April 20, 2010

Living room with easy access to fridge



Beds: 3
Baths: 2
Sq. Ft.: 1,800
$/Sq. Ft.: $850
Lot Size: 8,350 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Style: Ranch
Stories: 1
View: Neighborhood
Year Built: 1948
Community: County/Alameda Area
County: San Mateo
MLS#: 81003410
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active This listing is for sale and the sellers are accepting offers.
On Redfin: 73 days
Charming rancher in Las Lomitas School district * * * Extra large lot in a highly desirable location. Hardwood floors, large eat in kitchen with family room, extra large living/dining, wonderful home. Many updates!
Thanks to Burbed reader Nate for this find. This is what Nate had to say:

Not sure if this will make the cut since the house actually looks pretty nice and is a nice ‘hood – but I couldn’t resist because the location of the refrigerator is so epically awful.  If you look at the pics closely, you can see that the refrigerator is outside of the kitchen, with the door just down from the tv in the family room.  The best part is that the kitchen actually looks updated – and the refrigerator in question is of course stainless. 

This place has been on the market for 2.5mos and has had multiple price reductions.  At this point the asking is $155k below what the seller paid at the end of 2007 (he probably thought he was buying the dip).

Let’s take a look in the kitchen first:


Indeed. No fridge there. Let’s take a look at the “extra large living/dining”:


Sharp eyes Nate! That would’ve been an easy miss right there.

Frankly, this is perfect for 4/20 day. Got the munchies while watching The Matrix for the 2410th time? No problemo! The fridge is right there!

Comments (182) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:55 am

April 19, 2010

A house fit for Paranormal Activity

Listed at: $425,000


Beds: 3
Baths: 2
Sq. Ft.: 1,108
$/Sq. Ft.: $384
Lot Size: 6,510 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Style: Contemporary
Stories: 1
View: Mountains, Neighborhood
Year Built: 1957
Community: Sunnyvale
County: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81007012
Source: MLSListings
Status: Pending Without Release This listing is in escrow, past inspections and waiting for loan funding. "Without Release" indicates that the current buyer doesn’t need to sell a home to buy the new home.
On Redfin: 49 days
Comfortable home on large lot. Quiet street, convenient access to Hwy 101, 17, 880, 237 and Lawrence Exprwy. Open floorplan with vaulted ceilings. Expanded kitchen, large master, bright and airy floorplan, large backyard, large 2 car garage.
Thanks to Burbed reader Herve for this find.
Wow… remember the movie Paranormal Activity from last year? Low budget, but huge revenue. Hence, the inspiration for this photo. That’s right… if you buy this house, at its amazingly low price, you too will have huge profits when you sell it in the future!
Comments (15) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:00 am

April 18, 2010

Keeping it Real – Real Bay Area that is!

Thanks to Burbed reader madhaus for this guest post!

burbed reader SEA listed a few uses of “real” recently: Real Bay Area, Real Houses, Real Resident, Real drop in price, Real Buyer, and Real Home.  Goes on to wonder if there is a “real seller”  and if so, what would that be?  And reader nomadic responded: “Real Sellers never drop their price.  They wait patiently for ‘just the right buyer.’  After all, it only takes one!”

There’s plenty of uses for “Real” in this Real Special place we live.  All those hillside homes, we can find out the lot square footage, but what’s the Real Square Footage — the land you can actually use instead of slide to the bottom of your property line?  And how does the word “Real” makes almost anything better?

Real (adj.): Smaller, more exclusive, superior.  Way more Special.

So, watch the RBA get more concentrated and more special as time marches on.  Here’s burbed’s original Real Bay Area map:
Good, but needs a bit more detail.  So I came up with this a couple of years ago:

Well, it’s time to update the map, boys and girls!  Let’s see how things are looking in April, 2010!

Looks like the RBA has traded down!  Former RBA could soon be part of the Corridor of Not Quite!  And “Real” continues to be defined as getting smaller but better all the time!

Comments (130) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:24 am

April 17, 2010

Who doesn’t love taxes?

Thanks to Burbed reader Herve for this guest post. Take it away Herve!

I (heart) taxes

Taxes. Can’t live with them, can’t live without them.

Did you know California’s 2010 business tax climate ranks 48th while our archenemies New York and New Jersey rank 49th and 50th respectively? Shocking!

