December 31, 2010

Clearance Sale – Newark

Last house of 2010, and is it a STUNNER!  The banks say everything must go, so help economy as you help yourself to these incredible deals!

36570 Bonnie St, Newark, CA 94560
$206,900

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Beds: 3
Baths: 1
Sq. Ft.: 942
$/Sq. Ft.: $220
Lot Size: 6,864 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Stories: 1
View: Neighborhood
Year Built: 1953
Community: Alameda County
County: Alameda
MLS#: 81040455
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active
On Redfin: 136 days

1st time home buyer or investment opportunity. 3 br, 1 bath home with large yard and wide driveway space. Add your style with some updates and a little sweat equity. Convenient to freeways and shopping.

image You’ll have plenty of opportunities to add your style here!  All it needs are some updates and a little sweat equity.  I think the agent is using “little” in the same sense that upper-class women use the term to mean “expensive.”  As in “Muffy, do you think I should wear my ‘little’ necklace to the regatta?”

Associating the house with shopping expeditions by the moneyed class is an excellent marketing strategy, because the house is “convenient to freeways and shopping.”

Convenient to shopping.  Really, really convenient.

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image I’m not sure what amazes me more about this house: that the agent thinks these photos are going to help sell it, or that it’s only being offered for 15% less than its bubble pricing in 2006.  But that’s still more than twice what it sold for in 1990, proving that real estate will always go up in the long run.

It’s just that some places have to run longer than others.

Better make it your New Year’s resolution to elbow your way past the crowds to buy this one, because it’s selling shortly!

Comments (41) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:03 am






December 30, 2010

BIG Clearance Sale – Los Gatos

When the banks say everything must go, they really mean everything, including this big, big, big deal.  Thanks to Burbed reader nomadic for today’s amazing offer.

18157 Wagner Rd, Los Gatos, CA 95032
$7,695,000

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Beds: 5
Baths: 6
Sq. Ft.: 7,035
$/Sq. Ft.: $1,094
Lot Size: 25 Acres
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Style: Contemporary, Mediterranean
Stories: 2
View: Green Belt, Mountains, Canyon, Neighborhood, Valley, City Lights
Year Built: 1999
Community: Los Gatos/Monte Sereno
County: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81051721
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active
On Redfin: 62 days

COMPLETELY REMODELED TUSCAN ESTATE ON 25 SPECTACULAR VIEW ACRES * SEPARATE 10 ACRE PARCEL IS IDEAL TO BUILD A SECOND ESTATE OR VINEYARD * EXQUISITE DETAILS INCLUDE NEW EXTERIOR FINISHES, PLASTER WALLS, INFINITY EDGED POOL, NEW LUSH LANDSCAPING, NEW DESIGNER BATHROOMS, AND STUNNING HARDWOOD & TRAVERTINE FLOORING * MINUTES TO DOWNTOWN & HWY 85 * DISTINGUISHED LOS GATOS SCHOOLS * OVER 7,035 SQFT OF LUXURY & PRIVACY

Such a BIG deal the agent put everything in CAPITAL LETTERS so you can pick up his URGENCY.  HURRY, HURRY, HURRY, it’s only been listed 62 days.

imageHere’s what nomadic had to say about this listing:

Look at the confusing history on this house.  The old listings bounce between 15 and 25 acres.  There are two parcels apparently, but with the foreclosures I’m surprised they would have continued to be owned by the same entity.  The prices are all over the place too.

image Wait, multiple foreclosures?  One at $3,367,000 and another at $4,155,534, within two weeks of each other?  Plus four sales within two months during the bubble, between an individual, a relative, a limited liability corporation, and a living trust (and that’s before the banks got involved)?  Is it a house or is it a hot potato?  Don’t know, but it’s (they’ve?) been listed on MLS no less than fourteen times since it was built eleven years ago.

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The listing and sales record is so long it has 42 entries in it.  Head over to Redfin and take it all in there.

