July 21, 2013

Ever get that sinking feeling you don’t live in the RBA?

Life in the Real Bay Area is Special.  Life outside is… less so. Here’s a story showing what happens when you buy elsewhere.  Thanks very much to Burbed reader nomadic for passing this along.

Residents of sinking Calif. subdivision file claim

130721-lake-spiveyBy TRACIE CONE, Associated Press
Updated 12:33 pm, Wednesday, July 17, 2013

LAKEPORT, Calif. (AP) — For months homeowners agonized as houses in their subdivision sank one-by-one into a California hilltop. It got so dangerous that the U.S. Postal Service refused to deliver mail.

Now, they say they know the reason eight homes were destroyed and 10 others are in danger, and they’ve taken the first step toward recouping damages by filing a claim against Lake County.

A leaking county water system that went undetected for months saturated the hillside and caused the ground to give way, said Michael Green, an attorney for the 41 homeowners in the subdivision with sweeping views of Clear Lake in Northern California.

Green is seeking $5 million for each homeowner in the claim filed last month against the county.

130721-lake-singhOh, this is going to be good. The homeowners are blaming the county over the leaking water system, and the county is blaming the homeowners association, saying their irrigation system contributed to the unusual behavior of the houses. Yeah, we know whenever a sprinkler system busts a leak, our Silicon Valley homes completely fall apart too.

Oh wait, that’s not because of the sprinklers, that’s the TCE plume.

For extra lawsuit lusciousness, the county supervisors asked for a disaster declaration from the governor. That was refused.

Next time, only buy in the RBA, where these sort of things never, ever, ever, ever, ever happen.

Comments (6) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:05 am






June 29, 2013

You know what they got? KAWLUMS

It’s been a while since we’ve been sent a MAWBUL KAWLUM heavy house. We miss them so much we were forced to present this one from (gasp) Southern California.

Good thing we just reordered red arrows.

130628-buggy-kawlums

The house itself is hideously overdone in Middle-Aged Movie Executive With Unlimited Budget, including the kawlum-bedecked indoor tennis court that meets US Open requirements. And no, we aren’t kidding. 

130628-buggy-tennis

We didn’t even know there was a standard for kawlums at the US Open.

Let us know if any US Open Houses you tour this weekend have kawlums. Or tennis courts. Yes, this is your Weekend US Open Thread.

Comments (4) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:01 am

June 8, 2013

Deserted… We mean Desert Home

It’s the weekend! That means Open House Time! It also means we need to come up with some filler article, because everyone’s too busy planning on visiting Open Houses to spend all day commenting on Burbed.

While you visit homes and plan by how much you’ll overbid, here’s a honey for you to handle. It’s just a short drive out of the Bay Area… and out of Northern California… and out of the LA Basin… and out of the Southland. On the other hand, you literally could pay for this house with money you find under your couch cushions with the E-Z Seller Financing!

Thanks very much to Christin whose Redfin Collection “Just Wow” featured this… um… property.

130607-lorilisa-redfin1 LORI LISA Rd
29 Palms, CA 92277
$9,000

0 Beds
— Baths
400 Sq. Ft.
$23 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1957
Lot Size: 5 Acres
On Redfin: 141 days
Property Type: Residential, Single Family
View: Desert
County: San Bernardino
Style: One Level, Cabin
Community: Wonder Valley
MLS#: DC13006684

Want a secluded cabin on 5 acres next to open desert? This is the one! Has electric in street. The old cabin needs some work but hey it has got 4 walls up, just missing the room. Also on land is out house in pretty good condition. Old stove/bbq thing that is cool and looks like it could be used, inside cabin are old antique stove and sink. Seller will finance this jewel with 20% down @ 7 % interest all due 5 years. From Amboy Road go north on Meriwether Road all the way to the end then take a left on Lori Lisa Road and there is the cabin on the right side.

Jewel indeed, and all you need is $1,800! Look at all you get, in addition to this awesome listing copy!

130607-lorilisa-just-add-room130607-lorilisa-wood-wood-wood130607-lorilisa-cabin130607-lorilisa-cabin2130607-lorilisa-cabin3130607-lorilisa-eddie-albert

But wait! There’s more!

130607-lorilisa-what130607-lorilisa-outhouse130607-lorilisa-stove

Operators – we mean the seller – is, um, are standing by!  As is today’s Weekend Open Thread! Let us know how deserted the Open Houses were you saw today!

