September 30, 2012

Kittehz 4 Sale on ur haiwhey

Here’s a property coming on the market that you don’t see every day.  The Cats estate in Los Gatos is for sale.  It’s right off Highway 17 just a mile south of downtown Los Gatos, next to the The Cats Restaurant & Tavern.  Thanks very much to Burbed reader Kir from Inside Los Gatos for passing this item along.

120929-cats-sothebys

More info, and videos, are at the agent’s site.  The property is nine separate parcels consisting of over 75 acres of land, with three different originally built houses.  Views galore, of course.  It can be yours for $8,995,000.

120929-cats-platFacts and Features

Main House:

3985 Square Feet
Built in 1925
5 Bedrooms
4 Bathrooms
Remarkable Valley Views
Finished Basement-perfect for wine cellar
View Amphitheater
Terraced Courtyard
Famous collection of notable “attached” art work

Additional Buildings:

The Gatehouse
The Poet’s Cottage
The Ranch
The Geodesic Dome
The Teacher’s House
…more

Additional Features:

Gated entry featuring the famous Stone Cats
Riding/biking trails
Poet’s Canyon
The secret benches
The round bench
Superb acreage for horses
Natural splendor, a photographer’s paradise
Natural springs
Suitable for vineyards
120929-cats-gatehouseMountain, valley and lake views

Chain of ownership:

1920-1955
Charles Erskine Scott Wood & Sara Bard Field
1955-1960
Fred G. Hampton
1960-Current
Ogilvie Family

Does nine million seem like the right price for a property like this?  Think of all the fun you’ll have with everyone who ever knew you in elementary school dropping by because “they were in the neighborhood.”

This is the gatehouse above right.  Below is the main house.

120929-cats-main

All these pictures were snagged from the videos on Duane Adam’s site.  Below left is a view inside the main house, and below right is the Poet’s Cottage.  The latter gives just a taste of the views from the property.  Plenty more in the videos, plus footage from the 1930s!

120929-cats-inside120929-cats-poets

Watch the daughter of the current owner get all choked up over the property being sold.  She says whoever gets the property will be “very lucky,” so why didn’t they price it at $8,888,888?

One thing we did discover that isn’t on Adam’s site: the actual address.  If you bought the Cats Estate, you’ll be receiving your mail at 17525 Santa Cruz Hwy, Los Gatos, CA 95033

Comments (9) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:06 am






September 29, 2012

Signs of the Times

Under Water around the Bay Area has been taken off SFGate.  This was an interactive feature that showed what percentage of each zip code’s homes had mortgages on them for more than they were worth.  While it was a great idea, the data hadn’t been updated in several years.  Thanks to Burbed reader JF for reporting the broken link; we’ve removed it from our collection.

120928-waverly-redfinMeanwhile, when Burbed readers send in listings to some neighborhoods, we can’t write them up fast enough.  This cute Palo Alto house sold for over $300K, or 23% over the asking price.  And the Redfin agent says it’s impossible to park nearby! 

With this crazy overbidding, can the $800,000 crapshacks of 2006 be far behind?  Is Burbed about to discover that what’s old is new again?  This is going to be GREAT!  We can rerun every single house from six years ago and nobody could tell the difference!

Tell us what you’re seeing at Open Houses, or about anything.  It’s Open Thread time!

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

September 28, 2012

Make Mine Millbrae, Take Two

Yesterday, Our Fearless Leader came out of retirement and shared a really Special House in Millbrae.  It was soooo Special that burbed asked me to follow up with this possibly related listing.  So, thanks for sending this one in, Burbed reader burbed.  To, um, the blog you started.  Right.

120927-morningside-redfin821 MORNINGSIDE Dr
Millbrae, CA 94030
$1,258,000

4 Beds 
4 Baths 
2,140 Sq. Ft.
$588 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 2002 
Lot Size: 5,100 Sq. Ft. 
On Redfin: 36 days
Property Type: Detached Single Family
View: Bay
County: San Mateo
Stories: 3
Community: Telescope Hills/Silva Ranch
MLS#: 81231418

4 Bedroom/4 Bath, only 10 years new home with marble and wood flooring, cherry cabinets, granite countertops throughout located in a great school district.

Did you like yesterday’s house?  Well, you’ll just love today’s, because it is right next door and it also new while having the advantage of being time-tested.  This house is even more awesome than yesterday’s, because all you can do is longingly look at the front facade.  There’s not a single shot of the marble and wood flooring, cherry cabinets, granite countertops throughout, let alone the great school district.

