April 7, 2014

What will you use the special place under this Millbrae house for?

522 CAPUCHINO Dr Millbrae, CA 94030
$838,888 Price
2 Beds
1 Baths
1,020 Sq. Ft.
$822 / Sq. Ft.


A lovely ranch home located on a quiet street with refinished hardwood floors. Great floor plan, fully fenced back yard with flagstone patio and a spacious bonus area under the house for storage, laundry, or?? Painted inside and out.

Storage, laundry, or???

Unfortunately, there are no photos of this space – or maybe that’s fortunate!

The imagination runs wild!

You could set up a cool, exclusive, space just for founders! You could build a tech incubator! You could run a server farm to power your own cloud! You could build a man cave! You could… you could… you could…

Don’t let this could turn into a should’ve! Especially given its lucky price.

What will you be doing with this bonus area?

Comments (37) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:54 am

37 Responses to “What will you use the special place under this Millbrae house for?”

  1. peanutbutter Says:

    Its nice how they appeared to have been to take pics that they didn’t even bother to sweep up the driveway after loading the flower beds with mulch.

  2. Skip Smith Says:


  3. waiting_for_the_fall Says:

    Bonus area under the house…sounds serial-killer creepy.

  4. nomadic Says:

    Aw, you all took my idea. Hitchhiker storage.

  5. Gallileo Says:

    “It puts the HDR on the pictures, or it gets the underbid again!”

  6. Angelishique Says:

    OMG YOU GUYS!!! There are pictures now!!!! And they cleaned up the driveway, too!

  7. nomadic Says:

    The pics drained away the creep-factor.

    The HDR doesn’t even look weird.

  8. Petsmart groomer Says:

    My favorite quotes from the virtual tour:

    A welcoming porch and lucky red door invite you into this perfect starter home.

    Kitchen awaits transformation into your own dream kitchen.

    Bathroom with shower over a tub awaits transformation into your own dream bathroom.

    The lucky red door should result in exactly $50k overbidding.

  9. Real Estater Says:

    I see signs of the RE market peaking right now. I would not recommend buying under current market conditions (caveat: unless you’re buying Palo Alto, which will always hold its value).

    In general, if you want to invest in real estate, wait about 3 years. Take note of who is speaking here – the one who’s been right all along, and wiped Pralay off of this site.

  10. burbed Says:

    Care to elaborate on the signs of the RE marking peaking? I was just thinking the opposite this weekend.

  11. DreamT Says:

    maybe because inventory couldn’t possibly be lower, or more plausibly the computed derivative of the velocity of buyable inventory just plateaued?

  12. Real Estater Says:


    I’d be glad to discuss the RE market in more detail; however, it’s a PITA to have my messages fall into the censorship queue each time and have to wait 3 days or more before Madhaus attends to it. By that time the thread is dead and any timely information is lost. This is why the forum is going downhill.

  13. burbed Says:

    I’ve been pretty puzzled by why this keeps getting snagged by the filter…

  14. burbed Says:

    I’ve eased some of the controls on spam… hopefully this should help.

  15. steve Says:

    >I see signs of the RE market peaking right now

    this is momentous news, although not as significant as if RE had called peak Palo Alto as well. here is a great example of a market ahead of itself:

    156 NORMANDY Ct
    San Carlos, CA 94070

    Apr 11, 2014
    Sold (MLS) (Sold)

    Apr 30, 2009
    Sold (Public Records)

    there were 0 changes (other than ownership) in the past 5 years. Burbed’s question is spot on, though, as I too wonder what is different in RE’s mind. buyers are still swarming open houses and inventory is still historically tight.

  16. nomadic Says:

    Interest rates should be higher in three years. That could bring prices down, but “affordability” will go down too.

    Ha, since when is affordability a consideration in this crazy place?

  17. Real Estater Says:

    I see the market peaking in the Bay Area based on a combination of factors:
    1) The dramatic run-up (over the past 18 months to be precise) has been investor lead, and now leaves no room for investors to make further profit either from flipping the home or renting it out.
    2) Home prices are high across the board in the Bay Area. It’s one thing for Palo Alto / Los Altos type of places to be expensive, but there is irrational exuberance when every single place is expensive. Many mid to lower end places are simply not worth the price at current levels.
    3) When you see people rushing to buy crap condos at high prices, it’s a sure sign the market is peaking
    4) Home prices are ahead of incomes. A large percentage of the population cannot afford to buy a home today. Prices are being held up due to low inventory, which is a risky foundation.

