May 10, 2011

Tons of columns in Los Altos Hills


28333 CHRISTOPHER Ln

Los Altos Hills, CA 94022
$3,700,000
image

 

BEDS: 4
BATHS: 4.5
SQ. FT.: 5,229
$/SQ. FT.: $708
LOT SIZE: 1.18 Acres
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STORIES: 2
VIEW: Mountains
YEAR BUILT: 1990
COMMUNITY: Los Altos Hills
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81052994
SOURCE: MLSListings
STATUS: Active

 

 

ON REDFIN: 173 days
Resort Living – pool, spa, cabanna, sauna, rock stream, beautiful views of hills. Two large master bedroom suites with fireplaces, blt-ins, walk-in closets and balconies. 4 bedrooms, plus office and library with step-down wet-bar. Open floor plan with public rooms seamlessly flowing into one another, high ceilings, sweeping circular staircase. Ideal home to showcase art collection. PA Schools

 

 

Thanks to Burbed reader Herve for this find!
If there’s something we can all agree on here at Burbed, it’s that adding columns will make any home look classier. And this is a great example. Just look at how those columns make this Los Altos Hills home, feel as if it were in Pompeii! It’s like whoa! Did I just take a flight to Rome? How did I get here? And how are there Palo Alto Schools here in Rome too?
The question I sort of wonder is: what kind of art collection would a potential buyer of this house have?
Feel free to submit links to your examples in the comments. I’m thinking… art from here!

 

 

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






March 27, 2011

Foreigner with Huge Suitcase of Cash is Real

One of the recurring arguments for Real Bay Area (RBA) prices to never go down is that even if the local economy is in the tank, prices will be pushed back up by foreigners with suitcases full of cash.  Yeah, the idea has become a bit of a joke meme on Burbed, but looks like it has a kernel of truth.

Thanks to Burbed readers nomadic and Perfect Angel for sending this one in.

Mystery surrounds buyer of hilltop mansion in Los Altos Hills

By Pete Carey, San Jose Mercury News

Posted: 03/24/2011 03:30:25 PM PDT, Updated: 03/25/2011 11:30:02 AM PDT

image

Satellite view of the home on La Paloma Road in Los Altos Hills.

Someone paid $75 million last month for a 25,500-square-foot mansion in Los Altos Hills — complete with its own carwash — the biggest price tag for a house in Santa Clara County history. The big mystery is who.

What is known is that the buyer is La Paloma Property, according to county records. That is a limited liability company registered in Delaware, where business laws protect the identities of the principals in companies and partnerships.

The blog TechCrunch quoted “multiple sources” saying the buyer was Yuri Milner, the Russian venture investor who founded the investment fund Digital Sky Technologies, now known as DST Global.

Milner, a former particle physics graduate student, has made a splash in Silicon Valley with large investments in Facebook, Zynga and Groupon. And he’s been shopping for a home in Silicon Valley, real estate agents said.

Wow, who knew the Merc was still such a digital dinosaur?  I mean, seriously, how difficult would it have been for them to link to the TechCrunch article?  Yeah, it’s a little thin, but it’s got an angled overview of the house and it also says Milner isn’t planning on living there much anyway.

TechCrunch and the Merc didn’t print the address, but we will, because this is a housing blog.  This metastasized monstrosity is at 13310 La Paloma Road, Los Altos Hills.  Redfin only details the 1997 sale for $5.3 million, which was before the house in question was built.  The 2009 property tax bill lists the site valued at around $4M for land and $21M for additions, with a total bill of $200,644.

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The house and 11 acre parcel belonged to Fred Chan, founder of Fremont-based ESS Technology, and was held under Evershine III.  The 5-bedroom, 9 bath house, when construction began in 2003, was going to be the largest private home in the county.  Assessor info says the house was built/renovated in 2009, which means planning and construction took six years from start to finish. Again, the Mercury news says they covered the home groundbreaking, but couldn’t be bothered to link to its old article (no doubt only available as a for-sale-from-our-archive item).  Looks like Chan found a place he liked better: the largest waterfront property in Oahu.

imageWhile some sources claimed the purchaser was not Yuri Milner, the Merc has followed up on its on story and said Milner is definitely the February 3rd buyer of the property.  Milner’s spokesman Leonid Solovyev did deny that pre-IPO shares of Facebook, or any other stocks were used to pay for the home that Milner doesn’t plan to live in much.

Looks like we’re back to the really big suitcase full of cash.

