April 14, 2014

Best staged house of the year goes to…

18930 BARNHART Ave
Cupertino, CA 95014
$848,888 Price 
3 Beds 
1 Baths 
1,080 Sq. Ft.
$786 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1953 Lot Size: 5,355 Sq. Ft. On Redfin: 2 days Status: Active


Excellent Cupertino location! Brand new engineered wood flooring in the open living room/dining room, fresh interior paint, deep lot with extra front parking, private yard. Perfect opportunity for a remodel or live in and plan to build your dream home in this award-winning Cupertino school district!

The Mustang(?) in the driveway was a teaser that this house was going to be interesting. After all, how often do you see American-brand sedans parked in driveways? Especially classics like this one?

So let’s take a look inside this house. I think this house is definitely in contention for staging of the year – if not outright winning it.


You really got to hand it to the agent. The two camping chairs definitely add to the rustic feel of this house. Especially with this brand new engineered wood floor, every day will feel like you’re out in the frontier, like Lewis and Clark.


Continuing with the survival aspects of this house, be sure to observe the giant jar of whey in the shelves (that don’t seem to have doors.) This house says: “I’m a man, hear me roar.” Live like a 49er! (the 1849ers)


Finally, the grand scene itself. Now, some might argue that this is a set up for a horror shoot, a campy college movie shoot, or maybe even a porn shoot – but I argue that this is a testament to how being the owner of this house will be an adventure of a lifetime.

What prevents you from scooping up this amazing deal today?

Comments (52) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:08 am

52 Responses to “Best staged house of the year goes to…”

  1. Skip Smith Says:

    The staging is a nice preview of the lifestyle you’ll be able to afford after you buy this house.

  2. Gallileo Says:

    Love the missing drawer in the kitchen.

    I think this is the first listing I’ve seen on burbed in years that I would actually like to own–the mustang in the driveway that is. Super fun cars with great history and class.

    Unlike the house–a classic car gains value as original. A house, well, not so much.

  3. Dewane Says:

    This looks like a five-minute Eichler, although looks like this one would burn even faster (no structural breaks whatsoever, it’s like a giant chimney).

    No insulation in the roof at all, this must be fun to heat and cool.

    Still sadly, this is pretty much all you have to do to sell a house in Cupertino, these days. You wanted the worst house in the best neighborhood, you got it. Or at least, you hope it’s the worst house.

  4. nomadic Says:

    Ford Mustangs have never been “sedans,” burbed. Sedans, by definition, have four doors.

    A four-door pony car? (smh) Hopefully those rumors for 2015 aren’t true.

  5. Alex Says:



    Perfect for single hipsters, software developers, etc who can take advantage of the beautiful outdoors of the Bay Area.

  6. Jb Says:

    Software developers never go outside. A family with 2 kids will buy this and convince themselves they can make it work. Or maybe 3 kids. It’s got a dishwasher! And those Cupertino schools! Who needs indoor space?

  7. Real Estater Says:

    This is actually a pretty good property; something you can live in now and rebuild later. It’s located in the center of the neighborhood away from freeway, and close to the future Apple campus. Priced under a million with Cupertino schools. I see a lot going for it. Not sure why it’s on Burbed.

  8. InTheBiz Says:

    It’s a decent house for Rancho, but it’s also an indication of what real estate is like around here, so it makes burbed. Although I have to say that there’s very little more depressingly cheap than a Rancho Stern & Price. One of my readers told me they’re kit houses designed by Cliff May. But not to worry–Tuscan villa coming soon!

  9. burbed Says:

    >Ford Mustangs have never been “sedans,” burbed. Sedans, by definition, have four doors.


  10. Petsmart groomer Says:

    Best part is the virtual tour‘s music by Coolio. I never thought ‘there‘ was Cupertino.

  11. Gallileo Says:

    #7: “Not sure why it’s on burbed”?

    You are totally right. The camp chairs in the living room are the exact instructions from _The Real Estate Agent’s Guide to Effective Home Staging_.

    I mean–doesn’t everyone’s house look better with camp chairs in the living room? It’s such an accurate picture of what the house will look like.

  12. Bill Lumberg Says:

    Note the VERY lucky price… Do Chinese people really fall for that?

  13. nomadic Says:

    If anyone misses the longer, more content-rich pieces madhaus used to post on the weekends, take a look at this analysis of the housing shortage in the Bay Area.


  14. Real Estater Says:

    Good article. As the article points out, much of the housing issues around SF are man made and self-inflicted.

    It’s time to transform SF into a mega-city worthy of its international reputation. The money is there; the market forces are there; it just takes the right execution. China has done it many times over.

