April 15, 2009

Amazingly cheap house (per square foot) in Palo Alto

2510 WAVERLEY St, Palo Alto, CA 94301 | MLS# 80916310
2510 WAVERLEY St Palo Alto, CA 94301
Price: $2,100,000

Beds: 3
Baths: 3.5
Sq. Ft.: 3,595
$/Sq. Ft.: $584
Lot Size: 0.3 Acres
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Style: Spanish
Year Built: 1937
Stories: 1
View: Mountains, Neighborhood
Neighborhood: Midtown
County: Santa Clara
MLS#: 80916310
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active
On Redfin: 5 days
Spanish style Hacienda reflects the fine work of local manufacturers, products and articians. 3 bedroom suites w/ fireplaces, 3.5 bath including master suite with exercise solarium. Office, formal living and dining rooms, numerous french doors, breakfast sunroom, seperate artist studio, sheltered patios & sunny courtyards, fruit trees. Gorgeous grounds on 12,992 lot, 2 car garage, carport. Palo Alto schls

Burbed reader Dan took a look at the photos and said that I must check it out. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to attend the open house, but you should if you can. I’m surprised they don’t charge admission.

You see, no one wants to buy a cookie cutter house. If they did, they’d move to Stockton or Elk Grove. This house character. Full stop.

Here! I’ll share some of the pics with you:


It’s like entering a fusion Western-movie set. Definitely one of a kind. And at just $584 per square foot, talk about a deal!

With a lot as large as this, you can easily invite movie production companies from (sniff sniff) SoCal up here to produce the next big blockbuster on your property. Hellooooo Back End Rev Share!

Or failing that, you can hold tours! Wouldn’t you pay to see this house?

Comments (11) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:15 am

April 14, 2009

Wanted: Math Wizards to calculate if this Palo Alto Townhouse for Rent is a good deal

4201 JUNIPER Ln Unit M, Palo Alto, CA 94306 | MLS# 80911419
4201 JUNIPER Ln Unit M Palo Alto, CA 94306
Price: $995,000

Beds: 3
Baths: 3
Sq. Ft.: 1,355
$/Sq. Ft.: $734
Lot Size: –
Property Type: Condominium
Year Built: 2008
Stories: 1-3 (Low Rise)
Neighborhood: South Palo Alto
County: Santa Clara
MLS#: 80911419
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active
On Redfin: 32 days
Lovely new townhouse-style condo in Gunn High area! Top Palo Alto schools! Quiet location! Away from El Camino Real & Charleston! Close to Stanford University & shopping center & parks! 2 master suites! Kitchen with Granite counter top & modern appliances! Easy commute! vacant, go directly!

Thanks to a bashful Burbed reader for this find.

At first glance, there’s nothing atypical about this. Townhouse with a low $254 HOA fee. Just a mere $734 per square foot. Ho houm. It’s Palo Alto.

But what this Burbed reader found was also this:

4201 Juniper Lane #E, Palo Alto


4201juniper_01.jpg (107909 bytes)
4201 Juniper Lane #E
x-Street: El Camino/Charleston
Rent: $3895 Deposit $4095

3 Bedroom, 2.5 Bath Townhouse, Less than 1 year old!  Bright living room with Vaulted Ceilings, Gas Fireplace and Porch Access, Dining room and Family Room with Hardwood Floors, Open Floor Plan with Granite Kitchen and SS Appliances, Including Refrigerator, Dishwasher, Microwave, Gas Range, Oven, Washer and Dryer, Master Bedroom has Double Vanity with Marble Counters and Floors, Spa Tub, Separate Shower, Walk-in Closet, Extra Large 2 Car Garage with Storage, Completed Wired in Every Room, Duel Zoned Heating and A/c, Complex offers a Pool, Children’s Playground and Clubhouse.  Top Palo Alto Schools – Gunn High, Terman Middle and Briones Elementary.
Terms: Year Lease,
No Smoking, No Pets, Available Now

Ok all you math wizard. Start your HP12c calculators. I want to hear some free cash flows, net present values, etc being thrown around here.

Is it better to rent the townhouse? or buy it?

Please show all work for partial credit.

