October 6, 2012

Story Time!

121005-shadow-storyWow, what a week!

We started off with a bang, or at least a toilet that could have used some blowing up.  We had an abandoned construction project featuring garage space for seven cars. Not only did we have a Burbed-style debate, our Friday feature wasn’t just the usual mawbul kawlum love.  No, that house turned out to have had a murder take place on the property… while the owner was in court defending someone accused of an even more infamous murder just a few miles away.  That’s the East Bay for you!

Good thing we’re just going to sit back and read a delightful children’s story now.  It’s all about you and your shadow… inventory.  Thanks very much to the shadowy folks at Movoto for this terrific tale.  You can check out their blog for other real-estate-related tomfoolery.

Have an idea for other great kids’ books that would do double-duty explaining real estate trends?  Share them here, or share anything you want in this Weekend Open Thread.  Any Open Houses in your book?

Comments (9) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:05 am






September 23, 2012

Hillsborough: Perfect Place for a Mitt Romney Fundraiser

The San Francisco Chronicle breathlessly reports that the Mitt Romney For President Campaign (nickname: UnMittigated Disaster) paid a visit to the Real Bay Area.  The Romneys were welcomed by co-hosts Meg Whitman and George Shultz… and a very SF Bay protest group.

Romney collects funds in Hillsborough

120922-romney-protestCarla Marinucci, SF Chronicle; Updated 12:45 p.m., Saturday, September 22, 2012

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has had a trying week, what with the surfacing of a video in which he appears to dismiss 47 percent of Americans as government freeloaders.

So he was probably looking forward to being among friends at a high-dollar fundraiser in Hillsborough Friday evening. But in the solidly Democratic Bay Area that meant he first had to experience an enthusiastic greeting from about two dozen protesters as his motorcade drove through the wealthy neighborhood where the event was held.

Some of those protesters carried signs reminding him of the video, in which Romney appears to denigrate supporters of President Obama. Others jabbed at his release Friday of his 2011 tax returns.

120922-romney-blockshopperWhat this article neglects to cover is the Hillsborough house.  Fear not!  Burbed has #factchecked the reportage!

The house used for Romney’s fundraiser belongs to Ada Regan and is, according to the Los Angeles Times, “a 13,820-square foot manse with nine bedrooms and 9.5 bathrooms…”  And what did Mr. Romney think of it?

Speaking about a dinner held for him in the Bay Area the previous night, Romney noted on Saturday that the driveway to the estate appeared at least a mile long.

“It’s like, Oh my goodness, how in the world? And then we came to the home, and it was like San Simeon, you know, the Hearst Castle,” Romney told donors at a different fundraiser on Saturday. “It was this beautiful home with gardens, manicured gardens, and a pool and a topiary and so forth.”

120922-romney-satelliteOMFG Oh my goodness! A topiary!  Bet they don’t have those in La Jolla.  You know what else they don’t have?  A house on 48.26 acres. Check this parcel out (right)!

We also arranged for a UAV with a camera to bring you these ultra-secret aerial photos of the house itself.  (Drones: they’re not just for assassinations anymore!) Remember, no mile-long driveway can keep Burbed from reporting to you on current house events!  The only way to stay off this page is to keep your house off the entire internet!

120922-romney-zoomin

120922-romney-iphone5

“Bunus:” Zillow thinks this ginormous house on 2 million square feet of land is worth five million dollars.  That would be about right if the house came with one acre.  Can’t win them all, Zillow.

Now, let’s take two recent items in the news.

  • Secret video of Romney taken at a Florida fundraiser causes no end of headaches for the Republican Presidential candidate
  • The iPhone 5 is released yesterday

Hmmm.  Are you thinking what we’re thinking?  Keep an eye on YouTube for more amazing MittVid in full 1080p.

Comments (15) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:07 am

September 22, 2012

America’s Dirtiest Cities ignores Silicon Valley

120922-dirtiest-coverTravel & Leisure magazine really enjoys making all kinds of lists of cities, and their newest one is a doody.  Whoops, we mean a doozy, sorry.  They’ve just released a list of America’s Dirtiest Cities, which is merely a reverse ranking of the Cleanliness category on their Quality of Life index. They do love making lists.

T&L offers lists of the best city for singles, or for culture, or fine dining on their website, and they do an annual America’s Favorite Cities ranking that adds up a number of those qualities.  But one thing you won’t find is any mention of America’s tenth largest city, San Jose.

