February 27, 2013

Bubble Bubble, Boil and Double (every 10 years)

130226-mrhousingbubblePeople often ask if we’re in another Bay Area housing bubble. We usually reply that if you live in the Real Bay Area, you’ve been in Bubble 4.0 for at least a year! But not everyone is fortunate enough to live in the RBA. What if you live in the Real Gray Area, or the Corridor of Not Quite?  What if you live somewhere that Is Not Special At All?

Do you know how to absolutely, positively demonstrate it’s a fact that we’re in another bubble? When places you know are never used in a sentence with “RBA” (unless with a negative) start showing up in these questions.  When even Irvine is calling Bubble again, we have to really start taking better measurements. So, let’s head over to… Gilroy.


130226-sunflower-redfin2367 SUNFLOWER Cir
Gilroy, CA 95020

3 Beds
4.5 Baths
3,082 Sq. Ft.
$255 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1996
Lot Size: 0.36 Acres
On Redfin: 1 day
Property Type: Attached Single Family
Stories: 2
Community: Morgan Hill/Gilroy/San Martin
MLS#: 81305783
Style: Contemporary
View: Green Belt, Mountains, Neighborhood, Valley
County: Santa Clara

Beautiful Country Estates Home located on 15,000 sq. ft. lot with wonderful Hillviews. Very spacious floor plan with lots of usable land and a great location! Master bedroom located on 1st floor. Located in a cul-de-sac at the top of the hill. Shows beautifully. Don’t miss your opportunity to own this lovely home. Luigi Aprea and Christopher High School district. This is a regular sale!!

130226-sunflower-satelliteThis listing is the perfect mix of mild disdain for the customer with admission that Gilroy is still The Land The New Bubble Forgot. Either than or this agent is still stuck in 2009: This is a regular sale!!

Sheesh, is MLS now charging brokers $10,000 per photo or something? What’s with this 3-in-one tiling display, when most listings manage to cough up nine photos? You would think a 3,000 sf house would have more than one inside room to show off.

Place doesn’t have much of a back yard, either. (Sorry, Streetview Not Available At This Location.)

So, Bubble or Not in Gilroy?

Comments (11) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:09 am

November 23, 2012

Day After Thanksgiving? Time for Black Friday Sales!

121122-blackfridayIf you haven’t already gotten up at 5 a.m. to start shopping for holiday bargains, you’ve still come to the right place!  Thanksgiving is over, so get on your steel-toed cyber boots, the better to kick your fellow shoppers out of your way!  Yes, it’s time for Burbed‘s Black Friday Sales, where we find the absolute rock-bottom in housing prices all around the Bay!  And we’re opening an hour early just for you!

Here’s how Black Friday Sales will work this year. We’ll again feature the cheapest properties in each county all around the Bay Area, plus some of our favorite cities.  But we won’t forget that our readers are sending in listings as well, so you just never know if each day will be a Sale Property or something else entirely.  You’ll just have to tune in every day to find out.

Let’s begin our sales in Silicon Valley, because even Googlers like to bargain-hunt.  Here we go, the absolutely cheapest house in all of Santa Clara County!  Ready?

121122-murray-redfin8282 Murray Ave #97
Gilroy, CA 95020

1 Beds 
1 Baths 
542 Sq. Ft.
$33 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1966 
Lot Size: — 
On Redfin: 38 days
Status: Active
Property Type: Mobile Home (Single Wide), Mobile Home (Expando)
County: Santa Clara
Community: Morgan Hill/Gilroy/San Martin
MLS#: 81237950

Pre-owned, 1966 Kit, 1 bedroom/ 1 bath Single-wide mobile home in a senior park (one owner must be at least 55 years of age). Includes refrigerator, washer & dryer and window air conditioner. Low space rent!

Oh, not what you had in mind?  Even with a low space rent of $560 (which will probably double as soon as you finish signing those papers at the title company)?  Even with 15 pictures?

If you insist, there’s this.

121122-carryback-redfin5591 CARRYBACK Ave
San Jose, CA 95111

2 Beds
2 Baths
1,121 Sq. Ft.
$219 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1989
Lot Size: 2,184 Sq. Ft.
On Redfin: 265 days
Status: Active
Property Type: Attached Single Family
Community South San Jose
MLS# 81208122
Stories: 2
County Santa Clara

Good home conveniently located. This is a short sale. Please do not disturb occupants.