120926-morningside-powerlinesThat must mean the staging is so amazing, you’ll need to wait in line for hours just to buy tickets to see it.  And if they hired ILM to stage yesterday’s house, who could be the artiste for this one?  Maybe it’s Peter Bohlin?  Could the landscaping be the work of Lawrence Halprin?  Or is the entire project the genius of Denis Weil?

One thing is for sure: no matter how many computers and servers you have, you should plenty of power to run all of them.

Here’s both homes for you to admire.  Let us know which one you’d rather be trapped in by a million dollar mortgage for the next 30 years.

120927-morningside-streetview-both

“Bunus:“ Same agent representing both houses!  Can you say Buy Two Get Two?

Comments (6) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:06 am

September 27, 2012

This new home in Millbrae is unbelievable!

817 MORNINGSIDE Dr
Millbrae, CA 94030
$1,298,000

20120926a

Ah, who doesn’t love the smell of a new home in the morning. And, look, this even comes with an Au-Pair suite! (Translation: Revenue stream opportunity! Pivot today!)

And what a reasonable price of just $601 per square foot. Practically a steal since it is just minutes from SFO where you’ll be going everyday to take your Gulfstream to whatever important business place you are going to. Caymans, perhaps?

Let’s take a look at some pictures of this new home!

20120926b

Huh. Look at that! Who knew that new home developers were putting in race cookers, step stools, water bottles, and frosted mini wheats as part of staging. Already I feel more emotionally bonded to this home! Nice job!

20120926c

Oh, nice work new home stagers! I can totally see myself having a 49er’s loving boy who has lots of hats and… is that a pink pair of sneakers under the bed? And… uh… what’s up with that weird wall fixture? That seems like a waste of space.

Odd choices… but it’s a new home after all.

Let’s look at one more picture of this new home!

20120926f 

Wow. I am absolutely impressed with this staging company. I mean, they’ve made this new home look lived in. How did they find a stained bath math like that to include? Did they even add some wear to the vent?

I am convinced that ILM was the staging company used to make this new home so awesome. ‘cuz, it’s new. Right?

What are your theories?

Comments (27) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:55 am

September 26, 2012

It’s like living in Manhattan, but in Los Altos

169 CUESTA Dr
Los Altos, CA 94022
$449,000

169quest

Thanks to Burbed reader LJ for this find! Here’s what LJ had to say:

Yes, it’s new-ish, and yes, it’s in swanky Los Altos, but it’s a frickin’ studio! Not sure how they can get away with listing it as a 1 bedroom. I always thought "Junior One Bedroom" is realtard-speak for "big studio", except that this one is not really that big at 388sqft.

And the sad part is that you could probably cover 90% of your cash flow by renting this one out to a Google or Facebook employee, who is single, and maybe also tiny, and not prone to claustrophobia, which I get just by looking at the pictures. At first I thought, wow they really crammed a lot of furniture in there, but then I looked at the data and saw how small it was. Also, I thought the foldable bed (pictures 8/9) was a nice touch, gives it a NYC big city charm, deep in RBA suburbia.

Did someone say Murphy Bed (aka Foldable bed)?

20120925c

YES! YES! YES!

At $1,157 per square foot, this housing unit represents the pinnacle, the paragon, the pagoda, the pinterest, of all that is good in the Bay Area.

Everyone stop what you are doing! This is what we want. I know that if we all work together, we can make all the homes in the Bay Area this expensive. Yes we can do better!

By the way…

20120925b

Yes, this place apparently comes with an alarm to protect all your valuables. BONUS!

Comments (6) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:54 am

September 25, 2012

Seller may consider Lease w/ Option to Purchase (price reduced once already)

Welcome back to San Mateo, courtesy of Burbed reader MS.  Today’s terrific title is a top-tier townhouse, and all that townhouse living entails.  Like 20 other units to share the complex with you, and those delightful CC&Rs to make decor decisions dictatorial.

120924-bayshore-redfin829 S Bayshore Blvd
San Mateo, CA 94401
$690,000, reduced from $711,000

HOA Dues: $250/mo. 
3 Beds 
2.5 Baths 
1,775 Sq. Ft.
$389 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 2008 
Lot Size: — 
On Redfin: 46 days
HOA Dues: $250/month
Style: Contemporary
Community: South Shoreview
MLS#: 81229901
Property Type: Townhouse
Stories: 1-3 (Low Rise)
County: San Mateo

Luxury townhome near downtown San Mateo, designed w/ craftsman details, large windows & abundant light. Less than 5 yrs old (2008 built), 3bd, 2.5 bth, 1,770 sqft unit features high ceilings, recessed lighting, wood cabinets, open kitchen, gas-burning fireplace, & gleaming flooring. Master w/ lrg walk-in closet. granite countertops + marble tiling. Seller may consider Lease w/ Option to Purchase.

