October 2, 2012

Los Altos Hills: More money, less effort

If you’re looking for a house, or simply enjoy looking at houses, sometimes you may think that they all are starting to look alike. (Well, except for yesterday’s featured folly.)  Today we find out it’s true, courtesy of Burbed reader Dr. Jim.  The doctor is in, and he wants this Los Altos Hills listing to say “Ahh, instant equity!”

27540 Sherlock Rd
Los Altos, CA 94022

121001-sherlock-zillow-27540Zestimate® $1,655,794
Est. Mortgage $5,754/mo
Beds: 4
Baths: 3
Sqft: 2,056
Lot: 119,790 sq ft / 2.75 acres
Type: Single Family
Year built: 1952
On Zillow: 130 days
MLS #: 81219574
View Virtual Tour (opens new tab)

Private Retreat on 2.75 Acres with views out to the Bay! 2 level home with opportunity to remodel or expand. Wrap around front deck showcasing the view, paneled cathedral ceilings with exposed beams, spacious rear deck and patio with spa and fire pit. 4.2 kW solar panels (6400 kWh per year) supply much of the home’s electricity & heat the hot tub. Excellent Los Altos schools!

121001-sherlock-wtfSince we had to showcase one property, we chose the 540.  Any listing that doesn’t lead with the front of the house must have a problem somewhere.  It’s peppered with photos (like these) that we suspect are not to be found anywhere on those 2.75 acres.

Now here’s what the doc had to say about this precious pair of properties:

I’m still enjoying Burbed immensely.

121001-sherlock-la-highHere are a couple of listings in Los Altos Hills that use the same picture for the purported view.  Perhaps we should cut the realtor some slack because the street name is the same. 

However, he is looking at $100k in commission for these two babies, so I’m not cutting him any slack!  I think the street name is very appropriate, given my incisive powers of observation!


121001-sherlock--27223 121001-sherlock-27540

No ship, Sherlock! Click on either picture to observe the Zillow listings for yourself.  The photos are #13 for 27223 and #10 for 27540.  Also the former had a $100K haircut so far.  Just sayin’.

We note a couple other curiosities besides the matching photos (which may not be on either property).

1. According to Redfin, these properties are in Los Altos Hills.  But the Zillow entry states they are in Los Altos.  One of them rejects your realty and subdivides its own!

2. Speaking of Redfin, only 27223 is listed, and the duplicate photo has mysteriously been removed from the collection.  27540 is not to be confused with 27640 Sherlock Court. (which looks like it needs a big ol’ Burbed hug of its own someday).

Comments (10) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:05 am

10 Responses to “Los Altos Hills: More money, less effort”

  1. nomadic Says:

    ANOTHER listing from David Troyer with his city shots! He sure loves those. Can anyone confirm they are Los Altos and not Mountain View? Regulars may recall he confused them once before.

  2. nomadic Says:

    27640 looks like a fun gut project. The description is coyly hopeful:

    Being sold for land value in ?As-Is? condition.

  3. SEA Says:

    Unlike any other property, this one comes “with opportunity to remodel.”

    “4.2 kW solar panels (6400 kWh per year) supply much of the home’s electricity & heat the hot tub.”

    4.2 kW at 5 hours per day for 300 days per year does equal about 6400 kWh per year, or about 525 kWh per month.

    That said, at $0.10 per kWh, you’re looking to “save” under $60 per month, before the expense of the solar system is considered.

    How much weight do buyers of $1.5M properties give to that supposed $60 per month savings? Alternatively, how much value is added by the solar panels? Clearly if it’s more than the cost, then every seller should add solar panels before selling.

  4. nomadic Says:

    525 kWh per month puts you into Tier 3 with an incremental cost per kWh of $0.30, but for many people around here that is beside the point. They want solar to support the technology and lower their carbon footprint. On a more expensive house, you’ll find interested people. On an entry level house, not so much. Same principle with the early adopters of hybrid cars and EVs.

    My neighbors who have installed panels are mostly interested in not paying the rates for Tier 3 and above.

  5. SEA Says:

    My guess is that the utility will pay about $0.10 each kWh for excess capacity. Otherwise, and I hate to even suggest this, but batteries, or some other storage method, will be required.

  6. madhaus Says:

    Um, no, SEA that’s incorrect, and you shouldn’t be guessing. See here for how PG&E’s Net Metering works. The whole point of solar is selling PG&E the power when it’s expensive (because if you’re on NEM you should also be on E-6 Time Of Use rates) and buying it back when it’s cheaper at night.

  7. SEA Says:

    Thank you. Maybe one day I will compute the NPV on these things. I’m sure it is total obvious that I am not a supporter of solar panels. I have not audited my electric bill in over 7 years–I simply click in the gross amount from automatic bill pay.

  8. nomadic Says:

    Utilities aren’t very fond of net-metering. They obviously have a markup in the rate they sell at, and therefore don’t want to have to buy power back at the same price.

    More: http://www.pv-tech.org/news/report_seia_warns_that_us_utilities_may_soon_snub_net_metering

  9. madhaus Says:

    …and 27540 is PENDING! Burbed sells another house!

  10. dollarbin Says:

    I hope the lucky buyer shows up to collect their badge.

Leave a Reply

Please be nice. No name calling, no personal attacks, no racist stuff, no baiting, etc. Let's be nice to each other in the true Bay Area spirit! (Comments may be edited/removed without notice.)