May 2, 2012

Prime Palo Alto House for under $850K

Thanks very much to Burbed reader steve for calling this house out in comments.  Yes, an actual house (not a condo!  not a townhouse!) in 94301 in a nice area (not near train tracks!  not on or near El Camino or any other busy street!)  This was a fine find requiring an official site visit with some custom photos you won’t see on the listing.  Plus, it’s about time we featured another pink house.

And since it’s in Palo Alto (hot! hot! hot!), it’s probably pending already, despite this article being written up the night of the Open House (4/29).

746 HOMER Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301


SQ. FT.: 660
$/SQ. FT.: $1,270
LOT SIZE: 1,960 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Cottage/Bungalow
VIEW: Neighborhood
COMMUNITY: Community Center
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81215282
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 4 days

Tucked away in Community Center end of cul de sac, Palo Alto. A charming 1926 remodeled bungalow Fondly referred to as the "Pink Bungalow" it has 660 interior sq ft, 1,960 ext sq ft, 2 br & 1 ba. fully remodeled, hardwood floors! Tranquil and peaceful yet blocks to Downtown Palo Alto. Addison, Jordan and Paly

Look at those incredible schools.  Whoever buys this house can fill it to the brim with kids to take advantage of Addison, Jordan, and Paly.

There is actually a driveway for this house, which I had seriously doubted after seeing how small the lot is (1,960 ext sq ft).  However, that picture above doesn’t really do justice to how useful that “garage” is.  Have a look with an actual non-1926 vehicle parked in front to get a sense of scale.


Much more photos after the break!

IMG_1914Even if you had something on the more compact side, these fixtures will make sure you won’t be garaging it.


IMG_1913Whoops!  I meant the washer-dryer stack and the water heater, which protrude into this already too narrow “garage.”  Perhaps you could slip a Smart Car in here?

Perhaps not.

And what’s this behind the garage?  Another storage area, complete with a door that really doesn’t want to open.  Plus additional storage off the deck!

A number of doors resisted opening, which may be why there are so few of them inside.  Both bedrooms open to common rooms this way.  Closet doors are absent as well.



There’s a back door, though (which sticks).  The deck wraps around the back and side of the home, firmly defining the “ext sq ft.”


Now marvel at the expanse of lawn in case you wanted to water it.  Yes, you can indeed water your own front lawn.  And it won’t take you very long!



On the right is what the entrance to the bungalow collection looks like when you just want to get home. And from the satellite photo below, you can see that access to the property means having to cooperate with your neighbors who can get their cars in and out. 


Note the one lane central driveway/private road from Homer, serving 12 distinct homes. Do you like playing Chicken? Do you feel lucky? Then coming home every day will be a new adventure!

Comments (35) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:09 am

35 Responses to “Prime Palo Alto House for under $850K”

  1. nomadic Says:

    Does PA still allow this kind of bizarre lot splitting?

    Well, isn’t it better to own something (a scrap) in the promised land than nothing at all? 😉

  2. Tracy Tea House Says:

    This house is just like a cute 850K toy! Adorable.

  3. SEA Says:

    I’m sure the overbidding will bring the price right where it needs to be.

  4. SEA Says:

    This seller understands underbidding:

    “May 15, 2008 Sold (Public Records) $770,000 5.7%/yr Public Records
    Apr 03, 2008 Listed $775,000 — MLSListings #80789008”

  5. Alex Says:

    How the sheeple can live in such sh*tholes at such price is beyond me. I guess the “ambiance” of Palo Alto is worth it, huh?!

  6. z2amiller Says:

    @#1: Not only is the lot splitting questionable, but I have a feeling that if the house was built with proper setbacks it would be a 20sqft shack built around a twin mattress.

  7. AstroWallaby Says:

    Now let’s be fair: 660 square feet is like *twice* the typical size of one of those IKEA store demo apartments. Cover every linear foot of the walls with shelves and cubbyholes, jam a triple-level bunkbed-desk into bedroom #2 and WHAM, Palo Alto schools for less than a million bucks. Totally worth it right?

    If this were a ski-lodge hut or vacation condo you could *totally* jam about 12 adults into that thing. It’ll be just like camping!

  8. Michael Boltonestater Says:

    It reminds me of the Stapleton florist building on Waverley (in the beautiful city of Palo Alto too).

    (madhaus, feel free to edit my post to insert picture)

    Done –ed

  9. Crissa Says:

    My house is only 800 sqft and it isn’t three blocks (like real city blocks, not Sunnyvale blocks) from downtown.

    The driveway picture is terrible; it’s alot cuter than that. It’s the least cute of its set of houses, but…

  10. Crissa Says:

    …I don’t see what the other posters have against small lots and narrow or nonexistent setbacks. The 2500-4000 sqft Mcmansions on the 2000 sqft lots with the 5′ setbacks perched in a row are far more hideous than this set of bungalows on a court.

