September 14, 2012

Winchester Mystery House opens Burlingame franchise

Burbed_guest_bloggerLet’s finish up the week on the Peninsula.  Burbed reader Wendie has a very special find for us, a bodacious bunker in Burlingame!  Thanks Wendie!  Meanwhile, we’re going to continue linking to different sites and we’d love to know which ones you prefer, and why.  Wendie sent in a link to and the home isn’t there anymore.  Fortunately, we found it on Movoto!

Please give Wendie a big, warm, RBA welcome as today’s Guest Blogger with this excellent guest post!

120914-howland-movoto50 Howland Hill Ln
Burlingame, CA 94010

Loan Payment:  $12,222/mo
Bedrooms:  6
Bathrooms:  5&1/2
Size:  6,461 sqft
$/Sqft:  $495/sqft
Type:  Single Family House
Year Built:  2001
Lot Size:  21,375
Days on Movoto:  63 days
MLS#:  81226232
Status:  Active
Open House:  Sun 01:00pm – 04:00pm

Quality, details, exquisite finishes make this 6BR., 5.5BA, 2FR, 3 car garage,custom built home by Edward Neale truly remarkable. 5611 sf of living space on floors 1 & 2 plus approx 1000 sf of living space on lower level with wine rm, entertainment area featuring a wet bar, separate dining rm,a theatre inspired lounge area plus patios & decks off public rooms. Private lane close to 280/101/SF.

Here’s why Wendie sent this in:

120914-howland-boatbedSomething about this house seems to scream “Winchester’ to me! Maybe its the “boat” bed. Clearly, that is an adult version of….what? The toddler race car bed that every 3 year old boy in America has?  But clearly, this is not for a little boy. Who would even THINK to want to sleep in that weird bed?


And then the wine cellar…seems very rhyme or reason to it…..and why would the realtor take a photo of the front hall with THE FRONT DOOR OPEN?


Shut the damn door so we can see the entire room!!

120914-howland-kitchenMoving onto the kitchen…its huge with an equally large island in the middle…yet NO overhang of the granite so you can put some chairs there and eat at the island. Why not?


And last but not least, what’s up with the backyard? How many separate areas can there be?

Seems like the perfect house for 3 or 4 separate families who never want to bump into one another….





Comments (37) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:14 am

37 Responses to “Winchester Mystery House opens Burlingame franchise”

  1. madhaus Says:

    Wow, these pictures simply do not want to stay where I’m trying to place them. Sorry for the fugly display, but I give up. Maybe I’ll try again later after I’ve had more coffee.

    Also sorry for the late publication today.

  2. Real Estater Says:

    Just as I predicted, AAPL is inching closer to 700. Also, if you had bought FB on weakness, you’d be smiling now.

  3. Divasm Says:

    I think they don’t have seating on the island in the kitchen because they have it on the side bar there. But yeah, the front door thing is weird – maybe the Realtard hasn’t ever seen a wooden door like that before and thinks it’s a super rare huge selling point.

    What I want to know is what is a “theatre inspired lounge area?” Does that mean it’s a cross between a vegas drink zone and a strip club? Does it have a stage and curtains and everything? Or maybe just Shakespeare quotes engraved on the walls?

  4. mabeldu Says:

    another ugly mcmansion. it’s large and it’s in burlingame, yet it looks so blah. it looks like a boring suburban home bloated on prednisone.

    sold in 2001 for $2.1 and $500k in 1999. so someone razed the previous whatever and then built this monstrosity.

    #2 – you forgot the stripper pole. at least that would add some character to the place.

  5. dollarbin Says:

    “a bodacious bunker in Burlingame” Two thumbs up for alliteration

  6. Crissa Says:

    It’s pretty, I’ll give it that, but the order of the photos is what kills me. They’re in no particular order. I think we’re lucky all the kitchen shots are together.

    There’s two other photos that show the room you guys are complaining about, though – it’s the one with the piano that’s in the background of the second kitchen shot (I think).