Whatever developer named this street sure has a twisted sense of humor, because it’s a short sale.  There ought to be a Piggyback Lane here too.  Be sure to check out the listing history, because this place has gone pending four different times in the last three years, plus it sold in 2000, yes, twelve years ago, for $247K.

What? You want a detached house?  Okay, but this is your very last chance.

121122-huran-redfin2138 HURAN Dr
San Jose, CA 95122

3 Beds
1 Baths
912 Sq. Ft.
$272 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1960
Lot Size: 5,150 Sq. Ft.
On Redfin: 16 days
Status: Active
Property Type: Detached Single Family
View: Neighborhood
County Santa Clara
Stories: 1
Community Alum Rock
MLS# 81240311

Another opportunity to own this 3 bedroom 1 bathroom single Family home located in San Jose. Very close to shopping centers, mall, and schools. Easy access to freeway 101. Sell is an “AS IS “ condition. Some dual Pane windows. Garage converted but permits unknown.

Oh, we’ve got a winner here! This one has everything! It’s also selling shortly, plus questionable permits and for sale as-is.  The listing copy mentioned the “easy access” to 101, but they didn’t mention the just as easy access to Reid-Hillview Airport. Hope you like the sound of takeoffs and landings!

And remember, more Black Friday Sales to come!

Comments (7) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 4:01 am

August 9, 2012

Over 20K put into bridge, foundation and engineered plans

Does seeing all those houses next to each other make you want to get away to your own private retreat?  Somewhere with elbow room for just you and the trees? 

Today Burbed reader wahnny has a place for you in Gilroy.  Hope you think nines are lucky!  And let’s have a big, warm, Real Bay Area welcome for wahnny who is today’s Guest Blogger!

0 LAND ONLY (Unable to map)
Gilroy, CA 95020


120808-gilroy-tableBEDS:  –
SQ. FT.:  –
LOT SIZE:  3.23 Acres
PROPERTY TYPE: Residential Land (Single Family)
VIEW: Mountains, Neighborhood
COMMUNITY:  Morgan Hill/Gilroy/San Martin
COUNTY:  Santa Clara
MLS#:  81226637
SOURCE:  MLSListings
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN:  24 days

Magic Springs Drive. Also includes APN #810-03-004 for total of 4.36 acres. Beautiful and private creekside retreat among the giant redwoods and ferns. Over 20k put into bridge, foundation and engineered plans. No permits. Underground phone line and community spring fed water. Perfect for recreational getaway.

120808-gilroy-scgisWith all the recent chatter about “value in land only”, I thought this might make for an interesting, if not cautionary, tale.

This 4+acre property is nestled deep within a magical forest west of Gilroy.  Since it has no street address, Redfin can’t map it, but the Santa Clara County GIS can (via APN 810-03-022).

The property last sold for $800K during the peak of the bubble years.  Apparently, the seller planned to build a dream house there, investing over $20K towards improvements, but then gave up (the ogre/county wouldn’t permit it?). 

With hopes dashed, the seller resigned to sell the property, but seemed conflicted on asking price (at one point asking twice what was paid for it).  Currently, the seller has settled on a less fanciful price of $100K.

It just goes to show that RBA dreaming can only be truly realized in the RBA.

Comments (14) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:08 am

October 3, 2011

Two Houses for the Price of One!

Thanks very much to Burbed reader AstroWallaby for this absolutely amazing listing from the garlic fields of Gilroy!  Remember, drive a little, save a lot!


7256 CHURCH St, Gilroy, CA 95020



SQ. FT.: 2,193
$/SQ. FT.: $196
LOT SIZE: 9,800 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Victorian
COMMUNITY: Morgan Hill/Gilroy/San Martin
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81139389
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 9 days

Two homes for the price of one(almost). Large two story home with 5 bedrooms and 2 baths. 2nd home was built in 2006 has modern amenities and has ally access. There is some work to be done, but this is the definition of sweat equity.

imageHere’s what AstroWallaby had to say about this property:

Oooh, as an aside, check out this nearby neighbor of the Gilroy house:

In particular, the aerial view. Take a nice old Victorian on a reasonably roomy lot, maybe spruce it up a bit… and then fill the entire backyard with another house. Brilliant! That’s down-south country-style livin’ for you.

