May 31, 2012

Fantastic 2 year old townhome end unit in a prime location

And just wait until you hear where this prime location, location, location is!  Thanks very much to Burbed reader dollarbin for this terrific townhouse!  And of course, it went pending in one week!

1901 Newbury Dr (Unable to map)
Mountain View, CA 94043


BATHS: 3.5
SQ. FT.: 1,879
$/SQ. FT.: $351
HOA DUES: $197/month
STORIES: 1-3 (Low Rise)
COMMUNITY: Rengstorff
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81218499
STATUS: Pending Without Release
ON REDFIN: 13 days

Fantastic 2 year old townhome end unit in a prime location. Formal tile entry, 1st floor jr. bdrm suite, hardwood floors, large & open kitchen w/ granite counter, gas stove, stainless appliances & island, inviting living rm w/ office nook, generous size bedrms, grand master suite w/ high ceiling & walk-in closet. Custom shutters thru-out, skylight, central AC, 2 car garage & great natural lighting.

Here’s why dollarbin sent in the townhouse:

120529-newbury-gymThis one came on the market last week, I’m pretty sure it’s in Gable’s End: the address is Newbury but the entrance is on Colony St.

Are the photos re-used from a previous listing? It’s supposed to be an end unit, but the exterior shot seems to centered on the middle units. No idea what the interior actually looks like. Seems like a pretty half-assed listing, no mention of Google? No mention of Facebook? I’m going to need some more ALL CAPS HYPERBOLE before I warm up my overbids.

From looking at the original Gables End ads, this photo sure looks like one of their offerings. And there’s some interesting history on this property as well.  Zillow says it sold in November, 2010 for… $208,500!  That’s quite a price, given that they were advertised as starting in the low $600s.


Zillow also gives this place of ZEstimate of $735,800, which means instant equity galore for the lucky buyer!  Or some serious overbidding.  That is, if anyone could find the place, since Redfin couldn’t.

But it’s in a prime location.  Or did they mean a super location?

Comments (74) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:09 am

May 30, 2012

Could be a builder/investor’s dream place with bountiful of good restaurants

Burbed continues to look at the kind of houses that made this site what it is: crapboxes!  Today we have a Guest Post from Burbed reader mabel du of a memorable manor in Mountain View!  Please welcome mabel to the front page as today’s Guest Blogger!

Want to see your name in lights too?  Submit your housing finds for us to dissect, or your full write-ups, to the email addresses in the top right corner.

330 MOFFETT Blvd
Mountain View, CA 94043


SQ. FT.: 1,176
$/SQ. FT.: $744
LOT SIZE: 5,700 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Ranch
VIEW: City Lights
COMMUNITY: North Shoreline
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81215495
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 32 days

Highly desirable Mountain View area within a couple of blocks of downtown with bountiful of good restaurants. Commerical residential zone. This site can be either one. Fixer upper. Could be a builder/investor’s dream place. Property to be sold in “as is condition”. Lots of potential!!! Easy access to highway 85 and freeway 101.

Don’t let this gem slip away into pending status before you can post it.  This is the hot new/old recycled listing from our past – twice – see the olde but goode listings on Burbed.


This crapshack wouldn’t take “no” for an answer a few years ago, so they raised the price $10k trying to win the housing (Facebook) lottery again.  I guess they think the kids with new Facebook money will jump all over this place as a diamond in the rough (note to realtor:  don’t hold yer breath).


This time, instead of sharing multi photos of Moffett Blvd, they’re just showing us the outside of the lil’ darling in a multi-use neighborhood. (Check out the satellite photo)


120529-moffett-frontyardThis entry must be Burbed-worthy, especially the 3rd time around.  It looks like they’ve really spiffied-up the yard in the years since entry #1 graced yer lovely website;  they must have raked the leaves at least once in the last 6 yrs. 

Based on these front yard pix, i assume there’s a good sized corn mash still tucked away in the backyard.  It’s like re-visiting my childhood trips thru Appalachia; and it’s right here in mountain view, but without the nauseating drive through the mountains in the back end suicide seats of a station wagon! 

120529-moffett-garageAnd I didn’t even include the actual trauma of being IN Appalachia for summers w/my dad’s family! That the old station wagon was probably circa 1965 with those back end suicide seats – no seat belts, who needs ’em!?!   One good bump and all the kids would have been projectiles out the back window, which was already rolled down and sucking in additional exhaust fumes (no AC back in the dark ages).  If you’re not old enough to remember ’em, you missed an era.

