July 21, 2012

Mobile Home Living in Palo Alto

Yes, another article about Palo Alto.  It seems nobody can have too much of that place.  Thanks very much to Burbed reader PKamp3 for spotting this article in the Fox News Journal.

Vehicle-Dwellers Call Palo Alto Home

By DEBORAH GAGE, The Wall Street Journal
SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA Updated July 11, 2012, 6:17 p.m. ET

120720-live-car-wsjPALO ALTO—Kurt Varner moved to Palo Alto from Los Angeles in March to start an Internet company. But instead of renting an apartment, the 25-year-old has been residing in a different kind of abode: his car.

Every 72 hours, Mr. Varner moves his car around Palo Alto to avoid violating the city’s parking rules, and he tries to be as inconspicuous as possible to local residents and other car-dwellers. Mr. Varner sometimes does some rudimentary cooking at a co-working space in Mountain View, where he codes during the day. And he showers at a local 24 Hour Fitness gym. His total cost for the gym and co-working space is $139 a month.

Living in his car is the only way he can afford to be in Silicon Valley right now, says Mr. Varner, whose wife, a teacher, lives in Los Angeles. Mr. Varner, who has been effectively homeless for the past few months, says he can’t afford to pay rent on two places but will move into an apartment in the area this month when his wife moves up.

He says he is excited about working on something he is passionate about, but being homeless is “a little scary.”

120720-live-car-wsj-vanSo it’s not enough to find out that some people love Palo Alto so much they’ll live at the office.  Every single night.  Because they don’t live anywhere else.  Now we’ve got people living in their cars because it’s completely legal to live in your car in Palo Alto.

No wonder there’s only one mobile home park in Palo Alto.  There’s too much lowball competition!  How can Buena Vista possibly compete with BMW?

This is also your Weekend Open Thread, so have at it.  Did you see anyone living in their cars when you toured Open Houses this weekend?  Where are the best places to park?


Comments (31) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:14 am

July 20, 2012

Location, location, location in Old Mountain View

We’ll finish out our weekend with this find close to everything!  At least close to what matters.  Thanks very much to Burbed reader Petsmart Groomer for today’s listing.

Mountain View, CA  94041



120719-mccarty-blueroomBEDS:  3
SQ. FT.:  1,194
$/SQ. FT.:  $712
LOT SIZE:  5,035 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Ranch
VIEW: Neighborhood
COMMUNITY:  Downtown
COUNTY:  Santa Clara
MLS#:  81216279
SOURCE:  MLSListings
STATUS: Active
120719-mccarty-deckON REDFIN:  78 days

Absolutely stunning & charming home adjacent to Old Mountain View. Great curb appeal. Remodeled kitchen with granite slab countertops, stainless appliances & travertine floor. Other features include beautiful hardwood floors, crown mouldings, dual paned windows, remodeled bath with spa tub. Huge rear deck perfect for entertaining. Two finished outbuildings w/ power-perfect home office, studio or playhouse.

It’s always a pleasure when a place we’ve already visited comes back to us, like a disagreeable meal or a reanimated zombie.


120719-mccarty-diningExcept this time it’s got $30,000 more value than six years ago!  Hurry!  Now here’s why PG sent in this property:

“Absolutely stunning & charming home adjacent to Old Mountain View.” – I can think of a couple of other things it is adjacent to…

Let’s find out!  Burbed Sky 3 crew is on scene!




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

July 19, 2012

“San Francisco housing market booms bigger than ever”

San Francisco housing market booms bigger than ever

The average monthly price of an apartment lease has risen to $2,734 — up 12.9 percent since 2011 — according to data compiled by the rental data firm Real Facts. The spike in San Francisco rents seems to be spilling over to cheaper markets like Oakland, where the average rent is now $1,835 — up 14.4 percent since last year. Pacifica, where rents now average $1,908, has experienced a 15.6 percent increase.

A recent survey by Realtor.com shows that The City’s median listing price is up 15.4 percent since last year, which matches a similar upward tick in Oakland, where the average home is selling for $379,000. The number of homes for sale in San Francisco is down 40 percent since last year, and nearly 60 percent in Oakland.

