August 31, 2012

Going, going, GONE in Palo Alto. What a Gem.

Today’s fine featured flop is brought to you by the letter F.  And it’s also brought by Burbed reader dollarbin, who sent this in the split second it hit all the MLS redistribution websites.  Let’s see what happened when this Pearl of Great Price hit the market.  And you have to agree, for Palo Alto, this is a great price.  In fact, this price is so low for Palo Alto there has to be a flaw.

240 Whiteclem Drive
Palo Alto, CA 94306
$699,000

120830-whitclem-trulia

120830-whitclem-satellite-2Bedrooms: 4 
Bathrooms: 1 full, 1 partial 
Property type: Single-Family Home
Size: 1,413 sqft
Lot: Ask agent
Price/sqft: $495/sqft
Year built: 1951
MLS/ID: 81232060
Zip: 94306
Provided by: Coldwell Banker-The Real Estate People
2 days on Trulia

This home has the potential for a larger home and the area is located in a quiet neighbor. Great shopping close by and public transportation available. What a Gem. Lowest price in Palo Alto

120830-whitclem-satelliteHere’s what dollarbin said when sending in this home just two days ago:

Less than $500/sq ft in Palo Alto?  No pics?  Low property taxes?  Everything about this listing screams Hoarder House.  The house doesn’t look unusually run down on street view, it almost makes me curious to swing by if they ever have an open house.  I don’t know for sure, but I would bet that this lot is subject to a single-story
overlay, which might limit its value as a teardown.  I’ll keep my eye on it, and report in if I learn anything more.

Looks like you didn’t keep your eye on it 24/7. because here’s what happened when we followed the link back to Redfin.  And Zillow.

120830-whiteclem-redfin120830-whitclem-zillow

120830-whitclem-streetview-dhoBoth sites say this house is no longer for sale, and there’s no property history whatsoever on either of the sites. The home was definitely listed for sale two days ago on Redfin. Unfortunately, Trulia doesn’t show property history or we’d have the listing date, but this place was only on Trulia for two days.

But it’s not a complete loss for a listing that’s about to be yanked, and maybe brought back at a much better (read: higher) price, if it hasn’t already sold for a couple of suitcases of cash.

Look what we found when we did an extreme close-up of the carport in Streetview.  DHO! DHO!

Now here’s something else that should make you smile even more.

120830-whitclem-overassessed

Located in a quiet neighbor, and possibly overassessed at $86K.  No wonder it’s gone.  This listing must have collapsed the space-time-money-potential continuum.

 

Comments (7) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:06 am






August 30, 2012

Non-RBA property for (don’t laugh) $2,583 a square foot

Today’s house is absolutely, positively, we promise and pinky swear, really, truly NOT IN MOUNTAIN VIEW.  It isn’t even in Palo Alto.  Today, we are headed up to Contra Costa County, where Burbed reader J from Alameda has a little real estate riddle for us.

Meanwhile, are you someone who doesn’t live in or look at houses in Mountain View or Palo Alto?  If you find one that’s #winning, send it on over!  Heck, send us more houses in Mountain View and Palo Alto too.  We’re willing to point and laugh at almost anything.

30 QUAIL Xing
Moraga, CA 94556
$3,100,000

120829-quail-redfin

120829-quail-living$3,100,000 Price
1 Beds
1 Baths
1,200 Sq. Ft.
$2,583 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 2010
Lot Size: 53.71 Acres
On Redfin: 258 days
Type: Detached
Stories: 1
Community: Rancho Moraga
MLS#: 40554737
Style: Ranch
View: Hills
County: Contra Costa

120829-quail-frontNewer 1200 SF Guest Cottage sits on 4.35± acres w/ flat building pad for a 5700± SF home, 6 stall Castlebrook barn, sport court & 360 degree view. 2nd parcel of 49± Agric. zoned acres has 2.5± acres planted w/ 3100 vines & expansion to 20+ acres possible. Abuts EBMUD open space and trails.

Here’s why J sent this in:

Over the hills and through the woods….I just had to send this in (not going anywhere fast) its just 120829-quail-far-awaysuch an incredible RBA price per square foot – $2583 – but not in the RBA. Now you get a lovely barn, sport court and ‘guest house’ with one bedroom and one bath….some teeny tiny grape vines – and yes, that lovely cement pad just waiting for its 5,700 sf, give or take – house. What, by the way is sport court? And, it’s not even in the RBA! It’s a long way down the hill(s) to get on Orinda Bart (yes, Bart) to get to RBA land. Or the other hill into the backside of Oakland.

