October 12, 2010

Trampoline, Treadmill, Bowflex… in the Rough

Tired of high-end properties in pretentious zip codes?  Then you’ll love this find from burbed reader Herve, who must have been in the market for a new workout.

3719 Hoover St  Redwood City, CA 94063
$348,000

image

Beds: 3
Baths: 1
Sq. Ft.: 1,250
$/Sq. Ft.: $278
Lot Size: 6,480 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Style: Ranch
Stories: 1
View: Neighborhood
Year Built: 1947
Community: Dumbarton
County: San Mateo
MLS#: 81037257
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active
On Redfin: 60 days

Diamond in the rough. Hardwood floors. Separate Dining Room. Detached Garage/Carport at rear of property with ally access.

Is this a property listing, or a Craigslist ad?  Why not both?  If you want to buy the house, write up an offer stating the living room stays exactly as is.  These furnishings probably add 25% to what the place is actually worth.

image

Whether you’re moving in, or just picking up the exercise gear, you’re definitely going to need “ally access” in this hood.  I suggest you find out which gang is down with the Detached Garage/Carport.  It would be really embarrassing to show up flying the wrong colors.

Comments (19) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:01 am






October 6, 2010

Should Be Completed Mid/Late August, But Got Misplaced

Thanks to burbed reader sonarrat for finding another wonderful listing in Redwood City, the place with the most Silly Neighborhood Names.

58 Avondale Ave  Redwood City, CA 94062
$1,575,000

image 

Beds: 4
Baths: 3.5
Sq. Ft.: 2,712
$/Sq. Ft.: $581
Lot Size: 6,165 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Style: Craftsman
Stories: 2
View: Neighborhood
Year Built: 2010
Community: High School Acres
County: San Mateo
MLS#: 81034788
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active
On Redfin: 73 days

PROPERTY UNDER CONSTRUCTION. VIEWED BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. SHOULD BE COMPLETED BY MID/LATE AUGUST

Has anyone driven by this property to see if it was COMPLETED BY MID/LATE AUGUST?  Wouldn’t you think if it was COMPLETED BY MID/LATE AUGUST the agent would update the listing?  For a lousy $1,575,000 property, I guess not.  Anyone connected to this two-story new construction interloper in a neighborhood of hundred-year-old cottages isn’t going to be given a warm welcome.

At least it’s on the Right Side of El Camino:

image

Wonder why the lot isn’t outlined?  Maybe the neighbors deliberately misplaced it, leaving it in the middle of the street to get run over.  It’s one of these two, either the one Google thinks it is (which has the tree conveniently obscuring the house requiring an artistic angle shot):

image

Or this sylvan paradise next door:

image

Property Shark is even more confused, with records for only 3 properties on the street, and needless to say, this isn’t one of them.  Better yet, the addresses don’t agree with Google’s, even with a direct search for the other house numbers.  Talk about an undisclosed address! 

So which lot is it?  If it’s the first one, you get to live next to the Haunted Forest.  Act now and you can move in right in time for Halloween!  Probably not the second one, with the driveway cut on the right while the construction photo shows a garage on the left.  Then again, the aerial view doesn’t show an actual house on that lot, which suggests it was time to throw a new one up.

But you never know!  Why not drive by and see if the place ever got finished?  Obviously the agent has much better things to do.

Comments (10) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:09 am

October 5, 2010

Less is More in Redwood City

A recent request for articles more “concise, succinct, to the point” is well-timed with this find from burbed reader Herve

3057 Hoover St  Redwood City, CA 94063
$350,000

image

Beds: 2
Baths: 1
Sq. Ft.: 1,100
$/Sq. Ft.: $318
Lot Size: 6,000 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Stories: 1
Year Built: 1936
Community: Dumbarton 
County: San Mateo
MLS#: 81039719
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active
On Redfin: 45 days

Lovely 2 bedroom, 1 bath single family home with yard.

Yes, lovely.  Just what I was thinking.

image

Lovely tree in front, lovely fence compared to the neighbor’s, lovely detached garage, lovely location.

image

Lovely neighborhood with easy freeway access.  What is the deal with the neighbor to the north?

image

Location, location, location!  If anyone steals your hubcaps, or your catalytic converter, you can just leap the lovely fence and find a convenient replacement!

