December 21, 2011

BLACK FRIDAY DEALS: Cheapest House in Palo Alto!

If we’re going to do college towns, it’s only fair we find you a DEAL in Palo Alto!  Why not pick up this place and save big on your Stanford bill?  Then sell it at a profit when your new graduate is ready to move on!

746 SAN CARLOS Ct, Palo Alto, CA 94306


SQ. FT.: 1,012
$/SQ. FT.: $810
LOT SIZE: 4,200 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81150030
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 9 days

Great value single family detached home with 2 bedrooms & 2 baths! Bright & open kitchen next to dining area & living room with access to the backyard through the double door sliding doors. Recently upgraded with new Berber carpeting, new kitchen and baths flooring. New light fixtures, designer mirrors in the bathrooms. Fresh paint! New Stove & hood! Good size yard for kids & entertaining!


Actually, other than these somewhat hideous chairs, I’m having trouble coming up with much else to complain about this listing.  It isn’t too small, or too old, or next to the freeway.  It doesn’t look like it’s only being held together with three layers of Extra-Lead gloss paint last applied in 1949. It isn’t even a thousand dollars a foot, like some small homes in this perennially overpriced city.

That means this is as close to a DEAL in Palo Alto as you’re ever going to find.  On MLS for more than a week, so I suggest you start overbidding immediately.

Comments (6) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 4:03 am

December 20, 2011

This isn’t a teardown. This is ART!

Today we’re headed back to Cupertino, the land of million dollar tract homes.  This may not be the least expensive house in Cupertino, but it won’t cost you a million.  Best of all, admission to the art show is completely free!

Thanks very much to Burbed reader Tracy for sharing this set of museum-quality photos!  (Although please note I did not say what kind of museum they belong in.)

10160 CALVERT Dr, Cupertino, CA 95014


SQ. FT.: 1,562
$/SQ. FT.: $416
LOT SIZE: 5,643 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
VIEW: Neighborhood
COMMUNITY: Cupertino
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81141162
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 84 days

Charming, updated Cupertino home. Upgraded kitchen, Maple cabinets, Granite countertops, Laminate and tile flooring, Dual pane windows, Walk-in closet. Top Cupertino Schools. Close to shopping, schools, parks.

imageHere’s why Tracy was kind enough to share this trip to the art museum:

Another in my “best photographers of real estate” series. House must have a bad roof line. Or the artist just likes to frame his/her pictures in the bottom ¾ again. I really like the old fashion stereo shot. Also features room corners.

imageThere are so many winners in this collection that it’s quite difficult to choose a favorite, but I would have to say mine is “Small sink next to cropped out commode completely blocking access to the shower.”

What’s your favorite image?  I’ve included a few more compositions for you to mull over, but be sure to admire the entire oeuvre over at the Redfin Gallery.

But before heading over to the photography display, why not consider checking out the house?  The Redfin agent did so… eight different times.  He must really have a thing for art shots.



Maybe nines do well in selling art photography, but if the agent wants to sell the house, they’d better start looking for some eights.  So far, only the Redfin agent found any.

Comments (8) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:06 am

BLACK FRIDAY DEALS: Cheapest House in Berkeley!

DEALS, DEALS, DEALS, we’re going to travel all around the Bay Area to bring them to you!  Here’s something close to a major center of higher learning!  No, not Stanford, that would be the cheapest house in Palo Alto.  This is the cheapest house near Cal!

And since Cal’s a public school, you can pay a public house price!

1509 ASHBY Ave, Berkeley, CA 94703


SQ. FT.: 754
$/SQ. FT.: $225
LOT SIZE: 2,516 Sq. Ft.
TYPE: Detached
STYLE: Bungalow
COUNTY: Alameda
MLS#: 40498800
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 384 days

Nice home but does need work. Public record shows 754 sq feet, and 1 bedroom but it has 3 bedrooms, so sq foot is larger.

image“It has 3 bedrooms, so sq foot is larger.”

