July 21, 2010

Price cut in East Palo Alto! $373,000 OFF!


1912 PULGAS Ave East Palo Alto, CA 94303


Beds: 2
Baths: 1.5
Sq. Ft.: 1,260
$/Sq. Ft.: $337
Lot Size: 9,944 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Style: Cottage/Bungalow
Stories: 1
View: Neighborhood
Year Built: 1949
Community: East of U.S. 101
County: San Mateo
MLS#: 80913446
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active This listing is for sale and the sellers are accepting offers.
On Redfin: 474 days

Hey… wait a minute… this seems familiar… oh I remember:

August 26, 2009

This house has easy access to gasoline station, home depot, best buy

It’s East Palo Alto week!

1912 PULGAS Ave, East Palo Alto, CA 94303 | MLS# 80913446
1912 PULGAS Ave East Palo Alto, CA 94303
Price: $798,000


Wowsers! Talk about a price cut!

Before, it was a not-great-deal. But now… it’s practically for free! And look, now there are even more permits, in addition to being close to staples like Home Depot, Best Buy, and etc!

And… it’s green!

I’m not sure why people aren’t storming into snatch this up. Maybe you can petition the city to build you a special off ramp – how awesome would that be!


This is going to be the turning point year for East Palo Alto. You heard it here first!

Comments (28) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:53 am

July 20, 2010

House in Palo Alto for just $645,000! Sort of!


269 ADDISON Ave Palo Alto, CA 94301


Beds: 2
Baths: 2.5
Sq. Ft.: 1,239
$/Sq. Ft.: $521
Lot Size: 6,300 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Style: Cottage/Bungalow
Stories: 2
View: Neighborhood
Year Built: 1896
Community: Downtown
County: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81033538
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active This listing is for sale and the sellers are accepting offers.
On Redfin: 4 days
Nice home on large, landscaped lot minutes from downtown Palo Alto. 2-story house has 2 master suites, hdwd flrs & wood beamed ceilings. French doors in LR open to spacious backyard w/ lush lawn, fruit trees & gardening beds. Buy a single fam house in downtown at a DISCOUNT! This is leased land. Buyer pays $1391/mon rent to landowner & keeps low prop tax base (only $293/mon). Go to 271 Addison.

Here’s what Burbed reader Herve had to say:

$645K for that seemed really cheap… Then I read the last part: "Buyer pays $1391/mon rent to landowner & keeps low prop tax base (only $293/mon)."

Indeed! What’s going on?

Well, it turns out that this house has been on Burbed before. Let’s take a look:

$588,000 for a house with land for 56 years

Just when I thought I had seen everything – I found this:

269 ADDISON AV, Palo Alto Property Details – Palo Alto Real Estate – Palo Alto Homes for Sale – Movoto
269 ADDISON AV, Palo Alto 94301


Wow. Don’t you wish you had bought this house in 2006? You could’ve flipped it and made a $57k profit. And now, there’s only 52 years remaining on this lease.

You snooze you lose. Better buy this house soon because every year the lease gets shorter, the price goes higher apparently!

Comments (37) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:17 am

July 19, 2010

Lowest price single family home in Millbrae


50 MATEO Ave Millbrae, CA 94030


Beds: 1
Baths: 1
Sq. Ft.: 460
$/Sq. Ft.: $652
Lot Size: 2,500 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Style: Contemporary
Stories: 1
View: Neighborhood
Year Built: 1920
Community: Marino Vista Park
County: San Mateo
MLS#: 81030858
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active This listing is for sale and the sellers are accepting offers.
On Redfin: 13 days
Fantastic opportunity here!!!!!! Lowest price single family home in Millbrae. One bedroon one bath one car garage . Close to shopping and transportation,
Wow, what an incredible opportunity! Perfect for a young family look for a great starter!
Frankly, I’m shocked and appalled that the listing agent forgot to say that “This house won’t last long!”
Just think, after you buy this house, it’ll only take 1 trip to Ikea to furnish it. The savings continue to pile on!
Comments (16) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:05 am

July 18, 2010

Mountain View–Los Altos teachers are best paid in state

Report: MVLA teachers are best paid in state

by Kelsey Mesher
Mountain View Voice Staff

According to data released by the state Department of Education this month and compiled by the Sacramento Bee, teachers in the Mountain View-Los Altos High School District are the highest paid in the state.

"We have the best teachers in the state and they deserve to be paid well," said Superintendent Barry Groves.

The Bee’s report, which examined districts with more than 100 teachers, said MVLA pays an average of $95,365 a year, with the lowest earning $61,184 and the highest $115,616.

