August 1, 2013

Currently, a very small rented cottage with basement in Los Altos

We have a very special property for you today!  Burbed reader nomadic must have spied this one on the way back from a lunch meeting. So if you don’t like the very small rented cottage with basement, build something else and skip the kitchen. You won’t need it where we’re going.

130731-acacia-redfin962 ACACIA Ave
Los Altos, CA 94022
$750,000

1 Beds
1 Baths
300 Sq. Ft.
$2,500 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1948
Lot Size: 5,000 Sq. Ft.
On Redfin: 48 days
Status: Active
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Stories: 1
County: Santa Clara
Style: Cabin
Community: North Los Altos
MLS#: 81320950

Do not distrub occupants. Small north Los Altos lot 40X125, behind Chef Chu’s, Armadillo’s Willy’s. Currently, a very small rented cottage with basement. Value in the land. Access on Acacia and from the back alley behind restaurants.

130731-acacia-kitchenOh, did we mention where we’re going? It’s the Land of $2,500 a square foot. No wonder you can’t distrub occupants. Now, let’s check in with nomadic.

“Maybe a small home can be built.”  The realtard almost sounds wistful.  The lot is wedged between two parking lots; who in their right mind would want to build a house there?  A business wouldn’t be a practical idea though, because it would have to be quite small and not require more than a couple parking spots.

No more wistful realtard, as that last sentence seems to have been edited out (still on Zillow as we write this). Instead let’s be wistful about the photography.

130731-acacia-take-the-curtain130731-acacia-grounds130731-acacia-hot-water

Remember, Location, Location, Location!

130731-acacia-aerial

Right in the middle of everything, literally just steps away from San Antonio and El Camino Real! Plus there’s a new Safeway across the street! Of course the value is in the land; tear everything down and set up a pay for parking lot! Or build your own restaurant in that small rented cottage! (Wait, did you distrub occupants?)

Bunus round: Try maybe building that small home and see how you fare against the Los Altos Planning Department!

Comments (4) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:04 am






June 18, 2013

Lotsa Listing Lunacy in Los Altos!

Let’s take a look at this lovely lienhold in Los Altos. Today’s featured property brings us lots of great photography.  That is if by great we mean some other word, such as “quaint” or “challenging” or perhaps “well-meant.”  Thanks very much to Burbed reader littleoldlady from RBA.

And since this place is already in contract, Redfin isn’t showing it anymore. Helloooooo, Trulia!

130617-morton-redfin1650 Morton Ave
Los Altos, CA 94024
$1,388,000

4 bed / 3 full bath
2,588 sqft
Single-Family Home
Active Contingent
$6,215 / mo
25 days on Trulia
Built in 1955
Neighborhood: South Los Altos
MLS/Source ID: 81317816

1650 Morton Ave DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH-UPGRADE TO YOUR TASTE! This home was extensively remodeled and expanded in 2000. A guest room wing with two separate entrances was added and much of the original house was rebuilt. The finishes and details need attention, but the bones are 130617-morton-hardwoodgood. If you have the vision to imagine your own finishes and colors in place, you could polish this into the gem of the neighborhood, and what a fine neighborhood it is. The kitchen features maple cabinets and a comfortable breakfast area. Granite slab counters would complete the kitchen makeover (and we have a bid of just under $10,000 to supply and install… these). The bathrooms are dated; in fact, the guest bath is so dated it is 1950’s retro! The 130617-morton-kitchenhouse would benefit from interior paint, new windows, extending the wide plank hardwood floors from the living/dining areas or adding new carpet, and bathroom updating. Located on a spacious corner lot of over 10,000 feet, the parcel includes two majestic redwoods, three mature oaks, and three soap bark trees. The trees are near the property perimeter so you can develop the rest of the parcel as you choose. The landscape details and final design are up to you. Priced to allow the new owner the ability to integrate all the details and finishes you desire and still enjoy a valuable acquisition.

130617-morton-paintNow that is one chatty agent. This one went on for more than three picture’s worth of listing copy! Can you imagine having to get in the car and go on a house tour with that dude?  You’ll be glad you brought your earbuds!  Now let’s hear from LOL RBA.

Now wait… I have noticed a pattern in Los Altos. Every nice house gets listed for $1495, or $1498… Then sell then sells for $1750 – $1800. 130617-morton-tileEvery not so nice house gets listed for $1150 and sells for around $1300. What on earth is this terrifying listing? Rebuilt in 2000? Wha’?? What did they rebuild? And is this a nice house, destined to sell for $1750 (um…no) or a not so nice house that will sell for $1300, thereby getting no overbids? Regardless, the house will be in escrow within 7 days, like everything else in the RBA.