Comments (21) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:03 am

May 29, 2012

Wow! What a price!

Last week we looked at a series of very expensive houses.  Let’s return to our Burbed roots and examine some less stratospheric home options.  Today’s featured façade is a Milpitas mansion, thanks to Burbed reader PKamp3.

Milpitas, CA 95035


SQ. FT.: 1,962
$/SQ. FT.: $174
LOT SIZE: 7,975 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Contemporary
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81215571
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 30 days

Wow! What a price! This beautiful 5 bedroom 3 bath home has enough square footage for a large family. Grand entry with pillar columns opens into a large living area with fireplace. Some bedrooms downstairs and the rest upstairs. 1 full bathroom downstairs as well!

120527-coelho-backyardHere’s why PK thought we should check this one out:

How about revisiting a house which has been featured on Burbed before?

So… if it was featured on Burbed on June 17, 2011 for $674,950 and it costs $340,800 today… is a 54% annualized loss the new 7.2% gain?

Yes, indeed, this house was featured before.  Bet you didn’t recognize its new look above, either.


120527-coelho-bath[5]According to Zillow, the price was only lowered one other time from the original $674,950 “WON’T LAST!!” listing, to $660,000.  And if the place didn’t sell at $674,950 between May and October, slashing $14,950 off (a whopping 2.2%) should have commenced the overbidding immediately.

The new asking price has been sitting for a month, despite the amazing features of the house (Some bedrooms downstairs and the rest upstairs).  I know that when I buy a six bedroom house, I’m always 120527-coelho-kawlumsreally cheesed off when discovering some of the bedrooms under the septic tank.

Also, the price cut also reflects another cut: this new listing no longer features a view.  But the kawlums are still included.  Do check out the pictures on this new listing, though, as there are surprisingly few of the inside of the house compared to last time.  There are four different shots of the back yard, and every single one of them features the portable grill.

Meanwhile, three different Redfin agents have left comments on the house.  Let’s share in their expert opinion.


Question: Does the master bedroom have a Jacuzzi tub in it?  Second question: How come two out of three realtards can’t spell Jacuzzi?  J’accuse!

Comments (17) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:07 am

May 28, 2012

Official Burbed Ballot Guide

120527-voters-guide-stickerNext Tuesday will be Primary Election Day in California.  Not only will voters get to select partisan candidates, there will also be some ballot measures to vote on.  Here are our recommendations on how to vote if you value living in the Real Bay Area.

Primary election procedure has changed this year.  Before Proposition 14, which passed in 2010, one winning candidate per party appeared on the November ballot. Now all primary elections are a free-for-all whittled down to the top two finishers, who will duke it out in November for the contested office.  Burbed officially disapproves of this method.  Instead, primary elections should be more like buying a house.  Whoever offers the most money with the fewest contingencies should be chosen as the winner, although a plate of chocolate cookies and a family photo may also do the trick.

Federal, State & Local Candidates

120527-voters-guide-white-housePresident: Does it matter?  Is the White House in the Real Bay Area?  No, it is not.  Is Barack Obama from the Real Bay Area?  No.  Is Mitt Romney?  No, and he owns enough houses that he should be!  Neither Ron Paul nor Gary Johnson qualify either.

Senate: Does it matter?  Is the Senate Building in the Real Bay Area?  No, it is not.  But wait, you may say.  While the Senate Building is in Washington, DC, many of the Senatorial candidates actually do live in the Real Bay Area.  To which we say, and?  You want to vote for someone who lives in the RBA and is willing to move to a job somewhere else?  This disqualifies them by definition!

House of Representatives: See Senate.

State and Local Offices: As none of them requested our endorsement, we offer no recommendations.  Then again, if anyone had requested our endorsement, that would disqualify by definition.  Who would ask for a real estate website’s endorsement?  Well, who other than Gary Miller?

State Propositions

120527-voters-guide-29Proposition 28: Term limit modification. Vote NO.  This does not affect property values, although it may lead to more turnover of Sacramento property.  Since Sacramento isn’t in the RBA, this won’t affect prices here. 

Proposition 29: Tobacco tax.  Vote YES.  Burbed is in favor of taxing things that are not housing in order to avoid unnecessarily raising property taxes instead.  Also we are opposed to any industry spending $40 million on misleading advertising.  Did you really think those actors in lab coats were actual scientists?

Santa Clara County Measures

120527-voters-guide-jailMeasure A: County Jail operations.  Vote NO.  This looks like an opportunity to let any number of agencies get their fingers in the jail pie, and by “opportunity” we actually mean “payola, corruption, and graft, oh my!”  Do we really need a County Jail anymore?  There are so many foreclosed homes in East San Jose we should just use them instead.

