October 7, 2011

800 sf slate deck becomes extension of the home, because no remodeling allowed

corntrolio over at patrick.net (who has also been an occasional Burbed reader) found this house and complained about it.  We did a smash and grab so you could point and gasp.  At the house, I mean.  Thanks for the great observations, corntrolio!  Note that they were made back when the house still listed for $1.095M.

Are there any Real Estate forums you regularly check for great discussion on local properties?  Let us know so we can steal share them with you.


610 WOODSIDE Way, Woodside, CA 94062


SQ. FT.: 1,670
$/SQ. FT.: $656
LOT SIZE: 7,440 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Traditional
VIEW: Mountains, Neighborhood
COMMUNITY: Emerald Hills Area
COUNTY: San Mateo
MLS#: 81126046
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 75 days

Open flr plan, Massive loft w/ vaulted ceiling. (multitple uses) gourmet kitchen. Bath/2 sinks, vanity area, tub with jets & separate toilet area. 800 sq ft slate deck becomes extension of the home. Crowned molding, recessed lighting, old world plastered walls, french drain, new septic/leach fields, storage throughout. Flat grassy yard/garden w/ fountain. Woodside Schools. OH 10/02.(SUN)1:30-4:30

imageThe ridiculous place I saw recently was this one.

This is a 1BR house with a loft built 2000-2004. You may ask yourself, why would someone do that in this day and age? The reason is because this property is on a septic system, and a restrictive covenant placed on the house in 2001 does not permit more than 1BR.

I also didn’t believe it was 1600+ sqft. I’ve lived in 1200-1300 sqft houses with 3BR that felt bigger. It’s also not really in Woodside proper, but rather Emerald Hills which has the Woodside zipcode/post office and not necessarily Woodside schools. Because this place is north of Jefferson, it may have Woodside schools. Nonetheless, this place is considered part of the Town of Woodside and is subject to its code and planning.

imageIt has a bizarre history too — foreclosed in 2005 at $865,209, and then purchased for $925K in 2006. The current owners tried to add a second bathroom in the loft space but got smacked down by the Town of Woodside for doing so illegally without a permit and against the covenant which requires only 1 BR. The prior owner tried hard to build that second bathroom in the loft space, but got smacked down numerous times by the town (including after demolishing the prior 1BR house and applying for a "remodel").

All this for a mere $1.095M.

And in reply to another comment:

corntrollio, i don’t get it, foreclosed in 2005?? Didn’t he got it for like 355k in 2000?

imageThey tore it down completely (without getting a demo permit) and then rebuilt it. There may have been a big construction loan that was converted to a mortgage, or something else that resulted in the foreclosure (e.g. building the new house then cash-out). These guys tried for several years to back-door a 2nd bedroom into this house, and then the subsequent owner did too. We’re 10 years down the line now.

Comments (14) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:07 am

14 Responses to “800 sf slate deck becomes extension of the home, because no remodeling allowed”

  1. PKamp3 Says:

    OP – The city-data.com forums, but they aren’t so into individual homes as zip codes.

    The slate deck scares me, and not just because slate is heavy. Surely it was done without a huge eye for quality, knowing the history of the house. Cheap slate sometimes likes to dissolve when wet (the John Bridge forum told me – I vetoed it in our bathroom just in case). You could lose 800 square feet this winter!

    In other news, the WSJ has picked up on public school ‘theft’! For you folks who live on the border of better school districts – please read. Free education isn’t free…

  2. AstroWallaby Says:

    A real supervillain wouldn’t let the lack of a second bathroom interfere with their evil scheme to overload the community septic tank.

    “Those FOOLS down at the planning board thought they could stop me?!?! Why, all I need to do is install a “Big John” and entice the right plus-side renters with a free running tab at Domino’s Pizza! Soon Woodside will be MINE, ALL MINE! Muhahahaha!”

  3. SEA Says:

    With the value being in the land and all, I’m not sure what more you expect for $1M.

    That said, this is the perfect example of how things used to work in the past. Please note the foreclosure back in March 2005 for $865k. Now you might think, what was the lender thinking–I’ll tell you what the lender was thinking: Sell for $925k in February 2006. That’s $60k above the foreclosure, or about 7% for the year [=60/865].

    You know all lenders believe that’s the way things are supposed to work. Prices always go up. Lenders have no risk in foreclosure, since the housing price appreciation will take care of everything. Did it matter that it’s a crock and it stinkith?

  4. Mole Man Says:

    The enlarged driveway has cut into the roots of the redwood tree on the left which is almost inevitably a disaster in the making. It can take decades for a redwood tree damaged in such a manner to fall, but this one appears to be leaning precariously already. Perhaps mother nature will buy this house.

  5. SEA Says:

    “Perhaps mother nature will buy this house.”

    The insurance will probably pay far less than what’s owed…

  6. SEA Says:

    U.S. Can Rent Its Way Toward a Housing Recovery

    Bay Area innovation, maybe?

  7. madhaus Says:

    SEA, the “innovation” in that article is the suggestion to destroy excess housing, in order to pump up prices. Of course, that’s not necessary in the RBA, where prices go up no matter how much gets built in nearby non-RBA areas.

    I wonder if San Jose plans to build all that housing in the Agnews area that’s in their development plans. Since it isn’t RBA, it will merely drive down other non-RBA prices.

  8. nomadic Says:

    #1, the John Bridge forum is excellent. However, there is a good California slate for wet areas. It’s been half submerged in my pool for five years now. Still there. There’s a house up the hill from me that has the driveway covered with it. They “tiled” it just like you’d put it on a bathroom floor. Weird.

    #7, I recently read about a builder in Colorado (I think) who tore down several brand new houses in a new development because he would have been fined if he didn’t finish the subdivision. They weren’t selling, so…

  9. SEA Says:

    Slate is generally durable, but “Rain water in industrial areas can turn into mild acid. This acid attacks the minerals in the slate and can dissolve them. Water which turns to ice causes tiny micro fractures which blow the slate apart.”

    Hopefully that pool water is slightly basic.

  10. corntrollio Says:

    Awesome to get quoted on Burbed. I didn’t even see this until today. It’s still a ripoff at $995K — you can never do anything with the house, basically. The prior owners have pissed off the town of Woodside enough already, and another newcomer won’t get any traction either.

  11. madhaus Says:

    You did a nice writeup on this place on patrick.net, so I hope you don’t mind my running it here. Feel free to send places in anytime.

  12. SiO2 Says:

    Madhaus, there’s a huge apartment project on Zanker, just north of Montague Expwy, that used to be the Sony office. Is that what you refer to in 7? It’s certainly being built.

  13. corntrollio Says:

    Thanks for your kind words, and I’ll remember to send you other places in the future too. There’s no shortage of “They’re selling a 2BR for what?” properties in the Bay Area, but this was a good 1BR example.

    What would also be good to snag for you is a couple of ramshackle remodels/additions that I run across on some houses. There have been some bad ones — floors are at a different level from the rest of the house, addition not insulated properly, not up to code, odd foundation work (e.g. stones with cement!), etc.

  14. madhaus Says:

    corntrolio, those sound great. Always happy to have a real fvck-up of a listing with the details you’d never find in MLS.

    SiO2, sorry I missed your post here earlier. I am not referring to just one apartment but whole development plan for the area with a number of different projects. They tried getting parcel taxes to help pay for some new schools, and they proposed a Mello-Roos district for the new development(s) as well.

Leave a Reply

Please be nice. No name calling, no personal attacks, no racist stuff, no baiting, etc. Let's be nice to each other in the true Bay Area spirit! (Comments may be edited/removed without notice.)