And the 120829-quail-sportcourtrealator was nice enough to note – those 40 some odd acres are zoned agricultural – meaning, I imagine, no subdividing. What, exactly, was the original buyer thinking? Spec guest house? Forget to leave some money in the budget for the house?

Ps – out looking at houses on Sunday and drove by the half finished house – the one with the lovely garbage can shot on Olympic (Lafayette?) – I recognized the plywood. Looks about the same.

Wait, wait, you left out the best part.  The street name is half English, half Mandarin!  We can’t figure out if it’s named for where the quail are run over by vehicles or merely shot by Dick Cheney.

Comments (8) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:01 am

August 29, 2012

Dome, Dome on the (Coast) Range

120828-bear-microbusIt’s time to put on your hemp sandals and splash with a bit of patchouli oil, because we’re driving the VW Microbus up the long and winding road to a groovy getaway.  Thanks very much to mystic crystal hip chick and Burbed reader Tracy Tea House for this psychedelic shack in the Santa Cruz mountains!

21864 Bear Creek Road
Los Gatos CA 95033
$999,000

120828-bear-trulia

120828-bear-houseBedrooms: 5 
Bathrooms: 3 full, 1 partial 
98 days on Trulia
1,515 views
Property type: Single-Family Home
Size: 4,426 sqft
Lot: Ask agent
Price/sqft: $226/sqft
Year built: 1983
MLS/ID: 81219243
Zip: 95033
Provided by: californiamoves.com

This home appraised last March for $1,050,000! Want a “green” home? 120828-bear-livingYour geodesic dome has efficient wood heating, solar hot water, R30 insulation, PGandE bills of less than $60/month!! 164 acres feels like a kingdom. Great potential for horses, vineyards, hiking or just getting away to relax. Wonderful decks for entertaining. Outstanding views. Los Gatos Schools. Please do not drive-by.

The home may have a Los Gatos mailing address, but just like its 1960s architectural influence, it sits proudly on the Santa Cruz side of the County Line.  There is no doubt this is an authentic hippie pad, or at least that it could have been.  Too bad it was built in 1983.

Here’s what Tracy had to say about this geodesic goody.

120828-bear-low-ceilingI just love a good dome! This one features… Logging roads! Don’t drive by. In fact if this was my dome, I might never be able to leave. I’d get a few horses, some vineyards and watch the view. Working in the valley… forget about it. At 999 it’s a little high for a second mountain home, maybe when it gets down to 888???

120828-bear-bong-useA little high.  Snort.  Don’t bogie the bong.  Share.  Peace, man. 

Oh that sky, it’s, it’s, it’s… it’s the HDR processing that makes the blue so intense and the horizon so actinic.  Or maybe this is really bad acid.

Feels like a kingdom already.

Comments (10) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:08 am

August 28, 2012

Loaded with CHARM! in New Almaden! Needs many newer updates! And more exclamation points!

We’re heading south today, for a look at this New Almaden NODder. Thanks very much to Burbed reader nomadic for keeping an eye on what’s in shadow inventory, and what’s trying to stay in the sunshine.  Let’s see how shortly this spread will be selling.

20891 ALMADEN Rd
San Jose, CA 95120
$975,500

120827-almaden-redfin

120827-almaden-carport$975,500 Price
4 Beds
3 Baths
2,888 Sq. Ft.
$338 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1920
Lot Size: 1 Acre
On Redfin: 161 days
Property Type: Detached Single Family
View: Canyon
County: Santa Clara
Stories: 1
Community: Almaden Valley120827-almaden-porch
MLS#: 81210207

Magical one-of-a-kind Historic Home in New Almaden! Unique historic home is loaded with CHARM! Huge porch, formal living/dining room, family room, 4 bed/3 bath (2 master suites) w/ an updated country kitchen and a workshop on a 1 acre lot. Needs a tiny bit of TLC and many newer updates! MUST SEE! Get more info: TEXT “71699” to 79564

Get more info by texting!  Because there’s only so much info you can fit on the internet.  But text messaging?  Hope you’re on the unlimited plan.

Why did nomadic send this place in?  Let’s find out!

