May 6, 2013

UPDATED: Kawlums! Mawbul kawlums! Git yer kawlums he-uh in El Cerrito!

It’s been far too long since we’ve heard from one of our favorite correspondents from the East Bay, Burbed reader A Lewis.  A (he says we can still call him A) writes in to let us know that there is still real estate worth following in his favorite city of El Cerrito. Let’s have a look and listen in.

130505-barrett-redfin6332 Barrett
El Cerrito, CA 94530
Sold for $1,200,000

3 Beds
2.5 Baths
3,441 Sq. Ft.
$349 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1941
Lot Size: 0.54 Acres
Sold On: Apr 19, 2013
Type: Detached
Stories: 2
County: Contra Costa
Style: Colonial
Community: Miravista Highls
MLS#: 40608299

a classic Colonial Revival on a 1/2 acre estate. Custom built with lavish attention to detail. Features include a 2 story tall portico at the entrance a wide spiral staircase to the upper floor inside, and fabulous access to patios and gardens from various entry level rooms. Ideal for entertaining

130505-barrett-windowTake it away, A!

Update 6:45 pm: A says it’s fine to include the following graf that we thought was social chitchat just for us.

** Sorry I abandoned the site – but I’ve been priced out forever, and Real Estater was right about the stock market, so I just had to admit my own limitations and tried to spend time thinking about things besides real estate. I’m still a renter. But I can’t stop myself from occasionally looking at Redfin in my neighborhood, which you will recall is the hills of El Cerrito – 94530 baby! **

Here’s a house I know that tried to sell in 2008 for $1.2M, failed pitifully because of the ‘crash’, but they waited it out, and lo and behold, they got their price last week! And I wanted to share the listing because the first pick has 6, yes 6 columns showing!

130505-barrett-2windowsSo in my mind, prices in the hills of El Cerrito are back to peak levels, and appear to be rising.

I don’t know if that qualifies us for RBA status, but we seem to be back to where we were in 2007 (oh, except for having about 25% of the inventory), a crazed over-bidding environment on places that need a lot of work. People writing letters with their offers to beg for the privilege of buying with no contingencies, etc…

I guess another difference is how much buying is all-cash – in 2007, I think there was a lot more leveraging.

130505-barrett-anotherviewIt’s a great time to sell a house, that’s for sure. But I can’t afford to buy one – oh well! I’d say I missed my chance, which was about Q1 2012, but prices hadn’t dropped enough for me to afford things even then.

Maybe the next crash will be harder. Maybe not – I bought a lotto ticket last month as an alternative way to solve the problem…

Looking at how bekawlumned this house is, we don’t understand why A didn’t sell every vehicle, video, and spare family members to own this house. Every bedroom just screams, “Oh my God, I live here!”  Why this is almost as impressive as what you can get in Palo Alto for a similar asking price.

Can you imagine what you’d have to pay for kawlums in The Real Bay Area?

Comments (4) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:07 am






April 4, 2013

Day Deal in Danville: Dollar Deluge for Doing Diddlysquat

BlogAtoZ-DWelcome back to Day #4 of the Danged blogging from A to Z challenge. Despite Dropout, we’re Determined to Drag our Dozen Dear readers through Daily Dumps!

Excuse us.  We’re got a Delightful Domicile for your to Drool on the Drapes! But Don’t Despair! We’re Driving a Distance to Danville for this Detached single family Dreck.

Drop any Disgust; the Day’s Display Deserves Decent Drama.  Thanks very much to Burbed reader Kim from the East Bay for this Donation.

130403-ferncroft-redfin531 FERNCROFT Ct
Danville, CA 94526
Sold for $678,000

3 Beds
2 Baths
1,938 Sq. Ft.
$350 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1974
Lot Size: 9,963 Sq. Ft.
Sold On: Mar 27, 2013
Type: Detached
Stories: 1
County: Contra Costa
Style: Ranch
Community: Danville
MLS#: 40604422

Wonderful ranch style home on a large, private lot. Vaulted ceilings in family room w/ wood burning fireplace. Dine in kitchen with newer appliances. Formal dining room and living room. Dual pane windows. Large parklike backyard with patio. Home needs some TLC.