120922-dirtiest-tandlThere are only 35 cities on T&L’s lists, and as far as they’re concerned, San Jose is merely a very remote suburb of smaller but way more famous San Francisco.  (San Francisco ranks 14th in population and is a quarter the physical size of San Jose.)  The only other California cities on T&L’s rankings are Los Angeles and San Diego, both of which are larger than either Northern California nexus.  Cities they deem more worth your notice than San Jose include Baltimore, Portland (Maine), Savannah, Providence, and Kansas City.

Here’s the SF entry on the dirtiest cities list, and we’ve got the entire list for you as well.  (Spoiler: NYC wins again.)

120922-dirtiest-sf

No. 11 San Francisco

The foodie capital of the nation ranks near the top of the AFC for its fine dining, ethnic cuisine, and cafés. But all that takeout can pile up. A recent study found that one of the biggest culprits for pollution in the San Francisco Bay is food containers—though ironically, they may be floating in from neighboring cities. Voters also commended the locals for being brainy and diverse.

See all the America’s Favorite Cities survey results!

The ten cities with even less civic hygiene than San Francisco are:

  1. New York City –  If you can make a mess here, you can make it anywhere.
  2. New Orleans –  The Simpsons defamed them far better than we could.
  3. Baltimore –  Quoth the raven, “Close the compactor door!”
  4. Los Angeles –  You’ll never get out of your car, so you’ll never know.
  5. Atlanta –  The litter gets moved around rather than be Gone With the Wind.
  6. Philthydelphia –  Sorry, couldn’t resist.
  7. Dallas/Fort Worth –  Everything’s bigger in Texas.
  8. Miami –  Why clean up? Another hurricane’s just around the corner.
  9. Memphis –  Elvis has left the building, but his trash hasn’t.
  10. Houston – See Dallas.  Then note they rank #7 and #10, showing that everything’s merely said to be bigger in Texas.

If you’re interested, this T&L link covers how SF has fared on all their lists.  The City by the Bay earns plenty of Top Ten rankings, and only hit bottom on Affordability, Filth, and (you didn’t see this one coming, did you?) Barbecue and Hamburgers (the latter only according to residents; we prefer the travelers’ rankings).  Worst city for barbeque: Anchorage, Alaska.

And bad news, New York City beat us again on Least Affordable.  We really have to work on that.  How about raising the price of cable car tickets to thirty bucks?  The only #1 ranking San Francisco got on anything was its residents’ vote for Ethnic Food.  Otherwise, there was plenty of Number Two all over SF.  And that brings us back to today’s topic.

120922-dirtiest-coyotecreekSee the trash in that photo on the left?  That’s Coyote Creek earlier this month (the WINNER!!! in an SF Chronicle piece on dirtiest Bay Area waterways), so San Francisco’s got nothing on us!

You can discuss the relative filth of any city you wish, including the one you live in.  Or anything at all, because this is Your Weekend Open Thread.  How filthy were the Open Houses you visited today?

Comments (12) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:16 am

September 16, 2012

Catch current conspicuous country house consumption craze: countless crappers

Today’s story deserves a good long sit and read, followed by a good long sit and think.  Thanks very much to Burbed reader nomadic for wafting this one in.

Wealthy home buyers demand bathrooms; lots of bathrooms

Some mansions have nearly as many toilets as entire blocks in less regal neighborhoods

By Lauren Beale, Los Angeles Times, March 2, 2012, 6:34 p.m.

120915-bathrooms-center-tubHere’s another way the rich are different: They have more bathrooms.

Real estate brokers who cater to the moneyed say their clients typically want homes that have at least two bathrooms for every bedroom. And with spacious tubs, floor lamps, dressing areas and seating, some bathrooms rival bedrooms in size.

“The bathroom has become the dressing room,” said Bob Ray Offenhauser, a Studio City-based residential architect who routinely encloses the shower and toilet in their own rooms within a room. “They really don’t look much like bathrooms anymore.”

Some mansions have nearly as many commodes as entire blocks in less regal neighborhoods.

Pickfair, the Beverly Hills estate of Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks, was outfitted with 30 bathrooms in a later overhaul. But the record locally may be the 41 bathrooms boasted by an 18,400-square-foot Mediterranean-style home in Bel-Air that was recently on the market for $40 million, real estate agents say.

