Berkeley CSUA MOTD:Entry 54716
Berkeley CSUA MOTD
2019/04/19 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular

2013/7/29-8/23 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:54716 Activity:nil
7/28    Mountain View, the not so pretty side:
2019/04/19 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular

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2013/8/1-10/28 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:54722 Activity:nil
8/1     Suppose your house is already paid off and you retire at 65.
        How much expense does one expect to spend a year, in the Bay
        Area? Property tax will be about $10K/year for a modest $850K
        home. What about other stuff?
        \_ I think at age 65, health insurance is the next biggest expense.
        \_ I am thinking that we can have a nice middle class
2013/7/31-9/16 [Reference/RealEstate, Finance/Investment] UID:54720 Activity:nil
7[31    Suppose you have a few hundred thousand dollars in the bank earning
        minimum interest rate and you're not sure whether you're going to
        buy a house in 1-5 years. Should one put that money in a more
        risky place like Vanguard ETFs and index funds, given that the
        horizon is only 1-5 years?
        \_ I have a very similar problem, in that I have a bunch of cash
2013/3/21-5/18 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:54634 Activity:nil
3/21    Holy crap is Bay Area real estate on fire right now. I keep
        getting outbid by hundreds of thousands of dollars on places.
        \_ does more home-owners mean fewer people will be renting,
           driving the demand for rental down?          -poor renter
           \_ I am kind of doubting that, but it might work.
        \_ what is the zip code that you're bidding on?
2013/2/19-3/26 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:54610 Activity:nil
2/19    I just realized that my real estate broker has a PhD in plant
        molecular cell biology from an Ivy League school in the mid 70s.
        Now she has to deal with a bunch of young dot-comers, and they're
        pain in the ass.                        -Only a BS in EEC$
        \_ My agent used to be a hardware engineer.  He switched to real estate
           when he got laid off during the 80's.  Now he's doing very well.
2012/12/21-2013/1/24 [Transportation/Car, Reference/RealEstate] UID:54567 Activity:nil
12/21   Is it possible to use my Fastrak on a rental car?
        \_ Don't know if you're supposed to, but I think it works under normal
           situation (i.e. you're not speeding, your windshield doesn't block
           the signal, etc.)  The problem is that if the reception is bad and
           the toll tag doesn't beep, the booth will take a picture of your
           rental's license plate and fine the rental company because the
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Bookmark and Share As the cost of living in Mountain View climbs, a city inspector says that in recent years he's found families living in shocking conditions -- children sleeping with their parents in garden sheds and in the closets of cockroach-infested apartments. "The one that was the worst for me was seeing two kids and a mother and father living in a storage shed," said code inspector Chris Costanzo, recalling a discovery he made in 2012 in the Rex Manor neighborhood. "There was a crib and little tiny bed and it was obvious there was an infant and a toddler and two people living there. It was clean and it wasn't rat-infested, but it wasn't habitable. It was like living in something a little bigger than a bathroom, with no true insulation from the elements and no running water. The young couple living in the shed seemed "down on their luck" but were able to find somewhere else to stay pretty quickly, Costanzo said. Living situations for poorer Mountain View residents may become more desperate as rents climb at unprecedented rates. According to the data service Real Facts, the average rent in Mountain View for a three-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment is now $3,044 a month, up from $2,295 in 2009. A one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment now costs an average of $1,828 a month, up from $1,426 in 2009. Hazardous spaces Since he started inspecting homes for city code violations in 2008, Costanzo said he sees over a dozen cases a year of people renting dangerous and illegally constructed spaces that most people would find surprising for Silicon Valley. He came upon another family living in abackyard shed because he saw an extension cord running from the chimney of a house and decided to investigate. Inside the shed he found that a father and young girl had been living inside. "I'm surprised every time we see a new one," Costanzo said, "I'll have driven by the house a hundred times and I'll say, "Wow, I never knew that was in there." Costanzo also comes across homes where tenants are packed into illegally partitioned rooms. In the Monta Loma neighborhood, where homes often sell for over $800,000, Costanzo found a three-bedroom home with walls constructed inside to divide each bedroom in two. There was a second bathroom and a garage converted into bedrooms. The owner was apparently renting out the seven rooms individually, he said. The temptation for landlords to do such things -- and tenants to go along with it -- grows as rents go up and more renters scramble to find a place to live. "They are taking advantage of the high rental market around here," Costanzo said. Costanza