June 30, 2012

Stockton Declares Bankruptcy; Burbed Declares Open Thread

Stockton, Calif. files for Chapter 9 bankruptcy

StocktonMove stops a barrage of lawsuits and allows the city breathing room, city manager says

SAN FRANCISCO — Stockton, California, became the largest city to file for bankruptcy in U.S. history on Thursday, after years of fiscal mismanagement and a housing market crash left it unable to pay its workers, pensioners and bondholders.

The filing by the city of 300,000 people followed three months of confidential talks with its creditors aimed at averting bankruptcy.

“We are now a Chapter 9 debtor,” Marc Levinson, the lawyer who filed the city’s voluntary petition in the Eastern District of California, in Sacramento (Case 12-32118) told Reuters.

Pleadings in support of Stockton’s eligibility for Chapter 9 bankruptcy will be filed on Friday, Levinson said.

120629-stockton-kawlumStockton, home of the second highest foreclosure rate in the nation.  And the winner of Forbes’ “America’s Most Miserable City” not once but twice! We offer this as a cautionary tale to any of you considering buying a house that is NOT in the Real Bay Area.  When your definition of “Real” is so flexible that it includes the 209 area code, you have officially drunk the Realtard Kool-Aid.

Stockton now has to open their books to a Federal Judge, and we are going to open this thread to anything you wish to discuss.  Did you visit any Open Houses in Stockton this weekend?

 

Comments (6) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:03 am






June 29, 2012

Equisite English Gardens in Los Altos

Let’s finish the week on an up note, with this super structure from the seventies!  Thanks very much to Burbed reader hsjb for this luscious listing in Los Altos.

1450 REDWOOD Dr
Los Altos, CA 94024
$1,695,000

120629-redwood-redfin

120629-redwood-gardenBEDS:  4
BATHS:  3
SQ. FT.:  2,502
$/SQ. FT.:  $677
LOT SIZE:  9,317 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Traditional
STORIES: 2
VIEW: Bay, Neighborhood, City Lights
YEAR BUILT:  1975
COMMUNITY:  Highlands
COUNTY:  Santa Clara
MLS#:  81223371
SOURCE:  MLSListings
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN:  7 days
This is the home you have been waiting for. Beautiful 4bd/3ba with views. Beautiful light filled rooms with new hardwood floors and carpet. The home has high lofted ceilings with views from the upper floor. 3 bd 2 ba upstairs, 1 bed and full bath downstairs. Equisite English Gardens and sparkling pool with blue/black bottom. PRIVATE back yard. Two new decks off both floors. Don’t miss it.

120629-redwood-bedroomHere’s why hsjb thought this home was Burbed-worthy:

Take a look at picture 13. There’s a sickly green glow [I know it's HDR] but what could it also be?

1) Extra-terrestrials cowering at the side of the bed?
2) The agent forgot to clean the nuclear fuel on the floor?
3) Someone forgot Excalibur on their home tour?
4) The briefcase full of cash the owners are going to take to the bank?

While you’re on this home…check out the discrepancy of the pool size in two pictures. Image 20 makes it look HUGE! Image 22 makes it look puny!

120629-redwood-pool-huge120629-redwood-pool-tiny

Poltergeist in the bedroom?  Call 1–800–GHOSTBUSTERS!  Meanwhile, did you notice who is selling this property?  This place must be “corporate owned,” because the agent’s name is, I kid you not, Kimberly Clark.  That’s Kimberly Clark.  Makers of these fine paper products which have a lot in common with real estate agents.

Kc products

They both need frequent changing, for the same reason.

Should you buy today’s house?  Depends. 

120629-redwood-satellite

How much do you love freeways?

 

Comments (24) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:04 am

June 28, 2012

Alameda Gold Coast: Pay lots of gold while your agent coasts

Get out your FasTrak box, we’re crossing over to the East Bay today!  Thanks very much to Burbed reader J from Alameda, who reminds us that anyplace, no matter how unlike the RBA, can be Burbed-worthy.  Remember, if a property is in the Bay Area, it can be Burbed too!

J sent us a Zillow link, so that’s what we’re using. And that’s because we’re still really annoyed that Redfin stopped linking to us without explanation, but still emblazons “Bloggers, have you written about this property?” on every listing. So what are we, Redfin, chopped liver?