I love your blog. My favorite stop with my morning coffee. Your fan.  Sent from my iPad

You know you’re in the Real Bay Area when even the little old ladies correspond with an iPad. And LOL-RBA was correct about the 7 day escrow, or was it more like 7 minutes?

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

April 13, 2013

Location, Location, Location in Los Altos!

BlogAtoZ-LHappy Saturday and weekend! We’re one Letter Less than halfway through the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Remember blog Life before this Lunacy when a Lousy Los Gatos Lanai would Light up the comment thread? Yeah, we don’t either.

So we’ll play what’s Laid, and that’s this Lulu of a Listing in Los Altos with a Likely Large Lot.

130412-sanantonio-redfin757 N SAN ANTONIO Rd
Los Altos, CA 94022
$1,199,000

3 Beds
2 Baths
1,330 Sq. Ft.
$902 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1952
Lot Size: 9,270 Sq. Ft.
On Redfin: 23 days
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Stories: 1
County: Santa Clara
Style: Ranch
Community: North Los Altos
MLS#: 81308943

Charming and welcoming Los Altos ranch home. Freshly painted inside and outside. Multiple recent upgrades: kitchen, roof, garage door, double pane windows, floors, etc. Award winning Los Altos Schools. Close to schools, shopping and restaurants.

Upcoming Open Houses

Saturday, Apr 13: 1:00-5:00 pm
Sunday, Apr 14: 1:00-5:00 pm

130412-sanantonio-landscapeLook, Listing Lusciousness is all Location, Location, Location. And this Location says it’s close to schools, shopping, and restaurants. Let’s Learn how Close.  Across the (very busy) street is Bullis Charter School, already Lovingly Lauded on this website! (And you know when we Lovingly Laud something, that means the exact opposite of Lovingly Laud.)

Like the Landscaping? This Low-maintenance approach not only saves time, money, and Liquids, you’ll never have to Lift a Limb watering the front Lawn. (That’s because it Lacks one.)

130412-sanantonio-kitchenLug yourself north and you’ll find the restaurants.  Lots of them. Actually you have Little choice about Leaning north; the Lean-to is on the northbound side of a divided four-Lane thoroughfare.

Other than that, why hasn’t this Locale sold in 23 days, in this Lava-hot market? The Listing agent already Lowered the price at Least 14%!

Let us know if you Look in at the Open House this weekend!

Comments (2) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:05 am

November 8, 2012

Two mirror image suites in Basements; two detached oversized

And — holy cow, it’s Friday already.  How about something aspirational for those of you with some seriously studly stock options?  Check out this little lulu in Los Altos!  Thanks very much to long-time Burbed reader/first-time caller RM for this find.

121108-holly-redfin1380 HOLLY Ave
Los Altos, CA 94024
$3,495,000

6 Beds 
6.5 Baths 
4,559 Sq. Ft.
$767 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 2009 
Lot Size: 0.28 Acres 
On Redfin: 20 days
Status: Active
Property Type: Detached Single Family
View: Mountains, Neighborhood
County: Santa Clara
Stories: 2
Community: South of El Monte
MLS#: 81238438

Quality built architect designed custom home. Features top rated Los Altos School. incl. Oak Ave School. Close to schools and park. Easy access to hwy 85,Foothill & 280.Gourmet Kitchen Overlooking rear Patio, Great master suite. Two Bedroom suites on main floor & Two Mirror Image Suites in Basements. Spacious Livingroom w/ Vaulted ceilings. 4 car garage two car attached two detached oversized.

121108-holly-kitchenThis was built in 2009?  Srsly?  Just a casual glance gave me all these 1974 tingles.  Now, let’s hear from RM on why this house belongs on the front page.

This is a very odd house for sale in my neighborhood. Garage in the center of the house, two basement bedroom suites, and a giant detached garage in the back, with no paving for the driveway to the back. (And no pictures.) Lap pool combined with swimming pool in a very constrained space.

121108-holly-satelliteCheck out the google maps for a good overhead view of the oddness. And confetti colored tile in the kitchen and baths. Whoever buys it will be really sorry if they do not remove the redwood by the front driveway, or if they pay $3,495,000.

Wait, there’s a pool?  Is it in the Basements?

