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

November 2, 2011

Goraeous Custom Built Home with Sodhisticated Stule and Eleaance

Thanks very much to Burbed reader Tuxxi for this find, adjacent to the “Holy crap, this place is full of armored personnel carriers with SWAT teams carrying assault rifles” neighborhood in Sunnyvale (formerly known as Birdland Neighbors).  Or is that Occupy Sunnyvale?


952 MARION Way, Sunnyvale, CA 94087


BATHS: 3.5
SQ. FT.: 3,600
$/SQ. FT.: $430
LOT SIZE: 9,424 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
VIEW: Neighborhood
COMMUNITY: Sunnyvale
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81139592
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 27 days

Gorgeous Custom Built Home * Formal Living & Dining Area, High Ceiling, Gas Fireplace * Gourmet Kitchen w. Cherry Cabinets, Granite Counters, Large Island, Family Room * Office w. French Doors * Master Suite w. Jacuzzi Tub, Double Vanity, Walk In Closet * “Jack & Jill” Bedrooms & Den Upstairs * One Bed/Bath Downstairs * Cherry Hardwood Flrs * Crown Molding * Coffer Ceilings * Milgard Windows * Beautiful Attention to Detail!

There are two reasons Tuxxi sent this in to Burbed.  First, the neighborhood.  Serf hut next door, check!


Beautiful view across the street, check!


I even attempted a drive-by to find some reported appliances on a front lawn, but didn’t have any luck with that.  I did, however, find this “Persian Palace” a block away.


And by Persian Palace, I’m not saying the owners are from Iran; the term has come to mean an overdone (for the neighborhood) new home with unrelated design elements, the more, the “better.”  While this place doesn’t have mawbul kawlums, it was the fountain and the lions that made me notice it, and I don’t mean “notice” in a good way.  This is Beverly Hills flats wanna-be in a really hinky part of Sunnyvale.  Think Rancho Rinconada, but with lousier schools.

imageIn fact, the entire neighborhood is a complete mishmash of construction projects, McMansions, crapboxes, and “pride of ownership” fifties ranchers, so in some bizarre way the above house isn’t as awful as it could be.

But back to the featured house.  Tuxxi collected the flyer and it’s the second reason this place is on the front page today.


Take a good look at the tagline for this place:


imageThat attention to detail will is what you’re paying 6% of $1.5 million for.  Meanwhile, I’m wondering, a mil and a half for SUNNYVALE?  A mil and a half for SUNNYVALE with SANTA CLARA SCHOOLS?  A mil and a half for Sunnyvale with Santa Clara schools and NO SIDEWALKS?  A mil and a half for Sunnyvale with Santa Clara schools with no sidewalks OR CURBS?

I cannot wait to meet the buyer who thinks this is a DEAL, because I plan on doing a lot of business with whoever that is.  I don’t even know what kind of business, I just know it’s going to be very profitable for one of us.

Comments (17) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:06 am

September 25, 2011

Cherry Blossom Time in Sunnyvale, Then and Now

image      Cherry Blossom Time
      Classical haiku subject
      Indicating Spring

Here’s a find from the Sunnyvale Historical Museum: an ad for an apartment complex in a book given out to Lockheed workers transferring here from Van Nuys.


No full-color pictures, just a wall of text and a little map so you can barely tell what street the rentals are on.  But wow, oh, wow: shuffleboard!  And $97.50 a month.  In 1965.  I suspect the place will rent for a tad more than that now, if it’s still standing.



This place is indeed still standing.  And you can Apply On-Line!  Just check out what you get when you throw away your rent money:

Community Amenities*
  • imageCovered Parking
  • Large Private, Enclosed Patio
  • Pool (Out Door)
  • Storage Space
  • OnSite Maintenance
  • Assigned Parking
  • 2 24hr Laundry Rooms
  • OnSite Management

What? No more shuffleboard?

The rent is now $1,399 for a 615 square foot 1 bedroom apartment (complete with hand-drawn floor plan!).


Completely different text now:

Welcome to Cherry Blossom Apartment Homes. We are conveniently located near El Camino and Wolfe Rd in Sunnyvale. Great Quiet, Neighborhood! Our One bedroom/One bath are all Single Story(no one living above you.) Quite Spacious, and Airy. We are in walking distance to public transportation, grocery stores, restaurants, Santa Clara Schools(Including Ponderosa and Braly Elementary) and (Peterson Jr. High), Sunken Gardens Golf Course, Parks and Starbucks. We accept cats with a small security deposit and have no pet rent! Also included with your rent is water and garbage! Call or Stop by for a tour, and don’t forget to ask if there is any specials. We are professionally managed by FPI, and thrive to make your home a happy one!

Wow, they give you garbage for your rent!  Worth it for the extra $1301 they’re charging for a place built before 1965.  But no shuffleboard.

