March 16, 2009

Fremont house that bends space and time

37521 Church Ave, Fremont, CA 94536 Irvington MLS# 40385985 – Property Details
37521 Church Ave, Fremont, CA


* Status: Active
* Bedroom: 2
* Bathroom: 1
* Year Built: 1912
* Lot Size: 5750
* Square Footage: 480
* List Date: 12/17/2008
* Garage Spaces: 0
* MLS#: 40385985

One of the lowest priced single family homes in Fremont. Huge lot with tons of potential. Lot goes from one street to the next, drive in from Joseph St. or Church Ave. Dual pane windows. Nice neighborhood.

Here’s what Burbed reader sonarrat had to say:

Look at the map.. isn’t Joseph two blocks from Church? Very strange.

Hey, this is Fremont – things don’t have to make sense. It’s not real Bay Area after all.

Or actually, is it? At $604 per square foot, this house is conveniently located near the Amtrak station, offering ease of access to trains.

Suddenly, I’m not so sure. Hey Fremont, if you keep this up, you might just be in the Real Bay Area soon. And then maybe you can drive a few blocks to go from Mountain View to Fremont using your subspace technology!

Comments (74) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:29 am

Shocker – The White Oaks Blog (San Carlos) links to Burbed

Website Spotlight: | The White Oaks Blog
Who ever said that real estate needs to be dry and dull? Actually, if you’re looking for an industry to poke a little fun at, real estate is what you’d probably refer to as a “target-rich environment.” That’s where comes in. What is Burbed? Well, if there’s a real estate listing out there that:

1. Is massively over-priced,
2. Has incredibly dopey MLS pictures,
3. Is located right next to a freeway or airport, or
4. Any or all of the above…. will find its way onto this site sooner or later. This recent post about a home in Fremont had me doubled over in laughter. This site is quite popular with homeowners and real estate agents alike (although most of the latter group will never admit it.) But at the same time we’re reading it and getting a good chuckle out of the comments and anecdotes, we’re also holding our collective breath that our listings don’t make it onto this site!

So check out Burbed. It will give you a good laugh in the middle of a very un-funny recession….

Wow… that’s quite a bit of a surprise! A Real Estate professional who actually had the fortitude to recommend this site – and unleash the shocking fact that there are other agents who read it!

Talk about a stunning way to start the week!

Looking through the listings on Burbed, I’m pretty sure that none of them are from this agent. Good work!

Comments (7) -- Posted by: burbed @ 4:37 am

March 15, 2009

U.S. real estate a bargain for Chinese – Real estate-

U.S. real estate a bargain for Chinese – Real estate-

While China’s ultra-rich have been buying property in the U.S. for years, the buying tours are new, made attractive by still-rising Chinese income levels and American real estate prices that have been falling for two and a half years.

More than 100 Chinese buyers have joined such tours since late 2008, according to Chen Hang, the China-born vice president of real estate at Fortune Group. The Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, company shows foreclosed commercial property to Chinese buyers.


Trips are pricey. Ying, the lawyer, paid $2,200 — nearly the equivalent of the annual income for many Chinese — plus airfare.

Participants in a 10-day January tour organized by Beijing-based Environment International Travel Agency had to show proof of an annual income of at least $30,000 and that they owned a car and property in China.

A real estate developer from the southern city of Changsha said he spent $3,500 for the 10-day trip to view $500,000 to $1 million homes, and it worked.

He found a house in California’s Silicon Valley that he planned to buy for his 20-year-old daughter, a university student in Boston who plans on attending graduate school in the Bay area.

“My daughter’s monthly rent is $1,000, so it makes sense to buy a place, because I’m getting a return rather than throwing money away,” said the developer. He would talk on condition that he be identified only by his surname, Zeng.

The price of the house, he said, was $1 million, compared with $1.3 million before the crisis in early 2007.

“The price is low now, but it’s in a good neighborhood with breathtaking views, so it will definitely appreciate,” he said.

Burbed reader T submitted this recently. (Actually, a few others had posted this in the comments too, I just never got around to posting it.)

Let’s face it – this can mean only 1 thing: Having prices ending with 888 really works! Forget burying St. Joseph statues upside down in your backyard! This is much more effective!

