March 24, 2009

Cheap house in Woodside – with room for your aupair!

It’s Herve week at Burbed! I’m catching up on all the listings that Herve had sent me. Here’s the second one!

Woodside, CA 94062 | MLS# 80839612
Undisclosed Woodside, CA 94062
Price: $1,100,000

Beds: 6
Baths: 4
Sq. Ft.: 4,500
$/Sq. Ft.: $244
Lot Size: 1.5 Acres
Property Type: Attached Single Family
Year Built: 1999
Stories: 3
View: Mountains
Neighborhood: Old La Honda Road Area
County: San Mateo
MLS#: 80839612
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active
On Redfin: 147 days
Unsold in 90 days
Bank Owned! 18 Room Woodside Estate with views of the Redwood Trees and year round creek runs along the 1.5 secluded acres. Victorian architecture enhances each of the unique rooms. The main home is accented with gorgeous hardwood with rose accents, beveled glass windows, master suite with office or nursery and a large wrap around deck. Second unit is perfect for aupair or live in.

Wow. This is Burbed’s second house in Woodside. I’m sure some terrible fate must’ve befallen the original owner.

But, his loss is your gain. At just $244 per square foot, you can live in a true mansion with 18 rooms. The location is undisclosed, so it is perfect as a hideaway. I bet Bernie Madoff wishes he lived here instead of at an easy to get to co-op in Manhattan.

Even better, I bet you could build some tunnels and some caves. During the day, you are an extravgant, Woodside mansion living executive at a chip fab. At night? You come out to fight crime in East Palo Alto.

If this fantasy doesn’t sell it for you, I don’t know what does.

(Note: Butler not included.)

Comments (15) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:51 am

March 23, 2009

Bryant Place, Mountain View, Affordable Housing Concerns

Wow… there’s so much going on in this article, and the comments in the article that I’m not even going to provide any commentary – just lots of clips:

Mountain View Voice : Neighbors concerned over affordable housing development
With the help of a team of eight mediators, the city took extra care Thursday night to listen to the concerns of 19 neighbors of a proposed affordable housing development at Evelyn and Franklin streets.

Since 2006, the City Council has proposed building as many as 51 affordable family homes on a city-owned Caltrain overflow parking lot. Currently the proposal calls for a project of up to four stories.

The development is aimed at people who earn less than 60 percent of the area’s median income ($64,000 a year for a family of four). After several council meetings, ROEM Corporation has been selected to design, develop and manage the site, which will be leased from the city.

“My concern is you are building a ghetto right here,” said one resident, who added that — despite the police station located across Franklin Street — neighbors already must put up with the Pacific Euro hotel nearby, which was described as “essentially a halfway house.”

Concerns about the project came almost exclusively from the residents of Bryant Place, a 41-unit condo complex next door, who said the city did not notify them that the lot was one of three city-owned lots considered for the development in 2006. Though the selection of the site was reported in the Voice in 2006, neighbors say they had not heard about the project until last year.

“I feel like I overpaid because of it,” said one neighbor who bought after 2006 and didn’t know about the plans.

Posted by Peter, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Mar 20, 2009 at 2:00 pm

Thanks to the Voice for reporting this back in 2006. You continue to be a great asset to the City. However, had our Realtor did as good a job as the Voice did, (although I take some responsibility) I would not have overbid for my condo at 108 Bryant just over a year ago-I would have under bid had we known what was scheduled to go into the Evelyn/Franklin lot.

Posted by Robert, a resident of the Shoreline West neighborhood, on Mar 20, 2009 at 5:19 pm

I would like the City to prioritize public servants for consideration (police, fire-fighters, teachers) for first consideration for affordable-income housing within the City.

Posted by Citizen, a resident of another community, 52 minutes ago

There aren’t going to be any public safety employees in these developments. Have you checked the salary schedule for Mountain View employees?

Firefighter: 82,203.16 – 99,926.84 annually

Police Officer: 84,348.42 – 124,428.0 annually

These are the entry level public safety positions. I think they’re going to be fine on housing.

Teachers are another story.

Comments (33) -- Posted by: burbed @ 10:36 am

A healthy $1086 per square foot in Palo Alto

It’s Herve week at Burbed! I’m catching up on all the listings that Herve had sent me. Let’s start with this one!