1629 San Antonio
Alameda, CA 94501
$649,000

120627-sanantonio-zillow

120627-sanantonio-frontBeds: 4
Baths: 2
Sqft: 2,371
Lot: 6,000 sq ft / 0.14 acres
Type: Single Family
Year built: 1970
Last sold: Oct 1998 for $375,000 –
Parking: –
Cooling: –
Heating: –
Fireplace: –
On Zillow: 42 days
Other facts
Construction quality: 6.0
County: Alameda
Last remodel year: 1971
120627-sanantonio-tableLegal description: MAP 58 PG 99 LOT 1
Parcel #: 072 031400502
Per floor sqft: 2,371 2,
Total rooms: 8
# Stories: 2
Structure type: Other
Unit cnt: 1
Zillow Home ID: 24861486

Affordable, Contemporary, Gold Coast Home

 

 

120627-sanantonio-steps

Here’s why J sent in this Alameda amazement.

Not RBA but perhaps Burbed worthy. So, it’s a partially finished remodel – not new news that someone ran out of money.

However, the photos. It’s sort of ‘staged’ – table in dining room, cabinet in living room, bed in bedroom (did not have time to get the comforter on right). The stair photo – written on the top stair is ‘keep out’. Finally, the lovely wall mounted fire extinguisher near the window in the other bedroom. Fascinating what an agent does, or does not bother to do.

You know what that lonely table in the dining room reminds us of?  Those abandoned real estate as art photos by Edgar Martins.  The bedroom photos are suggestive of his work as well.  Here are the two J mentioned above.

120627-sanantonio-comforter120627-sanantonio-extinguisher

Plus this was an awesome opportunity to break out the RED ARROW toolkit.

 

Comments (28) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:04 am

June 27, 2012

Spacious updated kithen

What’s that?  Burbed readers want to know about more houses close to Google?  Then you’ll have many thanks for Burbed reader mabel du, with this momentous manse in Mountain View. And it was submitted along with a Guest Post to go with it.  Oh, you can’t buy this house.  It’s Pending.  We told you: Mountain View is hot, hot, hot!  So thanks for getting us all excited for nothing.

Please give mabel du a big, warm, Real Bay Area welcome as today’s Guest Blogger!


152 THOMPSON Ave
Mountain View, CA  94043
$819,000

120625-thompson-redfin

120625-thompson-backyardBEDS:  3
BATHS:  2
SQ. FT.:  1,280
$/SQ. FT.:  $640
LOT SIZE:  5,300 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Modern/High Tech
STORIES: 1
VIEW: Neighborhood
YEAR BUILT:  1955
COMMUNITY:  Thompson
COUNTY:  Santa Clara
MLS#:  81221321
SOURCE:  MLSListings
STATUS: Pending Without Release
ON REDFIN:  19 days

Charming, updated home in Monta Loma. Close to Downtown Mountain View, Palo Alto & Google. Light filled living room with hardwood floors and fire place. Spacious updated kithen with view of back yard and open to the dinning area. Beautifully landscaped yard with pavers, great for entertaining. Master bedroom with hardwood floors, updated bath and the view of the back yard. Just move in and enjoy.

120625-thompson-kitchenYipppee!  Another entry from Monta Loma.  Don’t know where that is???  Here’s all you need to know:   Close to Palo Alto, Google and other companies.

F@#k Mountain View!  This house is sooooo close to the land of your dreams:  Utopia, fairies & unicorns.  And it comes with a free choo-choo just yards away.  And by ‘yards’ I mean a mere 4 houses or about 200′.   Wait a sec, my math is off…  First you have to hop over Central Expressway (not so expressy at 8:00am or 5:00pm, tho), then you get your choo-choo.
 
Please allow me to translate realtor-speak “Beautifully landscaped yard with pavers, great for entertainment = There’s not one f@#king blade of grass.  Just what every family with kids or pets desires – warm, inviting bricks to play on.  Better stock up on band aids for the skinned knees, and plastic glassware when you entertain on your new, cold, hard reality  (tho, it’ll be about 110* in the summer on that heat sink).
 
120625-thompson-backyard-2 “… and the view of the back yard.”  Nothing is more comforting than staring out a window at an expanse of pavers.  Why not just move into a condo?  You’d have numerous options to select from in Utopia Palo Alto.  Well… there must be at least a couple PA condo options for $819k.
 
I don’t have time for a full rant about “updated bath other than:  Two bathrooms, two pedestal sinks…  I can hear the ghosts of Christmas past yelling “Great!  Where’s the f@#king extra roll of toilet paper???”
 