Comments (26) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:01 am

September 30, 2010

Redwood City to come back to Real Bay Area in 2011

1215 RUBY St Redwood City, CA 94061

$564,000

image

Beds: 2
Baths: 1
Sq. Ft.: 690
$/Sq. Ft.: $817
Lot Size: 2,604 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Stories: 1
Year Built: 1955
Community: Central Park
County: San Mateo
MLS#: 81040194
Source: MLSListings
Status: ActiveThis listing is for sale and the sellers are accepting offers.
On Redfin: 24 days
Everything is spruced up and full of special touches in this charismatic home. Living room features ample windows and hardwood floors that open to the remodeled kitchen. Kitchen is accented w/ white cabinetry, marble countertops, viking range, dishwasher drawer and much more! Gardener’s paradise w/ colorful plantings & mature landscaping. Utility room off garage ideal for craft room/office.

Who doesn’t like an underdog? And when I think underdog, I think of Redwood City. Although it has climate best by government test, this city has had its ups and downs with its status of being in the Real Bay Area or not.

And now. This. $817 per square foot. $564k for 690 square feet. Wow. A strong showing for re-admittance into the Real Bay Area.

This could be the start of something big. I predict that 2011 will be the major year of the Redwood City come back. It’ll be the new “hot” destination. People will be telling their realtors “I want you to show me houses in Mountain View, Palo Alto, Cupertino, and Redwood City.”

You heard it here first everyone!

Comments (28) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:23 am

September 21, 2010

Original DecoratedShow House with Taste of Elegance

Here’s another peek at what Redwood City has to offer in 2010: 2006 pricing!  Thanks to burbed reader sonarrat for all of these wonderful finds in that Special place with Climate Best by Government Test!

941 4th Ave  Redwood City, CA 94063
$629,950

image Beds: 2
Baths: 1.5
Sq. Ft.: 900
$/Sq. Ft.: $700
Lot Size: 6,000 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Style: Cottage/Bungalow
Stories: 1
View: Neighborhood
Year Built: 1937
Community: Dumbarton
County: San Mateo
MLS#: 81030485
Source: MLSListings
Status:Active
On Redfin: 94 days

A 1937 Bungalow, an Original DecoratedShow House, updated with a taste of elegance, all new appliances in a Gourmet Designer Kitchen with Natural Caesar Stone Countertops. Original Parquet floors with feature strips. Dining Room with Coved Ceiling enhanced by indirect lighting. Updated Bathroom with all new fixtures. The latest energy saver Tankless Water Heater. 2 Car Garage, Carport & Workshop.

Small homes built in 1937 definitely had huge mouthfuls of elegance.  The economy was just booming then, so it was very important to impress all the neighbors!  Do you think those are original Natural Caesar Stone Countertops, too?  Maybe some crazy kazillionaire imported them direct from Rome! 

I just can’t wait to read those feature strips on the Original Parquet floors.  Maybe they’ll have some classic Krazy Kat or Little Orphan Annie for you to enjoy. If there’s Buck Rogers in the 25th Century I might buy this place myself just for that floor.  You’re going to need some kind of entertainment if you buy this place, because there certainly won’t be enough room in your budget for cable.

So what does it mean when this place features a 2 Car Garage, Carport & Workshop?  Sounds like there’s more square footage in the outbuildings than the house.

image Speaking of that taste of elegance, just what the heck is going on with this fireplace?  A shrine?  A giant mousehole to accommodate Rodents of Unusual Size?  A crater?  The Trompe-l’œil tunnel that the high-speed locomotive comes roaring out of to flatten poor Wile E. Coyote?

Check out the mini palm trees on the mantle.  They make the whole living room wall look like a pleasant tropical isle… that’s about to erupt and cover your Original Parquet floors with molten lava.  Feature strips included.

That wouldn’t be so bad, though.  You can sell this place to the next sucker homedebtor by touting the “Custom Obsidian floors” with “feature tips.”

You’re laughing, but when this place goes for $629,950,000,000 in the 25th Century because of the Original Parquet floors with feature strips, that seller will be laughing even harder. 

Comments (16) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:04 am

September 15, 2010

Pants on Fire in Cordilleras Heights

Redwood City Spectacular continues with another great find from Burbed reader sonarrat. Here’s a typical “A million dollars for THIS?” kind of house.  I mean, a million dollars is a lot of money.  For a million dollar property, the listing ought to be grammatically correct, relatively free of spelling errors, and use lower case letters as well as capitals.