I know that some of the more cynical will point out the similarity of this to how the Japanese bought all that real estate in NY (Rockefeller center!) and ended up losing tons of money. Well, to this I would point out these key differences:

1. That was in NY. There’s nothing of value there. California baby!

2. That was for commercial real estate. Everyone knows that residential real estate is a much better investment.

3. This time it is different.

Good thing so many school districts in the Real Bay Area are preparing our children for the inevitable future by offering all-Mandarin-all-the-time education!

Maybe I should call this site Burbed 888!

Comments (25) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:38 am

Casey Serin – Against Homeowner Bailout

Homeowner Bailout Rewards Irresponsibility – CBS News
Perhaps the best argument against a government bailout of underwater homeowners can be found in the character of Casey Serin, a 26-year-old would-be mogul in Sacramento, Calif.

In hopes of getting rich quick, Serin took out $2.2 million in mortgages on eight houses, some sight unseen. He lost all of the properties, most to foreclosure, and says he’s recently contemplated living on the streets.

Serin achieved a measure of Internet fame by chronicling his failures at real estate speculation on a now-defunct blog, where an audience of so-called “haterz” spent endless hours critiquing his innumerable financial missteps. After selling his Web site to pay down his then-wife’s credit card debt, Serin has had time to reflect on how he and other speculators contributed to the biggest housing bubble in history.


In case you forgot who Casey Serin is, you can either check the Wikipedia or the Caseypedia.

The biggest surprise for me: He’s not in prison?

Comments (3) -- Posted by: burbed @ 4:42 am

March 14, 2009

Flip – by Clay Davis and Rick Villani – Book Recommendation

It’s Saturday… time for a Burbed Book Club recommendation! This one caught my eye:

FLIP: How to Find, Fix, and Sell Houses for Profit

Wow. Anyone can do it. Not everyone will… Will you?

Talk about a challenge. After all it is spring bounce, so now is the perfect time to find, fix, and sell houses for profit. There’s plenty of opportunities all over the not-so-Real Bay Area.

Are you ready to… FLIP?

Click the link. Buy the book today and profit!

Comments (27) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:37 am

March 13, 2009

Poll: Bay Area’s outlook on state is sunniest

Poll: Bay Area’s outlook on state is sunniest
The majority of Bay Area residents think California is one of the best places to live despite tough economic times.

But the same can’t be said about the rest of the Golden State, where residents are less enthusiastic about their state, according to a new Field Poll.

The nagging recession is apparently taking a toll on Californians’ view of the state, with only 41 percent of those surveyed saying it is “one of the best places to live,” compared with 50 percent who felt that way two years ago.


But in their perception of the state as a whole, Bay Area residents were the most optimistic, with 61 percent of them saying the state is one of the best places to live. That’s a far higher figure than Orange and San Diego counties (42 percent), Los Angeles County (37 percent) and the Central Valley (30 percent).

“I think it has to do with the diversity of lifestyles (in the Bay Area),” said Mark DiCamillo, the Field Poll director. “We have access to the coast, very moderate climate … we’re not that far from Lake Tahoe and the mountains.”

World-class universities such as Stanford and UC Berkeley that support cutting-edge industries, along with a vibrant cultural scene, attract well-educated, well-paid residents who are likely to be far more optimistic during a recession, DiCamillo said.

Is it any wonder? The Bay Area is simply the best place in the world to live. Period.

Comments (24) -- Posted by: burbed @ 6:44 am

Comparing house prices in beach areas

91809 Makule Rd, Ewa Beach, HI, 96706 – MLS ID#2902663 – Single Family Home real estate –®

91809 Makule Rd  Ewa Beach, HI 96706
4 Bed, 3 Bath | 1,621 Sq Ft on 0.12 Acres (5,337 Sq Ft Lot) |
MLS ID #2902663


Ok, I don’t know much about Hawaii honestly – but I figured given all the references in yesterday’s post, I should take a look.

Hm… you could live in Montara beach for $980 per square foot in a 560 sqft cottage, or you could live at Ewa Beach in Oahu for $344 per square foot.

Tough choices. But at the end of the day, only one of them is in the Bay Area – and hint it is not Hawaii.

Now that I think about, gosh am I surprised at how cheap it is to live in Hawaii! But then again, shouldn’t there be a big discount for a place where people have to hoard toilet paper periodically?

Scary indeed!

