June 20, 2009

Real Estate Empire – the PC game!

Real Estate Empire for PC

* Work yourself up through the market by buying houses in the low end of the market, fixing them up and then selling them on. Shop for bargains, build a balanced portfolio or simply concentrate on a specific area of the market – its all up to you as you build your real estate empire.
* Five different professions to play as a Handyman, General Contractor, Realtor, MBA and Interior Decorator â” all of whom have different skill sets that will determine how the player has to approach the game.
* Realistic economic cycles will affect the value of property and the cost of materials and goods as will the time of the year.
* Players will have to balance the books or face losing their properties if they cant keep up the mortgage repayments. Being a bad debtor to suppliers will also have a negative effect upon the players credit rating.
* High scores can be posted online to see who is the worlds ultimate Real Estate King!

This is a slight change from from the usual Burbed Book club, but I thought it’d be fun to feature a game instead.

Hey this sounds like tons of fun. But… it doesn’t sound very realistic. Huh? You have to balance the books? Huh? You have to be one of those 5 professions? What about strawberry picker or NINJA debtor?

If you were to update this game for 2009, what changes would you make?

Finally, if you’re looking to help this site out, click this link to learn more!

Comments (9) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:22 am

June 19, 2009

Palo Alto is now Value Alto – house on University Ave for sale

1625 UNIVERSITY Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94301 | MLS# 80922662
1625 UNIVERSITY Ave Palo Alto, CA 94301
Price: $1,175,000

Beds: 2
Baths: 1
Sq. Ft.: 1,344
$/Sq. Ft.: $874
Lot Size: 6,175 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Style: Ranch
Stories: 1
View: Neighborhood
Year Built: 1952
Community: Crescent Park
County: Santa Clara
MLS#: 80922662
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active
On Redfin: 31 days
CRESCENT PARK! Beautifully updated chef’s kitchen with granite countertops and new stainless steel GE Profile appliances. Remodled bathroom with all new fixtures. Gleaming oak flooring throughout with new beautiful kitchen and bathroom limestone tile floors. Laundry room with stackable GE washer & dryer. Sunny breakfast nook with view of the grounds. Stone-finished wood-burning fireplace.

Hey Palo Alto,

Sorry to be a downer on a Friday, but Burbed reader sonarrat brought this to my attention. What’s up with this? Just $874 per square foot on University Ave? I’m ashamed. I’m embarassed. And so should you.

Now, I know there are some mitigating factors – like how this house has stackable GE washer & dryer. And GE profile appliances in the kitchen.

But still, it’s on University Ave. Everyday, thousands of commuters will pass this house at the speed limit of 5 mph. And they’ll be passing this house. Wondering whose it is. Think of the pride of ownership! That’s gotta be worth at least $500,000 extra.

Please adjust your price accordingly. Even if this is a ploy to get people interested, it’s not cool.


-The Real Bay Area

Comments (228) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:10 am

June 18, 2009

$1.8 mil for a 1br/1ba in tear down condition

1382 FOREST Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94301 | MLS# 80924296
1382 FOREST Ave Palo Alto, CA 94301

Price: $1,795,000

Beds: 1
Baths: 1
Sq. Ft.: 2,071


$/Sq. Ft.: $867
Lot Size: 8,292 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Stories: 1
Year Built: 1941
Community: Crescent Park
County: Santa Clara
MLS#: 80924296
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active
On Redfin: 27 days

Thanks to Burbed reader Pralay for this find.

Talking perking things up. Wow. $867 for a 1br/1ba in Palo Alto. In tear down condition.

What I’m a bit curious about is why this listing also lists the neighboring home. Is the point of this that you can buy the next door house as well, tear it down, and pull a Steve Jobs by combining lots and building an apricot orchard?

Or is it that if you buy enough properties on this street, you can then build houses, then hotels… oh wait, that’s monopoly.

Regardless, thanks to Pralay for this find. It’s always comforting to know that Palo Alto continues to be the vanguard of the Real Bay Area.

Comments (202) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:53 am

June 17, 2009

Underpricing houses in Palo Alto?

