September 30, 2010

Redwood City to come back to Real Bay Area in 2011

1215 RUBY St Redwood City, CA 94061



Beds: 2
Baths: 1
Sq. Ft.: 690
$/Sq. Ft.: $817
Lot Size: 2,604 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Stories: 1
Year Built: 1955
Community: Central Park
County: San Mateo
MLS#: 81040194
Source: MLSListings
Status: ActiveThis listing is for sale and the sellers are accepting offers.
On Redfin: 24 days
Everything is spruced up and full of special touches in this charismatic home. Living room features ample windows and hardwood floors that open to the remodeled kitchen. Kitchen is accented w/ white cabinetry, marble countertops, viking range, dishwasher drawer and much more! Gardener’s paradise w/ colorful plantings & mature landscaping. Utility room off garage ideal for craft room/office.

Who doesn’t like an underdog? And when I think underdog, I think of Redwood City. Although it has climate best by government test, this city has had its ups and downs with its status of being in the Real Bay Area or not.

And now. This. $817 per square foot. $564k for 690 square feet. Wow. A strong showing for re-admittance into the Real Bay Area.

This could be the start of something big. I predict that 2011 will be the major year of the Redwood City come back. It’ll be the new “hot” destination. People will be telling their realtors “I want you to show me houses in Mountain View, Palo Alto, Cupertino, and Redwood City.”

You heard it here first everyone!

Comments (28) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:23 am

September 29, 2010


Here’s a great find from burbed reader Herve, who says, “Check out that location and tell me if anyone would want to spend $1,250,000 there.”

$1.25M in Menlo Park?  That’s not out of line at all for a larger house.  Menlo Park has some very nice neighborhoods.  Unfortunately, this is not in one of them.

1151 Windermere Ave  Menlo Park, CA 94025


Beds: 5
Baths: 3
Sq. Ft.: 2,330
$/Sq. Ft.: $536
Lot Size: 5,403 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Stories: 2
Year Built: 1947
Community: East of U.S. 101
County: San Mateo
MLS#: 81044545
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active
On Redfin: 14 days


What is the price point when a listing isn’t in all-caps?  Silly me, I had thought it was in six-digit land.  Guess the rules are different when the listing is NOT AN REO OR SHORT SALE!!!

The first photo above seemed odd, because it looked like it was taken from a street behind another street.  It was:


At least Howard street doesn’t go through; there’s a sidewalk cutting it short.  Nothing like living at a five-way intersection for great feng shui.  And nothing like the neighborhood for great property values:


Oops.  This place isn’t just on the Wrong Side of of El Camino Real.  It’s in the exciting community of Belle Haven, Wrong Side of 101!  Let’s see how Belle Haven compares with its zip code.


Um… wow.  Guess they came up with that $536 a square foot price by averaging the neighborhood cost per foot with the whole zip code.  But look, the house sold for $145,000 in 1989, right as the last bubble was running up, It’s more than doubled in 20 years, so it has to be in the Real Bay Area!  Plus it was TOTALLY REMODELED IN 2006.  This is definitely the neighborhood to do an expensive remodel (did you see that Jacuzzi?), because the price has nowhere to go but up, up, up!

Comments (63) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:03 am

September 28, 2010

This house in Mountain View spells victory



Beds: 3
Baths: 2
Sq. Ft.: 1,116
$/Sq. Ft.: $670
Lot Size: 5,000 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Style: Contemporary
Stories: 1
Year Built: 1954
Community: Thompson
County: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81039221
Source: MLSListings
Status: ActiveThis listing is for sale and the sellers are accepting offers.
On Redfin: 29 days
This great location in popular Monta Lorma, Ready to move in, Garage partially converted into bonus room with extra bath, Easy access to 101 & shopping. Open 8/8 1:30-4:00PM.

You know what smells like victory? No… not napalm. A house in Mountain View that’s $670 per square foot!

And even better, it’s got a garage that’s partially converted into a bonus room with extra bath! That means you can both park your car in it, and take a shower – the ultimate Californian dream! Just think of how jealous your snobby east coast friends will be when they see your amazing palace! They’ll turn the same shade as that wall in the 2nd picture.

And that’s when you have it… the pride of ownership. Victory. 529. In Mountain View.

Comments (14) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:16 am

September 27, 2010

It Could Be Winchester West

Today’s contribution is from burbed reader nomadic.  This property certainly has all the key features we know and love: listing copy in all-caps, problems galore neatly omitted, and a series of grudgingly small reductions on a WTF wishing price pretending to be a bargain.