120924-bayshore-satelliteHere’s why ms sent in this tip-top tenement!

This is a townhouse in a project where the nearest scenic view is the 3rd Avenue sign on 101.  The HOA is decent at $250, but for $700K+ you should not be paying HOA at all.

It is also priced far more than comps. Check out:

 

120924-bayshore-stairsRetirees, note the San Francisco-type stairs to go up and down and up again to get to the bedrooms. Your grandkids would have no common place to play.

711K?  Is the bubble real?  Is the bubble fake?  Only the shadow knows, the shadow man under someone else’s bed.

It’s not lucky $711,000 anymore!  Price reduced to $690,000.  You’ll get even luckier with a price like that.  You know what else is lucky?  Those HOA dues.  Redfin mentioned them twice.

120924-bayshore-streetview-across

MS’s comment about the 3rd  Avenue sign was completely on the level.  This is the lovely view you get every time you leave the plex.  Location, location, location!

Comments (9) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:05 am

September 24, 2012

Half Moon Barracks by the Sea

Good morning, Burbed readers!  It’s time for another wonderful week of wigwam winning, only we’re too danged wiped out to do anything about it.  That’s where our readers come in!

Burbed reader mabel du has graciously sent in a real estate find, complete with a very appropriate set of commentary.  That means mabel du is today’s Guest Blogger, so we’re going back to bed.  Please give mabel du a big, warm, Real Bay Area welcome with this guest post: a hella-fine hacienda in Half Moon Bay.  And somebody, please get this blogger a keyboard that includes a SHIFT key.

Want to see your name in lights as one of our Guest Bloggers?  Send in your best (by which we mean worst) property listing with your best (by which we really do mean best) writeup!


120923-mirada-zillow337 Mirada Rd
Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
For Sale $3,375,000

Zestimate® $2,872,044
Est. Mortgage $11,733/mo
Beds: 2
Baths: 3.5
Sqft: 5,200
Lot: 7,840 sq ft / 0.18 acres
Type: Multi Family
Year built: 1993
On Zillow: 59 days
MLS #: 81228527
County: San Mateo
Elementary school: El Granada Elementary School
High school: Half Moon Bay High School
Legal description: —
Neighborhood name: Miramar City of Naples
120923-mirada-windowsParcel #: —
Per floor sqft: 5,200
Zillow Home ID: 2130285115

Break away from the crowd and live your dream. Work and live on the ocean while minutes from town. Unobstructed ocean view, private mixed-use building. first floor for retail, second floor for large work space. third floor portion of 200 sqft offers 180 degree ocean and white sand beach views. 2 beds, 2 baths, with state of the art kitchen.

 

120923-mirada-deckand now, for something completely different.  as in, not in Mountain View (still the reigning center of the universe).

someone’s been trying to unload this fortress/prison/ugly thang for 4 years, and have run through a few realtors in their misguided attempt to make a profit in a declining market.  i hear concrete prices are way up;  might make more sense to try that route instead of the overpriced beach fortress with a view.

120923-mirada-listing-history

120923-mirada-chairnice views?  yep.  nice house?  not so much.

sold in 2005 for $3.1 mill at the top of the market.  i’m sure the current owner is completely confused as to why this concrete monster hasn’t sold for a profit – in the past 4 years of listings.

redfin – Special pictures

check out pic #20 – hello mr. chair!   thanks to realtor elizabeth for providing a picture of a chair.  now THAT makes me want to drop $3.4 mil on this concrete blob.

120923-mirada-chairspic# 23 – is that another shot of lonely mr. chair?  (That’s the deck photo right above the Price History  —ed.)

wait a sec, mr. chair found himself a mrs.,  and they both pop up in random inside (pic #18) and outside shots.  nice staging (i.e. cheap)…

poor mr. chair has been running laps in that place.

 

Comments (9) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:08 am

September 23, 2012

Hillsborough: Perfect Place for a Mitt Romney Fundraiser

The San Francisco Chronicle breathlessly reports that the Mitt Romney For President Campaign (nickname: UnMittigated Disaster) paid a visit to the Real Bay Area.  The Romneys were welcomed by co-hosts Meg Whitman and George Shultz… and a very SF Bay protest group.