130403-ferncroft-kitchenLet’s Dial in with Kim:

Look at the listing history:

Listed for $650 a mere 24 hours after being purchased for $565K (Feb 21-22) Closes on March 27 for $678

130403-ferncroft-dhoBUY NOW OR BE PRICED OUT FOREVER!!!

You can’t even call it a flip since he may as well just have used the same listing photos.. the only difference is the house is vacant. Not a bad profit for zero work.

Don’t Diss the Dealer! Why Do you Despise Democracy so much? Maybe you should Dig Ditches in Da Nang if you Don’t Declare Dittoes! Dude, we Direct you to the old Data.  The Dated Depictions are worth a Detour, as the Domicile is not only 130403-ferncroft-yardDecorated, we even found a Double-Double DHO (Dudettes Hanging Out) Distinction! (see left side mirror and its Doppelgangers).

Also the previous listing features lawn Décor from another Development, Different Date, Domain… it looks like a Disk from the Island of Yap.

Or a Demon-sized Donut.

D’oh!

The Detail:

130403-ferncroft-history

Comments (10) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:08 am

March 21, 2013

This is why The Real Bay Area is Awesome

We get some interesting comments from people who don’t agree with our definition of what the Real Bay Area (RBA) is. Many seem to think that if an area is wealthier than its surrounding community, that, in and of itself, is sufficient for RBAhood.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

The whole point of the RBA is that it is not only expensive, it is that you will pay a crapton of money to live there and the sellers can ask over three million yet treat you with complete and utter disdain. You will also end up with a house that isn’t even worth photographing. Today’s property illustrates this perfectly.

130320-waverly-redfin1801 WAVERLEY St
Palo Alto, CA 94301
$3,295,000

5 Beds
3.5 Baths
2,982 Sq. Ft.
$1,105 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1932
Lot Size: 9,000 Sq. Ft.
On Redfin: 7 days
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Stories: 2
Community: Old Palo Alto
MLS#: 81307920
Style: Colonial
View: Neighborhood
County: Santa Clara

Upcoming Open Houses

Saturday, Mar 23: 1:30-4:30 pm
Sunday, Mar 24: 1:30-4:30 pm

Prime Old Palo Alto!Old world charm meets modern amenities! Lovely 5 bedroom, 3.5 bath home. 2 master suites; one on each floor. Large family room adjacent to spacious kitchen. This home features a huge 9000 +/- sf lot. It is perfect for large gatherings & extended family visits. Updated kitchen and baths with tile counters and newer appliances.

130320-waverly-streetviewYes, this is a vintage home (just slipping in under our definition to earn the “old house” tag) in a desirable part of Palo Alto, but it isn’t being marketed as a teardown. It’s just that the agent obviously has better things to do than pull out the iPhone and snap a dozen listing photos.

Good thing there’s Google Streetview!  Isn’t this place just fabulous?

130320-waverly-streetview2Guess you’ll never know unless you show up at the Open Houses this weekend.  Also, many sections of Streetview around this house have been blurred out. Perhaps this home is owned by a highly-placed Googler.  This view around the corner from Tennyson was the best we could do.

But you’ve seen plenty of properties on Burbed showcasing Palo Alto. (Heck, we’ve visited Waverley Street so often they ought to rename it Burbed Boulevard.)  We were trying to make a point about the difference between RBA and not-so-RBA.  Let’s see what you could get for pretty much the same amount of money over the Bay and through the Caldecott.

130320-oaks-redfin6 GREAT OAKS Cir
Orinda, CA 94563
$3,350,000

3 Beds
3.5 Baths
4,350 Sq. Ft.
$770 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1949
Lot Size: 2.32 Acres
On Redfin: 541 days
Type: Detached
Stories: 1
Community: Glorietta
MLS#: 40544806
Style: Contemporary
View: Other
County: Contra Costa

Original Frank Lloyd Wright designed home built in 1949. The stunning grounds were landscaped by Henry Matsutani who did the Japanese Tea Gardens in Golden Gate Park. Incredible opportunity to own a bit of history/ a work of art. All showings subject to screening process. Call agents for details.

