November 20, 2011

Moo-ha-ha-ha! Burbed’s Most Loved Series EVER!

Yes, we’re back with Northern California places on the Forbes most expensive zip code list.  As you get ready for Thanksgiving, one thing you can give thanks for this Thursday is that this all-time favorite series (if by “favorite” I actually mean “causes excited readers to fling household appliances”) only runs on Sundays.  That means it’s at least another seven days until the next installment!  If you missed the last ones, you’ll want to catch up RIGHT AWAY so you are completely up on every aspect:

Also, beginning Friday will be Burbed’s Black Friday Sales!  That’s where we scour the Real Bay Area in search of the best bargains out there for you.  While you may not be able to afford the most expensive house in the most expensive zip codes, maybe you can afford one on the other extreme!

And now, the Top 100 of the Bottom 300 Most Expensive Zip Codes in the Country: This is Fourth Tier: Under a Million Median Means Middleclass Metroplex.  Or the shorter version: Forbes screwed up again.

#212: Redwood City 94062

  • Median Home Price: $998,975
  • Median Price Change: -11.9%
  • Average Days On Market: 200 118
  • Inventory: 118 76
  • Rank in 2010: #185 (-27 spots )
  • Most Expensive Home: $3.6 Million $3.45 Million (610 Edgewood Road)

imageOne of the few shared zips to survive Forbes and Altos Research’s data parsing, the most expensive zip in Redwood City is shared with tony Woodside, California.  But you won’t find movers and shakers like Larry Ellison in Redwood City.

What you will find is this house, complete with Mawbul Kawlums, at a Woodside Price on a busy arterial that feeds I-280!  The owners have been trying to sell it since 2009, no doubt because its neighborhood of “High School Acres” fails to evoke wealth, exclusivity, or prestige.  Maybe they should rename it “Prep School Prospects” and see if that does the trick.

More exciting Zip Code ZAwesomeness after the break!  More! More! More!


#213 Calistoga 94515

  • imageMedian Home Price: $997,000
  • Median Price Change: -9.6%
  • Average Days On Market: 200 207
  • Inventory: 207 58
  • Rank in 2010: #193 (-20 spots )
  • Most Expensive Home: $35 Million (Undisclosed Address)

Do you care about real estate at a location, location, location synonymous with bubbles?  Didn’t think so.  Also this so-called $35 million estate, which sits on 500 acres in two counties and just happens to be owned by Joe Montana didn’t sell last year for an audacious ask of $49 million.

And it’s a great sign that the property’s website registration has expired, while Zillow has outed the address: 10500 Franz Valley Road.

image#233: Lafayette 94549

  • Median Home Price: $962,475
  • Median Price Change: -21.4%
  • Average Days On Market: 200 133
  • Inventory: 133 90
  • Rank in 2010: #160 (-73 spots )
  • Most Expensive Home: $10.75 Million (Undisclosed Address)

Address Disclosed: 3976 Happy Valley Road

#234: Danville 94506

  • imageMedian Home Price: $959,000
  • Median Price Change: -10.6%
  • Average Days On Market: 200 134
  • Inventory: 134 89
  • Rank in 2010: #201 (-33 spots )
  • Most Expensive Home: $10.5 Million

The most expensive house I could find in Danville (also hiding behind an Undisclosed Address but revealed as 41 Brightwood Lane East) is only $3.3M, reduced from $3.6. It also features $260 per quarter HOA dues for the Magee Ranch locale.

And my not finding any $10.5M listing includes looking at sales, as well as Sotheby’s and Christie’s listings.  A local broker has some slightly more expensive properties still in the $3-4M range, but wrong zip codes.  They also admit the jig is up: properties listed in the $2-3M range in Danville are destined to fester until reduced under $2M.

Anyway, the reduced values and the sheer bogosity of these two East Bay cities’ rank, DOM and Inventory numbers all being one apart should amply indicate why the East Bay and the East East Bay ain’t no Real Bay Area.

