Thursday, January 15, 2015

Knifecatching 1187 Regent St.

Read This:The following review is just my opinion and only my opinion I am not a professional house appraiser or inspector and I am not a structural engineer. The opinions expressed in this review are based on my own inspection of the property, the publicly available facts from aggregator sites such as Redfin and Zillow and the online permit database for the city of Alameda. I am not responsible for incorrect or missing data that appears in these sources. In fact, its probably best that you just ignore everything you read here as the lunatic ravings of an unbalanced mind.

I thought the last place was bad but this place takes the cake.


1187 Regent St, Alameda, CA 94501

2 beds1 bath1,092 sqft     

$774,900
Zestimate®: $620,513    
 
Ron Pilgrim - Agt: (925) 584-7214 - Beautiful curb appeal. Large eat-in kitchen, tile counters, SS range and hood, a lot of storage. Large bedrooms with shared updated bath. Family room and formal room w/built-ins. 2 pane windows, electrical updated. Street level has a garage, laundry room, storage area, workshop. Nice backyard patio.

Facts

  • Lot: 4,415 sqft
  • Single Family
  • Built in 1895
  • 8 days on Zillow
  • Cooling: Central
  • Heating: Forced air
  • Price/sqft: $710
  • MLS #: 40683379
What do y'all think? Is it going to sell like a hotcake?
Really, $774,900 for a 1100sq ft 2-1........REALLY!!!
What in tarnation is going on here?
If this place sells I'll know the bubble is popping. 

GAH!!!! $775k for 1100sqft......GAH!!!!!

Update
HOLY CRAP THE PLACE IS PENDING ALREADY!!!!
OKAY FOLKS IF THIS ISNT EVIDENCE THAT WE ARE
IN A CRAZY BUBBLE I DON'T KNOW WHAT IS.


PENDING, WHO WOULDA THUNK IT!?!?!?!?!?!?

Knife Catching 2343 Thompson Ave.

Read This:The following review is just my opinion and only my opinion I am not a professional house appraiser or inspector and I am not a structural engineer. The opinions expressed in this review are based on my own inspection of the property, the publicly available facts from aggregator sites such as Redfin and Zillow and the online permit database for the city of Alameda. I am not responsible for incorrect or missing data that appears in these sources. In fact, its probably best that you just ignore everything you read here as the lunatic ravings of an unbalanced mind.

Knife Catching 2343 Thompson Ave.

From the Zillow page we have the basic facts below. 

3243 Thompson Ave, Alameda, CA 94501

3 beds2 baths2,324 sqft

For Sale
$950,000
Zestimate®: $972,422
 
RAY LEE PEREIRA - Agt: (510) 523-4014 - Located on Alameda's Christmas Tree Lane.

Facts

  • Lot: 5,599 sqft
  • Single Family
  • Built in 1925
  • 11 days on Zillow
  • Cooling: Central
  • Heating: Forced air
  • Price/sqft: $409
  • MLS #: 40683190

Features

  • Flooring: Carpet, Hardwood, Linoleum / Vinyl
  • Parking: Garage - Detached, Off street, 2 spaces

Appliances Included

  • Dishwasher
  • Garbage disposal
  • Range / Oven

Room Types

  • Dining room

Construction

  • Construction quality: 6.0
  • Exterior material: Stucco
  • Roof type: Other
  • Room count: 7
  • # Stories: 1.0
  • Structure type: Bungalow
  • Unit count: 1

Other

  • Floor size: 2,324 sqft
  • Heating: Gas
  • Last remodel year: 1932
  • Parcel #: 069 010904400
  • Zillow Home ID: 24857363

Check out the pics at the redfin page.

All I gotta says is.......'What smoke where they cracking when they listed this?
2324 sq ft with a horribly outdated kitchen.......for $950,000!!!!!!
That's more than we paid for chezneumansky3.0 and that house is literally twice the size!
$950,000 for a house with a bad kitchen....I just don't get it....

Real Estate has gone insane again in our little island town. Guess its time to bring out the snark!

I almost forgot, the lot size is a not huge 3700 sq ft....hard to loss
the kids there.


How small can the houses get  before the price goes back down?

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The 2015 Cost Vs. Value Report

Remodeling Magazine's annual Cost Vs. Value report was just recently released.

I believe that it is a good idea for DIY'ers and pros to look at the report. As a DIY'er you can
see how much its supposed to cost and you can compare what you actually paid to
the projected cost to figure out your new, better payback.

For the pros you can see how your numbers match up to average costs and if your numbers
are way higher you better have a good explanation locked and loaded.

This also is a good time to talk about whether or not you believe in any of it.
Half of the report seems reasonable. Pro contractors bid the jobs described. The other
half of the report,....well,... Real Estate Pro's (including the reptile realtors) somehow decide
how much the completed jobs will increase the value of the house. Ahem, sounds a bit
hand-wavey to me...