    What does the “right execution” require?
    1. Lift all artificial barriers to new construction
    2. Streamline building permit and approval processes
    3. Get rid of all anti-market forces such as rent control and low income housing for the select few

  15. Dewane Says:

    That is an amazing article, I’ll read this in more detail later.

    I visited Beijing last year, and I’m not so sure that China has the building a city thing down pat. Uncontrolled growth, or rather, growth controlled by corruption and bribery, can be not so good either. Traffic is worse than LA, I just missed the worst air ever recorded by a few days (right after New Year’s 2013), the housing prices are much worse than anywhere in the USA, bribery is the way to get new building done in China, and in Beijing at least, it’s been built out for centuries. They have these “ring roads”, the first ring road is nearest Tiananmen Square, the second ring road is outward from that, etc. like a tree ring. They are out to seven or eight by now. They also have a form of Eminient Domain where they’ll just take your apartment and move you to a new one, if you’re in the way of a project. You can’t really compare the two, except that the poor get screwed in both environments, rent control or not.

  16. nomadic Says:

    Dewane, have you read about the ridiculous scheme they have to bring water to Beijing?


  17. Real Estater Says:


    This is the wrong place for a China bashing post. We see such claims all the time usually without much basis. What special insight do you have to bribery and corruption? Are you a member of the party? Corruption in China usually takes place away from the center of power. The most stupid thing you can do is to commit corruption in front of the watchful eyes of the central government. Beijing and Shanghai are showcase cities in China. Even Governor Brown went there to check out how high speed rail is done right.

  18. InTheBiz Says:

    Yes, crony capitalism and an authoritarian one-party state is definitely the way to get real estate development done. Grab land at less than market value because you’ve got the government behind you, and rough up any homeowners who resist.

    Polish it off with a 9.0 earthquake–cuts your demolition costs 😉

  19. Real Estater Says:

    Once again, it’s all so easy to label China as “Communist”, “Dictatorship with no freedom”, and now softened as “authoritarian rule”, and then “crony capitalism”. The fact is that China has undertaken the largest urbanization movement in the history of the world. They know how to build state of the art mega-cities in highly efficient manner, and they undertake huge infrastructure projects to solve whatever problem they face. Meanwhile, SF has looked about the same over the past 50 years. Our public transportation system is in the dark ages. In the time it took us to repave FWY 101, China would have already finished building high speed rail. This is what happens when we sit still while the world blows by us.

  20. InTheBiz Says:

    Comrade Real Estater! As if the PRC was communist.

    No wonder they missed you around here!

  21. nomadic Says:

    Biz, he’s just upset that we’re critiquing his motherland.

  22. Real Estater Says:

    Look at all the cold war rhetoric – Comrade, motherland, etc., along with the false assumptions. If we can look at things in objective manner, maybe we can actually improve. China improved in part because they learned from us, including how to operate world class capitalist enterprises.

    Just for the record, I have no affiliation in the past or present with PRC, and have never stayed there for any purpose other than vacation.

    Also, just for clarification, I have no problem with any kind of criticism against any country, but I will challenge outdated thinking and baseless bashing.

  23. Real Estater Says:

    One of the mega trends of the century is the shifting of world power to the East. This is not a matter of my opinion, but well discussed by academia.

    China’s system, for all its flaws, is obviously working well, or it wouldn’t have sustained its incredible growth rate over such an extended period of time. Several years ago when I first mentioned “foreigners with suitcases of cash”, people here were laughing. Well, nobody is laughing now. Anyone who has been shopping for a Bay Area home is well aware of the phenomenon.

  24. Real Estater Says:

    Just a little lesson for Nomadic. It’s often erroneous to make certain assumptions based on a position someone is taking. Recall all those times Pralay insisted I was “in the biz”. Don’t be a Pralay.

  25. burp Says:

    Hehe, what is burbed coming to? First off, the house presented loooks all right; this is engineering country so it’s perfectly plausible that someone would live there who can easily afford a fancy bed frame but just chooses a simpler way because it suits them. And love the car! Second, the China discussion seems a bit off here. Obviously they come here with suitcases of cash because it’s so amazing here, not the other way round. Third – you guys may be missing out. Just wanted to say that there appears to be an amazing house available in … Mountain View offered below a million. Original condition – check this out (and tell me where it is, it’s a puzzle!):
    Still complaining about a missing drawer??

  26. Real Estater Says:

    >>Obviously they come here with suitcases of cash because it’s so amazing here, not the other way round.

    Actually they come here with cash because it is cheap here.

  27. Alberto Says:

    @ Real Estater:

    – China: try ask about strikes in non-western factories and non-official number of casualties in workers employed in those “mega constructions” you mentioned. Then, maybe, we can r-discuss about what it is intended as “the efficient way”. Not doing criticism, but trying to compare apple to apple. And regarding bribery..come on…you serious??