120827-almaden-wtf-is-thisThe listing history might inspire you.  They took an interesting approach to getting RBA returns – just HELOC it out and do a short sale for 2x the purchase price after 13 years – I wonder how much they sucked out. (After all, they won’t actually get the purchase value back out.)  I remember them trying to sell at the peak prices just after the real estate crash and thinking “good luck with that.”

What’s this?  Something about an inspiring listing history?  Redfin doesn’t have much on the old pricing, so Zillow to the rescue!

120827-almaden-price-history-zillow

120827-almaden-horsiesUh, yeah.  Good luck with that.  But on the upside, if you’ve always wanted a pony, this place is horsie-ready should your magical fairy godmother ever come through with those wishes.

Anyone have any idea why Zillow has reasonably-sized pictures and Redfin doesn’t for this property? Does it have anything to do with the agent who relisted it in July?  (See the EBRD listing in Redfin, the pictures look fine there.)  Does Zillow indicating the place isn’t for sale anymore have anything to do with that?

So many questions.  So many horsies.  So much historical mortgage equity withdrawal.  MUST SEE!

Comments (10) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:08 am

August 27, 2012

Million dollar education in a five and dime neighborhood

Good morning, and welcome back to another exciting Real Estate Week of Win here on Burbed!  Let’s get right to today’s spotlighted spectacular in the palatial premises of Palo Alto!  Thanks very much to Burbed reader Petsmart Groomer for the drive-by!

3980 El Cmaino Real #13
Palo Alto, CA 94306
$20,000

120826-elcmaino-redfin

120826-elcmaino-interiorProperty Type: Mobile Home (Single Wide)
County: Santa Clara
Community: Barron Park
MLS#: 81230106

Palo Alto Schools for a rental cost of $675/month! By renting in this park, children eligible to attend Palo Alto Schools. Family of 4 with children attending Palo Alto Schools moving so now you can enjoy a million dollar education without the million dollar home purchase price! Laundry facilities in park. Good family park with good neighbors all getting along. Walk to Elementary school.

120826-elcmaino-bathroomWait, you can still buy a home in Palo Alto for a million?  Who knew?  Let us know if you have any success finding one.

And if you can’t, there’s always today’s featured home!  This property shows the benefits of jaw-dropping listing copy coupled with a misspelled street address, photos with plenty of clutter,  the mandatory crapper-cam with the lid fully raised  and proudly proclaiming its crappertude, and most important of all, good neighbors all getting along.  All this at an unbelievably affordable buy-in price and a monthly space rent that will no doubt be ratcheted up the split second you finish signing over that escrow.

But this is a good family park.  It says so, right in the listing.  And it must be, because we’ve featured this park on Burbed before.

Want to see how good this neighborhood is?  Well then, why not meet a couple of your new neighbors?  We’re sure they can’t wait to make the acquaintance of you, and especially the rest of your family. 

120826-elcmaino-offender-41120826-elcmaino-offender-42

Comments (21) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:06 am

August 26, 2012

Advice Request: What to do about neighbor planning ginormous addition?

120825-adviceBurbed gets all kinds of mail.  Usually we get suggestions for houses to review or links to interesting articles that our readers might enjoy.  Occasionally we get requests for help.  Burbed reader Protennoia writes in and asks for your suggestions in dealing with a situation in the neighborhood.

A neighbor is turning a 3/1 into a 6/4.  Today, he had an open house for neighbors before he submits plans to the city of San Mateo. I went and asked him to tell me about it.

His roof leaks and he wants the space of a second story. He says his timeline is six months and that he’s building it for his family.  This neighbor is a few houses down, so I can’t argue that his second story will affect my privacy. He’s been there over 15 years and says he has no plans to move or rent out the place.

But plans can change.

I am nervous about a 6/4 house being built on the block.

A 6/4 house being rented involves a lot more traffic and street parking than a 3/1.

A 6/4 house, significantly, would maximize the potential profit of a halfway house. Up to six residents, a halfway house is considered a single family, even if their residents are six transient parolees with substance abuse problems.

People have the right to rent out rooms or to turn their house into a group home, so I don’t know that these complaints would have any effect

Other readers, how would you handle this situation?

120825-bryant-streetviewFor now we’ve taken out the name of the city.  Protennoia can add it in in the comments if it’s absolutely critical, but we will say this is a city in San Mateo County.

