September 20, 2006

$999,500 for an imaginary house and 5650 sqft of land

150 STANFORD AV, Menlo Park Property Details – Menlo Park Real Estate – Menlo Park Homes for Sale – Movoto
150 STANFORD AV, Menlo Park 94025


Bedroom: 2 Bathroom: 1 Square Footage: 830 $999,500
Year Built: N/A List Date: 9/4/2006 Lot Size: 5650
Parking Spaces: 2 MLS#: 655631
Ask a Question Neighborhood Data Comparable Sale Data Email this to a friend
150 STANFORD AV, Menlo Park
OPPORTUNITY!!Build your dream home on this beautiful Menlo Park lot! Value is in the land, Great Location w/many new homes in area! Take available plans for new 4bdr/3ba to county for approval.
Property Type Detached Single Family
Lot Description Lot: 4,500 to 6,500 Sq Ft
Bedroom 2 Bedrooms
Bathroom 1 Shower over Tub, 1 Bathroom

Gotta love how they include an illustration of a house! I like to pretend too… After spending $999,500 perhaps you could put up a giant sign to show a house like that and live in an RV behind it.

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:24 am

September 19, 2006

Mountain View Voice: Report could accelerate TCE cleanup

I saw this in the Mountain View Voice recently…

Mountain View Voice: Report could accelerate TCE cleanup (September 1, 2006)
TCE, or trichloroethylene, is known to cause kidney and liver damage, lupus, Parkinson’s disease and brain tumors. According to the NRC report, there is no level at which TCE is not carcinogenic; the cancer causing effects simply go down with concentration. It is also a nationwide problem, according to the report, which says millions of people around the country are breathing outdoor and indoor air with unsafe levels of TCE vapors.

Several years ago in Mountain View, there was concern over TCE vapors emanating from groundwater plumes into homes and schools near an area designated “the MEW” — bordered by Middlefield, Ellis and Whisman roads. Unsafe levels of TCE vapors were found in one home at Whisman Station, which is south of the MEW where GTE buildings once stood. The home had a special system installed under its foundation to properly ventilate TCE vapors.

Just north of Whisman Station, the city is in the early planning stages of allowing up to 1,300 homes to be built. Kevin Woodhouse, environmental management coordinator for the city, says the TCE problem won’t affect the new South Whisman development: It’s too far north of the former GTE site under Whisman Station and too far south of the MEW. Still, he said, the site will likely be tested as a precaution.

“Everyone is aware in northeast Mountain View of those sites and the TCE-in-the-groundwater issue, so any development that would occur undergoes a rigorous environmental review of those issues,” Woodhouse said.

Report could expedite cleanup

For 17 years, complex “pump and treat” filtration systems have slowly removed TCE from the groundwater in Mountain View. But Siegel says cleanup isn’t happening fast enough.


But the levels are high enough to warrant more aggressive cleanup, he said, noting that many residents of the northeast Mountain View may be breathing unsafe levels of TCE around the clock, because it is in the outdoor air.

Alana Lee, EPA project manager, said there are no requirements for developers to mitigate problems with TCE vapors when building new homes, but that many have voluntarily. At the new Westcoat Village military housing site, developers installed special barriers and ventilation systems under the homes. A new development on the 400 block of Whisman Road has similar systems.

The EPA told Mountain View residents in 2003 that TCE was 65 times more carcinogenic than was previously thought. Several months later Siegel said the EPA staff were told to stop using those numbers, as scientific evidence was still under scrutiny.

Hm, let’s see what’s going on at the 400 block of Whisman Road in Mountain View: – 460 N Whisman Rd, Mountain View, CA 94043

Wow… who knew that trichloroethylene is so good for property values!

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:41 am

September 18, 2006

Where you live: Hot or Not – Burbed Knows!

Zillow has this great feature called City Heat Maps: – City Heat Maps
Compare neighborhood values with our new heat maps. We divided Zestimates™ of homes by their square footage to show which neighborhoods are more or less expensive. The least expensive areas are light blue, while the most expensive areas are bright red. (If your city isn’t here, use our main map to see individual home values).

Here’s an enlarged version of the color scale – blue means cold, red means $1million for a 1000 sqft home. Or, in other words: blue means “not hot” and red means “hot”. And as well all know, hot is good!

Unfortunately, Zillow lists the cities by alphabetical order. Well, Burbed is going to do you a favor and list the cities in “Hot Because It Is The Best Place In the World To Live And That’s Why It Is The Most Expensive” to “Not” order.

