March 18, 2012

Handy Local Dump Site actually had a house under it

San Jose: Crews use huge trucks to clear junk from hoarder home

By Mark Gomez, San Jose Mercury News
Posted:   03/15/2012 06:24:40 AM PDT, Updated:   03/15/2012 08:03:03 AM PDT

120317-claremont-cleanupCrews were in their second day at a San Jose home removing mountains of debris so massive that workers used two hauling trucks, each capable of carrying 72,380 pounds of material, to get the job done.

As of Wednesday morning, they still hadn’t made their way into the backyard.

The extreme makeover at 226 S. Claremont Ave. began Tuesday after a vote last month by the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors to declare the residence a public nuisance. The piles of junk, garbage and other items, including worn out bicycles, car tires and animal cages, had become so vast that it was visible from satellite photos.

The cleanup, which is expected to take about five days, ends a years-long struggle for neighbors who live in the otherwise well-kept neighborhood located off Alum Rock Avenue.

120317-claremont-pilesThanks very much to Burbed reader Tracy Tea House, who had sent in an earlier story about the residents complaining about the massive piles of garbage at this house.  Looks like once this story hit both what’s left of a newspaper as well as on KGO-7 television news, the County finally took action.

Neighbors have been trying to have the grounds cleaned up since 2005.  Cleanup orders and fines were ignored by Richard Baker, the 58 year old son of the registered homeowners.  People fortunate enough to live near this local attraction suggested that Richard might be a few hundred square feet short of a McMansion.

120317-claremont-satelliteRobert and Bessie Baker, Richard Baker’s parents, have both been deceased for ten years, so management of the house was transferred to the Office of the Public Guardian.  This agency will be responsible for inventorying whatever is in the house, as opposed to the mountains of garbage outside mostly headed for the landfill.  Anything of value inside or out would be saved for the Bakers’ estate, over and above this valuable residence.  In addition to Richard, the Bakers also have a daughter living in Santa Cruz who was only located recently.

Richard had been living in the house while collecting treasures, but not recently.  He did show up at the County hearing to object to the the home’s being declared a public nuisance, although the neither the Murk nor KGO-7 reported on what his reasons were.  He attempted to postpone the hearing because he had been in the hospital, but was unsuccessful. We’d guess the County’s embarrassment over things getting to this point trumped a hospital stay.  Remember all those fines Richard blew off?  Guess they did.

Okay, enough rewording the newspaper and TV articles.  Let’s have a look at this house.


Better have a good look at the driveway, too.


120317-claremont-richardbakerWow, the Streetviews actually look worse than the satellite view.  And someone updated this record recently even though the house wasn’t for sale.

So here’s a way Richard (right) and his sister (who had the sense not to show up when cameras were rolling) could save even more money.  We know the County’s going to stick them with that clean-up bill, so every little bit is going to help!


Thanks for the advice, Trulia!  Anyway, do you have a neighbor building a fortification on the front lawn like this?  Tell us about it in today’s Weekend Open Thread!

Comments (23) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:08 am

March 14, 2012

UPDATED: Gourgeous East SJ home could possibly be used as an arena

Today’s prestigious property was sent in by Burbed reader Tracy.  You know that saying about shutting the barn door after the horses run away?  These barn doors are wide open, and the barnyard is large.  Deep, too.  Come to Peacock Canyon, and breathe in the fresh air.

UPDATE at end of article.

16235 ALUM ROCK Ave
San Jose, CA 95127


SQ. FT.: 1,400
$/SQ. FT.: $229
LOT SIZE: 2.17 Acres
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
VIEW: Mountains, Canyon
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81208053
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 11 days

Historic ALum Rock Stables is ready for a new start. 12 stall horse stable as well as level lot that could be used for a home or possibly an arena. Gourgeous views of Peacock Canyon and access to the Alum Rock Regional Park make this an ideal location for the horseman or naturist.

120313-alumrock-yellow-roomHere’s why Tracy sent this listing in for some Burbed loving.

