the most foolish would consider that old shack at 800/sq foot. NUTS. It's pipe dream of some seller, ain't gonna happen.

October 11, 2006 1:00 PM  
Anonymous liz said...

I had to send this POS from long island, New York...

This home is amongst a group of really crappy trailor trash type homes.... It faces a sh**tty harbor on a dangerously steep hill.
Which you can only get to from OTHER dangerously steep hills.

The photo DOES NOT DO THIS POS justice at all!!!! In real life, its extremely ugly and has 2 houses sitting practically on top of it. There IS water down the block but YOUR VIEW from this POS is of some run down bungalos.

- in the trenches on long island

October 11, 2006 1:16 PM  
Anonymous Ms Hawkes said...


The wall only appears to be falling down - it's the tree and shadows creating an optical illusion. However...

These overpriced rabbit hutches infuriate me as well. Because I live in the South Bay, last week did an experiment where I searched for "starter homes" in 5 counties, Monterey, Santa Cruz, San Benito, Santa Clara and San Mateo. The criteria being at least a 2/1+, under 500k, and not a condo/townhouse (because I hate them and don't consider them true homes, an HOA antipathy).

Only just over 3% of all SFRs in 5 counties met this criteria, with 3 counties having about .5 percent. I checked Sonoma Co., which had about 22% of all SFRs, 2/1+ under 500k, which surprised me somewhat. I would have checked Marin, but can't seem to get a Marin MLS to work on my machine (???).

By the way, I consider 500k still far too expensive for anyone just starting out, since even with a reasonable mortgage the payment will far exceed rent.

Still, I understand the longing to own a home, because sometimes there's nothing more satisfying than knocking out a poorly placed wall or tearing out some crappy dark 70's paneling.

I find this RE bubble biz all terribly sad and ethically criminal. Where's the Wayback Machine, Mr. Peabody, so I can go back to the Santa Clara Valley before it got clogged with Silicon nitwits and smog and they knocked down my beloved Drive Ins to put up ugly housing?

October 11, 2006 1:26 PM  
Blogger Marinite said...

The wall only appears to be falling down - it's the tree and shadows creating an optical illusion.

Ok, I can see that.

Here's another I posted on this blog with an optical illusion. The log in the top pic appears to be floating due to the way some off-pic trees are casting shadows:

October 11, 2006 1:56 PM  
Anonymous Ms Hawkes said...


How odd that nobody commented on the blatant illusion, and funny that it looks like the lower half of this bloke from Spinal Tap, sideways.

October 11, 2006 3:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Strong Island represent!

Seriously, I'm in a RE-related biz & I've never seen properties that exceed the PoS quotient displayed on this blog, and that includes any hellhole-Nassau County-Five Towns-you name-it LI I can think of.

October 11, 2006 10:18 PM  
Blogger Dana Muise said...

Compared the other other POS houses, this one actually looks nice, I mean livable. Under $600K, now don't forget a year ago this would be priced at a million. Maybe next year this type of house will come in around 300 - 400K? An accurate price for this would be $150 - $200k but really those days are over in Marin.

Anyone have the URL for the Marin MLS?

October 11, 2006 11:03 PM  
Blogger Marinite said...

the PoS quotient

LOL. Can some of you math types figure out a formula for the POS-Q?

October 11, 2006 11:54 PM  
Blogger B. Durbin said...

Okay... let's start by assigning terms.

Mean income = I
Price = P
Size of the house = H
Size of the lot = L
Age or decrepitude of the house in question = D

For reasonability purposes, I will assume that a true starter home in Sacramento (where I live, so it's easier for me to run the numbers) is a 2/2 1200 ft^2 home on an eighth of an acre (5445 ft^2) Given that the median income for the area is ~$50K, that should come in at roughly $150K. (It comes in at about twice that; I'll run those numbers too.) Let's call it five years old.

So let's see... price divided by house size plus lot size, and that number multiplied by the decrepitude amount. Or

(P / (H + L) ) x D

Then we divide the whole by the median income and come up with a score of 2.26. So apparently, that's the reasonable score. Naturally enough, when the price is twice as much, the score is twice as high.

Come to think of it, though, a lot of your property listings don't have lot sizes attached. If we take the lot size out of the equation, the completely reasonable score is 12.5.

I'm going to write a second comment and break this up a bit.

October 14, 2006 12:15 PM  
Blogger B. Durbin said...

According to Wikipedia, the median income for Marin was ~$71K in 2000. (Eep! I just realized that I was running the income as a two-digit number, while typing out the house price completely. Take that into account!)

So with our revised equation,

f(POS) = ( (P / H) x D ) / I

we can plug in the numbers from your San Rafael example.

P = 559,000
H = 700
D = um... you didn't say, so I'm going with 50
I = 71

Which gives us a total of... 562. I think that you could probably say that anything over, say, 300 is in POS territory; in my reasonability exercise in the comment above, I changed the age to be 50 and the price to be $300K and I still came out below that number.

Obviously, the decrepitude amount should only START at the age of the house. A beautifully restored and updated Victorian should lose most of its age while a 1980s slum should be considered at least twice as old. But there you go. Shiny POS calculator for you.

October 14, 2006 12:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I say let these Marinite (and Bay Area) aholes pay these high prices...

If they forgot how "comfortable" it was sleeping in their cars after the bust, perhaps they'll be kindly reminded again.

I can't stand greed and power trips...people like these, regardless of what they are doing or what they are buying/selling are the cancer of society.

November 29, 2006 9:12 AM  

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