October 31, 2011

A Scary Neighborhood for Trick or Treating!

Happy Halloween!

Burbed reader Moxie Girl has a suggestion for you on where to look for Halloween Treats.  Or Tricks.  Or lots and lots of instant equity.  So please give Moxie Girl a big, warm Real Bay Area welcome for this Guest Column on a great new neighborhood for you to check out tonight!

imageI’ve been reading your blog for awhile, and find it horrifyingly (and refreshingly) informative. I currently rent in RBA Mountain View, also known as the 900-sq.-foot-house-on-the-weensiest lot-available-asking-price-$1M capital of California.

Anywhoo, I was tootling along minding my own business, and as I cast my keen eye over Redfin this morning, found this (see attachment) in Redwood City. Let me backtrack first and say that Redfin has been updating the mini neighborhoods in cities for those of us not in the know (Birdland Neighbors in Sunnyvale? Castro City in Mountain View? Sign me up!). And apparently Redwood City has a new neighborhood. Who knew?


image*Possible Contamination* is the new, hot, move-in mess you’ve been waiting for. Adjacent to Woodside Plaza and in sniffing distance of Alameda de las Pulgas (Street of the Fleas…perhaps this is linked to the contamination problem?), Possible Contamination is your dream destination: houses built in the 1960s with an asking price of $800K+, which are all basically tear downs just waiting to happen. Then you can spend another $500K building the house of your dreams while being hemmed in by average schools and weird neighbors. But hey, isn’t Redwood City’s motto “Climate Best by Government Test“?

I can only imagine that your other eagle-eyed Burbed readers will want to know and move to this neighborhood ASAP. Our own mini-me Chernobyl site! Does that make RWC a sister city to Alviso? Or would that be Three Mile Island?

p.s. This aberration is attributable only to Redfin’s site–if you check out RWC on Google maps, *Possible Contamination* is not there.

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

September 24, 2011

Emerald Hills Haircuts!

Everybody can find some poor fool losing a Lexus or BMW worth of money on their unfortunate adventures in home-ownership. But in the rarefied air surrounding Emerald Lake Hills in Redwood City, you can turn the dream of home ownership into the nightmare of losing 5-10 years of average tech worker salary. Make sure to whisper as we talk about these gems as we wouldn’t want the current buyers to figure out they caught a knife just yet! Let that be an unpleasant surprise for them in a few years.
White hot?  Nope.  Dripping red?  Yes.

This timeless termite-group-hugger finally sold with only a year or so on the market after getting the burbed treatment. Yep, it’s a white hot real estate market for those of you with your own giant puddle to call 1/9th your own. It sold for only $700k (give or take $10k) under the original wishing price! That’s an entire HOUSE in Slummyvale!

But if you’re worried that’s not a REAL haircut, just a dreamer being rudely disabused of his or her little fantasy, let’s take a peak buyer’s banker’s pain and put it on display… a $386k haircut for the bank! There were two loans, so two banks dueled it out to see who would spill the most blood on THAT deal. I’m sure that Pyrrhic victory left the bank feeling like a million bucks!

Too pedestrian? Don’t worry, people with real skin in the game and a much higher price point joined in the blood letting with anot-a-lot-of-money loss of a half million and change. The good news is the sellers stuck to their guns and squeezed and extra $412 bucks for their little slice of hemorrhaging-cash-like-a-diarrhea-afflicted-elephant-heaven. I’m sure that took the sting off of it.Do it for the children!

Yes, there are many ways to lose your mASSarati in Emerald Hills real estate! Come join the party!

Comments (28) -- Posted by: sfbubblebuyer @ 5:08 am

September 16, 2011

If you can’t jump in the lake, go jump off a cliff

Today’s listing is from frequent Guest Blogger and occasional Guest Editor sfbubblebuyer!  Thanks very much for this awesome property in, where else, Redwood City! 

The agent isn’t sure if it’s in “Emerald Hills” or Cordilleras Heights, but it’s that specialized knowledge, such as what neighborhood a given house is in, that explains why these professionals split a $60,000 fee to help buy or sell a million dollar piece of property.

For the first time ever, we have truth in advertising. At least truth in advertising on a street name. I present 503 Edgecliff Way.


