May 2, 2011

Who Needs Marble Columns when you can have Arches?

burbedguestbloggerPlease welcome Burbed reader A Lewis back to the front page, with another thrilling listing from, you guessed it, the East Bay!  We know it can’t possibly be in the RBA because that entire part of the region is a chasm of no-can-do, but let’s see the place anyway!

Please give A your bestest, warmest Real Bay Area welcome!

A few details in this East-Bay, non-RBA listing make it stand out:

1733 Elm St, El Cerrito, CA 94530


BATHS: 2.5
SQ. FT.: 1,723
$/SQ. FT.: $334
TYPE: Detached
STYLE: Other
VIEW: Hills, Wooded
COUNTY: Contra Costa
MLS#: 40519704
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 14 days

Built in 2007 by Arch John Rolf Hattam One block from BART, Separate APN from Sister build behind. Well designed spaces that create privacy throughout. Arch features everywhere, private and separate backyard, 2 car garage w/ interior acc. Eat in kitchen, laundry, home office rm, pier & grd bm foundtn

image#1) The Arches! So important, the architect added the word "Arch" to his name: "Built in 2007 by Arch John Rolf Hattam" "Arch features everywhere".

#2) Built in 2007 (OK, great!), and it’s a short sale (oooops!). I think whoever gave them the construction loan is now crying their way to insolvency.

#3) You get a twin sister for your home – and it’s so close, you can reach out the back bedroom windows to touch it! "Separate APN from Sister build behind." I don’t know what an APN is, so who cares, I bet it just means instant equity. If you look at the picture on Zillow, you can see the foundations:


The second one doesn’t seem to be for sale – maybe the builders are living there – and I’m sure you’ll get to know them VERY well.


image#4) The pictures, my god, the pictures. The place actually looks pretty nice from the thumbnails (and I was DYING to see those ARCHES!) – but the Realtor who stands to earn 3% by selling this beauty couldn’t be bothered to check his Redfin posting to find out he uploaded the thumbnails for the full-size pics. Let’s play a game: how few pixels do you need to tell a bathroom from a bedroom? Contestant #1: "Burbed, I can name that room with 250 pixels!" Contestant #2: "Burbed, I can name that room with 100 pixels!". Burbed: "NAME THAT ROOM!". 

image#5) The listing history: they bought the empty lot for $225k in 8/2004. Finished building in 2007 and started selling in 2009 (whew!), for $749k (thanks, Zillow, for filling in the blanks – Redfin, you are falling behind!), then a steady game of de-list, drop price, re-list, leading us to today’s bargain price of $575k for an almost-townhome in a decidedly non-RBA neighborhood. If you look at the estimates, you will see he is on the WRONG SIDE OF ELM St. to be listing over $500k. It gets better as you go ‘uphill’ around here, and sorry, this house ain’t uphill.


Nice and close to BART, though.

Comments (10) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:06 am

10 Responses to “Who Needs Marble Columns when you can have Arches?”

  1. madhaus Says:

    Nice post, A! (I can call you A, can’t I?) Alas, the Realtard replaced the thumbnails with regular pix, but I put in a 90 pixel bathroom just to get the flavor. Also there is something seriously messed up with Zillow’s pictures. The front one displays fine, but the rest are offset by varying amounts.

    Definitely close to BART, but is it “close enough” to tag this place as a “location fail”? Or should we start using a “wrong side” tag?

  2. sfbubblebuyer Says:

    I’ve seen quite a few of these show up. You take a lovely 8-12k deep lot, slap up two houses twice the size of anything in the neighborhood and usually 1.5 stories taller than anything in the neighborhood, and call them ‘luxury’ houses. They’re Toll Bros on a lot basis instead of a subdivision basis.

    Personally, to me luxury is not being able to lean out my window and knock on my neighbor’s window.

  3. A. Lewis Says:

    I’m honored to get a posting! Too bad I’m buried by the big Bin Laden newsday today…

    And the realtor did post improved-resolution pictures, so it ruins my point #4 – although they are still pretty low resolution! How hard IS this realtor job, anyways?

  4. SEA Says:

    What should a seller expect when paying $30,000+ in commissions?

  5. The Gilroy Alex Says:

    #2 yep I saw that in Huntington Beach. Take down a rather nice little house with room for a lawn in front and a garden in back, put in some “duplex” or “4-plex” monstrosity that because of high rents/mortgage is filled with people busting their butts to stay housed, so they’re all working and being Southern California, all driving. The end result being just incredible traffic on streets designed (and admittedly, well-designed for their intended population density) for 1/4 the population and 1/6 or so the cars.

    I like the place that’s all paved over next door. It actually looks like an apartment block or SRO sort of thing, like the rooming houses I lived in while in college.

  6. sean Says:

    That’s not just paving next door, it’s a total commitment to greenscaping! It’s environmentally friendly!

  7. sfbubblebuyer Says:

    It’s not greenscaping if it’s not a porous surface. Large parking lots cause massive erosion due turning an inch of stormwater into several feet of storm water as far as the ground next the parking lot is concerned.

  8. Mole Man Says:

    Let’s just call it “scaping” then.

  9. sonarrat Says:

    Greetings from Israel.

    I think it’s time to decommission the WTF tag. If it doesn’t have WTF factor, then it’s hardly even worthy of Burbed.

  10. madhaus Says:

    Well, there’s “too wtf,” “kind of wtf,” “sort of wtf” and “crapbox for three quarters of a million dollars,” which on Burbed is what we call business as usual.

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