    Hehe, the 480v transformer is over the back fence. Does this thing actually have a back yard?

  7. SEA Says:

    “Hehe, the 480v transformer is over the back fence.”


  8. madhaus Says:

    They look like normal power lines to me. High-voltage lines are much more noticeable, with more wires, bigger towers, and you actually hear the hum and crackle.

  9. SEA Says:

    That’s a distribution transformer, not a transmission transformer. It is very unlikely 480v. In that area it is most certainly 240v center tap grounded. The high voltage is probably around 10k-15k, but could be as low as ~2.5k or as high as ~35k.

  10. Mole Man Says:

    The door is open to let in light. Without that the whole front area would be dark and depressing.

  11. Real Estater Says:

    In these pages we have seen many heated debates and dumb arguments made. It’s interesting to note some things are now virtually absent from the conversations:

    1. Renting is cheaper than buying
    2. “My house is still under a million”
    3. When interest rate goes up home prices will drop
    4. I’m waiting for the fall
    5. Overbidding is not common

  12. madhaus Says:

    I certainly agree we’ve seen a lot of dumb arguments.

  13. Crissa Says:

    That’s a neighborhood step-down transformer. 480 volts, three-phase, yes. I know what one looks like: I have one above my parking spot. Probably feeds that house and its nearest neighbor.

    Perfect if you want one of the half-hour electric car chargers.

  14. Crissa Says:

    As in, it takes the 480 from the neighborhood lines and turns it into the 240 the houses actually use. Personally, I prefer to have these things in vaults, but PG&E has a different opinion, it seems.

  15. SEA Says:

    Simply put, #13 & #14, you are clueless when it comes to electrical distribution. There is no 480V at that transformer. The secondary is 240V center tap grounded (120V to Earth potential), and as I pointed out in #9, the primary side is medium voltage, i.e. over 1kV and below 50kV, to Earth potential (RMS as always).

    If you want a quick tour, please see this Wikipedia page.

    If the primary were 480V, with a 240V secondary, the I^2R losses in the primary system would be too high, and that’s not to mention the cost of the much larger conductors.

    “Perfect if you want one of the half-hour electric car chargers.”

    Simply put, that’s a bunch of bunk.

  16. SV Shoppet Says:

    I don’t care about voltage. I want to know if it’s harmful to my health.

  17. Facebook Investor Says:

    #11 sounds like an argument that failed to figure out the difference between argument and fact.

  18. madhaus Says:

    #16, many things are harmful to your health. Living in rental housing for 4 years while supposedly being outbid dozens of times is probably worse than having a residential electrical transformer over the back fence. Your kids are probably having their health impacted by having to attend schools their parents failed to support with their own property taxes. Gangs of homeowning hooligans routinely beat the tar out of renter children. You do not want to hear what they do to the trailer park kids (see today’s post).

    Don’t you want your kids to be part of the cool crowd who get to ravage the renter rugrats?

    Also #13 is correct about the “half hour car chargers” requiring 480V three-phase, but that fact disqualifies the rest of the claim about what kind of transformer we’re discussing. There are NO DC Quick-Chargers in residential neighborhoods because such 480V service is not merely uneconomical, but nonexistent.

  19. nomadic Says:

    #16, madhaus also left out the irreparable harm done to your precious snowflake’s self esteem. Get out there and bid! Bid high! Before it’s too late.

  20. Facebook Investor Says:

    There was “Banke East” and now “SV Shoppet”.

  21. Real Estater Says:


    How was your trip to San Diego?

  22. madhaus Says:

    nomadic, thanks for that NAR ad. It would be funny if it didn’t take itself so seriously.

    Official sponsor of the word “home”? O RLY?

  23. SV ShoppetttTt Says:

    Haha, spelling cop, want to issue me a ticket?

  24. SEA Says:

    “480V service is not merely uneconomical, but nonexistent.”

    Oh come on, #13 knows what one looks like, and she has it above her parking spot.

  25. SEA Says:

    In regard to “precious snowflake’s self esteem,” we all know that being an home loaner solves all of life’s problems.