503 EDGECLIFF Way, Redwood City, CA 94062


BATHS: 2.5
SQ. FT.: 3,100
$/SQ. FT.: $321
LOT SIZE: 7,744 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Contemporary
COMMUNITY: Cordilleras Heights
COUNTY: San Mateo
MLS#: 81126139
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 85 days

Contemporary style modern home in Emerald Hills with highly desirable upgrades. Cherry & granite kitchen, contemporary lighting, large walk-in master closet w/ built-ins, double decks & patio, large back yard w/ beautiful landscaping, 2 car garage with built in storage, extra storage below house, extra room below house to build an in-law. Plus, a majestic view of the bay!

imageYou know you’re buying quality when you can bungee jump from your own driveway! They even conveniently sloped the driveway towards the house so that you will be alerted to heavy rainstorms by water flowing across your garage floor.

Or perhaps, if you’re more theatrically inclined, you could stage a neighborhood play of Romeo And Juliet since your front door is on it’s own balcony! How romantic! And you want character? Well, this fake-Spanish house comes with it’s very own OCTAGONAL WINDOW! Whoa! Don’t put a ball through that, you don’t want to know what it’ll cost to replace!

imageEnough of the outside! Inside we’ve got our standard granite, but blinged up a bit with Cherry! It comes with a wine fridge located right next to the oven, because cooling and heating devices next to each other screams "I have so much money I don’t care about thermodynamics!"

imageAnd what is this? A bathroom with all black fixtures? If you plan on using it for the help, don’t worry, they won’t be offended. The sink has built in cawluhms to class up the joint!

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

September 1, 2011

Please make sure all doors are locked and lights off when leaving

Here’s a house direct from comments by Burbed reader (and occasional Guest Editor) sfbubblebuyer.


805 MOHICAN Way, Redwood City, CA 94062


SQ. FT.: 1,330
$/SQ. FT.: $508
LOT SIZE: 7,500 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Cottage/Bungalow
VIEW: Bay, Neighborhood, City Lights
COMMUNITY: Cordilleras Heights
COUNTY: San Mateo
MLS#: 81135848
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 9 days

Great little single level, 1330 sq. ft, 3bdrm/1ba bungalow in Emerald Hills w/ pool. Tiny peak of bay. Roy Cloud School around corner. Location and price make this a winner! This home would be fabulous with some updating! CAR FORMS ONLY PLEASE. Please make sure all doors are locked and lights off when leaving.

Here’s what sfbb had to say about this house:

imageThat whole tract [area around Stony Hill Road] is picked clean right now. There were some SERIOUS crapfests that I was sure weren’t going to sell. Of course, the worst offenders have disappeared without being marked as ‘sold’ so I’m sure they’ll be back.

Here’s a house for you in the general area, a short sale listed for less than the 1999 sale price.As you can see, this piping hot potato was passed many times before it decided to burn the bejeebus out of the current holders. That’s gonna leave a mark!

No need to water your own lawn, either, all the water’s in the pool!

imageI’ve heard that school district is one of the most important priorities people have in buying a property, but including this photo (right) is ridiculous.

We got a Redfin agent tour on this place, too!  Let’s see how they’ll help us find our perfect home this time.


Agent listing descriptions sometimes reveal things they don’t mean to, such as the last line implying the housing price adventure is lurching toward its lonely conclusion.  Lock up and lights out, people.  And that other phrase: Tiny peak of bay.  This place for $875K was a tiny peak all right. A tiny peak price.


The bank can accept or decline your offer, even if your overbidding brings the price up to where it should be.  After all, it doesn’t want to get stiffed on the last house of the Mohican.

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

August 30, 2011

Fastest Flip in the West!

Just last week, Burbed reader and frequent Guest Blogger Divasm shared with us the tale of the teenaged sleepover, complete with beer and boys, discovered while touring a house for sale.  But Big D visited the place a few weeks ago, and waited until the house sold before sharing it here.

Yesterday, the property was back on the listing service.  So I’ve asked Divasm to please give us a report on Stony Hill 2.0.  Before I do, here’s a look at Stony Hill 1.0 from last week.


Now please give D your biggest, warmest Real Bay Area welcome!

