December 15, 2008

This house in Mountain View is perfect for anti-espionage!

Tyrella Ave, Mountain View, CA 94043 Whisman MLS# 80847391 – Property Details

* Status: Active
* Bedroom: 3
* Bathroom: 2&1/2
* Year Built: 2002
* Lot Size: 3920
* Square Footage: 1650
* List Date: 11/30/2008
* Garage Spaces: 2

* MLS#: 80847391
Elegant Home W/professionally Designed Landscaped W/vater Fall.Fish Poind,Gas Burnning Fire Place.Sep Family Rom and Dinnig Rom & Family Rom.Gas Fire place W/Remote Controlled,Hard Wood and Tile Floors ,Spacious Kitchen W/Granite Countertop,Central AC. Dual vanities in both bathrooms. Close To 85,101,237.

I like how the street number isn’t listed in this listing. You know why right? Because this house is for a near-millionaire who clearly appreciates privacy. In fact, the ideal buyer needs privacy so much, that they need the sound of 101, 85, and 237 constantly in the background prevent bugs from picking up his communications.

Hey… espionage is a big deal right now. Don’t let others overhear your plans to produce the next killer Facebook app!

Not only that… but this house does have the famous lucky price. A win-win if you ask me!

Comments (320) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:54 am

December 14, 2008

A Visual Guide to the Financial Crisis

For those who haven’t seen this yet:

Not 100% accurate – some sections are extraordinarily weak – but a good appetizer nonetheless.

Comments (102) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:49 am

December 13, 2008

A letter from the owner of 13 Lucky St

It’s rare that Burbed gets email from the owner of a property that is publishable. Here’s one about a recent posting.

First, the property:

How much does a garage cost in San Francisco these days?

13 Lucky St
San Francisco, CA 94110
Price: $499,000

And now the letter:

Glad you’ve all enjoyed commenting on our property. I’m sure things are slow and you’ll want to look busy, that is if you still have a desk at which to look busy.

However, 13 Lucky Street is far from a loser. And it’s large size qualifies it to be listed as a small warehouse.

13 Lucky is currently listed at $399K. It is variance-approved for one, SFH occupying the entire footprint of the existing building. It is not currently a SFH.

I have recently spoke with a builder who estimated a cost of $130-$170/sq foot to build, so at approx 2000 sq ft, you’d be closer to, say, $700K total for a BRAND NEW, custom built residence. the city has approved the building mass and we are moving ahead with plans for construction.

Owner financing is available as well.

Please contact me for any further enlightenment at davee (at) got (dot) net


Comments (18) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:14 am

December 12, 2008

Jericho High School – Competitor to Monta Vista, Cupertino, and Lynbrook?

School District Tries to Lure Asian Parents –
For school officials here, the numbers did not add up. Even as enrollment swelled to 3,200, from 2,600 a decade ago, attendance at Parent-Teacher Association meetings shriveled by half. Even as more students got accepted to Ivy League schools, turnout for the guidance department’s information nights was so anemic that counselors cajoled students to come — and bring along their parents.

Then teachers and administrators noticed something else: Jericho High School’s 90-member orchestra had become 70 percent Asian-American (the student body over all is about 30 percent Asian-American), but it still played for a mostly white audience at concerts with many empty seats.

The Chinese and Korean families that flocked to Jericho for its stellar schools shared their Jewish and Italian predecessors’ priorities on excellent education. But the new diversity of the district has revealed a cultural chasm over the meaning of parental involvement. Many of the Asian-Americans whose children now make up a third of the district’s enrollment grew up in places where parents showed up on campus only when their children were in trouble.

Holy moley! Is Jericho High School in New York trying to steal the thunder from Monta Vista, Cupertino, and Lynbrook? This calls for a Burbed investigation!

Where is this Jericho?

Got it. It’s 30 miles from Wall St (heh).