But if Milner doesn’t plan on living there much, maybe he could rent the place out when he’s elsewhere.  Zillow’s rent Zestimate is $4301 a month, which seems a touch low.  I’m sure he could get the upper end of the range, which is $2200-8600 a month.

Comments (64) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:28 am

October 3, 2010

The Most Expensive Zip Codes! MOST EXPENSIVE!!!

Forbes Magazine has their annual most expensive zip code collection again, and high-end real estate agents rejoiced.  This feature is the Capitalist Tool’s usual suck-off to NAR, with the lovely pictures there to move some expensive houses.  Anyway, California, despite its budgetary and property value woes, completely cleaned New York’s clock.  Unfortunately, Los Angeles is getting ahead of San Francisco.

Here are the top ten:

    1. 91008, Duarte, Calif.
    2. 94027, Atherton, Calif.
    3. 90274, Rolling Hills, Calif.
    4. 07620, Alpine, N.J.
    5. 10014, New York, N.Y.
    6. 90210, Beverly Hills, Calif.
    7. 10065, New York, N.Y.
    8. 94920, Belvedere, Calif.
    9. 10012, New York, N.Y.
    10. 93108, Santa Barbara, Calif.

If ever a list defined what flyover land was, this is it.  All ten are California or New York City suburbs.  How did Greenwich, Connecticut get knocked off this list?  More importantly, how did a town full of ginormous houses next to Monrovia get on it?  91008 is mostly big, expensive homes in Bradbury, but the post office calls the zip Duarte. High-priced enclave surrounded by working-class city, good thing we don’t have anything like that in the Real Bay Area (RBA)!

And we sure don’t have anything like this:

High-End Slump Slows
The median price of America’s high-end homes continues to slide, but not as fast as it did last year. Our index of 500 high-end ZIP codes saw the average home price fall 5%, to $1.2 million, from the same time last year. In 2009 the markets on our list saw a 7% price drop.

About 35% of the ZIP codes in our index saw median prices increase or stay flat, but that’s likely because more high-priced homes are coming on the market, while more affordable housing continues to falter. “The year-over-year price changes we’re seeing here aren’t necessarily the change in price for your house, if you have a house in this area,” says Simonsen. “It’s a change in the mix of homes on the active market.”

Anyway, on to the high-priced zips in the Bay Area.  Photos, stats, and smarmy real estate copy is from Forbes.  You’ll recognize what isn’t, and I’ve hunted down all the real estate so you don’t have to.

#2 – 94027: Atherton

Median Home Price: $4,010,200
Median Price Change: 4%
Average Days On Market: 109
Inventory: 57 properties
Median Household Income: $200,001

image_thumb7

This remodeled mid-century four-bedroom, four-bathroom, 4,010-square-foot ranch with a cathedral ceiling, fireplace, media room, two-car garage and gardens sells for $4,488,000. It is listed with Alain Pinel.

And it’s up 4%.  RBA Win!  This house on Fredrick Ave is still for sale, listed 63 days.  Buy now with Redfin and save $56,100!

#8 – 94920: Belvedere

Median Home Price: $3,283,269
Median Price Change: 51%
Average Days On Market: 149
Inventory: 39 properties
Median Household Income: $106,492

image_thumb8

This three-bedroom, four-bathroom 4347-square-foot Spanish-style stucco home in the section of 94920 that’s in neighboring Tiburon offers views and a fireplace and sells for $3,195,000. William J. Smith has the listing.

What’s this?  The zip is shared with Tiburon?  Outrage!  If Belvedere had its own zip, it would kick Bradbury’s butt!  But wait!  This house isn’t in Belvedere but in Tiburon?  That’s bait and switch!  Just for that I won’t buy the house on Buckwheat Court.  In Tiburon.

image_thumb18

#15 – 94022: Los Altos Hills

Median Home Price: $3,048,846
Median Price Change: 34%
Average Days On Market: 176
Inventory: 58 properties
Median Household Income: NA

image_thumb10

This 4,000 square-foot, five-bedroom, six-bathroom Mediterranean-style home has a stucco exterior, vaulted ceilings, a fireplace and study and is selling for $3,195,000. Alain Pinel has the listing.