One great thing about buying this house: You will definitely get to decide what color you want your walls painted.  Is there anything sadder than a ginormous custom home full of abandoned equipment because the owner ran out of money?  There’s definitely a story here, but you don’t need to hear it.  You just need to take this property off the bank’s books cheap, and pick out some paint.

Comments (17) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 4:57 am

December 29, 2010

Clearance Sale – Santa Cruz

The banks say these houses must go, so we’ve got deals, deals, deals!  Don’t you want to live in a Special House like some in the Real Bay Area, but don’t want to pay Special RBA prices?  With this house, you can!

219 Sacramento Ave, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
$719,900

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Beds: 4
Baths: 2
Sq. Ft.: 1,601
$/Sq. Ft.: $450
Lot Size: 4,835 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Style: Contemporary
Stories: 1
View: Neighborhood
Year Built: 1956
Community: West Santa Cruz
County: Santa Cruz
MLS#: 81057554
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active
On Redfin: 12 days

Beachside Beauty, just steps to magnificent West Cliff Drive! Living room features a stunning and distinctive river rock fireplace, kitchen sports stainless steel appliances including a Viking range, tile backsplash, and custom cabinets. Plenty of custom tile work in the hall bathroom and a couple of useful outbuildings in the back yard with convenient alley access. Amazing Location and Value!

Steps to magnificent West Cliff Drive?  How many steps?

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That’s about a thousand feet from the house to magnificent West Cliff Drive, so, allowing for a generous one yard stride, that’s 333 steps.  Hardly “beachside.”  And it’s another thousand feet to the beach once you get to magnificent West Cliff Drive. You’ll be in great shape for those kitchen sports.

But getting back to how Special this house is… Not only is it 666 steps from the beach, it has the Mark of Specialness.  This house has a gold star on the front door.  How could anything get more Special than that?

Comments (16) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 4:58 am

December 28, 2010

Clearance Sale – San Francisco

The banks say clear out the inventory, so that means slashed prices for you, the homebuyer!  Thanks to burbed reader sonarrat for today’s featured property.

956 Goettingen St, San Francisco, CA 94134
$349,000

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Beds: 3
Baths: 1
Sq. Ft.: 836
$/Sq. Ft.: $417
Lot Size: 2,996 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Style: Contemporary
Stories: 2
Year Built: 1952
County: San Francisco
MLS#: 81023661
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active
On Redfin: 226 days

Great investment opportunity in the most active part of the bay area!

Wonder what the agent meant about “most active part of the bay area”?  Does that mean the most traffic?  Let’s check out the neighborhood, since the agent didn’t bother to tell us which one the house is in.

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Near Candlestick Park and Hunters Point?  So that means either most active wind or most active criminals.  I’d suspect the latter, because of the sole house photo.  As sonarrat notes, “Realtor earns his 3% using Google Maps.”  It took me a minute to figure that out, but a larger view of the photo makes it clear.

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Um… you mean the garage doesn’t have an orange Google pointer sticking to its door?  Or is it actually on the car?  Why not stop by and see, then you’ll be braver than this agent!

Comments (205) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:17 am

December 27, 2010

Clearance Sale – Redwood City

Everything must go!  The banks say get these houses off the books, so here’s your opportunity to become a homeowner in time for the New Year!  Thanks to Burbed reader sonarrat for this listing.

843 Chestnut St, Redwood City, CA 94063
$275,000
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Beds: 2
Baths: 1
Sq. Ft.: 1,020
$/Sq. Ft.: $270
Lot Size: 5,000 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Stories: 1
Year Built: 1946
Community: Lenolt
County: San Mateo  
MLS#: 81058167
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active
On Redfin: 5 days

Great opportunity to own a 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom home. Wood flooring and double pane vinyl windows throughout. Roof is about 2 years old. Shopping center and public transportation close by.

image Here’s what sonarrat says: “This isn’t just another one of those houses next to Caltrain.. no, in this case, the freighters run right down the middle of the street. Endless hours of fun for the rail enthusiast!”