Comments (9) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:02 am

June 7, 2013

Vacay of the Day

While we concentrate on housing insanity in the Bay Area, Burbed is a Northern California real estate blog.  So we’re happy to feature this find from Burbed reader Cindy in a likely little holiday spot for you. Remember, great real estate photography can be found everywhere, such as this stunning South Lake Tahoe Spectacular. Head on up and overbid on this one quick!

130606-paloma-trulia830 Paloma Ave
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150
$349,000

4 bed / 2 full bath
1,606 sqft
Single-Family Home
$1,563 / mo
6 Days on Trulia
205 views
Vaulted Ceiling
Deck
Status: For Sale
Parking: Garage
Parking Spaces: 1
Floors: Carpet, Tile, Vinyl
Exterior: Wood Siding
Roof: Composition Shingle
Heating: Space Heater
Heating Fuel: Natural Gas
Lot Size: 6,011 sqft
Built in 1962
MLS/Source ID: 120915
Zip: 96150

Lots of room in a sought-after neighborhood yet affordable. Just a couple of blocks from the meadow and a short walk to the shores of Lake Tahoe and Regan Beach, this four bedroom home offers the opportunity to own a spacious home ideal for large families or gatherings and at the same time, the potential for quick DIY equity. Downstairs living includes the main living area, an open fireplace, two bedrooms, guest bath and a bonus room which would serve well as a hobby room or home office. Upstairs are two more bedrooms and the second guest bath. All of the rooms are quite spacious. The backyard is sunny and fenced with… a large deck and storage shed.

130606-paloma-frontYes, that really is a giant-ass wooden bear statue.  Can’t believe Cindy forgot to mention it:

Location location location (1/2 mile from lake) In South lake Tahoe

Click on ‘enlarged photos’ for some of the worst photos of the day.

And by “worst” you mean “best,” don’t you?

130606-paloma-living130606-paloma-kitchen130606-paloma-bedroom130606-paloma-bedroom2130606-paloma-umwtf130606-paloma-decals

Worst, Best, they are definitely in a class by themselves, which is why it’s good these are far from the Real Bay Area.

Just imagine the chaos if any place could have overbidding.  For one, these weird-ass curtain designs would force their way in here and then where would we be? We’d have houses looking like day care centers, that’s what.

Bunus: Note the skateboard, showing the excitement you’ll have if you live here. Or showing the realtard was too fracking lazy to move it for the photo shoot.

Now that’s the potential for quick DIY equity.  That and using a large storage shed as fencing.

Comments (2) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:09 am

January 26, 2013

Yet Another Map of California

Submitted for your edification.  At least this time we have a link, but it’s to a site that doesn’t know where it came from either.

130125-CA4beginners

This is, of course, your Weekend Open Thread as well.  Tell us what you love about California.  If you hate something about California, it’s because you don’t live in the Real Bay Area.

Comments (4) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:01 am

February 25, 2012

Your Weekend Open Thread

It’s time to get out there and look at Open Houses!  Spring Bounce is just around the corner, so you don’t want to miss out on your dream house.

Speaking of fantasies, here’s a find that’s way out of Burbed territory. Some of you could pick up for couch cushion change.  I know, it’s SoCal, but hear me out.  Many thanks to Burbed reader BookingIt for this terrific tenement in Twentynine Palms!

3281 Blower Rd
TWENTYNINE PALMS, CA 92277
$14,500

120223-blower-zillow

Super cute cabin on 2.5 acres. Has had some work done. Owner may consider terms.Brokered And Advertised By: INSPIRE REAL ESTATEListing Agent: JULIANNE BEGGS

If you’ve been thinking about simplifying your life, this could be it!  Things couldn’t be much simpler than outfitting this 192 square foot desert domicile.  And if you don’t have enough spare change on your dresser to pick this up, “Owner may consider terms.”  “Bunus”: the ZEstimate is way above the asking price.  Win-win-win!

120223-blower-front120223-blower-setback

Redfin also has this property listed, only they give an address in the heretofore never discovered community of WOND, CA. 

This is an Open Thread.

Comments (37) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:06 am

November 5, 2011

Special B-Ballin “Bunus”: Granite Bay Exclusive

We try to avoid running extra articles unless we have to, but this was too good to pass up.  You really don’t want to miss this EXCLUSIVE because the deadline is next week.  Many thanks to Overheard in San Carlos for passing this along.

bballin

imageHere’s what OSC has to say about this opportunity!

I know this is not in the RBA, but damn…what a concept!!   Are they going to wheel Meadowlark Lemon out in a wheelchair?  Does that count as the 1v1  ????