Let’s have a look, then.


imageWow.  Just, wow.  If only San Jose were as forward-looking as Gilroy and did away with that silly zoning code.  Not only would we have in-law units in our back-yards, we’d have apartment houses in our back yards.  Ka-ching!

But this is not the definition of sweat equity.  This is the definition of “previous owner ran out of borrowed money.”  Maybe the agent meant “the banker is breaking into a sweat over what happened to all its equity.”

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

September 21, 2011

Drive a little, save a lot.. on coffee!

Howdy, Guest Editor sonarrat here for a record-breaking second listing in the same month! Well, I grew up in the South County area, and I still have a soft spot for that sleepy, oft-forgotten area between the IBM exit on Bailey Ave and the shortcut to I-5. As I drive on the gently winding road through the dead, lifeless and empty Coyote Valley or take the even less scenic route along the deserted Monterey Highway by the town of Coyote (pop. 121), I can’t help but feel like I’m coming home. It’s that warm and fuzzy feeling that you can’t explain, especially to anyone who grew up anywhere else. If you’re coming to shop, though, like a lot of people, you want to keep going past the Harley-Davidson dealership in Morgan Hill and make a beeline for sunny Gilroy, the self-proclaimed “Garlic Capitol of the World.”

 355 W 8th St, Gilroy, CA 95020

355 W 8th St, Gilroy, CA 95020


SQ. FT.: 1,957
$/SQ. FT.: $141
LOT SIZE: 10,000 square feet
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
COMMUNITY: Morgan Hill/San Martin/Gilroy
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81120758
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 126 days

Short Sale AS-IS Zoned R3!! Plans approved for a Duplex. LARGE LOT 10,000 SQ!! Developers Dream Large Lot and Lots of Potential!! Converted Garage!! DO NOT DISTURB TENANTS!!! POTENTIAL!!! LARGE LOT 10K Plans for two homes. LOT HAS R-3 ZONING!!! SHORT SALE Will need approval from Lender on SHORT SALE AS-IS ZONING R3 R3 R3 R3 Please DO NOT DISTURB OCCUPANTS!!! Lots of POTENTIAL!!!!!!!

OMFG!!!!! So, um, what we have here is clearly a very excitable realtor. But the listing bears closer inspection. After all, during your interminable drive down here, you will see a sign that reminds you of why you made the trek.

Yes sir, you drive a little and save a lot in Gilroy. That’s why, for the price of this lovely updated condo in a convenient San Jose neighborhood with high-rated schools, you can have a scraper in a blighted neighborhood, the main selling point of which is that you have the possibility of casting it off the face of the Earth and starting over again from scratch. Not, mind you, that anyone is questioning the value in Gilroy. This is a lot of house for the money, and a lot of flat usable land, too. And as an added bonus, you get to hear the same train tracks Steve Jobs does – the Caltrain station is just a few short blocks away! Not to mention a number of cafes where you can get your daily coffee or 15. In a subtle attempt to emphasize how much house you’re getting, the realtor included 9 vibrant photographs. Let’s have a look:

That’s what I call value for your money. One exposure, nine reasons why you should call Gilroy home! But wait – there must be some reason why the realtor is so amped up that his finger twitched nine times on the “post” button and forgot entirely to mention this is actually a legal duplex, address 345-355 W 8th St. People just don’t get this excited normally. Oh, what’s this?

The fastest flip in the West has competition! Or else the realtor’s head exploded and no one has bothered to remove the listing. Either way, you win at 345 W 8th St in Gilroy! Drive a little, save a lot!

Comments (25) -- Posted by: sonarrat @ 5:19 am

March 21, 2011

Zrent vs. Zbuy

Zillow, the website that brought you the Zestimate, now has a brand-new feature to make fun of.  We’ve all chuckled over how surprisingly off the Zestimate of a home’s value could be.  Well, in the words of Mr. Family Guy, “You think that’s bad?”