    I hope my assessment is wrong, but my gut feel tells me otherwise. No matter how hard you try you will not find a good value now, due to low inventory and high competition. Why compete for something when there’s nothing to be gained? I advise saving your hard earned money and staying out of the market. Of course, you should have bought already when I advised 2, 3 years ago that market was all set for takeoff, and you should have refinanced to the lowest possible fixed rate a year back.

  18. InTheBiz Says:

    1. Investors are fueling this run-up? They were in the beginning, at the low end, but these days it’s mommies and daddies buying brand-name neighborhoods and schools at the top end, and singles and young couples buying at the affordable end. Flippers can still make a profit because prices are going up so rapidly, but the builders I’ve talked to say they’re getting priced out of the best markets to build new spec homes.

    2. If Los Altos prices go up, Santa Clara prices go up.

    3. If SFR prices go up, “crap condo” prices go up.

    4. Most of the people who live on the mid-Peninsula and in the South Bay have been priced out of buying homes for years–that’s unfortunate, but it’s nothing new. The anomaly was back in 2011-12 when interest rates were in the 3s and low-end prices were down 30-50%, because suddenly people who could otherwise never have bought here could, but those days are over. Now we’re back to a market driven, not by “most people”, but the technological elite. That’s how it’s been for most of the past fifteen years.

    No, there are no bargains these days, but there’s still good value if your time frame is longer than a few years, and that’s most buyers.

    People buy when they feel good, and they feel good now. They don’t feel good during downturns, usually with good reason.

    There’s no doubt this market will end, but it doesn’t show any signs of slowing now.

  19. steve Says:

    >4) Home prices are ahead of incomes. A large percentage of the population cannot afford to buy a home today. Prices are being held up due to low inventory, which is a risky foundation.

    wow, RE’s 4th point suggests that 2014 RE is as different from Fall 2008 RE as the prices on the san carlos house I posted.

  20. DreamT Says:

    agree with point 3 based on anecdotal observation of a condo complex’s price increase: 2002-2005 was * 30%, 2005 to 2011 flat, 2011-2014 has been * 100% so far. condos are last to rise, first to fall, and the climb has been much steeper this time.

  21. Petsmart groomer Says:

    Calling the peak is one thing. Knowing what happens after the peak is another.

  22. Real Estater Says:

    Not surprising there are different opinions out there. Many people will eventually find out the hard way that they are wrong. Buying based on feeling is simply bad strategy. I understand people do it, and that’s why many don’t capture the right opportunities.

    Right now is the best time to save up money, rather than to waste it on some crap condo with no land value and high HOA. When the cycle turns that’s when you show your money. If your time frame is longer than a few years, then you should wait a few years. The train has left the station for now.

  23. InTheBiz Says:

    No one buys a home when they’re scared.

    When most people approach home buying as an investor, they tie themselves up in knots. In a rising market they’re always waiting for the market to cool, and in a declining market they’re always waiting for the market to stop cooling.

    I’ll give full credit to anyone who bought during the downturn, but all of us who’d spent some time in real estate knew (or should have known) that the market would come back, even in places like the Central Valley where the market fundamentals aren’t nearly as strong as they are in the RBA.

    But I don’t think any of us knew the market would come back quite like this, especially in the RBA. It’s like the peak of the dot-com market, from November 1999 to March 2000, but instead of ending after a few months it keeps going and going. And why not? Rates are low, and there’s plenty of money and optimism here. My one concern is if the loses in the stock market kill the IPO market. Even then, there’s so much momentum that it might take a while to have an effect. Last time it took a year, from March 2000 to March 2001.

    But who knows? It’ll probably be something from out of left field that cools this market.

