April 20, 2012

A condo with a 2 acre lot

88 S Broadway #2203, Millbrae, CA 94030


The bar has been raised. Now, not only is it necessary and sufficient for the price of a property to defy gravity and be astronomically high – it has to violate space/time.

For example, let’s look at this condo that has a $625 HOA. What, you say? A $625 HOA? Surely this must be in SF and include some fine amenities? Uh… well… it’s in Millbrae and it comes with 2 parking spots. That’s kind of close.

But wait… this 1,241 square foot condo comes with a 2 Acre lot.

Wow! Does this condo have doors into the 5th and 6th dimension? I’m not quite sure how this works – but since the Bay Area is only occupied by smart people, there surely must be some who can explain this.

BTW, see how it says 80 days? It really means 8 microseconds. Time… space… it’s all altered.

The paradigm has shifted!

Comments (9) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:57 am

April 19, 2012

Spacious and vacant in San Francisco. So very vacant.

We hope you enjoyed Burbed reader Petsmart Groomer week last week.  Here’s another fine PG-produced property in San Francisco.  Last week, we had a Tenderloin tenement masquerading as a Civic Center squat, so let’s move on to the Mission!  And in acknowledgement of Spring Bounce, this property is also pending.  San Francisco is hot I tell you, hot, hot, HOT!

3223 20th Street
San Francisco, CA 94110


SQ. FT.: 2,244
$/SQ. FT.: $290
PROPERTY TYPE: Single-Family Home
COMMUNITY: Inner Mission
COUNTY: San Francisco
MLS#: 394741
SOURCE: San Francisco MLS
STATUS: Contingent – Show
ON REDFIN: 21 days

Situated in the heart of the Inner Mission (cross-street is Harrison), this spacious and vacant 5BD/2BA home is on the market for the first time in over 50 years! Large one car garage. Rear yard. Just down the street from Flour + Water and close to an amazing variety of other great restaurants, cafes, and shops. Walk-Score = 97. Zoned RH-3, per the city’s 3R report. A great potential development opportunity in one of the city’s warmest and liveliest neighborhoods!


Look, it doesn’t matter how big a turd this building is.  Location, location, location; even if every single piece of hardwood in the entire house ended up in this one room.


How low could those low ceilings be?


If that doorway is standard width, that’s pretty low.

Comments (8) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:04 am

April 18, 2012

What could be better than this Alum Rock house?

Thanks very much to Burbed reader sonarrat for this essential elegance in East San Jose! 

San Jose, CA 95122


SQ. FT.: 1,283
$/SQ. FT.: $234
LOT SIZE: 5,562 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Contemporary
VIEW: Neighborhood
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81200318
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 98 days


There simply are no other words for how awesome this listing is.  Or exactly how much this agent is willing to do to sell it.

Comments (10) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:03 am

April 17, 2012

UPDATED: Two Million Dollars for a Sunnyvale House. Good Luck with That.

Recently, we took a look at a house in Midtown Palo Alto that a number of commenters thought was overbuilt for the neighborhood.  That reminded me of a similarly situated structure in Sunnyvale, so I pulled it up for nostalgia’s sake.  What a delightful surprise to discover that it’s once again for sale!  It was relisted just in time for April Fool’s Day, and at the same attractive price as it was three years ago.

Sunnyvale, CA 94087


BATHS: 4.5
SQ. FT.: 4,790
$/SQ. FT.: $417
LOT SIZE: 8,000 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: French
STORIES: Tri-Level
VIEW: Neighborhood
COMMUNITY: Sunnyvale
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81211851
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 7 days

Extraordinary six-bedroom, four and one half-bath custom estate perfect for executive lifestyle of luxury and unmatched class. Within this showcase home you will find a remodeled ONE-OF-KIND gourmet kitchen featuring best-in-class appliances with close access to the formal dining room, casual family room and truly alluring outdoor venue that is perfect for entertainment.

120406-valcartier-kitchenThis time around, they’re not letting us see the inside.  And it would need a lot of pictures, because this property has a FAR of 0.60.  That can’t even be LEGAL in Sunnyvale. 

But, this is a Custom Bahl Home!  And if you haven’t heard of Bahl Homes, they built a few tracts around Silicon Valley, including some zero lot line curiosities and the snout-house “patio homes” just around the corner from this place. Now that they’re done with building tracts, they remain as a real estate company. Fortunately for us, today’s house has its own webpage on Bahl’s site, with pictures even!  We don’t know when these were taken, though, as it’s been listed and sold many times since its construction.  Have a look at those pictures and more, after the break.


Comments (68) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:03 am

April 16, 2012

Castro Valley Value is in the Land. And the Vehicle.

This site does not get out to the East Bay enough.  Thanks very much to Burbed reader Jeremy from Hayward for doing the legwork for us, with this vintage villa in Castro Valley.  Remember, if you want us to cover more hella-fine houses from your hometown, be sure to send some in!

