September 22, 2011

So much space for so little money

Here’s another East San Jose treasure thanks to Burbed reader Tracy!  Sure it’s an overpriced crapbox waiting to pull anyone who grabs it deep underwater.  Yes, there’s some amusing mistakes in the listing copy.  But it’s so much more than that!


10759 HUBBARD Way, San Jose, CA 95127


SQ. FT.: 1,786
$/SQ. FT.: $223
LOT SIZE: 10,450 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Traditional
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81138824
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 6 days

Fantastic opportuniy to make this house your dream home! Private balcony off master bedroom. HUGE bonus room opens to the ovesized deck with views of San Jose – great for entertaining. The sloped lot is tiered and waiting for your choice of landscaping! Mature trees provide a sense of privacy, yet your just minutes away from Shopping, dining, schools & freeways. So much space for so little money.

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

I enjoyed the POV of the agent, focused on the bottom ¾ of the house. Also the great artistic Cypress tree shot. The wood floors do look amazing…The rest, not so much!

Whoa, does this agent have a sixty pound lens on that camera or something?  This is indeed a very bottom-heavy view of a property.

Let’s have a look at some more of the pictures.  Sometimes taking a new perspective brings out the hidden qualities of a place.

imageimageimage image

imageThis agent is a clearly misunderstood artist, the inverse of Edgar Martins.  None of these images was manipulated, because none of them needed to be.  They made their statement without any extra help.

And that statement is: If you want to buy this house, then watch your step carefully.  Very, very carefully.

Comments (10) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:04 am

September 17, 2011

Cash Licks Loans in Low-End Bay Area Housing Market

Looking for a house because you figure the market’s finally hit bottom?  Hope you have suitcases full of cash, because if you don’t, there are other people hefting full TravelPros!  And we aren’t talking about foreigners, either.

Home buyers find themselves aced out by investors

By Eve Mitchell, Contra Costa Times
Posted: 09/10/2011 03:00:00 PM PDT, Updated: 09/11/2011 04:33:48 AM PDT


As husband Mark looks on, Kathryn Bressem gives son Lyndon, 5, a push on the swing in the backyard of their home in Hercules, Calif., Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2011. Competing with all-cash investment buyers, the Bressems had been frustrated in their home-buying efforts before purchasing this house. (Kristopher Skinner/Staff)

After getting the good news on a Friday night that their offer topped all the others on a foreclosure in Vacaville they wanted as their retirement home, Jack and Donna Pfister spent the weekend packing.

But the following Tuesday they were told the bank had decided to go with an all-cash buyer, whose offer was $25,000 less than the $475,000 offer from the Pfisters.

“My husband was heartbroken,” said Donna Pfister, of Rodeo. “I was heartbroken because he was heartbroken. … Right now, we both feel kind of let down.”

The Pfisters are far from alone. In the Bay Area, about one-fifth of all homes sold in July were purchased by absentee buyers, mostly investors looking for rentals or properties to fix up and then sell, according to DataQuick, a real-estate reporting service. About six out of 10 absentee buyer transactions (which can also involve second-home purchase) were all-cash purchases. In July 2010, absentee buyers accounted for 17.4 percent of home sales, and the average for all months since 2000 is 13.8 percent.

Supposedly these people living in East Contra Costa County are losing out on houses to… investors from Silicon Valley!  They’re also snapping out homes in East San Jose.  Some investors are buying the homes as rentals, and others fix the properties up and flip them.  It’s also difficult to get a loan on a property needing extensive repairs, which is why so many flippers are bottom-feeding now.

So, would-be Silicon Valley investors: why go all the way to Brentwood, Antioch, or even Hercules to look for homes?  There are plenty of crapboxes in Redwood City and San Jose to choose from.  Plus that’s one less thwarted family complaining in what’s left of the newspaper that they didn’t get their dream home.  As in they must be dreaming if they think buying now is a good idea.

This is an Open Thread.

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

July 28, 2011


Thanks to Burbed reader and occasional Guest Editor sonarrat for today’s featured home.

2250 STORY Rd, San Jose, CA 95122


SQ. FT.: 1,228
$/SQ. FT.: $265
LOT SIZE: 5,500 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Contemporary
VIEW: Neighborhood
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81127940
STATUS: Pending Without Release
ON REDFIN: 18 days


imageHere’s what sonarrat said about why this listing was sent in for your enjoyment:

Instant Entry into Real Estate Copy Hall of Fame

Wow, this place even has 2/3 of the Pergraniteel Hat Trick.  Sorry, no “stainless steal” appliances, but you can’t have everything at these prices, not to mention this location, location, location!  What could be better for a BUSINESS POORTUNITY than Story near King?  I mean, it already has an overflow parking lot!


imageIs it my imagination of is this ceiling not exactly level?

