December 22, 2008

What type of grass is this in Los Gatos?

Los Gatos (Los Gatos) 95032


A Beautiful home with a clean 6 bedrooms & 3 baths
in a Cul-De-Sac in Los Gatos. Best schools!
There’s too much to say & too little space to list.
There’s a New Roof, New Paint (inside and out)
newly refinished hardwood floors,
new carpet, new floor tile. Covered patio with
gates that open to park small RV, boat, extra cars etc!
Also great area for cooking outside in addition to the
back- yard/patio! There’s easy access to
everywhere including Hwy 85 & 280.

Was $989,950
Now $872,250 !!

Thanks to Burbed reader Derek for the find.

Overall, this is a pretty fair house. In fact, it might even be a bargain. But what’s going on in the bottom right corner of the photo?


I’m no green thumb. Could someone out there help identify what type of grass they’ve planted?

Comments (49) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:09 am

49 Responses to “What type of grass is this in Los Gatos?”

  1. Prof. Bleen Says:

    There’s easy access to everywhere including Hwy 85 & 280.

    Doesn’t “everywhere” automatically include Hwy 85 & 280?

  2. sonarrat Says:

    I love listings like this. So much fun to pick apart.

    Easy access to 85 = freeway is 300 feet away, but you have to drive 2 miles to get on and you can only go north. If you have to go south, it’s 3 miles.

    “There’s too much to say & too little space to list.” = I am too verbose and don’t understand what customers want anyway, so I just want to get you in the door so your Realtor can do the work.

    “Best schools!” = best CAMPBELL schools.

    As for the grass, it’s probably painted.

  3. Joe Says:

    Why are we seeing price reductions in Los Gatos?! Isn’t Los Gatos part of the RBA? This seller needs to get his/her act in gear and forget about this price drop, they’re ruining the fact that the RBA is insulated from the housing bubble & crash….RBA is special.

  4. Prof. Bleen Says:

    The photo shows similar artifacts in the trees above the bubbly part of the lawn, though they aren’t as obvious. From the other pictures it is apparent that the house comes with a free white dwarf star. See it blazing away in the bathroom and back yard. Also, notice the foyer bending time and space to its will.

  5. kevin Says:

    terrible use of the clone stamp tool in photoshop

    i’m wondering what they are really covering up

  6. DreamT Says:

    Hopefully the trees aren’t painted as well

  7. madhaus Says:

    Sonarrat, good observations above. I hate those interchanges that only let you on in one direction.

    DreamT, painted trees? Maybe someone decided to trade up from artificial Christmas trees to artificial “landscapping.” (My use of that term in the other thread was a joke, Rocket. Sorry I didn’t link to the realtard who used it originally.)

  8. Jay Says:

    Looks like water drops on the camera lens?

  9. Prof. Bleen Says:

    kevin’s right. The contents of the large bubble in the lower right corner—the one that sticks way out into the sidewalk—appear in six or seven other places, with various amounts of blurring. Given the direction of sunlight, whatever is making that shadow should be in view: most of it is too highly focused to have been cast from something across the street, behind the camera.

  10. WillowGlenner Says:

    Alt-A boogeyman revisited.

    The one month LIBOR has dropped to below 1%. “This means that a homeowner with an adjustable rate LIBOR mortgage could potentially see their rate go down to the 2.5% – 4% range” Nicholas said. “The Prime has dropped to 3.25%, meaning that rates on many home equity lines of credit and small business loans have dropped to the 3.25% – 5.25% range.

    Guess that big alt-a scare isn’t going to materialize.

  11. Prof. Bleen Says:


  12. colton Says:

    That house is worth 400k in the real world – and within the next 3 years will be worth that

  13. anon Says:

    “Why are we seeing price reductions in Los Gatos?!”

    Simple. Los Gatos is not desirable. Just like all of San Jose.

  14. JayDawg Says:

    This isn’t real Los Gatos. I live in Campbell and I don’t want to move to this location.

  15. Lionel Says:

    Guess that big alt-a scare isn’t going to materialize.

  16. R Says:

    Good article, thanks for the link. Good thing there are no option ARMs in the RBA.