Updated 23:59 — Sorry about not fixing this until now.  I put San Mateo back in with Protennoia’s permission, but forgot to rewrite the about graf.  –ed.

We were looking for a good graphic of a house that completely dominated the block, but this video does an even better job getting that idea across.  And the article it came from suggests 10 signs a house is overbuilt for the neighborhood.  Several of them seem to apply to our reader’s situation.

So, Burbed Readers, what advice do you have on dealing with a neighbor doing so much expansion on your block, given that that the home’s purpose could change and then affect your ability to enjoy your home?  Is this NIMBYism or preserving neighborhood character?

If you don’t want to post your comment publicly, you can send email directly to Protennoia at this email address.

Comments (13) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:09 am

August 25, 2012

Your Weekend Open House Crawl

120824-bedroom-snakeIt’s the weekend!  You don’t feel like working and neither do we.  So head out to the beach, to the mountains, or to your favorite Open Houses! 

On second thought, better not.  Some of the sellers will forget to lock their pets up.

Tell us about your favorite (and not so favorite) Open House experiences.  Or talk about anything you want, because this is, indeed, Your Weekend Open Thread.

Will Facebook stock fall at the same rate or drop exponentially now that they’ve hired a Big Name Architect to design more footprint at the new campus?  Is this an important moment on the road to total dominion, or the waters to a shark jump?  (This metaphor, incidentally, is nowhere as tortured as you think.)  Or discuss out what Apple can do with another billion dollars.

Photo credit: This listing in Kansas City, via Hooked on Houses.

Comments (16) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:20 am

August 24, 2012

Free Plums in Mountain View

Yes, we are back to Mountain View, because we cannot seem to stay away.  Every time we Google “Center of the Universe” this is what pops up.  Although if our readers would send in properties somewhere else, anywhere else, please, please, please, we are begging you, send us a house NOT in Mountain View, even not in the RBA if you have to.

Pardon us. Ahem.  Anyway… hope you like some color other than white in your house.  That is if by “some” we mean “way, way more than some.”  And by “your house” we mean “someone else’s house” because, of course, this pad is Pending!

1602 MORGAN St
Mountain View, CA 94043
$679,900

120823-morgan-redfin

120823-morgan-living$679,900 Listed at Price 
4 Beds 
2 Baths  1,425 Sq. Ft.
$477 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1976 
Lot Size: 7,000 Sq. Ft. 
On Redfin: 35 days
Status: Pending Without Release
Pending Without Release
Property Type: Detached Single Family
View: Neighborhood
County: Santa Clara
Stories: 1
Community: North Shoreline
MLS#: 81227072

120823-morgan-diningRemodeled Single Family Home w/ high walk-score. Kitchen includes granite counters, cherry cabinetry, tile floor * Living Room with vaulted ceiling, fireplace, hardwood floors * Double pane windows * Nice private backyard for entertaining and enjoyment. Convenient location near all the major commute arteries and employment centers. Near move-in ready. .. needs a little interior work. OFFERS DUE 11AM 7/25

So much to love about this house, whether it’s that it was foreclosed on this past Valentine’s Day, or that it sold for more in 2005 than the current listing price, or that the helpful Redfin agents want you know that not all appliances are present.  As in are any appliances present?

120823-morgan-backyardBut other than that, this house is indeed near move-in ready, provided you’re near ready to open up a preschool onsite (but only after you clean up the carpets).  This is some serious color coordination we’re talking.  The house was just remodeled, so the sellers decided to stick with the original 1976 paint scheme of tomato, avocado, and mustard.

Which means the plums out back are ready for you to have for dessert.  Or to paint another room.

Comments (11) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:03 am

August 23, 2012

How you gonna keep ‘em down on the farm?

…Once they’ve seen the bright lights of South San Jose?  This is a floor wax and a dessert topping, two mints in one, yes an actual farm in San Jose.  Thanks very much to Burbed reader Abby Dow for this fantastic farmyard complete with funky photos and retail store pricing.

3630 KETTMANN RD
San Jose, CA 95121
$2,999,999

120822-kettman-estately

120822-kettmann-front3 beds
2 baths
1300 sqft
8 acres
1937 built
18 days on site
MLS# 81229181
Walk Score™ 48

Wow- Great Location and Potential. Developers, investors and owner builder; come see for yourself this one of a kind evergreen property, wonderfully located on 8+ acres.

