February 26, 2013

UPDATED: AOL tries being Burbed for a day: Let your imagination run wild


Updated 11:30 AMSecond house found; see end for details and plenty of pix!

AOL has been doing a real estate area for a while, including a series of videos and articles beyond the listings and search tools. Someone over there must have been reading us, because they did a piece discovering that (gasp!) there are very expensive yet definitely crappy houses for sale in the Real Bay Area.  Worse, they had the gall to call this an “AOL original.”

Have they been living under a rock? This has been our signature claim for more than seven years! Let’s listen in as self-important talking heads who don’t bother introducing themselves tell us what we already know.  (Warning: dude with beard is extra smug.)


M’kay.  There’s some really useless accompanying text, so our mission is to do a slightly better job.  Remember, it’s fairly easy to succeed when you set your standards this low.

Decrepit Homes in San Francisco Bay Area Fetch Top Dollar for Mountain Views

130225-aol-rwcBy AOL Real Estate Editors | Posted Feb 21st 2013 5:14PM

A sorry-looking shack, with deep cracks in the cinder-block walls and busted windows, that looks like it’s ready to collapse: You wouldn’t pay a dime for that, would you? OK, say it’s nestled in the gorgeous hilltops of the San Francisco Peninsula with no shortage of pristine mountain views. Now how much would you pay? More than $1 million? Well, that’s how much it’s going for.

130225-aol-wgWe’ve probably violated Fair Use by quoting an entire graf, because there’s only one more.  There’s also only two homes in the video, and only the more than $1 million OMFG Emerald Hills (Redwood City) place (shown above in a clip from the video) has mountain views.  The other (at left, also clipped from the video) is in Willow Glen, and didn’t seem to have any views beyond the neighborhood street.

We were able to find the place in Emerald Lake in about 3 minutes, and it definitely could use a big ol’ Burbed sloppy kiss, Of course it’s already pending.  This is the Real Bay Area we’re talking about!

130225-lakeview-redfin209 LAKEVIEW Way
Redwood City, CA 94062

3 Beds
2 Baths
1,490 Sq. Ft.
$856 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1948
Lot Size: 0.38 Acres
On Redfin: 207 days
Property Type: Detached Single Family
View: Mountains
County: San Mateo
Stories: 1
Community: Cordilleras Heights
MLS#: 81228879

Incredible opportunity in Emerald Hills. Originally three lots under two APN#’s (APN #057-031-480 and APN #057-031-049) which have been combined into one lot at approximately 25,150 SF. The value is in the land and the views of the surrounding hills with easy access to 280. Walk the site and let your imagination run wild. Dream big and build new or renovate. Plans are available for viewing.

130225-aol-wg-kitchenWe didn’t have the same success in finding the Willow Glen weedery.  This one is similar to it (Craftsman style bungalow, over 12,000 square foot lot, to be sold as-is) but we don’t think it’s the right house.  Can any enterprising Burbed readers find the house in the video? 

Update: House in video found by Burbed reader Chris. See end of this article for details and photos. We’ll also throw in a break as this is starting to get long, so click on through!

Note that the Minnesota Avenue property is listed for $250,000 more than the one in the video is claimed to be, based on its development potential.  You could subdivide and put three houses on this lot, and the place next door did exactly that.

130225-minnesota-redfin1236 MINNESOTA Ave
San Jose, CA 95125

2 Beds
1 Baths
1,008 Sq. Ft.
$828 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1908
Lot Size: 0.32 Acres
On Redfin: 114 days
Status: Active
Property Type": Detached Single Family
Stories: 1
Community: Willow Glen
MLS#: 81239953
Style: Cottage/Bungalow
View: Neighborhood
County: Santa Clara

Classic turn of the century property that could be restored-but needs to be sold in as-is condition. Value mostly in large lot (13,916 sq ft. ) Two adjacent properties built out with 3 homes each. Huge redwood tree accents this nice lot. Good potential for future development/split or build a beautiful home on a huge lot. Close to Lincoln ave shopping and Willow Glen Elementry school.