#237: Corte Madera 94925

  • Median Home Price: $949,000
  • Median Price Change: 16.1%
  • Average Days On Market: 200 91
  • Inventory: 91 31
  • Rank in 2010: #330 (+93 spots )
  • Most Expensive Home: $3.8 Million $3.5 Million (417 Sausalito Street)

imageAt least the owner of this Marin County property is responding to market forces.  Listed in May for $4.2 million, the current asking price is $3.5M.  It’s ginormous, it’s on almost an acre, and it still isn’t selling despite the agent’s insistence it’s “one of a kind,” being a “Spanish Colonial Revival estate… gracefully interpreted to suit today’s modern lifestyles.”

Actually today’s modern lifestyles do not include both four million in cash and a 50 mile commute to Google.  But nice try.

#240: Mill Valley 94941

  • imageMedian Home Price: $946,208
  • Median Price Change: -20.2%
  • Average Days On Market: 200 124
  • Inventory: 124 140
  • Rank in 2010: #170 (-70 spots )
  • Most Expensive Home: $5 Million (321 Summit Avenue)

Be sure to check out this even more expensive $6.8M modernist extravaganza at the tip of the peninsula, (and only a month on MLS).  Every single photo is begging to be captioned on Unhappy Hipsters.

Any suggestions why Corte Madera is up so much, Mill Valley is down so much, and neither is in million dollar territory any longer?  Is Marin simply East Bay del Norte?

#242: San Francisco 94114

  • Median Home Price: $940,368
  • Median Price Change: 0.8%
  • Average Days On Market: 200 72
  • Inventory: 72 78
  • Rank in 2010: N/A
  • Most Expensive Home: $3.95 Million

imageForbes and Altos Research changed this year’s methodology, and as a result, big cities with multiunit properties fared worse than last year in the rankings.  That’s because condos and townhouses are included, pulling those medians down when too many are in the mix, and greatly benefitting wealthy enclaves with restrictive zoning (see: #2 Atherton with its 1 or 5 acre minimums). 

Here we’re almost to the halfway point, and now seeing our very first San Francisco zip code, and it isn’t one of the notable ones, such as Pacific Heights, Presidio Heights, or Marina.  But this zip does include Noe Valley, Eureka Valley, and the Castro district.

Can’t find a house for $3.95 million, 849 Sanchez (pictured above) is the best we can do at $3.3M.  The second most expensive listing in this zip is on Palo Alto Avenue, and is, of course, pending.

#245: San Jose 95120

  • imageMedian Home Price: $939,000
  • Median Price Change: -2.7%
  • Average Days On Market: 200 118
  • Inventory: 118 125
  • Rank in 2010: #245 (Unchanged)
  • Most Expensive Home: $3 Million

Both of Northern California’s largest cities are now on the list, but at least San Jose stayed consistent with which was its highest-priced zip code: New Almaden, or as it’s better known, Santa Teresa del Fuego.  So conveniently located at 85 and 101, um, no not THAT 85 and 101.  Update: See, you guys hated the maps so much I gave you houses instead, but then I don’t know where the damned zip codes actually are.  This is Almaden Expressway del sur per Burbed reader nomadic.

Not sure where the $3M property was, but 18680 Vista de Almaden can be yours for $2.65 million if you HURRY (given that it’s a custom build to suit).  Another possibility is 7184 Glenview Drive, originally listed for $2.75M and reduced to $2.6M, yet still featuring NOTHING BUT CAPITAL LETTERS. And just down the road at 7220 Glenview, here’s a place that’s been on and off the market, now available for $2.37M, but rolling in instant equity, as it changed hands for $3.6 million back in 2000.  Now there’s a story. 

7220 Glenview wins the right for the featured photo, being the only one of the three that we can demonstrate ever had an intimate relationship with a three million dollar price.

#259: Fremont 94539

  • Median Home Price: $919,353
  • Median Price Change: -0.4%
  • Average Days On Market: 200 101
  • Inventory: 101 176
  • Rank in 2010: #259 (Unchanged)
  • Most Expensive Home: $4.65 Million

imageReally, over four and half mil in Fremont?  Okay, the good part of Fremont with Mission San Jose schools, but still.  Fremont!  Five suburbs in search of an identity.

