January 31, 2009

“The Best Bay Area Real Estate Blogs”

The Best Bay Area Real Estate Blogs | Redfin San Francisco Sweet Digs
Top (Non-Agent) Real Estate Blogs

* SocketSite, “Real estate tips, trends and the local scoop”
* SF Curbed, “Covering real estate sales, rental prices, and news-making deals and much more”
* Burbed, “They’re not making any more land”
* Matrix, “Interpreting the real estate economy”
* San Francisco Real Estate Blog, ” It’s every bit as interesting as Curbed.”
* On The Blog by the SF Gate, “Daily commentary on the nation’s most diverse and unpredictable real estate market.”


Comments (20) -- Posted by: burbed @ 11:07 pm

Bay Area rental market prices and trends

Bay Area rental market gives tenants an edge
Bay Area apartment rents will soften and vacancies will edge up in 2009, giving tenants more leverage, according to a forecast from an influential real estate firm.

Still, the rental market here will remain stronger than in most other regions around the country, said Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services, which issued forecasts for three metropolitan areas in the region: San Francisco, San Jose and Oakland.

Those excess homes and condos, which M&M terms “shadow market rentals,” largely are bank-owned foreclosures purchased by investors who then rent them out. They are concentrated in the East Bay and some parts of San Jose, and are barely a factor in San Francisco.

Thanks to Nomadic for posting this earlier. Note that these problems are mostly limited to parts of San Jose and the East Bay – both of which are clearly not in the Real Bay Area.

For those of you who are looking in the Real Bay Area – how does the rental market seem to you? Gangbusters as usual?

Comments (39) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:37 am

January 30, 2009

$950 per sqft fixer upper in Los Gatos

16561 ENGLEWOOD Ave, Los Gatos, CA 95032 | MLS# 80815390
16561 ENGLEWOOD Ave Los Gatos, CA 95032
Price: $1,150,000

Beds: 2
Baths: 1
Sq. Ft.: 1,210
$/Sq. Ft.: $950
Lot Size: 7,583 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Style: Traditional
Year Built: 1946
Stories: 1
View: Neighborhood
Neighborhood: Los Gatos/Monte Sereno
County: Santa Clara
MLS#: 80815390
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active
On Redfin: 225 days
Unsold in 90 days
Contractor special in Downtown Los Gatos! Value in the land–fabulous opportunity within walking distance to LG Schools. Build new or major remodel your dream home in unincorporated Los Gatos. Survey available. Call Doug Perry for further details.

Here’s what Burbed commenter nomadic had to say:

This house is what the RBA is all about.  It’s a tiny fixer-upper on a small-ish 7,583 sf lot.  And they still want $950/sf for it!  They say the value is in the land because it’s walking distance to Los Gatos.  Does 1.5 miles really count as walking distance?  That’s a long way if you have a couple too many glasses of wine with dinner.

All true – but more importantly, let’s take a look at the garage:


Hey – at least its not a snout house! A standalone garage really helps this house stand out!

Comments (150) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:50 am

January 29, 2009

Palo Alto house with Bathroom in Bedroom

3600 RAMONA St, Palo Alto, CA 94306 | MLS# 80900712
3600 RAMONA St Palo Alto, CA 94306
Price: $849,000

Beds: 2
Baths: 2
Sq. Ft.: 1,040
$/Sq. Ft.: $816
Lot Size: 5,580 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Style: Contemporary
Year Built: 1951
Stories: 1
View: Neighborhood
Neighborhood: South Palo Alto
County: Santa Clara
MLS#: 80900712
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active
On Redfin: 18 days
Contemporary Home w/ a serene setting in a Great nighborhood w/ Gunn high school. Land value in this area is more than the current listing price. Hurry, wont last. Uniquely Designed 1-room master suite w/ soaking tub & spacious area for bedroom set. Kitchen & Baths had some updating. Newer boiler. Professionaly landscaped yard w/ ponds & lawn & patio. stainless steel refrigerator & washer/dryer included.

Another find from Burbed reader Simon. Here’s what he had to say:

I’ve seen it – it’s a Eichler that was horribly mutilated by a crazy person with a Japanese fetish that involved putting a toilet in the bedoom. No, I don’t how that’s Japanese either but the Realtor told me, so it must be true.