Yes sir, those train tracks are right in front of the house.  Good thing there’s double pane vinyl windows throughout!

Let’s get a better view of the tracks.  After all, a house for a train fanatic needs the appropriate features called out.  Whooo-whoooooooo!  Perfect house for an engineer!

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Purchased in 1996 for $200K and a steal at twice the price,  buy with Redfin and save $1,031!

Comments (78) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:53 am

December 26, 2010

Not Your House? Not Our Lien? We’re Foreclosing Anyway, Sucks to be You.

So, now that another Christmas has come and gone, it’s time to take stock and count our blessings.  Here’s a blessing you didn’t know you had: Be thankful a bank isn’t foreclosing on you for a house you don’t even own.  Because if they were, good luck proving it isn’t yours.  Or maybe it is your house, but another bank who doesn’t even own the note is foreclosing despite your perfect payment record? Or even better yet, how about a bank foreclosing on your house when you paid cash for it?  Welcome to another episode of Bankers Do the Darndest Things! 

Thanks to Burbed reader nomadic for this cup of Christmas cheer!

Caught by mistake in foreclosure web

By MICHELLE CONLIN, AP Real Estate Writer Wed Dec 8, 6:28 pm ET

In this undated photo provided by Alexa Marconi, Christopher Marconi stands outside his home in Garrison, N. Y. On Oct. 20, 2010, Marconi was in the sChristopher Marconi (photo, right) was in the shower when he heard a loud banging on his door. By the time he grabbed a towel and hustled to his front step, a U.S. marshal’s sedan was peeling out of his driveway. Nailed to Marconi’s front door was a foreclosure summons from Wells Fargo, naming him as a defendant. But the notice was for a house Marconi had never seen — on a mortgage he never had.

Tom Williams was in his kitchen thumbing through the mail when he opened a letter from GMAC. It informed him that the bank would confiscate his house unless he immediately paid off his mortgage balance of $276,000. But Williams had never missed a mortgage payment. And his loan wasn’t due to mature until 2032.

Warren Nyerges opened his front door in Naples, Fla., to find a scraggly-haired summons server standing on his stoop. He plopped a foreclosure notice from Bank of America in Nyerges’ hands. But Nyerges had paid for his house in cash. And he’d never had a checking account, much less a mortgage, with Bank of America.

By now, you may have heard the stories of bank robo-signers powering through hundreds of foreclosure affidavits a day without verifying a single fact. But most of those involved homeowners who had stopped paying their mortgage. They were genuine defaulters. Now a new species of homeowner is getting pushed into foreclosure hell.

Main ImageSeveral US Senators noted problems reported to them of people doing everything right and getting notices of default, with no way to reverse the foreclosure express without hiring lawyers.

One woman in the article said Bank of America not only picked through her personal property but cut off her utilities, poured antifreeze down her drains, padlocked her doors and confiscated her pet parrot.  Angela Iannelli said it took her 6 weeks to get B of A to clean her house.  She was current on her loan payments.

Jose and Maria Perez  of Seguin, Texas are suing B of A for scheduling their house for a foreclosure sale, despite the fact that their loan is current, with a different bank.  Former employees at banks have testified they knowingly foreclosed on the wrong people, or masqueraded as bank VPs when they had no experience whatsoever… because bank officials told them to do so.

So why is this happening?  Is it just sloppiness, or, as this AP article suggests, is it because the banks have a financial incentive to foreclose and then slap on a bunch of fees, which are the first debts paid when the house is sold?  Ya think?  Does a banker charge interest?

There’s plenty more, so get out your boxing gloves, head down to the boxing ring, find the nearest banker and enjoy Boxing Day.

