October 12, 2010

Trampoline, Treadmill, Bowflex… in the Rough

Tired of high-end properties in pretentious zip codes?  Then you’ll love this find from burbed reader Herve, who must have been in the market for a new workout.

3719 Hoover St  Redwood City, CA 94063


Beds: 3
Baths: 1
Sq. Ft.: 1,250
$/Sq. Ft.: $278
Lot Size: 6,480 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Style: Ranch
Stories: 1
View: Neighborhood
Year Built: 1947
Community: Dumbarton
County: San Mateo
MLS#: 81037257
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active
On Redfin: 60 days

Diamond in the rough. Hardwood floors. Separate Dining Room. Detached Garage/Carport at rear of property with ally access.

Is this a property listing, or a Craigslist ad?  Why not both?  If you want to buy the house, write up an offer stating the living room stays exactly as is.  These furnishings probably add 25% to what the place is actually worth.


Whether you’re moving in, or just picking up the exercise gear, you’re definitely going to need “ally access” in this hood.  I suggest you find out which gang is down with the Detached Garage/Carport.  It would be really embarrassing to show up flying the wrong colors.

Comments (19) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:01 am

October 11, 2010

Psst, Hey, Want to Buy an Island?

Burbed reader sonarrat called me over and slowly opened the trenchcoat.  What illicit product could I buy?  Darn, no chocolate, just real estate.  Here’s what sonarrat has to say about today’s amazing listing:

I don’t have the time to get into why this is so great, but isn’t this a far better use of the money than some crap shack in Cupertino??

Indeed it is!  For one, crapshacks in Cupertino are reachable by anybody.  But this place is boat access only.  For two, move here and don’t worry about truant officers! “Nearby schools are unavailable” per Redfin.

20251 W Bacon Island Dr  Stockton, CA 95201


Beds: –
Baths: –
Sq. Ft.: –
Lot Size: 348 Acres
Property Type: Agricultural/Residential Land
View: Bay, Lake
Community: San Joaquin County
County: San Joaquin
MLS#: 81026676
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active
On Redfin: 134 days

SPORTSMAN’S PARADISE. The island is flooded with 350 acres of lake water from 8′ to 12′ and surrounded by nearly 4 miles of levee frontage. High recreational use for boating, fishing & hunting. Incredible bass fishing! Unique opportunity, call for complete brochure. High unused mitigation benefits. One owner, one island, one reclamation district. Big tax benefits. Possible Mitigation.

When a property listing mentions mitigation twice that’s never a good sign.  348 acres, 350 acres of lake water.  That means two acres are flooded twice.  No wonder it has a lake view, plus “water available at site” yet “Sewer not available.”

Let’s have a look at this SPORTSMAN’S PARADISE, with high recreational use for boating, fishing and hunting with incredible bass fishing.  Perhaps the listing agent thinks the island is in Louisiana.


Unfortunately when the map is sufficiently pulled out to show the entire property (above), the lot lines vanish.  It’s shaped like a wide rectangle running from the water curve on the right to the inlet on the left where the little tree marker is.  Here’s a closer-in view created by merging two map images together.


Doesn’t look like much of an island, and doesn’t look flooded either.  But why not pick this one up instead of a Cupertino crapshack in Rancho Rinkydinky?  Then you can truthfully tell your friends and family that all your bass are belong to us.

Comments (11) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:03 am

October 10, 2010

It’s 10-10-10! Share Your Top Ten Lists!

burbed has been publishing since February of 2006.  In honor of today’s date, here are ten things everyone should have learned from regularly visiting this site.

10. It’s Special here.

9. Our great weather makes people overlook tiny lots, tiny homes, tiny rooms, and tiny discretionary income.  We won’t mention this summer’s weather, okay?

8. Put this number in a listing price to make it lucky.


6. A short sale is a home that will be selling shortly.

5. Installing a $5,000 refrigerator justifies a $50,000 price increase.

4. Don’t ever use this number.  If it’s in your address, move your house to another lot.  Or another zip code.  Bad zip codes: 94301, 95014, 94040.

3. Angry renters have been replaced by smug renters.

2. If you can’t take some decent photos of a listing, don’t post anything at all.

1. Housing prices have always gone up, so why shouldn’t they continue to go up?  If they go down, see rule #1.

What’s on your top ten list for RBA Real Estate?