Comments (78) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:07 am

April 13, 2009

603 square feet – house in Oakland great for growing family

820 53RD Ave, OAKLAND, CA 94601 | MLS# 40395593
820 53RD Ave OAKLAND, CA 94601
Price: $105,000

Beds: 4
Baths: 2
Sq. Ft.: 603
$/Sq. Ft.: $174
Lot Size: 2,500 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Single Family Detached
Style: Contemporary
Year Built: 1916
Stories: 2
Neighborhood: OAKLAND
Area: Oakland Zip 94601
County: Alameda
MLS#: 40395593
Source: EBRD
Status: Active
On Redfin: 48 days
Cute Home Must See! There are two additional living space that each have two bedrooms, one bathroom and a small kitchen. There is a Total of 6 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms and 3 kitchens with three seperate entrances. This home is great for a growing family.

Thanks to Burbed reader sonarrat for this find!

Wow… 6 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, and 3 kitchens. All in 603 square feet? And just for $105,000?

Forget the fact that affordable housing is now clearly available in Oakland – let’s look at the fact that Oakland now has violated time/space!

The catch is that they didn’t list what dimension those entrances are… or what time they are in.

Any Lost fanatics or Star Trek fanatics that want to step up to explain this? Do we need the power of Q?

Comments (7) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:00 am

April 12, 2009

Silicon Valley home values plunge at record pace; 20 percent of homes are ‘underwater’ – San Jose Mercury News

Silicon Valley home values plunge at record pace; 20 percent of homes are ‘underwater’ – San Jose Mercury News

Against a backdrop of dire economic news and a crumbling stock market, home values in the San Jose metropolitan area dropped more steeply in the fourth quarter of 2008 than anytime in at least 12 years. The decline left nearly one in five of all homeowners “underwater,” owing more on their mortgages than their homes would likely fetch in a sale.

The value of all homes in the San Jose metro area fell 17.2 percent in the final three months of 2008 compared with the same period in 2007, to an estimated median value of $587,360, according to real estate valuation company Zillow.com. It was the sharpest decline since at least 1996, which is as far back as the company calculates values, and the lowest median value since the first quarter of 2004.

“By a long shot, it’s the worst drop we’ve seen in the San Jose area,” said Stan Humphries, vice president of data and analytics at Zillow, which launched in 2006. In the third quarter last year, for example, the area’s median value was down only 13 percent compared with a year earlier.

Across the San Jose metro area, which includes all of Santa Clara County, all homes lost a total of $58.8 billion in value in 2008. The lion’s share of that loss, nearly $29 billion, occurred in the fourth quarter, when the severity of the economic downturn was becoming more obvious with nearly every passing week.

Sigh. Yet another poorly written MSM piece that doesn’t recognize the distinction of the Real Bay Area, versus Silicon Valley.

Let’s use the wisdom of the crowd instead – what have you seen in your neighborhood lately? Have you seen this?


The Zillow report found that home value declines were serious in some Santa Clara County neighborhoods, and slight in others. In Gilroy, for example, the median home value dropped 38 percent from fourth quarter 2007. But in Los Altos’ 94024 ZIP code, values fell just 5.4 percent.

Palo Alto’s ZIP code 94301 was the only place in the county to post a higher median value, up 5.2 percent.

Go Palo Alto!


Comments (17) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:46 am

Commercial Rent falling in San Francisco

www.sfexaminer.com >> Local News
Companies including Pacific Gas & Electric Co., bankrupt law firm Heller Ehrman and health care provider Blue Shield of California already put 553,825 square feet of office space on the market in the first three months of this year, according to Colliers.

The available space will also soon increase as companies that have said they are putting offices on the market pack up, including Charles Schwab Corp., the largest independent U.S. brokerage by client assets, and Macy’s, the second-biggest department-store chain.

Charles Schwab is shedding 375,000 square feet at 120 Kearny St., and Macy’s is vacating 153,000 square feet at 22 Fourth St., Colliers said.

More layoffs appear to be on the horizon, with almost half of the largest companies in the Bay Area saying they plan to cut staff in the next six months, said John Grubb, spokesman for the Bay Area Council, which represents the region’s biggest employers, including
Chevron Corp., Google Inc., Yahoo Inc., Safeway Inc. and Wells Fargo & Co.

About 279,000 people in the region are looking for work, almost double the number from a year ago, Grubb said.

Yeesh. More doom and gloom from the ol’ main street media.

Hey San Francisco, with this kind of news… you might be at risk for being cut from the Real Bay Area.