And it never occurred to me to use Pergo in the living room. The warm wood-like structure really brings out the natural-like fiber structure in the furniture.

Now let’s take a look at those UPGRADE, like the kitchen cabinets.

imageHey! Somebody stole some stainless after all, as well as the refrigerator!

What’s with the blue-green metallic dishwasher?  Maybe that was a close-out on somebody’s dream house who ran out of cash equity to borrow against. Then the dishwasher found its way here because it’s such a high-class appliance, who cares if it doesn’t match the cabinets or the range or the missing fridge? That’s a BUSINESS POORTUNITY.

Now I am really wondering what color the refrigerator was.  At this rate I expect it was candy-apple red metalflake.

imageThis yard picture is so perfect in so many ways. How do I count thee, mismatched patio sections, trellis suggestive of incarceration, and those trash cans in the back yard instead of hidden along the side.

Think of how convenient it is to have the trash receptacles right on the patio for your next outdoor fete!  None of your guests will be holding empty hors d’oeuvres plates for hours while making small talk through tight smiles.

And holy moley, couldn’t the agent bother to put the hose away for this photo?

imageFinally, here’s the location, location, location for your BUSINESS POORTUNITY!  And the homeloaner must have a sixth sense for these poortunities, because that living room Pergo is in the converted garage as well as one of the bedrooms, too!  The stuff might have fallen off a truck, or else it was a huge spaving (spend lots to save more)!

One last note: This home isn’t in move-in condition.  It is, instead, READY FOR MOVE IN CONDITION.  Any suggestions what extra steps must be taken by the sucker lucky buyer who has this place pending?


Comments (21) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:13 am

July 23, 2011

The Sad Sad Story of Kenny Lane: A Special Report

Kenny Lane isn’t a person, or even a Beatles song.  Kenny Lane is a street in San Jose, and there’s a house on it that’s the subject of today’s fascinating Guest Post.

Please give a big RBA welcome to today’s Guest Blogger, Tracy!  This is quite a tragic tale, and many of these bank bastardry details cover why Burbed will never run out of horrible housing to highlight.

Why I see so much stuff in the East Valley, or The Sad Sad Story of Kenny Lane

When the owner of this house died, she was in debt. A wonderful woman by all accounts, at about age 87 she took a second on her home, which she owed a sizable chunk on the first. Well we don’t stay here forever, and in 2009 her daughters found themselves in the sad position of inheriting a debt. They decided to walk away, let the banks foreclose and cut their exposure. Because they are super nice people, they used a neighbor as their realtor.

10183 KENNY Ln, San Jose, CA 95127


SQ. FT.: 1,880
$/SQ. FT.: $213
LOT SIZE: 1 Acre
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
VIEW: Bay, Green Belt, Mountains, City Lights
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81131176
STATUS: Pending Without Release
ON REDFIN: 7 days


42011 misc pictures 1259The house has some good features. Even though suffering from years of neglect ( the second did not go to home repairs …) and being located on a steep hill, it has the grooviness factor my husband and I were looking for. I loved the location as well. It was on the market for the price of the debts which was waay too high. We got into contract for it, and agreed that we would adjust to the level the house appraised at. We did due diligence, secured financing etc., and finally agreed to pay $580,000 for the house.

Banks were fighting over 10,000 dollars

42011 misc pictures 1238Bank #1 did not want Bank #2 to have $20,000 on #2’s $75K debt; Bank #1 wanted all monies. So we finally made a side deal to directly pay Bank #2. Unfortunately this kicked up a HUD2, and after all money was paid, escrow papers etc. done all parties assuming the deed was done on a Friday afternoon. When I checked to see if all was closed on Monday, I got the bad news that Bank #1 refused to sell because of the money to Bank #2, and after 6 months of work, we lost the house!

Foreclosure started and we were not informed of the auction date, the bank only had a short notice, and we only found out from the heirs the day before. I was unable to get a $500,000 cashier’s check on short notice and no one bid on the house, it was returned to the bank for the opening bid of $504,000.

42011 misc pictures 1248Now it is on the market again for $400,000, which is one of the reasons I started following Burbed; the absolute craziness of the banks and the real estate world. Where does it make sense to turn down $180,000 more? Only when bank number one is evil Occwen… AKA Countrywide.

The pictures on the house defiantly qualify as the world is tilting worthy. I have many better pictures of the problems of the house which I attach. The house is on a steep hill with no retaining wall, and no working septic system. It does have a million dollar view, and is open on Saturday July 23rd. [That’s today – ed., also tomorrow and next weekend.]