You know, maybe someone subdivided that one bedroom into three and turned this into a super-cheap student rental.  Maybe the sq foot is not larger after all.  Maybe it is.  Maybe it’s a tesseract and the house is actually 25,000 sq foot.  Maybe it’s in some kind of non-Euclidian geometry zone where a sq foot is 25,000 sq inch.  (That may be the best explanation, as Euclid is on the northeast side of town.)

There’s no inside photos, so the only way you’re ever going to find out if sq foot is larger is to BUY THIS HOUSE RIGHT NOW.  Think of it as a lucky raffle ticket, only instead of possibly winning a new car, you could win a larger sq foot.

Comments (9) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 4:07 am

December 19, 2011

Realtard Geography: Foxworthy is now in Willow Glen

Today we have a Guest Post from Burbed reader bmwman91.  There’s some new construction in Willow Glen (okay, within 2 miles of it), and we’re going to get a detailed look.  Very detailed.  I’m just disappointed that all the listings changed from the bogus claim that these places were in a “better” zip than it was built in.

Please give bmwman91 a big, warm, Real Bay Area welcome as today’s Guest Blogger.

Prelude, August 2011

imageThere is (was) a huge lot at 1345 Foxworthy Avenue. It was purchased in 2008 and construction started on five McMansions early this year. There does not seem to be much information about what they will be listing these for (yet), but my parents live in that area and heard that the smallest house (2500SF) will be listed at $899k. I believe that all lots are 5000SF.

The funny part is that, in order to extort more money from buyers (idiots), they are building a new 100 foot long "road" off of Foxworthy so that these can bask in the prestige of 95125, rather than be subjected to 95118 with all the other uncultured peasants of Robertsville.


Robertsville…dear god, who would ever raise a child in a place with such an inorganic name. It sounds like some sort of brand you would find at Safeway. Willow Glen…now there’s something worthy of the shelves at Whole Foods! Think about the children!


imageI plan to keep tabs on these monstrosities when I visit my folks in San Jose (since I am being a rentard in more RBA-esque Mountain View). All I can really do is sit & wait, hoping to see the absurd initial listing prices go untaken & these houses sit empty for a long time until [whoever] built them loses their ass and has to accept reality. It won’t happen because Willow Glen High is still a magnet for people that must have suffered brain damage when they became parents and they will gladly mortgage their lives for "the children." Surely it is worth it. Lincoln Avenue is so quaint and European (until you wander too far and cross the train tracks).

Anyway, I will try to snap a few photos of these abortions-in-progress next time I am in that area. Hopefully this will provide some delightful entertainment for Burbed readers!

Keep reading to find out what happened when a couple of these new homes were put up for sale!  –Ed.


Comments (6) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:09 am

BLACK FRIDAY DEALS: Cheapest House in Los Gatos!

DEALS, DEALS, DEALS, we never stop looking for the best values throughout the Real Bay Area!  Today, Los Gatos!  Let’s see what kind of Cat House we can dig up for less than Not A Lot of Money.

14331 BROWNS Ln, Los Gatos, CA 95032


SQ. FT.: 816
$/SQ. FT.: $368
LOT SIZE: 9,583 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
COMMUNITY: Los Gatos/Monte Sereno
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81126353
STATUS: Pending With Release
ON REDFIN: 187 days

Charming home located on a large lot with easy access to downtown Los Gatos and Freeways.

Really easy access.


Comments (3) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 4:11 am

December 18, 2011

Placing Blame for the Housing Bubble Where it Belongs

imageIf you want to test someone’s political orientation, ask what caused the housing bubble and subsequent crash (yes, we know, there is no housing crash in the Real Bay Area).