Anyone want to go check this out at the next open house? Sounds like an amazing innovation – which makes sense since this is in Palo Alto, the birthplace of so many innovations!

More importantly, this house is at $816 per square foot. Phew. So maybe the world isn’t coming to an end after all.

Comments (92) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:12 am

January 28, 2009

Are Palo Alto House prices in trouble? What’s going on here?

2370 MIDDLEFIELD Rd, Palo Alto, CA 94301 | MLS# 80903526
2370 MIDDLEFIELD Rd Palo Alto, CA 94301
Price: $875,000

Beds: 2
Baths: 1
Sq. Ft.: 1,122
$/Sq. Ft.: $780
Lot Size: 5,000 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Style: Traditional
Year Built: 1947
Stories: 1
View: Neighborhood
Neighborhood: Old Palo Alto
County: Santa Clara
MLS#: 80903526
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active
On Redfin: 3 days
Charming 2 bed & 1 bath home located in prestigious Old Palo neighborhood. Offering 1,122 sq. ft. of bright and well maintained living space with hardwood floors, detached 2-car garage, and expansion possibilities. Excellent PA school district: Walter Hayes Elem, Jordan Middle, & PA high school. Walking distance shopping areas, train station, & parks.

Here’s what Burbed reader Simon had to say:

It’s a house, an actual real house, in Old Palo Alto (just), for less than $1000/sq foot. What’s wrong with it? Is it infested by demons? Built over a nuclear waste burial site? I mean, even if it was falling down the lot alone must be worth $1M, surely.

Now personally I think Simon is being a little bit of an alarmist. While we would all desire Palo Alto to have a minimum of $1000 per square foot, in reality, $8×0 is usually a healthy number. So $780 isn’t the end of times, but it’s still an alarming trend.

Could someone please write President Obama and inform him of this threat to national security? Thanks!

Comments (46) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:07 am

January 27, 2009

23% Price Cut in Menlo Park – Investment opportunities now very affordable!

163 WILLOW Rd, Menlo Park, CA 94025 | MLS# 80850784
163 WILLOW Rd Menlo Park, CA 94025
Price: $1,695,000

Beds: 3
Baths: 2
Sq. Ft.: –
Lot Size: 0.46 Acres
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Style: Traditional
Year Built: 1951
Stories: 2
View: Neighborhood
Neighborhood: Menlo Oaks Area
County: San Mateo
Dont miss this opportunity for multiple uses. Two charming homes on large lot. Almost 20,000 sq. ft. Perfect for two families, Live in one and rent the other, Rent out both homes for investment or build your dream home. Possible lot split. Contact city to verify. Close to Sunset Magazine, Downtown Palo Alto, and Stanford University. Excellent Menlo Park Schools,

Burbed reader Steve sent this in and thanks to his sharp eye, it turns out that this was previously seen on Burbed. Let’s take a look:

September 1, 2008

Labor Day Sales in Menlo Park – buy a house, get one free!

Ouchers! A 23% price cut! Still, it’s in the million+ range. Phew. That was a close call. Menlo Park, you’re still in the Real Bay Area, but please be more careful in the future.

That said, this is still an enormous lot and a great opportunity for potential landlords. Cha ching!

Comments (191) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:03 am

January 26, 2009

Free child with purchase of Redwood City house

1416 Oxford St, Redwood City, CA 94061 Central Park MLS# 80850865 – Property Details


* Status: Active
* Bedroom: 3
* Bathroom: 2
* Year Built: 1930
* Lot Size: 5985
* Square Footage: 1350
* List Date: 12/30/2008
* Garage Spaces: 1

Fixer upper!!; needs some completion work in Master Bath, laundry room,and some additional finish work, great potential; sold “as is “; ; Kitchen has granite counter tops; granite fireplace,too many things to list in this 3 Bed. 2Ba.Spanish Style home. Good location for quick sale.

What? The child isn’t included? Oh. What about the CRT? Or the stuff on the table? Oh.

Actually the real reason I chose this house was because of the reality based television style photos used. Frankly, I’m tired of those professionally staged, DSLR photos that are a dime a dozen. I want my photos gritty and action packed. The video-style of these definitely heighten the senses and make these photos come alive.

Let’s take a look at a few more shall we?