That and I haven't come across a single construction pro who thought the numbers where valid.
At best they are numbers to get you in the ballpark.

Lets take a look a at couple of specific jobs from the Upscale Projects Section.

DECK ADDITION (COMPOSITE)
Add a 16-by-20-foot deck using pressure-treated joists supported by 4x4 posts anchored to concrete piers. At one corner, add a second, 10-foot-diameter six-sided platform one step down from the main deck. Include stairs on the smaller deck, assuming three steps to grade. Install composite deck
material in a simple linear pattern. Trim the perimeter joists and wrap the 4x4 posts with composite materials to match the decking. Using the same decking material, include a built-in bench and planter along one 16-foot side. On the remaining perimeter, provide a railing system using composite material of and trim should provide contrasting or complementary colors that includes decorative balusters, post caps, and lighting. Railing for overall curb appeal to the outdoor living space by integrating the deck with the home’s color and architecture, creating a custom look.
cost=$45219 Value=$46879 Cost Recouped=103.7%
Wow, a plastic deck is worth more than a quality tropical hardwood deck? Wha?

GARAGE DOOR REPLACEMENT
Remove and dispose of existing 16x7-foot garage door and tracks. Install new 4-section garage door on new heavy-duty galvanized steel tracks; reuse existing motorized opener. New door is high tensile strength steel with two coats of factory applied paint and foam insulated to minimum R-12 with thermal seals between pinch-resistant panels. Windows in top panel are ½-inch insulated glass. Hardware includes galvanized steel hinges and ball-bearing urethane rollers. Lifetime warranty.
Cost= $3298 Value=$5150  Cost Recouped= 156.2%
So, I've three garage doors and if I replace them all I'll have........a jillion dollars! Did I do that
math right?

GRAND ENTRANCE (FIBERGLASS)
Remove existing 3-0/6-8 entry door and cut and reframe opening for a 12-36-12 entrance door with dual side lites. Move double gang electrical box with two switches. Fiberglass door blank matches upscale entry, including color, threshold, lockset, and decorative half-glass; side lites match door. PVC-wrapped exterior trim in color to match existing trim; wider interior colonial or ranch casings (3.5-inch to cover new jack studs) in hardwood stained to match door. All work to be completed in one day.
Cost=$8475  Value=$9942  Cost Recouped=117.3%
Wow again, fiberglass is the upscale choice.

SIDING REPLACEMENT (FIBER-CEMENT)
Replace 1,250 square feet of existing siding with new fiber cement siding, factory primed and factory painted. Include all 4/4 and 5/4 trim using either fiber-cement boards or cellular PVC.
Cost=$18587  Value=$23963  Cost Recouped=128.9%
I guess fiber cement is long lasting and can come factory painted.

WINDOW REPLACEMENT (VINYL)
Replace 10 existing 3-by-5-foot double-hung windows with insulated, low-E, simulated-divided-lite vinyl windows. Simulated wood-grain interior finish; custom-color exterior finish. Trim exterior to match existing; do not disturb existing interior trim.
Cost=$12867  Value=$13640  Cost Recouped=106.0%
Yay, vinyl!!!!
 

WINDOW REPLACEMENT (WOOD)
Replace 10 existing 3-by-5-foot double-hung windows with insulated, low-E, simulated-divided-lite wood windows. Interior finish of stained hardwood; exterior finish of custom-color aluminum cladding. Trim exterior to match existing; do not disturb existing interior trim.
Cost=$20296  Value=$23559  Cost Recouped=116.1%
Finally a wood thing returns decent value...
 
Those are all the projects on the upscale side that return more than 100%.

I don't know if any of the above makes sense. It seems like we are seeing other
factors rolled up with those numbers. Currently houses around here are appreciating
like mad. In the upscale list of jobs the lowest performer was 83.6% for a master suite addition
while the national ave return is only 53.7%.

Or, in other words, 'Real Estate is Crazy Around Here.'



 





 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The HELOC Loan That Almost Happened

Missed it by that much.........

I have to relate to y'all mind-bendingly stupid situation we are in because we applied
for a HELOC loan.

Oh, for the past months or so we've been jumping through all kinds of hoops (like getting a certificate of occupancy from the city) with the loan
company to get this friggen loan. Good news is that the 'done Chez' is worth $1.3M
according to the appraisal (now everyone run to Zillow to see what we paid for it).
I think that number is a bit low but home owners always think so. I personally was hoping for
something like $1.5M, but hey, you take what you can get I guess.