According to the state data, teachers in the Mountain View Whisman School District make an average of $61,147 annually. The lowest pay offered in that district is $44,609, while the highest is $82,315.

In the Los Altos School District, teachers earn between $44,832 and $86,924, with an average salary of $73,569.

Congrats to Mountain View and Los Altos for this achievement! No wonder we have some of the best schools in California!

Now, granted, teachers in NY, NJ, and CT suburbs with lower priced housing regularly make over $100k – but let’s face it, they don’t have the right priorities. That’s why their schools are only top of the nation, not top of California.

Prisons and bus drivers. California’s got everything right.

(BTW, be sure to check out the comments at the bottom of the link above. Lots of good discussion.)

Comments (113) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:38 am

July 17, 2010

Ginnie Mae buy versus rent calculator

From an anonymous Burbed reader:

I thought that this might be a fun tidbit for burbed, though it’s not Bay Area-specific.

Ginnie Mae kindly provides a "Buying vs Renting" calculator to help prospective purchasers determine whether buying or renting is a financially better decision.


I did think that it was kind of interesting that it defaulted to 10% down rather than the more-traditionally-recommended 20%, but that wasn’t what I was writing about.  While the calculator does provide a "Yearly Home Value Increase Rate", entering a negative value unfortunately returns the error "The value you entered must be a positive number."

It seems that Fannie Mae’s assumptions just haven’t held up all that well…

What it really is missing is a checkbox that says “Real Bay Area?” – ‘cuz if that checkbox is checked, it should automatically default to “BUY BUY BUY”.

Be sure to use this before you head out to your 15 open houses today! Thanks anonymous burbed reader!

Comments (1) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:28 am

July 16, 2010

Congratulations to the Real Bay Area’s Best High Schools!

Congrats to the world famous Real Bay Area high school! Let’s see where they placed this year in the US News and World report rankings!

Let’s look and celebrate the ones in the Top 20!


Uh… Santa Cruz at 19? Well, that’s sort of Bay Area, but not Real Bay Area.

Let’s look and celebrate the ones in the Top 40!


What the heck? Where are they? Maybe we should filter by state. Let’s look at California only:


There we go. Now, sure, you can say that these are 76th, 134th, and 169th ranked nationally… but they are in the Top 10 in California, which means… drumroll… that they are Top 10 in the world!

Let’s take a quick look at our arch nemesis, New York:


NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! These must all be lies!

Ok, let’s take a look at our other arch nemesis, New Jersey.


Hah. So it turns out those famous, good, New Jersey schools were just a lie. (This is pretty strange…)

Comments (25) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:32 am

July 15, 2010

“This home has been loved for too long”


1095 MORENO Ave Palo Alto, CA 94303


Beds: 3
Baths: 2
Sq. Ft.: 1,392
$/Sq. Ft.: $638
Lot Size: 7,654 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Style: Ranch
Stories: 1
View: Neighborhood
Year Built: 1955
Community: South Palo Alto
County: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81030305
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active This listing is for sale and the sellers are accepting offers.
On Redfin: 17 days
This home has been loved for too long and needs a lot of tlc. Original owner relocated to sr. comm. Do a remodel or build a new dream home of your own. Wonderful pie shaped lot. End of the cul-de-sac location with lots of privacy. quiet neighborhood close to park, freeway access w/ o the noise, PA high school , Close to Mid-town. Rare opportunity to find a nice buildable lot.

Thanks to Burbed reader Herve for this find!

Wow, loved too long huh? I’m not sure what kind of relationships the agent is used to, but this isn’t what I think of when I hear “Loved too long”.

But there’s more… when I read “pie shaped lot” I thought of a circle. Let’s see the lot:


Not to be too critical, but this seems more like an “clothing iron” or “shoe” shaped lot. Not a pie.

But hey, buy this house, add another $500k to build a house, and boom! Your dream is realized!

And look at how lucky that price is!

Comments (18) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:30 am

July 14, 2010

Bay Area traitors

The New Suburbs, a Plane Ride Away

Professionals Seeking Affordable Homes Move to Pacific Northwest but Keep Bay Area Jobs; Spacious Living Near Seattle

In the quest for vibrant, affordable neighborhoods, some Bay Area professionals are moving north—way north, to Portland and Seattle.

Scott McNeely is a transplant to the Pacific Northwest who kept his job in the Bay Area. Mr. McNeely, online director for San Francisco-based Internet travel company Viator Inc., used to live in the Mission District. But several years ago, he and his wife began pining for more kid-friendly environs after becoming parents.