926 STONY HILL Rd, Redwood City, CA 94061


SQ. FT.: 2,130
$/SQ. FT.: $562
LOT SIZE: 7,840 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Ranch
VIEW: Bay, Neighborhood
COMMUNITY: Farm Hills Estates
COUNTY: San Mateo
MLS#: 81137487
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 1 day

You will love this gorgeously updated 4/3 flexible floorplan home. Enjoy new kit w/ granite, stainless appliances inc. 36″ italian gas range. New baths, hardwood, new windows. Backyard views from deck & lush lawn. Spacious living & family rooms w/ fireplaces. Slate walkways & porch. Awesome nghbrhd & Roy Cloud school. Open House 8/29 from 5-7pm w/ wine & cheese. Virtual tour & more photos tonight.

SHspreadLadies and Gentlemen, it’s the event of the season, the wait is over…yes, that’s right, I give you the FASTEST FLIP IN THE WEST! In 29 days, we went from “pass the PBR,” to “Pardon me, would you happen to have any Grey Poupon?” Last night’s opening reception for this newly remodeled RBA home featured a spread of enough food to win over even the most cranky neighbor (probably kept up 24/7 with construction noises).

shbacklawnCouldn’t make it to the gala? Never fear, we’re here to fill you in…behold the new backyard! Every single piece of vegetation (especially the trees) appears to have disappeared, replaced by this lovely patio and lawn big enough for your child to frolic!

And don’t forget the bartender…yes, you read that correctly…to serve you celebratory champagne! 926 Stony Hill, you’ve come a long way from discarded pizza boxes in the basement, baby!


Speaking of dingy basements, it’s now split into two rooms – a game room and a guest room/family room.



And the front yard, well, I am still confused about how they appeared to actually level the street, I feel like it’s something you’d see at the Exploratorium. The house layout is much the same, as it turns out, just completely redone, refloored, repainted – to the point of being rather amazingly unrecognizable. This all courtesy of Sequoia Realty Services, which seems to consist of some grouping of these folks we see in the listing:

  • SHcrackAgent has Financial Interest
  • Seller is Licensed Real Estate Agent
  • Broker has Financial Interest

Speaking of repainted, the contractor said the foundation issues turned out to be cosmetic, by which it appears he meant “I painted over the cracks” – you might recognize the old crack, but now it’s sage colored! So much better on the eyes. But the floors upstairs are indeed level, so perhaps the issues weren’t such a big deal. Go ahead and plunk down your $1.2 mil and find out. If you serve PBR at your housewarming party we can make it the Burbed event of this Fall!

Comments (23) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:16 am

August 25, 2011

Nice house… Pass the PBR

Today’s featured house was toured, selected, and written up by Burbed reader Divasm.  Thanks very much for serving as Guest Blogger on Burbed!  Remember, if you have a great listing (and you know by “great” I actually mean “atrocious”), great photos, or a great price history, you can write it up and have fame and fortune by appearing on the front page!  Or you can send it the listing and have us muck it up for you!

Please give Divasm a big, warm Real Bay Area welcome.

Now that this house has sold I have an amusing story about our tour of it that I thought Burbed readers might enjoy.


926 STONY HILL Rd, Redwood City, CA 94061
Listed for $928,888, Sold for $847,000


BATHS: 2.5
SQ. FT.: 2,130
$/SQ. FT.: $398
LOT SIZE: 7,840 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STORIES: Bi/Split Level
VIEW: Neighborhood
COMMUNITY: Farm Hills Estates
COUNTY: San Mateo
MLS#: 81111598

Charming 3 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom home in Farm Hill Estates. Wonderful floor plan w/ large family room downstairs. Also includes master suite, eat-in kitchen, fireplaces in living room & family room and 2 car garage. Patio deck leads down to large back yard with beautiful park like setting. Within walking distance of award winning Roy Cloud School ((K-8th). Fresh paint.

My husband and I had an appointment with our Redfin agent to visit this house at 9am on a Sunday. It’s pretty apparent from the listing photos that this place is unoccupied, right? Well, sort of. We started our tour in the living room, and when we moved into the kitchen I noticed a pair of flipflops on the floor under the table. As we continue down the hallway, the first door is closed. I open it a crack and see somebody on the floor on a sleeping bag with a blanket pulled over their head!

stonyhillfoundationWe quickly decide to head outside and look at the backyard, giving the person time to perhaps wake up and regroup before we come back inside. As we are outside we notice a big crack in the foundation, which takes this “needs updates” house in a nice neighborhood past the realm of fixer upper (we looked under the house and could see signs of major shifting as well), especially at the listing price of $928K.