11441 Eastbrook Ave  Los Altos Hills, CA 94024


BATHS: 5.5
SQ. FT.: 9,000
$/SQ. FT.: $367
LOT SIZE: 0.53 Acres
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Contemporary
VIEW: Neighborhood
COMMUNITY: Los Altos Hills
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81031402
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 93 days


Here’s what nomadic had to say about this house:

OMG.  It’s a freak of nature.  The noise from 280 is loud.  Very loud – it’s right across from the house and elevated for maximum annoyance.  It’s like two houses were glued together with a hallway or two. The listing says “2100sf guest house,” but you can hardly tell where one ends and the other begins because it’s just a double interior door, and then there’s a second kitchen back there.  The floor plan wanders from room to room with no sense whatsoever.

On the front, there are stairs with access to a roof top deck (see aerial view).  It’s like having turrets on an old house; you could set up a reporting station for traffic on 280.  It’s the weirdest house I have ever seen.  It could be Winchester West.  But what would you expect for just $367/sf in Los Altos Hills?

Thanks, nomadic!  Let’s take a look at that aerial view.


Yowza.  A half-acre parcel and the house seems to take up most of it.  And what little isn’t built over seems to be paved over.  Viewing the grounds from a little higher up shows this lot has been somewhat… subdivided.  And yet, no spec homes have sprouted yet.  Think of the excitement in buying this house, knowing a future neighbor could begin construction on another monster house just a few feet away from yours!  You’d better snatch that parcel up and put in Sarah’s Cafe West next door.  If the neighborhood improvement committee complains, give them all 25% off coupons.


Oh yes, the noise from 280.  This is an easy remedy.  If only the agent had the sense to use a more attractive map:


Problem solved!  Lovely riverside setting!

Besides, if the freeway is inconveniently elevated for maximum annoyance, that means it’s conveniently sited for tourists to see the large signage you’re going to put on the roof deck.  Remember, the original Winchester Mystery House is also atop I-280, but isn’t in the Real Bay Area part.  This house is full of freeway WIN!

Comments (9) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:04 am

September 26, 2010

Let the housing market crash!

Housing Woes Bring a New Cry: Let the Market Fall

As the economy again sputters and potential buyers flee — July housing sales sank 26 percent from July 2009 — there is a growing sense of exhaustion with government intervention. Some economists and analysts are now urging a dose of shock therapy that would greatly shift the benefits to future homeowners: Let the housing market crash.

When prices are lower, these experts argue, buyers will pour in, creating the elusive stability the government has spent billions upon billions trying to achieve.

“Housing needs to go back to reasonable levels,” said Anthony B. Sanders, a professor of real estate finance at George Mason University. “If we keep trying to stimulate the market, that’s the definition of insanity.”

The further the market descends, however, the more miserable one group — important both politically and economically — will be: the tens of millions of homeowners who have already seen their home values drop an average of 30 percent.

The poorer these owners feel, the less likely they will indulge in the sort of consumer spending the economy needs to recover. If they see an identical house down the street going for half what they owe, the temptation to default might be irresistible. That could make the market’s current malaise seem minor.

I agree. There’s no reason why we Real Bay Area folks should support the housing markets across the nation. It’s time we stopped giving them hand outs, and invest in ourselves. How else will we ever surpass our enemy to the east: Manhattan.

If anything, tax dollars should be flowing to the Bay Area to help boost house prices here to set an example for the rest of nation on what’s desirable: unaffordable housing.

California leads, the nation follows. It’s time we led again.

Comments (172) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:59 am

September 25, 2010

CEO Donates to Wrong School District

Facebook founder to give $100 million to N.J. school district

By Amy Sahba and Doug Gross, CNN
September 23, 2010 12:53 p.m. EDT

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's donation will help troubled Newark schools, which have been taken over by the state.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s donation will help troubled Newark schools, which have been taken over by the state.

(CNN) — One of America’s richest and youngest is giving back.

Mark Zuckerberg, founder and chief executive of social-networking powerhouse Facebook, is planning on donating $100 million toward improving public schools in the troubled district of Newark, New Jersey.

The gift would be the largest known charitable donation by Zuckerberg, who Forbes magazine says is the 35th richest person in the United States with an estimated net worth of nearly $7 billion.