Conservatives blame the federal government (although I repeat myself).  In this case it’s a confluence of the GSEs, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, and both Congress and the Executive for pushing homeownership on people who weren’t ready for the responsibility and couldn’t afford it anyway.  In particular, the guilty parties are Barney Frank and poor people.

imageLiberals blame Wall Street for blowing up the economy by securitizing mortgages and creating more and more leveraged and abstract financial instruments using them.  The products required a steady stream of mortgages, so brokers had every incentive to approve everything.  There was no risk to them because they weren’t keeping the loans.  Also, since Goldman Sachs ultimately shorted the entire market, they’re doubly responsible for talking it up to customers while doing their best to crater it.

A new Federal report points the finger elsewhere.  They blame a different kind of speculator.

Federal report: Home flipping drove housing bubble

Associated Press
Posted: 12/13/2011 06:33:47 AM PST, Updated: 12/13/2011 10:31:40 AM PST

LAS VEGAS — A new federal report shows that speculative real estate investors played a larger role than originally thought in driving the housing bubble that led to record foreclosures and sent economies plummeting in Nevada, California, Arizona, Florida and other states.

Researchers with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York found that investors who used low down payment, subprime credit to purchase multiple residential properties helped inflate home prices and are largely to blame for the recession. The researchers said their findings focused on an "undocumented" dimension of the housing market crisis that had been previously overlooked as officials focused on how to contain the financial crisis, not what caused it.

More than a third of all U.S. home mortgages granted in 2006 went to people who already owned at least one house, according to the report. In Arizona, California, Florida and Nevada, where average home prices more than doubled from 2000 to 2006, investors made up nearly half of all mortgage-backed purchases during the housing bubble. Buyers owning three or more properties represented the fastest-growing segment of homeowners during that time.

"This may have allowed the bubble to inflate further, which caused millions of owner-occupants to pay more if they wanted to buy a home for their family," the researchers noted.

imageThis report won’t satisfy either of the above groups, because it fails to place the blame where it belongs: on either Big Government, Big Business, or Big Poverty.  How could a bunch of onesie twosie speculators drive up home prices as much as they did?  That’s like blaming high coffee prices on just Seattle residents.

Please identify and complain about your favorite party to blame for the rest of the country’s housing market imploding while our home prices remain insanely delightfully high robust.

This is an Open Thread. 

Comments (31) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:07 am

BLACK FRIDAY DEALS: Cheapest house in Hayward!

Burbed doesn’t spend enough time in the East Bay, and when we do, we’re accused of being mean to them.  So let’s show them our Real Bay Area love, especially because there isn’t a lot of Real Bay Area to go around out there.

Today we’re going to find the cheapest house in the City of Diversity!

27878 MELBOURNE Ave, Hayward, CA 94545


SQ. FT.: 1,000
$/SQ. FT.: $38
LOT SIZE: 5,100 Sq. Ft.
TYPE: Detached
COUNTY: Alameda
MLS#: 40553774
STATUS: Pending
ON REDFIN: 8 days


Possible scraper.  No bedrooms, no baths, and it’s a possible scraper.  If you want to leave one of these walls standing you could call it a remodel instead.  But for this price, you ought to get the pleasure of renting a bulldozer and destroying this place all by yourself.


You couldn’t do worse than these guys did. (Thanks to Burbed reader Michael Boltonestater for sending in that link.)

Comments (2) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 4:09 am

December 17, 2011

It’s Search Engine Saturday!

imageWe haven’t had a Search Engine Saturday for a long time.  Do you know why?  It’s because there have been enough on-topic items to cover for our weekend open threads.  Search Engine entries mean either nothing’s worth discussing or I’m too lazy to write a real article.

And after researching and writing six very long pieces on zip codes, it’s time for a break.  For us.

Recently, someone used a Search Engine (I won’t say which one, but it rhymes with kugel) and found their way to Burbed using the term Palo Alto house crazy.  I’m pleased to report that Burbed comes up second on that term, losing out only to CineArts @ Palo Alto showtimes and tickets.  (Burbed readers are invited to speculate just why a foreign film theater would be of interest to off-their-meds real estate enthusiasts.)