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

September 19, 2011

Here’s Another Chance at those Cupertino Schools!

Today’s listing is courtesy of Burbed reader Swan, who noted that this property is right up the street from the Butte-ugly house. But it’s also literally steps away from this one we featured back in March.  The price, however, is not just steps away.  Your job is to figure out why!


1548 S BERNARDO Ave, Sunnyvale, CA 94087


SQ. FT.: 1,435
$/SQ. FT.: $554
LOT SIZE: 7,956 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
VIEW: Mountains, Neighborhood
COMMUNITY: Sunnyvale
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81135131
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 24 days

Award winning cupertino school, Hardwood floors throughout great large yard for the Family, Convient location

Ah, I’ve figured it out already.  This house only has “award winning cupertino school.”  The other house down the street was “with all three good Schools- West Valley, Cupertino Middle, Homestead High (FUHSD).”  It even ordered us to “Compare the price to other homes with all three Good schools!”  So it’s two schools better despite being on the exact same block!  That should cover eighty thou, no problem.  After all, if you don’t claim the schools, you don’t get the sale.  Don’t believe me?  Ask the owner on Butte Court how fast that place turned over since being listed 31 days ago and counting.

Meanwhile today’s tragedy is asking $80K less than the one up the street that wouldn’t shut up about schools.  Someone ought to take that pricey house down a peg and remind it that CUSD is a failing school district anyway.





These pictures re-emphasize what a crapbox we’re looking at, but at least this house seems to have included a refrigerator.  And a convient location.  To the freeway.


Comments (18) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:15 am

September 2, 2011

Staged for sale: Garage converted into a large well

Here’s a great find in a decent part of Sunnyvale, which is like the quality line of Velveeta products, or the Premium label at JC Penney.  You know it’s not that terrific, but it’s better than what the typical shopper buying that brand is going to get.


1090 BUTTE Ct, Sunnyvale, CA 94087


SQ. FT.: 1,380
$/SQ. FT.: $654
LOT SIZE: 7,752 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Ranch
VIEW: Neighborhood
COMMUNITY: Sunnyvale
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81134393
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 23 days

Staged for sale. Court location, just off of 85 freeway. Fresh interior paint. New flooring and crown molding accent. Great year around patio room, makes for great office. Garage converted into a large well finished multi-purpose room and separate laundry. Updated kitchen. Detached workshop taken as is. Large landscaped yard.

imageMaybe this listing needs to be translated from Realtardese back to English.

Staged for saleAs opposed to staged for impressing the neighbors

Court locationSee you in bankruptcy court

just off of 85 freewayThis is completely 100% true!  If the house were any closer you could use that solar-powered call box!


Fresh interior paintTo cover up all the blood, phlegm and tobacco stains on the walls

New flooringAbove dripped onto the old flooring

and crown molding accentOwners need dental work AND elocution lessons

imageGreat year around patio room1957 was the bee’s knees!

makes for great officeSince every year after then was a pretty ordinary one

Garage converted into a large wellIt was pretty easy, we didn’t repair the roof and let the water collect

finished multi-purpose roomYou can eat AND watch TV!

and separate laundryGet to work! Darks here, lights here, bright colors in this basket.  Don’t put your clothes drying rack in the garage, we converted it into a well.

imageUpdated kitchenPremium Formica with Naugahyde stools in harvest gold and avocado green!

Detached workshop taken as isLeaving you with none of it

Largecompared to lots in South Palo Alto

landscaped yardWe didn’t rip the lawn out yet.

Oh, oh.  You know what they didn’t say?  There’s no mention of those amazing CUPERTINO SCHOOLS.  Gasp!  Is this seller not aware that this house has CUPERTINO SCHOOLS?  And the Realtard didn’t mention it either?  Maybe none of them know!  Hurry!  Buy this house before they figure it out and mark the price up to $1,088,888!

Comments (16) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:08 am

August 26, 2011


Here’s a find from Burbed reader nomadic, who wants to know how this house managed to sell.  That’s easy, nomadic!  It’s in the best zip code in Sunnyvale, and that’s really saying something.  It’s just like owning the best model Chevrolet builds.


1109 ROBIN Way, Sunnyvale, CA 94087
Listed for $729,000 after 3 reductions, Sold for $692,000


SQ. FT.: 1,860
$/SQ. FT.: $372
LOT SIZE: 8,800 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Traditional
VIEW: Neighborhood
COMMUNITY: Sunnyvale
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81118566

Impressive 4 Bedroom 2 Bath with a Large country kitchen that has been remodeled with Beautiful corean counters, Stainless steel Appliances and Gorgeous cabinets. Large spacious Bedrooms, Beautiful built in heated pool with a lovely covered patio. AWARD WINNING SCHOOLS CHERRY CHASE ELEM, SUNNYSIDE MIDDLE, HOMESTEAD HIGH.

