April 16, 2013

Need a New Nest? Now there’s Newark!

BlogAtoZ-NWe’ve Nosed past the first half of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge, and Now we’re on to the New ones. Let’s celebrate with the kind of property Burbed was always Noted for.  Today’s featured property in Newark Needs work.

130415-wells-redfin7419 WELLS Ave
Newark, CA 94560
$299,000

2 Beds
1 Baths
660 Sq. Ft.
$453 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1895
Lot Size: 6,250 Sq. Ft.
On Redfin: 7 days
Type: Detached
Stories: 1
County: Alameda
Style: Traditional
Community: Newark
MLS#: 40609921

Remodeled 2 yrs ago. Newer copper plumbing and sewer line, newer doors, paint and laminate floors throughout, newer bathroom and most windows are newer. Garage conversion to a studio is being used as rental, Maybe illegal! No knowledge of permits. AS IS Sale only! Only showing 4/13 and 4/14 11-2pm

130415-wells-living130415-wells-dining130415-wells-bath

This is so exciting! Maybe illegal! Or immoral, or fattening. With No Notion of permits, Nothing’s impossible. So Not only is this Nice home available for Not a lot of money, it’s also Notorious!

Comments (5) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:09 am






April 9, 2013

Highland Hits the Highest Hella Heights!

BlogAtoZ-HJust because we’re doing the Blogging from A to Z Challenge doesn’t mean we Have to Hold off our Hallowed Habits. One of them is that we welcome contributions from our readers. Heck, we Harangue our readers if they don’t play along. So, today we are Heaving up another letter of the alphabet, and Having a different poster Handle it.

We Hope you enjoy today’s Happening post from Burbed reader bublidoo!  Please give bublidoo a Healthy, Hot Real Bay Area Homecoming with today’s Holy $#*@! House.

130408-highland-redfin1161 Highland Ter
Fremont, CA 94539
$5,493,000

6 Beds
9.5 Baths
9,967 Sq. Ft.
$551 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 2009
Lot Size: 1.64 Acres
On Redfin: 79 days
Type: Detached
Stories 2
Community: Mission
MLS#: 40601026
Style: Custom
View: Bay, City Lights, Hills, Panoramic, Pasture, Ridge, San Francisco, Water
County: Alameda

Panoramic View, Custom Home, Like Living in Taj Mahal, Elevator, 6 Bedrooms-9.5 Bathrooms, Banquet Hall w/ Stage-Seat over 100, All Bedrooms have Full Bathrooms, $150,000 /Crystal Lights and Chandeliers, Stainless Steel Garage & Exterior Doors, Credit Available for Personalizing Your Finishing Touch.

130408-highland-powderLet’s Hear from bublidoo Her/Himself!

Figured eventually you’ll get to H. :-)

This has got to be the butt-ugliest way to spend nearly 5.5 Million bucks. HDR [check] Cawlumns [check]. Granite on the wall [check]. More bathrooms than 130408-highland-fountainbedrooms [check] "Living like in Taj Mahal" [check]. Yeah, that’s right … sooooo much bling it makes a baroque castle look sparse.

But the HDR … OMG, the HDR! The first pic … OMG, seriously, I thought it’s so synthetic looking it must be from a first person shooter or something. This has gotta be the highest DR evar.

More pictures Here, because you gotta Have some kawlums!

130408-highland-kitchen130408-highland-pink130408-highland-columns130408-highland-columns2

Comments (11) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:06 am

April 7, 2013

A Day of Rest Should be Observed with Real Estate

Today is Sunday, and that means… no A-Z Blog Challenge today. The schedule’s been set that we do a new letter every Monday through Saturday, and on Sunday you can go to church or look at Open Houses.  Or in the case of this story, courtesy of Burbed reader nomadic, you can combine both.

Judge Rules Against Bay Area Church Leaders In Real Estate Case

130406-vallejo-marqueeVALLEJO (KPIX 5) – A California state judge has ruled against two leaders of a prominent Bay Area church accused of bilking parishioners in an alleged investment scheme.

The judge ruled that General Assembly Church leaders Lacy Hawkins and Michael Parker operated a real estate investment company without a license, in violation of securities law.

KPIX 5 has been investigating Lacy Hawkins and Michael Parker’s involvement in the business deal, that church members said cost them millions of dollars. General Assembly Church has locations in Union City and Vallejo.

Hundreds of parishioners mortgaged their homes and drained retirement accounts on the promise of investment returns as high as 30 percent. Some said they were even promised salvation.