Next, let’s look at the rankings:

The complete list of the 1,300 top U.S. high schools

20      Jericho      Jericho      N.Y.      5.477      0.7      77.3
83      Gunn      Palo Alto      Calif.      3.813      6.1      74.7
147      Monta Vista      Cupertino      Calif.      3.166      1.1      72.6
187      Mission San Jose      Fremont      Calif.      2.877      3      75.1
337      Palo Alto      Palo Alto      Calif.      2.356      5      60.4
362     Lynbrook     San Jose     Calif.     2.297     1     61
650      Homestead      Cupertino      Calif.      1.784      8.5      33.1

(Cupertino High did not appear on the page… nor did any Sunnyvale schools strangely…)

Oh… well… I guess they have good schools after all. But let’s look at the weakness – I’ve found the cheapest 4-5 bedroom house in the Jericho school district:

Taxes: $9,551
List Price:  $595,000

SEC/AREA: Old Jericho
Raised Ranch,  Detached, # Families: 1
10.0 rooms,  5 Bedrooms , 2 Full Baths

School District: Jericho
Year Built: 1953
Construction: Brk/Vinyl
Lot Size: 75 X 96
Appearance: Excellent

Located In Jericho Sd#15 This Is The Perfect Home For Large Or Extended Family. Main Lvl-Gleaming Hardwood Floors, Freshly Painted.2nd Fl-2 Sun Filled Brs, Bth, And 2 Additional Rms.Full Bsmt, Gar, Great Yard, Convienent To Rr, Parkways, & Shopping.Taxes Do Not Include $821.68 Star Exemption.

Did you spot it? Did you see the weakness? Did you see the dirty secret that every Bay Area resident knows about the New York area?

Look at the property tax. It is insane! The percentage is double that of the Bay Area! No wonder everyone is flocking here! Think about it! If you bought that $595,000, 5 br/2ba excellent condition house, with a Top 20 high school, if you stayed for 30 years, you would end up paying $454,392in property tax (assumes 3% growth)

On the other hand, if you bought yesterday’s amazingly cheap Monta Vista house

… after 30 years you would only pay $373,226. That’s savings of $81,166. No wonder smart people buy in The Real Bay Area, and not New York.

All you have to do is spend $325,000 extra for a fixer up – and then you’ll save $81,166 after 30 years. If you stay for 50 years, you’ll save $316,300!

If that math doesn’t make sense to, you aren’t smart enough to live in the Real Bay Area. Sorry.

Comments (11) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:00 am

December 11, 2008

Lowest price 4 bedroom house w/Monta Vista high school in Cupertino

20771 Mcclellan Rd, Cupertino, CA 95014 Cupertino MLS# 80845849 – Property Details


* Status: Active
* Bedroom: 4
* Bathroom: 2
* Year Built: 1961
* Lot Size: 7446
* Square Footage: 1512
* List Date: 11/18/2008
* Garage Spaces: 2

Centrally located in a great Cupertino neighborhood. Wxcellent Cupertino schools. This home has a ton of potential. Open floor plan, lots of counter space, plentiful storage built in the garage. With the right updates and a little TLC, this home would be worth a lot more. Seller lives out of the area & has not lived in the home for over 40 yrs and has no knowledge of malfunctions.

Recently I discovered that the economy isn’t in such great shape. In times like this, having the right and best education is more important than ever. Monta Vista may be the only keys to success that your children will have. So I thought I’d help all the parents out there by finding the most affordable 4 bedroom house that goes to Monta Vista. And wow… what a find!

With Wxcellent Cupertino schools (that’s code btw), this fixer upper will give your children the right start. Just add some TLC, fix the lines of code that is triggering the malfunctions and BOOM you’ve got a million dollar house. Frankly, this is an amazing deal imho. The ZEstimate is $1,093,000 – hello instant equity!

Great school, great price. What more could you ask for in the paradise of Cupertino?