When did “confetti tile” become A Thing?  Didn’t we ran a house recently that had the same fascinating design choice?  Well, there was this.

Alas, this Quality built architect designed custom home is 441 square feet too small to merit the ginormous tag.

Comments (10) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 9:08 pm

October 25, 2012

Coals to Newcastle in Los Altos: Opportunity Abounds

We’ve featured a lot of flips on Burbed.  Today’s front-paged fortress is a flip, but that isn’t what brought it to our attention.  Thanks very much to Burbed reader Swan for this luscious LOLapalooza in Los Altos!

121024-newcastle-redfin-flip1998 NEWCASTLE Dr
Los Altos, CA 94024
$1,498,000

3 Beds
2 Baths
1,700 Sq. Ft.
$881 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1956
Lot Size: 10,450 Sq. Ft.
On Redfin: 21 days
Status: Active
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Community: South of El Monte
MLS#: 81236495
Stories: 1
County: Santa Clara

Stunning one-of-a-kind home with custom details and top of the line finishes. Sits on huge corner lot, with room to expand in the future. Mahogany doors, windows and cabinets, travertine patios and flooring, hardwood planked flooring, marble bathroom surrounds, luscious backyard with fountain and room for entertaining. Great schools, close to freeways. This will be your dream estate!

“Dream estate” may be overstating things a little, especially when you get a look at the outside of the house.  Okay, overstating it a lot.  The inside of the redone house looks nice, but the outside is kind of meh.

But as far as the before pictures, go, this is a dream Burbed property.  Voilà!

121024-newcastle-redfin-old1998 NEWCASTLE Dr
Los Altos, CA 94024
$1,025,000
Sold 6/22/12 for $1,015,000

3 Beds
2 Baths
1,698 Sq. Ft.
$598 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1956
Lot Size: 10,450 Sq. Ft.
Sold On: Jun 22, 2012
Status: Sold
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Stories: 1
County: Santa Clara
Style: Ranch
Community: South of El Monte
MLS#: 81217356

Fixer in beautiful neighborhood. Good bones within this 3 bedroom, 2 bath home that sits on a 10,000 + sq ft lot. Built in the ’50’s it has some charming features that just aren’t found in new construction today. Opportunity abounds.

121024-newcastle-wheelchairLet’s listen in as Swan explains further:

Here’s a link to a house in Los Altos which sold last spring.  I meant to send it in as it deserves the Burbed Housekeeping Seal of Approval.  Love the wheelchair.  Love the basketballs on the floor.  Love the peeling paint on the outside of the house.

Of course someone bought the house, flipped it, and wants $1.5 million for it.

Definitely cleaned up and better looking than before.  However, if you look at street view of the old house, and the realtard’s pictures of the new house, don’t you think they re-used the garage door?  Really?  For all that effort, they couldn’t buy a new garage door?

121024-newcastle-streetview121024-newcastle-front-new

The (old) Streetview peek is on the left.  Here’s an extreme close-up of the garage doors… after the break.  Plus more photos!

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Comments (17) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:05 am

September 26, 2012

It’s like living in Manhattan, but in Los Altos

169 CUESTA Dr
Los Altos, CA 94022
$449,000

169quest

Thanks to Burbed reader LJ for this find! Here’s what LJ had to say:

Yes, it’s new-ish, and yes, it’s in swanky Los Altos, but it’s a frickin’ studio! Not sure how they can get away with listing it as a 1 bedroom. I always thought "Junior One Bedroom" is realtard-speak for "big studio", except that this one is not really that big at 388sqft.

And the sad part is that you could probably cover 90% of your cash flow by renting this one out to a Google or Facebook employee, who is single, and maybe also tiny, and not prone to claustrophobia, which I get just by looking at the pictures. At first I thought, wow they really crammed a lot of furniture in there, but then I looked at the data and saw how small it was. Also, I thought the foldable bed (pictures 8/9) was a nice touch, gives it a NYC big city charm, deep in RBA suburbia.

Did someone say Murphy Bed (aka Foldable bed)?

20120925c

YES! YES! YES!

At $1,157 per square foot, this housing unit represents the pinnacle, the paragon, the pagoda, the pinterest, of all that is good in the Bay Area.

Everyone stop what you are doing! This is what we want. I know that if we all work together, we can make all the homes in the Bay Area this expensive. Yes we can do better!

By the way…

20120925b

Yes, this place apparently comes with an alarm to protect all your valuables. BONUS!

