February 10, 2013

Another Wave of the Bubble Wand: A $6.5M Crapbox in Palo Alto

130209-webster-bubblewandYesterday we had a brief summary of snapshots showing that we are indeed entering the early stages of a new real estate bubble.  Far-flung areas are still far below their ridiculous 2005-6 peak pricing, and nearby but unloved neighborhoods are being scraped up by investors rather than the outbid mortgage mooches.

But core Real Bay Area listings near high-paying tech jobs are at or even above their insane 2008 peak pricing.  Yes, 2008.  Crap areas hit their high-water marks much earlier than premium places, and it’s the high end that has come back first and letting us know it.  We promised we had a doozy for you today, and we weren’t kidding.  Thanks very much to Burbed reader Wendie for bringing by the bubbly by the carboy.

Location, Location, Location! Teardown: $6.5 Million

Need proof that the Palo Alto housing market has heated up?

130902-webster-patchBy Beatrice Karnes; February 8, 2013

It’s not enough to live in Palo Alto—homebuyers want to live in specific neighborhoods. A home in Old Palo Alto has gone on the market and it’s being advertised as a tear-down or a remodel. Asking price: $6.5 million.

It’s a simple, middle class home built in the mid-1930s and boasts four bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, hardwood floors, some linoleum or vinyl floors, and a one car garage.

Let’s have a look.

120209-webster-mlsl1935 WEBSTER ST
Palo Alto, CA 94301

Type: Single Family Home
MLS #: ML81303410
SqFt: 3,009130209-webster-front
Beds: 4
Lot Size: 16,610 SqFt
Baths: 3 Full / 1 Partial
Year / Age: 1937 / 76

Virtual Tour

Prestigious Old Palo Alto location. Rare opportunity to remodel or build new on a large lot. Possible subdivision, Buyer to verify with City of Palo Alto. Built in 1935 by William Wurster. Detached recreation room with workshop, dark room and half bath.

130209-webster-tulipsLet us count the ways that this is Dutch Tulip Fever all over again:

  • A teardown, for Six. Point. Five. Million. Dollars.
  • A teardown, but you could remodel. After spending Six. Point. Five. Million. Dollars.
  • A teardown, 78 years old (2 years too young for the “old house” tag)
  • A teardown, with a named architect.
  • A teardown, sold for its potential to build two houses. But why stop there, bribe the appropriate agencies and cram in four!  Heck, how about a 20 story condo tower? Buyer to verify with City of Palo Alto.
  • A teardown, with 22, yes twenty-two mostly similar photos in full HDR.  Have you ever seen HDR photos of a workshop, a basement, or a garden hose left on the ground?  You’re about to.


Do not miss this Rare opportunity to be able to Walk To Steve Jobs’ House.

Comments (21) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:07 am

21 Responses to “Another Wave of the Bubble Wand: A $6.5M Crapbox in Palo Alto”

  1. SEA Says:

    Love the tulips!

  2. waiting_for_the_fall Says:

    It’s different this time.
    They aren’t making any more land.
    Better buy now before rates go up!
    This is a new paradigm.

  3. Real Estater Says:

    The premium pricing is for the fact that it is rare to find such a large parcel in Palo Alto, especially Old Palo Alto. On a by square foot basis Palo Alto has the most valuable land in the Bay Area. The property across from Steve Jobs was sold last year for $11 million, and it was a tear-down as well. For that price you can get a magnificent new mansion in Atherton on a larger lot.

  4. madhaus Says:

    Sorry about the link to the house listing going walkabout. (I added in it twice and it disappeared twice when I wrote this.)

    Here’s the property across the street from Steve Jobs that we covered. Perhaps #3 was referring to a different “across the street from Steve Jobs” property, as this one changed hands in October for nine million after a $10.25M ask. And it’s 10,000 sf more than today’s property as well as being closer, much, much closer, to the Jobs residence.

    So, #3, is a 22% error in price more characteristic of a real estate amateur or a real estate professional?

  5. SEA Says:

    “changed hands in October for nine million after a $10.25M ask.”

    Over a million in so-called underbidding in P*** A***?


  6. Real Estater Says:


    Keep in mind

    1) There is already a $3M difference. That’s a lot of money!

    2) That was last year. Read the news. Prices have gone up.

  7. SEA Says:

    Six times “not a lot of money” = “a lot of money.”

  8. madhaus Says:

    #6, is this hand-waving trying to distract from your confusing subtraction with addition?

  9. Sanjay Says:

    Stop the in-fighting, boys and girls. The most expensive property in the U.S. is not even in the Bay Area, but in Dallas Texas:


    You are NOT #1!

  10. madhaus Says:

    Thanks for the link featuring yet another Real Estate “professional” “journalist” who doesn’t understand the difference between an asking price and a selling price.

  11. Jb Says:

    ‘confusing subtraction with addition’ translation: math by real estate agent.

  12. SEA Says:

    #10- Have you not learned, asking price is always smaller than selling price. Always.

  13. Tom Paine Says:

    Hmm, given a choice between this place and a 7,000 Sq Ft custom home on 81 acres with a lake in a great part of Sonoma County for $4.5MM…Prolly best to settle for a timeshare condo on the Salton Sea.

  14. Sanjay Says:

    Check the reader comments. Will Bay Area people please tell us what you really think of Texas??

  15. SEA Says:

    Bay Area People don’t know if Texas is fact or fiction, and if Texas did exist beyond some fantasy, no one in the Bay Area would care.

  16. Wendy Says:

    This house made the front page of SFGATE today.


  17. nomadic Says:

    The second one (Noe Valley) is awesome. The kitchen pic with the oven door on the floor is priceless.

  18. Banker East Says:

    Head to head: Bay Area vs. Texas

  19. Real Estater Says:


  20. Real Estater Says:

    Sold for $6.5M

  21. Real Estater Says:

    Drove by this house this morning while dropping my kid off at school. House is gone. Just a big piece of lot being prepped for new construction. RBA at its best!

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