I have fantasized about this place, many times when it has been on the market. It looks to be located midway down a landslide, but that might just be me. The view is amazing, and the price seems right, but it is a crap shack, so qualifies for the burbed treatment.

120313-alumrock-greenIt certainly does!  This place sold for an eye-popping $1.2 million in 2006, which means it’s worth almost two million now.  What a deal the bank is offering. 

And go over to the Redfin listing to check out the pictures, because this is another one of those homes for visually organized people where every room is painted a different very bright primary color.  Maybe the FBs were running a daycare along with the horse business.


Given how old the structures are, these are in surprising good shape!  They were built in the 19th Century, yet modernization was allowed to happen.  Look, they even installed indoor plumbing!

Now if you really want some cognitive dissonance with your morning coffee, check out Zillow’s price history:


120313-alumrock-stableYou let those horses out of the barn, and the barn is now worth less than it was 21 years ago.  Then again, Zillow has a completely different set of pictures for the property, so that could explain the discrepancy.  Also a different address.  Maybe these are competing Alum Rock Stables properties.

Well, one address or the other is an ideal location for the horseman or naturist.  I just wonder if the Realtard who wrote this copy knows what a naturist is.

Update 12:15 pm: The Redfin link above is now bouncing to 11125 Canon Vista Ave, with 2006 information. And different pictures since that’s a previous listing. It also says that property is pending as of today.  Head over to Trulia to see the above pictures and copy, while you can.

Comments (16) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:02 am

March 8, 2012

Newer 62 year old home in East San Jose

Today’s Adventure in Realtard Listing Copy is courtesy of Burbed reader Tracy.  Thanks very much for separating the wheat from the chaff, and sending us the chaff!

2430 RUBY Ave
San Jose, CA  95148


SQ. FT.: 1,420
$/SQ. FT.: $408
LOT SIZE: 0.57 Acres
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Contemporary
VIEW: Neighborhood
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81205841
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 21 days

* * * Regular Sale * * * Newer home with 3 bedrooms 2 bathrooms in a 24,829 sqft land. It has Pergo floors throughout, recessed lighting, ceiling fan, double Pane windows. Inside laundry room in the kitchen area. Kitchen has granite counter top and newer cabinetry. Low maintenance backyard with large patio and large storage room. Close to Eastridge Mall, restaurants and easy access to frwy 680/101.

120307-ruby-facadeHere’s why Tracy thought you’d be interested in today’s featured house:

HUuh??? Built 1950 “newer home”  708 sf with 3/2 and the most ginormous lot.. I am confused. I like the “Low maintenance backyard” and the storage shed might be bigger than the house.


120307-ruby-arrowsThe house is 708 sf, but the agent reports it as 1420?  Maybe the garage and that storage shed were added into the sqft land.  And do you see what’s there on the front porch?  I think it’s time to break out the Burbed Red Arrows, because we’re looking at some MAWBUL KAWLUM ACTION.

Also have to wonder about this Realtard leading with the kitchen cabinets instead of the awesomeness of these profound pillars.


Fortunately, there’s plenty of greenery in the back yard, so don’t worry about the seller neglecting the landscaping.

In fact, there’s so much treasure to hunt for, both on the property and in the surrounding neighborhood, that both you and your kids will enjoy being told to play outside in the Low maintenance backyard!  That is, if you and your kids are intrigued by vintage automotive finds.


Otherwise, at least you’re Close to Eastridge Mall.

Comments (17) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:01 am

January 3, 2012

Please wait…

2898 Bouveron Ct
San Jose, CA 95148



The science fiction that you only dreamed about is here. Text now randomly pops up when you visit properties.

I bet this house says “Please wait while 19051 other buyers are touring, bitch!” when you step up to it. What else could it possibly say?

But, as they say – true love is always worth the wait…

Comments (8) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:46 am

January 2, 2012

A house that Osama Bin Laden might approve of

14165 JERILYN Dr
San Jose, CA 95127



A nice wall defending against the street. A gate. A driveway cover.

If Osama Bin Laden were alive and living in San Jose, this is a place that he might appreciate.