120822-kettmann-outbuildingThe value must be in the land because the actual house doesn’t appear in the listing photos until you get to #4.  Our pal Abby seemed quite taken with the idea:

I’m sure this is priced for development, but it’s still strange to see a shabby looking little farm with a rundown house going on the market for $2,999,999 in San Jose.

It sure is.  8 acres?  It should be going for $3,999,999, especially with trash bins of this quality.  Plus you can be lord of the manor on that much property right in the middle of all this suburban sprawl.

 120822-kettmann-satellite

Except that big house we’re seeing on Streetview is someone else’s manor.

120822-kettmann-streetview

You’ll get to know them well, as it looks like you’ll be sharing that gated one-lane road.  That’s going to be awesome when you build you PUD zoned 12 homes to the acre.  Who needs Santa Cruz, you can play real bumper cars just trying to get in or out!

Comments (12) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:04 am

August 22, 2012

Time-tested Los Altos Hills listing dares you to overbid

A little less than a year ago we found an agent website listing ten big, expensive properties in the Real Bay Area (well, most of them were in the RBA). We dug in deep to see how the very high end market was doing as it began the fourth year of a prolonged economic slowdown.  Burbed reader Robert Dow recently sent in a Los Altos Hills luxe listing, and sure enough, it was one of the ten featured fabulous freeholds.  So let’s dwell on these digs in more detail.  To the Batmobile!

27040 Old Trace Lane
Los Altos Hills, CA 94022
$19,880,000

120821-oldtrace-estately

120821-oldtrace-guesthouse6 beds
7 baths
14855 sqft
3 acres
1990 built
30 days on site
MLS# 81227454
Walk Score™ 23

Spectacular Estate situated on a Private Country Lane 3.39 acres (per prelim) Main House w/dramatic entrance salon, Library/Office, Family/Game Room, Theatre, Gentleman’s Bar, Exercise Room, Wine Cellar, Indoor Exercise Pool, attached 8-Car Garage, Generator, Well for irrigation. 2bd/2ba Guest House,Tennis Court pool and elevated spa; Terrace w/outdoor fireplace; firepit . Palo Alto schools

120821-oldtrace-libraryHere’s what Robert had to say when bringing this gem to our attention.

Saw this listing for a $19,880,000 home for sale. No idea if this a reasonable price, but the house is pretty spectacular. Is this the kind of listing you’re looking for or is there some other set of criteria? Thanks.

Who wants to tell Robert what the criteria are for a home to be featured on Burbed?  There are so many ways for RBA realty to win the Internet!  For example, this one’s got a MAWBUL KAWLUM even on the guest house porch!  And check out this “library,” where books are under glass.

Like any big, expensive, and mutli-acred mansion, it has a Virtual Tour.  Unlike most of them, it also has a Gentleman’s Bar (unclear if the strippers are included, consult agent for details before writing offer).  But most importantly, it has a history, although you’d never know that if you used the Estately page.

120821-oldtrace-masterFortunately, when we reviewed the Astonishing Webpage we filled in all those price reductions, so there’s not much more to add.  And Zillow has it all, anyway, even if Redfin and Estately used the memory hole (as well as the seller request to not link to its Zestimate of $17,227,396)

Listed: 3/17/2008 at $25,000,000
Price Increased: 4/26/2008 to $28,950,000 (+16%)
Price Reduced: 5/22/2008 to $25,000,000 (-13.6%)
Listing canceled: 9/20/2008
Relisted: 8/30/2010 – 12/27/2010 at $24,950,000 (-0.2%)
Relisted: 2/1/2011 – 7/11/2011 at $20,500,000 (-17.8%)
Relisted: 7/22/2012 at $19,880,000 (-3.0%)

120821-oldtrace-kawlumsOh, about that Zestimate.  It’s 13.3% below today’s list price, which disappoints us.  We had a theory that the Zestimate for any large, custom, hard-to-price estate like this would be exactly 15% lower than the current asking price (and if you don’t believe us, go back to the Astonishing Webpage and check all ten of them).

Anyway, the hapless seller has been chasing the market down for more than FOUR YEARS.  At what point will their price cutting finally hit the market bouncing back up?  They have to get lucky this year, there’s a couple of 8s in the price now! Oh, wait.  Facebook isn’t going to save the RBA after all.  Never mind.

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