doesn't do regular checks on apartment buildings -- the fire department does that -- but said one of the worst living situations he saw was in a nine-unit downtown apartment building where there were four to five people living in a room. "Some of the units had kids living in the closets," Costanzo said. "The whole apartment building was infested with rats and roaches." Costanzo said there's often a fire danger for those living in illegally constructed rooms because of a lack of at least two exits in case of fire. Basements are a good example, as Costanzo says they often house utilities that can start a fire and the stairs into the home's main floor are often the only exit. "If you are stuck in a basement without proper egress you are not going to make it" in a fire, he said. With so much demand for affordable housing, there's less incentive to provide basic necessities. Costanzo says he's found the heat shut off in an entire apartment building in the middle of winter, and "had every tenant say I don't want heat and I turned it off," apparently too afraid of the landlord to admit that they want the heat back on, even though it's their right to have it. Apartment dwellers have reported to the Voice that they live in fear of being thrown out at anytime, well aware that landlords in Mountain View are giving tenants 30-day notices so they can renovate their buildings and raise rents. Costanzo said as soon as he closes one case involving deplorable living conditions, another one pops up. "We pretty much consistently have something like that that we're working on -- that we're investigating," Costanzo said. If the city had the staff to do more searching, "I'm certain there would be more cases." Are you receiving Express, our free daily e-mail edition? Report Objectionable Content Posted by OK, a resident of the Monta Loma neighborhood, on Jul 26, 2013 at 2:22 pm Thanks to people like Scott Lamb we have expensive housing. They live the good life, throw mud, raise fees, then blame it on someone else instead of looking within the union leadership. Report Objectionable Content Posted by M Kane, a resident of the Castro City neighborhood, on Jul 26, 2013 at 2:51 pm Maybe it's time for Mtn View to consider rent control as well as raising the minimum wage. Report Objectionable Content Posted by Nick, a resident of the Cuesta Park neighborhood, on Jul 26, 2013 at 3:02 pm How many of the tenants in these situations are illegal immigrants? The article tries to make it a sob story, but the conditions are probably better than what they'd have in their home country. People don't have to live in Mountain View either: there are much cheaper places, including nearby. Report Objectionable Content Posted by Curious Observer, a resident of the Jackson Park neighborhood, on Jul 26, 2013 at 3:07 pm Curious Observer is a member (registered user) of Mountain View Online When I looked into the brand new apartments on Evelyn across from the train station, the rent was >$4,000/month for both 1 & 2 bedroom units and that didn't include utilities. Report Objectionable Content Posted by Scott Lamb, a resident of the Monta Loma neighborhood, on Jul 26, 2013 at 3:23 pm OK, I think you have me confused with someone else. Report Objectionable Content Posted by kuppernman, a resident of the Gemello neighborhood, on Jul 26, 2013 at 3:38 pm yes, it is definitely sad to see and hear that people have to live in such horrible places. I remember back in 1995 , I used to live in a 3br-2ba for $900 in Mountain View. And in 2010, I used to pay $1000 for a 1BR-1BA which seems a great bargain when compared to today's rental rates. You can't ask for higher minimum wages because you have to make a minumum of $30 to $35 to make a meaningful life. many of us won't be afford to eat a burger or a burrito. And you can forget about going to a bar or dining in a fine restaurant because only multimillionaries and billionaires if every business is forced to pay livable wages. Report Objectionable Content Posted by noneckjoe, a resident of the North Whisman neighborhood, on Jul 26, 2013 at 4:48 pm "He came upon another family living in abackyard" -- needs a space before "backyard". Report Objectionable Content Posted by Martin Omander, a resident of the Rex Manor neighborhood, on Jul 26, 2013 at 5:10 pm It's sometimes sad, but there is no escaping the law of supply and demand. When more people want to live in a certain place, prices there go up. Raising the minimum wage would only result in even higher rents, as more money chase the existing apartments. Rent control usually results in poorly maintained housing and lower supply. In my opinion, the government should stay out of the rental market and instead focus on three things to alleviate the problem: 1 Provide infrastructure that private actors won't, like better roads and rail links. It's no fun waking up to an electrical fire in your neighbor's backyard shed where people live. Report Objectionable Content Posted by Scott Lamb, a resident of the Monta Loma neighborhood, on Jul 26, 2013 at 6:54 pm Yes, rent and cost of other goods/services would likely increase if the minimum wage does. But it's an exaggeration to say that other goods and services will become unaffordable for everyone (kuppernman) or to imply that the rent increase will be so much that wage increase will make no difference in minimum wage employees' standard of living (Martin Omander). Goods/services: Keep in mind that professionals' salaries vary greatly with area. I make far more in Mountain View than I ever cou...