Comments (11) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:08 am

December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas from Burbed

Whatever traditions you and your family celebrate, we wish you peace, and joy, and happiness, and low interest rates, and RBA home prices doubling every ten years like they’re supposed to.

So, what gifts did you get that you loved, or loathed, or what did you give to your loved ones?  Or best of all, what did you want that you didn’t get, so you’re going to buy it for yourself when the stores re-open?

Did anyone get a house?  And if you did, was it one of the featured DEALS on Burbed?

And if you didn’t get a house for the holidays, it’s not too late.  We’ll be starting up our after-Christmas Clearance Sale on Monday, because the bank said everything must go!

Comments (4) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:15 am

December 24, 2010

Cheapest House in Hillsborough

Twas the night before Christmas
And I didn’t own a house
Not a Realtard was stirring
Not even to grouse

Our last Black Friday DEAL before you open your presents tomorrow morning is this lovely little fixer-upper in the sure-to-impress-people-who-are-impressed-by-these-things community of Hillsborough.  There are less expensive homes that pop up if you search in this area, but this listing has an actual Hillsborough mailing address.  Don’t be confused by imitation “Hillsborough neighborhood” homes in Burlingame or San Mateo!  Buyer to verify with city whether any services are granted to this location.  (Okay, my ass is covered in case this is in Ladera North.)

751 Endfield Way, Hillsborough, CA 94010
$1,399,000

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Beds: 2
Baths: 2
Sq. Ft.: 3,130
$/Sq. Ft.: $447
Lot Size: 0.35 Acres
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Stories: 2
Year Built: 1933
Community: Hillsborough Park
County: San Mateo
MLS#: 81036919
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active
On Redfin: 150 days

Charming hide-away on private cul-de-sac in lower south Hillsborough. 2 Bedrooms with 2 Baths. 3 additional bedrooms with 2 baths. (unwarranted) Enclosed sunroom and partially enclosed patio for BBQ’s. Family eat-in kitchen.

Hide-away is right!  The agent didn’t even give us a picture of the front of the house.  And the Googlecam is foiled by Hillsborough’s large lot sizes.  Talk about unwarranted!

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Originally listed for $1,550,000 in July and a DEAL at twice the price!  It even has the trendy Southern California feature of Mello-Roos!  Now that’s a tax most of your friends aren’t paying, and you can get extra misery points by noting they aren’t even deductable!

So when you head out to the store today for some extra eggnog, why not pick up this little unwarranted cottage on your way back to your rented home?  Santa might stuff it down somebody’s chimney tonight, but this way you can ensure it’s yours.

Happy Christmas to all,  and to all a good night!

Comments (8) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:09 am

December 23, 2010

Cheapest House in Atherton

Black Friday DEALS continue, and thanks to Burbed reader sonarrat for finding today’s budget-blessing beauty.  Here’s what sonarrat had to say about today’s find:  “That’s the one block of Atherton that has all small lots and tract homes like Redwood City.”

208 Selby Ln, Atherton, CA 94027
$1,295,000

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Beds: 3
Baths: 2
Sq. Ft.: 2,760
$/Sq. Ft.: $469
Lot Size: 6,250 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Style: Traditional
Stories: 2
View: Neighborhood
Year Built: 1965
Community: El Camino to Alameda
County: San Mateo
MLS#: 81053468
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active
On Redfin: 45 days

Amazing value for this 2,700 +/- sq. ft. home. Has never been on the market. Formal entry, elegant living room with formal dining room, large bedroom suites, lovely backyard. Best price in west Atherton. Kitchen opens to spacious family room. Amazing opportunity.

Best price in West Atherton.  And some wags thought I made up West Atherton.  Nuh uh.  A professional Real Estate professional type lady professional said “West Atherton” in the copy above.  So let’s have a good look at what makes West Atherton so Special.

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See?  It’s in Atherton, but West!  You can live just like the working class in Redwood City, except your postman reminds you every day that you live in Atherton!  And so will your property tax bill.