451 ADDISON Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94301 | MLS# 80848110
451 ADDISON Ave Palo Alto, CA 94301
Price: $1,195,000

Beds: 2
Baths: 2
Sq. Ft.: 1,100
$/Sq. Ft.: $1,086
Lot Size: 5,000 Sq. Ft.
Year Built: 1898
Stories: 1
Neighborhood: Downtown
County: Santa Clara
MLS#: 80848110
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active
On Redfin: 95 days
Unsold in 90 days
Winsome Queen Anne cottage * Originally a single family home, now configured as a duplex * (House to rear on separate property) * Perfect candidate for restoration with broad front porch, partial basement, and architectural detail * Easy walk to Downtown and schools * NOTE: House address reads “453” on front of house * Please do not disturb tenants

Man, in these turbulent times sometimes you simply need a sign of stability. Fortunately there’s always Palo Alto.

At $1086 per square, this house is the rock that the Real Bay Area is built on. Here’s the question though – built in 1898, can this house be torn down so that a modern house can be built?

On the otherhand, why do that? Just look at the income stream you could have from renting the units out. Any finance wizards here who can compute the perpetuity stream from this house?

Regardless… I feel calmer already. A great way to start the week.

Comments (68) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:35 am

March 22, 2009

To walk away from your underwater house mortgage or not?

Silicon Valley ‘underwater’ homeowners: Should I stay or go? – San Jose Mercury News
Marie, a San Jose homeowner, owes about $560,000 on her house in the city’s east foothills and figures it’s now worth about $460,000. She tried to sell it in 2007 when she got married and moved to her husband’s home, with no luck. Now she’s renting out the house, but the income is not enough to cover the loan and property taxes.

As she scrimps to pay two mortgages, Marie is considering ditching the mortgage on her first house and walking away.

“Right now I have excellent credit. I take paying my bills very seriously,” said Marie, who did not want her last name published for privacy reasons. But sheer stress, she said, might spur her to cease paying the mortgage, which would probably bring about a foreclosure.

Meanwhile, Marie remains in a tough spot. She’s only been able to make the minimum payment on her negative-amortization, adjustable-rate loan recently, so the balance on her loan is increasing with every passing month. Her lender told her that because she does not live in her home anymore, she doesn’t qualify for a loan modification (most programs only apply to “owner-occupied” homes). Also, her lender is only modifying loans for borrowers in default, she said, which doesn’t help her since she is still current on her payments.

Knowing this, and loaded down with stress, walking away appears to be a viable option, though she’s worried about the inevitable effect on her credit score.

“I worked hard to get it to be excellent,” she said.


But even for a lawyer, reaching a lender to discuss a walkaway client or a deed in lieu can be tough, Fredman said.

On his desk are keys to the house of some clients who walked out on their mortgage (and home) last fall. Fredman said he wants to return the keys to the lender, but it’s been months, and the lender has not yet told him where to mail them. Nor have they foreclosed on the homeowners.

“It may come to the point of having to sue them to get them to take the house back,” he said.

To walk away… or not to walk away… that is the question. Burbed says: WALK AWAY. Let’s face it… real estate should only go up. That’s what America was built upon. So if you own a home that’s not going up in price, you’re being deprived of your American rights. Rise up, much like our Bostonian forefathers did and throw that mortgage into the sea!

And then, move to the Real Bay Area where real estate only goes up! 7 years of bad credit will go by fast. Besides, what further credit will you need in the future than when you tell people “Oh, yeah. I own a house in Silicon Valley.” Watch as the credit instantly flows!

Comments (44) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:12 am

March 21, 2009

Recommendation: 2 Years to a Million in Real Estate

It’s Saturday again, and means it’s time for Burbed’s book of the week! Let’s take a look at this one:

2 Years to a Million in Real Estate

Holy moley!

Let’s face it, times are tough these days and there aren’t quite as many hot jobs in the Valley right now. Sure there are plenty of C-level, VP, Director+ management jobs available – but Burbed is a site for all people. Execs and non-execs.

For you non-execs who might be struggling, for fresh college grads, with this book you can quit your day job and become a MILLIONAIRE PROPERTY OWNER!