Zillow has just introduced the Rent Zestimate.  Yes, now we can compute the Zrent Zratio, using two estimates that may or may not have anything to do with reality!  Let’s try it with a few houses previously featured on Burbed!


Here’s Friday’s house, the Tangrams Set with the High-Tech name.  Once more, the Zestimate has no relation to real life, because if it did this place wouldn’t be sitting unclaimed for 113 days at $200K less than Zillow’s amazing valuation model’s prediction.  To compute the Zrent Zratio, divide the Zestimate by the annual Rent Zestimate.  For this house, $762,000 divided by ($3081 * 12) is 20.6, a number that says rent, don’t buy this house.  (A number above 15 says rent, a number below 15 says buy.)

Although I think the answer is really don’t rent or buy this house, so let’s try again with something a little more desirable.  So let’s stop and smell the roses.


Well, here’s a Zestimate a little more down to earth, as this Beautiful Specious Home is listed for $239,000.  The Zrent Zratio is $217,500 / (1345 * 12) or 13.5.  Buy!  Buy!  BUY!

And here’s our most recent run-in with MAWBUL CAWLUMS, it’s the Shrek House.


Ready?  Oh oh, this place has a Zestimate about 30% of the asking price.  I didn’t say 30% lower, I said it’s 30% of the asking price.  I’m sure the FBs will be happy to set Zillow straight on this.  And the Zrent Zratio is… $1,427,000 / (5587 * 12) = 21.3.  Rent.  Definitely rent.

Okay, now for grins, we’re going to compute the rent ratio using the wishing prices of all three homes, and Zillow’s Rent Zestimate.

  • Poinsettia: $575,000 / (2979 * 12) = 16.1 (weak rent, buy it if you love it)
  • Gibraltar: $217,500 / (1345 * 12) = 14.8 (buy or rent, it’s a wash)
  • Butch: $4,999,000 / (5587 * 12) = 74.6 (rent rent rent rent rent rent are you kidding me?)

So, what do you think of Zillow’s new made up numbers?  Do any of these rents have anything to do with reality?  And if you divide one invented number by another, does the nonsense cancel itself out?

Comments (80) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:11 am

March 15, 2011


Yet another terrific find came up in comments.  Our thanks to Burbed reader Tuno for finding this… indescribable property, where thought, labor and love… couldn’t come up with a copywriter who could pass high school English.

2544 Butch Dr, Gilroy, CA 95020


BATHS: 9.5
SQ. FT.: 10,300
$/SQ. FT.: $485
LOT SIZE: 10.21 Acres
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Mediterranean
VIEW: Mountains, Valley, City Lights
COMMUNITY: Morgan Hill/Gilroy/San Martin
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81105945
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 19 days


Here’s what Tuno had to say about this, um, listing:

pretty incredible, esp. for Gilroy

Then Burbed reader nomadic nails it:

The first pic look straight out of a Shrek cartoon.

imageToo bad this owner EXSPENDED so many YEARS with THOUGHT, LABOR and LOVE, because this property is the OWNERS VISION OF THE ULTIMATE EQUESTRIAN ESTATE.  Perhaps it would be yours too? 

As featured in the most recent Thomas Kinkade, Painter of Light, gallery tour of East Tracy.  I think that means he doesn’t use very much paint.  Like just one coat.


Maybe the exterior is by Kinkade, but this staircase at right was obviously designed by M.C. Escher.  They could have used something like this in Inception to keep the assassins from finding them so fast.  Also wouldn’t it be great to see a freight train knock down that statue?


Oh dear, is that… our first sighting of… that hallmark of CLASS and KULCHUCH?  It’s hiding in the back left.


No I must have imagined it.  Nothing but overdone French provincial dining set, probably not even included with the house.




A sky you can’t believe in.  They must have had Kinkade paint that too.


The horse facility is actually better than most of the houses we feature, although that really isn’t saying much.  W 8STALL.  But remember, this is on the ADJOINING 10AC PARCEL.


All set to put in a vineyard… as long as you can come up with about four million acre feet of water.  And once you do, then you’ll have your RESORT LIKE OAIS.

Comments (16) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:15 am

December 6, 2010

Black Friday Sale: Cheapest House in Gilroy!