2731 ROSS Rd, Palo Alto, CA 94303 | MLS# 80922362
2731 ROSS Rd Palo Alto, CA 94303
Price: $1,299,000

Beds: 3
Baths: 2
Sq. Ft.: 1,912
$/Sq. Ft.: $679
Lot Size: 6,786 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Style: Ranch
Stories: 1
View: Neighborhood
Year Built: 1946
Community: South Palo Alto
County: Santa Clara
MLS#: 80922362
Source: MLSListings
Status: Pending Without Release
On Redfin: 28 days
Great Midtown location, this spacious rancher is bright, freshly painted and move in condition! 3 big bedrooms/2 updated bathrooms including a master suite w/ walk in closet. Kitchen has granite counters, gas range, wall ovens, eating area and storage galore! Separate family room with privacy doors, fireplace and access to backyard. Refinished hardwood floors; detached rear garage; lush garden . ..

Burbed reader Herve wanted me to feature this house… mostly because of this…


According to Herve:

Bought in July 2005 for $1,225,000.

Asking price now: $1,299,000 (5% commission would be $65K).

Ouch. Is this house selling at a loss?

But on the flipside, let’s look at how quickly this house went into pending.

My guess – it was an under pricing ploy. This scheme quickly generated 23 bids, pushing the final sales price to $1.4 million.

What do you think happened?

Comments (204) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:25 am

June 16, 2009

Menlo Park – great condition, tear down, updated, now show

1260 SHERMAN Ave, Menlo Park, CA 94025 | MLS# 80922003
1260 SHERMAN Ave Menlo Park, CA 94025
Price: $1,199,800

Beds: 4
Baths: 2
Sq. Ft.: 1,430
$/Sq. Ft.: $839
Lot Size: 6,250 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Stories: 1
View: Neighborhood
Year Built: 1951
Community: County/Alameda Area
County: San Mateo
MLS#: 80922003
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active
On Redfin: 27 days
Charming , lovingly updated home with 4BR/2BA in an exceptional location-quiet residential street, excellent opportunity. Owner is custom home builder, $600K to build a brand new home(optional). This house is in a great condition as of now. Seller has city approved plans & permits to build a 2,600 400sf garage, 4bd/3ba that should be purchased separately. Submit offer subject to inspection. No Show

Burbed reader Sonarrat thought this would be an interesting find.

Indeed! Talk about mixed messages. The house is in great condition “as of now”. It’s “updated”. But at the same time it is “No Show” and can be purchased with “plans and permits”.

Huh? What’s going on here?

Is this a $839 per square foot tear down? Or is this an opportunity to move in and settle down in a 4/2 in 1430 square feet?

I’m so confused. Anyone have any ideas?

Comments (91) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:57 am

June 15, 2009

If you like these owners, you’ll love this house!

421 S Eldorado St, San Mateo, CA 94402 | MLS# 15523897
421 S Eldorado St San Mateo, CA 94402
Price: $580,000

Beds: 3
Baths: 1
Sq. Ft.: 930
$/Sq. Ft.: $624
Lot Size: 920 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Single family
Style: Bungalow
Stories: 1
View: City
Year Built: 1912
Community: Safe, Clean, Stable
County: San Mateo
Listing #: 15523897
Source: Zillow
Status: Active
On Redfin: 304 days
What the Owner Loves: Easy access transportation to 280, 101, 92, Caltran, Buses. Walk to center of village.

Thanks to Burbed reader Jeff for this find!

As everyone knows, social media, having a conversation, being authentic – those are the things that make companies rich. Look at Apple and Google and how they are so open and having a conversation with their customers and using social media. Uh. I mean. Facebook. Look at how much money they are bringing in. Uh.

Well in any case, these owners took it to heart and made this ad personal. Forget interior pictures, it shows the people who have been taking care of this house for you. It even features what the owners love! Sweet!

Personally, I like the community – it’s “Safe, clean, stable”

What an awesome name! Maybe you should get your community to rename itself “Awesome, amazing, and astounding!”

Comments (39) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:51 am

June 14, 2009

How much should I charge my kids for rent – reader question

This came in my inbox from Winston:


How much should i charge my kids for rent?

I am not sure what criteria are important.Can you please guide me.Any info much appreciated.