But, there’s a silver lining:

The drop in rental prices is not just hitting the Bay Area. Rising unemployment and lower consumer spending are also cutting commercial rents in New York. First-quarter Manhattan office rents fell the most in at least 25 years, closely held commercial property broker Cushman & Wakefield Inc. said in a report.

Muhahahaha…. take that Manhattan! Take that!

Comments (10) -- Posted by: burbed @ 4:02 am

April 11, 2009

How to become rich using your Banker’s Money – Real Estate Riches

Real Estate Riches: How to Become Rich Using Your Banker’s Money

From the Back Cover
“Dolf makes real estate investing simple and accessible to anyone who has the will to succeed. He is an All Star in his field!”
—from the Foreword by Alex Rodriguez, 2003 AMERICAN LEAGUE MVP

An all-time bestseller, Dolf de Roos’s classic Real Estate Riches shows readers from all walks of life how to find great deals and make great profits in the real estate market. This compelling book reveals why real estate is such a reliable moneymaker, and how novice investors, and old pros alike, can achieve the biggest return on their investment.

Full of time-honored wisdom, proven tactics, and quick-and-easy tips, Real Estate Riches will show you how to find the best properties, analyze deals, negotiate and submit offers, effectively manage properties, and dramatically increase the value of your real estate without spending much money. Dolf de Roos shows you:

* Why real estate is the best investment in the world
* How you can consistently find great deals
* The eight golden rules of real estate investing
* How to use tax laws to subsidize your investments
* How to create income using OPM (other people’s money)
* The pros and cons of residential versus commercial investing

Author Dolf de Roos is proud to say he’s never had a real job in his life—because real estate pays him better. Following his powerful and proven strategies, you too can leave the nine-to-five life behind.

Seriously. Why are you missing out on the real estate phenomenon. Did you know that there’s one licensed realtor for every 100 people in California? And those are just licensed realtors! There are plenty of other real estate involved people.

Why? Because it pays better than doing a “real job”!

So please, buy this book today so you can become rich, and donate money to Burbed! After all, I helped you get rich through real estate!

BTW, I love the phrase OPM.

Comments (2) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:37 am

April 10, 2009

Affordable housing in Sunnyvale is now… affordable

Egads… I have so many back-logged mails from Burbed reader Herve, it’s time for another Herve week. Here’s the final one for the week:

575 E ARBOR Ave, Sunnyvale, CA 94085 | MLS# 80826317
575 E ARBOR Ave Sunnyvale, CA 94085
Price: $390,000

Beds: 3
Baths: 1
Sq. Ft.: 1,009
$/Sq. Ft.: $387
Lot Size: 5,050 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Style: Ranch
Year Built: 1952
Stories: 1
View: Neighborhood
Neighborhood: Sunnyvale
County: Santa Clara
MLS#: 80826317
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active
On Redfin: 242 days
Unsold in 90 days

And people say that the South Bay is unaffordable. GIVE ME A BREAK.

And right near Fair Oaks Park!

Let’s look at the previous stats:


Wowsers! You’re practically getting this house for free. That’s the beauty of a short sale.

Frankly, I don’t understand why Herve hasn’t picked this up for himself yet. Most Real Bay Area folks could probably put the downpayment on their credit cards.

Just think of the instant equity. You’re getting it for half price! And you’re helping the community. Win win win!

Hey everyone, the affordable housing shortage is now officially ove

Comments (57) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:30 am

April 9, 2009

Why be a peasant tenant, when you could be Sir Homeowner?

Egads… I have so many back-logged mails from Burbed reader Herve, it’s time for another Herve week. Here’s Day 4:

570 HILMAR St, Santa Clara, CA 95050 | MLS# 80776245
570 HILMAR St Santa Clara, CA 95050
Price: $949,000

Beds: 2
Baths: 1.5
Sq. Ft.: 1,708
$/Sq. Ft.: $556
Lot Size: 4,500 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Style: Country English
Year Built: 1935
Stories: 2
Neighborhood: Santa Clara
County: Santa Clara
MLS#: 80776245
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active
On Redfin: 425 days
Unsold in 90 days
Country English home with storybook charm & class * Remodeled & restored (e. g. , foundation, roof, heat/AC, etc. ) * Rich architectural detail * High ceilings * Basement with interior access * Plentiful storage * 3rd bedroon suitable as office * Poetic gardens * Convenient location in gracious, strollable neighborhood * Walk to Santa Clara University and shops

Hey! It’s an East Coast-ish house here in the West Coast. It’s got a basement, it looks all Tudor-ish. Even a set back garage. Heck, if you buy this, it’d be like being a noble in England, but living in Santa Clara instead. I mean, come on! The style is even called “Country English.”