Hey that’s great ‘cuz you don’t have a day job! You’re half way to becoming a millionaire already!

Don’t believe me? Let’s look at a professional review:

“This is the success story of an ex-dot-com employee who got tired of working long hours at a great job for 10 years and watching his fellow workers lose their jobs. He accidentally discovered real estate’s market-value appreciation, leverage, tax savings, cash flow, reliability and freedom from a 9-to-5 workday. In the process, he became a multimillionaire, and he shows readers how they can have the same result.” — Bruss, Robert J. San Francisco Chronicle. 20061208

If this book doesn’t speak to Valley readers, I don’t know what does.

Click the link and buy this amazing book today. Give it as a gift for graduation come this Summer. (Or just click the link and buy anything to helped Burbed out!)

Comments (43) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:27 am

March 20, 2009

The least expensive single family home in Mountain View

491 S RENGSTORFF Ave, Mountain View, CA 94040 | MLS# 80849265
491 S RENGSTORFF Ave Mountain View, CA 94040
Price: $599,900

Beds: 3
Baths: 2
Sq. Ft.: 1,080
$/Sq. Ft.: $555
Lot Size: 8,700 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Style: Contemporary
Year Built: 1958
Stories: 1
Neighborhood: San Antonio
County: Santa Clara
MLS#: 80849265
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active
On Redfin: 79 days
LEAST EXPENSIVE SINGLE FAMILY HOME IN THE ENTIRE MOUNTAIN VIEW. THIS BANK-OWNED PROPERTY HAS A HUGE LOT. If you’re looking for a big lot in the middle of Mountain View, if you’re looking for great schools and if you’re looking for a great property with an awesome bargain then come & grab this thing. Zoned R3-1, you can build 2 houses or a duplex on this humongous 8600 sq. ft. lot. BRING OFFERS!

Here’s what Burbed reader J.M. had to say:

Hey, this lovely house is next door to my apartment complex, and, uh, $611/square foot?  Accordingly to the listing, it’s the cheapest single family home in Mountain View.  It’s also the only single family home for like a half mile in any direction.  I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing — after all *I* am one of their fantastic neighbors.

Indeed! The affordable housing crisis in Mountain View has been solved with this home. And look! It even features all the self-hype that the Bay Area is famous for! Great schools? Well… they’re ok schools. Humongous lot? Well… it’s a big lot. Revenue? Well… they’ve got eyeballs. Oh wait. It didn’t say that.

In any case, observe that this is next to a giant apartment complex. What does that mean? Yep! You too can become a landlord too!

But if you don’t choose to go that route, you can say hello to a huge heap of sweet instant equity as this house has a Zestimate of $785,000! Hellooooo free money!

Comments (48) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:49 am

Population up in every Bay Area county in 2008

SF Gate: Population by county (Todd Trumbull / The Chronicle) Multimedia (image)
Population up in every Bay Area county in 2008
Population by county (Todd Trumbull / The Chronicle)

“There’s no place that’s better,” said Stephen Levy, director of the Center for the Continuing Study of the California Economy in Palo Alto. “Even though the economy is terrible, it’s performing better here than elsewhere.”

Thanks to Burbed reader Sam for this great news. I don’t know about you, but reading this makes my spirit soar.

The population is exploding, Spring temperatures are here. All this is lining up to form one of the best Spring Bounces in history.

Will this be the start of our return to normalcy? A start of our return to our god given 5%-15% YoY appreciation?

I have high hopes.

(Psst, don’t tell anyone – but I think that this population explosion may be the result of laid off, top educated, former bankers moving from NY to the Bay Area to work on what everyone knows to be the next big thing: green tech. Cha ching baby, cha ching!!)