    – the house I was looking to buy was 3 blocks from Willow Glenn downtown, nd it got sold the day after the open house (they said offers accepted starting today..). I guess it got bought cash as it’s not even reported pending anymore. I guess someone is not convinced we are peaking yet…

    you asked whether I would buy when prices are falling and do not know when they’ll stop.
    They always stop falling. The question is where. Back 3 years it was a global bubble and financial crysis, but the fundamentals of Silicon Valley were solid: you still have to pass from here if you want to make technology. Oh, sure: if it hadn’t been for the smartphone mobile and social revolution, I’m sure we would be sitting here in a much more modest PC-driven industry lacking of real innovation, and bio-tech with big investements and returns in, how long?, 10 years? I would have bought, sure, if I’d had the money, but without expecting for sure 30% increase i value in one year. It would have been more sluggish I guess. Because prices were falling but towards the REAL value. They would have stopped, sooner or later.
    So, let me ask you: would you buy now, with prices comparable with pre-bubble time, and with smartphone market migrating to Asia and saturating, and “social” in need to prove that 19billion acquisition of Whatsapp will actually bring back the money spent in a reasonable time?

    Those are my questions, but I am very bad and unexperienced in these kind of things…

  28. mtv-renter Says:

    I would wait a year or two as a renter if you don’t absolutely need a house right now. I think the market is poised to crash, the Fed’s stimulus is starting to cause problems, so they’re likely to claim that jobs or economic growth have hit a level where QE can stop. The QE is directly responsible for propping up RE values and stock values, both are factors in the local house prices.

    I bought a year ago because I needed a place to live and found a house that I really liked, but if I didn’t absolutely need a place, I would have waited. It’s difficult to rent a kid friendly, pet friendly house in a reasonable school district.

  29. Real Estater Says:

    Since this is not a China forum, I’ll just leave a few final thoughts in general. The U.S. has some of the most effective propaganda mechanism built into its system such that its citizens drink the Kool-Aid without realizing it. A couple of good examples beyond China:
    1) The Russia-Crimea issue – If over 90% of a population voted in favor of joining Russia through a democratic voting process, why does U.S. have a problem with it?
    2) The Syrian conflict – U.S. says the Syrian government is killing its own people. This is balony. Clearly there is a Civil War going on, and the rebels want to topple the government. Of course the government will fight them. The U.S. government will do the same if you try to drive a tank down Pennsylvania Avenue.

    On both accounts Russia and China are both right, and the UN Security Council is working as intended with a check & balance among different interests.

  30. Dewane Says:

    I have a lot of love for China and Chinese, in fact I am married to a mainland Chinese and we have a great life together, and I am very happy. What I said about the air and the traffic are all facts. Bribery or the paying of “fees” to grease the wheels is also a fact of life there. There are many stories about people being moved out of their apartment in Beijing and elsewhere for either redevelopment or transit projects. I’m sorry if you think this is bashing, there are a lot of good things to say about central planning, but it’s not bashing to say that China is still a developing country, for good or ill. I’ll have to agree with burp who says people want to live here because it’s better here. In fact, traveling to another country gives you quite a perspective about how great things are here.

  31. Real Estater Says:

    Agree with #28. What is the reason someone must buy a house right now when the market is on fire and prices are sky high? When you sit down and think about it, there is no good reason.

    One year ago when mtv-renter bought things were really just getting started. You can tell the market is poised to go higher (and it did). Right now the market is overshooting and all reason is lost. Those who have been around have seen it all before, in 2000 and in 2006/2007 time frame. The market was on drugs and the aftermath wasn’t pretty.

  32. Real Estater Says:


    China has problems that the U.S. doesn’t have, and the U.S. has problems that China doesn’t have. If you only pick on the problems that is bashing. It’s not really true that when you travel to another country you realize how great the U.S. is. It depends on what you like and how much money you spend. In China if you have money you can experience the type of service and luxury you cannot imagine getting in the U.S. For examples, airline service and hotels in China are way superior.

    Earlier I made the point that the Chinese system is obviously working well. Let me elaborate. The system works well collectively. That means some portion of the $1.35 billion people will not get what they want,not get a fair deal or even get screwed. However, on the whole, majority of the people will be lifted out of poverty and things will be improved. Getting back to real estate. As you stated, some people are made to leave through eminent domain. What they have done is within a very short period of time, hauled out city blocks of old squalor and replaced it with shining new architecture. Some people will complain because they got displaced, but overall it’s for the better. When you go to Beijing or Shanghai today it is an amazing place. That’s why the 007 movie chose Shanghai as the backdrop, and car companies like Porsche shoots its commercials there for new product introductions.