Which is exactly why the Realtor used (I’m guessing) a Google Street View image of the house. To simulate what you might see from a drone! Can’t get more realistic than this!

Incidentally, here’s the full picture:


What exactly is that thing next to the walkway to the house?

Comments (10) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:34 am

November 17, 2011

Excellent Starter Home waiting for a sale to finish

Did you like yesterday’s cute little house at an affordable price?  Then you’re going to love today’s find from Burbed reader nomadic, from that same thread on Redfin forums.  Today’s house costs 80% less, yet is 25% bigger!  Best of all, this place is much, much closer to Silicon Valley, yet offers all the same advantages of living in a big city.

181 N 34TH St, San Jose, CA 95116


SQ. FT.: 572
$/SQ. FT.: $385
LOT SIZE: 3,600 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81141730
STATUS: Pending With Release
ON REDFIN: 33 days

Excellent Starter Home 2 Bedroom and 1 Bath home.

Here’s what nomadic has to say about the property:

Here’s a funny listing someone on the Redfin forum linked to:

Homeowner? check
Luxury German auto? check
Up next, trophy wife!
Chicks dig guys who own a home right?  (Please don’t notice this is a short sale!)

I didn’t notice it was a short sale because I was too busy wondering just how many drinks the surveyor had when platting out this neighborhood:


I wonder if he was working in an office where his colleagues enjoyed playing practical jokes, like the old “substitute tissue paper for drafting paper” trick.  Unfortunately, Mr. Five Martini Surveyor was too looped to notice and nobody had the heart to tell him he had to do it over.

Also, did you notice this house is Pending with release?  Do you know what Pending with release means?  It means this:

This listing is in escrow and all contingencies have been fulfilled. “With Release” means that there’s a release clause with the offer stating that the buyer is trying to sell his current home before closing. A release clause lets the seller back out of the deal if the buyers can’t sell their home within a set time frame.

So my question to you is what the hell kind of house is someone hoping to sell in order to buy this one?

Comments (15) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:03 am

November 11, 2011

Best offer will be considered

Today’s featured house and accompanying guest commentary is brought to you by Burbed reader AstroWallaby, profiling the always adventurous area of Alum Rock, San Jose!  This is a genuine go-to geographical golden goose for great Burbed goodness.

Want to see your name in lights (okay, in bold) like this?  Send in your listing wins, with (or without) your added valuable observations.  Operators are standing by!

And now, please give AstroWallaby a big, warm Real Bay Area welcome!

134 N WHITE Rd, San Jose, CA 95127


SQ. FT.: 999
$/SQ. FT.: $549
LOT SIZE: 6,500 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
VIEW: Neighborhood
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81129919
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 126 days

Large Lot with workshop in the back. Tile counters in Kitchen, Pergo Flooring. Fireplace in living room. Side yard access rear. Spacious Detached garage building. ~2,000 sq ft Side lawn, Fenced and Separate from the front house. Best offer will be considered.

Speaking of dreck, here’s another "optimistic" entry from East San Jose that might be worth a laugh, if you haven’t seen it yet.


The listing at least avoids ALL CAPS, although isn’t saying " Best offer will be considered" sort of redundant when selling a house? Clearly the realtor was impressed by the interior, judging by the two magnificent Quickcam-resolution interior shots they’ve included. It’s sort of disappointing that you can’t actually tell what it trying to escape from that cabinet drawer in the kitchen, but whatever it is I hope it succeeds. As for the imagefireplace… I’m not sure a provocative fandance really works to increase the sex appeal of inanimate objects but I’ll give it bonus points for trying.

The shot of the empty (down to the bare dirt) backyard is interesting. It *could* be an avant-garde artistic use of negative space, but I suspect it’s more likely a counterpoint to the satellite photo which shows no fewer than nine vehicles haphazardly arranged around the property. Nothing like the Pride of Ownership which comes along with owning your own former dirt parking lot. You might even qualify for Superfund money to pay for your landscaping!


And the suggested retail price for this V-J Day-vintage 999 square foot slice of heaven/White Road? A mere $548,000. Sure, it’s a good $200k higher than any reasonable comparable but that’s a small price to pay for a fireplace with a spot-on Sally Rand impersonation.