Comments (190) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:12 am

December 10, 2008

Brisbane house with lots of options and configurations!

35 Benito Rd, Brisbane, CA 94005 1101115 MLS# 310912 – Property Details

* Status: Active
* Bedroom: 5
* Bathroom: 3
* Year Built: 1953
* Lot Size: N/A
* Square Footage: 2391
* List Date: 7/24/2006

* Garage Spaces: 4
Gorgeous Nu rebuilt ’06 home w/2 Br unit(legal in law) Enjoy your drive while mom & dad & kids are safe in the 1st floor unit. Or rent unit if owner occupies house! Amenities include:SF bay vu, open floor plan, gourmet kitchen, sparkling, hardwood & so much more. Ez committee to SF or Pnsula! Pls loads of parking!

Thanks to Burbed reader Sonarrat for this find. Personally I’m disappointed in that there are no photos. With all the configurations that this house enables, I imagine it to be like a Transformer – shifting its shape so that you can enjoy your drive while mom and dad and kids are safe in the 1st floor unit.

Let’s look at a Bird’s Eye View:

Whichever house it is, it’s sure to be a winner. Personally, I hope it is the one that looks like a giant barn. I bet that if you say the right magic phrase, the house will suddenly lift up, and convert into a space shuttle as well. How awesome would that be!

Comments (20) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:47 am

December 9, 2008

Beautiful mansions in Mountain View, conveniently near 85

Here’s what Burbed reader Lisa had to say:

Two Mountain View homes for your consideration….

Why would anyone buy a $2M house in a neighborhood of $1M houses, across the street from a freeway sound wall, a continuation school, and an empty lot?  I mean if you are going to buy a 2M home couldn’t you do better?

3398 Lubich and 3396 Lubich.

At 3398 Lubich, in Mountain View there was once just one house on a big corner lot.  On zillow, you can still see that original house, valued at around 1.3 million

But now that house is gone, and in its place are two 2 million dollar homes. And this new construction is now for sale.

These are amazing homes with all the bells and whistles and huge, impressive windows. Because of those fancy windows, the lucky buyer of 3398 Lubich will be able to eat breakfast in their new home in a sort of fishbowl, just a few feet from the street.

And while they eat breakfast in their fishbowl, they can watch the continuation school kids smoke out in the empty lot across the street (the continuation school is just past the empty lot…).  And if the new owners have their windows open, they will be able to dine to the muffled sounds of the traffic from 85 because the sound wall is also right across the street!  As an extra bonus, high school kids from Mountain View will take up all their street parking.

Still, these two huge $2M homes (that are so close together they are almost kissing), are in Mountain View so I guess this is a great deal….I’m sure they’ll sell fast!  (NOT.)


Hm, it sounds like I need to investigate. Let’s take look!

First, there’s 3398 Lubich Dr:

And then there’s 3396 Lubich Dr:

Personally I don’t know what Lisa’s gripe about 85 is. After all, 85 is the Freeway of the Kings. Cutting through Cupertino and Saratoga, it oozes with eliteness and high API scores. It also ends near Google, bring tons of smart people by everyday. Sure your kids may have asthma, but they’ll also be smarter from living near this highway.

Sure $1.875 million is a bit pricey – but how could you afford not to buy here? Besides, you’re near the Hospital – asthma smathma.

This is just begging some investor to scoop up both of them in one shot!

Thanks Lisa!

Comments (215) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:21 am

December 8, 2008

Thinking of a home occupation business?

798 Minnesota Ave, San Jose, CA 95125 Willow Glen MLS# 80838025 – Property Details


* Status: Active
* Bedroom: 3
* Bathroom: 2
* Year Built: 1947
* Lot Size: 5500
* Square Footage: 1138
* List Date: 10/4/2008
* Garage Spaces: 2
REDUCED $60k:Yellow house on the corner. Thinking of a home occupation business? Great location and visibility. Check with City of San Jose for more details. Seller lived in home and used one bedroom as an office which has its own entrance. Spacious living room that opens to kitchen and dining area. Refrigerator, gas stove, microwave, washer and dryer stay. Sold AS-IS. 2 car attached garage.