778 Canyon Rd Redwood City, CA 94062
$1,049,900

image

Beds: 4
Baths: 2.5
Sq. Ft.: 1,310
$/Sq. Ft.: $801
Lot Size: 6,700 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Style: Contemporary
Stories: 2
Year Built: 1948
Community: Cordilleras Heights
County: San Mateo
MLS#: 81039024
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active
On Redfin: 32 days

THIS HOME HAS 2,220 S. F. OF LIVING SPACE. IT IS 12 YEARS OLD ONLY, TOTALLY REBUILT IN 1998. FABULOUS EMERALD HILLS LOCATION!!! Desirable location. 4 bed, 2.5 baths. Kitchen has professional Vicking chef stove and Birch cabinets. Master suite has custom windows and stone fireplace. Seller is very motivated bring your offer.

So much for the request for lower case.  Can’t wait to see the Vicking chef stove!

Recently a new Burbed reader spoke out in favor of honest and experienced Realtors.  So is this listing honest? Let’s review, shall we?

Redfin Property Description Agent’s Listing Description
Sq. Ft: 1,310 THIS HOME HAS 2,220 S. F. OF LIVING SPACE.
Community: Cordilleras Heights FABULOUS EMERALD HILLS LOCATION!!!
Year Built: 1948 IT IS 12 YEARS OLD ONLY, TOTALLY REBUILT IN 1998.

Hmmmm.  Which to believe, which to believe.  First, the neighborhood.  Is it Emerald Hills or Cordilleras Heights?  Let’s ask City Data.

image

The dark border is City Data’s definition of the Emerald Lake Hills neighborhood, or at least something called Emerald Hills.  The two names are used almost interchangeably.  Let’s see where this house is using the map above:

778_canyon_rc_elh

Why, it’s not in the brown-bordered area at all.  Is this map saying that the house in question is NOT in “Emerald Hills”?  (Those colorful areas are Census tracts, showing income ranges.)  Let’s look at a street map to be sure about the neighborhood.

278_canyon_rc

Anywhere near the actual hills?  Barely.  And closer to Alameda than the lake.  Let’s do a hill check.  Good thing there’s a topo map available.

278_canyon_rc_topo

The house is either just above or just below the 100 foot line.  Not much in the “hills” when the lake the neighborhood in question is named for is over 400 feet up.  This house barely qualifies as in the foothills, also known as Piedmont, which is in the East Bay, which is so Not Real Bay Area, which therefore kicks this house out of the RBA by association alone.

Now, what about this huge discrepancy on the size of the house?  Which is it, 1310 or 2220 square feet?  Perhaps propertyshark (account required) can explain matters:

Sq. ft. 1,310
Finished sq. ft. 1 1,110
Building sq. ft. 2,250
Basement sq. ft. 200
Basement unfinished sq. ft. 940
Garage sq. ft. 940
Lot size 6,700
Acreage 0.15

The building is 2,250 square feet, of which 940 is an unfinished basement (or maybe a garage), and 200 is presumably a finished basement.  And amazingly, 1,110 (finished square feet) plus 940 (unfinished basement or garage) plus 200 (finished basement) is… 2,250… building square feet.  Within 30 sf of what the listing said.  Except you aren’t supposed to count the garage or unfinished basement in a building’s square footage. That’s why the house is quoted as 1,310 sf, which is the finished house plus finished basement.

And the year built is pretty dubious too.  Unless the house was torn down, bulldozed, and a completely new house put up in 1998, what the listing says above is misleading at best and probably close to the l-word (and no I do not mean love).  And if the county doesn’t know about the original house getting scraped, then obviously nobody bothered to get a permit.  Even a remodel requires permits, and remodels don’t change the year a structure was built in the first place.

Then again, propertyshark says this place is a 2 bedroom 1 bath, so something funny is going on.  And that would explain how a house “totally rebuilt” in 1998 is only assessed for $101,000.

Perhaps the lights on either side of the exterior are kept lit in search of that honest Realtor.

UPDATE: Price dropped to $989,000 after 35 days on market.

Comments (94) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:02 am

September 13, 2010

Math Class is Hard

Let’s return to Redwood City, where burbed reader sonarrat has sent in another “2006 priced” house for us.  However, 2006 was one of the few years this house was not listed for sale.