    Imagine all those little girls who don’t know that home isn’t really home since the check isn’t sent to a lender/bank. And mommy and daddy don’t have to worry when the place needs a new roof (READ: light bulbs/Drano). So very tragic. Clearly if mommy sent the check to the bank, life would be glorious.

  26. Real Estater Says:

    #17, you obviously have no clue what are the facts. Let me offer some help. Take a look at the latest article in the Mercury News:

    >>Craig Gorman, of Intero Real Estate Services in San Jose, said he recently got 15 offers on a residence in Palo Alto.

    “The house was a tear-down I had listed for $1.29 million, and I sold it in a week for $1.76 million,” he said. “With a lot of the homes now I would say, minimum, you’re getting eight offers. Plus, I just heard of a deal the other day where they had 50 offers.”

    Gorman added that many people snapping up expensive properties — including the Palo Alto home — are foreign investors who are especially eager to buy in Palo Alto, Los Altos and San Mateo.

  27. Crissa Says:

    I’m not an electrician, but in EE you call a transformer by its upper bound or input and secondly it’s output. That’s because if you plug the wrong one in, it blows up. Literally. x-x

    I didn’t say it was economical, or common. Are we even discussing an economical house? O-o

  28. Crissa Says:

    I’m sorry, your wikipedia article fails to talk about transmission lines, although it does show a transformer in a picture.

  29. madhaus Says:

    I’m sorry, your wikipedia article fails to talk about transmission lines, although it does show a transformer in a picture.

    It also fails to talk about QE3. Imagine that.

  30. madhaus Says:

    #26, got it. Palo Alto is nothing like anywhere else, except the residents are also far from passive in Mountain View about high-density housing, and expensive homes also get multiple offers from foreigners with suitcases full of cash in Los Altos and San Mateo.

    But Palo Alto is Special because… well it just is, damn it.

  31. SEA Says:

    “I’m not an electrician”

    Thanks for providing some relief! The world is a bit safer this way.

    “but in EE you call a transformer by its upper bound or input and secondly it’s output. That’s because if you plug the wrong one in, it blows up. Literally. x-x”

    Maybe your EE instructor forgot to cover step up transformers and autotransformers?

  32. Facebook Investor Says:

    and expensive homes also get multiple offers from foreigners with suitcases full of cash in Los Altos and San Mateo.

    But Palo Alto is Special because… well it just is, damn it.

    Does Los Altos kids go to school with trailer park kids? Does Los Altos kids go to school with kids living in high density apartments? Talk about diversity.

    Does Los Altos kids get beaten by East Palo Alto kids in park? Talk about real life experience.

    That’s why Palo Alto special. Got it?

  33. Real Estater Says:

    2 types of people are commonly seen:
    1) Those who want a piece of Palo Alto (pay a high price for a high density apartment to get into the school)
    2) Those who can’t get a piece and spew sour grapes

    Not very difficult to figure out who is who, is it?

  34. SEA Says:

    “Not very difficult to figure out who is who, is it?”

    More true than you think.

  35. Crissa Says:

    Generally, if you apply the wrong voltage to either of those, they’ll blow up. And a step up transformer, in its most basic form (until you start adding in buffering circuits) is just a transformer installed backwards. And if you look at the label on a switching transformer (which is what I’ve always heard them called, is autotransformer like calling a capacitor a condenser?)

    I don’t argue with PG&E when they tell me the transformer above my head is 480v, 240v up and 240v down. Apparently you do.

  36. SEA Says:

    “240v up and 240v down.”

    I don’t need to argue with PG&E, since you don’t understand. Simply put, that’s not 480v!

    Take a look at Isolation Transformer, which is the opposite of an autotransformer.

    What are you the RE of electricity?

  37. Crissa Says:

    Like I said, I don’t argue when someone tells me it is, but apparently, you do. I can’t get close enough to photo the label, nor do I have a recording of PG&E’s cable crew. But it clearly says 480v on it.

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