Up 34%!  New York is our beeyotch.  And so is Forbes, because this house is on Jay St, in Los Altos, No Hills.  It’s also new construction.  Three lots down from busy El Monte.  You’re welcome.

image_thumb20

#18 – 94024: Los Altos Hills

Median Home Price: $2,974,058 <
/dt>
Median Price Change: -9%
Average Days On Market: 179
Inventory: 15 properties
Median Household Income: NA

image_thumb9

This 4,673 square-foot six-bedroom, four-bathroom home has hardwood floors, a fireplace, vaulted ceilings and a swimming pool. It is listed for $2,899,000 with Campi Properties.

Sloppy work again, Forbes.  This house is also in Los Altos, not Los Altos Hills.  And it’s only 4,367 feet, so you’re off by almost 300 sf.  It’s on Young Ct, off Summerhill, off Magdelena, off 280.  Talk about any easy commute, provided you don’t work anywhere near 101.

image_thumb19

#20 – 94010: Hillsborough

Median Home Price: $2,948,423
Median Price Change: 11%
Average Days On Market: 109
Inventory: 101 properties
Median Household Income: $82,188

image_thumb11

This 4,190-square-foot, six-bedroom, five-bathroom home has a double-height foyer, two-car garage, fireplace and swimming pool, and is offered at $3,095,000 by Alain Pinel Realty.

What the – 101 properties listed in Hillsborough?  Are there even 101 properties in Hillsborough?  Trick question!  The zip is shared with Burlingame!  And this listing on Eucalyptus was a trick, too.  Everything in the description lined up, and here I thought they were going to put it in the wrong city.

But who the heck buys a 6 bedroom house with only a 2 car garage?  Where will the servants park?

There’s plenty more zip code madness to come, in another installment.  Although if you’re buying things on installment, you’re priced out of these zips.  Forever.

Comments (39) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:05 am

September 27, 2010

It Could Be Winchester West

Today’s contribution is from burbed reader nomadic.  This property certainly has all the key features we know and love: listing copy in all-caps, problems galore neatly omitted, and a series of grudgingly small reductions on a WTF wishing price pretending to be a bargain.

11441 Eastbrook Ave  Los Altos Hills, CA 94024
$3,299,500

image

BEDS: 6
BATHS: 5.5
SQ. FT.: 9,000
$/SQ. FT.: $367
LOT SIZE: 0.53 Acres
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Contemporary
STORIES: 3
VIEW: Neighborhood
YEAR BUILT: 1975
COMMUNITY: Los Altos Hills
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81031402
SOURCE: MLSListings
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 93 days

$350K PRICE REDUCTION ON HUGE CUSTOM CONTEMPORARY HOME + 2100SF ATTACHED GUEST HOUSE = $300/SF IN LAH!!! * * * PERFECT FOR LARGE OR EXTENDED FAMILY NEEDING PLENTY OF SPACE * * * EXPANSIVE LIST OF AMENITIES INCL LIMESTONE FLRS, CUSTOM FAUX PAINT, LRG MASTER BED SUITE W/ SITTING ROOM, GOURMET KITCHEN W/ GRANITE, WINE CELLAR, TASTING AREA, 5ZONE HVAC, 4FPs * * (2)2 CAR GARAGES INCL OVERSIZED HEIGHT FOR R/V/WORKSHOP * *

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

OMG.  It’s a freak of nature.  The noise from 280 is loud.  Very loud – it’s right across from the house and elevated for maximum annoyance.  It’s like two houses were glued together with a hallway or two. The listing says “2100sf guest house,” but you can hardly tell where one ends and the other begins because it’s just a double interior door, and then there’s a second kitchen back there.  The floor plan wanders from room to room with no sense whatsoever.

On the front, there are stairs with access to a roof top deck (see aerial view).  It’s like having turrets on an old house; you could set up a reporting station for traffic on 280.  It’s the weirdest house I have ever seen.  It could be Winchester West.  But what would you expect for just $367/sf in Los Altos Hills?

Thanks, nomadic!  Let’s take a look at that aerial view.

image

Yowza.  A half-acre parcel and the house seems to take up most of it.  And what little isn’t built over seems to be paved over.  Viewing the grounds from a little higher up shows this lot has been somewhat… subdivided.  And yet, no spec homes have sprouted yet.  Think of the excitement in buying this house, knowing a future neighbor could begin construction on another monster house just a few feet away from yours!  You’d better snatch that parcel up and put in Sarah’s Cafe West next door.  If the neighborhood improvement committee complains, give them all 25% off coupons.

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Oh yes, the noise from 280.  This is an easy remedy.  If only the agent had the sense to use a more attractive map:

image

Problem solved!  Lovely riverside setting!