Today’s house is one you may be able to pick up with your income tax refund.  Now who says there isn’t affordable housing in the Bay Area?

5939 E Castro Valley Blvd
Castro Valley, CA 94552


SQ. FT.: 1,390
$/SQ. FT.: $144
LOT SIZE: 1.74 Acres
TYPE: Detached
STYLE: Contemporary
COMMUNITY: Castro Valley
COUNTY: Alameda
MLS#: 40567572
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 16 days

Bank Owned !!! CONTRACTOR Special !!! Home needs Extensive repairs or may need to be torn down. LOT’s of POTENTIAL for this 1.75 acre lot.

120413-castro-additionHere’s why Jeremy sent us this classic structure:

All I can say is Best. Addition. Ever!!!

No Kitchen? Need extra space? No problem! In the East Bay we just knock out a wall and drive our RV up next to the house, some duct tape, and viola! Mama’s new kitchen!

Oi….at least it’s not $1million!

120413-castro-rv-parkedThis has got to be a whole new level of WTFness, even if it didn’t have that lovely support post right next to the RV entrance.

Here’s another view of the RV.

Hoe.  Leigh.  Crap.

Jeremy followed up with:

Do you get a break on a combined auto/home policy for this?

120413-castro-rv-doorDo you pay property tax or car registration?

It is pretty spectacular. Loving the retro dwell-ready colors on the RV as well….

Be sure to head over to the listing, because there are plenty more photos, although most are of the house without an RV parked in the middle of it.

Lot’s of POTENTIAL, indeed.  Too bad the listing doesn’t specify if the RV stays.

Bunus: Location, location, location!


Comments (21) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:09 am

April 15, 2012

The Worst Company in America is in the Bay Area!

120413-consumerist-mastheadLast year was an exciting March Madness playoff leading to a nail-biter of a final playoff.  Which was the Worst Company in America?  Was it BP, which destroyed an entire ecosystem, or was it Bank of America, which merely melted down an economy?

Those who voted for second-place B of A may have been hoping for another chance this year, but there’s a new Winner (and by that I mean Loser) in town.  According to the 2012 March playoffs hosted by The Consumerist, the worst company in America is… drumroll please… EA!

And EA was not content to merely ignore this ignominious achievement.  Nooooo!  EA, showing that the voters knew damned well what they were doing, actually made this stupefyingly ill-suited statement:

We’re sure that British Petroleum, AIG, Philip Morris, and Halliburton are all relieved they weren’t nominated this year. We’re going to continue making award-winning games and services played by more than 300 million people worldwide.

120413-consumerist-eaBP wasn’t even in the running this year because they won last year in a very closely contested contretemps. But Bank of America was back, of course.  And once more B of A (it stands for Bunch of A’**holes) failed to “survive” the final death match.

Also, AIG won in 2009 and Halliburton won the very first WCIA contest in 2006.

Other Bay Area companies nominated for this dubious honor include:

120413-netflixNetflix, who lost its first match against GameStop.  This one was a blowout final sale.

120413-wellsWells Fargo also failed to advance when it was locked in the vault by CitiCorp.

120413-googleGoogle similarly lost its maiden match to Apple by 404.

120413-appleBut Apple shouldn’t get a swelled AirBook over the experience, as it was easily short-circuited 2 to 1 by AT&T.

120413-paypalPayPal was knocked out in the quarter finals by WalMart in a Photoshop finish. But PayPal got that far by defaulting on CapitalOne in a walkover, and similarly slammed the receiver down hard on Charter.

120413-facebookFacebook had a much stronger string of worsts.  It cut the power to Sprint by 4 to 1, and gave the US Postal Service a definitive Return to Sender, before falling to AT&T, who wrote the book on bad service.  Facebook simply didn’t have enough Dislikes. 

120413-eaAT&T was in turn Ctrl-Alt-Deleted by EA, with 3 out of 4 voters gunning for the gaming goon.  EA shut down Sony, closed out Best Buy, and blacked out Comcast to qualify for the semifinal with AT&T.

Which company do you think should have won the WCIA this year?  And which Bay Area companies that weren’t nominated do you think should have been?

Comments (8) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:11 am

April 14, 2012

Saturday Soak: Your weekend Open Thread


This image from SFGate shows eight lightning bolts hitting the Bay Bridge on April 12th.  How did you enjoy nature’s fireworks Thursday night?

You can also discuss this New York Times piece observing that California’s North/South divide is overblown.  The real divide is West versus East, and we coastal huggers are doing fine economically.  Inland is a much different story.  Stockton is looking into bankruptcy.  People moved inland, but the jobs didn’t follow, and then the housing values collapsed.  The coastal regions are more politically liberal and more eager for environmental policies that inland residents object to.  And geographically, a beach is not a desert.