  17. sg Says:

    > Guess that big alt-a scare isn’t going to materialize.

    Keep hoping. This has been already discussed in several other forums.
    Majority of the CA homeowners with ALT-A have interest only mortgages.

    Their principal will be due after the reset. They will default even if rates don’t reset to a higher level.

  18. zanon Says:

    sg is right. reset != recast

  19. dude Says:

    This might explain the neon grass:

  20. Prof. Bleen Says:

    Whole lawn Photoshopped in, eh? That would explain the sea-green color, all right Wonder why the realtor tried to fake such a complicated shadow?

  21. madhaus Says:

    Can anyone near this house *cough nomadic cough* do a drive-by and digital picture? I’m wondering if the Google Streetview dude links to above is still accurate. That is one dead looking lawn.

    Maybe the realtor wasn’t faking a shadow. Maybe it’s Photoshop mosaic virus.

  22. madhaus Says:

    Lionel, excellent link on the Pay Option ARMs, thank you. zanon, we still need that data!

  23. Lionel Says:

    Thanks, madhaus, here’s another amusing one:

    Modified mortgages re-defaulting at high rates: regulators
    Hope Now alliance sets impressive target for number of modifications in 2009

    WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — More than half of mortgages modified in the first quarter were at least 30 days delinquent after half a year, and it’s necessary to figure out why so many modifications are not preventing re-defaults, regulators said Monday.

    “One very troubling point is that, whether measured using 30-day or 60-day delinquencies, re-default rates increased each month and showed no signs of leveling off after six months and even eight months,” said Comptroller of the Currency John Dugan.

    Why are they defaulting?! Honestly, regulators are asking that question? Let’s help them out: Because they bought houses they couldn’t afford, you idiots. When prices return to historical norms (and likely a little below), the problems will go away.

  24. nomadic Says:

    If you’re patient, madhaus, I can get you a new photo. Right now it would be a 16-hour roundtrip, but I can get you one on New Year’s Eve probably. I’m kind of curious how crappy the neighborhood is – that’s one butt-ugly house!

    The FBs paid $898k for it in June 2006. Kind of interesting the owners live in San Mateo. Was it simply a job change that’s forcing the move? A change in flipping plans? Who knows. I know I’ve seen this house for rent before – maybe two months ago. It’s rather doubtful it would be cash flow positive.

  25. nomadic Says:

    oh, and just how do you cram SIX bedrooms in 2,000 sf? (Propertyshark says it’s 2,280 sf, but still… six bedrooms?! Must be 10×10 or something.

  26. anon Says:

    “The one month LIBOR has dropped to below 1%. “This means that a homeowner with an adjustable rate LIBOR mortgage could potentially see their rate go down to the 2.5% – 4% range”

    Yes, and let’s put things in perspective.

    People were able to buy homes with no money down and by paying only interest. The bought what they could given those assumptions.

    How could anything think that more credit is going to relieve this? The loans will still never be paid off.

  27. WillowGlenner Says:

    Nomadic, are you sure its 6 bedrooms? 6 ROOM houses are pretty common, those are the small 2br, 1ba, kitchen, family, living places in the older parts of town. Then when they are added on, propertyshark still reflects the original 6 rooms. Doesn’t look like thats the case here, but you never know.

    I consider this to be a fairly undesirable house, but I am biased against 2 story ranchers to be sure. Just can’t stand em. If this sold for 896K in June 2006 its holding its value pretty well, because after all this is a Campbell-LG location not downtown LG. Houses at this price point are doing pretty well in general. It is the sweet spot where most quality houses are selling for more.

  28. WillowGlenner Says:

    Madhaus, thanks for the street view link. I click and surprise! This place is near Pollard and 85. The cesspool of LG real estate. I know this area off Pollard. Even in good times there were firesale property there, always RE ads like “price drastically reduced”, etc. That whole Westgate/Campbell/Winchester/Pollard/Quito area, which houses LG, Saratoga and Campbell zipcodes has always been spotty. Drive around the streetview and you can see the neighborhood.

    I say this was a flipper gone wrong, or a divorce type situation.