High real-estate prices across the Bay Area made moving even to the East Bay a stretch. So about 18 months ago, Mr. McNeely and his family moved 650 miles north, to Portland. There, they bought a four-bedroom house for about $350,000 that was large enough to accommodate his two children and a Great Dane. Viator agreed to let Mr. McNeely telecommute, with occasional trips to its San Francisco headquarters.

"If we were going to move to the equivalent of the suburbs of the Bay Area, why not move to a place like Portland?" says Mr. McNeely, 40 years old.

There has been a northward migration for years by Bay Area residents looking for everything from affordable real estate to better public schools. But moving usually meant giving up their jobs, which are generally more lucrative and plentiful here than in the Pacific Northwest, especially for technology workers.

Now it is getting more practical for people to live in the Pacific Northwest and continue working for Bay Area-based companies, as more employers loosen their telecommuting policies. Technology also is making it easier to stay connected all the time, and travel between San Francisco and cities to the north has become more convenient, though hard data on Bay Area transplants to the Northwest who retain their local jobs are hard to come by.

Alex Payne plans to move to Portland with his wife next month, while keeping his job at San Francisco-based Twitter Inc. Last October, Mr. Payne caused a stir when he blogged about his frustrations with San Francisco’s quality of life, including criticisms of its public transit and high cost of living.

In contrast, the 26-year-old believes Portland is a "model of urban design." Mr. Payne is especially impressed with the revitalization of Portland’s Pearl District, a once-grimy industrial neighborhood that now teems with art galleries and restaurants. Portland’s lower property costs also are appealing, though he initially plans to rent.

"It’s actually affordable by mere mortals," Mr. Payne says. "I looked at buying a place in San Francisco, but you’re talking a half million dollars for a hovel."

San Francisco’s median home value in late February was $691,600, compared with $362,800 for Seattle and $236,100 for Portland, according to real-estate site Zillow Inc. San Francisco’s median home price increased 1.1% over the past year, while the average price fell 7.1% in Seattle and 9.9% in Portland, according to Zillow.

Mr. Payne says the short plane ride between Portland and San Francisco—about one hour and 45 minutes—was a big factor in making the arrangement work, since he plans to spend four or five days a month at Twitter’s headquarters. Twitter will reimburse him for the flights, he says. In Seattle, commuters can now bypass the city’s thick traffic by hopping on a light-rail line to the airport, while San Francisco and Portland began offering similar transit options in the past decade.

Alaska Airlines recently began running advertisements promoting flights between Portland, San Jose and Austin as "nerd birds," because of the preponderance of tech-industry commuters shuttling between those locations.

Egads. Something must be done about this. This is unacceptable – taking up Bay Area jobs, but then living sales tax free in Oregon in a cheap home? Unacceptable!

If you’re only working in the Bay Area, but not buying or renting a home to support the landed gentry of Prop 13’ers, then you are not adding value! What’s more important? Your financial future and your children’s financial future? Or helping Prop 13’ers with their retirement?

These are Bay Area Traitors.

I propose Prop 131313 – If you work in California, you must live in California. Period.

Whose with me on this one? Meg? Jerry?

Comments (48) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:33 am

July 13, 2010

The Bay Area’s Best Address is Back! 13 Lucky St!

First, a trip to the way back machine:

September 19, 2008

How much does a garage cost in San Francisco these days?

13 Lucky St
San Francisco, CA 94110
Price: $499,000

Followed by:

December 13, 2008

A letter from the owner of 13 Lucky St

It’s rare that Burbed gets email from the owner of a property that is publishable. Here’s one about a recent posting.

Glad you’ve all enjoyed commenting on our property. I’m sure things are slow and you’ll want to look busy, that is if you still have a desk at which to look busy.

However, 13 Lucky Street is far from a loser. And it’s large size qualifies it to be listed as a small warehouse.

13 Lucky is currently listed at $399K. It is variance-approved for one, SFH occupying the entire footprint of the existing building. It is not currently a SFH.

I have recently spoke with a builder who estimated a cost of $130-$170/sq foot to build, so at approx 2000 sq ft, you’d be closer to, say, $700K total for a BRAND NEW, custom built residence. the city has approved the building mass and we are moving ahead with plans for construction.

Owner financing is available as well.

Please contact me for any further enlightenment at davee (at) got (dot) net


Well, thanks to Burbed reader Brian, it appears the Bay Area’s best address is back! And available for a small discount!