Comments (9) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:10 am

October 9, 2010

The Most Expensive Zip Codes, Second Tier

In a previous installment, we looked at the Bay Area zips on the 25 most expensive zip codes piece in Forbes magazine.  But how could we leave the other 475 of the top 500 alone?  (Other than all those TL;DR comments.)

Here’s what’s local that made the list, between 26-50.  Try to guess if any of your favorites made it.  Feel free to comment on any of these zips if you’re familiar with them, or even better if you aren’t.  Maps courtesy of Forbes.

image #30 – 94957: Ross, CA

Median Home Price: $2,519,269
Median Price Change: 1%
Average Days On Market: 120
Inventory: 26 properties
Median Household Income: NA

I’ve heard of Ross!  I think the San Francisco Chronicle used to put it in the local weather stats because it got so much more rain than anywhere else in the entire Bay Area.

And no, this is not Fort Ross.  This is a zip in central Marin County (that’s for those of you who can’t read a map or never left your town).


image#31 – 94028: Portola Valley, CA

Median Home Price: $2,509,962
Median Price Change: 5%
Average Days On Market: 112
Inventory: 38 properties
Median Household Income: $164,479

Yay, back to the Real Bay Area!  And PV might be the only zip code, anywhere, to be shaped like the Roadrunner’s head.  If that doesn’t explain why their median income is so honking high, I don’t know what will.




image #38 – 95030: Los Gatos, CA

Median Home Price: $2,293,268
Median Price Change: 39%
Average Days On Market: 105
Inventory: 53 properties
Median Household Income: $117,564

So far the Bay Area listings have either danced around the Stanford campus, or were located in Marin County.  Los Gatos is the first one within shouting distance of San Jose.

Los Gatos has two more zip codes.  Any suspicions when we’ll be seeing them?  (No peeking.)



image #41 – 94062: Woodside, CA

Median Home Price: $2,228,269
Median Price Change: -8%
Average Days On Market: 152
Inventory: 63 properties
Median Household Income: $96,677And back to San Mateo County we go!
Don’t let the Post Office fool you.  94062 includes a slice of Redwood City, some of it practically on El Camino Real.  And if you haven’t ever driven El Camino all the way to SF, you may not know that in Redwood City, ECR is really, really, really close to 101.



image #49 – 94528: Diablo, CA

Median Home Price: $2,111,588
Median Price Change: -20%
Average Days On Market: 133
Inventory: 16 properties
Median Household Income: NA

OK, who let the East Bay into the club?

I swear, you let a couple of them show up in burbed and next think you know they’re appearing on expensive zip code lists.  Fortunately, the market is reminding those upstarts why East is East, Best is Best, and never the twain shall meet.

Down 20 percent, yowza!

More good news.  The top 50 zip codes do not include a single flyover state.  Most are in California and New York, a couple in New Jersey, Greenwich, CT came in at #27, and somehow one in Miami Beach popped up. The only other West Coast zip not in California is Medina, Washington (#42).

Yes, we have 450 zip codes to go, but at after #50,we could stop providing these useless maps.  Or we could make them twice as big.  Anyway, please comment on these or any other expensive zip codes.  And if you hate, hate, hate this series, feel free to whine, whine, whine.

Next installment: The Also-Rans, part 37.

Comments (67) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:04 am

October 8, 2010

Wishing Price: A Million. Good Luck With That.

In the Real Bay Area (RBA), there are many homes listed with seven-digit prices.  Some places that are almost, but not quite, RBA also have million dollar properties.  Then there are the locations where a seven-digit listing is as sensible as a particle accelerator at a rummage sale.

1346 Grand Blvd  San Jose, CA 95002


Beds: 4
Baths: 4
Sq. Ft.: 2,574
$/Sq. Ft.: $388
Lot Size: 6,098 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Style: Mediterranean
Stories: 2
View: Mountains
Year Built: 2009
Community: Alviso (Santa Clara County)
County: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81017512
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active
On Redfin: 178 days

Fabulous one year new Mediteranean home. 2,474 sq. ft, 4 bed, 3 ba. Plus 500 sq. ft. studio apartment (rented $825). Marble entry & floors. Recessed lighting, Luxury fixtures. Granite, maple, and stainless kitchen. Huge master suite with jacuzzi tub. Skylights. 1,000 sq. ft. bonus room. Over 4,000 sq. ft of living space! 4 car finished garage. Slate entry with custom doors. Views of mountains.