Measure B: San Jose pensions. Burbed does not have an official position on this, but has enjoyed the complete disconnect between how the SJ Mercury News has been covering this (Chuck Reed walks on water and raises the dead) versus NBC11 (Chuck Reed is a lying scumbag who eats babies for breakfast).  The truth is probably that there is nothing in the pension fund at all because it was all invested in that downtown condo tower that didn’t work out so well.

Various school bond measures (C, E, G, H): Vote YES, except for Measure E, because who do you think you’re fooling, Milpitas?  Better funded schools ensure your property values remain high (and if you live in Milpitas, this clearly does not apply).  If you’re a rentard, vote YES anyway.  Someday you’ll own.  (Keep believing that.)  You may object that we said above to vote for taxes for other things because we don’t want higher property taxes.  To which we reply, are you some kind of rentard idiot?  These are school BONDS, not school TAXES.  Bonds mean borrow and spend, not tax and spend.  Note: School bonds must receive 55% YES votes to pass.

Plenty more County Ballot Measures inside!  Click on through!


Comments (15) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:04 am

May 27, 2012

Palo Alto on Zero Dollars a Day

Both property prices and rents are rising to record levels in Special parts of Silicon Valley.  Here’s one very creative way around those sky-high living expenses.  Thanks very much to Burbed reader Real Estater for mentioning this story in comments.

120525-aol-simonsMeet the tireless entrepreneur who squatted at AOL

For two months last fall, Eric Simons secretly took up residence inside the Internet giant’s Palo Alto, Calif., campus, eating free food, enjoying gym access, and building a startup in the process.

by Daniel Terdiman, CNET, May 24, 2012 4:00 AM PDT

It was 6 a.m. when Eric Simons was jolted awake by the yelling.

After working until 4 a.m, the 19-year-old entrepreneur had finally passed out. A few hours of sleep would help with the day ahead.

But unlike most people working at AOL’s Palo Alto, Calif., campus who were surely still hours from showing up at the sprawling complex, Simons was already there. He’d been living there for two months, hiding out at night on couches, eating the company’s food, and exercising and showering in its gym. And now, with an angry security guard bellowing at him, it was all over.

120525-aol-couchThe story of how Simons, just two years removed from a Chicago high school, came to be living in AOL’s Palo Alto campus could well become part of Silicon Valley lore, especially because it highlights the lengths some entrepreneurs will go to make their dreams a reality. And though stories abound these days of startup founders barely old enough to drink swimming in venture capital, far more have to get by on packaged noodles and the good will of friends with extra couches.

This story may surprise people who have never seen a Silicon Valley software campus, but those of us who live here know that all of them are able to handle employees living on site.  Think about all the amenities provided: Free meals.  Dry cleaning.  Car maintenance.  Gyms, showers, and lockers.  There’s no reason to leave the campus at all, so Eric Simons simply took the next step.

120523-aol-rentalUnfortunately, all good things come to an end, and Simons was evicted from the crash couches by a security guard.  But he obtained funding for his project,, and is now able to rent a house in Palo Alto (backyard, left).  Ever the entrepreneur, he is renting out four spaces in bunk beds there on Airbnb.

Discuss how to avoid having to pay rent or mortgages, or all the ways working for a big company makes life easier and less expensive, or anything else you want to in this Weekend Open Thread.

Comments (11) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:05 am

May 26, 2012

Walk to Cupertino Schools!

Thanks very much to Burbed reader B Parker for today’s find on Craigslist!  Ads there rarely last long, so we’ll capture everything for posterity.  Posterity in Silicon Valley terms is probably even less than a Friedman Unit.

$2064 / 1br – 650ft² – Walk to Cupertino Schools from Your Brand New Home! (sunnyvale) (map)

Date: 2012-05-22, 2:24PM PDT
Reply to: see below [Errors when replying to ads?]


Belleville Way at Homestead Road (google map) (yahoo map)

  • cats are OK – purrr
  • dogs are OK – wooof
  • it’s NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

PostingID: 3031817347


Here’s why B sent this rental ad in (and we don’t see enough examples of rental ad fail, so we’re quite pleased with this one).

Walk to cupertino schools from your 650sqft 1br apartment

The photo on the Craigslist ad goes to the apartment’s website, which is really great or we wouldn’t have found this awesome kitchen.