  24. Alberto Says:

    @Real Estater:

    you sound very wise, I’m inches from trying to buy a house in Bay Area. It’s not a condo, but a good, big sized lot in a reasonable area. I’m a first time buyer, I got kicked out 4 times last year even if I was able to put reasonable downpayment and offer a 10% more than listing price.
    My understanding is that what you are saying shouldn’t apply to the housing market I am targeting. Is it correct? I can wait longer, I’m not in a rush to buy, but I am afraid waiting will kill me later with higher interest rates….

  25. Real Estater Says:

    >>No one buys a home when they’re scared.

    I agree 100%. This is precisely the type of psychology that creates opportunities for the astute investor. People tend to forget that most mortgages span a 30 year period. During that span there will be many ups and downs. Looking at a long term horizon, if you buy when everything feels rosy, you’re actually setting up yourself for higher risk.

    I strongly advocated buying in 2010-2011, and bought investment properties in 2011 that have nearly doubled in value. Yet when I took a bullish position back then, there was ridicule from the likes of Madhaus, Pralay, Nomadic and others on this site. I was alone in my position, and took the road less traveled. The rest, as they say, is history. I acknowledge that even I did not anticipate the velocity of the recovery; however, the basic principle I follow is to look ahead to where the market is going, rather than how things feel at the moment.

  26. Real Estater Says:


    I would not recommend buying into a “reasonable” area right now. Low end and “reasonable” areas are the most highly traffic’ed by buyers, and consequently the most overvalued.

    Don’t worry about high interest rate later. If you save up now, you can afford higher down payment later. Higher interest is a good thing. It creates a barrier to reduce your competition, assuming you have good credit and hold a healthy down payment. Over a 30 year span there will always be opportunity to refinance and lower your interest rate.

  27. Alberto Says:


    thanks a lot for your suggestions, I think I’m going to follow them. I’m not in a rush as said, but it bothers me all my colleagues bought the house in 2010-2011 and I lost the train (I was not ready to buy back at that time).
    I will fly in circle like a vulture above the Bay Area, waiting for the next bubble to burst… 🙂 🙂

  28. Real Estater Says:

    What’s funny is that people tend to wait when they are suppose to take decisive action, and they rush into things when they are supposed to wait. The good news here is that you only need to get one of these two scenarios right.

    Enjoy your life for the next 2-3 years. The right moment will come, guaranteed!

  29. InTheBiz Says:

    Alberto, would you buy when prices are falling, and no one knows when they’ll stop falling?

  30. steve Says:

    this will be genius if the seller can pull it off:


    “The Seller needs 18-24 months rent back at market rate.”

    listed $3.488M
    last sold $1.601M May 18, 2005

  31. Real Estater Says:


    Here’s a seller who thinks the market is peaking. Otherwise he should just wait 2 years to put it on the market and spare himself the rent back arrangement.

  32. nomadic Says:

    #23 wrote: But who knows? It’ll probably be something from out of left field that cools this market.

    That says one thing to me. Earthquake. Let’s hope that’s not it.

    Yep, RE, in #31 you have it right. Steve is right too: genius.

  33. Real Estater Says:

    Earthquake should reduce the available housing supply and drive up prices.

  34. nomadic Says:

    And you’re greedy enough to risk your house falling down to profit from it? Not to mention the collateral damage?

    In the near term, prices should be down for a few years as people decide they would rather rent and let a landlord worry about quake damage.

  35. Real Estater Says:

    >>And you’re greedy enough to risk your house falling down to profit from it?

    Have you been around the Bay Area? Houses are being torn down all the time, rebuilt, and resold at a profit. An earthquake will just expedite the refresh cycle.

  36. InTheBiz Says:

    No, I was thinking more along the lines of Ukraine, only bigger. Big enough for us to send troops. The run-up to the invasion of Iraq almost killed the 2002 recovery. All that sabre rattling paralyzed the economy. After “mission accomplished” the market relaxed, although of course that’s when the real costs began.

    The 1989 earthquake was often blamed for ending the late ’80s real estate boom, but the market had been cooling for months before then.

  37. Real Estater Says:

    Overall I don’t see earthquake as having a big negative effect on real estate. If you own an old home now, there is opportunity to rebuild. If you own an newer home, it should have been built with earthquake in mind. If you don’t own a home now, a good time to buy is after an earthquake. As a matter of fact, after the “Big One” eventually happens, the Bay Area should be safe for a long time to come.

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