Wow. It’s like I’m seeing this on TV. Hey, if you buy this, maybe you can end up on HGTV!

Thanks to Burbed reader Sonnarrat for the find.

Comments (118) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:44 am

January 24, 2009

Mountain View schools to use lottery for enrollment

Mountain View Voice : Parents cry foul on enrollment
Parents cry foul on enrollment
MV Whisman uses lottery to decide who gets into schools and programs

by Casey Weiss

It may be up to Lady Luck this year whether some incoming kindergarteners get into their neighborhood schools or special choice programs.

The Mountain View Whisman Elementary School District is enacting an enrollment lottery for the first time as families prepare to register with the district in February. The change in policy comes after the student population suddenly grew, reaching numbers not expected until 2011. Administrators said the lottery will give each family the fairest chance of getting into their preferred schools and programs.


Last year, parents camped outside the district office the night before open enrollment started to reserve a place for their students in a specific program or school. Totter said this year will be different, and anyone who signs up during the open enrollment period for 2009-10, from Feb. 2 to Feb. 27, has the same chances.

Mountain View continues to lead in innovation. First, it had parents camp outside overnight to enroll their kids – following the innovative lead of Apple and its iPhone lines. Now! A lottery!

Amazing! What will Mountain View think of next!

Comments (34) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:00 am

January 23, 2009

Cheapest residence in Cupertino: 1/1 condo for $459,888

We haven’t looked at condos for a while. Let’s see what’s on the market:

20488 Stevens Creek BLVD #1810, Cupertino, CA 95014 Cupertino MLS# 80840461 – Property Details



* Status: Active
* Bedroom: 1
* Bathroom: 1
* Year Built: 2003
* Lot Size: 435
* Square Footage: 850
* List Date: 10/17/2008
* Garage Spaces: 1
* MLS#: 80840461
OPEN HOUSE 11/15/08:1-3pm. 1 Bed/1 Bath Highly desirable condo penthouse with balcony and panaromic views of the Cali Mill Plaza/ 1st time on the market/Prime Cupertino location/luxurius living includes granite countertops & tiled flooring in both kitchen & bathroom. Big Storage in the basement. Located close to Hi-Tech Companies, Apple, HP, Symantec/ Walk to Shopping and Restaurants.Close 280/85.

Oh Cupertino condo. You were so close. At $541 per square foot, I thought you would be the winner – but alas the Palo Alto condo beat you at $572 per square foot. On the other hand, you have easy walking distance to Stevens Creek Blvd – Palo Alto did not.

That said, this is an amazing buy – after all, this is the first time this has been on the market. That’s right! Well… except for the first time when it was converted from a rental to a condo. But aside from that, this is the first (we start counting at 0 right?)

Just think of all the awesome parties you will have here in your awesome penthouse condo. Another nail in the coffin for SoMa if you ask me.

Comments (100) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:02 am

January 22, 2009

Cheapest residence in Menlo Park: 2/1.5 condo for $399,000

We haven’t looked at condos for a while. Let’s see what’s on the market:

165 E Okeefe St ##3, Menlo Park, CA 94303 MLS# 40385413 – Property Details


* Status: Active
* Bedroom: 2
* Bathroom: 1&1/2
* Year Built: 1983
* Lot Size: N/A
* Square Footage: 1182
* List Date: 12/12/2008
* Garage Spaces: 1

*PRICE REDUCED!*Townhouse ft.2BR/1.5BATH, SPACIOUS, easy flowing layout frm kitchen to LR. Great Deck area for entertainment and gorgeous fireplace – also ft LOTS of CLOSET SPACES, Kitchen fit for a natural cook, plantation shutters and EASY access to FREEWAYS and CLOSE to DTN Menlo Park & Shopping!

Phew. Sunnyvale and Mountain View had me all worried. Fortunately Menlo Park steps up to shore up the market for condos. Sure this is slightly bigger than the other ones, but at $399k this is a clear $100k more than the others. And that’s a good thing.

I think the best part about this condo, besides the price, is the fact that it has a kitchen that is fit for a natural cook. Natural cooking is all the rage these days, so let’s see how this kitchen promotes that:


You see, that giant tube coming down is actually a solar tube. So basically, you’ll be cooking your food with direct sunlight. And rain water. You can’t get more natural than that!

Comments (65) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:56 am