But walking distance to Peet’s Coffee AND Starbucks?  SOLD to the caffeine fiend with kids who don’t mind sharing your bedroom!

Comments (50) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:10 am

May 25, 2012

One will quickly realize what a truly special property this is

Many thanks to Burbed reader Tom Paine for this superb spread in Sebastopol.  This listing proves the old adage that any house that wins a major architectural award will be selling quickly.  That’s not to lock in a high price in confirmation of its awesomeness.  That’s because award-winning houses usually aren’t very livable.

1160 Pleasant Hill Rd
Sebastopol, CA 95472


SQ. FT.: 3,750
$/SQ. FT.: $587
LOT SIZE: 5.28 Acres
PROPERTY TYPE: Residential, Detached, Single Family
STYLE: Contemporary, Modern/Hi-Tech
VIEW: Hills, Orchard, Ridge, Valley, Vineyard
COMMUNITY: Sebastopol
COUNTY: Sonoma
MLS#: 21210997
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 16 days

Architecturally Organic. Spectacular Dwell Cover home. Winning an AIA award in 2006, being in numerous publications and magazines, one will quickly realize what a truly special property this is. 4br/3ba main house, 1br/1ba legal second unit, radiant heat, solar heated salt water pool, pinot vineyard, lavender field, 100yr old apple orchard, certified organic property. Concrete and glass structures with woodwork from old red wine barrels.

120523-pleasant-indoorsHere’s why Tom Paine sent this property in:

The fireplace is huge, at least 8 feet across with lots of soot stains and a motorized spit that looks perfect for roasting any neighborhood kids you caught on the lawn two at a time. It’s colder than an ex wife’s smile. It won awards, probably for the imaginative use of straight lines which combine to form squares and rectangles. Whoever this was built for was happy 120523-pleasant-poolwith it and I don’t want to meet them in a sunny alley let alone a dark one.

When we hear the word “Dwell,” our word association response is always Unhappy Hipsters.  After seeing this property, it’s going to be “Unhappy Hipsters with organic red wine barrels.”

Or maybe “bunker in a vineyard.”  Seriously, What. The. Fuck.  Because when we hear the word “Sebastopol” our usual associations are more like “Gravenstein apples” or “meth lab” or “killer weed, dude.”  But not “100 tons of poured concrete.”


And definitely not “Please enter the Launch Key Sequence after confirming with your superior officer that the Authorization Codes have been verified with NORAD.”

But first, let’s pick a hundred bushels of apples and then we’re going to stomp on today’s pinot harvest in old red wine barrels.

Wash your feet before running through the lavender field.


Hoe. Lee. Crap.  Even the backyard patio looks as menacing as possible.  The two yellow chairs are going to double-team anyone who sits in a white one or turns their back.

Have you ever seen a property listing before that contains the words “concrete and glass structures” but also uses “organic” twice?  This is just too easy.  Did some of these listings came straight from The Onion?

Comments (20) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:02 am

May 24, 2012

UPDATED: High price, less space to maintain, almost $3 thou a foot!

Let’s look at another seven-digit property in the Best Place in the Universe, Palo Alto!  Thanks very much to Burbed reader dollarbin for this item, which will definitely have lower gardening bills than yesterday’s home.

The update is at the end of the article, and it’s important.

3424 COWPER Ct
Palo Alto, CA 94306


BATHS: 5.5
SQ. FT.: 990
$/SQ. FT.: $2,919
LOT SIZE: 6,102 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Contemporary
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81216133
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 1 day

Two blocks from elementary & middle schools, Mitchell Park & public library. Corner lot on cul de sac court. Living room with high ceiling & huge windows; wired for surround sound. Big gourmet kitchen with granite counters & island, Subzero fridge. Eating nook opens to backyard. Brazilian cherry hardwood floors. Formal dining. Powder room. Large bedroom with full bath (possible in-law suite).

120523-cowper-livingroomHere’s why dollarbin sent in this six bedroom behemoth on just 6100 square feet:

This is probably a typo and will be corrected soon but…

6 BR
5.5 BA
990 Sq Ft?

120523-cowper-emptyroomI’ll save a screen cap in case they change it.

And it’s a good thing you did, dollarbin, because there were changes made to the listing on May 14th.  Does that mean the $2,919 per square foot price sat there on MLS for two entire weeks or was the realtard fiddling with this listing a little at a time?