I’m going to use my patented “I see more red, less blue” visual sorting algorithm. Ready?

1. Silicon Valley. Of course! So hot, you’ll never need to go on vacation again.
Silicon Valley Heat Map

2. San Francisco and Oakland. (I think the small green dot for SF is Bayview-Hunter’s Point)
San Francisco Heat Map

3. Los Angeles
Los Angeles Heat Map

4. San Diego
San Diego Heat Map

5. New York City Metro (Wow it’s cheap to live in NY… no wonder it’s not in California)
New York Heat Map

6. Miami (Tough call – lots of blue, but lots of red!)
Miami Heat Map

7. Boston
Boston Heat Map

8. Seattle – Redmond – Bellevue
Seattle Heat Map

9. Washington DC, Baltimore.
Washington/Baltimore Heat Map

10. Chicago
Chicago Heat Map

11. Phoenix??
Phoenix Heat Map

12. Tacoma (The Tac in SeaTac)
Tacoma, Washington Heat Map

13. Portland
Portland, Oregon Heat Map

14. Denver
Denver Heat Map

15. Houston
Houston Heat Map

16. Dallas
Dallas Heat Map

17. Cleveland
Cleveland Heat Map

Don’t agree with my rankings? What would you change?

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:29 am

September 17, 2006

As seen in Cupertino…

I think there are some condos for sale here. Just remember, the places here used to rent for $2550 a month for a 2br – and now some of them are listed at $829,000.

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 1:12 pm

September 15, 2006

A History Home Value Trends

As we all know, real estate only goes up. This graph proves it.

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:31 am

September 14, 2006

Cupertino Villas – not in Cupertino

Cupertino Villas

880 East Fremont Avenue
Sunnyvale, California 94087
Phone 408.736.8080
Fax 408.736.0755
Open 10:30-5:30

You know, you’d think for a place called Cupertino Villas, it’d actually be in Cupertino. But instead, it’s in Sunnyvale.

There’s been a lot of sales there recently: | 08/12/2006 | Home sales, published 8/12

  • 880 East Fremont Ave. #309 $485,000, Cupertino Villas Investors to G. Kibilov
  • 880 East Fremont Ave. #318 $375,000, Cupertino Villas Investors to Y. Tian
  • 880 East Fremont Ave. #320 $550,000, Cupertino Villas Investors to A. Tonizzo
  • 880 East Fremont Ave. #624 $540,000, Cupertino Villas Investors to P. Bae
  • 880 East Fremont Ave. #632 $500,000, Cupertino Villas Investors to O. & C. Mou | 08/05/2006 | Home sales, published 8/5

  • 880 East Fremont Ave. #206 $540,000, Cupertino Villas Investors to N. Kabir
  • 880 East Fremont Ave. #305 $550,000, Cupertino Villas Investors to A. Kulkarni
  • 880 East Fremont Ave. #513 $530,000, Cupertino Villas Investors to A. Leong
  • 880 East Fremont Ave. #609 $360,000, Cupertino Villas Investors to P. Venigalla
  • 880 East Fremont Ave. #718 $540,000, Cupertino Villas Investors to S. & M. Prasad
  • 880 East Fremont Ave. #731 $485,000, Cupertino Villas Investors to S. Casey

I actually lived in this complex at one point – back when it was a rental complex. I seem to recall a 1 bedroom going for at most $1600 a month. Somehow, I doubt any of these mortgages come out to that…

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:20 am

September 13, 2006

Europeans are Funny: "First-time buyers borrow record amounts"

Guardian Unlimited Money | Property | First-time buyers borrow record amounts
First-time buyers risk over-stretching their finances by borrowing 3.24 times their income to buy their homes, the highest amount ever, it was announced today.[snip]
The average first-time buyer took out a mortgage of £110,000, 90% of the value of the property they were buying.

The typical income of a first-time buyer has increased from £32,285 to £34,216 since July 2005, an increase of £1,931. However, the average amount borrowed on a mortgage for a first property has increased by more than £10,000 over the same period.

The interest payments alone on the typical new buyer’s mortgage accounts for 16.7% of monthly income.

Oh my god… you’re kidding right?  Only 3.24 times an income? Interest being 16.7% of monthly income?
UK: 3.24 times your income. Interest is 16.7% of monthly income.
California: 8-10 times your income. Interest is 40% of monthly income.
It makes sense if you think about it – California is the center of the universe and very special. UK is not. That’s why it is essential you live here – you pay more, and as we all know, paying more is better.


Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 12:35 pm

If you love astroturf, you'll love this $619,000 house

Thanks to Steve for submitting this… he also wrote:

Hi- first of all I can’t tell you how much I enjoy this site- its always my first “click” of the day-

anyway, I found this,

Just another over priced Santa Clara flat top, except…

You can enjoy some really nice red walls inside- then camp out on the astro-turf out back- complete with tent, picnic table, and, is that a fake potted tree on the right? Great starter house in the Silicon Valley, right?

Astroturf? This I’ve got to see!

2004 JACKSON ST, Santa Clara Property Details – Santa Clara Real Estate – Santa Clara Homes for Sale – Movoto
2004 JACKSON ST, Santa Clara 95050


Bedroom: 3 Bathroom: 1 Square Footage: 985 $619,000
Year Built: 1954 List Date: 8/15/2006 Lot Size: 5227
Parking Spaces: 1 MLS#: 651596
Ask a Question Neighborhood Data Comparable Sale Data Email this to a friend
2004 JACKSON ST, Santa Clara
Great first time home for family. Actual square footage larger than county records *new pergo flooring*recent paint *updated kitchen. clean!! Open Saturday 8/26 1-4pm

So they call out the pergo flooring, but not astroturf. Why not? It’s better for the environment after all.

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:50 am

September 12, 2006

Palms Living – Las Vegas living in Santa Clara (models not included)

My rent for a one bedroom at the current rate is 1595. For a 30 year old building?! I think not.

Well it might have seem expensive back in 2004 (before the Bay Area became dramatically more special and land became dramatically scarcer) to pay $1595 a month for a one bedroom apartment. But now look! The Palms Apartments have become The Palms Living:


That’s right everyone! You can now pretend to live in a swanky Las Vegas resort, when you’re actually living in the middle of Santa Clara.

How much? Starting at $400,000 for a 760 sqft unit.

Fortunately, they have some great financing options:thepalmsb.jpg

So let’s say you put down the typical 0% and get yourself a boring and hard to find 30 year mortgage – that’s $2,462 a month. Fortunately, with an interest only loan it’s just $1666!

I bet you could totally buy it, rent it out for $1700 and then flip it in 2 years for double the money! That’d be $400,000 tax free in gains!

What could go wrong?

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:07 am

Another Bay Area Success Story!

Mountain View Voice: Letters to the Editor (September 8, 2006)
Big fan of Google wireless network


I just finished reading your Aug. 25 article titled “ExpressNets extends reach of Google WiFi,” and wanted to comment on how great this service offered by Google truly is.

I have grown up in California, and my husband and I are both in our late 20s and have college degrees. We just moved to Mountain View from the South Bay, work full time, and found that what we could afford in the Bay Area was … well … a mobile home.

Our budget is such that we have elected to not have television, a landline telephone (as we have cell phones), or Internet, because it would simply be too expensive.

I work in eCommerce, so this decision was tough. Though I am on the Internet at my place of employment all day, we do not have the time for personal business. When I read that Google launched its WiFi for Mountain View, I was so ecstatic it is impossible to put into words.

The Internet has become such an indispensable part of modern life, both business and personal, that it seems almost counter-intuitive for companies to not want individuals to have the ability to access the Web for free.

The amount of money spent on online consumer goods is staggering. The money that a company would have to spend to provide Internet service to a city is paltry by comparison. To make a long story short, I am so grateful to Google as I type this up on the couch in my living room that I hope that other companies follow suit, mainly because we have a problem in California with too many individuals being overqualified and underemployed.

Companies will profit from these individuals when the time comes that they need people to fill positions, buy products, or promote services. If people are denied something as basic as Internet connectivity because of the price tag, it is the companies, and ultimately the community, that will lose in the end.

I think the letter got chopped off. At the end, it should probably have read:

“P.S. Dear Google – please send food. And cash”

Now that I think of it, I wonder how much mobile homes go for here…

MLSlistings Property Detail for MLS number 652020
Mountain View, CA 94041
(Mountain View)Park: MOORPARK
Model: FLEETWOOD Year: 2006



This Mobile Home has the following features:
MLS#: 652020 Approx Age: 1 Years Approx Sq Ft: 1160

Wow… just $162k? Sweet!

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 4:53 am