Wow.  Who knew you could find a “Mediteranean” home with marble entry and floors with jacuzzi tub… in ALVISO?  In case nothing comes to mind when you read “Alviso,” here’s a couple of things to remember.

  1. Aviso is Spanish for “notice.”  So you had better be on notice if you’re considering Alviso.
  2. Sometimes a picture says a thousand words.  Sometimes a picture just says “Stay the heck away.”


Okay, so Alviso isn’t exactly RBA, but there are still pockets of nice areas to be found almost anywhere.  For example, today’s featured house is on a GRAND boulevard.


Um, yeah.  Nothing like a traffic signal in your front yard.  It will keep the kids amused for hours!  Speaking of kids, let’s see if the nearby schools are any good.


No schools less than 700 miles away?  Cool!  Must be due to the wormhole on North 1st Street!

Comments (6) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:04 am

October 7, 2010

Here’s a Story for You! Story Road!

There have been a number of requests that burbed stop with the high-priced houses, and return to its roots.  That means “scrapers in the ‘hood,” and today’s featured property qualifies on both counts.  But the price will definitely surprise you.

14335 Story Road, San Jose 95127


Beds: 3
Baths: 1
Sq. Ft.: 1,474
$/Sq. Ft.: $814
Lot Size: 0.78 Acres
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Style: Traditional
Stories: 1
View: Neighborhood
Year Built: 1930
Community: Alum Rock
County: Santa Clara
MLS#: 80778197
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active
On Redfin: 964 days

May have the ability to develope multiple units!

Wonder why the agent may, but didn’t, have the ability to develope multiple photos?  Especially because they went through all the trouble of setting up a virtual tour. There’s more descriptive copy in this link.  Are you ready, because I’m going to post all of it. It’s a bit of a teal deer, sorry.

3 beds, 1 bath, 1474 sf on a 34,000 sf lot. Large lot perfect for possible PUD and or multiple units adjacent to National Hispanic University. Buyers duty to confirm.

Did somebody buyers have to confirm it’s “adjacent to National Hispanic University”?  Isn’t this photo good enough?


Plus, there’s nine more pictures to drool over, every single one of them outdoors.  Here’s my favorite:


I love that weird glow around the trees.  Someone’s been playing with Photoshop!  Maybe you can buy this property and play Develope!  Put in that multiple property PUD thing, throw up a dozen scrapers, and start evicting deadbeat tenants now!

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

October 6, 2010

Should Be Completed Mid/Late August, But Got Misplaced

Thanks to burbed reader sonarrat for finding another wonderful listing in Redwood City, the place with the most Silly Neighborhood Names.

58 Avondale Ave  Redwood City, CA 94062


Beds: 4
Baths: 3.5
Sq. Ft.: 2,712
$/Sq. Ft.: $581
Lot Size: 6,165 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Style: Craftsman
Stories: 2
View: Neighborhood
Year Built: 2010
Community: High School Acres
County: San Mateo
MLS#: 81034788
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active
On Redfin: 73 days


Has anyone driven by this property to see if it was COMPLETED BY MID/LATE AUGUST?  Wouldn’t you think if it was COMPLETED BY MID/LATE AUGUST the agent would update the listing?  For a lousy $1,575,000 property, I guess not.  Anyone connected to this two-story new construction interloper in a neighborhood of hundred-year-old cottages isn’t going to be given a warm welcome.

At least it’s on the Right Side of El Camino:


Wonder why the lot isn’t outlined?  Maybe the neighbors deliberately misplaced it, leaving it in the middle of the street to get run over.  It’s one of these two, either the one Google thinks it is (which has the tree conveniently obscuring the house requiring an artistic angle shot):


Or this sylvan paradise next door:


Property Shark is even more confused, with records for only 3 properties on the street, and needless to say, this isn’t one of them.  Better yet, the addresses don’t agree with Google’s, even with a direct search for the other house numbers.  Talk about an undisclosed address! 

So which lot is it?  If it’s the first one, you get to live next to the Haunted Forest.  Act now and you can move in right in time for Halloween!  Probably not the second one, with the driveway cut on the right while the construction photo shows a garage on the left.  Then again, the aerial view doesn’t show an actual house on that lot, which suggests it was time to throw a new one up.

But you never know!  Why not drive by and see if the place ever got finished?  Obviously the agent has much better things to do.

