December 23, 2005

I love this blog - "MarinPOS" - and look at this listing

Hey, at least in Phoenix for $625,000 you get a nice, shiny new 1200 sq. foot condo with hardwood flooring, views, a pool and hot tub.

In this area outside San Fran, you get this horrific POS (yuck!):

This 690 sq ft Larkspur house has not only seen two world wars (built in 1913) but has also seen the sun.

That's about the only nice thing the realtor who wrote this one up has to say --

"...but up a quiet lane with sun".

The implication being that other Madrone Canyon houses are in the dark (which is fairly accurate).

No "lifestyle upgrades" mentioned.

And someone really ought to tell the realtor that using the light meter that comes with a camera is generally considered a good idea.

This PoS will set you back $625,000. That's $906/sq ft in case you are wondering.


Metroplexual said...

It is one of my favorites too.

Top 5 bubble blogs not in this order (IMHO).

1) Another F'd Borrower, for the insight into lending practices.

2) Housing Panic, for the humor

3) MARIN PoS, funny and shows the real estate agrents for the weenies they can be.

4) Foreclosure report (Ben's)

5) Northern New Jersey (I am a bit biased here because it studies my hood!)

other non bubble but worthwhile because they have data that is pertinent.

Angry bear
Brad delong
brad setser
arg max
bull not bull
and certainly not last or least
calculated risk!

Any others I may be ignorant of?

Metroplexual said...


I did not include this blog but this guy called the peak.

Marinite said...

You know, I started the PoS blog "on a lark", just for the heck of it. I figured it would bomb. Yet people like it. I don't get it.

Metroplexual said...

What's to get. PoS you call 'em like you see 'em. You only highlight what is so clearly a ridiculous state of affairs and boil it down to a photo. Brilliant! "Dude where's the car" is my fave.

blogger said...

marinite - you gotta understand, for us folks not in your crazy part of the woods, seeing pictures of horrific homes - that look like they'd be worth around $20,000 at best - going for $800,000 - the sane people of the country find it amazing

A picture is worth a thousand words for sure. But man, I sure feel sorry for anyone paying $800k for a crack den

keep it up - happy holidays

foxwoodlief said...

But remember what is a bubble and what is over priced? Remember when in the late 80s the acreage under the Imperial Palace in Tokyo was worth more than all the real estate in the world? Even today there are cities like HK where $2000 a sq ft is the norm so $900 a sq ft? And some people have way too much money and don't care!

United States in a housing bubble? Not compared to other countries. Again twisted statistics. If home prices rose say 80% in four years in the US what does that have to do with homes rising 100% say in London? Again what do you get for the money! If one paid $1.2 mil for 1200 sq ft in London can that be compared with say a 2,000 sq ft house in the bay area that sells for $1.2 mil? And what about a city like Shanghai or Buenos Aires where the per capita income is third world and yet those cities cost more than most US cities we say are in a bubble?

And if you go to Austin and buy a house for $100 a sq ft in a nice neighborhood on a 1/2 acre built of stone with 13 ft ceilings and 11 ft windows and every upgrade from granite to tile to landscaping to limestone retaining walls is that a bubble compared to say Phoenix where people are paying $300-500 a sq ft for a condo in the central city?

And how many houses are there with that perfect view or on the lake or on the beach and what determines value and how much they should cost? Everyone needs to look at their local market and the desirability of living there and the strength of the economy to help them decide what they should pay. Now when a house in say Phoenix costs as much as a house in San Jose does that mean Phoenix is over priced? In my opinion yes but even there you can't compare apples with oranges. If the house for $800,000 in Phoenix is 4-5,000 sq ft on a 1/2 acre lot with a three car garage and a swimming pool can you compare that to a small, dated house built in 1913?

Look at value. If you are willing to pay $20,000 for an Pinto instead of a Jetta then you deserve what you get. My rule of thumb has been to never pay more than what a house is worth as a place of shelter. If I can buy a nice house at $100 a sq ft in Austin that is loaded why would I pay $140-200 a sq ft for a dump just to live in a certain zip code in that city? Granted LOCATION does mean something and in Austin you can go out to Pllugerville or Round Rock and buy a house for say $80 a sq ft and people think, BARGAIN but you have to add in the cost of commuting, gas, replacing your car every five years and you really are not paying $80 a sq ft. A person in SF may pay more than a person in Santa Rosa or Sacramento but if you add the cost of their commute to work and all the time they spend on the road paying more for than condo in the city and not owning a car may actually make better financial sense.

blogger said...

fox - you say "look at value" - that would be a good idea.

What people have been looking at isn't the value of the asset. They're stupidly looking simply at their monthly payment.

Metroplexual said...


To the real estate agent that is known as the buyer's price. To the seller it is what ever they can get!

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