Now onto the stupid part
We have been slowly racking up credit card dept as we put house remodeling supplies
on our cards (yay lots of air miles). All along on this journey with the underwriter our
only goal was to consolidate all our high interest rate cards and pay one much smaller
rate.
Well, in the two months these guys were jerking us around our loan to debt ratio went in
a way that made us getting the loan impossible. Even though the loan was to pay off the
credit cards! Their computerized system won't allow the loan and there is apparently nothing
any flesh and blood person can do about it!

Lame, lame, lame.
Talk about wanting to take a pound of flesh and blood from that damn computer system.....

 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

My Absolute Favorite Comment Ever!

The other day when I was otherwise indisposed I got a really, truly repellant comment.
I've had a lot of obnoxious comments over the years, mostly from Realtors I think, but this
one takes the cake.

Check it out.
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The Apartment,.......Is it done yet???":

I'd like to rent this,but you are not my kind of landlord. So busy trashing other people's homes and beating up your wife. Not my kind of landlord. On Thanksgiving no less.Character and ethics just aren't your strong suit. Happy Holidays!

Yep, the nastiest most personal comment ever.

Now I'm no angel for sure but I can tell anyone
who cares that I am not now, nor have I ever been
a 'wife beater'. Anyone who knows me would know
that I would never, ever raise my hand to anyone smaller
or weaker than me. Its anathema to my being.

Now, in more oversharing I have recently been diagnosed with;
PTSD from (none of your F'ing business) that has given me a
major depressive disorder and a major anxiety disorder. Like I
always say, 'I'm not perfect.' I'm on the right meds now and am
doing a lot better.

You evil retarded scumbag who wrote the comment above.
I talk about houses I do not do personal attacks on people.
If I have, please point it out to me so I can fix that mistake.
Folks, you need to separate yourselves from your houses. Its
just a possession, a thing, its not you.

Now I have some suspicions as to who wrote the above comment but
I will not air them here. Stop me on the street and ask if you really must know.

Up Next:
Knife Catching again!?!?!?!

Why Does It Take Me So Long To Do Everything?

Number 27.4 in a series of oversharing with my imaginary friends.

When I'm talking to people, family members, friends, I often get the
impression that folks are implying that it is taking me too long to
do my many, many, many remodeling tasks.

One of my fav things to hear is, 'Are ya done yet?.....how bout now?
No?...........how bout now?

Yes, it does take me longer than it should to do a lot of the tasks. Wanna
know why? I gots a very, very, very bad back.
Mr. famous UCSF spine surgeon said, 'You have the back of an 80yr old
day laborer.' Yay!!!

Below is a comparison study of two different MRI's. Take a read.

EXAMINATION: MRI LUMBOSACRAL SPINE. 7/11/2013.  
 
HISTORY: Back pain and radiculopathy.  
 
COMPARISON: 9/16/2011.  
 
TECHNIQUE: GE HDxt 1.5T Magnet. T2 sagittal, T1 sagittal, IR  
sagittal, T2 axial.  
 
FINDINGS:   
T11-T12: The disc is relatively narrowed. There is no disc bulge  
or protrusion. Central canal and neural foramina are normal.  
 
T12-L1: The disc is diminished in height and signal. There is  
slight disc bulge. There is no significant narrowing of the  
central canal or foramina.  
 
L1-L2: The disc is normal in height and signal. There is a  
moderate size right paracentral disc protrusion projecting  
approximate 4 mm from the posterior disc margin compressing the  
lateral aspect of the thecal sac and causing mild narrowing of  
the right nerve root canal. This has increased since previous  
examination. The left foramen is widely patent.  
 
L2-L3: The disc is normal in height and signal. There is no disc  
bulge or protrusion. Central canal and neural foramina are  
normal.  
 
 
L3-L4: The disc is normal in height and signal. There is no disc  
bulge or protrusion. Central canal and neural foramina are  
normal. There is no evidence of facet joint arthropathy.  
 
 
L4-L5: The disc is diminished in height and signal. There is a  
broad-based disc protrusion encroaching the ventral subarachnoid  
space causing mild narrowing of the neural foramina bilaterally.  
There is no significant facet joint arthropathy. There has been  
no change since previous examination.  
 
L5-S1: The disc is diminished in height and signal. There is a  
broad-based disc protrusion with associated annular tear  
projecting slightly more to the right. There is moderate  
narrowing of the neural foramina bilaterally. No significant  
narrowing of the central canal. There is mild facet joint  
arthropathy. There has been no change since previous  
examination.  
 
Alignment of the spine is normal. The vertebral bodies are well  
maintained in height and demonstrate normal marrow signal. No  
evidence of spondylolysis or spondylolisthesis. The tip of the  
conus is at the L1-2 level. The cauda equina roots are normal.  
There is no evidence of intraspinal or paraspinous mass.  
 