120915-bathrooms-swiss-army-toiletThis is an alarming trend coming out of SoCal.  Why would ginormous Southland estates need more bathrooms than the San Jose Convention Center?  Do they all need to do coke privately, but simultaneously?  Is this high-pressure trend going to affect estates in the Real Bay Area?

Discuss.  You may refer to Facebook stock prices to support your conclusion.

This is also your Weekend Open Thread, so feel free to mention any Open Houses you visited, or whatever else you feel like arguing about today.

Just keep the door shut until you’re done.

Comments (19) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:06 am

September 15, 2012

Buenas Noches for Buena Vista

We’ve dropped by the Buena Vista “Mobil Home Park,” the only trailer park in Palo Alto, a few times.  But Burbed reader Stefan alerts us that the much-maligned mobile mews may be moving on.  Thanks very much!

Burbed reader Real Estater also mentioned this article in comments.

Palo Alto mobile-home park faces redevelopment

Buena Vista residents could be forced out to make way for apartments

by Sue Dremann, Palo Alto Weekly Staff

120914-bvista-overviewBuena Vista, the only surviving mobile-home park in Palo Alto, could soon be history, according to city officials.

Residents in the 117-unit park located at 3980 El Camino Real received a letter from property owner/manager Joe Jisser last week informing them that his family is exploring redevelopment options.

The family has owned Buena Vista, located near Los Robles Avenue behind a strip mall, since 1986, Jisser said on Monday. They are working with Prometheus Real Estate Group in San Mateo.

Prometheus specializes in the acquisition, development and management of residential and commercial properties and builds apartments, according to its website. It also focuses on transit-oriented development in areas that are close to corporate campuses, such as Apple in Cupertino and Google in Mountain View.

You think 15 units per acre is too dense for Palo Alto?  Promethius Development has many more rent-paying people per parcel planned for what they’re putting in.  Try 40 units an acre.  If you’ve read this book, just imagine life in The Stacks (which are literally mobile homes stacked into slum towers).

120914-bvista-pride-of-ownershipWhy is the owner finally considering selling out, after owning the park since 1986?  Infrastructure.  Water pipes and electrical wires and transmission are nearing the end of their useful life, and state codes have changed.  It isn’t enough to replace them, they’d have to be upgrades.  Not only that, most of the mobile homes in the park are too old to handle new systems.  And not only has the electrical code changed.  So has the law on spacing the units themselves.  Keeping the park legally open is going to become very, very expensive.

Meanwhile, the City of Palo Alto has a plan for development, and that includes multifamily homes along El Camino Real.  So apartment blocks are looking pretty likely.  And the low-income folks living here may well be SOL.  There is a city law that says they should get moving-out money, but realistically, there aren’t a lot of places they can go.  Many of them will move out in advance of the paid relocation, simply to ensure finding subsidized housing elsewhere.

Be sure to check out the comments on this article.  Some posters are glad to see the park go, and some prefer it stay in favor of a denser apartmentplex.  Of course most of them are worried about all those extra kids moving into THEIR SCHOOLS.  Because anyone moving into an apartment isn’t a Real Palo Alto Resident and should never be allowed to enroll.  We can’t understand why the trailer trolls are allowed, either.

But fear not.  Even if the BV is scraped to the ground and a shiny new (and dense) apartment complex goes up in its place, there will always be mobile home living in Palo Alto.

Comments (12) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:08 am

September 9, 2012

Communal Living or 24/7 Startup Incubator?

British publication Financial Times visits Cupertino and discovers Silicon Valley startups and salons… in a very expensive frat house.

Over the rainbow

Communal living is back in vogue, especially among Silicon Valley’s young technology workers

120908-group-dinnerBy April Dembosky, June 29, 2012 6:52 pm

At first glance Rainbow Mansion appears to blend in seamlessly alongside its high-end Silicon Valley neighbours, nestled among the eucalyptus trees and driveway gates of Cupertino, about an hour south of San Francisco. The salmon stucco stretches around multiple bedrooms, balconies and turrets. In the front yard, a stone footbridge arches over a bubbling koi pond.

Inside, it looks more like a university dorm. Bean bags and mismatched couches sit at odd angles in the living room. A former dining nook, now christened “the mystery room”, is lined with hippie-style Indian tapestries on the walls and mattresses on the floor.