I don’t think I’ll go.

42011 misc pictures 123442011 misc pictures 123642011 misc pictures 123742011 misc pictures 124142011 misc pictures 124442011 misc pictures 124742011 misc pictures 125642011 misc pictures 1257

Comments (27) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:14 am

July 18, 2011

Over $150K Spent, Custom Work Done by Owner MustSEE

Thanks to Burbed reader Tracy for yet another fantastic listing.  This is one of those extra-special surprises, where somebody gives you a beautifully wrapped box.  Then, when you open it up, the gift inside is even better.  So first, here’s the presentation, where Tracy sent in this listing on Trulia:


Wait, didn’t Tracy already send us a house where the whole world was tilting?  Looks like it happened again. And check out the rest of the photos!






You know, if they hadn’t included the first and last ones, I would have asked where they even found a camera with 60 x 36 resolution!

Anyway, I did a drive-by on Redfin to see if the pictures were just as bad inspired over there, and we hit the jackpot!  Check out much, much more after the break!


Comments (9) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:15 am

July 8, 2011

Buy Now, Build Later and be glad you did!

Here’s another great find from Burbed reader Tracy, who seems to have a knack for locating some truly amazing listings.  That is, if by “amazing” I actually meant “what the hell were they thinking?”

13275 MOUNT HAMILTON Rd, San Jose, CA 95140


SQ. FT.: 1,001
$/SQ. FT.: $949
LOT SIZE: 64.85 Acres
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
VIEW: Mountains, Canyon, Valley, City Lights
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81122273
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 23 days

* * AMAZING OPPORTUNITY * * 64+ ACRES ON MAGNIFICENT HILLTOP SETTING * * Priced at $5,000,000 in 2009. NOW CORPORATE OWNED AT $949,900. NOT A SHORT SALE-WE CAN CLOSE ANYTIME. PROPERTY MUST BE SOLD!! Adorable Gated Home w/ Large Deck w/ Gorgeous 180 Views overlooking Barn and Pasture. THIS IS A DREAM OPPORTUNITY. Large Brick BBQ Area, Coop, Barn & Outbuildings. Buy now, build later and be glad you did!

imageHere’s what Tracy had to say about today’s amazing featured property:

Is it me or is the world tipping? I have driven by this house and it is adorable, from the outside. Maybe it’s the shadow on the photo but the whole world now seems to be going downhill. I also like the write-up, that because it is now “corporate owned” the property is discounted from 5,000,000.00 now into the 900s! 64 acres come with it to mow!!!

64 acres to mow, yet no front lawn.  Truly a puzzlement.  And you never know just what you’re going to find when you have that big an estate to oversee.  It’s like having an Easter Egg hunt every day, only with mystery structures instead of brightly colored plastic.





imageAnd we’ve made enough fun of crapboxes that put on pig lipstick with their granite, stainless and Pergo.  None of that nonsense to be found here!

This is a century-old house that isn’t pretending it’s anything else, and it’s smaller overall than some living rooms featured on this very site.  Heck, it’s smaller than some bathrooms we’ve seen.



Speaking of surprises for Easter, buying this place could bring another round of exciting discoveries besides the outbuildings.  Find out how much fun it is to deal with the San Jose Planning Department if you ever want to build anything else here!

Now you know why they said build later: because you sure won’t be glad if you build now.

This place has been listed 7 different times since 2007.  Will you be the one to break the spell and crack open that instant equity?

Update: Price Reduced $150K, plus a visit from a Redfin agent!  He thinks the place “needs work.”  Now what will it take for you to buy this home today?

Comments (27) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:04 am

June 21, 2011

Cheapest house in Santa Clara County


Beds: 2
Baths: 1
Sq. Ft.: 872
$/Sq. Ft.: $172
Lot Size: 10,240 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Style: Ranch
Stories: 1
Year Built: 1948
Community: Alum Rock
County: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81045651
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active

On Redfin: 262 days
2 bedroom, 1 bath, across from school. OPEN HOUSE Sunday 6/5/11 2:00-4:00PM.

This is the cheapest house in Santa Clara county north of Morgan Hill. Wow, just look at the size of that lot! This is huge huge huge!

If this isn’t the perfect investment property, I’m not sure what is. Plus, just look at the instant equity waiting for you to tap:


What’s stopping you from buying this house? I bet most of you could buy this with your credit card!

Comments (13) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:50 am

May 18, 2011

A Must See with Great Potential

Here’s another, um, property find from Burbed reader Tracy.  Tracy’s wasted day checking this out is Burbed winning!  The value isn’t in the land, because there’s three whole acres of it for not a lot of money, and it certainly isn’t in the house, either.