What school district a house is in matters to most purchasers.  If it didn’t matter, this agent wouldn’t have put the schools in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS like THIS.  Then again, if schools were that important to making a sale, you would think the agent would GET THE NAME OF THE MIDDLE SCHOOL RIGHT.

There are two middle schools in the Sunnyvale school district: Columbia and Sunnyvale.  This house is Special, though.  It has Super Secret Extra Bunus middle school: SUNNYSIDE!  Or the Realtard can’t be bothered to learn school names, which are THE MOST IMPORTANT THING BUYERS WANT TO KNOW ABOUT THE PROPERTY.  Sunnyvale, Sunnyside, what’s the difference?


Not much difference at all!  So let’s move on to the house itself.  Fortunately Team Redfin has been working together and sharing everything to find us our perfect home!


Whoa, major wear and tare?  Does that mean a noxious Biblical weed infestation or that we have to subtract the weight of the shipping containers the house came in?

Okay, enough sniping at silly spelling mistakes.  Some people are made to be copy editors, some create first-person shooter games, and some have a talent for selling houses worth over half a million dollars by making charming mistakes throughout the reams of paperwork.  The agent did make the effort to take several shots throughout the property.  So let’s admire all the photos of this house.


And I won’t even shrink them down, they are at their full 90×120 resolution!  But here’s something that did shrink, and quickly:


Should I praise this Realtard for making some seriously deep price cuts when the house didn’t sell quickly, or bury him for starting so high in the first place? 

Comments (25) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:01 am

August 6, 2011

Take on the world. Then come home to your tandem garage.

Anyone check out Fusion Sunnyvale?  Burbed reader Petsmart Groomer found some of the marketing copy a little over the top:


Your life is a frenzy of color, flashing lights and movement. Facebook. Twitter. Email. Blogging. Texting. Meetings. Deadlines. Commuting.

Every day you take on the world. So, you deserve to come home to a beautiful place where you can recharge and relax, entertain and regroup. You want a neighborhood that is alive and vibrant with a fitness room to workout, places to mingle and space to hang out with your friends. You deserve soothing gardens to wander, a putting green to play and walking paths for your dog. It’s your time to do what you want, when you want, in your own community.

Introducing Fusion at Sunnyvale, a townhome community filled with everyday things that fuse your life. The homes have style and all the features you desire at a price you can afford. At the hub of the neighborhood, there is a fitness center, theater, Wi-Fi bar and fire pit. Everything that you need at the end of a long day.
So take on the world, then come home. To Fusion.

imageAs Burbed reader Petsmart Groomer correctly notes, you can’t spell FUSION without F-U.

So let’s take a good look at this complex that’s such a wonderful place to call home, they show a chair instead of the “Spanish-Eclectic and contemporary architecture by KTGY architects.”

You have to click all the way down to BLOG to find out what the place looks like!  And the name of the blog?  “Short Fuse.”  How clever!  They already worked out that the properties would be selling shortly through their preferred lenders!  (More coming shortly after the break!)


Comments (40) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:06 am

July 11, 2011

Cupertino Villas: Still not in Cupertino, now with Instant Equity!

imageCupertino Villas was first featured in Burbed all the way back in 2006!  One thing hasn’t changed: it still isn’t in Cupertino.  The Cupertino Villas condos are located at Wolfe Road and Fremont Avenue in Sunnyvale.

Before it was converted to condos, this was an apartment complex called Avalon, and before that it was known as Promenade. Let’s just say the residents weren’t very fond of the management, as shown in this discussion thread. Here is a particularly passionate entry:

Here Si The List Of Bad Things, Small And Big.

From: -Anonymous-
Date posted: 6/1/2003
Years at this apartment: 2002 – 2003

1. no privacy. kitchen windows and living room windows are open right next to your neighbors. architect must be an idiot.
1. no sunlights. cold in most of the season and hot in summer. so many times, you think it’s very cold today, but outside, it is very sunny and warm.
1. berrys drop on your car in the parking lot.
1. parking lots have very narrow grids. i hate whoever drew these lines. idiot! make just one less spot and other 8-10 cars will be happy.
1. mail box area located in a stupid spot. stop, get out of your car, cross the road and pick up mails while your car clogs the road.
1. mail box full of advertisement papers. these are not mails! mail man works for whom’ us or them’ there must be bribing.
1. the main entrance has a deep groove. you always scratch the bottom head of your car. who the hell built this complex”
1. noise and thin walls are rather a general problems in all other apt complexes, i guess. so i wouldn’t complain.
1. so many people move in and out, which suggests there are problems here.
some good things.
1. maintenance is not bad. quick.
1. apt clean and well maintained

Many of these problems (no privacy, no sun, thin walls) weren’t going to be fixed by turning this place condo, short of tearing everything down.  And yes, every item is numbered “1.” even though I would assume the author meant this to be either sequentially numbered or a bulleted list.