This house may be more than a hundred years old, but it doesn’t appear to be falling apart as much.  We’ll award “bunus” points for the Elementry school.

Update: Thanks to Burbed reader Chris, we now have details on the house in the video.  Thank you very much, and please contact us for a free home review in any part of the Bay Area.  Yes, even the East Bay.

And once more, we have multiple versions of the listing! See Redfin for the 2010 REO version, while Zillow has the recently canceled one.  Movoto has completely different pictures.  Estately has a third version of the listing, with a claim not backed up anywhere else that the house sold for $499,800.

130225-bird-zillow1231 Bird Ave
San Jose, CA 95125
$585,000 (Listing removed 2/7/2013)

Sold on 5/24/10: $380,000
Zestimate®: $602,691
Est. Mortgage: $1,350/mo
Bedrooms:2 beds
Bathrooms:1 bath
Single Family:968 sq ft
Lot:12,196 sq ft
Year Built:1905
Last Sold:May 2010 for $380,000
Heating Type:Other
MLSListings #81301942 (added by Burbed for clarity)

Contractor’s special. Plans to build 3010 sqft single level property on nearly 12,000 sqft lot. Plans are available for review and included. Home in rough condition but a solid structure to remodel and add on to. Lot may be split to build multiple units. Must check with the city. Original structure is 2 bedroom 1 bath home.

The other versions of the listing copy are worth checking out. From 2010, via Redfin:

130225-bird-bedroom2MLS#: 81020415

Bank Owned REO – Not a short Sale. Value is in the land. Zoned R3H or RM depending on where you look. Lot is 40 ft. at front and 54 ft wide at rear, 254 ft. deep. House at front is habitable. please contact city of S. J. for future use. Lot is 11,761 sq. ft. House in rear is not habitable.

And on Estately, and who knows where this is from, maybe when they sold it for Not A Lot of Money back in 2000.

MLS# 80038931


Now, on to the snaps! You’ll recognize the kitchen and the back of the house right away from the video! Enjoy this multi-listing photopalooza, and click any picture for a bigger view.


Comments (10) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:01 am

10 Responses to “UPDATED: AOL tries being Burbed for a day: Let your imagination run wild”

  1. SEA Says:

    “Renters should be happy to pay more when it comes to buying, yet buying is cheaper than renting.”

  2. Chris Says:

    The Willow Glen house in the video is located at 1231 Bird Ave. A busy and narrow street.

  3. PK Says:

    Looks like Burbed will have to step up their game and made a video blog (I don’t like the portmanteau ‘vlog’)!

    Or, alternatively, Burbed should start a dial-up ISP since no one has ever done that and it’s original.

  4. SiO2 Says:

    I honestly didn’t realize that AOL was still in business.

    Blog is better than vlog; it’s harder to surreptitiously look at a vlog at work!

  5. madhaus Says:

    Great job, Chris (#2)! We’ll update this story with the right house soon, with a credit to you.

  6. nomadic Says:

    Willow Glenner must not be buying any more. He loves those big lots.

  7. CB Says:

    Burbed should be honored to be copied by the Ariana Huffington family of media.

  8. madhaus Says:

    And the house on Bird has been added to the article. Thanks again, Chris.

  9. ArrowCreek homes Guy Says:

    Yes! exactly what im looking for! an old, broken house complete with deer poop for a million dollars!! I cant begin to uderstand this. Great post!


    Hey, thanks so much for stopping by ACHG! And the house went pending at $1.29 million; as a Homes Guy you should totally “get” why that’s important. Maybe in Reno it isn’t? –ed.

  10. Divasm Says:

    #9 must be a Realtor, that copy looks like most of what we see on MLS only without the ALLCAPS. But then again we’re missing some caps too…hard to tell.

    The value is in the land. Sarcasm is hard.

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