  11. madhaus Says:

    Crissa, what is your objection to the driveway photo? That is what it looks like from Homer. As you move past that one-car width between the fence on the right and the yellow covered area on the left it opens up a little but one more removal of road from a fence.

    I agree that this is a more manageable scale than McMansions on zero-lot lines, but it’s same problem writ small. These are very cute little houses built on almost no land, just “ext sq ft.” It almost would have made more sense to set the whole thing up as an HOA with all land owned among the 12 properties.

    Going to add the PA Schools tag and maybe fit in a picture of the bathroom. That was the only place in the whole house with interior doors. It’s tucked between the two bedrooms, along the wall around the corner from the back door (where the side deck is).

  12. magdalena Says:

    This only proves that the Duchess of Windsor was right – you can never be too rich or too thin.

  13. CB Says:

    Damn, people live like shit in Palo Alto. I’d rather dorm at a Foxconn in central China.

  14. Alex Says:

    @ Crissa #10

    Nothing wrong with small lots. But why would you want to become a mortgage slave to live in a dinky little “house” than is smaller than my turd?

    As CB alluded to in #13, this is not much better than living in a FoxConn dormitory. At least one has the option of jumping off the balcony to death if life as a slave becomes unbearable.

  15. Real Estater Says:


    It is true this is a very small house, but then again it is under a million. Life’s about trade-offs. Buyers’ have a choice: Live in a small house in a great neighborhood, or live in a big house in Gilroy. Those who want to be in-between live in Sunnyvale. We all know which choice Steve Jobs made.

  16. Alex Says:

    Faux Estater,

    I forgot. 2 x whole lot of money = still not a whole lot of money.

    Yes, we all know which choices Steve Jobs made…and why he’s now plant food.

  17. Crissa Says:

    Dormitories aren’t 600 sqft and private gardens.

    The driveway shots are misleading because it’s the alley the whole culdesac is on. Who includes pictures of the street with it half cut off?

  18. madhaus Says:

    Crissa, I never said it was the house’s driveway (which is clearly shown in the first photo with the SUV). I said it was the shared road that 12 houses will be playing chicken on (“entrance to the bungalow collection”), and the point of that photo was to show that there wasn’t room for more than one car at the entrance/exit. It’s “half cut off” because the shared road is, yes, half cut off by the fence and the garage.

    That’s what it looks like. I was there. Were you?

  19. SEA Says:

    Now we discuss the difference between ‘shared driveway’ and ‘shared road?’

  20. Alex Says:

    #17 Crissa,

    Maybe you should take out your camera and go snap a picture of the ENTIRE road and upload it for us.

    #16, oops. That was supposed to say “2 x NOT a whole lot of money”

  21. SEA Says:

    Hopefully these two will help:

  22. SEA Says:

    And the second one:

  23. madhaus Says:

    Site not available. Here’s the Streetview from Homer (pulled back from the shot I took.)

  24. CB Says:

    Dormitories aren’t 600 sqft and private gardens.

    Yes, pride of ownership. Still a broke slave with shitty living conditions.

  25. Alex Says:

    CB, but you get to mow and water your lawn. And in Palo Alto, no less! BWAHAHHAHAHAHA

  26. hurrdahurr Says:

    Uhm, RE, didn’t SJ live in Woodside…?

  27. Alex Says:

    #26 hurrdahurr,

    You won’t be able to use logic to get through to Faux Estater. After all, the object of his hero-worship was a man who chose homeopathic treatment for his cancer until it was too late and he had to buy a liver. (But Steve Jobs did live in Palo Alto!)

    As Estater suggests, being in Palo Alto is worth it, even if you’re a slave or worm-food.

  28. AstroWallaby Says:

    That little cluster of houses certainly looks like something built to house slaves.

    (Okay, “servants”. Given the date of build you weren’t *technically* allowed to beat the original residents to death if they melted a piece of the good silver on the stove while prepping the Master’s dinner. These days the only place you’re allowed to beat employees to death is Zynga and of course that’s in SF, not Palo Alto.)

  29. Real Estater Says:

    This house is a condo alternative. It does have certain things going for it: It’s not on a busy street; it’s not next to the train tracks, and it’s not close to freeway. To live in this location, you typically need to pay a lot more. Keep in mind, this house is priced lower than Madhaus’ shack.

  30. SEA Says:

    “It does have certain things going for it: It’s not on a busy street; it’s not next to the train tracks, and it’s not close to freeway. To live in this location, you typically need to pay a lot more.

    How much overbidding are you predicting?

  31. Crissa Says:

    Madhaus, I didn’t mean to imply you were misleading. I saw the copy – the photos of the house were just… Bad.

    It’s actually a cute circle pushed out of the bustle and a great grandmother-type unit. A million dollars, tho? Prices don’t seem to scale right.

  32. Crissa Says:

    Also, CB, that’s an idiotic position.

  33. Real Estater Says:


    This has nothing to do with overbidding. Get a clue.

  34. SEA Says:

    Less than 2x not a lot of money–how could there not be overbidding?

  35. Real Estater Says:


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