DEALS DEALS DEALS!  How would you like to buy an actual house – NOT A CONDO, NOT A TOWNHOUSE, NOT A HALF-SIZED LOT – for less than a hundred grand?  Not convinced?  What if this house was worth almost half a million dollars?

7001 Rosanna Street, Gilroy, CA 95020


Beds: 3
Baths: 1
Sq. Ft.: 1,205
$/Sq. Ft.: $81
Lot Size: 7,000 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Stories: 1
Year Built: 1954
Community: Morgan Hill/Gilroy/San Martin
County: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81029638
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active
On Redfin: 172 days

Lowest 3 bedroom on market. Open House Saturday 12/04/10 2:00-4:00PM and Sunday 12/05/10 2:00-4:00PM. Must sell 12/05/10.

Whoops, looks like you’re a day too late!  Well, that’s a Black Friday sale for you, quantities are limited to stock on hand!  Then again, this $81 a square foot beauty has been on the market for almost half a year.  Let’s see if it’s really going to be selling shortly.


Yes indeed, this house not only went for $490K in the glory days of 2005, it went for twice the current asking price twelve years ago!  You know that rule about property doubling every ten years?  That third bedroom must have a flux capacitor, because time is obviously running backwards at this address! 

So sell some Apple stock, buy some Netscape and Sun, and move into this house, You’ll be looking younger, fitter and richer before you know it!

Comments (38) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:06 am

February 17, 2009

$1.5 million dollar house becomes a $848,000 house

Many many moons ago…

$1.5 million dollar house rents for $3975 a month | SF Bay Area Home Price and Mortgage Insanity Blog – Burbed.com
July 11, 2007
$1.5 million dollar house rents for $3975 a month

Burbed reader E.V. spotted this:

Huge 6bed/5 1/2 bath Executive Home in EAGLE RIDGE COUNTRY CLUB
$3975 / 6br – Huge 6bed/5 1/2 bath Executive Home in EAGLE RIDGE COUNTRY CLUB (gilroy)
Reply to: hous-370156683@craigslist.org
Date: 2007-07-09, 2:28PM PDT

THIS HOME HAS IT ALL…Only 6 years old, it is loaded with two balconies, one that looks over a Pond on the 5th. tee.

Professional Kitchen with cherry wood cabinets throughout, Viking 6 burner stove, Sub-Zero refridgerator, with no home on the back or side yard.

Brand new swimming pool, tennis courts, elementry school, 8 1/2″ crown moulding and wainscoteing everyware.

Hardwood floors granite kitchen and each bedroom has its own private bathroom.

Beautiful views of every room in the home.

This home would sell for $1,500,000 but we have decided to keep it for the young children when they become adults. AVAILABLE AUGUST 1st.

Call for a private showing at 408/210-7740 and ask for Pierce.

2420 muirfield way, gilroy, ca 95020 at club drive at santa thersa ave google map yahoo map

Since then, a lot has changed. Gilroy is no longer in the Real Bay Area. Strawberry and Garlic pickers are no longer being offered $700k mortgages.

Long time Burbed reader E.V. recently notified me of this listing:


Egads! Sorry Gilroy – it looks like your readmittance for Real Bay Area status is not likely for 2009. Perhaps 2010?

Comments (86) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:20 am

August 27, 2008

Great starter home in Gilroy

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage presents CaliforniaMoves.com
Gilroy, CA, 95020 offered at $249,900

Stop SlideshowStart Slideshow

Bedrooms: 3 Bathrooms: 1 Full
Apprx. Sq. Feet: 1123 Year Built: 1972
Request More Info Schedule A Showing

Great Starter Home. Large Corner Lot with access to Backyard from Street. Walking Distance to Neighborhood Park. Vaulted Ceiling and Fireplace in Living Room. Covered Patio off Kitchen. Conveniently located to shopping centers and Easy Access to Highway 101. Lots of Potential.

Even though we all know that Gilroy is no longer part of the Real Bay Area (if even the Bay Area itself!), Burbed doesn’t really feature it so often.

That said, Burbed reader Jackie did find this great starter home. Wow what a beaut!

To all you RE investors – is now the hot time to buy here? Will Gilroy be the next Foster City? What appreciation should we expect?

Comments (37) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:59 am