April 30, 2009

Contractor special in San Jose. Needs new… uh… everything!

911 Curtner Avenue, San Jose CA 95125 – Trulia

911 Curtner Avenue, San Jose CA 95125



1 br 1 ba 860 sqft Single-Family Home
Description provided by Trulia.
Description provided by Realty Trac.
Contractor special! ! Diamond in the Rough – Great location, deep lot. Home needs TLC. Quieter part of Curtner. Lowest price home around. Motivated Sellers! Potential seller financing.

Now come on… would you really need owner financing for this. I mean, most Bay Area folks can pay this on their credit cards.

That said, I do like the tarp roof thing going on. It’s protecting the brand new roof so that when you move in, it will be all nice, new and shiny. Right?

And the garage door… don’t worry… it’s part of the disguise to ensure no one will break in to steal your car. And check out how long that drive way is! Can you say “Runway”?

At .13 acres, this is an exceptional deal in Willow Glen.

Thanks again to sonarrat for today’s find!

Comments (13) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:01 am

You're probably wondering the same thing I am…

Swine flu. How will it impact the housing market in the Real Bay Area?

Will it cause prices to soar, or prices to hold steady?

In favor of soaring prices:

1. The Real Bay Area is special. Living there will increase your immune system. Therefore, it will become more desirable.

2. The Real Bay Area is further away from Mexico.

3. The Real Bay Area is full of rich people, which means that people can afford great healthcare coverage, N99 masks, etc. Thus, you will not be likely to be around sick people.

In favor of prices holding steady:


Debate resolved. Do you agree?

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

April 29, 2009

Cute affordable home in Willow Glen. With very easy freeway access

777 GREGORY St, San Jose, CA 95125 | MLS# 80916600
777 GREGORY St San Jose, CA 95125
Price: $240,000

Beds: 2
Baths: 1
Sq. Ft.: 960
$/Sq. Ft.: $250
Lot Size: 1,520 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Style: Contemporary
Year Built: 1957
Stories: 2
View: Neighborhood
County: Santa Clara
MLS#: 80916600
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active
On Redfin: 18 days
Cute home located in the Willow Glen area and within walking distance to beautiful Downtown Willow Glen. Neighborhood is quite and secure, with easy Freeway access. Home is just steps away from the Los Gatos Trail and charming children’s park. This is a SHORT SALE

Hey, now this doesn’t look too shabby. Willow Glen! It’s affordable! Easy freeway access!

So why did sonarrat send this in?

Well, he was kind of surprised by this image:


Indeed – where is that footbridge going to? ANd what’s up with those houses at the end of the street? And will all your florescent lite bulbs glow at night because of the power lines?

So many questions!

But… at least it has easy freeway access. Visually I think it means. And, easy access to storage!

Comments (15) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:55 am

April 28, 2009


240 Andover St, San Francisco, CA 94110 | MLS# 353642
240 Andover St San Francisco, CA 94110
Price: $799,000

Beds: 2
Baths: 1
Sq. Ft.: –
Lot Size: –
Property Type: Detached, Single-Family Home
Style: Victorian
Year Built: 1904
County: San Francisco
MLS#: 353642
Source: San Francisco MLS
Status: Active
On Redfin: 45 days
WOOD FLOORING FOUND! See it again. A true Victorian. 2 beds, 1 bath plus eat-in kitchen, living room, FDR and piano room. Laundry also on main level. Shower over claw-foot tub. Full garage below. Attic above undev. MUST SEE!

Amelia = Lost. The survivors of Oceanic 815 = Lost.

Wood flooring? Found!

At first, I thought it read that “Attic above undead” and that I would need to work on my skills at playing Resident Evil or something. But no, it simply says undev.

Here’s let’s take a look at this attic:


Definitely looks undev to me. What do you think? 2 more bedrooms?

(Thanks to Burbed reader Jeff for this find!)

Comments (22) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:49 am

April 27, 2009

Castle in the Sky! The Redwood City Sky

3977 JEFFERSON Ave, Redwood City, CA 94062 | MLS# 80919127
3977 JEFFERSON Ave Redwood City, CA 94062
Price: $1,450,000

Beds: 4
Baths: 2.5
Sq. Ft.: 3,050
$/Sq. Ft.: $475
Lot Size: 0.25 Acres
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Style: Country English
Year Built: 1986
Stories: 2
View: Neighborhood
County: San Mateo
MLS#: 80919127
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active
On Redfin: 3 days
Castle in the Sky! Your journey commences with a stone-trimmed turret an impressive beginning to the custom floor plan found within. The main living areas of the home, located on the upper level, feature high cathedral ceilings and expansive windows, capturing scenes of the verdant surroundings and distant Bay views. Crown moldings, custom wall coverings, and richly finished hardwood floors.