  29. WillowGlenner Says:

    different subject, heres a TJ martin house if anyone is interested. Notice the peak above the garage, that is their hallmark.

  30. WillowGlenner Says:

    Option arm is a subprime vehicle. There really aren’t any here. Alt-A, thats another discussion. RE thinks there are none, I think there are some (in fact I have an Alt-A) and of those Alt-A’s many were fixed, some adjustable. It is the Alt-A adjustables who benefit from the low LIBOR. But there are no option arms here, they aren’t even presented to bay area buyers, no market.

  31. DreamT Says:

    WG I’m sorry but back in 2005 a Countrywide agent desperately tried to persuade me to go for an option-ARM. If I hadn’t known any better, he’d have had his way. There has to be option arms around.

  32. madhaus Says:

    So we have Roger saying there’s no Alt-A in Palo Alto (which is preposterous, as Alt-A is perfect for self-employed and poeple uneven income streams, like writers; there’s nobody like that in downtown PA!) Now we have WillowGlenner saying there’s no Pay Option Arm “here” (but helpfully doesn’t define “here” beyond his own house). I will bet a $25 donation to the site that I can find at least one Pay Option ARM in the Bay Area, since I have a friend who is a mortgage broker. Pay Option ARM might be subprime but they were sold prime-time.

    Also the original burbed article clearly describes this house as a 6/3,as does the Craigslist ad it links to. WG, you’re really slipping in asking if it’s merely a six room house.

    Wow, the ad also says you can rent each room out for a grand! Uh-HUH. Yeah it’s so conveniently located near San Jose State!

    Nomadic, you’re on the move again, huh? Anyone else live down by this house of ill repute feel like giving us a photo of the front lawn? Photoshopping in a green lawn is a whole new dimension to landscapping.

  33. Pralay Says:

    So we have Roger saying there’s no Alt-A in Palo Alto (which is preposterous, …….Now we have WillowGlenner saying there’s no Pay Option Arm “here”

    I would go one step more and declare that there is no loan in RBA. Everybody buy here with cash. Do you remember “cash in sidelines”? And foreigners with truckloads of cash?

  34. anon Says:

    “So we have Roger saying there’s no Alt-A in Palo Alto (which is preposterous, as Alt-A is perfect for self-employed and poeple uneven income streams, like writers; there’s nobody like that in downtown PA!) Now we have WillowGlenner saying there’s no Pay Option Arm “here” (but helpfully doesn’t define “here” beyond his own house).”

    Our bulls are a riot.

  35. madhaus Says:

    Pralay, you forgot. With budget cuts there are no more sidelines on Sunnyvale soccer fields. And in Palo Alto the undesirable nonresidents probably stole them.

  36. Jay Says:

    Google maps shows no shadow on the lawn at all, and nothing that could cast a shadow. The realtor ™ must’ve cut-and-pasted a nice lawn that unfortunately had a shadow on it. And then tried to “blur” the edge where it meets the sidewalk, which does not have a matching shadow.

  37. R Says:

    I don’t know the distinction between Alt-A and Options ARMs, but I have seen a fair number of people with Option ARMs in the “RBA.” In fact, several of my friends bought houses in the 800-950k range with Option ARMs (of course paying the minimum). I know these individuals had verified healthy incomes so I don’t know if it qualifies as Alt-A but these were certainly Option ARMs with buyer’s paying minimum payments (ie. negative am. loans).

  38. bob Says:

    Why are they defaulting?! Honestly, regulators are asking that question? Let’s help them out: Because they bought houses they couldn’t afford, you idiots. When prices return to historical norms (and likely a little below), the problems will go away.

    Probably one of the better statements I’ve read here. Indeed- interest rates and mortgage rates could be dropped to zero and it wouldn’t do a thing. Japan tried the same thing and kept their rates to near zero for well over a decade. They still had and still have a housing recession.

    Anyhow, I’ve been gone for awhile. My company moved from one office to another. The new one is nicer, located in the heart of PA, and costs 1/3rd less than the old one. If that isn’t telling of what’s going on ( Even in the supposedly immune RBA) with the local and national economy, then I don’t know what is.