There was this house once listed for $4.3 million, back in 2008.  After a year on the market, 41280 Vargas Road had its listing removed, was relisted in the high twos, and finally sold for just under two and a half.

But we think you’ll enjoy this photo a lot more, given that 46890 Rancho Higuera Road was already featured in Burbed, is Kawlumed up the wazoo, and has gone pending a second time.  And they’ve chopped another hundred thou off the asking price since last year.

The most expensive place I could find was $2.79M and features ALL CAPS LISTING COPY.  Fremont.  What a place.

#263: Half Moon Bay 94019

  • imageMedian Home Price: $908,750
  • Median Price Change: 7.7%
  • Average Days On Market: 200 175
  • Inventory: 175 76
  • Rank in 2010: #304 (+41 spots )
  • Most Expensive Home: $6 Million

San Mateo County’s answer to Vallejo shows what proximity to the RBA means: it’s on the list.  The zip is shared with El Granada (which did appear last year at #400).

And just like our last three entries, the promised expensive listing cannot be found.  The priciest parcel is this 65 acre place with a 2 BR/2 BA allowing the fiction that you’re buying an actual house rather than becoming a land baron.  Instead I direct you to this five acre compound featuring not just a house but a conference center, in case you take family reunions more seriously than most.  Just don’t get into a big fight, because the city had to contract their police services out to the County Sheriff.

#267 (tie): Belmont 94002

  • imageMedian Home Price: $899,000
  • Median Price Change: 6.8%
  • Average Days On Market: 200 85
  • Inventory: 85
  • Rank in 2010: #305 (+38 spots )
  • Most Expensive Home: $2 Million (2406 Coronet Boulevard)

At least.  A house that can actually be found on the MLS.  0.41 acres, and maybe about ten feet of which are useable.

#267 (tie): Pleasanton 94566

  • Median Home Price: $899,000
  • Median Price Change: 2.8%
  • Average Days On Market: 200 93
  • Inventory: 93
  • Rank in 2010: #286 (+19 spots )
  • Most Expensive Home: $5.4 Million

imageBut no $5.4 million listing, although 4132 W Ruby Hill Drive, at $4.9 million, is almost there.  This 9000 square foot behemoth sits atop just six tenths of an acre.

The most expensive sale in Pleasanton, including Ruby Hill, in the last six months was only $3 million.  So not only should this house masquerading as a conference center probably not sell for the asking price, it shouldn’t surprise you to learn it’s been listed before.  For $5.9 million.  In 2009. 

So, Belmont and its weird cliffside clingers versus Pleasanton and its metastasizing McMansions: which is better?  Because they can’t both really be #267 (let alone the place in Virginia also tied for the bragging rights).  One of them has got to be the better #267.  This is the ultimate showdown of ultimate destiny!

#275: San Francisco 94127

  • imageMedian Home Price: $898,000
  • Median Price Change: -7.4%
  • Average Days On Market: 200 107
  • Inventory: 107 41
  • Rank in 2010: #241 (-34 spots )
  • Most Expensive Home: $6.25 Million

$6.25 million isn’t out of line for some neighborhoods in San Francisco, but whatever the expensive listing above was, it’s been removed for the winter, leaving no trace.  You’ll have to content yourself with this poor runner-up at barely over half the asking price.  At least the street address (315 Santa Clara Avenue) should get you some respect.

Although, according to SF Curbed, it’s got HOA fees and uncovered tandem parking.  I ended up searching on Curbed in hope of finding that pricey place above, and while the St. Francis Wood area has some contenders, the best I could find was 299 Santa Paula which sold for a lucky $4.4 mil.

#295: Oakland 94618

  • Median Home Price: $857,500
  • Median Price Change: 14.3%
  • Average Days On Market: 200 84
  • Inventory: 84 34
  • Rank in 2010: #367 (+69 spots )
  • Most Expensive Home: $4.2 Million $3.5 Million (115 Alpine Terrace)

imageIf we’re going to hit the big cities, it’s only fair that Oakland make it to the list.  Despite its reputation as the epitome of all that’s wrong with East Bay real estate, Oakland has some very nice neighborhoods.