Here are the changes to the listing:

SQ. FT.: 990 3,853
$/SQ. FT.: $2,919 $750
YEAR BUILT: 1952 2006
ON REDFIN: 1 day 21 days

Two 2 blocks from elementary & middle schools, Mitchell Park & public library. Corner lot on cul de sac court. Living room with high ceiling & huge windows; wired for surround sound. Big gourmet kitchen with granite counters & island, Subzero fridge. Eating nook opens to backyard. Brazilian cherry hardwood floors. Formal dining. Powder room. Large bedroom with full bath (possible in-law suite). Guest suite (or 2nd Master suite) with full bath.

He actually changed “Two” into “2.”  Talk about brilliant editing, along with remembering that the house is 54 years newer!  And you want to see another divergence from the public record?  Take a look at this:


120523-cowper-backyardLooks like the agent found both an extra bedroom and an extra story that the county doesn’t know about.  What’s all those unfinished square feet, an eight-car garage?  Why are the property taxes less than one percent of the valuation?  So many questions!

So with all that Facebook money floating around, why is this home still for sale?  Perhaps multimillion dollar Midtown homes circa 2006 aren’t what the market wants?

Update 9:32 AM: The house was delisted yesterday and relisted today by a different agent and broker for $2.75M.  Now take a look at it, after the break!


Comments (12) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:09 am

May 23, 2012

Nine million dollar house, kitchen needs updating

Thanks very much to Burbed reader Wendie for this palatial pad in Palo Alto!  And unlike almost every other property in Palo Alto, this one’s still for sale despite this my sitting on it since April.  Remember, there is nothing wrong with any house that price cannot fix.  And by those standards, this house is definitely a fixer.

Palo Alto, CA 94301


SQ. FT.: 9,319
$/SQ. FT.: $965
LOT SIZE: 1.97 Acres
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Spanish
VIEW: Neighborhood
COMMUNITY: Crescent Park
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81211470
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 55 days

One of PA’s largest lots! GardnerDailey’s classic Monterey Colonial style of architecture. The interior is classic and stylish featuring a lavish master suite w/ spa inspired bathroom, and 5 additional bedrooms, 3 with en suite baths. Additional 1 bedroom apartment above a 3 car detached garage completes the generous accommodations totaling over 9,300 sf. Park like 86k sf lot in Crescent Park.

120522-university-countersHere’s what Wendie had to say about this house:

What an awful kitchen! 

For a 9M dollar house, couldn’t they have AT LEAST upgraded the kitchen counter tops? Amazingly crappy kitchen for 9M!
120522-university-kitchenNo, no, no, Wendie, this is an amazing vintage kitchen for 9M!  After all, this is Palo Alto.  What would be a problem in any other listing just automagically converts that bug into a feature.  Weird countertops?  More awesomeness.

And talk about convenience!  Look where this house is located!


Right next to East Palo Alto!  This home is guaranteed to be the very first place those delightful scamps will visit for a few good-natured pranks when hijinks ensue!

Comments (30) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:09 am

May 22, 2012

UPDATED: Hella Disturbing Realty

Welcome back to Adventures in HDR!  This occasional series shows the cutting edge of today’s real estate photography, if by cutting edge I actually meant OMG my eyes are bleeding.  Today’s featured property was sent in by Petsmart Groomer, so thanks very much!

The update is at the end of the article and it is an important one.

555 4th St #404
San Francisco, CA 94107


SQ. FT.: 993
$/SQ. FT.: $755
HOA DUES: $545/month
PROPERTY TYPE: Attached, Full, Condominium, Unit Above, Unit Below
STYLE: Contemporary
VIEW: Garden/Greenbelt
COMMUNITY: South of Market
COUNTY: San Francisco
MLS#: 396886
SOURCE: San Francisco MLS
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 2 days

Welcome to another simply fantastic unit at The Palms. This northern-facing unit is perfect for the SF professional, it features spacious living and bedroom areas, as well as outdoor access to the garden belt. Gourmet kitchen includes SS Bosch stove-top and insert oven, dishwasher, refrigerator, Cabria Stone counter-tops, and Studio Becker cabinets. The kitchen and bathroom flooring/tub area were redone with new grout, wood floors were resurfaced, and new accent paint throughout. Custom CA Cabinetry in living and bedroom closets gives you tons of storage space. This unit comes with deeded parking at no extra cost to your HOA dues. Close to Wholefoods, Safeway, 25 Lusk, District, CoCo500, SF Tennis Club, AT & T Park, and public transportation.

Welcome to another simply fantastic set of photos of this Condo With Too Many Fours.


You think this is something?  Click on through to see the rest, after donning a welding helmet that can shade to at least #13.


Comments (6) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:07 am