 

Impression:
 
IMPRESSION:   
  
L1-2: Increase in size of right paracentral disc protrusion  
narrowing the right side of the canal and causing moderate  
narrowing of the right foramen.  
  
L4-5: Broad-based disc bulge. No significant narrowing of the  
central canal. Mild narrowing of neural foramina bilaterally. No  
significant change since previous examination.  
  
L5-S1: Broad-based disc bulge with annular tear. No significant  
narrowing of the central canal. Moderate narrowing of neural  
foramina bilaterally. No change since previous examination.

Now I don't speak fancy back doctor but I'm pretty sure what the above means is.

Owwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!!!!

Spending an afternoon under the kitchen sink wrestling with plumbing can put me out
of commission for a week.
Carrying lumber out of the truck to wherever a couple of days.
Spending a couple hours on my hands and knees finishing the last of the baseboard
trim, a couple of days also.

Yay for me!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

A trip Down Memory Lane pt 2

In a nod to our friends at Casa Decrepit I'm going to do a garden report on our old garden and the pond and hardscaping.

Our Glorious Landscaping
As you step out of the side door of the house you are greeted with this nice cobblestone path.
We didn't do this the new owners did and it looks and works great.
 
In no particular order....heh, pictures of our old deck. This was our first deck and
we tried to do a nice job. Remember, we thought that this was going to be our
forever house.
 
A shot of the balcony and the outdoor speakers. Still working and sounding good I'm told

Here's a shot of the deck from the corner looking out on the upper koi pond.

 
These next two pics are supposed to be of the deck but the stupid sun got in the way.
Yep, I'm no pro photog.
Little bit of the lower pond in this shot.
 
The pit of despair as we used to call it. We dug a massive trench all the way across
the backyard to deal with the underground water. This is the sump pit. The two garbage
cans we used are slowly being crushed by the pure clay soil. Can pure clay be called soil?
 
Here we see how the Zmax hangers are holding up. Before install I sprayed them with
two coats of cold galvanizing compound. I see white on them which isn't great. Its a good
guess that all of the hangers look this way. After seven years I'm not sure if this is good or
bad.
 
Here is a shot of something else I was worried about. To hold back the
dirt around the edges of the deck I hammered in rebar then slid sections of
copper pipe over the exposed rebar and put a PT 2by12 against them and then
back filled. They look to be holding up pretty well.
 
I also walked all over the deck and hopped all over it and could not find a
loose board. This was good because I felt like we were pioneers in the, use clips
to hold the ipe down and use construction adhesive where the planks land on the
joists. The deck still looks like furniture when its wet. Its in need of another coat
of Penofin though.

 Here is a funky diagonal shot of the upper pond from the corner veggie filter.

 The waterfall which still has a couple of the plants we left the new owners.

This is a shot of the lower pond and the plant tower. These reed things have
totally taken over, bummer.

In the upper pond we had a skeleton, of course. Mr. Skelly has lost both
of his arms! Stainless steel hardware, ha!

A better overall shot of the lower pond. This pond is ~3' deep and is where
the big fish live.
Overall the ponds have held up fine with the only things needing replacement
being the pumps and UV light.
 
Here is a shot of a dwarf avocado we planted a zillion years ago. We
never got any fruit and now its full!! Plus they trimmed it in a kinda cool
bonsai effect.

Here is the shot of the actual veggie garden part of the yard. Still have
ripening tomatoes because of that giant brick wall keeping the plants warm.
A shot of the avocadoes. They are smooth skinned and dark green. I have
two ripening on the counter and am really going to enjoy eating them.

The Meyer lemon full of lemons. I may pick them and make lemonade as
a surprise for the current owners.

This is some kind of lavender. I just love how it looks like a twisted old tree
near the shore.

Giant well groomed rosemary plant that we planted. I think they should
go the bonsai route on this one.

Just three circuits water the entire yard!

Um....pretty plant.?


One thing the new owners have done is make nice paths trough the yard and
maintain them.


This is a new Mexican lime tree.

This is lemon verbena and its fricken huge.

Ha, smoking section right next to the composter.

Here we have the most ginormous Thai lime tree ever. It smells soooo dang
good...wish the limes were good for anything else besides their zest.

 Ahhh, the blood orange. I think we maybe got 4 oranges off the thing and they
were amazing. I'm super jealous of this.

This is an artichoke plant they we planted a million years ago. It just
keeps coming back and making artichokes? Tasty 'chokes and pretty purple
flowers.

This is a new addition to the yard a cherry tree. Hope its dormant.

Vining roses with LOTS of thorns. We planted this as a sorta natural bob wire,
heh, ghetto living.

More path.

This is something new, they are saving some of the ground water that gets
pumped out of the pit of despair. 

 That's it for the memory tripping.
Up Next:
Knife Catching?? Could it be?