587 Douglas Ave Redwood City, CA 94063
$529,000

image

Beds: 2
Baths: 3
Sq. Ft.: 770
$/Sq. Ft.: $688
Lot Size: 6,200 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Style: Traditional
Stories: 1
View: Neighborhood
Year Built: 1930
Community: Dumbarton
County: San Mateo
MLS#: 81033895
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active
On Redfin: 60 days

Fabulous opportunity! Renovated house on large fully landscaped lot! 2 bedroom 1 bath in house, 1 bedroom 1 bath separate guest unit and unfinished basement under entire house for possible family room, bonus room or storage. Deck off kitchen overlooking large back yard. Attached garage with laundry and full bath. Easy access location close to Costco, school and 101. Must See!

You know all those jokes about real estate agents writing misleading copy?  Not here!  When this one said close to Costco, they weren’t kidding:

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imageAnd it looks like the large back yard was a go as well.  That is, until you look at the house’s numbers.  Lot size: 6200 square feet.  Hmm.  That’s not an especially large lot, is it? 

It is if the house is 770 square feet.  Or is the house PLUS the guest unit that’s 770 square feet?  Good thing there’s a second building on the property or this place would just get lost in a lot that ginormous.

But wait, I’m trying to add things up and I’m confused.  2 bedroom, 1 bath in the house.  1 bedroom, 1 bath in the guest unit.  Full bath in the garage.  (Full bath in the garage?  WTF?)  What kind of math results in 2 bedrooms, 3 baths?  Does the basement have negative space?  Is this a special math class you have to take when you get your real estate license?

But while you’re here, please check out that renovated kitchen, because something needs to explain how this house is worth $334,000 $$264,800 more than it was 10 months ago in a declining market in a Not So Special zip code.

image image

Shiny, happy kitchen!  Nothing like a bunch of new stainless-steel appliances to make your guests ooh and ah.  That is, as long as you keep them in the kitchen.  Oh, my.  imageLooks like the seller ran out of funds before the makeover made it over to the guest house.  Guess if you want to impress your guests you’d better not let them in that other building.

That is a truly amazing set of mismatched counter depths, heights and color.  Is it supposed to be an artistic statement? 

Have you looked up how much this place went for when it was foreclosed on in 2008?  (Yup, foreclosure, then flip, and now the current FB thinks it’s worth 2006 prices because of the stainless and a hundred feet of sod.  Plus the modern art gallery in the guest house as pictured.)  Go on, make a guess and then I’ll tell you.

Did you guess $151,000?  Because if you did you’re $100,000 too high.  What’s really amazing is that the house sold for $178,000 in 2000.

Definitely a must-see.  If you look at the Google Streetview Cam, this is what it sees:

image 

Sometimes, a picture really is worth a thousand words.  And in 2006, this place might have sold for over five hundred thousand dollars.

Comments (13) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:02 am

September 9, 2010

Delightful Home in West Atherton with Many Upgrades

Real estate has always been all about location, location, location, since some places are more Special than others.  If you’re looking for property in Redwood City, then the right side of El Camino is south and west, as you head toward 280 and away from 101.  Here’s a Right Side of 82 property that burbed reader sonarrat wished to share, noting that the price was closer to 2006 than 2010.

301 ENCINA Ave Redwood City, CA 94061
$599,000

image

Beds: 3
Baths: 2
Sq. Ft.: 950
$/Sq. Ft.: $631
Lot Size: 5,500 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Style: Cottage/Bungalow
Stories: 1
View: Neighborhood
Year Built: 1915
Community: Horgan Ranch
County: San Mateo
MLS#: 81004537
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active
On Redfin: 218 days

THIS PROPERTY HAS MANY UPGRADES INCLUDING NEW KITCHEN, BATHS AND LANDSCAPE. THERE IS A "RENTABLE" GUEST AREA, PLUS THE GARAGE HAS BEEN USED FOR HABITATION. MANY FEATURES INCLUDE BUILT-IN STEREO AND AIR CONDITIONING.

Quite a find, indeed!  It’s not every Redwood City house that can boast it’s just one block from Atherton!  Sure, the streets are built to keep 94027 and 94061 in their separate corners:

image

But that means those toffee-nosed nobs won’t be coming ‘round to sneer at your landscaping!  I’m sure the current sellers did the best they could.  imageBesides, you aren’t buying this home so you can water your own lawn, because there isn’t any.  You’re buying it for the cash flow up front.  As the agent tells us, “THERE IS A "RENTABLE" GUEST AREA, PLUS THE GARAGE HAS BEEN USED FOR HABITATION.”