14750 CLAYTON RD, San Jose, CA 95127


SQ. FT.: 1,232
$/SQ. FT.: $396
LOT SIZE: 3.15 Acres
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
VIEW: Bay, Mountains, Neighborhood, Valley, City Lights
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81119401
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 11 days

BANK OWNED _ Located on a 3 acres lot of the EAST VALLEY hillside, with magnificent view of the whole Santa Clara Valley and only 3 miles up Mt. Hamilton road, this contractor dream house was expanded with unfinished works – There are one bedroom guest house and a storage building on the property lot. A must see with great potential.

imageI think they mean a must see with great potential energy, as in think about what would happen if the whole thing were shoved down the hill.

So why did they call it a “contractor dream house”? Because this is a project that could take years to finish! Imagine the cost overruns that led to this place being owned by the bank in the first place.

And what did they mean by “expanded with unfinished works”?  That sounds like a composer’s oeuvre, not a contractor’s dream house.  I think whoever the contractor was here must have been smoking something after reading Edwin Abbott Abbott’s Flatland.


Yeah, let’s not build any corners, it might make it too easy to get from one end of the house to the other.

Comments (20) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:17 am

May 13, 2011

Too late, Blinked and we missed it! Huge opportunity GONE

Here’s an interesting listing sent in by Burbed reader Tracy.  Unfortunately the listing was canceled last week after almost constant price reductions over an entire year.  That can only mean one thing: Rising prices are back, baby!

618 Genine Ct, San Jose, CA 95127


Bedrooms: 4
Bathrooms: 1
Sqft: 1,182
Lot size: 11,000 sq ft / 0.25 acres
Property type: Single Family
Year built: 1940
Parking type: —
Cooling system: —
Heating system: —
Fireplace: —
Last sold: November 20 2003

Priced Right For A Deal! Country Ranch-Style 4 Bedroom Home on Huge/Massive Lot in Cul-de-Sac Location-Room to EXPAND & GROW. QUIET NEIGHBORHOOD. Tremendous Value. Mostly Hardwood floors under carpets. Detached 2 car garage with extra workshop. Great backyard for entertaining, bbqs, room for expansion and huge garden. Ready for your finishing touches. Come by and feel the love. GREAT DEAL!

First, here’s what Tracy had to say about this house (before the listing was canceled):

This is a weird one with monthly "huge" price reductions, a HUGE
lot with "nice" neighbors... 

Guess we missed the love, and that’s a shame, because Redfin agent Keith Wong toured the place twice!  Here’s what Keith had to say about this house.


Keith Wong – Field Agent on Redfin’s Southern East Bay Team

"Property has potential to be converted to a bigger property. Current property out of date but with the right buyer who is looking to do a possible tare down or a complete make over, this is the lot to do it"


Possible tare down?  We better have an actual look at this place.


Wow, has that shade of green been used by an auto manufacturer since 1958?  Oh, it’s the tarp!  Never mind, then.  I figured if they threw in the car this deal might actually cash flow.

Speaking of cash, here’s the listing history from Zillow (Redfin helpfully deletes the prices when a listing is canceled, the spoilsports).  Quite a tare down:


See, that’s the kind of can-do initiative the Bay Area is famous for!  Here’s someone selling a place they picked up for only $50,000 at the beginning of the bubble and trying to convince everyone it’s actually worth an order of magnitude more, when almost everything else in that part of town is selling for 1999 prices!  And that’s why the listing got canceled.  Someone will give it a tare down, or maybe just a complete make over, and it’s going to sell for $800K.  Alum Rock’s gonna be hot, hot, hot!

Comments (4) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:14 am

March 14, 2011

You deserve a Yes in San Jose


Beds: 4
Baths: 2
Sq. Ft.: 1,182
$/Sq. Ft.: $270
Lot Size: 6,000 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Stories: 1
View: Neighborhood
Year Built: 1975
Community: Alum Rock
County: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81058715
Source: MLSListings
Status: ActiveThis listing is for sale and the sellers are accepting offers.
On Redfin: 55 days
Beautiful home! Great opportunity. Finally what you were looking for. you deserve a yes.

I’m not sure what it means to deserve a yes, but if you deserve one, then this house is for you!

Heck, you could probably even spell out Yes with those tress in the front yard!

Did you want some instant equity? Yes?


Yes! This house is below it’s 2001 price. That means this is an incredible deal.

Yes Yes Yes!

You deserve all this instant equity, so go for it today!

Comments (34) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:18 am