Comments (10) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:09 am

October 5, 2010

Less is More in Redwood City

A recent request for articles more “concise, succinct, to the point” is well-timed with this find from burbed reader Herve

3057 Hoover St  Redwood City, CA 94063


Beds: 2
Baths: 1
Sq. Ft.: 1,100
$/Sq. Ft.: $318
Lot Size: 6,000 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Stories: 1
Year Built: 1936
Community: Dumbarton 
County: San Mateo
MLS#: 81039719
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active
On Redfin: 45 days

Lovely 2 bedroom, 1 bath single family home with yard.

Yes, lovely.  Just what I was thinking.


Lovely tree in front, lovely fence compared to the neighbor’s, lovely detached garage, lovely location.


Lovely neighborhood with easy freeway access.  What is the deal with the neighbor to the north?


Location, location, location!  If anyone steals your hubcaps, or your catalytic converter, you can just leap the lovely fence and find a convenient replacement!

Comments (26) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:01 am

October 4, 2010


Here’s another incredible listing from burbed reader sonarrat, who loves the combination of high price and low quality. Put them together and you have today’s feature!

1424 Grant Rd  Los Altos, CA 94024


Beds: 2
Baths: 1
Sq. Ft.: 816
$/Sq. Ft.: $1,578
Lot Size: 0.45 Acres
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Style: Cottage/Bungalow
Stories: 1
View: Neighborhood
Year Built: 1947
Community: South of El Monte
County: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81032687
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active 
On Redfin: 84 days


imageYes!  Another million-plus property with a listing in all caps!  Yes!  LOTS OF POTENTIAL.  Yes!  Busy street!  Yes!  Busy one-lane-each-way street with constant backups!  Yes!  No garage, just a one-car carport!  Yes, Yes, Yes!  YOU MUST SEE THIS PROPERTY INORDER TO APPRECIATE.  Because it’s just sitting there on Redfin, day after day, depreciating.  Take a look at how it’s depreciating while you don’t go see it.  It’s all your fault this lawn hasn’t been watered in 84 days!

Here’s another reason this property is a must-see, I mean a MUST SEE.  Yes, it’s on a busy street, but did you consider how the lot shape could mitigate that location fail? 


All you have to do is bulldoze the scraper that’s only on the land to allow a home mortgage, instead of paying 50% down for an empty lot.  Then BUILD YOUR DREAM HOME in the extended area in back, far from the traffic,  And if you think just being on a busy street is bad, take a look at this.


That street right across Grant from this property is Oak Avenue, and it’s used by a lot of savvy locals to avoid traffic further south (the preschool, the intersection with Fremont Avenue, the feeder to Foothill Expressway).  The large open area to the right is Mountain View High School.  Put those facts together and they spell “EASY COMMUTE TO ANYWHERE IN THE SILICON VALLEY provided you can ever get out of your driveway.”

If the economy ever gets any better you’re going to have an even longer wait, because the old Pumpkin Patch parcel, a little further north, is just waiting to add more homeowners (and car owners) to the traffic mix.  But that’s okay.  You shouldn’t time a major purchase like a house anyway.  Buy this property today and worry about the 53 new houses going in later.  If you’re really lucky the economy will splutter and the developer will go bankrupt.  Hey, it could happen!  Failing developers have kept downtown Sunnyvale retail-free for ten years!  Doesn’t a Los Altos address deserve just as much?

Comments (42) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:03 am

October 3, 2010

The Most Expensive Zip Codes! MOST EXPENSIVE!!!

Forbes Magazine has their annual most expensive zip code collection again, and high-end real estate agents rejoiced.  This feature is the Capitalist Tool’s usual suck-off to NAR, with the lovely pictures there to move some expensive houses.  Anyway, California, despite its budgetary and property value woes, completely cleaned New York’s clock.  Unfortunately, Los Angeles is getting ahead of San Francisco.

Here are the top ten:

    1. 91008, Duarte, Calif.
    2. 94027, Atherton, Calif.
    3. 90274, Rolling Hills, Calif.
    4. 07620, Alpine, N.J.
    5. 10014, New York, N.Y.
    6. 90210, Beverly Hills, Calif.
    7. 10065, New York, N.Y.
    8. 94920, Belvedere, Calif.
    9. 10012, New York, N.Y.
    10. 93108, Santa Barbara, Calif.

If ever a list defined what flyover land was, this is it.  All ten are California or New York City suburbs.  How did Greenwich, Connecticut get knocked off this list?  More importantly, how did a town full of ginormous houses next to Monrovia get on it?  91008 is mostly big, expensive homes in Bradbury, but the post office calls the zip Duarte. High-priced enclave surrounded by working-class city, good thing we don’t have anything like that in the Real Bay Area (RBA)!