Yes, it’s not enough to have a religious leader in a fraud case, it has to have a realty component. And this one’s actually pretty interesting. Seems this was one of those We’re Here To Run Your Life For You kinds of churches, where you can’t even wipe your nose without permission.

130406-vallejo-churchAnd the Supreme Leader pretty much was ordering parishioners to buy into their real estate trusts or tout them to each other.  The investment vehicles weren’t exactly transparent about the real estate in them.  Unless you count the Woodlands of Ascension project they bought in Louisiana. Which was, mo konmprann, swamp.  Leadership blamed lack of progress on Katrina, but the Army Corps of Engineers said the land was always swamp.

The victims are claiming they were brainwashed into investing with the church’s leaders. We’re imagining just what kind of techniques were used. Maybe “Buy now or you’ll be priced out forever and that, my friends, is the definition of HELL.” 

Also the church leadership quickly realized that paying the real estate agent (who was part of the church) regular commissions for flipping properties was a loser… for them. The agent went from $20,000 a month to $1600 biweekly, as straight salary.  Meanwhile, the church reported to the IRS that they had paid him the commissions, so he owes more than a million in taxes.

The investment’s books were not open to the membership, either, so they didn’t realize that the vehicles were classic Ponzi schemes.

This is an Open Thread. Are you attending religious services this weekend, Open Houses, both, or neither?  And we’ll be back with the next letter in the Challenge tomorrow, G for God. Or Grab. Or both.

Comments (2) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:02 am

April 6, 2013

Forestall Foreclosure in Fremont!

BlogAtoZ-FIt’s Day #6 of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge, and these Frackin’ Festivities are a Fantastic Folderol! We’ll leave the weekend open thread until tomorrow, as we have another Fantastic Freehold to Flaunt. But First, a Foreward From our Fabricator.

You’ll be looking Forward to Sunday every day the next 2 Fortnights because that’s the only day off From the A-Z Challenge.  So we’ll Fit the open threads into that Forum.

And now back to our Frequently Fated Flagon of Fail.

130405-greeley-redfin5599 Greeley Pl
Fremont, CA 94538
$250,000

3 Beds
2 Baths
— Sq. Ft.
Built: 1965
Lot Size: 5,918 Sq. Ft.
On Redfin: 4 days
Type: Detached
Stories: 1
County: Alameda
Style: Ranch
Community: Fremont
MLS#: 40609034

Great neighborhood, walk to schools. Short Sale Subject to Lender Approval. Open House Sunday April 07, 2:00-4:00 PM. Call (408)977-1700 recorded message for instructions

Forget the Fone For instructions. Just drive along the Freeway until you Find it.

130405-greeley-aerial

Fine Future. Foreseen For sure.

Comments (3) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:07 am

March 23, 2013

Flash sales: DOM <= 1

Want to look at Open Houses but inventory is too low? Here’s yet another reason why Bay Area Bubble 4.0 is in full swing for Spring: Flash sales. Redfin coined this term for a house that’s in contract within 24 hours of being listed.

They also made a list of how many flash sales there have been in the last five months in each of the markets they cover, and San Jose came in 15th out of 15 with 74 quickies. San Francisco didn’t even make the cut at all!  All-time flash sales champion? Phoenix, with 540.

130322-skyline-redfin8271 SKYLINE Cir
Oakland, CA 94605
Sold for $650,000

3 Beds
2.5 Baths
2,090 Sq. Ft.
$311 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1998
Lot Size: 10,119 Sq. Ft.
Sold On: Dec 26, 2012
HOA Dues: $140/month
Style: Traditional
View: Bay, Greenbelt, Water
County: Alameda
Type: Detached
Stories: Split Level
Community: Skyline/Oakknoll
MLS#: 40598366

Amazing Oakland hills. 3/2.5 w/ extra office space. Incredible living space with 10ft ceilings, beautifully appointed thru/out. Chef’s kitchen with custom island, grnite, countertops, s. s. appliances. Electronic window coverings, deck with bridge views, gorgeous pergola/ backs to open space. Perfect!

This Skyline Circle home in Oakland was a Flash Sale and is featured on the Redfin Blog. It sold quick, and for list price. This is how we know Oakland, even in the hills, is not the Real Bay Area. Everyone knows Real Bay Area homes sell way over asking.  Also RBA homes don’t fester on the market for a year and a half until the Bubble finally blows up again.  The HOA dues are just the sickly sweet icing on the Not RBA cake.