130320-oaks-diningThat’s right.  If you’re willing to spend the same amount in Orinda, you can own a house actually designed by Frank Lloyd fucking Wright. Not only that, the landscaping is by the same master gardener behind the Japanese I-shit-you-not Tea Garden.  In Golden goddamned Gate Park. Which we think even Silicon Valley software dweebs have heard of. Plus the Orinda house is on more than two acres.

It’s also been for sale for a year and a half and has had two major price reductions.

130320-oaks-statuesBut in Old Palo Alto, you get a house on nine thousand feet, and you will like it.  And if you don’t plenty of others will, because this house has only been on the market for a week, and after the Open House you know the sellers will be receiving all seventy-nine offers the following Tuesday, and decide which of the no-contingencies-extra-cash-please-with-homemade-brownies-and-a-Tesla-Model-S begging letters they will accept.

And THAT, my friends, is the Real difference between the Real Bay Area and the Rest.

Thanks to the fun folks at Redfin Forums for inspiring today’s article.

Comments (23) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:02 am

February 8, 2013

A very not-RBA listing in an almost-RBA town

Burbed just doesn’t give the East Bay enough love, so we’re always delighted when our readers send us something from Alameda or Contra Costa County.  Today’s featured listing is from one of the more rarified regions of CCC, but you’ll see that there’s nothing Real about this Bay Area bonanza.  Thanks very much to Burbed reader Kim in the East Bay for this Danville domicile!

130207-lagonda-redfin898 La Gonda Way
Danville, CA 94526
$619,500

3 Beds
1 Baths
1,112 Sq. Ft.
$557 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1953
Lot Size: —
On Redfin: 67 days
Status: Active
Property Type: Single-Family Home
County: Contra Costa
Community: Danville/San Ramon |
MLS#: 403322

Single family home on large level lot with 3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, living room with fireplace, dining area, large kitchen, huge yard, 2 car garage parking.

 

130207-lagonda-kitchenAre we lost? This looks like something not from Danville, but maybe Connecticut.  Bricks, autumn foliage, and what could pass for aluminum siding; all we need are some shooting ranges in those woods over the back fence.  And that spare prose is pure Yankee, other than the outburst about the huge yard.  So huge the lot size isn’t even provided (9583 sf, even that’s more East Coast than East Bay).

Maybe we’re not lost but this house is. The price has been reduced twice, and the agent couldn’t be bothered to clean up before taking the listing pix.  Even the dog carrier stays.

130207-lagonda-satellite

Did we mention location, location, location?

Comments (38) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:05 am

January 20, 2013

More Bubbly Brewing: Line-ups & Lotteries

New houses selling like they’re going out of style. In San Ramon, where they actually are making more land.

Hundreds of hopeful San Ramon buyers line up for new construction lotto

Posted By: Jenny Pisillo | San Francisco Chronicle | January 18 at 4:00 am

Back in August, local East Bay Redfin real estate agents forwarded us a picture of hopeful homebuyers camping out – yes, spending the night (some up to 1 month) – to be one of the first to have the opportunity to buy a new construction home in the Shapell Homes Solaire development of San Ramon’s Gale Ranch community.

Fast forward to January – only the 4 model homes are left. Knowing that there would be high demand and wanting to avoid the cluttered look of tents, Shapell decided to have a lottery system to release the homes. Tickets were given out last Saturday morning at 10, and the lucky drawing was an hour later at 11am.

These people in the photo aren’t lining up for a chance to buy a new release of homes. They’re in line to get one of four tickets in a lottery to buy the four remaining model homes. And they will cost $50-90,000 more than they did just five months ago. As is. Penalty if not purchased by 2/28.

Which leads to this weekend Open Thread. How long are lines at the open houses? Are they having lotteries for who gets the glossy fliers?