Perfect!  You can rent out the garage to the hired help who work for nouveaux riches in Atherton who didn’t build a servants’ wing.

Plus “THIS PROPERTY HAS MANY UPGRADES INCLUDING NEW KITCHEN, BATHS AND LANDSCAPE.”  I bet those upgrades are spectacular!  They’re so good the agent doesn’t want us to see any photos, except the landscape.  Boy, can you imagine what the landscape looked like before the upgrade?

Maybe it was just dirt.  Now that it’s all paved, good thing there’s air-conditioning inside, because you are going to roast if you host a garden party.  But why did they pave paradise?  Is this house near a Superfund site too?  They weren’t kidding about the many features!

So, readers: is this a 2006 price on a Redwood City hovel or a 2010 price on a West Atherton cottage?

Comments (37) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:02 am

August 23, 2010

Go Jump In 9% of Your Own Lake

This property is a burbed two-fer.  It’s both a multi-million dollar listing… and the house is probably only being held together by the termites having a big ol’ group hug.  Yup, expensive signature showpiece or overpriced pile of crap?  How about both!  It’s a floor wax and a dessert topping!

Many thanks to burbed reader sonarrat for this fantastic find!

1005 Lakeview Way, Redwood City, CA 94062
$2,549,000

image

Beds: 4
Baths: 2.5
Sq. Ft.: 3,820
$/Sq. Ft.: $667
Lot Size: 1.01 Acres
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Style: Spanish
Stories: 1
View: Lake
Year Built: 1926
Community: Farm Hills Estates
County: San Mateo
MLS#: 81040895
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active
On Redfin: 5 days

Opportunity to own this one of a kind Lake front property. Over an acre of completely useable land on privately owned Emerald Hills upper Lake, Lake Lynda. Build, develop, subdivide, or restore this tranquil property. FISH, SWIM, BOAT, in your own backyard. TRUELY A MUST SEE!

Yes, indeed, this is a privately owned lake, and this house comes with 1/11th of it!  But, do you see a house in those pictures above?  There’s supposed to be a big house on this one-acre lakefront property, but the agent seems to have neglected to post any pictures of it.  Instead we get 9 photos of the lake.

And PropertyShark (registration required) says there is a small house at this address: 600 square feet, with a grand total of three rooms. Plus a 630 sf garage.  You’d think a house built in 1926 would know how big it is by now. Here’s the one room the agent was willing to show us:image

Wow, they sure knew how to party in 1926.  Just imagine 3820 square feet of house needing to be restored.  Or 600.  TRUELY A MUST SEE!

Also, the agent is making a very big deal about the privately-owned lake, so let’s take a good look.

image

Whoa…. that lake may be green, but I don’t think I’d call that shade Upper Emerald.  I’d go with Acme Algae or Summit Scum.  Now, can we get a peek at the house?  Google Streetview can take us where no agent dares.

image

Uh,,,, yeah, that’s a roof all right.  And a roof job.  A very expensive-looking roof job.  Maybe it’s a good thing the house is hiding under the driveway.  So: floor wax or dessert topping?

Comments (10) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:02 am

May 20, 2010

Do you have rose tinted glasses for real estate?

Beds: 2
Baths: 1
Sq. Ft.: 820
$/Sq. Ft.: $707
Lot Size: 4,300 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Style: Contemporary
Stories: 1
View: Neighborhood
Year Built: 1942
Community: Lenolt
County: San Mateo
MLS#: 81016318
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active This listing is for sale and the sellers are accepting offers.
On Redfin: 34 days
Move in condition. Clean and Cozy. Home ready to show. Nice Hardwood floors, dual pane windows, and newer roof. Close to schools, and downtown. * * * AS-IS SALE * * * NOT A SHORT SALE NOR FORECLOSURE. SELLER ARE MOTIVATED.

Maybe rose-tinted isn’t the right choice. Violet? Purple?

Or… maybe this is just the setup for a new J. J. Abrams movie! Are the dual pane windows keeping the weather out? Or are they keeping something in?

Do you have the bravery to find out?

Comments (18) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:46 am