Congrats to the Real Bay Area for this tremendous achievement!

You heard it here first! This site has been calling this since… oh… 1849. Finally we are back on track to overtake Manhattan, Moscow, Japan, and other world class cities in terms of being unaffordable (e.g. exclusively awesome)!

Let’s check in with an expert, shall we?

“With the rising rents, we’re definitely seeing some people get off the fence,” Kearney said. “But still, a lot more people can afford to pay rent on a monthly basis — even if it’s higher than a mortgage payment — than those who can come up with a down payment. So we’re seeing more and more of those down payments from parents.”

That’s right! Now’s the time to buy! Unlike when the market was tanking (that was also a time to buy BTW). If you don’t buy (with your parents’ money), you’ll be priced out forever!


Comments (56) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:49 am

July 18, 2012

Who wants to buy a meth lab?

This site has made a number of jokes about homes that could have been meth labs but probably weren’t.  But what if you could buy a real one?  Thanks very much to Burbed reader Cam for following up on our recent guide to NOT buying a meth lab.

San Jose, CA 95135


120715-sanfelipe-hallwayBEDS:  4
SQ. FT.:  3,200
$/SQ. FT.:  $375
LOT SIZE:  1.72 Acres
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Contemporary
VIEW: Mountains, Neighborhood
COMMUNITY:  Evergreen
COUNTY:  Santa Clara
MLS#:  81205455
SOURCE:  MLSListings
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN:  155 days

Now is the time to buy this small ranch in the prestigious Evergreen Hills area. New entrance bridge makes a statement. Perfect for the horse-lover (tack room, barn and fencing) or person interested in exploring the possibility of subdivision. Lots of extras including BBQ area, dog run/kennel, covered patio and a hot tub.

120715-sanfelipe-fireplaceHere’s what Cam had to say about this um, very unique (snort) property:

Found this just after the meth lab post.

Pending soon? Agent even included photos of the chemical stains!

The link is to a Redfin forums discussion which links to this property, and also points out the same address is on the DEA seizure list.  The home was seized in August, 2010.  So it’s a pretty safe bet that this house is the real thing.  Except this is interesting as it went into foreclosure the previous February.

120715-sanfelipe-hottubYup, it’s an REO.  And you know what that means, right?  It means the seller (also known as the bank) doesn’t know squat about anything that happened in this house.

Check out the fireplace! More importantly, check out the chemical stains next to the fireplace! No wonder they didn’t dare show us what was cooking in the kitchen.

This reminds us of that huge meth lab bust in March (not this one, in an apartment, like for RENTERS).  We don’t know if this house was seized because the police were tracking down a stolen iPad and hit the jackpot, or if the bank deliberately planted some “bath salts” in the hot tub because they really wanted SOMEONE to take it off their hands.

Comments (14) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:02 am

July 17, 2012

Burbed.com mentioned on Bloomberg.com

Zuckerberg’s Loan Gives New Meaning To The 1%

Zuckerberg, 28, is the world’s 40th wealthiest person, with a net worth of $15.7 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. His company went public in a $16 billion initial public offering in May. The shares were down 19 percent since trading began as of July 13.

Facebook spokesman Larry Yu declined to comment on Zuckerberg’s mortgage.

“We’re not going to get into the personal finances of executives,” he said in an e-mail.

The Palo Alto house cost $7 million in March of last year, purchased in the name of a limited liability company, according to a deed filed with the Santa Clara County Clerk-Recorder.

Zuckerberg’s address was published by Palo Alto Online and Burbed.com, a Silicon Valley real estate blog. Three neighbors reached by phone at their homes said Zuckerberg lives at the address. They asked that their names not be used because of concerns for their privacy.

Let me take a moment to thank Madhaus for the enormous effort it takes to post all these stories. Without Madhaus, this site would not have been featured on Bloomberg.com yesterday.

I’d also like to take a moment to thank the readers and commenters on Burbed, for making it such a vibrant and interesting community.

Finally, I’d like to thank Mark Zuckerberg for helping the Bay Area take another step in reaching its goals of becoming the best place in the world to live.