Seven people live here, from the ivy league of Silicon Valley companies, such as Apple, Google and Tesla. They are from America, the UK, Serbia and Moldova. While none are blood related, they call each other family.

“We’re not a frat house,” says Mike Grace, 26, a lab manager and researcher at Nasa. “We’re an intentional community.”

Excuse us.  A very expensive intentional community.  As in $7300 a month expensive.  Let’s see what they get for $7300, besides the built-in tech networking with their housemates.

120908-group-zillow21677 Rainbow Dr
Cupertino, CA 95014

Zestimate $2,509,411
Rent Zestimate $7,435/mo
Est. Mortgage $8,923/mo

Beds: 6
Baths: 4.5
Sqft: 5,127
Lot: 55,321 sq ft / 1.27 acres
Type: Single Family
Year built: 1992

Description from Zillow: This 5127 square foot single family home has 6 bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms. It is located at 21677 Rainbow Dr Cupertino, California. The nearest schools are Regnart Elementary School, Kennedy Middle School and Monta Vista High School.

Wow, that rent Zestimate’s pretty bang on. Think Zillow’s model includes searching the Financial Times?

120908-group-website

120908-group-libraryIncidentally, the people renting the house have set up a website.  Note the third item on the ribbon: Press.  Several pieces have been written about this house, the sort of people who end up living here, and one the the successes launched from this very library.

Ever hear of OpenStack?  If you haven’t, Wired is happy to fix that, with its history of how it got started.  Yes, here at the Rainbow Mansion.  Oh yeah, and at NASA Ames.

NASA’s Chris Kemp decided that they needed scalable storage of their own rather than through their corporate partners.  Think Google Moon and Google Mars.  NASA has plenty of high-res space images, and they wanted to host them, but that meant they needed a new infrastructure.  And in bringing that project about, they not only crashed upon political shoals (a Congressional “inquiry”) but on the difficulty in creating open-source software when so many potential partners had commercial intents.  And eventually the project led to OpenStack… and several related cloud computing companies.

120908-group-frontThe founders of the group home explained that they started the house because Silicon Valley rents were high, so sharing a house was much less expensive.  Most of them were new NASA PhDs who came from elsewhere and knew each other through their academic connections.

People would leave, and new housemates needed to be brought in.  The residents are looking for people who want to change the world.

“Group living situations are not tremendously rare in the Bay Area,” he explains. “We have an unusually high percentage of rentals in part of because home buying is so tremendously expensive, and the leverage goes up as you get more people.

“What’s unusual is when you have a really intentional community, when you have a group of people who are determined to build something and really bring people together.”

Comments (5) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:20 am

September 8, 2012

Calling things what their logos look like

120907-logos-oaklandThere’s a cute piece over on Buzzfeed that renames all 32 NFL teams according to what their logos resemble, instead of what the team is actually called.  For your enjoyment and discussion purposes, we’ll share the Bay Area entries.

F’rinstance, you may recognize this as the official sigil for the Oakland Raiders.  According to Buzzfeed, this is actually the Oakland Swords ‘n’ Severed Heads.  They left out that the severed head had an eyeball removed.  Sloppy, sloppy. 

120907-logos-sfAnd this design on the right, which breaks out of grayscale, is for the San Francisco Forty-Niners, right? Not if you name the team starting 120907-logos-sdfrom the logo.  Then it’s the San Francisco Abbreviations for San Francisco.

Here’s one more, and also from California. Ladies and Gentlemen, put your hands together for the San Diego Cartoon Character’s Hair!

I hope you see where this is leading. 

120907-logos-apples

Here is the corporate logo for a major tech firm, including a couple of guesses on how the image may evolve.  Got any better names for this company than the first thing that pops into your mind?  The far-future version looks more like Pac-Man.

120907-logos-starbux

Not a Bay Area company, but quite familiar to us.  Again, the last three entries are inspired guesses.  What is this a logo for, shampoo?  Contortionist classes?

120907-logos-firefox

This one’s tech-related plus the 21 December meteor strike leads to severe climate change.

120907-logos-winx

Flags getting bricked, vaporized, sliced, englobed, dissolved and now, speaking of flags…

120907-logos-w8

120907-logos-msA new logo was announced earlier this year.  Here’s the redesigned Greek flag at left, ready for when they leave the European Union.  We say it’s a Chanukah present.