Romney collects funds in Hillsborough

120922-romney-protestCarla Marinucci, SF Chronicle; Updated 12:45 p.m., Saturday, September 22, 2012

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has had a trying week, what with the surfacing of a video in which he appears to dismiss 47 percent of Americans as government freeloaders.

So he was probably looking forward to being among friends at a high-dollar fundraiser in Hillsborough Friday evening. But in the solidly Democratic Bay Area that meant he first had to experience an enthusiastic greeting from about two dozen protesters as his motorcade drove through the wealthy neighborhood where the event was held.

Some of those protesters carried signs reminding him of the video, in which Romney appears to denigrate supporters of President Obama. Others jabbed at his release Friday of his 2011 tax returns.

120922-romney-blockshopperWhat this article neglects to cover is the Hillsborough house.  Fear not!  Burbed has #factchecked the reportage!

The house used for Romney’s fundraiser belongs to Ada Regan and is, according to the Los Angeles Times, “a 13,820-square foot manse with nine bedrooms and 9.5 bathrooms…”  And what did Mr. Romney think of it?

Speaking about a dinner held for him in the Bay Area the previous night, Romney noted on Saturday that the driveway to the estate appeared at least a mile long.

“It’s like, Oh my goodness, how in the world? And then we came to the home, and it was like San Simeon, you know, the Hearst Castle,” Romney told donors at a different fundraiser on Saturday. “It was this beautiful home with gardens, manicured gardens, and a pool and a topiary and so forth.”

120922-romney-satelliteOMFG Oh my goodness! A topiary!  Bet they don’t have those in La Jolla.  You know what else they don’t have?  A house on 48.26 acres. Check this parcel out (right)!

We also arranged for a UAV with a camera to bring you these ultra-secret aerial photos of the house itself.  (Drones: they’re not just for assassinations anymore!) Remember, no mile-long driveway can keep Burbed from reporting to you on current house events!  The only way to stay off this page is to keep your house off the entire internet!

120922-romney-zoomin

120922-romney-iphone5

“Bunus:” Zillow thinks this ginormous house on 2 million square feet of land is worth five million dollars.  That would be about right if the house came with one acre.  Can’t win them all, Zillow.

Now, let’s take two recent items in the news.

  • Secret video of Romney taken at a Florida fundraiser causes no end of headaches for the Republican Presidential candidate
  • The iPhone 5 is released yesterday

Hmmm.  Are you thinking what we’re thinking?  Keep an eye on YouTube for more amazing MittVid in full 1080p.

Comments (15) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:07 am

September 22, 2012

America’s Dirtiest Cities ignores Silicon Valley

120922-dirtiest-coverTravel & Leisure magazine really enjoys making all kinds of lists of cities, and their newest one is a doody.  Whoops, we mean a doozy, sorry.  They’ve just released a list of America’s Dirtiest Cities, which is merely a reverse ranking of the Cleanliness category on their Quality of Life index. They do love making lists.

T&L offers lists of the best city for singles, or for culture, or fine dining on their website, and they do an annual America’s Favorite Cities ranking that adds up a number of those qualities.  But one thing you won’t find is any mention of America’s tenth largest city, San Jose.

120922-dirtiest-tandlThere are only 35 cities on T&L’s lists, and as far as they’re concerned, San Jose is merely a very remote suburb of smaller but way more famous San Francisco.  (San Francisco ranks 14th in population and is a quarter the physical size of San Jose.)  The only other California cities on T&L’s rankings are Los Angeles and San Diego, both of which are larger than either Northern California nexus.  Cities they deem more worth your notice than San Jose include Baltimore, Portland (Maine), Savannah, Providence, and Kansas City.

Here’s the SF entry on the dirtiest cities list, and we’ve got the entire list for you as well.  (Spoiler: NYC wins again.)

120922-dirtiest-sf

No. 11 San Francisco

The foodie capital of the nation ranks near the top of the AFC for its fine dining, ethnic cuisine, and cafés. But all that takeout can pile up. A recent study found that one of the biggest culprits for pollution in the San Francisco Bay is food containers—though ironically, they may be floating in from neighboring cities. Voters also commended the locals for being brainy and diverse.

See all the America’s Favorite Cities survey results!