We go in and head downstairs, where we find a couple mattresses with sleeping bags, empty pizza boxes and some barely concealed bags containing Pabst Blue Ribbon cans (sorry, no photos of the contraband to show, we were stonyhillplayhousetoo busy laughing). Aha! It all becomes clear! The girl who once occupied that darling playhouse in the backyard has apparently grown up enough to throw a party in her childhood home, and forgot about the fact that her parents are actively trying to SELL the house.

We go back upstairs and my husband knocks on the closed door, pokes his head in and says that we’re going to look around upstairs and then leave. I hear several teenage girl giggles as he closes the door. He said he saw at least 3-4 girls in their PJs in the room, and a couple who wouldn’t take blankets off their heads…we finally deduce those must have been the BOYS. :)

Despite the shaky foundation and best efforts of teenage partiers, the house went pending a week later and sold very quickly after that – I’m assuming to an investor – and some private school teens were left without their PBR party hotspot. Awww.

Comments (14) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:05 am

August 15, 2011

Comes with its own Watchtower!

Here’s a fascinating find from frequent Burbed Reader and occasional Guest Editor sfbubblebuyer!  Too bad I couldn’t run this sooner, as this may have been the ideal house for watching Game of Thrones on HBO!

Please give a big, warm, Real Bay Area welcome to sfbubblebuyer, who will be telling you all about this amazing home in Redwood City!

Do you love fantasy novels and have more money than sense? Then you will will LOVE 3637 McNulty way!


3676 MCNULTY Way, Redwood City, CA 94061


BATHS: 2.5
SQ. FT.: 2,720
$/SQ. FT.: $487
LOT SIZE: 0.34 Acres
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Cape Cod
VIEW: Bay, Canyon, City Lights
COMMUNITY: Farm Hills Estates
COUNTY: San Mateo
MLS#: 81127645
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 53 days

Custom rebuilt to studs in 2000, oversized lot, quiet neighbor, no though fare, over 30 trees in back yard provide privacy, from the rear deck all you see are trees. Back yard is terraced down to year round creek with a Gazebo. MBR on top floor with balcony overlooking bay area, features a steam shower for 2, 2 shower heads and 7 body washers, Cat 5 wiring, surround sound to all rooms & outside.

imageThis house has it all! An over-a-million price tag! Excessive exterior lighting! Giant jetted tub! Steam shower! Granite… wait, I don’t see any granite. But wait! IT MAKES US FOR THAT WITH A GODDAMN GAZEBO WATCHTOWER!

imageThat’s right! You can be alerted to trouble (in the form of jealous rentard neighbors who want your luscious tile floors for themselves) early with a commanding view from your Gazebo! Of course, to get said commanding view, you need to cut down the 30+ trees on your lot. But with that wood you could build palisades and catapults to go with your watchtower! You’d pay back all those crummy kids who wouldn’t let you play King Of The Hill because you were so nerdy you were destined for an average tech job making not a lot of money by bay area standards!

HUZZAH! LONG LIVE THE KING (of Redwood City)! LONG LIVE THE KING (of Redwood City)!

Comments (9) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:01 am

August 9, 2011

You could live next to a castle!

I’m going to conduct a little experiment today.  Here’s guest blogger Divasm with a fine write-up of a visit to a house previously discussed in comments.  Now, it just so happened that I also wrote the same place up, as the listing just begged for the Burbed treatment.

But Divasm actually visited the house, and, better yet, took pictures!  So at some point in the future, no doubt when I’m scrambling for new material, I’ll run the column I wrote on this house, based on nothing but the listing itself. Then you can all tell me how much it sucks compared to this in-person, on-the-ground report.

So please give a warm, Real Bay Area welcome to Divasm with today’s featured listing in Redwood City, complete with on-site photos!