Wait, Granite Bay isn’t in the RBA?  Then where is it?  And why does the virtual tour make me so dizzy?  Check this house out more on Redfin, and let us know if you and your financial planner/family can beat Curly in a La-Z-Boy.

This is an Open Thread.

Comments (4) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 4:59 am

June 14, 2011

The Ultimate RBA Trophy Property

Face it, any engineer can go work at Google or Facebook or The Next Big Thing Dot Com and get a few million dollars in option payouts.  If you’ve made your mark technically, you want to let your colleagues and future underlings know that you haven’t just arrived, you’re miles ahead of everyone else, and those are YOUR footprints on their back. 

And you’re not going to do that living in a tract house in Real Gray Area.  You need a house that says “I am a Master of the Universe.”  And Burbed reader nomadic has found the house.

21200 Center Ave, Los Banos, CA 93635
$1,999,999

image

Bedrooms: 6
Bathrooms: 4.5
Sqft: 3,800
Lot size: 3,419,460 sq ft / 78.50 acres
Property type: Single Family
Year built: 1961
Parking type: —
Cooling system: —
Heating system: —
Fireplace: —
Days on Zillow: 281
MLS number: 81042858

The Fawcett House designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1955 while he was working on the Guggenheim Museum, is one of less than 300 now irreplaceable Frank Lloyd Wright houses in the world. The historic Mid-Century Modern house built of concrete block, mahogany and glass was completed in 1961.

imageYes you read that correctly, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.  Few architects attain the stature of instant recognition that Wright did, and if you can casually mention that you’re living in a FLW original… well, let’s just say watch your colleagues step back to let you select the best seat at your next meeting.

Some of you may object to the location.  That’s foolish.  We’re talking Frank Lloyd F*cking Wright.  Huge name architect trumps location any day. 

Face it, it’s better to live in a tissue box designed by a Wright or a Gehry than one of those soulless cloned crapboxes we make fun of.  You want to moan about needing Palo Alto schools, then go find yourself a cookie-cutter mini-mansion with zero lot line and lots of fake Spanish tile on the roof.  You may be on the right side of 101, but Frankly, you’re doing it Lloyd Wrong.

Los Banos is going to be the next Mountain View, just you wait!

Comments (26) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:10 am

March 20, 2011

2010 Census Data Displays Diverse Diversity Diversions

Thanks to Burbed reader Real Estater for nominating this article by posting it in the comments on Friday.

image

Image from USA Today

East Bay tops among California’s most diverse places

By Eric Kurhi and Matt O’Brien, Contra Costa Times
Posted: 03/18/2011 03:20:18 PM PDT

HAYWARD — Close to the geographic center of a city known as the “Heart of the Bay,” Luciano Ruiz peered out the pickup window of a burger joint in what is, by one measure, the most racially diverse neighborhood in California.

“There’s been a mix of people here ever since I grew up,” said Ruiz, 18. “It’s always been mainly Latino down here in South Hayward, but now you see more African-Americans, a lot more Asians. I’ve seen a little increase in Middle Eastern people.”

The 2010 census shows a collection of census tracts in the Hayward flatlands as the most diverse in California and a microcosm of the state’s likely future. Latinos are the largest group, but share the space with many other people. Multicultural churches, mosques and businesses are in walking distance.

Thirty-five miles away, in the Walnut Creek retirement community of Rossmoor, a cluster of census tracts reflect an older, less integrated California. About 90 percent of residents are white and less than 1 percent are African-American in the Bay Area’s least-diverse neighborhood.

“It’s probably accurate,” said Rossmoor resident David Smith of the newly released statistics. “Our population is overwhelmingly white.”

imageSince this is from the Contra Costa Times, there’s little about neighborhoods in Santa Clara or San Mateo County, and which would be the most or least diverse. East Palo Alto was specifically called out as one of the 10 most diverse communities in California. The diversity index is the probability that two randomly picked people from the area would be of different race or ethnicity. Maybe you might have an idea which neighborhoods you’d nominate?

imageAnyway, I looked up the data, and East Palo Alto has a DI of 83.4 (the highest was 86.4 and Hayward was 85.1).  Oakland was 81.1. Not mentioned in the article are Sacramento, 79.6, South San Francisco, 79.0, San Jose, 77.1, San Bruno, 76.3, Santa Clara, Cholula Half Gallon - Click Image to Close71.8, and Sunnyvale, 70.7.  On the other end of the scale we find Belvedere, 16.4, Portola Valley, 22.3, Woodside, 25.2, and Boulder Creek at 26.  Don’t assume that a low DI means white-bread; the Central Valley’s Mendota is 96.6% Hispanic and has a DI of 26.0.