 

Comments (29) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:01 am

November 27, 2012

Low Prices? Nobody beats us for low prices: Contra Costa Edition

121122-blackfridayYesterday’s house seems to be a disappointment to some of you. There were some critics calling out the neighborhood, or maybe the neighbors. Maybe you don’t understand what we’re doing here.  We said we would find you the cheapest house in every county.  We are then doing that. If the neighborhood isn’t la-di-dah enough for you sip-your-tea-with-a-raised-pinky types, just keep your jodhpurs on. We’ll include some Real Bay Area cities in our Black Friday Deals.

Just… not yet!  Today, the cheapest house in all of Contra Costa County! Behold!

121126-cutting-redfin2819 CUTTING Blvd
Richmond, CA 94804
$49,950

1 Beds 
1 Baths
694 Sq. Ft.
$72 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1940 
Lot Size: 2,500 Sq. Ft. 
On Redfin: 48 days
Status: Active
Type: Detached
Stories: 1
County: Contra Costa
Style: Bungalow
Community: South Richmond
MLS#: 40592250

Must See To Appreciate

This is the house. You want it? Must See to Appreciate. No lookie, no value go up.  Simple.  Boom.  But only one photo. Can’t really see it. And you must see it. You must to appreciate.

121126-cutting-satellite

Think writing a listing like this is easy? Sure. Writing listings is easy. You just sit down by an MLS terminal and bleed.

Comments (6) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:02 am

October 5, 2012

UPDATEDx2 with a MURDER: WOW! Sunrise and Sunset included! PRICED TO SELL !!!

9:50 AM: See end for update.  It’s worth it.
12:09 PM: Another update on the other murder.

It’s time to play Build a Ginormous House Somewhere Not As Expensive As The Real Bay Area and then try to find a buyer! Ready?  It’s Burbed reader J from Alameda‘s turn with this lovely Lafayette listing.

121004-hunsaker-redfin1901 HUNSAKER CANYON Rd
Lafayette, CA 94549
$1,998,000

4 Beds
3.5 Baths
6,200 Sq. Ft.
$322 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 2003
Lot Size: 13.50 Acres
On Redfin: 39 days
Type: Detached
Stories: 3+
Community: Burton Valley
MLS#: 40587017
Style: Other
View: Canyon, Carquinez, City Lights, Forest, Hills, Mountains, Mt. Diablo, Valley
County: Contra Costa

WOW! $1+M price reduction! What a buy!! 13+- acres. Gated 360% View! Italian Villa/ stone, hardwood fls, custom & antique lighting. Finest materials including stone, hardwood, beautiful moldings and mllwork. Sunrise and Sunset included ! Rm for pool tennis/guest house/vineyard. PRICED TO SELL !!!

121004-hunsaker-kawlums-archHere’s why J from A sent this in:

As promised, a lovely chateau – in the Lafayette hills. Of note: a million dollar price reduction, a reasonable $322 a square foot and lots of columns.

Somehow it seems that 3.5 bathrooms spread across 6,200 sq feet of living space is not quite the usual ratio – a new way to measure houses – bathrooms per square feet? I am sure the buyer will be happy to have an elevator to navigate all those stories. Enjoy!

121004-hunsaker-kawlums-balconyYou’re right, J. We’ve noted the business of beaucoup bathrooms in ginormous houses for people with too much money and not enough taste. No wonder this place had a million dollar price reduction.  According to the LA Times, this house needs at minimum 8 rooms for waste disposal and sluicing.

Good thing it was PRICED TO SELL !!! We’ve seen enough houses that were priced to stay empty or priced to sit on the listing service for years and years.

Like, um, this house:

121004-hunsaker-listing-history

Even Zillow thinks the house is worth $2,169,784. Instant equity!  Ka-ching!

Update 9:50 AM: Burbed reader magdalena alerts us to this 2005 SF Chronicle article that specifically mentions the house.  In a this-would-never-be-believed-as-fiction tragedy, the wife of criminal defense lawyer Daniel Horowitz was murdered in “the entryway of the home.” Wikipedia says she was murdered in a mobile home on the property while their “dream house” was being completed.  The murder occurred four days after the beginning of a high-profile trial where Horowitz was defending Susan Polk, accused of killing her husband in their Orinda home. Horowitz had taken the case after Polk had fired her previous lawyers for encouraging her to plead insanity.