This was sent in by a Burbed reader who generally prefers to be anonymous.

Wow… Castle in the Sky. Talk about majestic imagery. This house even has a turret, which will be incredibly useful as the unemployed, unwashed masses try to storm your castle. But wait… your castle is in the sky, so how would they even reach it?

Verdant surroundings? Gosh, even I had to look that up!

Can you write an entry with a higher Flesch Index?

Comments (9) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:42 am

April 26, 2009

Blue Collar, White Collar, Silicon Valley

A while back, Burbed reader DreamT made this comment:

Can you park a space shuttle, a fire truck, or a blimp in this Fremont house? | SF Bay Area Home Price and Mortgage Insanity Blog – Burbed.com
DreamT Says:
April 16th, 2009 at 11:46 pm

Ask a $25k earner his social strata and he’ll say he’s middle class. Ask a $250k earner and he’ll also say he’s middle class. In fact, the $250k earner points out he cannot afford a house “in the Silicon Valley”
The differences are where you want to see them. They’re in the eye of the beholder, and speak about who you are rather than what you see. The concept of “blue” versus “white” collar, originally meaningful when you had full segregation of management vs floor workers, closed door offices, different clothing, different “villages” – it never applied as little as in recent times’ Silicon Valley. You say so yourself by pointing out they are only divided by a street that’s not even an Expressway. What segregates people in the bay area is their nationality or ethnicity, and the timing of their arrival in the bay area, rather than their income, education or even job. The parents of fellow Engineers I worked with, grew up and still live in Palo Alto. They were what you’ll call blue collar and they still live in your neighbors.
As anon asks, what makes you a white collar? Your job? No, if you live in a dirt cheap place littered with pickup trucks, right? So, your education? Same thing. Your lifestyle and house location? No, since you could have a traditional blue collar job since the 70s and live comfortably in Saratoga. So, moving up to Palo Alto and buying a Porsche makes you a white collar family, suddenly? Is that what you’re reduced to assert?

Which brings up some interesting questions. What does it mean to be blue collar or white collar in Silicon Valley? Does it even apply?

Similarly, what is working class in Silicon Valley? What is middle class? What is professional class?

Here’s what the Mayor of San Jose had to say:

Wealth-Less Effect: Earning Well, Feeling Otherwise
Proposed Tax Increases on Six-Figure Earners Highlight Mounting Costs of Living — and the Relativity of Prosperity

San Jose, Calif., Mayor Chuck Reed calls a family living in Silicon Valley earning $250,000 “upper working class.” That is about what two engineers working at a technology firm can expect to make, but “a family earning $250,000 a year can’t buy a home in Silicon Valley,” he said.

James Duran owns a human-resources company in Silicon Valley and is president of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in California. He supported Mr. Obama, but is worried about the tax proposals. He has laid off some employees in recent months and has been wondering how he can fund an extension of those workers’ health-care benefits.

Mr. Duran said he and his wife earn about $400,000 annually, but “I’m barely getting by.” They have high property and state taxes, as well as college tuition and savings to cover. “I’m an Obama man, but this side of him is a difficult pill for me,” he said.

Is $400,000 for a 4 person family middle class in Silicon Valley? Is that white collar?

It sort of makes sense… after all, we’re a very very very special place with an mix of smart people that’s impossible to find anywhere else.

What class are you?

Comments (107) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:27 am

April 25, 2009

Geek Silicon Valley: The Inside Guide to Palo Alto, Stanford, Menlo Park, Mountain View, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, San Jose, San Francisco

It’s Saturday! Today’s book recommendation is…

Geek Silicon Valley: The Inside Guide to Palo Alto, Stanford, Menlo Park, Mountain View, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, San Jose, San Francisco

Let’s face it, with the millions of people who are planning to visit, move, buy Real Estate in the Bay Area in the next few months/years, guides will be needed.

Here’s a local’s review:

I’ve lived in Palo ALto for years and still learned a ton from this book. It’s the perfect blend of history, context, entertaining anecdotes and insight. Vance manages to describe many “geek” innovations in layman terms, so that the book was especially helpful for a non-geek like me–someone who knew it was past time to learn about his hometown as well as the most important revolution of the 20th century. Who would have thought something so good for me would have caused me to laugh out loud at several points? Just wait until you read about Google’s party plane.