In case you’re wondering how some areas end up with lots of diversity, here’s the secret, according to the above article:

It didn’t happen overnight,” Bogue said. “Just like anywhere, somebody puts a house up for sale, somebody looks at it and somebody buys it.”

Yeah, that couldn’t happen in Atherton, where houses are bequeathed.  But while houses are occasionally listed for sale in homogenous census tracts, the diverse ones, such as Richmond, San Pablo, Pittsburg, Hayward, Vallejo, Oakland and San Leandro have another interesting thing in common.

imageLocal historian Frank Goulart said affordability has also long attracted a broad spectrum of people to parts of Hayward.

“If you want an honest answer, it’s the cheap housing,” Goulart said.

He said many of the homes in the city’s most diverse tracts “were built like shacks.”

There you go.  Diversity is code for crapboxes (like this one above, in Hayward, the City of Diversity).  But don’t worry about it.  The majority of California public school students are now Hispanic, so the Diversity Index must be heading down (see Mendota, above).  That means housing quality will go up, so the Real Bay Area will get bigger!

imageThere’s no danger of that in Silicon Valley, though.  Santa Clara County’s index is a kumbayah 74, almost as multicultural as Alameda County’s state-topping 78.  The least diverse Bay Area County?  Marin, at 45. The overall state index is 72.9, second only to Hawaii’s 81.1.

But what’s more important is housing!  And the county with the highest percentage of vacant housing units goes to Alpine, with a whopping 71% of its housing sitting empty.  For the Bay Area, the winner is Sonoma, with 9.2%, imagebut Santa Cruz’s 9.7% would have beaten it had any of the county physically come into contact with the Bay.  Meanwhile San Mateo and Santa Clara county are both in the 4’s, while San Francisco managed double: 8.3% of the housing units sitting empty.

There’s stats, stats, stats to play with, so have fun courtesy of USA Today.  Data is available by city as well, so go wild and wonder why the city (town?) of Almanor has 100% of their 75 housing units empty.

Photo above: foreclosed home in Hayward, showcasing diversity.

Comments (8) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:04 am

March 13, 2011

Mysterious Secretive Consortium Really Pissed off that They Can’t Buy State Landmark Buildings in Sweetheart Deal that would Cost California Billions in Needless Rent, Sez They’ll Sue

Remember this story?  A bunch of well-connected cronies wanted to buy all those state buildings and rent them back, with the deal rushed through the waning days of the Governator’s final term? It’s Ba-a-a-a-a-a-ack!

Miffed Investors Sue State over Building Sale

The mysterious consortium goes to court after Gov. Brown nixes deal to sell 11 buildings

By ELIZABETH LESLY STEVENS, Bay Citizen on March 11, 2011 – 4:34 p.m. PST

Photo, right: Adithya Sambamurthy/The Bay Citizen

The California Public Utilities Commission Building is included in a controversial plan for the state of California to sell 11 office complexes to a group of private investors, then lease the space for 20 years

The controversial deal to sell state office buildings is headed to court.

Late Thursday, attorneys for the would-be buyers, California First, filed suit in a state court in Los Angeles, trying to get the court to force the state to go ahead with the deal. “A deal is a deal,” California First says in the suit. No further information about the identity of the California First partners appears in the legal filing, and the group’s attorney did not immediately return a call requesting comment. The group also appears to be paving the way to sue the state for damages if the sale does not go through.

That’s the American way, all right.  If you don’t get your insanely profitable deal done via friends in high places because a bunch of crybabies point out your doing so is probably illegal, sue their pants off!  Also, sue their pants off while refusing to identify exactly who you are, maybe by hiding your faces with those pants you collected.  Yes, we still don’t know exactly who wants to buy these buildings, but they’re mighty unhappy the sale was blocked and they’re going to court to make it happen.

Just remember what we learned last time we covered this topic: it’s probably a bunch of foreigners with cash not only on the sidelines but in both end zones and all the luxury boxes.  According to the Matt Taibbi article we linked to, there’s a good chance it’s oil money.  The last thing they need is for anyone to find out who they are.

Can we declare a moratorium on selling infrastructure to foreign investors? There must be a few Google gazillionaires who want their very own bridge or judicial building.  Maybe Jerry Brown would be okay selling to in-state private investors instead.  Mark Zuckerberg hasn’t bought himself a house yet, think he’d like to own something with a big state seal on it?  And Larry Ellison, he’d buy it just so Jim Clark couldn’t buy it first.  Problem solved!

Comments (12) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:03 am