Then the corporate parent got a logo update.  But when they changed the flag for the whole EU to go with…  We call it FourSquare®: A Way To Make You Pay $40 for a Game Court You Could Draw with a Piece of Chalk (ball not included).

 

120907-logos-sun120907-logos-chip120907-logos-xx120907-logos-asj

 

120907-logos-narCan you identify these tech company logos?  More importantly, can you name these tech companies based on what each logo looks like? We get

  • 8 purple magnets
  • A half-screened green eye
  • Red cable-wrapped beachball
  • Now landing on red runway 1

Surely you can do better than this.  In fact, surely you can do best of all with this one at right.  Or discuss anything else you wish in this Open Thread.

Comments (36) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:07 am

September 3, 2012

UPDATED: This Labor Day, Imagine Doing Less Labor

Are you working three jobs, or one job for 140 hours a week, just so you can become a Real Bay Area homeowner?  This Labor Day, why not just win an RBA house instead?  Burbed reader Divasm informs us of a charity raffle where this Menlo Park house is first prize.  The raffle tickets are $150 each, and yes, there is a quantity discount.

120902-dream-facade

120902-dream-ybcaFirst of all, does anyone know where this house actually is?  All the raffle site would say was “Central Menlo Park”  and “leisurely stroll to downtown.”  Perhaps one of our readers recognizes this 2006 Georgian joint.  Send it in and we’ll add more details about the home, but for now we’ll tell you it’s a 5 BR/5 BA and just under 5 thousand square feet (which means it missed it by that much on the ginormous tag) on a 10 thousand foot lot.  Plus the mawbul kawlums!

Second, did you know if you buy a raffle ticket like this, even though it’s for a legitimate charity, it is not tax-deductable? To be more specific, it is not tax-deductable unless you actually win something. Then you can offset the prize income with what you spent on the raffle tickets.

And finally, in trying (unsuccessfully) to locate the house, we came upon this older SF Gate story about house raffles.  It turns out that raffle prize homes are usually not claimed.  Winners usually prefer money instead of the house, so the first prize is not usually owned by the charity.  The actual owner usually leases it to the charity, with an option to buy should 120902-dream-suitcasethe winner prefer the house instead of the suitcase full of cash.

Why do winners prefer the money over the house?  If the prize is worth more than $5,000, get ready to fork over 25% of its value to the IRS.  So if you won this house, supposedly worth $4.1 million, you’d have an instant million dollar Federal tax bill before you can say “clear title.” 

But wait, there’s more!  Winning this house also means you’d have to pay closing costs.  And property taxes.  (That’s another $44,000, at least.)  And they’ll probably stick you for the transfer tax as well.

Now what would you pay?  Because if you don’t live in California, and you win a raffle like this from a California charity, then state income tax gets withheld off the top as well.  You’re supposed to pay it even if you do live here, but it won’t be withheld up front if you’re already an RBA resident.

120902-dream-ticketSo maybe you’re thinking, “Hey wait, I’m sitting in this non-RBA underwater house!  Why don’t I raffle it like these charities do?”  Sorry.  That’s illegal.  Private owners and commercial enterprises cannot run raffles.  Charities couldn’t either, until Prop 17 passed in 2000.  And the charity must register the raffle with the Attorney General’s office

Or maybe not.  The article is 3 years old, and there aren’t any raffle registrations beyond 2010 on the AG’s site.  With all those budget cuts, maybe you can get away with raffling your house after all!

And if not, enjoy your Labor Day.  We’ll be back tomorrow with more ridiculous realty.

Update: Thanks to Burbed reader Petsmart Groomer, we now know where the house is! Thanks very much!

120903-dream-patricia3 Patricia Pl
Menlo Park, CA 94025
$3,999,999; listing removed 7/1/12

Beds: 5
Baths: 5
Sqft: 4,961
Lot: 10,890 sq ft / 0.25 acres
Type: Single Family
Year built: 2006
Parking: Garage – Attached
Zestimate: $3,396,723
Rent Zestimate: $8,161/m

DELIGHTFUL PROPERTY ON A PERFECT MENLO PARK LOCATION: Elegant and classic home in prime Central Menlo Park- Built in 2006 5 Bedrooms / 5 Bathrooms on 4, 961 SqFt – Size Lot 10, 800 SqFt Three levels with 4 bedrooms on 2nd floor Media Room – Wine cellar – Exercise room – Office – Laundry Room 5th bedroom and bath on lower level Graceful circular staircase – Brazilian cherry floors – OPEN HOUSE SATRUDAY JUNE 9, 2012:1:30PM – 4:30PM

Comments (4) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:15 am

September 2, 2012

CNBC: You’re Doing It Wrong in the RBA

Yesterday, we took a look at a CNBC piece on the difficulty of finding a million dollar home in the Real Bay Area, and how badly they missed the real story.  Two days later they tried again, and ran this piece (below) on Friday.  Not even close but no cigar, CNBC. More like in Lodi with little to smoke. 

