January 18, 2012

If You Can Read This, It Should Be Old

imageBurbed should have gone dark on Wednesday, January 18th, to join the SOPA protest.  And despite the presence of Google and Facebook and Twitter and everything that makes the Internet awesome here in our back yard, supposedly both our Senators are supporting this terrible bill.  I do hope you give them a piece of your mind.

Here’s what you had to wait a day to read due to our solidarity with the web-wide blackout.

What can you get in Silicon Valley for $579,803?

On Saturday, we heard from Greg Fielding on Case-Shiller tiers.  On Sunday, we saw some examples of just how much house qualified for the “upper” tier (the top third) in the counties that make up the SF index.  Now here’s what you could get if you bought a house that’s an easy commute distance to some major Silicon Valley employers.


1729 MORGAN St
Mountain View, CA 94043
$585,214, sold on 12/14/2011

3 BR/2 BA, 1,104 sf on a 5,300 sf lot

Built in 1955, and it shows, and what’s more, the house sold in a month above asking!  Doesn’t feature much other than its proximity to Google and LinkedIn, but every minute you don’t sit in traffic means you can enjoy more time in this spacious home.  Okay, it’s got hardwood floors, but still.


Cupertino, CA 95014
$591,700, sold on 12/29/2011

3 BR/1 BA, 1,134 sf on a 5,130 sf lot

This isn’t the least expensive sale in Cupertino within the last 3 months, but it is the least expensive house where they dared show a photo.  Who knows what kinds of problems lurk behind that fence?  Don’t complain.  It’s close to Apple.

Bring your decorator’s eye to this place, because the interior photos show you get a blank slate!  And of course it’s in Rancho Rinconada!


255 HEDGE Rd
Menlo Park, CA 94025
$625,000, sold on 11/2/2011

3 BR/1 BA, 1,190 sf on a 5,500 sf lot

Not only is it close to Facebook’s new location, it has Menlo Park schools!  And we had to jump into the $600s to even find this house, because there weren’t any SFH sales under $600K in Menlo Park or Palo Alto.

And for $625K, you get a house that backs up to US-101.  What do you think the upper tier means, Larry Ellison’s neighborhood?


3401 PARK Blvd
Palo Alto, CA 94306
$672,000, sold on 11/4/2011

2 BR/1 BA, 1,048 sf on a 5,500 sf lot

Speaking of Facebook, this is the least expensive SFH sale in Palo Alto and it isn’t too far from its current headquarters.  Better yet, it doesn’t back up to a freeway!  Instead, it backs up to CalTrain, but you can’t have everything.

But you can have the satisfaction of knowing that the sellers wanted $750K for this well-situated 66 year old house, and didn’t get it.


Sunnyvale, CA 94086
$608,000, sold on 11/9/2011

3 BR/1 BA, 1,100 sf on a 5,550 sf lot

Sorry we had to jump all the way to the $600s, but there’s a big gap above $570K for the last quarter’s sales in Sunnyvale.  This house is in a decent part of town, although you will get plenty of traffic from nearby Washington Park (which has a swimming pool) and the library a few blocks further away.  But it’s a good commute distance to Lockheed, Yahoo! and even Intel.  And in an even better position to see how good the homes thrown up right after WWII ended are wearing their years.


Santa Clara, CA 95051
$585,000, sold on 11/18/2011

3 BR/2 BA, 1,212 sf on a 9,454 sf lot

The further east you travel, the cheaper the houses get.  Palo Alto costs more than Mountain View, which costs more than Sunnyvale, which in turn costs more than Santa Clara.

That’s why this house may not look much more palatial than any of the others above, but it comes on a lot almost twice the size.  It’s a good commute to Intel.  And one of the fun things about the Silicon Valley market that people outside the area don’t get is that most of the cost of any existing property is the land, not the house.

Don’t get too excited about this place.  It’s near the intersection of Lawrence and El Camino, and was sold “as is.”  I wouldn’t expect much from the neighborhood, either, as the agent bragged it was a “regular sale.”

In the future we’ll see what you can get for a million dollars, but don’t expect any gold-plated bathroom fixtures.

Comments (1) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:04 am

One Response to “If You Can Read This, It Should Be Old”

  1. SiO2 Says:

    The Palo Alto house is surprisingly cheap even with the backing up to caltrain. I suppose there’s some uncertainty about the high speed rail, if that’s built then some of the lot could be taken, and it would be noisier. But, it’s looking more and more that it won’t be built.

    Is it better to back up to CalTrain or 101? I think I’d go with CalTrain, at least it’s not a constant noise, plus it’s probably less pollution than thousands of cars. otoh if it’s close to an intersection such that the train blows its horn as it passes your house, that would be a drag.

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