The real question is: when will this be available in Russian and Chinese? Can you say market opportunity? You owe me if you become a millionaire with this idea!

Comments (7) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:33 am

April 24, 2009

House for rent or to buy in Menlo Park

269 O’connor St, Menlo Park, CA 94025 MLS# 40393829 – Property Details

269 O’connor St, Menlo Park, CA 94025 – 5 Beds, 4 Baths, $1,595,000

Gorgeous new construction built in 2008. Graciously designed home W spacious open floor plan. Craftsman residence feature 5BR & 5BA. Gourmet chef’s kitchen W granite counter & top line stainless steel appliances. Home equipped W alarm, intercom, entertainment, central A/C & vacuum system. Excellent serene neighborhood. Close to Stanford. Shopping & Highway.Rental is available for $6,500 per month

Hey this house is in Menlo Park? Why would it need a security system if it is in a serene neighborhood?

Burbed reader sonarrat has an explanation:

next block over is E Okeefe which is a whole bunch of rent-controlled apartments in East Palo Alto.

Oh. So maybe that’s why it’s just $609 per square foot and not a more healthy $750 per square foot.

But here’s the real question: is it better to rent this or to buy? Or to buy and rent it back out?

Come on finance wizards! I know its Friday, but come on, you’ve been laid off from your I-banking jobs so that’s why you’re in Silicon Valley, catching up on greentech. Until you land that job at the Next Hot thing, please help us out with your analysis!

Comments (46) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:59 am

April 23, 2009

Low maintenance back yards in San Francisco

2307 45th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94116 | MLS# 353083
2307 45th Ave San Francisco, CA 94116
Price: $550,000

Beds: 2
Baths: 1
Sq. Ft.: 1,015
$/Sq. Ft.: $542
Lot Size: –
Property Type: Junior, Single-Family Home
Year Built: 1940
Region: San Francisco District 2 (Central West)
Area: Outer Parkside
County: San Francisco
MLS#: 353083
Source: San Francisco MLS
Status: Active
On Redfin: 45 days
Charming & cozy home with remodeled kitchen a few short blocks from the beach! One good sized bedroom plus dining room converted to use as a 2nd bedroom on main floor (no closet). Bonus rooms down not warranted, low maintenance back yard. 1 car garage. Tenant occupied (Fridge & some light fixtures belong to tenant). REO

Let’s face it. Green is the new black which is the new gold. Or something like that. Everyone is trying to leave less of a carbon foot print, especially in San Francisco which is the nation’s least wasteful city.

That’s why Burbed reader Geoff brought this house to my attention. Let’s take a look at this low maintenance back yard:


Oops, sorry! No that’s the new eeBedroom (exercise entertainment bedroom) that’s all the rage right now.

Here’s the photo:


Now seriously. Could you possibly have a back yard that requires less maintenance than that? Talk about drought resistant!

Comments (38) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:53 am

Is Silicon Valley’s housing market ‘leveling off’? – San Jose Mercury News

Is Silicon Valley’s housing market ‘leveling off’? – San Jose Mercury News

Has the Silicon Valley housing market reached a bottom?

No one knows for sure, but figures released Thursday provide some tantalizing clues.

More Silicon Valley homes changed hands last month than in March 2008; it was the fourth consecutive month the county’s sales have outpaced their prior-year levels. And after months of big declines, the median price of the houses sold hovered in the low $400,000s for a third month in a row.

“What we are seeing is signs you would expect to see prior to prices leveling off,” said Andrew LePage of MDA DataQuick, a real estate information firm that released March Bay Area home sales figures Thursday. However, “given all the different countercurrents and all the uncertainty out there, you don’t want to point to three months and say, ‘Ah, we’ve hit bottom.’ “

Although Pralay sent this in a week ago, I figured I’d post it today so that people could spend some more time reflecting on this news, before commenting on it.

Personally, I know from the NAR radio ad (the guy digging, who hits a sprinkler) that you can’t find the bottom. It’s impossible.

But still, this is great news. Now, I might have been too optimistic last year with my predictions, but would I be so off to say that we can expect a healthy 9% YoY appreciationg in 2010? Then back to 15% by 2012 when green tech is in full swing?

Comments (30) -- Posted by: burbed @ 4:46 am