    Speaking of PA , I’ve been working here a week and honestly, I’m not exactly impressed. A lot of people on here talk about it like its on a different planet than the East Bay. But for my taste and lifestyle preference, I don’t really care for it. Overcrowded with traffic congestion, sort of ho-hum neighborhoods and a smattering of decent but not out of this world restaurants. Maybe it’ll grow on me.

    By the way, I read this report yesterday. The fastest growing states attracting the most people are in order:

    Texas, North Carolina, Arizona, Georgia and South Carolina.

    The states losing the most people in order are:

    California, New York, Michigan, New Jersey and Illinois.

  39. A. Lewis Says:

    Last year I looked at a kind of fantasy house in Piedmont – curious 5BD/in-law kind of thing, going for $1.6Million. The realtors had a sheet next on loans and payments next to the glossy 1-page flyer on the dining room table.

    They had the ‘pick-a-payment’ numbers all calculated to show you just how low the payments could be on this house. I’m sure that the lowest number was the option-ARM. Now I’m not saying the house was bought with an option arm, but in THE VERY BEST neighborhoods in the Bay Area, Realtors were absolutely pushing any kind of loan they could to lure people in.

    WG, I’m sure some fraction is option-ARM in RBA. I’m not claiming it’s very high – but of course there are some. You should be more careful using words like ‘never’ and ‘none’. It hurts your credibility.

    Look, if you believe in 10%/yr appreciation, no house it too big or expensive – it’s just more leverage for your minimal skin in the game to appreciate! So happy DINKs who had already made 40% the last 4 years – moved up twice, and now had so much paper equity they were considering expanding on this Real Estate thing and instead of moving up they were going to buy the new $1.6M home, and just rent the $800k one (at a loss) until it appreciated a bit more – took out a big HELOC on the $800k one, made a tiny down payment on the $1.6M, took the option-ARM, and just thought they’d sit back and rake it in.
    ‘Regular’ folks turned speculators – not hard to imagine. Not hard to find friends who after their first home tripled in value by 2006 suddenly decided Real Estate was the real way to make money.


  40. A. Lewis Says:

    What do you think it means if the seller ‘paints’ the lawn green in a craigslist ad? Do you think that means the price is too high or too low? 🙂

    You gotta love the logic – let’s say he gets an interested buyer. I assume they’ll show up for a walk through sometime before making an offer, no? What if the lawn is not green in person? How will that play out for the seller? Will it give him increased leverage in price negotiation?

    I think us housing Bears should bite the bullet and post the really expensive, prices have not yet dropped houses in the Bay Area – the ones that are still selling, over asking, and making their owner’s profits. We should see these listings and face up to how resilient some neighborhoods are, and try to understand how people could value SFH so much.

    RE, WG, why don’t you post some gems from the best RBA neighborhoods that are still appreciating. I’d like to see the last frontier in the housing crash.

  41. WillowGlenner Says:

    oh no, I never thought this was a 6 room house. What I think is many of these houses STARTED as 6 room houses and were added on, even with permits, and the city doesn’t bother to update the room count. I actually don’t think thats the case here, but its worth investigating just because of the look of the place, being a second story box.

  42. WillowGlenner Says:

    Well, I have never met a single sophisticated buyer who would opt for anything with negative amortization, which is what Option Arms have to offer. Don’t know what to say to you all here who know people who went for option arm. Even as a 25 year old kid I can remember people discussing buying homes in the bay area and “negative amortization” was about as big of a taboo word as you could imagine. They push neg am on subprime buyers, because they don’t know anything. Mention neg am to a quality buyer or even REAL ESTATE AGENT and they hold their nose.

    Bottom line, given the current circumstances bay area real estate is holding pretty well. It may fall further next year and there have been some declines up until now but nothing like many here were expecting, obviously. You have to ask yourself what the difference is- why isn’t palo alto falling through the floor? The easy answer is that most buyers here put a fair amt down and opt for fixed loans. The clientele is more sophisticated. “Resets” just don’t have the same impact in the good areas.