130322-skyline-viewLocation: Oakland, CA
Listed By: Lynda Divito, Redfin
Listed: December 14, 2012
Pending: December 14, 2012
Closed: December 24, 2012
List Price: $650,000
Final Sale Price: $650,000

“This house never even hit the market! We had a brokers’ tour in the afternoon on the very same day the house was to hit the market. A broker came in with his buyers who offered all-cash at full list price and with the quick closing we had requested, making it an easy choice for my clients to accept their offer that same day.” - Lynda DiVito, San Francisco Bay Area Redfin Agent

Planning on visiting any Open Houses today? Let us know of any suitcases full of cash changing hands you see. This is also your Weekend Open Thread, so sky’s the limit!

Comments (3) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:06 am

March 22, 2013

Great 3 BR/1 BA home with Tall ceilings! (Buyer to verify)

Who’s priced out forever, and getting more priced out by the minute in Bay Area Bubble 4.0?  Not you! Not when you check out this completely affordable home in Oakmmphf CLOSE TO SAN FRANCISCO. Heck, you could pick up this sweet little lodging on your way home from the grocery store.  Well, you could if there were a grocery store anywhere near it.

130321-85th-redfinUndisclosed Address
Oakland, CA 94621
$133,000

2 Beds
1 Baths
997 Sq. Ft.
$133 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1905
Lot Size: 3,200 Sq. Ft.
On Redfin: 4 days
Type: Detached
Stories: 1
County: Alameda
Style: Victorian
Community: E Oakland
MLS#: 40607349

Great 3 bedroom / 1 bath home with Tall ceilings! (Public records 2bd/1ba buyer to verify all property information) Spacious family room. Large eat-in kitchen w/ tile flooring. Spacious bath with tiled flooring. Homepath and Homeapth Renovation Approved!

Again with the undisclosed addresses?  Burbed laughs at the idea and discloses them.  We know how to use… teh Google!

130321-85th-joenangela2070 85TH AVE
OAKLAND, CA 94621
$133,000

Single Res | 2 beds | 1 baths | 997 sq. ft. | 3200 acres | 17 days on market | MLS# 40607349
Active
Price : $133,000
Bathrooms : 1
130321-85th-toiletList Date : 03/04/2013
Approx Square Feet : 997
Listed Days Back : 17
Price per sq. ft : $133
County : Alameda
Approx Lot Feet : 3200
Location : 2070 85TH AVE, OAKLAND, CA 94621
Approx Lot Acres : 0.073
MLS# : 40607349
Approx age : 108
Status : New-REO
Homeowner`s Association Fee : -1 / n/a

Anyone know the difference between Homepath and Homeapth Renovation? Don’t ask Redfin. This is below their minimum commission.

Comments (11) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:02 am

March 20, 2013

be the one to gain from the sweat equity

We’re spending too much time in Silicon Valley.  Let’s pop over to the East Bay and see if Bay Area Bubble 4.0 has wafted across the San Mateo Bridge yet.  Today’s featured property bubbled up from Burbed reader J from Alameda!  Thanks very much for keeping us Real, which means the whole Bay Area.

130319-central-redfin623 CENTRAL Ave
Alameda, CA 94501
$285,000

2 Beds
1 Baths
1,139 Sq. Ft.
$250 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1909
Lot Size: 3,960 Sq. Ft.
On Redfin: 1 day
Type: Detached
Stories: 1
Community: West End
MLS#: 40607329
Style: Colonial
View: Other
County: Alameda

Classic Colonial Revival, 2 bed 1 bath ready to refinish. be the one to gain from the sweat equity.

Upcoming Open Houses

Saturday, Mar 23: 2:00-4:30 pm; Sunday, Mar 24: 2:00-4:30 pm

Comments

Bring your contractors

130319-central-fireplaceThat last phrase under comments? It’s hidden in the web page and popped up when we did a copy and paste.  Heh heh.  What else is hidden on all those Redfin pages? Maybe it’s an early Easter Egg Hunt.

Now let’s check in with J.

I have been driving by this house for years and wondered how it was still standing. I am still wondering. Let’s see how hot the Alameda market is – how fast will this fly? While not quite RBA it is just a bridge….or ferry…or BART ride away….oh, and make sue you check out the street view.

First let’s check out some more of the house.

130319-central-pipe130319-central-texture130319-central-bath130319-central-cement

And the streetview?

130319-central-streetview

Wow! Lots of neighbors ready to welcome you!

Comments (16) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:07 am

February 17, 2013

How do you tell the difference between the RBA and Not the RBA?

Answer: The RBA is being bought up by foreigners with suitcases full of cash going to individual sellers.  Not the Real Bay Area is being bought up by investors with envelopes full of cashiers checks going to banks.