All this for not so much money in the RBA.  Wait…  is Mountain View even in the RBA anymore?  According to this realtor, not so much.  F@#k Mountain View, all you Googlers who really want to live in PA!  
Comments (7) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:09 am

June 26, 2012

This home exudes fun and charm

Let’s head up north again, where Burbed reader Tom Paine has another catastrophic cottage in Cotati!  Actually this may be the first property of any type in Cotati ever featured on Burbed.  And if you object that Cotati is awfully far for a daily commute to Google, Apple, or Facebook you’d be right.  But if you’ve been working at one of those firms long enough, you could buy this place for cash and spend your day redecorating.

751 Richardson Ln
Cotati, CA  94931
$599,900

120625-richardson-redfin

120625-richardson-cocacolaBEDS:  4
BATHS:  2.5
SQ. FT.:  2,553
$/SQ. FT.:  $235
LOT SIZE:  1.12 Acres
PROPERTY TYPE: Residential, Detached, Single Family
STYLE: Custom, Ranch, Spanish/Mediterranean
STORIES: 1
VIEW: Pasture
YEAR BUILT:  1974
COMMUNITY:  Cotati/Rohnert Park
COUNTY:  Sonoma
MLS#:  21213213
SOURCE:  BAREIS
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN:  25 days

New to market. This wonderful Custom ranch style home with dual pane windows & sliders. Nice cheery kitchen leads to the Family and Living rooms with wood burning stove & Fireplace. All bedrooms are large with Character from the Harley Davidson room to the Coca Cola room to a Mickey mouse bathroom this home exudes fun and charm. Huge Master bedroom and bath with air jetted tub overlooks backyard. Detached 2 car garage and HUGE RV Carport. .

120625-richardson-kitschHere’s why Tom wanted to bring this listing to your attention:

OOH, a mickey mouse room! And a Coca Cola Room! And a Harley Davidson room! Where’s the PT Barnum room?

The kitchen may be cheery, but the bedrooms are large with Character.  Plus a view of a pasture.  Country living doesn’t get much better than this.

Comments (12) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:10 am

June 25, 2012

Showing Photographs but there is no Barber

Today’s listing is another outlier to the hot, hot, HOT housing market in Mountain View.  Maybe you can spot what’s wrong with this house, because just about everything else is flying off the shelf.  Thanks very much to Burbed reader Petsmart Groomer for this leftover listing.

590 PENNY Ln
Mountain View, CA  94043
$825,000

120624-penny-redfin

120624-penny-garageBEDS:  3
BATHS:  2.5
SQ. FT.:  1,196
$/SQ. FT.:  $690
HOA DUES:  $174/month
LOT SIZE:  3,255 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Contemporary
STORIES: 2
VIEW: Neighborhood
YEAR BUILT:  2002
COMMUNITY:  Rengstorff
COUNTY:  Santa Clara
MLS#:  81214154
SOURCE:  MLSListings
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN:  68 days

Welcome to Penny Lane, where homeowners can enjoy living in the heart of Silicon Valley. New construction home replete with modern amenities and detached garage.

Replete?  Somebody was paying attention when those SAT words were passed around.

Now we need another word for wtf is going on with the garage (above).  The Beatles song it calls to mind is NOT “Drive My Car” because you’re never going to get it past those killer zombie vines.

Here’s a picture of the front of the house, just in case you suspect the agent took that bizarre first shot because there’s something to hide.

120624-penny-streetview

Oh no, it’s too late!  The whole house is GONE!  If you can hack your way through, maybe there’s a sleeping princess in there.  Could it be Lovely Rita?

 

Comments (12) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:05 am

June 24, 2012

Brick by brick, row by row, building homes this way is slow

The fun-loving folks at Movoto have an interesting calculator to think about.  How long would it take you to build an exact replica of your house out of LEGO? 

Well, no, not being from the Real Bay Area, they didn’t actually ask that.  What they asked was how many LEGO bricks would it take to build your house if you didn’t put in any unnecessary accoutrements like interior walls.  They also skipped the luxury touches such as doors and windows.

Have fun with the calculator.  You might want to give the UPS driver a heads-up when you order the bricks.

Lego_ZuckSo if we want to know how much Lego it would take to rebuilt Mark Zuckerberg’s house, according to this silly tool, the answer is 23,470,037, and it would cost about the same ($2,347,074) to build it out of LEGO than it would if you used redwood and marble and slate and other cheap materials.  You’d need a building site as well.

Now, if you do care about including expensive nonsense such as an access port or a way to allow light and air into the interior, you could download the Virtual Lego Creator and figure this out for real.  Or maybe this guy could help you build it for real.