Thankyou.yours truly,


Any good suggestions?

Comments (17) -- Posted by: burbed @ 6:37 am

Does the Real Bay Area have a new enemy?

‘Youth Magnet’ Cities Hit Midlife Crisis – WSJ.com
‘Youth Magnet’ Cities Hit Midlife Crisis
Few Jobs in Places Like Portland and Austin, but the Hipsters Just Keep on Coming


The Wall Street Journal is part of the MSM, so it’s not surprising that they make mistakes from time to time.

But this is very surprising. I mean, is it really possible that fact checkers did not notice they forgot the Bay Area on this list?

And what’s up with the fact that Seattle is at #2 on this list. (Thank goodness doomed NY isn’t.)

Heck, according to this, King County has 68,390 millionaires whereas Santa Clara has 74,842 millionaires (though with San Mateo, San Francisco, and the North Bay it’s probably closer to 200,000 millionaires.)

You know what? I think there’s been a mistake. We’ve always been at war with Seattle.

Comments (21) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:29 am

June 13, 2009

Emerging Real Estate Markets: How to Find and Profit from Up-and-Coming Areas

Emerging Real Estate Markets: How to Find and Profit from Up-and-Coming Areas

How a Dirt-Poor Landscaper Crackedthe Code to Emerging Market Real Estate Investing—and Built a Financial Empire

While many real estate markets have cooled off, there are major hot spots throughout the country that are booming due to population growth and urban expansion. These emerging markets are where the next wave of big-time real estate profits will be found. In Emerging Real Estate Markets, David Lindahl shows you how to find these markets, get started investing with little of your own cash, and maximize your profits.

The key lies in knowing how real estate markets cycle through ups and downs. If you know what to look for, you can tell when a market is about to heat up. Invest at the right time in the right place, and your profits will be dramatic. Does that sound too good to be true? It’s not. The tactics you’ll read here helped Lindahl, a landscaper when he started investing in real estate, to build a real estate empire!

Even if your market isn’t currently heating up, Lindahl will show you long-distance “hands-off” strategies for finding and investing in other markets that are. He also provides practical strategies for investing in markets in any stage of the cycle so you can invest no matter where you are or where your market is.

It’s Saturday and that means it’s time for Burbed’s book club (or, “Click this link and buy stuff from Amazon” Day).

Let’s face it, with the current credit crisis it may be hard for landscaper to invest in real estate in the emerging market known as the Bay Area.

That’s right… the Bay Area. Obviously, not the Real Bay Area – that’s emerged, and is very proud. But let’s look at the hidden gems like Gilroy, Morgan Hill, and East San Jose. I think there’s a lot of opportunities there and maybe you can use the techniques from this book to prove that they are.

Lindahl was a landscaper when he started. And now he’s awesome. You can be too!

Comments (11) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:58 am

June 12, 2009

Glass house from Ferris Bueller's Day Off for sale

370 Beech Street, Highland Park, IL, 60035 – MLS ID#07218797 – Single Family Home real estate – REALTOR.com®

370 Beech Street  Highland Park, IL 60035
$11,666 per month | Personalize this estimate | Check local mortgage rates
4 Bed, 4 Bath | 5,300 Sq Ft on 0.75 Acres (32,670 Sq Ft Lot) |
MLS ID #07218797


THE BEN ROSE HOME-site of the famous movie “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”, cantilevered over the ravine, these two steel and glass buildings, which can never be duplicated, have incredible vistas of the surrounding woods. This is a unique property designed by A. James Speyer and David Haid, both notable architects of the 20th Century. Estate Sale Sold -No disclosures! This is an amazing architectural treasure.

I know this is Bay Area, but I simply had to share this. Thanks to Burbed reader Brendan for this find.

Wow. It’s the Ferris Bueller Day Off house. How super cool! And yours for just $2.3 million! (You know that if it were in some place truly amazing like Sunnyvale, near Cupertino, this would be $4 million because of the more amazing views.)

Hey, have there been any movies shot in Real Bay Area homes? There’s gotta to be something. I mean, we have all these stunning examples of amazing architecture scattered about… there must be something!

Comments (17) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:45 am