Report: Investors buy nearly half of Oakland’s foreclosed homes

Real estate firms turning properties into rentals, becoming "massive landlords" in some neighborhoods, critics say

130216-investors-suitcaseby Aaron Glantz, Bay Citizen — June 28, 2012, 11:01 a.m.

The rental listing advertises a “gorgeous remodeled craftsman-style house” with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a converted basement, a large deck and a backyard for $2,595 a month.

Eight months ago, this West Oakland home was owned and occupied by Theodros Shawl, a local chiropractor. Shawl bought the house in 2004, his first since emigrating from Ethiopia in 1990. Over the years, Shawl said, he rebuilt the home’s foundation and replaced its aging plumbing and electrical systems.

“I liked the fact that it was an older home, that I could repair and paint and fix there on the weekends. I was always at Home Depot,” said Shawl, 40. “I was living the American Dream.”

Last October, after being sidelined with a wrist injury, Shawl lost his home to foreclosure; in May, Bank of America sold it to a real estate investment firm, REO Homes 2 LLC, a company founded in 2010 by Bay Area businessman Neill Sullivan.

130216-investors-cashiersLest you think this is a trend only in the depressed parts of the Bay Area, we assure you that it isn’t.  Real Estate Investment Trusts are back, mostly because there doesn’t seem to be a lot of places to get reasonable returns these days.  A recent article in The New Republic covers the growing national trend of paying cash for foreclosures and turning them into rentals.  Needless to say, actual would-be buyers are finding themselves aced out of the bottom-feeding.

Your New Landlord Works on Wall Street

130216-investors-hedgeHedge funds are snatching up rental homes at an alarming rate

BY DAVID DAYEN, The New Republic, February 16, 2013

Housing analysts have been giddy for the past year about the comeback of their industry, whose collapse led to the Great Recession. Sure, 2012 was actually the third-worst year for housing ever—but it still beat 2010 and 2011. New and existing home sales, housing starts, and prices jumped in 2012, and experts expect an even stronger recovery for 2013.

It’s clear why people are so excited: Housing typically leads economic recoveries. As more people build equity in their homes, they feel more free to spend disposable income and increase economic activity, a phenomenon known as the “wealth effect.”  So a bullish outlook for housing would seemingly augur a long-awaited recovery to Main Street. But the more you look into it, the clearer it becomes that it’s not being driven by the typical American families who lost their homes in the economic crash. In fact, it’s being fueled by the banks and hedge funds whose speculation caused that crash in the first place.

If you’ve signed a lease in the past year, there’s a good chance your landlord wears a tailored suit and works on Wall Street. One of the hottest trends in the financial sector is known as “REO-to-rental.” Over the past couple years, hedge funds, private equity firms and the biggest banks have raised massive amounts of capital to buy distressed or foreclosed single-family homes, often in bulk, at bargain prices. Their strategy is to convert them to rental units for a while before reselling them when prices appreciate. The Wall Street firms are scooping up properties in the hardest-hit areas, promising high returns for the rental revenue streams—up to 10 percent annually —and starting bidding wars that have driven up some prices well above national averages. It’s the next Wall Street gold rush, with all the warning signs of a renewed speculative bubble.

Enjoy the Open Houses you’ll be making offers on but not buying because some sovereign wealth fund is outbidding you.

Comments (7) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:18 am

February 11, 2013

Stayin’ Alive in Alameda: Not just a good idea, it’s the law!

Today’s delicious domicile comes to you from Alameda, the island garden of the Bay.  Or should we say Oakland Afloat? Estuary Estates? Maybe you have an even better name for Alameda than those! Thanks very much to Burbed reader JL for finding a house with a creative command to the buyer.

130210-mcdonnel-redfin492 MCDONNEL Rd
Alameda, CA 94502
$599,000

3 Beds
2.5 Baths
1,625 Sq. Ft.
$369 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1992
Lot Size: 3,895 Sq. Ft.
On Redfin: 19 days
Status: Pending
HOA Dues: $365/month
Style: Contemporary
Community: Bay Colony
MLS#: 40601391
Type: Duet
Stories: 2
County: Alameda

Very sunny duet home W/ big lot, great size open backyd, spacious driveway, cul-de-sac. Extra high ceiling grand entrance. Gorgeous new kitchen. double pane window. HOA cover exterior, roof, front yd & insurance. close to ferry terminal. One of a kind. Must see. Nobody pass away inside the house.

130210-mcdonnel-kitchenHere’s what JL had to say about the house:

Burbed is the best! I had to pass along an Alameda listing that has generous and inexplicable amounts of fail.