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Best of all, this snout house has never been on the market.  That means if you buy it now, it won’t have too many agent cooties.  Now that’s a DEAL.

Comments (7) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:05 am

December 22, 2010

Cheapest House in Atherton… Um, Cheap House in Menlo Park

In trying to get you another Black Friday DEAL, I found a DEAL myself and hired an overseas contractor to write today’s column.  Unfortunately, you get what you pay for, and what I got was neither in Atherton nor the cheapest house in Menlo Park.  It is, however, like all Real Estate, a DEAL.

3501 Middlefield Rd, Menlo Park, CA 94025
$480,000

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Beds: 2
Baths: 1
Sq. Ft.: 960
$/Sq. Ft.: $500
Lot Size: 5,300 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Style: Cottage/Bungalow
Stories: 1
View: Neighborhood
Year Built: 1951
Community: County Area/Fair Oaks Ave
County: San Mateo
MLS#:  81013973
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active On Redfin: 274 days

image This home has been "beautifully remodeled!" That means the previous owner has added "value"!  Which begs the question: why would someone bother to do that when the house is not even on the wrong side of 101!?  The overbidding should just flow naturally.  This slice of Silicon Valley is quite the diamond in the rough.  Or is it just the rough part?

Every house has a story and this one is no different.  Let’s see what the savvy investors behind this gem have been up to.  The house was purchased in 2007 for $650,000, so we can be assured that the buyer will have made out well.  After all, when something is that inexpensive, it has nowhere to go but up! 

The buyer’s pride of ownership must have run out 3 years later because it looks like they decided to list it earlier this year for only $599,000.  Looks like someone (maybe the realtard?) must have slipped in a negative sign when they were calculating the appreciation on the ’07 sale.  But buyers love their sweet deals and this one is no exception.  Someone must have noticed the (mistakenly entered?) rock bottom price and tried to buy it because it went pending without release just 3 months later.

Strangely, it didn’t close.  No doubt it slipped out of a sale because the owner, in a fit of rage, realized that the realtor had miscalculated their expected appreciation and backed out.  What we can know for sure is that whatever buyer was interested in this fine gem was standing by with a 20% down payment ($119,800), a 780 credit score and a six figure W2 job, so securing financing wasn’t an issue.  That poor, unfortunate soul missed out on the sweet, sweet depreciation.  I meant appreciation.  My mistake.  Fortunately, their loss is your gain and this estate is once again on the market!

But, enough with the history – what’s with that weird layout?  To start, there’s no windows in the center of the house.  Now that may seem like a bad thing to you, Mr./Mrs. unisex property buyer, but the copy also kindly explains that, while some landscaping has already been done, you still have room to create your own oasis.  If you had any doubts before as to whether or not you would be able to put plants in the ground at this location, your concerns should be put to rest. 

And, when you’re not enjoying the oasis you created, you can always go around back where you will find a pool filled with more possibilities!  Here, you can either re-line the pool or fill it in!  It’s your choice what to do!  Sure, doing nothing is always an option, but smart investors like you know that in order to "add value" you have to do something (anything).  Whether you decide to remove or re-line the pool, you can be sure that you will recoup your "investment" threefold when the next buyer comes along.

image Not every home listing comes complete with a picture of the street signs just down the way.  Fortunately for you, lucky buyer, this does.  The street signs say that this is a neighborhood street.  That’s important to know because it tells you that this isn’t just any street.  It’s a neighborhood street.  The kind where people are neighbors and they go about doing neighborly things like lending each other cups of sugar or engaging in civil discourse about the topics du jour.  Or maybe that’s not what it’s saying. 

Perhaps the sign is a warning about your neighbors.  A warning graciously placed there by the city of Menlo Park to tell you that your neighbors… are a little bit slow.  Maybe it’s saying that you, too, could be a little bit slow as well… if you are quick enough to catch this knife.

Comments (22) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 4:44 am