Comments (8) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:06 am

November 5, 2011

Using Zillow for Advertising: Buy These Houses for a Buck Each

Today’s finds are from Burbed reader Tracy, featuring the double delights of craptacular East San Jose properties with aggressive out-of-the-box marketing, and that’s just for starters!


Somewhere on Clayton Road, San Jose 95127


For Sale:$1


Mortgage: $0/mo
Beds: 2
Baths: 1
Sqft: 1,152
Lot: —
Type: Single Family
Year built: 1949
Parking: —
Cooling: —
Heating: —
Fireplace: —
On Zillow: 34 days
County: Santa Clara
Covered parking spaces: 2
Legal description: —
Parcel #: —
Per floor sqft: 1,152
Zillow Home ID: 2124087924


Here’s what Tracy had to say about this and some other similarly placed houses by this agent.

imageYesterday I discovered a Zillow mystery. An Agent Ann Thai who advertises “ foreclosures to come”  by listing the houses with no address, or no price. See “clayton rd, SJ CA  # 95127 .”  I found numerous postings by this realtor, all with the same MO. Not sure if it’s a scam, but something about it seems like a manipulation of the MLS system/ Zillow. 

Let me know what you think if you have a chance. Is it wrong?  I am wondering if I should call, but I have called these forclosuretors before and it was nothing but slime.

What do you think, readers?  Is this nothing but slime?  Couldn’t there be some sleaze and scum in the frothy mix as well? Tracy sent this in two weeks ago, so clearly this realtard has a looser definition of “soon” than most of us do.  Kind of like “mañana” but without the sense of urgency.

Here are two more properties listed in the same way, but with addresses so you can check them out a little more.  First we have a high-res, high visibility property in not-Campbell with a “potting shed.” The quotation marks say it all: something was spinning in there.

176 N Bascom Ave, San Jose 95128


and this one that has a watermark in the tanbark, along with “Landscaping, carpet, paint, linoleum, fixtures, lights, heater&more!”  So many extras!

1258 Ortiz Ct, Sunnyvale 94089


Each of these homes in turn link to Redfin pages saying “Foreclosed Home: Not for Sale” as you can verify yourself for both the Bascom Ave and Ortiz Ct properties.  You can also get the full text on the Zillow links on each address, and most of it is an assurance that there are 50 MORE FORECLOSURE LISTINGS THAT WILL BE GOING ON THE MARKET/MLS SOON.

Also let us know how you do making a full asking price offer of a dollar on any of these winners!  You could be featuring an even faster flip than the pros in Redwood City can manage, and we promise to give it plenty of Burbed love.

Comments (7) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:06 am

October 18, 2011

Quite private road

Many thanks to Burbed reader Tracy for today’s especially excellent East San Jose estate!


4045 Hidden Valley Ln, San Jose, CA 95127
Listed for $450,000; Delisted and PENDING


Source: Public Records
BATHS: 5.0
LOT SIZE: 18,295
STYLE: Single Family Residential
COUNTY: Santa Clara County
APN: 61222093
LAST UPDATED: October 12, 2011

imageHere’s why Tracy sent us this listing that “needs work” with the “killer views,” but no mention of the “street noise.”

Another in my series of East Valley houses with horrible photography, misspellings, weird pricing/ price history, crappy condition and generally creepy weird listings. Good for Halloween! Also, this one features instant equity. I keep staring at the out of focus picture number one, trying to imagine what it is like in person.

As you can see, Redfin removed all the listing information and photos, no doubt at the request of the listing agent.  The house was delisted on September 28th and went pending on October 5th.  Fortunately, there are plenty of other online sources for MLS that aren’t quite so efficient!  Here’s “picture number one” right below:


Here’s the descriptive text from BayAreaForSale:

Many possibilities for expansion or additional remodeling. Fantastic panorama view of city. One of a kind. To see it is to buy it! Remodeled home.. Five bathrooms with a shower in each one. 18,000+ sq lot. Many possibilities for expansion or additional remodeling. Note the terrace patio with the dynamic view. Huge family room on lower level. This home is located at the end of a quite private road.