This is an Open Thread.  How’s your weekend going?  Seen any good Open Houses lately?  How about those local sports teams, eh?

Comments (8) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:03 am

April 13, 2012

An oldie but a goodie in Mountain View

Today is the last entry of a string of hella fine housing from Burbed reader Petsmart Groomer.  We hope you have enjoyed Petsmart Groomer week.  Next week we’ll return to a mix of properties from all over the Bay Area submitted by some of our other readers (if we still have any).

Many thanks again to Petsmart Groomer for all the finds, including this, um, place that’s been on Burbed twice already!  But you’d have to go all the back to 2008 to remember this one.  That was so long ago we were still using the MLS website for our listings!


And then we revisited the same house again three months later!


Now it’s back, and it’s better than EVEH!  You can find out how much better after the break!


Comments (8) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:08 am

April 12, 2012

Want an investment property close to Facebook? TOO LATE

Burbed continues with Burbed reader Petsmart Groomer week, and now we return to Palo Alto.  Ah Palo Alto, home of high prices for working-class residences.  This fine investment property/teardown/whatever cannot be yours because it went pending in just six days.  Let’s drool on it and hope the sale falls through.  We’ll use Zillow this time because Redfin already took the listing copy and pictures down.

2316 Amherst St
Palo Alto, CA 94306


Beds: 4
Baths: 3
Sqft: 2,025
Lot: 6,098 sq ft / 0.14 acres
Type: Single Family
Year built: 1959
Parking: —
Cooling: —
Heating: —
Fireplace: —
On Zillow: 9 days
MLS #: 81211442
County: Santa Clara
Legal description: —
Parcel #: —
Per floor sqft: 2,025
Zillow Home ID: 2120434658

Sold in conjunction with 2320 Amherst. Two buildings: 2316 is spacious 1/1 with hardwood & updated kitchen. 2320 has 2/1 downstairs with refinished hardwood & updated kitchen; small 1/1 upstairs with huge deck and lovely views of the hills. Both buildings have laundry facilities. Legally 2 lots, zoned R1. Fabulous College Terrace location – Move in, buy for investment or build a new home! [Listing information © MLSListings Inc. All rights reserved.]Brokered And Advertised By: Dreyfus Properties, Inc.Listing Agent: Lucy Berman

120405-amherst-patioThis one is a Wow!  As in Wow, that photography really hurts to look at.  We’ll include a number of pictures in case the listing is scrubbed from teh internets forever.

You can also try your luck with the Virtual Tour, which has the same pictures, only in much sharper focus.  The color intensity is still dialed up to 11, though, so you keep that feeling you accidentally wandered into The Bee Movie.

120405-amherst-virtualtour-gardenThis photo at right is from the Virtual tour.  It’s the only one not on Zillow as well, and lucky for us, it’s got that riot of color so distinctive of this photographer.  The kind of buyer who wants an investment property in Palo Alto will definitely appreciate this effort that makes it look like a Henri Rousseau painting.

The rest of the photos, available after the break, are straight from Zillow.  That way you can enjoy the blurry effect on top of the bright colors.


Comments (9) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:03 am

April 11, 2012

$200K in upgrades means $304K markup!

Burbed reader Petsmart Groomer week continues, this time right in the heart of San Jose!  No, not downtown, silly.  Santa Row!  The Real San Jose!

334 SANTANA Row #300
San Jose, CA 95128


BATHS: 2.5
SQ. FT.: 2,042
$/SQ. FT.: $636
HOA DUES: $620/month
LOT SIZE: 435 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Condominium
STYLE: Modern/High Tech
STORIES: 1-3 (Low Rise)
VIEW: Neighborhood
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81202429
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 77 days

Santana Row Villa space at a great loft price! Over 2,000 sf on just 2 floors! ~$200k in upgrades, including, remodeled kitchen with high end all-European appliances, remodeled bathrooms with Japanese soaking tub, 3 parking spaces, and more.

120409-santana-kitchenBurbed has visited Santana Row before, and it was thanks to PG that we discovered something very exciting about the real estate over there: All of the Santana Row condos that sold new in 2005 and ‘06 have dropped around 40% in value since then.  That article last May featured twenty separate units for sale or recently sold, and all but one of them showed some homedebtors taking pretty serious haircuts.

120409-santana-bedroomAll but one.  This one.  Because this one is Special.  It’s so Special, you can still get it at the 2011 asking price!  How’s that for Special?  It’s so Special that despite selling new for $996,000 in the wild, heady, bubbly days of June, 2006, and despite the $200K in upgrades, it’s now worth more than $300K than it was six years ago!  Or at least this seller thinks that’s the best way to recover all those monthly $600 HOA fees.

This unit does come with three parking spaces, which is one thing in limited quantities here.  We suggest you snap this place up for that reason alone.  You’ll make your investment back within ten years just from renting out the spaces.

Comments (9) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:08 am