  43. WillowGlenner Says:

    A Lewis, I don’t know if there are any areas that are still appreciating but there are plenty of areas where prices are flat, but that is flat from the last peak in 2007 sometime and RE bears have been complaining since 2005 minimum.

    I think the people here are confused about appreciation anyway. All you need for your house to appreciate is for the properties around you to sell for more than the past. If there is a bunch of new construction and large remodels in your area, that takes care of it. For example this must have been like that,

    Sold for 2 million, last sale was 940K in 2007. Thats appreciation and all the surrounding properties are now going to experience it.

  44. bob Says:

    Why isn’t PA and other uber-expensive areas falling as much? Because as I’ve mentioned several times, the first to rise in value during a boom is typically the last to fall. As such, the schedule seems to be working out as planned. It would also be a mistake to assume that people with more money are more… sophisticated. Ever seen the housewives of Orange county?

  45. bob Says:

    I’ve met a lot of people ( My best friend included) out here who did exactly what you mentioned above.They previously invested in the stock market, and once that crashed in the early 2000’s, they saw housing going up the wazoo, hence they decided that 100 years of reliable stock performance didn’t matter today anymore and houses were the rags to riches story they were seeking. Look up on Ebay. There are HUNDREDS of get-rich-quick books all about real estate. There were lots of “geniuses” who wrote these things and people took them as the gospel to making money.

    The ironic thing is that the majority of the people I know who jumped out of stocks and into RE are the same people who bought a lot of tech stocks in the 90’s. In other words, these people never learn, go after the latest fad, and in many cases as seen here continue to drink last year’s koll-aide long after the party’s over. I’m sure these same people will jump ship come the realization that RE isn’t exactly the best thing to lean your retirement on after all.

  46. bob Says:

    That comment was actually intended for A.Lewis. Appologies.

  47. madhaus Says:

    If you want even more informed opinion on whose fault this whole mortgage meltdown and credit fiasco is, there’s a huge article in the NY Times that blames it all on W.

    Basically, he gave Paulsen whatever he wanted, he made it easier for those pesky minorities to buy homes (interesting how that became a Republican attack on the Democrats), but did nothing about stagnant wages. It was that which made homeownership so difficult and foreclosure so likely.

    The party is ongoing in today’s thread, though.

  48. cardinal2007 Says:

    Regardless of what some people are saying Bay Area real estate is not holding up well, on average prices are down more than 30% from the peak, in order to come to another conclusion you have to change the meaning of the words “Bay Area” from the standard 9-county definition.

    Regardless of the anecdotes by some people, the statistics tell the truth:
    28.3 percent of loans taken out in 2005 in the Bay Area were pay option ARMs, we won’t know the full effect of that until the bulk of these have recast in 2009. (Note in many cases rates would have to drop to 1.25% not 4.5% for these people to have the same payments, they were not even paying interest, hence negative amortization).

    To address the 2 points brought up earlier:
    1. Very few negative am loans were made in the BA Statistics have it at, at least 1/4 of loans in 2005 for the Bay Area.

    2. These loans already defaulted or short sold There is no reason for these people to leave early, incentive is to stick it out as long as possible. Payments are less than rent, and are fully tax deductible, so moving before recast means more money out of pocket. There is also hope that the government will come up with some other bailout bill to help them, specially now that Obama is coming in to the White House. Either way it is better for them to wait and see, at the end if they do lose the house later they will have paid less than rent to live in a nice house, and the bank can’t go after them for the balance, since it is a non-recourse loan.

    To address some earlier points, personal anecdotes are almost always useless if you wish to generalize, everyone is different and they tend to spend time with people like them, not some representative population of the area. The extrapolations are useless, it would be about as useful as me asking my friends if they play the lottery, and then using that to extrapolate lottery revenues, it won’t work.

  49. Renter4 Says:

    >Mention neg am to a quality buyer or even REAL ESTATE AGENT and they hold their nose.

    I assure you I’ve walked into open houses in the RBA and picked up flyers showing the calculations for interest-only payments. I’ve had a realtor try forcefully to sell me a “non-traditional loan” as late as mid-2007. They wouldn’t have been doing this stuff if it didn’t work.

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