So, Sir Homeowner, what’s keeping you as peasant tenant?

The price has even been reduced! It’s now back to the price that this house was sold for in January 24, 2008. Consider it a steeaaallll, Sir Homeowner.

Comments (70) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:27 am

April 8, 2009

Why is the Median List/Sold Price so different in Mountain View vs Sunnyvale?

Hey folks, a special report today from Jim Holt of Redfin. I was wondering why the Sold Price for Mountain View and Sunnyvale are so different, and here’s what he had to say:

Burbed asked us at Redfin why there was such a difference between the prices in Sunnyvale and Mountain View:

Median List Price Median Sold Price
Sunnyvale $750k $466k
Mountain View $940k $831k

I believe that the answer lies in the number of REOs (and short sales) selling in Sunnyvale compared to Mountain View. In Sunnyvale, I took the past three months of inventory and split it up into two groups: houses listed above $670k and houses listed below $670k. There were 77 houses listed below $670k, 58 of which are REOs or short sales, and 52 of them have either closed or are currently pending. For those above $670k, there are 130 listings, with only 4 being REO or short sales, and 42 sold or currently pending. What I can take from this data is that the REO’s (and short sales) are being obviously priced aggressively at a low price point with 58 of 77 in that price range selling. However, those priced higher, and not REOs, are not selling as easily and sitting longer on the market. So the higher end market in Sunnyvale is not doing so well.

In Mountain View, there are currently no REOs, and only 3 short sales (1 below $670k and 2 above $670k). Also looking at the break down in relation to pricing, 3 of 8 houses sold or are pending under $670K (not a whole lot of inventory under $670k) which means only 37.5% under that price there, where as 67.5% of the houses under $670k in Sunnyvale are sold or under contract. In Mountain View 33 of 93 over $670k have sold or are under contract (35.5%).

What I take from this is that Mountain View has stayed a relatively stable market with sales of higher and lower end single family homes selling at about the same rate through out and not being affected by short sales and REOs. However, Sunnyvale’s market has been drastically affected by the sheer number of short sales and REO’s in the lower end of the market, which are priced aggressively and really selling quite quickly, while the higher end homes are sitting in Sunnyvale, thus keep up the median list price, but dragging down the median sales price.

Well there you go. Mountain View – partying like it’s 1999. Sunnyvale – partying like it’s… uh… 2009. (Note to Sunnyvale: It’d be a shame to see something bad happen to your Real Bay Area status. Maybe you might want to do something about this situation.)

Thanks for the explanation Jim Holt!

Comments (25) -- Posted by: burbed @ 6:20 am

This house is FOR SALE. This is not a HOUSE TEASE

Egads… I have so many back-logged mails from Burbed reader Herve, it’s time for another Herve week. Here’s Day 3:

820 PALM Ave, Redwood City, CA 94061 | MLS# 80911145
820 PALM Ave Redwood City, CA 94061
Price: $689,000


Beds: 3
Baths: 2.5
Sq. Ft.: 1,825
$/Sq. Ft.: $378
Lot Size: 2,740 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Style: Mediterranean
Year Built: 1992
Stories: 2
View: Mountains, Neighborhood
Neighborhood: Central Park
County: San Mateo
MLS#: 80911145
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active
On Redfin: 22 days

Lately one of the more obnoxious and odious trends by those who are wealthy and oboxious and odious is to put their house on the market, say there is an open house, have people over, get them all jealous, and then tell them “THIS HOUSE IS MINE!”. It’s called being a “House Tease”

Of course this never would happen in the Bay Area where people are civil. That’s why you haven’t heard of it. But you never know.

The owner and Realtor of this house clearly wanted to make sure that foreigners from other states and countries know that this house is not a tease, but that it is really for sale. It’s for their benefit. And, to help lure in their money.

But just to make sure those who are cynical and jaded feel more comfortable, they included tiny pictures so as have some sort of teasy-ness to it.

And now you know!

Comments (20) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:36 am