At 26, he and Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz are the youngest billionaires on the list.

The news comes just over a week before "The Social Network," a brutal (and, admittedly, fictionalized) biopic chronicling the early days of Facebook, is set to be released. By all accounts, the film doesn’t cast Zuckerberg in a positive light, leading some critics to accuse him of making the donation as an image-booster.

Unbelievable!  A Palo Alto resident giving money to undeserving non-Palo Alto kids!  Doesn’t he realize all the unfunded needs in Palo Alto’s schools?  Why, there are Palo Alto high school students whose parents can’t afford to send them to college!  Why isn’t he helping them? 

Besides, look at how much bang for the buck a donation to Palo Alto schools creates. Take a look at what Palo Alto Partners in Education plans to do with this years’ fundraising.papie

Can you imagine what Palo Alto could do with ten million to spend on science enrichment?  They could build a scale working model of SLAC at every single one of the elementary schools!  For Technology Mentors, this kind of cash they could bring in Steve Jobs and Larry Ellison for three days to each of the middle schools!  And can you imagine the College Counseling for ten million dollars?  That would pay for a charter jet to bring in the Presidents of all eight Ivy League schools.  They could meet with every single high school student so every one of them would know which school was the best fit (and appropriate fees sent to the schools’ Development Departments for a win-win).  The remainder of the funds could pick up the Limo fees and restaurant tabs for John Hennessy

Money for Newark schools will go for textbooks, calculators and asbestos removal.  Big Yawn.

PIE raised $2.9 million for Palo Alto schools for the 2010 school year.  Zuckerberg could have totally eclipsed last year’s performance by sending that donation where it belonged… where he lives.  Instead, he blew the whole wad on a failing school district in a completely different state!  I mean, seriously, if you’re going to donate to New Jersey schools, why not Tenafly?

Do you see why Zuckerberg went wrong?  He’s 26 and he doesn’t have any children of his own.  Hopefully his priorities will change once he enrolls a couple of Facebook heirs into their neighborhood school.  But first, he’s going to have to take an even more important step and buy a house.

Zuckerberg has found all his homes on Craigslist. His first place was a sparse one-bedroom apartment that a friend described as something like a “crack den.” The next apartment was a two-bedroom, followed by his current place, a two-story, four-bedroom house that he told me is “too big.” He rents. (“He’s the poorest rich person I’ve ever seen in my life,” Tyler Winklevoss said.)

He rents.  That means he’s a transient guest.  He isn’t abiding with the Real Bay Area spirit and sinking a pile of money into a house!  More importantly, he had a golden opportunity to show his commitment to the community.  Instead, by donating to the wrong school district, he’s appeared on Oprah.  But there is one ray of sunshine:

According to an official familiar with the agreement, Zuckerberg’s donation will be the first installment from a foundation financed by Zuckerberg and focused on bettering education.

The first installment.  See, it isn’t too late to send the money where it’s most needed.

Comments (13) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:03 am

September 24, 2010

Truly Unique Property in its Original Condition

Let’s continue our slumming in the East Bay one more day.  When sonarrat sent in yesterday’s property, also enclosed was this one as a little PS.  As in PS, this self-satisfied enclave, conveniently located in Oakland, doesn’t just have overpriced wrecks you can’t rebuild because they’re historically registered.  It also has out-and-out problem properties.  The difference is this is a problem with a view.

65 Wildwood Gdns  Piedmont, CA 94611


Beds: 2
Baths: 1
Sq. Ft.: 1,494
$/Sq. Ft.: $586
Lot Size: 9,338 Sq. Ft.
TYPE: Detached
STYLE: Cottage
VIEW: Bay, Bay Bridge, City Lights, Downtown, Lake, Panoramic, San Francisco
Year Built: 1910
Community: Piedmnt/Wildwood
County: Alameda
MLS#: 40486849
Source: EBRD
Status: Active
On Redfin: 14 days

Truly unique property in its original condition. Entry from top street through a winding stair path. Majestic oak trees, sweeping views over Oakland & the Bay. No garage but possible access from bottom street. Rare potential for development. Privacy, harmony & simplicity best describe this property.

Hey, this property has something else in common with yesterday’s!  No garage!  Maybe this is a prestige thing.  You know, if one-car garages imply the land is too valuable to waste parking two cars, what could be more "this land is made out of unobtainium” than no garage at all?