This led to a mistrial, but as Horowitz prepared for Polk’s second trial, she fired him, convinced that he had something to do with his wife’s murder.  16 year old Scott Dyleski was convicted of the murder; supposedly he intended to kill a neighbor who had run over his dog and went to the wrong house.  Polk’s story manages to get even more bizarre after Horowitz was fired (this Dateline NBC link confirms the mobile home claim from Wikipedia).

WOW!  Sunrise and sunset is just the entryway of what’s included with this house!

Update 12:09 PM: Murder kills home values as well as people.  Check out Susan Polk’s house.  We found a listing e-flyer, and Redfin has the price history:

 

 

Comments (29) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:03 am

August 30, 2012

Non-RBA property for (don’t laugh) $2,583 a square foot

Today’s house is absolutely, positively, we promise and pinky swear, really, truly NOT IN MOUNTAIN VIEW.  It isn’t even in Palo Alto.  Today, we are headed up to Contra Costa County, where Burbed reader J from Alameda has a little real estate riddle for us.

Meanwhile, are you someone who doesn’t live in or look at houses in Mountain View or Palo Alto?  If you find one that’s #winning, send it on over!  Heck, send us more houses in Mountain View and Palo Alto too.  We’re willing to point and laugh at almost anything.

30 QUAIL Xing
Moraga, CA 94556
$3,100,000

120829-quail-redfin

120829-quail-living$3,100,000 Price
1 Beds
1 Baths
1,200 Sq. Ft.
$2,583 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 2010
Lot Size: 53.71 Acres
On Redfin: 258 days
Type: Detached
Stories: 1
Community: Rancho Moraga
MLS#: 40554737
Style: Ranch
View: Hills
County: Contra Costa

120829-quail-frontNewer 1200 SF Guest Cottage sits on 4.35± acres w/ flat building pad for a 5700± SF home, 6 stall Castlebrook barn, sport court & 360 degree view. 2nd parcel of 49± Agric. zoned acres has 2.5± acres planted w/ 3100 vines & expansion to 20+ acres possible. Abuts EBMUD open space and trails.

Here’s why J sent this in:

Over the hills and through the woods….I just had to send this in (not going anywhere fast) its just 120829-quail-far-awaysuch an incredible RBA price per square foot – $2583 – but not in the RBA. Now you get a lovely barn, sport court and ‘guest house’ with one bedroom and one bath….some teeny tiny grape vines – and yes, that lovely cement pad just waiting for its 5,700 sf, give or take – house. What, by the way is sport court? And, it’s not even in the RBA! It’s a long way down the hill(s) to get on Orinda Bart (yes, Bart) to get to RBA land. Or the other hill into the backside of Oakland.

And the 120829-quail-sportcourtrealator was nice enough to note – those 40 some odd acres are zoned agricultural – meaning, I imagine, no subdividing. What, exactly, was the original buyer thinking? Spec guest house? Forget to leave some money in the budget for the house?

Ps – out looking at houses on Sunday and drove by the half finished house – the one with the lovely garbage can shot on Olympic (Lafayette?) – I recognized the plywood. Looks about the same.

Wait, wait, you left out the best part.  The street name is half English, half Mandarin!  We can’t figure out if it’s named for where the quail are run over by vehicles or merely shot by Dick Cheney.

Comments (8) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:01 am

April 23, 2012

Trespassing Squatters Occupying Short Sale Property File TRO Against the Selling Agent. Yes You Read That Correctly.

Happy Monday!  We’ve got another exciting story for you, about some riveting residents who really respect realtards.  Read on!

Squatters issue restraining order against real estate agent

120421-antioch-squattersKTVU Channel 2,
Posted: 9:49 p.m. Friday, April 20, 2012

ANTIOCH, Calif. —  A Bay Area real estate agent said she’s being taken to court by squatters in Antioch who have taken over a house she’s trying to sell.

As many as three people have been living in the Concord home since December. Even though the owner never gave them permission to move in, they’re apparently not moving out without a fight.

Real estate agent Melissa Case said she can’t get too close to the four-bedroom, two-and-a-half bathroom home she’s listed for sale in Antioch because the unauthorized residents took her to court.