Comments (6) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:54 am

September 1, 2012

We’re Number One! We’re Number One!

Here’s a cheery news item, submitted by Burbed reader wahnny.

Silicon Valley’s Boom Creates Shortage of $1 Million Homes

120831-cnbc-losaltosPublished: Wednesday, 29 Aug 2012 | 10:22 AM ET
By: Robert Frank, CNBC Reporter & Editor

The home of venture capitalist Kelly Porter in Los Altos, photo, right.

The capital of high tech is now the capital of high-priced real estate.

Silicon Valley currently leads the nation in the number of homes sold for $1 million or more, according to Realtytrac. Sales of $1 million-plus have more than doubled in many communities in the Valley this year, toppling longtime luxury real-estate leaders like Beverly Hills or Miami.

Topping the list is Saratoga, Calif., in Santa Clara County, which had 225 homes sold for $1 million or more. That marked a 162 percent increase over last year.

Ranked second was Burlingame, Calif., which had 211 sales of at least $1 million, more than double last year’s rate. Cupertino and Los Altos ranked third and fourth in the nation, with 175 homes and 170 homes respectively.

Booyah!  We lead the nation in million dollar homes.  Sayonara, Scarsdale!  Meet you later, Miami gator!  Buh-bye, Beverly Hills!  Buh-… there’s just one problem with this article.

CNBC is comparing Silicon Valley to other “longtime luxury real-estate leaders.”  And up there on millionaire’s row is… Cupertino?  That’s not exactly the first town that comes to mind when we think “palatial estate.”

We don’t think this CNBC reporter understands the Real Bay Area.  Any region can feature a town full of luxury homes, towns like Atherton or Hillsborough, only somewhere that isn’t very Special.  You can find some real big, expensive estates in cities such as Bloomfield Hills, Michigan (boyhood home of Mitt Romney), or Winnetka, Illinois, or Greenwich, Connecticut.  Or Beverly Hills.

But only in the Real Bay Area can you find crappy houses for a million dollars.  Observe.

First, we look at Saratoga, since there were so many million dollar homes on the list they couldn’t find one to feature in the article (they just noted you could buy 1.2 acres with no house for more than a mill).  Find out what that same price gets you with a house… after the break.

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Comments (38) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:12 am

August 5, 2012

Huge Charter School Controversy in the RBA (tl;dr warning)

120804-bullis-cartoonWe haven’t been shy about sharing our educational “reform” position with you: we distrust the charter school movement.  We believe they are a means for private corporations to strip school boards of their resources and teachers of their benefits by providing cut-rate education under the false flag of “school choice.”  After all, corporations exist to make a profit.  Would you really want your child’s education outsourced to the lowest bidder?  Of course not!  That’s why you’ll pay anything to live in the Real Bay Area!

Charter Schools’ Negative Impact on the Educational System

120804-bullis-protestCharter schools are being implemented all across the country, whether parents want them or not.  This is happening because some very wealthy people, not one of them with any education background, see this as a way to profit at the expense school boards and teachers unions.  Much of the current “school reform” movement has been taken over by tons of money from foundations from the Walton (Walmart), Gates (Microsoft) and Broad (construction and insurance) families and, of course, the Koch brothers.  These groups have completely derailed real school reform in favor of their plan to corporatize our educational system.

All that money crowds out real reform in favor of forcing charter schools, despite their lackluster performance despite their ability to cherry-pick students.  There are stories everywhere of neighborhood schools forced to close, fire all the teachers and administrators, and then reopen as charters, despite complete opposition from the affected teachers, parents and children.  Needless to say, this is most likely to happen where parents are not well-represented in the political system.  That is, this process is most likely to happen in poorer neighborhoods rather than wealthy suburbs.  Remember Waiting for Superman (which is, of course, pure propaganda)?  The Bay Area school in the film was in Redwood City.  And look at all the corporate charter schools that have popped up in Oakland and San Jose.

Click on through to find out what happens next.

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Comments (20) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:06 am

June 29, 2012

Equisite English Gardens in Los Altos

Let’s finish the week on an up note, with this super structure from the seventies!  Thanks very much to Burbed reader hsjb for this luscious listing in Los Altos.