Take this 5 bedroom 5 bath place in “Rockridge Upper,” between Claremont Country Club and Route 24.  That makes this home sort of the Gateway to the Caldecott!

This might not be what you think of when you hear “Oakland,” but it really is the big city.  5800 sf on a 9100 sf lot, there’s nothing suburban about a FAR of 0.64!

#297: Los Gatos 95033

  • imageMedian Home Price: $854,000
  • Median Price Change: -9.2%
  • Average Days On Market: 200 174
  • Inventory: 174 64
  • Rank in 2010: #250 (-47 spots )
  • Most Expensive Home: $7.9 Million (19660 Santa Cruz Highway)

The third of Los Gatos’ three zips nips in under the wire before the cutoff at #300.  At least the featured home is actually in Santa Clara County.  This zip code spans the county line over to Santa Cruz, as does the “Los Gatos” mailing address.  But this newly-built 6 bedroom, 8 bath, 8000 square foot behemoth sits on almost five acres right on the Lexington Reservoir.  The address is on CA Route 17, which brings a whole new definition to being on “a busy street.”

The listing copy suggests this would make a good corporate retreat.  What needs retreating is that asking price.

#298: San Francisco 94123

  • Median Home Price: $853,615
  • Median Price Change: -47.0%
  • Average Days On Market: 200 80
  • Inventory: 80 88
  • Rank in 2010: 92 (-206 spots )
  • Most Expensive Home: $8 Million (2250 Vallejo Street)

imageThe world-famous Marina District of San Francisco, soon to featured in America’s Cup TV coverage (as it adjoins the yacht clubs), barely squeaks into the fourth tier.  I’m sorry, but this is embarrassing, and having such a photogenic neighborhood drop over 200 spots and practically cut its median value in half reveals a serious problem with Altos Research’s new count-all-the-condos methodology. 

Meanwhile, the $8 million properties seem to be in the adjoining Cow Hollow neighborhood, or “down the hill from Pacific Heights.”  Cow Hollow is home to the featured listing at left, which may or may not be the $8M house that Forbes had in mind.  I sure hope so; 2250 Vallejo, true to its name, looks like an absolute clusterf*** worthy of a good Burbed look in the VERY near future.  And the price level is not out of line: this $9.5 million Cow Hollow home was listed a week ago and here’s another concrete charmer nearby for $9.25M.

Speaking of Pacific Heights, that district features multiple homes in the $20 million and up range, and it is left as an exercise to the reader why 94115, location of this fine property (which was featured on Burbed twice!) is now #476, ranking it six spots below the prestigious community of San Ramon. 

Or maybe we’re just going to admit that the Top 1% of SF is no longer worthy of Real Bay Area designation. 

Comments (9) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:15 am

9 Responses to “Moo-ha-ha-ha! Burbed’s Most Loved Series EVER!”

  1. Swan Says:

    Yahoo! Another reason to look forward to Black Friday!

  2. The Gilroy Alex Says:

    “Prep School Prospects” got a chuckle from me.

  3. nomadic Says:

    You subject us to this unending torture, so I have to correct you on 95120:

    So conveniently located at 85 and 101, um, no not THAT 85 and 101.

    85 and 101 is low-rent Blossom Valley. New Almaden is more like Almaden Expressway del Fuego.

  4. madhaus Says:

    I drove over to Cal and got a letter from John Yoo that says running zip code features once a week is not considered torture. I asked him to certify it was less painful than waterboarding, but he mumbled something about the Fifth Amendment.

  5. PKamp3 Says:

    Sorry I’m late to the weekend posts! When are we going to get to 95122 and 95116?

  6. A. Lewis Says:

    Go 94618! I pour some single malt out for my homies from there every year.

    East bay 4eva!

  7. ms Says:

    Is it worth $652K, guise?

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  9. Our Biggest Fan of This Series is Thrilled There’s Another Installment! [Burbed.com] Says:

    […] Fourth Tier Cul de Sac: Submillion in Suburbia […]


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