“I have a temporary restraining order against me right now,” Case said. “I cannot come within 50 yards of the home, which was filed by the squatters.”

Case is definitely a Real Estate Professional.  You can tell from the way she talks, because it reads just like listing copy we see every day here.  The home was filed by the squatters,  Got it.  So you’re going to love this next quote from Ms. Case:

“Actually the police came out and verified that their… rental agreement? [air quotes]… was false and full of misspellings.”

Because nothing says Real Estate Professional like an example of their work product written up full of misspellings.

Here’s the house, and it was not easy to find.  Case described it as a “four bedroom two and a half bath” but Redfin listed it as a 4/3.  Also just to really mess with our minds, the article also said it was in Concord (see the second paragraph above).  Do you have any idea how many freaking short sales there are in Antioch? Or Concord?  Let’s just say I have a feeling we’re not in Los Altos anymore.

5116 THISTLEWOOD Ct
Antioch, CA 94531
$149,000

120421-thistlewood-redfin

BEDS: 4
BATHS: 3
SQ. FT.: 1,873
$/SQ. FT.: $80
LOT SIZE: 5,900 Sq. Ft.
TYPE: Detached
STYLE: Traditional
STORIES: 2
YEAR BUILT: 1991
COMMUNITY: Antioch
COUNTY: Contra Costa
MLS#: 40568008
SOURCE: EBRD
STATUS: Pending
ON REDFIN: 23 days

End of Court Location and Across the street from the neighborhood park!! This home needs TLC.

End of Court!  Get it?  Get it?  Because the agent got taken to court!  Ahahahahahaha!

And speaking of short sales, the “homeowner in Berkeley” picked up this winner of a house for $460,000.  In 2004.  The current asking price is 23% less than what the house sold for, new, in 1992.  Perhaps “needs TLC” means “Teardown, Level and Condemn.”

Comments (18) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:08 am

February 9, 2012

Are having a hard time finding the perfect home?

Today we return to the Not Real Bay Area, for a very special home despite the location.  Thanks very much to Burbed reader J from Alameda for this listing, which we join already in progress.

2431 Olympic Blvd
Walnut Creek, CA 94595
$389,000

120208-olympic-redfin

BEDS: 4
BATHS:  4
SQ. FT.:  2,741
$/SQ. FT.:  $142
LOT SIZE:  9,100 Sq. Ft.
TYPE:  Detached
STYLE:  Contemporary
STORIES:  1
YEAR BUILT:  2009
COMMUNITY:  Saranap
COUNTY:  Contra Costa
MLS#:  40555341
SOURCE:  EBRD
STATUS:  Active
ON REDFIN:  48 days

Are having a hard time finding the perfect home? then this is a must see! You could finish this home and customize it to fit your needs. 4 bedroom 4 bath with a pool.

120208-olympic-trashbinsHere’s what J had to say about this fine find:

Burbed fan here – this is the first listing I have found that is Burbed worthy….the photo of the trash bins has to be unique. Zillow has a photo that appears to be a small hole in the ground…..

Oh dear, if J from Alameda thinks a photo of a trash bin or two in a home listing is unique, then clearly we 120208-olympic-interioraren’t doing our job that well.  There’s now a trash bins tag so everyone who enjoys comparing bins around the Bay Area can peruse them at their leisure.  We just had a bunch of them featured earlier this week.

But while this home isn’t unique in featuring photos of where to put your garbage and recycling, it sure lets you know what an absolute blast you’ll have sprucing the place up.  120208-olympic-yardThat is, if by “blast” we are actually referring to the effect it will have on your finances.

Anyone have any luck locating the promised pool?  Do you think this is it?

Or is it hidden under the unique trash bins?

120208-olympic-holeNo luck looking on Zillow.  They don’t have any pictures of this house at all, other than the default birds-eye shot.  That could be because the listing was removed on February 4th.

But this must be the picture J was thinking of, courtesy of Trulia.  Trulia has a different set of pictures than Redfin for this home.  This could very well be the pool.  Or it could be the Portal to Hell.

Customize it to fit your needs.

Comments (16) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:06 am