  33. Petsmart groomer Says:

    > Original condition – check this out (and tell me where it is, it’s a puzzle!)

    206 Bush St according to Google.

  34. mtv-renter Says:

    It’s easy to bash other countries when all you’re exposed to is cartoonish caricatures.

    Having grown up in a communist country, I’m pretty sensitive to propaganda, and I have to tell you, if there is anything the US does better than anyone else in the world, it’s propaganda about its own supremacy. We’re inundated with all this drivel about this being a country governed by the people, a free country, the good guy in a world of bad guys whose role is to police the world. This is all complete bullshit.

    Do you think you can have countries with a billion people in them if they’re completely busted? Sure, China has its problems, namely that the government is extremely protectionist of government run companies, but if you don’t try to compete with the government there, you have a far more free market than here in the US.

    You can live in a communist country with far less government intrusion into your own life than here in the US, as long as you stay out of politics and out of politicians’ businesses way.

  35. Dewane Says:

    In another country, a negative comment about the country you live in could get you arrested. Thank God/Allah/Buddah/nobody for American free speech!

    To try to get this back to housing (I take entire responsibility here), this site, which I check regularly, targets Realty and Realtors ™. And let’s face facts here, often the target is as as big as the side of a barn! Nobody is perfect, including (especially) us and we are all worthy of being taken down a peg or two from time to time.

    I actually am getting into the position of buying a piece of the American Dream, something I never thought I could do. Yaaaaay for Burbed!

  36. Real Estater Says:

    Dewane, I’ve covered this topic before. There’s a difference between “freedom you can use” and useless freedom. China gives you more of the former, while the U.S. gives you more of the latter.

    By the way, if every commentary you make is being monitored by the NSA and stored into a database somewhere, are you truly experiencing freedom?

  37. InTheBiz Says:

    If anyone here is still interested in real estate, check out 1680 Bryant St. in Palo Alto:


    “Deemed the only remaining home on the Peninsula by Bay Area architect John Hudson Thomas, circa 1914. Classic organic Prairie style with period details…”

    Must have looked like something from outer space back in 1914. Open this Saturday and Sunday 2-4 PM.

  38. Real Estater Says:

    I counted 8 solid homes coming to market in Palo Alto last week in the range of $1.7M to $2.2M. All of them got snatched up already.

  39. Real Estater Says:

    LA times coverage. Chinese buyers come here because it’s cheap here. Some don’t even bother to live here.

  40. nomadic Says:

    And then there are all of the software developers who expect to become millionaires.

  41. Petsmart groomer Says:

    Of course it is already pending.

  42. Real Estater Says:

    It’s really the right time for Burbed to go back to daily. The market is prime for Burbing right now. Lots of amateur buyers getting into dumb deals. When the music stops, these folks are going to be underwater begging someone to take their property to stop the bleeding.

  43. burbed Says:

    Burbed wishes this could go back to being daily – but life happens.

  44. madhaus Says:

    madhaus wishes this as well – but not-having-a-life happens too.

  45. Real Estater Says:

    what about like not having a job and kids off to college, Madhaus?

  46. Real Estater Says:

    Looks like I need to contribute something:
    Mountain View Voice coverage on housing shortage

  47. nomadic Says:

    I honestly don’t understand why any company would want to add more jobs in Mountain View at this point. Traffic is awful and obviously living nearby is a problem for anyone not already there (who doesn’t have lucrative stock options to cash in).

    If they don’t want more density, the only other solution is to stop adding jobs there.

  48. Real Estater Says:

    Jobs are always good. More employment options, higher salary, higher tax revenue, and booming businesses give off better vibe all around.

    The housing problem is self-imposed and silly. When you drive around how many high rises do you see? Most of the land is wasted because a 6000 SF lot only houses a family of 3 instead of a building of 300 Googlers. Also, there’s still plenty of space in the East Bay, and prices there are relatively modest. They can also gentrify places like Hayward.

  49. Real Estater Says:

    Look at how under-utilized our land is compared to Hong Kong.

  50. Petsmart groomer Says:

    > Look at how under-utilized our land is compared to Hong Kong.

    San Francisco density: 17,867/sq mi
    Hong Kong density: 17,024/sq mi

  51. nomadic Says:

    Congratulations, RE, Zillow agrees the San Jose area is peaking now.

    Hopefully they’re better with macro trends than their lame Zestimates.

  52. InTheBiz Says:

    But at http://www.zillow.com/san-jose-ca/home-values/ it says “San Jose home values have gone up 16.2% over the past year and Zillow predicts they will rise 5.7% within the next year.”

    The only way I’d feel comfortable timing the market is if I absolutely positively knew that the overall cost of buying a home will be lower in three years than it is now. And no one knows that.

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