Comments (28) -- Posted by: burbed @ 4:11 am

March 19, 2009

A large, green, house in Redwood City

549 MACARTHUR Ave, Redwood City, CA 94063 | MLS# 80827908
549 MACARTHUR Ave Redwood City, CA 94063
Price: $479,500

Beds: 2
Baths: 1
Sq. Ft.: 1,050
$/Sq. Ft.: $457
Lot Size: 5,000 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Style: Ranch
Year Built: 1939
Stories: 1
View: Neighborhood
Neighborhood: Dumbarton
County: San Mateo
MLS#: 80827908
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active
On Redfin: 199 days
Unsold in 90 days
First time on the market in 35 years. Lots of pride of ownership. Reports forth coming. Shall be sold “As Is” in its present condition. Big home, with lots of room. Great for large family, income unit for help with mortgage payment. Great for first time buyers. Freshly painted inside 2 years ago. New cabinets, Corrian tile in kitchen, tile floors throughout. Remodeled 2 years ago by owner.

Everyone’s trying to live more “green” these days, and Redwood City has a unique twist.

This green house has not been on the market for 35 years – so just like a fine wine, this house has aged majestically with the tons of pride of ownership that has accrued. They should start having vintage years for houses.

At 1050 square feet, this house is “big” and great for a “large” family. You can also rent out part of it apparently to help pay the mortgage. Hey! You too can have the pride of ownership and the pride of being a landlord. Can you say “WIN WIN”?

Thanks to Burbed reader Herve for this find.

Comments (27) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:44 am

March 18, 2009

375sqft with 3 bedrooms in San Francisco

36 VIENNA St, San Francisco County, CA 94112 | MLS# 80837777
36 VIENNA St San Francisco County, CA 94112
Price: $449,950
Beds: 31651810758-36
Baths: 1
Sq. Ft.: 375
$/Sq. Ft.: $1,200
Lot Size: 2,495 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Attached Single Family
Year Built: 1900
Stories: 1
Neighborhood: Other Area
County: San Francisco
MLS#: 80837777
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active
On Redfin: 149 days
Unsold in 90 days
Price Reduced!!! Come see this beautifully preserved cottage in this exciting environment of San Fransisco Bay. Lots of natural light and hardwood floors. Has an in-laws unit in rear with permits! View this home, and your Buyer’s will want to make an offer.

Everyone is trying to live more “green” these days, and the Bay Area has always been on the forefront. In this amazing example, this fine San Francisco house manages to fit in 3 bedrooms into just 375 square feet. Is it any wonder that it is $1200 per square foot? The technology and design that must’ve gone into this must’ve been huge!

Here’s what Burbed reader H.T. had to say:

3 beds on 375sqfeet? Or maybe the year it was built? 1900? or maybe price per sqfeet? Or maybe the place this property is found? I wander what exactly they are selling for nearly half a million  bucks here? Price reduced!? And in-laws in a dog’s igloo? If they are selling lot then why are they showing pics of the house? what a “beautifully preserved cottage”! 🙂

You know why there aren’t any interior pictures? Probably because they are all patent pending. I bet you’ll need to sign an NDA just to see the inside of this amazing house of the future. You go SF!

Comments (139) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:40 am

March 17, 2009

Houses in Atherton – now affordable!

72 MAPLE Ave, Atherton, CA 94027 | MLS# 80908548
72 MAPLE Ave Atherton, CA 94027
Price: $879,900

Beds: 3
Baths: 1
Sq. Ft.: 940
$/Sq. Ft.: $936
Lot Size: 6,550 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Style: Cottage/Bungalow
Year Built: 1951
Stories: 1
View: Neighborhood
Neighborhood: Middlefield to El Camino
County: San Mateo
MLS#: 80908548
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active
On Redfin: 11 days
Don’t miss this fantastic opportunity to own a home in Atherton. This property has great potential or just enjoy living in this sweet Bungalow which features:Spacious living room, 3BD, 1BA, Eat-in Kitchen, Large detached 1 car garage, Menlo Park Schools(buyer to verify schools) & Steps to the Town of Atherton Library, Reading Park, Walking distance to the Atherton Train Depot & Holbrook-Palmer Park.

Wow. Talk about tough times. First, recently a co-worker of mine went to Chantilly on a Friday night, and there were just 3 tables with customers. And now… this. A house in Atherton for just $936 square feet.

Although this is depressing, at the same time it is a good thing as it is an indication of how the housing affordability issue in Atherton is now solved.

Careful Atherton… you’re on a slippery slope…

Thanks to Burbed reader Herve for this find!

Comments (85) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:35 am