The ten cities with even less civic hygiene than San Francisco are:

  1. New York City –  If you can make a mess here, you can make it anywhere.
  2. New Orleans –  The Simpsons defamed them far better than we could.
  3. Baltimore –  Quoth the raven, “Close the compactor door!”
  4. Los Angeles –  You’ll never get out of your car, so you’ll never know.
  5. Atlanta –  The litter gets moved around rather than be Gone With the Wind.
  6. Philthydelphia –  Sorry, couldn’t resist.
  7. Dallas/Fort Worth –  Everything’s bigger in Texas.
  8. Miami –  Why clean up? Another hurricane’s just around the corner.
  9. Memphis –  Elvis has left the building, but his trash hasn’t.
  10. Houston – See Dallas.  Then note they rank #7 and #10, showing that everything’s merely said to be bigger in Texas.

If you’re interested, this T&L link covers how SF has fared on all their lists.  The City by the Bay earns plenty of Top Ten rankings, and only hit bottom on Affordability, Filth, and (you didn’t see this one coming, did you?) Barbecue and Hamburgers (the latter only according to residents; we prefer the travelers’ rankings).  Worst city for barbeque: Anchorage, Alaska.

And bad news, New York City beat us again on Least Affordable.  We really have to work on that.  How about raising the price of cable car tickets to thirty bucks?  The only #1 ranking San Francisco got on anything was its residents’ vote for Ethnic Food.  Otherwise, there was plenty of Number Two all over SF.  And that brings us back to today’s topic.

120922-dirtiest-coyotecreekSee the trash in that photo on the left?  That’s Coyote Creek earlier this month (the WINNER!!! in an SF Chronicle piece on dirtiest Bay Area waterways), so San Francisco’s got nothing on us!

You can discuss the relative filth of any city you wish, including the one you live in.  Or anything at all, because this is Your Weekend Open Thread.  How filthy were the Open Houses you visited today?

Comments (12) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:16 am

September 21, 2012

ENJOY YOUR COFFEE ON THE SIDE YARD PATIO/DECKING

It’s always good news at Burbed when we hear from a new reader, because we’re sure driving away plenty of old ones!  Today’s find is from Burbed reader peninsula.man.  We’ll assume that non-standard use of punctuation isn’t a periodic mistake but a software.language.habit.

Also today’s property comes from MLSListings, as we continue our Tour of Various Online Listing Websites Because We’re Annoyed That Redfin Stopped Linking To Us Just Because We Hurt Some Realtards’ Fee-Fees.

120920-hicks-mlslistings1645 HICKS AVE
San Jose, CA 95125
$625,000

Active Contingent
Type: Single Family Home
MLS #: ML81233836
SqFt: 1,133
Beds:  2
Lot Size:  7,380 SqFt
Baths:  1 Full
Year / Age:  1947 / 65

120920-hicks-kitchenAN INCREDIBLE HOME IN WILLOW GLEN! FANTASTIC LOCATION ON GORGEOUS STREET! BEAUTIFUL MOULDING AND FIREPLACE** Flagstone walkway.. ENJOY YOUR COFFEE ON THE SIDE YARD PATIO/DECKING ** lARGE 2 CAR GARAGE W/ COVERED BREEZEWAY to house** NEW AIR CONDITIONER AND FURNACE***NEWER COMPOSITION ROOF*** AWESOME PROPERTY!

 

Active Contingent? What does that mean in English?  The house is for sale but somebody has dibs on it?

120920-hicks-livingAnyway, here’s why p.man thought this house was worth our collective whiles:

i REALLY DO NOT THINK THE CAPITAL LETTERS CHANGE THAT THIS HOUSE IS A MATCH BOX! FOR 625K!!!!! sfdkjbdlskjfnlk dsjnfkljsdnlkfjnsdlk LKDFNLDKFJNG LKJDFN LGKJNDF LKJNDGFLKJNFDLK

I bet he says that to all the girls.

Besides, look at this amazing living room.  All the SHOUTING CAPITAL LETTERS in the LISTING COPY are all about drinking coffee OUTSIDE.  Why 120920-hicks-bathroom-tileisn’t the agent singing the praises of the living room and the kitchen (above)?  The former is so evocative of a sunrise, and the kitchen responds with a sunset.  Or maybe the agent messed up the white balance.

We’ll leave it up to our readers to tell us what this shot at right is saying.  But one thing that comes to mind is we’re so glad this shooter aimed high.

Also this may be the only property we were sent in 6 months that claimed to be in Willow Glen and actually was in Willow Glen.

Comments (12) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:02 am