I suspect that the searcher probably wanted this article from Palo Alto Online covering the crazy difficult time people are having in renting a place there.  But perhaps they were looking for the YouTube video with a crazy DUI high-speed crash in East Palo Alto.

That’s the great thing about using a Search Engine.  You can’t look for Palo Alto without getting its neighbor to the north as a “bunus.”  Anyway, this is an Open Thread, so have yourself a house crazy time today.

Comments (6) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:03 am

BLACK FRIDAY DEALS: Cheapest house in Downtown SJ!

DEALS DEALS DEALS just keep on coming!  And if you’re interested in downtown San Jose, you’re very busy so we’ll keep this quick.  Now, you may be asking yourself, how can this be the cheapest house downtown when the cheapest house in the entire county cost (gasp!) a hundred dollars more?

Well, that’s simple.  There are actually several houses listed for around this price, and the official cheapest house was one of the few that wasn’t pending.  But look, you read Burbed.  You know how the real estate business means real funny business.  You know a “pending” on a short sale means the seller is doing everything possible to jinx it, and a pending with release on a short sale means the buyer isn’t exactly trying their hardest either.  So this listing is like an irresistible force meeting an immovable object, or maybe the opposite; say a buyer with better places to invest making an offer to a seller who doesn’t want to go anywhere and won’t see a dime from the transaction.

That means all you have to do is threaten bribe heartily encourage everyone involved: seller, buyer, listing agent, buyers’ agent, bank agent, and of course, your agent to sell you this property!

560 E JULIAN St, San Jose, CA 95112


SQ. FT.: 1,188
$/SQ. FT.: $126
LOT SIZE: 1,242 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Victorian
VIEW: Neighborhood
COMMUNITY: Central San Jose
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 80840481
STATUS: Pending With Release
ON REDFIN: 1154 days

Back on the market! No fault on property! Beautiful Victorian Home waiting for you.

imageYup, if you’re wondering how they got a 1,188 square foot house on a 1,242 square foot lot, that’s no fault on property.  If you’re wondering why it’s been listed 1154 days, that’s no fault on property, either. Maybe agent means no tennis matches have been played here.

Also I don’t know what’s on the counter next to the sink, but I think it qualifies for the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval.  Or at least the Burbed good housekeeping tag.


Comments (4) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 4:03 am

December 16, 2011

They can remove this listing, but they can’t revoke our lulz

Today’s featured home was on MLS for more than six months, when it was sent in by Burbed reader burbed.  But when I came back to give this Sunnyvale spectacular the big ol’ Burbed hug it deserved, I was stunned to see that it had been delisted today (as I write this).  That is not right.  If a wonderful listing (and by “wonderful” you know I really mean “craptastic”) is around for that long, just because the seller gets cold feet doesn’t mean I’ll leave you readers out in the cold, too.

875 LAKEKNOLL Dr, Sunnyvale, CA 94089


SQ. FT.: 1,000
$/SQ. FT.: $359
LOT SIZE: 5,512 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Attached Single Family
STYLE: Ranch
VIEW: Neighborhood
COMMUNITY: Sunnyvale
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81119108
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 219 days

BACK ON MARKET!!! Don’t miss out on this property located at a PRIME Lakewood Village community, 3brdm 2ba. home. Great investment POTENTIAL and or a starter home for a first time Homebuyers! Walking distance to parks, shops, schools, and major freeways. Inside NEWLY painted and cleaned; visualize property’s full potential.

Here’s why burbed brought this, um, house to your attention!

Walking distance to freeways!

No wonder the description mentions its potential twice!  Also if you walk to freeways you can usually get there faster than driving to them.

Anyway, the listing has been removed, so here is a link to it in cache.  Just in case that vanishes on us, I’ll make sure you get to enjoy all the photos too.  They’re all there, right after the break.


Comments (8) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:05 am