Thank you everyone!

Comments (15) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:09 am

July 16, 2012

Lions and Tigers and Bears — Oh My

For some reason, Mountain View seems to be Ground Zero for this website.  Sure, we get plenty of listings in other cities, but for a place with a population of 75,000, Mountain View sure gets a lot of Burbed Love.  And we’ve got some more for you today, thanks very much to Burbed reader Erin.  Let’s take a walk on the wild side… at least as far as the inside of today’s house is concerned.

976 Burgoyne St
Mountain View, CA 94043


120715-burgoyne-couchWell appointed 5 year old home single level home. Open floorplan with designer touches and upgrades throughout. large living room with fireplace and door to a side yard, Chef kitchen with ample cabinet and counter space, generous size master suite w/ doors to the backyard, natural lighting, hardwood floors throughout, attached garage and large private backyard. A very nice home.

3 bedrooms  |  2 bathrooms
Neighborhood: North Shoreline (203)
Property details
Appliance: 1 Dishwasher, Disposal, Dryer, 1 Refrigerator, Microwave Oven, Self Cleaning Oven, Washer, Window Coverings, Built-In Oven/Range Combo
Architecture Style: Ranch
Cooling System: Central Air Conditioning
County: Santa Clara
120715-burgoyne-fireplaceExterior Type: Stucco Exterior
Fireplace: Fireplace in Living Room, Gas Log Only Fireplace
Floor Covering: Hardwood
Heating System: Central Forced Air Heat, Gas Heat
Horse Property: No
Lot Size: 5670.0000
MLS#: 81225685
Num Floors: 1
Parking Type: Attached, Electric Door or Gate Opener, 1 Car Garage
Pool: No Pool
Roof Type: Composition Roof
Square Feet: 1346
Status: Active
Type: Single Family Detached
View Type: Neighborhood View
Water: City/Public Water
Year Built: 2007
Zoning: R1

120715-burgoyne-diningWe’re still a little peeved with Redfin for not linking back to us of late, so we’ve been using whatever sites our contributors send us.  But here’s the Redfin link if you find the Intero site a little too busy.  Do feel free to let Redfin know if you find links to our articles useful.

Anyway, back to today’s house.  Here’s why Erin sent it in:

Someone should write a post on this charmer for all the taxidermy enthusiasts out there, who are well-known to live in Mountain View.  See how many rooms you can find with dead animals on the walls!

120715-burgoyne-wtfDesigner touches!

Like this room.  We have to include it because we haven’t had enough opportunities to break out the Burbed Good Housekeeping Tag of Approval.

A very nice home.


Comments (41) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:10 am

July 15, 2012

Sorry Googlers, no sleeping cubes for you

Google housing axed in city’s general plan

by Daniel DeBolt, Mountain View Voice Staff

120714-googlehousingCouncil members were not moved Tuesday night by last-minute efforts by the Chamber of Commerce and the mayor to keep housing as an option for future development of Google’s neighborhood north of Highway 101.

Council members voted 6-1 in a final approval of Mountain View’s 2030 general plan, a kind of road map for redevelopment in key areas of the city and the culmination of four years of meetings, and a “community visioning” process in 2008.

Largely by increasing allowed building densities and heights, it encourages redevelopment along El Camino Real, in the East Whisman area, North Bayshore (north of Highway 101), Moffett Boulevard and the San Antonio Shopping Center area.

Council members removed an allowance for as many as 1,100 apartments along Shoreline Boulevard between Highway 101 and Charleston Road. The housing would likely have been used by employees of Google and other tech companies in the area and was supported strongly by the Chamber of Commerce, which posted a YouTube video promoting the idea and whose members largely support North Bayshore housing, said president Oscar Garcia.

Here’s the video mentioned above.

But higher density along El Camino Real!  Yay!  Too bad for all the Google employees who thought that walking to work was a good idea.  The City Council is dedicated to making you live in another zip code and buying commuter vehicles.

You can read more about the backstory on the plan and the vote in this article from last week.  The plan the City Council voted in is supposed to guide Mountain View development through the year 2030. 