Lego_Langenbach

Image via Wired.

 

Comments (4) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:02 am

June 23, 2012

Saturday Open Thread: Rename that Island

Happy weekend! Going on a vacation? Of course not! The Real Bay Area is so awesome, you’ll staycate all summer. And what could be better than going to work, anyway?

Unless your name is Larry Ellison, and you can afford to buy most of a Hawaiian island for yourself.

Your mission is to rename the island to something more appropriate. Like Larai.

Update: Oh yeah, this is also an open thread. Duh.

 

Comments (35) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:07 am

June 22, 2012

Wouldn’t It Be Waverley?

Let’s finish out the first weekend of summer with another Two for One Special.  Thanks very much to Burbed reader nomadic for this Palo Alto find.

1936 WAVERLEY St
Palo Alto, CA 94301
$8,988,000

 

BEDS: 2
BATHS: 1
SQ. FT.: 1,020
$/SQ. FT.: $8,812
LOT SIZE: 7,000 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STORIES: 1
YEAR BUILT: 1926
COMMUNITY: Old Palo Alto
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81222806
SOURCE: MLSListings
STATUS: Active

ON REDFIN: 4 days

Price includes 1934(front) and 1936(back) Waverley St. These 2 properties are in the prime location of Old Palo Alto and are to be sold together. It’s a rare opportunity to own a 2 lots together in Old PA. #1934 has 3/2.5 + 2 car garage, with serene back yard. #1936 has 2/1 old ranch + 1 detached garage. City shows larger lot area. Buyer to varify with city planning dept for lot size and FAR
Yes, it’s just like the pair of homes we ran on Tuesday, except these have 8s in the price.  And 8s in the price per square foot, too!
Be sure to check out the other house.
Comments (27) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:08 am

June 21, 2012

Auction Ends Last Week… or BUY IT NOW

You’ve heard of eBay, right?  If you have something to sell, you can put a picture or five of your item on eBay and wait for the overbids to start racking up.  But sometimes, you just want to have the silly thing sold without the annoyance of setting a minimum bid or being sued for someone sniping someone else’s bid, or finding out your high bidder is expecting you to ship 100 jigsaw puzzles to Estonia for the $8 shipping fee you cleverly padded onto the final asking price.

We’ve covered houses going up for auction before, but this is the first one we’ve seen with another eBay feature.  Thanks very much to Michael Boltonestater for this wonderful wealthsink in Woodside.

320 HARCROSS Rd
Woodside, CA 94062
$12,950,000

120619-harcross-redfin

120620-harcross-facadeBEDS: 7
BATHS: 8
SQ. FT.: 10,010
$/SQ. FT.: $1,294
LOT SIZE: 5 Acres
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: French
120620-harcross-overheadSTORIES: 3
VIEW: Bay, Neighborhood
YEAR BUILT: 1929
COMMUNITY: Woodside Hills
COUNTY: San Mateo
MLS#: 81124548
SOURCE: MLSListings
STATUS: Active
120620-harcross-gardenON REDFIN: 383 days

AUCTION June 14 Starting Bid $7.9M Buy It Now for $12,950M “Le Soleil” a spectacular, c1920′s French Chateau, majestically set on 5+/- acres of exquisitely-landscaped grounds within sought-after-Woodside in the heart of Silicon Valley. Restored and renovated w/ modern amenities the estate features 7BDS, 7BATHS expansive terraces, tennis court, pool/spa and vineyards. Near 2 international airports

120619-harcross-buyitnowYes, you did read that correctly.  “Buy it now for $12,950M”  Funny, “Mary & Brent” doesn’t sound particularly French.

But the price in the listing copy isn’t the only thing French about “Le Soleil.”  Because it’s just as French to not particularly care if the auction went ahead last week, or got delayed until October.  Remember, the French word for mañana is lendemain, but it doesn’t have quite the same sense of urgency.

120620-harcross-concierge-auction

120620-harcross-facade-2120620-harcross-poolThis has got to be the first “Was $21M” house we’ve ever seen with postage-stamp-sized MLS photos.  Every single exterior shot is under 200 pixels.  Maybe they are postage stamps and we’ll be seeing them on wedding invitations all summer.

As to real property that you can Buy it Now on eBay?  Here’s something we swear we are not making up.

120619-nevada-ebay

Okay, you can put this one on your American Express card, but is it near 2 International airports?

Comments (22) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:09 am