Let’s see how successful Cupertino Villas is in its new Ownership Society incarnation!

880 E FREMONT Ave #208, Sunnyvale, CA 94087


SQ. FT.: 733
$/SQ. FT.: $259
LOT SIZE: 1,306 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Condominium
STYLE: Traditional
STORIES: 1-3 (Low Rise)
VIEW: Neighborhood
COMMUNITY: Sunnyvale
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81126565
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 13 days

Granite kitchen counters, maple cabinets and stainless Steel appliances. Located on the 2nd floor with a balcony. Minutes to APPLE. 2 parking spaces. Complex is in litigation. Agent and seller has no information on litigation. Short Sale/needs approval. Cash offers preferred.

This is a marvelous opportunity to pay cash money to rescue a homedebtor from this underwater nightmare. It comes complete with matching lawsuit!  But you get Cupertino schools, and it’s minutes to Apple! Okay, 8 minutes with no traffic,15 minutes in traffic, and that’s 2.8 miles driving without even getting on a freeway. (It’s even fewer minutes to the new spaceship site.)


2006 was a great year to be selling condos, but a terrible one to have bought one.  This isn’t the only unit available with huge chunks of instant equity compared to the original selling price.  For example, today’s listing sold for, oops, $335K at the end of 2005.

Comments (29) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:05 am

June 27, 2011

Build your own home in Sunnyvale!


Beds: 2
Baths: 1
Sq. Ft.: 610
$/Sq. Ft.: $975
Lot Size: 6,000 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Style: Ranch
Stories: 1
View: Neighborhood
Year Built: 1910
Community: Sunnyvale
County: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81055660
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active

On Redfin: 192 days
GREAT LOCATION walking distance from the new Sunnyvale downtown shops. A great opportunity to BUILD YOUR OWN PLACE. Seller has city approved plans and permits for remodeling to 3 bed and 2 bath (1,582 sf). Contractor can start immediately. Detached garage and workshop in the back was build 10 years ago with permits. Please don’t disturb tenants. Make offer subject to inspection.

Although this has been on the market for 192 days, it sure seems familiar. Where have I seen this $975 per square foot house before?

Oh…. right….

November 18, 2009

Build your own place in Sunnyvale!

185 FLORENCE St, Sunnyvale, CA 94086 | MLS# 80944856
185 FLORENCE St Sunnyvale, CA 94086
Price: $635,000


Wait… that reminds of something else…oh… right…

September 6, 2006

400 sqft house in Sunnyvale with 2 car garage

This sure is a quaint little house…

MLSlistings Property Detail for MLS number 648556
Sunnyvale, CA 94086


This Single Family Residence has the following features:
MLS#: 648556 Approx Age: 96 Years Approx Sq Ft: 400

But here’s the surprise:


Yes, this 400 sqft house has a separate 2 car garage. Was this house originally intended for the chauffeur?

At least the garage has changed. Check it out now!



Look at the amazing appreciation! From $605k to $635k to $595k! Can you say “equity waiting to be tapped”??

Comments (33) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:30 am

June 16, 2011

Byr ISO Lstg w/o Abbrvs

Today’s featured listing is from comments, found by Burbed reader Real Estater.  The listing copy seems a mite heavy on the abbreviations.  Maybe this agent is charged per letter of listing copy by the broker.  Maybe the agent used to work at Western Union in 1933.  And, then again, maybe the agent is just super lazy.

386 E Duane Ave, Sunnyvale CA 94085


SQ. FT.: 982
$/SQ. FT.: $458
LOT SIZE: 5,200 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Attached Single Family
STYLE: Contemporary
VIEW: Neighborhood
COMMUNITY: Sunnyvale
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81123947
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 3 days

Orig Owner always Hm. UEichler Hm W/ Lots of potential & Great Bones. Orig Parquet Flrs in L/R & D Rm, White Oak in Bdrms. 2 wndos on each side of F/P panelled over. Front Wndos Doubled Paned only, Newer Comp Shingle Roof (1996) w/ 2 Sky Tunnels in Large, Eat-In Kitchen w/ New Laminate Flrs. Covered patio area, auto sprinklers in well cared 4 yards. Quiet side of E. Duane Ave. This is a must SEE 4 the price.

Real Estater didn’t refer us to this listing on Redfin, but on Movoto.  Here’s some of what you get with the Movato site that is completely missing from Redfin: Artistic License.  We’ll bring you those photos and more Movoto Madness after the break.


Comments (58) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:05 am