First, there’s only outside pictures. Never a good sign. But the best thing is the description. Granted, I think we may have a non-native speaker as the writer, but the last line is hilarious no matter what.

130210-mcdonnel-streetviewThe strange thing is, this looks like a nice house. The redfin Streetview link takes you to a street over a block, but if you go to Google street view directly, it shows a decent-looking place. So the Redfin listing could have been nice, but instead was awesomely bad.

Awesomely bad? It’s not every house that’s not just part of a cookie-cutter tract but a gol-durn “duet home” in a cookie cutter tract that can call itself “one of a kind”! Now that’s awesomely something!  Plus there’s insurance in the front yard! The $365 a month HOA fees are just the cherry on this Win Sundae!

We tried to find the collection of “only outside pictures” without success.  Other listing sites either had the photos removed (with the listing marked as off market) or a slightly different set of photos, inside as well as out.  Here are a couple more, just in case Redfin yanks these bright and early Monday morning. 

130210-mcdonnel-hdromg130210-mcdonnel-hdromg2

And we mean it about the bright, as the Cherenkov radiation is strong in this one.  Just for grins, check out the outdoor pix on Zillow!  Must see.

130210-mcdonnel-yard130210-mcdonnel-wtf

Serious WHOA.  Of course if we had a yard like that, we wouldn’t pass away inside the house either.

Comments (5) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:02 am

January 10, 2013

This floating home features wains coating and stain glass

Here’s a very Bay Area solution to the often noted challenge that “they’re not making any more land.”  Build your house on  water!  Sound like a plan to you?  Let’s swim on up to WaterWorld, courtesy of Burbed reader J from Alameda

Note: this is a Bay Area solution, but definitely not a REAL Bay Area fix.  RBA houses are in the RBA in the first place because they have land they aren’t making any more of.

130109-mariner-redfin2394 Mariner Square C3
Alameda, CA 94501
Sold 11/9/10 for $335,000

2 Beds 
1 Baths 
1,296 Sq. Ft.
$258 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1972 
Lot Size: — 
Sold On: Nov 9, 2010
Status: Sold
Type: Detached
Stories: 2
Community: Barnhill Marina
MLS#: 40489839
Style: Contemporary
View: City Lights, Marina, San Francisco, Water
County: Alameda

This beautifully remodeled 2 bed 1 bath floating home features estuary and SF views, hardwood floors, new paint, wains coating, vaulted ceiling with exposed wood beams, new appliances, stain glass windows, three decks, and skylights. Close to BART, ferry, train, and Fwy.

130109-mariner-satelliteHere’s what J floated over with the house:

And this would be cheapest SFR/Floating. Also should get a prize for longest price history….

Unfortunately, would you believe this property was delisted, we swear we are not making this up, the very day we head off to Redfin to write it up?  Which means we don’t know how many days it was on the market for but about two years.  We’ve already done a property that was sitting on MLS for four years!  And this one for more than three!

But while you may be at sea here, the agent says it’s close to everything: BART, ferry, train, and Fwy. It’s even closer to the Posey (underground) tube.  The map clearly shows it runs right underneath you.

Meanwhile, we looked high (Zillow) and low (Sawbuck) for the newly pulled listing without much success.  Here’s what we found in Google cache, but it appears to be a completely different floating house, despite the listing history lining up perfectly.

130109-mariner-cached2394 Mariner Square Drive E6
Alameda, CA 94501
$229,000

1 Beds 
1 Baths 
— Sq. Ft.
Built: 1968
Lot Size: —
On Redfin: 537 days
Type: Detached
Stories: 2
Community: Barnhill Marina
MLS#: 40533694
Style: Contemporary
View: City Lights, Downtown, Marina, Water
County: Alameda

Floating Home. Open plan for kitchen/living room and den; upper level suite for bedroom and sitting area. 360 degree view from upper deck; elegant tiled first floor. New carpet in upper level bedroom suite.

130109-mariner-viewOne bedroom, two bedrooms, so what? No square feet, 1300 square feet, big deal.  Blue trim, green trim, doesn’t mean anything.  C3, E6, you sunk my battleship!

Now, here’s one of the 360 degrees of views you can enjoy from the upper deck.  Also check out this delightful photo of the house and environs from homes.com!

Bunus: Sold in 2007 for $448K.

Another bunus: This old listing (with old paint job) says there’s a $523 a month berth fee.  But that’s nothing.  Trulia says this place is a mobile/manufactured home.  They’re the only site that says so, which means they could be wrong.  But what could possibly be better than a trailer house in a trailer flotilla?

Comments (6) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:08 am