Comments (18) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:53 am

March 12, 2009

Coastside cottage – just $980 per square foot

391 6th St, Montara, CA 94037 East of Highway 1 MLS# 80828469 – Property Details
391 6th St, Montara, CA

(East of Highway 1)


* Status: Active
* Bedroom: 1
* Bathroom: 1
* Year Built: 1965
* Lot Size: 9000
* Square Footage: 560
* List Date: 8/17/2008
* Garage Spaces: 1

* MLS#: 80828469
This quaint one bedroom one bath cottage, plus loft, sits on a marvelous 9000 square foot lot with ocean and mountain views. New deck, new fireplace, new carpet, new kitchen counters and lovely stained glass windows add to the charm of this unique home. A short walk delivers you to breathtaking Montara State Beach and miles of panoramic hiking trails. Truly a one of a kind property!

One of a kind indeed! Wow, imagine how awesome it would be to live on the coast. Ever see Lost? Yeah, it’d be like that, except you’d be living in an amazing cottage with stained glass windows.

Here’s what else Burbed reader sonarrat had to say:

Yeah.. that makes lots of sense for access to the coldest water south of Alaska.

Oh ok. So it’s like Lost, but colder. That’s still… uh… ok. Just think of the benefits. No heat exhaustion!!

BTW, was I the only person who didn’t know where Montara is?

Comments (13) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:46 am

Bay Area to be flooded in 2100? Pacific Institute

California Faces Big Costs to Control Floods –

The Pacific Institute report assumes the ocean off California will rise four to five feet by the year 2100 under some of the more grim forecasts by climatologists.


Under the Pacific Institute’s model, a rise in ocean waters would put 480,000 of the state’s residents now living in low-lying coastal areas at an increased risk of flooding by the end of this century, along with about $1 billion in commercial and residential buildings and other property. Two-thirds of that property is concentrated around the San Francisco Bay, with projected damages greatest in San Mateo County, where many Silicon Valley companies have headquarters.


Matthew Heberger, a report co-author, suggested a high-value area that might need protection would be San Francisco International Airport, which is surrounded on three sides by the bay. Areas that might be left alone could include properties in existing flood-prone zones, suggested the report’s authors, who added that California might want to consider approving only “flood-proof” development in regions likely to be affected down the road.

This is fantastic news. Why? This means that this will reduce the amount of real estate available, making everything even more valuable. It’s call econ 101 – supply vs demand.

Better buy now (in Cupertino) to get ready for prices to soar in just 91 years from today! And you can help realize this vision by operating your bbq, your fireplace, and driving 3 cars all at the same time. Step it up guys! Step it up!

Comments (3) -- Posted by: burbed @ 4:50 am

March 11, 2009

Be sure to find out what the name of the dog is….

203 MARGARITA Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94306 | MLS# 80908245
203 MARGARITA Ave Palo Alto, CA 94306
Price: $950,000

Beds: 3
Baths: 1
Sq. Ft.: 924
$/Sq. Ft.: $1,028
Lot Size: 6,016 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Style: Cottage/Bungalow
Year Built: 1949
Stories: 1
View: Neighborhood
Neighborhood: Ventura
County: Santa Clara
MLS#: 80908245
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active
On Redfin: 12 days
Home Improvement was done summer of 2005 with permits. Owner has a big dog named “Samson”. Palo Alto School district. Gunn HIgh School. Bike to Stanford University. Walk to California Avenue restaurants, shops, post office, and transportation. There are homes undergoing remodelling nearby.

It’s Wednesday – or as some call it, hump day! Thanks to Burbed reader Sam for helping to lift our spirits with this fine Palo Alto house.

Here’s what Sam had to say:

What’s better than paying over $1000/sq ft to live 100 yards from the CalTrain?  Knowing that the 4-year old remodeling job has been thoroughly vetted by a large dog!  Samson!  Get off that granite!

Hey! The Real Bay Area is known for being incredibly friendly to pets. It’s good to know that this house is already pet approved – that could’ve been another $10k easily!

But I think you’re missing the subtext. Did you know that in order to buy this house, you must not only overbid (DUHHH) – but you also have to get Samson’s approval? There ya go. You owe me one.

Again, this site is your best resource for learning how to bid on truly awesome properties like this.

Comments (87) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:11 am