Obviously, the formula was biased towards boring states like Texas (#11) and Washington (#9) but once you include Real Bay Area values like weather, sushi and property tax, California goes where it belongs, i.e. NUMBER ONE! Yes, even Kanye West won’t challenge that: California’s property tax ranks 27th despite our more valuable houses whereas New Jersey, New York, Texas and Washington rank 1st, 6th, 14th and 26th respectively. Booyah!california

(Data compiled from The Tax Foundation)

Comments (63) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:12 am

April 16, 2010

Saratoga house waiting for IPOs to flow

Who says the market isn’t hot? Just check out this sales pending courtesy of Burbed reader nomadic:

Listed at: $2,995,000


Beds: 4
Baths: 3
Sq. Ft.: 3,850
$/Sq. Ft.: $778
Lot Size: 1.96 Acres
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Style: Ranch
Stories: 1
View: Mountains
Year Built: 1949
Community: Saratoga
County: Santa Clara
MLS#: 80938564
Source: MLSListings
Status: Pending Without Release This listing is in escrow, past inspections and waiting for loan funding. “Without Release” indicates that the current buyer doesn’t need to sell a home to buy the new home.
On Redfin: 237 days
Here’s what nomadic had to say:

This house apparently really lost its specialness.  Some might say the price suffered a haircut, but my friends and I call it the “decapitation house.”  It was purchased in 2000 at the bubblicious price of $6.5M.  One might think the property was subdivided or underwent some other transformation to end up at $3M today.  When the agent was asked during an open house, she said “they bought at the peak.”  I’d nominate her for the understatement of the year award.

The house is pending now – not surprising given that it was quite nice inside and had a beautiful lot.  Another interesting aspect to note – in spite of the huge loss, it wasn’t listed as a short sale or REO.

I think this house is just waiting for the IPO market to gush again.

Comments (31) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:23 am

April 15, 2010

what to do to get additional driveway in san mateo

Recently someone found this site by searching for: what to do to get additional driveway in san mateo

Um. Uh. Well. That’s certainly an unusual question.

My advice? Buy a house near SFO. Perhaps you can use some of the runways or taxiways during offpeak hours for parking your RVs and boats.

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

Make me move price – just $1.1M!

2336 Azevedo Pkwy San Jose CA 95125

3 beds, 2.5 baths, 2,438 sq ft

Make Me Move® Price: $1,100,000


Thanks to Burbed reader ES for this find! Here’s what EV had to say:

I’ve noticed delusional prices on zillow’s "make me move" feature before, but this one takes the cake:
If you recall, I had sent you a property on this road in the same development maybe last year… the one across from the graveyard.  well this one’s across from the graveyard too.  The "make me move" price is double the zillow estimate, which is 15% higher than actual comps in the same development. 
How screwed do you think this "owner" is? 
It would be sad if it weren’t absurdly stupid.

Is this owner screwed? Or just waiting for Summer Bounce?

Comments (25) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:01 am

April 14, 2010

Better than a pink house?



Beds: 3
Baths: 2
Sq. Ft.: 1,406
$/Sq. Ft.: $391
Lot Size: 5,278 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Stories: 2
View: Neighborhood
Year Built: 1915
Community: Sunnyvale
County: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81012603
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active This listing is for sale and the sellers are accepting offers.
On Redfin: 19 days
Lovely Eastlake Shingle Style Home w/ Intricate Detail * GREAT LOCATION * Cove Ceilings w/ Stamped Design & Arched Doorways * Built-In Cabinetry * Pitched Roof w/ Newer Decorative Shingles * Double Paned Windows * 7 Yr New Wall Insulation/Siding * Copper Piping * Partially Remodeled Kitchen w/ Fisher & PayKell_-Dbl Drawer DishWasher * Clawfoot Tubs in Bathrooms * Florida Room * Walk 2 Upcoming Downtown Sunnvyale & Farmers Mkt
Thanks to Burbed reader Herve for this find. Here’s his guest post:

Ten years ago, you decided to start looking for a house. A nice house for you and your family. A house where your goldfish would live a happy life. Like any prospecting buyer, you made a list of things you wanted in that house. It had to be purple (after all, you’re a big Prince fan). It had to have a white picket fence. It had to have this unique Eastlake style. Curtains that would embarrass even your grandmother. Pink tiles in the bathroom. Velvet ceiling. Tapestry to make Queen Elizabeth blush. Walking distance from the upcoming Sunnyvale downtown (yes, it was already upcoming in 2000).

Ten years later, your agent left you. Actually, your agent left you 9 years ago. But today is time for revenge. Time for you to shine, call your agent to tell her she won’t get her 3% commission because during these 9 years you got your real estate license. Now, call Jeni (867-5309 or 813-4256) and buy the house of your dreams.

Comments (66) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:58 am

April 13, 2010

Perfect condos for cinq à sept

Thanks to Burbed reader Herve for this guest post. Take it away, Herve!