Besides, if the freeway is inconveniently elevated for maximum annoyance, that means it’s conveniently sited for tourists to see the large signage you’re going to put on the roof deck.  Remember, the original Winchester Mystery House is also atop I-280, but isn’t in the Real Bay Area part.  This house is full of freeway WIN!

Comments (9) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:04 am

August 24, 2010

Lonely Spec House Needs Care, Decor, and Your Bank Account

Here’s a house that’s been on the market almost half a year.  Not only is nobody living in it now, nobody’s lived in it ever. burbed agents worked hard to find out why,

26462 Purissima Rd, Los Altos Hills, CA 94022
$8,888,000

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Beds: 6
Baths: 7.5
Sq. Ft.: 11,000
$/Sq. Ft.: $808
Lot Size: 2.03 Acres
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Stories: 2
Year Built: 2010
Community: Los Altos Hills
County: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81010120
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active
On Redfin: 173 days

This extraordinary new estate is adorned w/ Old World Roman architecture. Spanning 2 levels, the approx. 10,000+/- sq ft main house offers 4 bedrooms, 2 offices, theatre room, & fitness room. Guest house includes 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, & full kitchen. Other amenities include 7 fireplaces, waterfall, pool w/ spa, sauna, wine bar, optional elevator, & room for tennis court. Excellent Palo Alto schools

purissima1You know what Old World Roman architecture means, don’t you?  If you don’t, I’ll give you a hint.  Dat’s right!  MAWBUL CAHLLUMS.  I think this property might set a burbed record for its sheer columnosity.  These pictures were lovingly borrowed from the property website and should give you the idea.  Just look for the helpful red arrows so you can count how many columns are in each picture.

Go ahead, count the arrows.  I definitely agree this new estate is extraordinary, but then again, things can be extraordinary without necessarily being good.  Like extraordinary rendition.

purissima2purissima3

purissima4 purissima5

purissima6

purissima8

No, you aren’t seeing things.  There are columns in the MUD ROOM above.  Why a house in a semi-arid region like Northern California needs a mud room is something for you to ponder on while you check your bank account.

purissima9 purissima10

purissima11 purissima12

Had enough of that magnificent stairway?  Let’s check out the back yard.  Column WIN!  The structure in the center of the first picture below is the guest house.  Only 4 columns.  Not even as much as the decorative set of arches by the pool.

purissima14 purissima15

purissima16 purissima17

But… problems in paradise: there were cracks forming on the paving under that big balcony in that last picture above.  The house was finished this spring.  Should have used real marble!  That’s a waterfall in front of the guest house (columns foreground).  It was a great idea, but not for the reason you may think.

purissima18

That’s the guest house on the left (above).  So, you thought the mud room was a funny place to put marble columns?  How about taking Mike’s advice and put some in your kitchen!  Or your bathroom!  Oooh-la-la!

purissima7 purissima13

Unfortunately, those MAWBUL CAHLLUMS not only weren’t sold by Fred Armison personally, they aren’t even made of marble!  They’re hollow tubes of concrete!  You’d think for almost nine million dollars the builder would spring for the real stuff?

You’d also think for that many big ones they’d spend a little bit to stage this place properly?  You’d think wrong.  This is what you see when you view each bedroom:

purissima_empty_room

Nothing says, “I’ve got money and power” like a completely empty room.  And when I say empty, I mean there isn’t even a thumbtack on the inside of a closet door.  This house just reeks of empty, as you can see from playing Debbie Does Doric above.  There’s even empty spaces where the builder couldn’t figure out what to do with them, so he turned them into randomly shaped closets in unexpected places.  It’s like those tiny balconies on the second floor of the front of the house.  Those balconies were barely a foot deep.  So you have a room with no window, just a french door to a decorative balcony.

Oh yes, the waterfall.  The waterfall is there to deal with the reality of the lot:

image

Not quite easy freeway access, but almost!  The waterfall is there so you won’t hear the gentle susurrations of Interstate 280.

In summary, I think this house is still empty because it looks like it was designed by someone who grew up poor and thinks this is how rich people live.  You know, as many faux marble columns as possible.  Faux!  That’s French!  That’s good, rich people speak French!  Heck, call it a faux mansion!

But there is one fantastic feature the agent forgot to mention.  Since nobody ever lived in this house, nobody ever died in it either.  It’s guaranteed to be ghost-free!

Comments (67) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:01 am