1450 REDWOOD Dr
Los Altos, CA 94024
$1,695,000

120629-redwood-redfin

120629-redwood-gardenBEDS:  4
BATHS:  3
SQ. FT.:  2,502
$/SQ. FT.:  $677
LOT SIZE:  9,317 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Traditional
STORIES: 2
VIEW: Bay, Neighborhood, City Lights
YEAR BUILT:  1975
COMMUNITY:  Highlands
COUNTY:  Santa Clara
MLS#:  81223371
SOURCE:  MLSListings
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN:  7 days
This is the home you have been waiting for. Beautiful 4bd/3ba with views. Beautiful light filled rooms with new hardwood floors and carpet. The home has high lofted ceilings with views from the upper floor. 3 bd 2 ba upstairs, 1 bed and full bath downstairs. Equisite English Gardens and sparkling pool with blue/black bottom. PRIVATE back yard. Two new decks off both floors. Don’t miss it.

120629-redwood-bedroomHere’s why hsjb thought this home was Burbed-worthy:

Take a look at picture 13. There’s a sickly green glow [I know it's HDR] but what could it also be?

1) Extra-terrestrials cowering at the side of the bed?
2) The agent forgot to clean the nuclear fuel on the floor?
3) Someone forgot Excalibur on their home tour?
4) The briefcase full of cash the owners are going to take to the bank?

While you’re on this home…check out the discrepancy of the pool size in two pictures. Image 20 makes it look HUGE! Image 22 makes it look puny!

120629-redwood-pool-huge120629-redwood-pool-tiny

Poltergeist in the bedroom?  Call 1–800–GHOSTBUSTERS!  Meanwhile, did you notice who is selling this property?  This place must be “corporate owned,” because the agent’s name is, I kid you not, Kimberly Clark.  That’s Kimberly Clark.  Makers of these fine paper products which have a lot in common with real estate agents.

Kc products

They both need frequent changing, for the same reason.

Should you buy today’s house?  Depends. 

120629-redwood-satellite

How much do you love freeways?

 

Comments (24) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:04 am

May 4, 2012

Flippin’ in Los Altos

Yesterday we suggested you could spend more than two million dollars on an empty spot of land in the middle of flipping nowhere.  Today we’re also flipping, with a quick-turnaround sale found by Burbed reader Mr. Kiasu.  Oh, and did we mention that the market is hot, hot hot?  Except for here.

1448 FOWLER Ln
Los Altos, CA 94024
$2,665,000, reduced from $2,995,000, reduced from $3,295,000

120503-fowler-redfin

BEDS: 6
BATHS: 3.5
SQ. FT.: 4,876
$/SQ. FT.: $547
LOT SIZE: 0.35 Acres
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STORIES: 2
VIEW: Neighborhood
YEAR BUILT: 1900
COMMUNITY: South of El Monte
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81211504
SOURCE: MLSListings
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 36 days

Turnkey 1900 Craftsman style Plantation home. .. own a piece of LA History. Poss Mills Act Tax Savings. 4800sf + 1800sf basement. Updated w/ new kitchen w/ marble countertops, remodeled baths and wood floors throughout. Newer fndtn, new copper plumbing, upgraded elect. panels, new zoned heating. Expansive back yard w/ pool & large lawn. Great cul-de-sac w/ LA Schools. Poss Seller financing options.

120503-fowler-kawlums[4]Here’s why Mr. Kiasu thought you’d like to see this home on the front page.

Spring bounce in Los Altos!

Bought in oct 2011 for 1.5, now on sale for 3.29.

Probably a flip but we’d need to see the pictures for last October I guess. Neighbors are all in the 1.5 range.

120503-fowler-gateNo history before the October sale, so maybe it’s been in the same family since 1900.

Wait, $3.29?  Not anymore.  Now it’s $2.65.  And still very much for sale.  Even with all those mawbul kawlums.  How could that be?  It’s on a cul-de-sac and there’s a gate to keep out the riffraff and everything.

Fortunately, the old pictures are still available for our perusal, so thank you Redfin!  Here’s a lovely pair from the old and the new of the same room.  Do you think they replaced the pool table?  Which one is the new sale?

120503-fowler-poolroom-old120503-fowler-poolroom-new

120503-fowler-kawlums-old-listingYes, comparing the old and the new listing photos really is something.  For example, just a quick glance led to this find of bunus kawlums not available in the current listing!  So it definitely pays to check selling history when looking at a property listing.  That’s when you notice how many things in this house haven’t been updated and then wonder how the seller can justify more than doubling the price on this flip.  We can see just how successful that gambit was.

Now sit back and listen to some really annoying light jazz while you enjoy the virtual tour.

Comments (2) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:02 am