And we sure don’t have anything like this:

High-End Slump Slows
The median price of America’s high-end homes continues to slide, but not as fast as it did last year. Our index of 500 high-end ZIP codes saw the average home price fall 5%, to $1.2 million, from the same time last year. In 2009 the markets on our list saw a 7% price drop.

About 35% of the ZIP codes in our index saw median prices increase or stay flat, but that’s likely because more high-priced homes are coming on the market, while more affordable housing continues to falter. “The year-over-year price changes we’re seeing here aren’t necessarily the change in price for your house, if you have a house in this area,” says Simonsen. “It’s a change in the mix of homes on the active market.”

Anyway, on to the high-priced zips in the Bay Area.  Photos, stats, and smarmy real estate copy is from Forbes.  You’ll recognize what isn’t, and I’ve hunted down all the real estate so you don’t have to.

#2 – 94027: Atherton

Median Home Price: $4,010,200
Median Price Change: 4%
Average Days On Market: 109
Inventory: 57 properties
Median Household Income: $200,001


This remodeled mid-century four-bedroom, four-bathroom, 4,010-square-foot ranch with a cathedral ceiling, fireplace, media room, two-car garage and gardens sells for $4,488,000. It is listed with Alain Pinel.

And it’s up 4%.  RBA Win!  This house on Fredrick Ave is still for sale, listed 63 days.  Buy now with Redfin and save $56,100!

#8 – 94920: Belvedere

Median Home Price: $3,283,269
Median Price Change: 51%
Average Days On Market: 149
Inventory: 39 properties
Median Household Income: $106,492


This three-bedroom, four-bathroom 4347-square-foot Spanish-style stucco home in the section of 94920 that’s in neighboring Tiburon offers views and a fireplace and sells for $3,195,000. William J. Smith has the listing.

What’s this?  The zip is shared with Tiburon?  Outrage!  If Belvedere had its own zip, it would kick Bradbury’s butt!  But wait!  This house isn’t in Belvedere but in Tiburon?  That’s bait and switch!  Just for that I won’t buy the house on Buckwheat Court.  In Tiburon.


#15 – 94022: Los Altos Hills

Median Home Price: $3,048,846
Median Price Change: 34%
Average Days On Market: 176
Inventory: 58 properties
Median Household Income: NA


This 4,000 square-foot, five-bedroom, six-bathroom Mediterranean-style home has a stucco exterior, vaulted ceilings, a fireplace and study and is selling for $3,195,000. Alain Pinel has the listing.

Up 34%!  New York is our beeyotch.  And so is Forbes, because this house is on Jay St, in Los Altos, No Hills.  It’s also new construction.  Three lots down from busy El Monte.  You’re welcome.


#18 – 94024: Los Altos Hills

Median Home Price: $2,974,058 <
Median Price Change: -9%
Average Days On Market: 179
Inventory: 15 properties
Median Household Income: NA


This 4,673 square-foot six-bedroom, four-bathroom home has hardwood floors, a fireplace, vaulted ceilings and a swimming pool. It is listed for $2,899,000 with Campi Properties.

Sloppy work again, Forbes.  This house is also in Los Altos, not Los Altos Hills.  And it’s only 4,367 feet, so you’re off by almost 300 sf.  It’s on Young Ct, off Summerhill, off Magdelena, off 280.  Talk about any easy commute, provided you don’t work anywhere near 101.


#20 – 94010: Hillsborough

Median Home Price: $2,948,423
Median Price Change: 11%
Average Days On Market: 109
Inventory: 101 properties
Median Household Income: $82,188


This 4,190-square-foot, six-bedroom, five-bathroom home has a double-height foyer, two-car garage, fireplace and swimming pool, and is offered at $3,095,000 by Alain Pinel Realty.

What the – 101 properties listed in Hillsborough?  Are there even 101 properties in Hillsborough?  Trick question!  The zip is shared with Burlingame!  And this listing on Eucalyptus was a trick, too.  Everything in the description lined up, and here I thought they were going to put it in the wrong city.

But who the heck buys a 6 bedroom house with only a 2 car garage?  Where will the servants park?

There’s plenty more zip code madness to come, in another installment.  Although if you’re buying things on installment, you’re priced out of these zips.  Forever.

Comments (39) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:05 am