Take a gander at this piece, clearly written to complement their first article, and discuss whether your like their housing examples or Burbed’s examples.  (Hint: the correct answer is CNBC.  That is if by “correct” we really mean “completely wrong.”)  They had the right idea, but they just couldn’t find the listings that show how awesome the RBA is.

What $2 Million Buys You in Silicon Valley

By Robert Frank and Paul O’ Donnell | CNBC – Fri, Aug 31, 2012 11:21 AM EDT

120901-cnbc-2-saratogaSilicon Valley’s dynamic, tech-based economy has inflated home prices in the area for more than two decades. But lately, thanks to a rash of IPO’s and the mobility of global wealth, relatively modest properties in the suburban towns south of San Francisco have been going for mansion-like prices.

Sales of homes for $1 million or more doubled in the towns south of San Francisco in the past year, passing Beverly Hills and Miami, where the sumptuous palaces snapped up by the rich look more the part.

The current boom is not the result of an avalanche of tech start-ups. Instead, the Valley has been flooded by employees of established companies like Facebook and Google, who enjoyed a personal “liquidity event” when their companies went public in the past few years.

This article is basically the other article, sentences scrambled around, and a few pictures of presentable homes to go with.  There is one and only reason we alert you to this article, and that’s the wretched hive of scum and villainy called the comments.  It’s the usual “Silicon Valley has fine dining, beach, mountains, biking all close by, and the weather is fantastic” versus “Are you kidding, I can buy a house like that for $105K here in East Fumbuck, Nebraska!”

Yes, but then you have to live in a house in East Fumbuck, Nebraska.

 

Comments (34) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:05 am

September 1, 2012

We’re Number One! We’re Number One!

Here’s a cheery news item, submitted by Burbed reader wahnny.

Silicon Valley’s Boom Creates Shortage of $1 Million Homes

120831-cnbc-losaltosPublished: Wednesday, 29 Aug 2012 | 10:22 AM ET
By: Robert Frank, CNBC Reporter & Editor

The home of venture capitalist Kelly Porter in Los Altos, photo, right.

The capital of high tech is now the capital of high-priced real estate.

Silicon Valley currently leads the nation in the number of homes sold for $1 million or more, according to Realtytrac. Sales of $1 million-plus have more than doubled in many communities in the Valley this year, toppling longtime luxury real-estate leaders like Beverly Hills or Miami.

Topping the list is Saratoga, Calif., in Santa Clara County, which had 225 homes sold for $1 million or more. That marked a 162 percent increase over last year.

Ranked second was Burlingame, Calif., which had 211 sales of at least $1 million, more than double last year’s rate. Cupertino and Los Altos ranked third and fourth in the nation, with 175 homes and 170 homes respectively.

Booyah!  We lead the nation in million dollar homes.  Sayonara, Scarsdale!  Meet you later, Miami gator!  Buh-bye, Beverly Hills!  Buh-… there’s just one problem with this article.

CNBC is comparing Silicon Valley to other “longtime luxury real-estate leaders.”  And up there on millionaire’s row is… Cupertino?  That’s not exactly the first town that comes to mind when we think “palatial estate.”

We don’t think this CNBC reporter understands the Real Bay Area.  Any region can feature a town full of luxury homes, towns like Atherton or Hillsborough, only somewhere that isn’t very Special.  You can find some real big, expensive estates in cities such as Bloomfield Hills, Michigan (boyhood home of Mitt Romney), or Winnetka, Illinois, or Greenwich, Connecticut.  Or Beverly Hills.

But only in the Real Bay Area can you find crappy houses for a million dollars.  Observe.

First, we look at Saratoga, since there were so many million dollar homes on the list they couldn’t find one to feature in the article (they just noted you could buy 1.2 acres with no house for more than a mill).  Find out what that same price gets you with a house… after the break.

(more…)

Comments (38) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:12 am