3676 HIGHLAND Ave, Redwood City, CA 94062


SQ. FT.: 2,320
$/SQ. FT.: $327
LOT SIZE: 7,800 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Ranch
VIEW: Bay, Mountains, City Lights
COMMUNITY: Cordilleras Heights
COUNTY: San Mateo
MLS#: 81015121
STATUS: Pending With Release
ON REDFIN: 492 days



First omen that this house will be, ahem, interesting is the freaking castle next door! Seriously, look at it – all you’re missing is a dragon and a moat.

highlanddoorThen you are welcomed by the lovely stained-glass homage to seagulls at sunset as you make your way into the house…

highlandfridgeYou’ll notice that either you are falling down drunk, or the floors are just a wee bit sloped as you travel back towards the kitchen where you find – holy 70′s chic Batman – wood paneling everywhere…I mean everywhere, including the fridge doors!

highlandwallcrackThen we go up the spiral staircase (yes, you read that correctly) to find that with the sloping floors downstairs come cracked walls upstairs…Highlandblueframenot just small cracks, some of these are big enough to someday open a portal to hell, I suspect. The best one is traveling diagonally through a blue painted window frame…apparently the owners spent all their dough on custom wood paneling for major appliances and couldn’t afford interior window sills?

According to the Redfin agent  notes there’s a view to be found up there so that makes it all ok I guess? But alas Burbed readers, this treasure is already pending, so you’ll have to find your own castle-bordering Mystery Spot of your own!

Comments (48) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:12 am

August 5, 2011

If it ain’t white, it ain’t right!

Submitted for your viewing pleasure by Burbed reader (and recently promoted Guest Editor) sfbbubblebuyer, this Redwood City redoubt was just delisted from Redfin, but I found the pictures here.  I suspect they won’t remain long, so I’m sharing them all.  And here it is on the agent’s site, just in case.

514 Sapphire St Redwood City, CA 94062


Posted 12 days ago

Price: $859,000
Bedrooms: 3
Baths: 2
Home Type: Single Family
Style: Traditional
Living Area: 1,870 sq. ft.
Price/Sq Ft: $459.36/sq. ft.
Features: Neighborhood View
Garage: 2 Garage Spaces
Listing #: 81130307
Year Built: 1966

This listing is courtesy of Brian Chancellor from Sereno Group.

Lovely light & bright family home that boasts a layout that is ideal for entertaining with a large park-like rear yard with a view of the western hills. Conveniently located near downtown Redwood City, Sequoia Station, & Caltrain.



imageimage imageimage



Comments (22) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:03 am

July 22, 2011


1623 OAK Ave Redwood City, CA

Beds: 3
Baths: 1.5
Sq. Ft.: 1,300
$/Sq. Ft.: $308
Lot Size: 5,000 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Style: Traditional
Stories: 2
View: Neighborhood
Year Built: 1925
Community: Central Park
County: San Mateo
MLS#: 81128665
On Redfin: 22 days

Build a new home. Definite tear down. Doubt anyone would want to rehab. Being sold for land value. Sold “As Is. ” MUST BE A CASH BUYER. Zone R-2, Possible Duplex site.

What a deal! Only $400k for a lot you have to scrape a festering craps off of before having a chance to build something decent! But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s take a closer look to see if the Realtor is correct in doubting anybody would want to rehab it.
Okay, so maybe I’d be afraid of dropping a hammer and causing the whole structure to collapse on me. That’s what illegal immigrantsbudget contractors are for! Plus, I’m not sure what that tiny second story over the… porch I think it is… is for. Storing midgets? Sniper loft? Emergency kayak supply location?

Anyway, let’s just concede it’s a tear-down. I figure the cheapest you can remove a house for is about 20-40k, so take a look at what your 440k could be getting you a few short blocks away! An actual house! That’s like buying this house, plowing the existing junks under, and having a house magically appear! Of course, you could scoff because since that lot has an ACTUAL house on it, it must be worth far less because raw land is impossible to come by, I suggest you have a look here for what $420k will get you with nary a house in sight! As a bonus, that you get pre-approved plans ready to build there! As the Realtor says, just pull the permit and build!

Doing that would be crazy, though! Instead, you can enjoy the blazing glory of burning down a dump to get around the demolition permits! That’s the bay area entreprenual spirit! And as the listing says, MUST BE A CASH BUYER. However, they’ll probably accept your Facebook stock options in lieu of cash.

Comments (8) -- Posted by: sfbubblebuyer @ 5:11 am