13 Lucky San Francisco, CA 94110


Beds: 0
Sq. Ft.: 2,000
$/Sq. Ft.: $144
Lot Size:
Property Type: Single-Family Home
Community: Inner Mission
County: San Francisco
MLS#: 368369
Source: San Francisco MLS
Status: Active This listing is for sale and the sellers are accepting offers.
On Redfin: 97 days
Opportunity to build your custom home in the trendy Mission District. Currently, there is a garage on location and is rented to a contractor for storage. Seller will carry financing for qualified buyer.

Now this is smart marketing! It appears they’ve decided to move away from selling the “Own a gritty part of San Francisco, like a garage with no bedrooms or bathrooms” (ugh, how dated) to a “Sell the dream!” strategy.


So… is this your dream? That sketch looks pretty cool! And, just think of the hot address you’ll have!

Comments (10) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:21 am

July 12, 2010

Florentine? Isn’t that a Restaurant on De Anza?

So, what should it be today, overpriced teardown or overpriced prestige listing?  That’s the beauty of the Real Bay Area, plenty of both!

5050 ALPINE Rd  Portola Valley, CA 94028


Beds: 7
Baths: 6
Sq. Ft.: 16,000
$/Sq. Ft.: $1,250
Lot Size: 20.93 Acres
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Stories: 3
View: Bay, Canyon, Valley, City Lights
Year Built: 1920
Community: Central Portola Valley
County: San Mateo
MLS#: 81032274
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active This listing is for sale and the sellers are accepting offers.
On Redfin: 5 days

One of the nation���s finest private residences, the hand-crafted Villa Lauriston is incomparable and unique. Commissioned in the 1920���s, this 20 room Florentine Villa features the finest historic materials and artifacts from San Francisco mansions and European palaces and churches. This architectural jewel is set in a private 28.4 acre park-like parcel, surrounded by 1,000 acres dedicated as open

image When you’re looking for a house and you find a listing that has a name instead of an address, you know you’re not in Milpitas anymore.  When it’s offered for sale by Sotheby’s International instead of RE/MAX, that’s a hint this is no crapbox in Campbell.  Why bother putting on pretty photos on Redfin?  Heck, they didn’t even care enough to remove those unprintable characters above.  So what?  This is an “incomparable and unique” Florentine Villa in Portola Valley.  A Florentine Villa!  Wow!  That means there’s spinach on top.

And this “incomparable and unique” property has “materials and artifacts from European palaces and churches”?  In some circumstances, that could be due to art theft, or looting.  I hope these were paid for, as last time I checked out European palaces and churches, there weren’t any price tags on the fine historic materials and artifacts, just a few knock-offs in the gift shop.  And they called the house an “architectural jewel” too!  Remember the diamond in the rough a couple of weeks ago?  What does that make this place, the Hope on the putting green?

Speaking of golf metaphors, there is no golf course on the grounds.  (Hmpf, even a spread in Cupertino had two holes for golf!)  But you do get tennis courts, a pool and spa, an historic pool (which means it isn’t usable and they didn’t feel like taking it out), and a reflecting pool.  Let the website tell you all about it (for twenty million dollars, this place had better have its own website):

The property includes the main residence, a cottage or caretaker’s house, four car garage, and a estate landscape featuring a one acre main meadow with dolphin fountain and two river god sculptures, reflecting pond, conservatory/sunken garden with fountain, old swimming pool/stage, two acre 600-vine vineyard, vegetable garden and cutting flower beds, tennis court, picnic area with arbor, natural waterfall and stream, bee hives, lavender/Italian cypress path, and much more.

image Lavender?  Forget it.  For $20 million they should have put in a danged saffron crocus field.  Saffron grows in Mediterranean climates (like this place is trying to pretend it’s from) and sells for up to $11,000 a kilogram.  If you had one of those, you could afford to put in some more MAWBUL CAWLUMS.

Be sure to spend some time perusing the property website.  I’m still trying to figure out where they store the “riding lawn mores” and what the heck a “Hebraic wood splitter” is.  Does it clip off the branch tip first?

Villa Lauriston is both a grand estate and an expression of one man’s personal vision.  The 13,000-square-foot, 20-room Villa and the surrounding acres of formal gardens, ponds and pools was the creation of the English-born entrepreneur Herbert Edward Law. Law was a businessman, a real estate magnate, a connoisseur and a man of the arts.  Law is perhaps best known for having purchased, with his brother, San Francisco’s Fairmont Hotel just days before the great earthquake of 1906.

Quick!  Follow in the footsteps of Herb Law!  Hurry up and buy this place so we can get The Big One over with.

Comments (11) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:01 am