January 19, 2012

It’s Baaaaaaaaaaack!

Today we have a guest post from Burbed reader A Lewis.  Burbed tends to spend too much time in Silicon Valley, so it’s good we’ve got a frequent contributor to remind us that there’s listings full of Burbed Win all over the Bay Area, not just within three miles of Google.

Please give A a big, warm, Real Bay Area welcome as today’s guest blogger, revisiting his very first Burbed posting.

One of my favorite features on Burbed is follow-up stories from previous listings.

Cast your mind waaaaaaay back to the dim past of March, 2011 (just think how much the Republican primary field has changed since then! And who would have bet the 49ers would have clinched their division?) and this thread:


We actually ended up with a pretty good conversation full of East Bay Love (TM)!

Well, I’m sure you will be as excited as I am that 8190 Terrace was not snapped up by an ordinary buyer who intended to live in it for years…No, it was clearly a flipper who has renovated it and is ready to pass the instant equity on to you at the low low price of $849K $799K! 

Have a look inside to see what they did!

8190 Terrace Dr
El Cerrito, CA 94530


SQ. FT.: –
LOT SIZE: 6,630 Sq. Ft.
TYPE: Detached
STYLE: Contemporary
VIEW: Bay, Bay Bridge, City Lights, Panoramic
COUNTY: Contra Costa
MLS#: 40556660
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 11 days

Elegantly remodeled home, with phenomenal panoramic views, ready to move in with extra spaces for home office, playroom and much more! It has new hardwood floors, new roof, beautiful fireplace, pool and a great spacios bedrooms with big windows that bring great natural light! 9 total rooms, 4 bath!

PastedGraphic-3aWhat a house! I think it looks like a bad haircut on the way to an attempt to make a house out of the little Dutch boy!

Here’s the (December) listing copy:

Four(4) bedroom, (4) four bathrooms (9)none total rooms!, 4 car garage, 4 stories completely updated!Potential studio separate entrance! New hardwood floors, new tile, new counter top, new bathrooms, private swimming pool in back yard! and much more! Call us and ask about our buyer incentives!

imageWow – “none” total rooms! This house has embraced the power of zero! Is that like the mysterious ‘zero point energy’ that Syndrome uses to capture the family on the island in The Incredibles? Maybe!!

Those buyer incentives are what really intrigues me! What kind of incentive are they going to offer me to believe that after it foreclosed and was bought for $400k in March, 2011, it’s now worth more than double?!

Now we know why they didn’t show any interior pictures in March – the place must have been trashed. It took them 6 months to remodel.

imageAnd maybe they did a decent job – some of this looks nice enough, though I’m wondering if any of it was permitted at all. Notice how there is no official square footage in the Redfin listing? And “Potential” studio separate entrance?

This is one of those cases where Zillow reveals a bit more. For one thing – this house is so special it gets TWO different Zillow listings!

And why does the second listing exist? Because they ran out of space on the first one for the listing history. (Actually, they wanted to erase the past like Redfin does, and this was the only way). Thank you, Zillow, for making it so easy to keep track.

Here’s the full listing history, in all its glory.


So much to say, here – Jan. 2007 $993k actual sale. But the wishing price hit $1.6M in 2008. El Cerrito had a strong case for RBA status back in those heady days. But then it started to get rocky. The 12-month death march from Feb. 2010 to Feb. 2011 through the Valley of the Shadow of Lost Equity. Harsh realm, dudes!

imageAnd Zillow has more and better pictures, too! I really should give Zillow more respect.

Oh, man, how many houses do you know that come with a leather bar? I thought you had to go to San Francisco for that sort of thing (not that there’s anything wrong with that!).

Any predictions what this painted albatross in the East Bay will sell for?

Comments (7) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:08 am

7 Responses to “It’s Baaaaaaaaaaack!”

  1. Mole Man Says:

    Maybe we need a more robust metric for “not RBA” since, let’s face it, most places are not RBA. El Cerrito is kind of a border land since there are nicer areas of town. Next door the Richmond Annex has a serious case of neo-RBA, but can’t join the club with those neighbors. So what to call these places? Borderlands? Badlands? Contested areas? Pre-gentrified?

  2. A. Lewis Says:

    Woo-hoo! I get 15 more seconds of interwebs fame!

    I like Borderlands. I also like to play the game Borderlands. We should judge housing prices by how well the local Skag population is controlled.

    When I originally sent this in, the “realtor” had the really bad listing copy madhaus pasted in above, and some really old photos (like of the pool). I’m “impressed” they updated their copy, pictures, AND lowered the price $50k.

    Does it feel like a bargain yet?

  3. gallileo Says:


    The proper name for a place close to the RBA, but not actually in the RBA is “a place whose real-estate is not worth talking about, but has crime reports worth wringing your hands over”.

    If it ain’t the RBA (AKA, a small strip of 94306) then it’s not worth looking into.

  4. madhaus Says:

    I believe you’re referring to The Corridor of Not Quite.

  5. waiting_for_the_fall Says:

    I don’t think it will sell for more than $500k.

  6. A. Lewis Says:

    If it sells, I’ll let you know the price.

  7. A. Lewis Says:

    It sold! It sold! 6/12/12 for $760,000.

    Wow, congratulations to these brave flippers, who stuck it out through all those months and years of waiting. I think they may have made a profit, even!

    The El Cerrito update – low inventory, bidding wars. A terrible time to buy. Wishing prices are back!

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