Those who have worked in any organization know that there’s nothing more important than “visibility”. If you don’t stand out, you don’t exist. That’s why this house is perfect for those in the Home Occupation Business. With this yellow house, you can signal to everyone that you are perfectly ready to occupy their homes – beware!

But wait, there’s more! Let’s look at picture 6:

Yep… that’s right. It comes with built in A/C. Perfect for making your Home Occupation enjoyable.

Thanks to Burbed reader Anon for this find.

Comments (39) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:53 am

December 7, 2008

Houses are selling like crazy in Mountain View

Mountain View Voice Mountain View Voice: Home sales buck downward trend (November 28, 2008)
Home sales buck downward trend
Larger market turmoil fails to deter real estate buyers in Mountain View

by Daniel DeBolt

Stanford Terrace Inn
While the median price of a home has decreased in Mountain View over the last year, the number of home sales has gone up.

In October of last year there were 48 home sales. This October there were 53, four of which were foreclosures.

Strangely, the sales are happening in a very shaky market, says broker Nick French.

“Talk about uncertainty,” French said. “There’s job market uncertainty, economic uncertainty, stock market uncertainty.”

But it’s times like these that are the best time to buy, he says, when fewer people are looking. He added that he’s been buying up property himself. Others apparently have been, too.

French likes to quote the character Ricky Roma in the movie “Glengarry Glen Ross”: “I subscribe to the law of contrary public opinion. … If everyone thinks one thing, then I say, bet the other way.”

The public’s opinion may be reflected in Mountain View’s median home prices for October: $971,858 for single family homes and $646,803 for condos, compared to $1,037,654 for single family homes and $561,604 for condos during the same month last year.

If now isn’t an awesome time to buy in Mountain View, I don’t know what is. Real Bay Area at its best!

Check this out:

Historically, Mountain View housing prices don’t go down very much in a down market, French says. Many buyers have been able to justify the investment.

At the corner of Calderon and Dana streets, the new “Wild Orchid” development is evidence the housing market is still alive and kicking. After going on sale in May, 30 of the 39 town homes sold for over $900,000. Sales didn’t even slow in October.

It’s clear, the bottom has been reached in Mountain View. At this point, prices are set to soar in 2009. Buy now, and sit tight for the ride. Just think, in 40 years, you can post a comment just like this guy did:

Posted by Mr. Bernier, a resident of the Cuesta Park neighborhood, on Nov 27, 2008 at 7:37 pm

Every MV resident that has owned real estate in MV for over 20 years should be tax exempt from property taxes. I think this would be a nice little bonus for those of us that were here first.

Be a founder today! Buy buy buy!

Comments (173) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:46 am

December 5, 2008

The bottom has been reached in Redwood City: 1923 Middlefield Rd

1923 Middlefield Rd, Redwood City, CA 94063 Dumbarton MLS# 80843661 – Property Details


* Status: Active
* Bedroom: 2
* Bathroom: 1
* Year Built: 1927
* Lot Size: 1824
* Square Footage: 600
* List Date: 11/4/2008
* Garage Spaces: 1

A few Burbed readers sent this to me. It sure looks familiar though… oh wait!

April 8, 2008
1923 Middlefield Rd in Redwood City revisited (again)

Wait… that seems familiar too…

August 13, 2007
How to lose $240 a day… 1923 Middlefield Road

Wowsers. The reason for this is clear: this property has not been well advertised.

Hello! This house has a Zestimate of $407k! Think of all the instant equity you can earn from this!

Don’t pass up this incredible deal. Buy it today! The bottom has been reached in Redwood City. How could this property possibly go any lower? Seriously!

Comments (114) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:05 am