So here are the listing photos, since they may well be thrown in the MLS memory hole any minute now.



imageWait, wait, wait, what’s that in picture #5 above?  Does that extra stuff in the lower left look like a pointing finger with hand and a raised knee?

I do believe this house has just earned itself a DHO Number (Dudes Hanging Out) of 1!  And if that isn’t a hand and a knee, then what the heck is that in an otherwise empty room?

Also, there are no pictures of any of the bathrooms, either the 5.0 Redfin mentions or the 1+ on BayAreaForSale.

Tracy mentioned the weird price history, so here it is, direct from Zillow.  Redfin has more listing dates, but no prices to go with them.  Instant equity galore!


Here’s another extra “bunus” with this property!  You get a piece of the neighbor’s house as well.  Too bad the city thinks it owns half of yours.


Have a better look at this place, courtesy of Google Streetview, while you make plans to beat the crap out of enthusiastically convince the lucky purchaser to let you have this deal!


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

October 10, 2011

One of the best homes on the block!

Thanks very much to Burbed reader AstroWallaby for this amazing listing in East San Jose.  Not only does it have lots of yummy features for your approval, this is probably the first listing I’ve seen on Redfin with a typo in the address.


3167 andora Dr, San Jose, CA 95148


SQ. FT.: 1,564
$/SQ. FT.: $457
PROPERTY TYPE: Residential, Detached, Single Family
STYLE: Ranch
COMMUNITY: Santa Clara
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 21122622
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 40 days

One of the best homes on the block! Shows pride of ownership throughout, meticulously maintained. Almost everything updated and upgraded. Custom Paint throughout w/ neutral colors, raised panel doors including closets, beautiful lamiate and marble floors, updated dual pane windows, custom sink, granite shower in master bath, beautiful custom tile vanity, new appliances in kitchen, marble counters, gourmet oak cabinets. Too much to list. A must see

Here’s why AstroWallaby brought this home to our attention in comments:

imageDescription… could be worse, although I have to wonder about “blood red” being described as a “neutral color” and there’s something about the pictures of the bathroom which cracks me up. (I think I’m picturing that white curtain opening up and revealing a packed studio audience while someone’s squatting on the pot, forcing them to immediately launch into a scatological improv routine.) On the plus side the kitchen comes with yummy “gourmet oak cabinets”. Can you eat just one?

(Perhaps their addictive cheesy crunch will drown out the sound of gunfire from White Road.)

Mostly what makes it “Burbed”-ish is the price. $715k, when even Zillow thinks the max it’s worth is $462k. (Or to put it another way, $457 a square foot in a neighborhood where the sold average is in the $300 ballpark.) Those had better darn well be *delicious* cabinets.

imageI want to know if either the kitchen or the bathroom has a lamiate and marble floor, myself.

And not only is this house conveniently located near all the action on South White Road, it’s also just a hop, skip and a jump next to two other terrific features of East San Jose.

No, not the liquor stores.  But it isn’t that far away from Lake Cunningham and Raging Waters, and it’s also close enough to Reid-Hilllview Airport that I’m curious why the upgrades stopped with only dual pane windows.


AstroWallaby was right on to call the place a teensy bit overpriced for the neighborhood.  The current Zestimate is $385,100, which means there are already several houses in just this little slice at left coming in higher, including the place two doors down with the $508K tag (maybe because it sold for $650K in 2005).

imagePerhaps it lists for so much more because, despite its location, location, location in East San Jose, the agent is purporting that it’s actually in Santa Clara.

Yeah, that would account for at least $250K of the price.  You’d get far more respect from your colleagues if you lived over there.  Then again, imagine how much more this place would list for if the realtard had taken the trouble to look up how big the lot actually is.  (6018 square feet.  Which is a lot better than, um, nothing.)

Now if only they could get that street name capitalized, the seller could probably mark it up another $50K.  I know a great place where they could pick up a few extra easy As.

Comments (7) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:02 am