Comments (42) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:01 am

July 14, 2012

Call the Doctor, Call the Nurse: Assault with a Frothy Weapon on the Lady without the Alligator Purse

And OF COURSE it’s in Palo Alto!  Thanks very much to Burbed reader PKamp3 for this one!

Woman hit with milkshake loses $2,000

Purse flies into vehicle after altercation in downtown Palo Alto

by Sue Dremann, Palo Alto Weekly Staff

A woman who was struck with a milkshake and angrily threw her purse at a vehicle full of teenagers lost $2,000 after the handbag flew into the open vehicle window, Palo Alto police said Monday.

The incident started Sunday, June 24, just before midnight, Sgt. Brian Philip said. The woman was walking east on University Avenue near Rudy’s Pub when a white Range Rover full of male teenagers driving recklessly southbound on High Street approached.

View Larger Map

120711-milkshake-rangeroverCould this incident have any more “Yup, this is definitely Palo Alto” touches?  A Range Rover full of rowdy teens and an alligator purse with two thousand in cash?  Too bad it doesn’t mention whether the milkshake was garnished with Madagascar vanilla bean shavings.

This story was picked up by NBC Bay Area and even nationally, but there isn’t anything new in either of those stories.  Miss Lucy, reached on her belled steamboat enroute to Heaven, says to be sure to read the comments in the Palo Alto Online story.

Oh yeah, and this is definitely an Open Thread.


Comments (11) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:08 am

July 13, 2012

All the World’s a-Staged

Here’s a San Francisco Super Special, courtesy of Burbed reader Petsmart Groomer!  Thanks very much for finding more listings for over a thousand a foot!  Too bad this one is… you guessed it.  Pending!

501 Beale St Unit 10h
San Francisco, CA 94105


120712-beale-viewBEDS:  2
SQ. FT.:  1,161
$/SQ. FT.:  $1,012
HOA DUES:  $750/month
PROPERTY TYPE: End Unit, Luxury, Condominium
STYLE: Contemporary
VIEW: Panoramic, City Lights, Bay, San Francisco
COMMUNITY:  South Beach
COUNTY:  San Francisco
MLS#:  397084
SOURCE:  San Francisco MLS
STATUS: Pending
ON REDFIN:  55 days
Beautifully staged by Arthur McLaughlin. Corner unit at the Watermark. Panoramic views to East & South. Large private balcony. Maple floors, marble baths, Lutron lighting, s/s appliances, custom window coverings, 24 concierge, fitness center, pool & BBQ.

120712-beale-bathAnd here’s why PG brought you this confounded contemporary condo:

Because who staged the place is very important!

Almost as important as how much the HOA dues are on this puppy: $750 a month!  Which is actually a bargain, because that includes two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and most of all, one, count ’em, ONE parking space!

But who knew that San Francisco could cost almost as much as Mountain View?

Must be because of million dollar views like this one.


Comments (9) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:09 am

July 12, 2012

Value is in the Land! No, really!

Let’s take a drive North again, courtesy of Burbed reader Tom Paine.  Tom’s got a real winner for us today, that is if by winner I meant something that is the exact opposite of winner.  So let’s check out this bitchen Bolinas back four thousand!

0 Birch Rd
Bolinas, CA  94924


120711-birch-welcome-to-bolinasBEDS:  –
SQ. FT.:  –
LOT SIZE:  4,008 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Lots & Land, Single Family
COUNTY:  Marin
MLS#:  21214547
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN:  26 days

Flat lot in Bolinas:Not a buildable site under the current water moratorium and County Septic rules and zoning. For further info:Bolinas Public Utility District at Marin County Planning Environmental Health dept.

Here’s what Tom thinks about buying this lot.

I wonder if you can park your RV there for longer than 24 hours?

Ah, yes, a little slice of property in paradise!  Unfortunately we can’t tell you which slice, as there are several 4,000 square foot lots on Birch near Poplar.  But we can show you how awesome the area is!


And when you look for some of the lots, they look even better!


Booyah!  So are you going to let a little thing like zoning issues and no septic and no water meter stop you from buying here?


Comments (15) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:08 am