The listing is, for the most part, pretty up-front with its challenges.  We’re talking about a hundred-year-old house that you have to cannot access unless you take the winding stair path.  We’re talking about no garage — heck, no driveway.  (Talk about prestigious!)  “Possible access from bottom street?” What’s that mean?  Maybe this house has possible beachfront if the Bay rises 250 feet, too!

But “Rare potential for development”?  Look, “development” is a listing codeword for “teardown.”  And “development” and “Piedmont” go together like “restraint” and “Palo Alto.”  We are talking about the place with the second oldest housing stock in the entire country.

Fortunately, there are always people in the know who want to help this site out.  So here, only on burbed, is the flowchart for how remodeling permits are handled in Piedmont:


Whoever buys today’s listing has no idea what kind of pros they are up against.

Comments (9) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:03 am

September 23, 2010

Apologies for the downtime

My apologies for the downtime as of late. I wish I could be a better admin.

Comments (9) -- Posted by: burbed @ 10:41 am

Needs Much Updating and Restoration and Soundproofing and Relocating

Usually a property gets featured on burbed because it’s incredibly overpriced or a complete and utter disaster.  It’s rare to find a listing that’s both.  Thanks to burbed reader sonarrat, who has absolutely broken the mold by finding us this house.

342 Bonita Ave  Piedmont, CA 94611


Beds: 4
Baths: 1.5
Sq. Ft.: 2,524
$/Sq. Ft.: $792
Lot Size: 0.28 Acres
TYPE: Detached
STYLE: Victorian
Year Built: 1878
Community: Central
County: Alameda
MLS#: 40367236
Source: EBRD
Status: Active
On Redfin: 745 days

The Wetmore House, Piedmont’s oldest home. Folk Victorian with much original detail. On Nat. Reg. of Hist. Places. Includes sep. “barn” , a 1+ bedroom LEGAL rental w/ $2000/mo. income. Lovely garden with fruit trees; well on the property keeps everything green. Needs much updating & restoration

This property has way more than merely a sky-high price and poor condition.  Not only does it need extensive repairs, but you have absolutely no say in how to improve it because it’s on the National Registry of Historic Places!  But this gets even better.

Do you like a bargain?  This house has had a 42% haircut so far!  That’s $1.5 million of instant equity right there!  And it’s been on MLS for two years!  Now what would you pay?

How about a big house on a quarter acre with no garage?  Because in 1878 nobody needed a garage.  There’s a “barn” for your “horses,” and if that was how rich people lived in 1878, then why should you complain?  This house is on the National Registry of Historic Places!  Be grateful they’re not making you dress in period costume!  And speaking of complaining…

Are you thinking location, location, location?  Well this two-million-dollar sinkhole is located in a place where the residents think they live in the Real Bay Area but they can’t possibly… because it’s in (gasp) THE EAST BAY.  Not only is Piedmont in the East Bay…. it’s completely surrounded by Oakland. And wait, there’s even more to love about this listing!

When I said location, location, location, I wasn’t kidding.


You’re not going to have to worry about emergency response time if you live here, because the only fire station in the whole town is located right next door!  Hope you’re a sound sleeper!

Plus you’ve got an elementary school across the street to ensure you can’t drive anywhere during the beginning or end of the school day, and forget about having any friends over because every parking space within five blocks will be taken by the suburban assault vehicles.  And just in case the school has a teacher-out-of-service day, the high school is conveniently nearby too.

Yes, this house is smack-dab in downtown Piedmont, so you’re right in the middle of ALL the action!  At least you can ensure you’ll always be first in line to sign up for classes at the Rec Center!

Plus, buy this house and not only will you have an insanely high monthly mortgage payment, you can also partake in the joy of being a landlord!  The agent said the rental onsite is LEGAL, and have you ever heard of a real estate agent being dishonest?

This has got to be the best burbed listing EVER!  So please buy it, because it’s only assessed for $104,000.  Everyone at the Fire Department will come over and thank you personally.

Comments (47) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:03 am

September 22, 2010

Where’s the negative equity share at in the Top 10 Metros?


Thanks to the anonymous Burbed reader who sent this in.

Uh… so… yeah it turns out that there may be some negative equity here in the Bay Area after all. But this is just a snap shot in time. And it’s probably skewed by places like Gilroy. Come winter bounce, this will all be gone! You just wait.

In fact, they’ll need to come up with a new chart to show how awesome house prices are in the Bay Area!

Comments (9) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:04 am