260 HOMER Ave #301 Palo Alto, CA 94301



Beds: 2
Baths: 2.5
Sq. Ft.: 3,870
$/Sq. Ft.: $1,021
Lot Size: 7,405 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Condominium
Style: Modern/High Tech
Stories: 1-3 (Low Rise)
View: Neighborhood
Year Built: 2009
Community: Downtown
County: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81012870
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active This listing is for sale and the sellers are accepting offers.
On Redfin: 14 days
Stunning, new, contemporary, pvt top floor, sgl-lvl condo w/ 1800 + sq. ft. terrace and 2 balconies. One of a kind! Two units on top floor – each different. Top of line finishes. Commercial grade construction. 10′ ceilings. Ribbon fireplace, exceptional SieMatic kitchen, walnut flooring, walk-in pantry. 4 parking spaces + lg. storage. Windows on 4 sides. Control 4 Systm + 7.1surround sound. Palo Alto, your way!

French, the language of romance. And adultery. You live in Los Altos Hills but you also work hard and long (hours) and often end up leaving your office downtown Palo Alto after 8pm, when University Ave swarms with flirtatious and not-so-chaste Stanford students. Did you ever dream of owning a little baise-en-ville? Now it’s possible and you can even own two at the corner of Homer Ave and Ramona St!

At only $3,950,000 each and a mere $613 HOA fee, these condos are the perfect getaway for a quick encounter. The minimalist decoration makes it like reading Playboy magazine back in the 60s (when you were, as a matter of fact, as old as this Stanford student laying in bed). And because they are above offices, you can be EXTREMELY LOUD. And so can she.

Comments (33) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:42 am

April 12, 2010

With Real Cupertino Schools

Thanks to Burbed reader Madhaus for sending in this guest written post. Here it goes:

901 Cascade Drive — With Real Cupertino Schools

Here’s another typical overpriced house in a “special” zip code.  What makes 94087 so special?  Some of it has REAL CUPERTINO SCHOOLS!


Can you think of anything else to explain the price these sellers are asking?  $1.15 million?  (Whoops, cut to $1.099 million!)  AS IF!  The last $1.15 million sale in this tract went down in Spring, 2008, which just happened to be the local market peak.  And the property was on a 9500 square foot lot!

Let’s take a look at this one.  Oops!  Not quite as generous, is it?


Oh, dear, that looks like quite a busy street only one house away.  Oooh!  Looks like this house is on the corner of a couple of arterials! Well, let’s go inside, shall we?

The original design in this tract is an L-shaped 4/2 with a large living room.  901 Cascade has had some remodeling done in the 1970s.  The garage was turned into a room with a half bath and a laundry room off it.  Since the new space was set up as a formal living room, the effect of these

utilitarian offshoots is jarring.


Here’s a view of it that cleverly leaves out those rooms that don’t belong.

A free-standing garage was built next to the front bedrooms, ensuring little sunlight.  A continuous roofline/gating thing connects the garage with the former garage, giving the house some unity of concept but hey, it’s still an awful shade of olive green.

The smallest front room had a doorway (not a door) installed from the entrance hallway and is used as a piano room.  The two rear bedrooms, including the master, were extended five feet into the back yard, so they don’t seem as pitifully small as the front rooms are.

The hardwood was nicely done throughout.  Homes in this 1956 tract do have hardwood floors, usually covered with carpeting.

The kitchen made no impression.  Probably not enlarged at all but the appliances are newer than 1980.


The front shared bathroom appears to be either the fifties original or a very old update.  The master bath was enlarged to replace the tiny shower with a smallish jacuzzi tub.  The tiling looks old and feels dated.  Well, what do you expect, with a remodel done in the early 1970s?

The agent is from Willow Glen (clearly a wanna-be ZIP who doesn’t know about Special) and obviously doesn’t know this neighborhood.  Yes, it has REAL CUPERTINO SCHOOLS, but even so, this is overpriced. Corner undersized lot, too close to Mary Avenue, schools threatened with layoffs and severe budget cuts, 2008 peak sale of 1.15m was on 9500 sf lot on quiet street.  Agent admitted this Green Home was listed for $1.2m last summer and the sellers didn’t get the price they wanted: 1.15m.  Now they’re just asking for it up front.

Not many other visitors, either, just 2 couples, one when we arrived and one as we left.

Evidently the agent decided to drop the price after a month of no “serious” offers, and now it’s Pending Without Release.  Given that only ePraisal estimates this home as being worth anything remotely near that, do you think those those REAL CUPERTINO SCHOOLS will keep adding as much value as they had?


Comments (31) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:38 am