November 19, 2006

No bust in South Bay – OF COURSE!

MAKE ‘EM AN OFFER / As they struggle to sell new homes, many builders can’t refuse a bargainer / Overstocked builders ready to bargain
The market is strongest in the South Bay, where developers say they are offering few, if any, price breaks.

A strong resurgence in the technology sector and solid job growth in Silicon Valley are driving continued demand for new homes. “You have higher household income and not as much supply on the market in the South Bay,” Pulte’s Kalmbach said.

This is obvious. Was there any doubt that the South Bay, Silicon Valley, The Best Place On Earth would ever bust?

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 9:18 am

November 18, 2006

What is California? | 09/03/2006 | Freeway lifestyle nears a dead end
On a recent morning in Sacramento, the scene reflected in Felix Izarraras’ sunglasses is a video clip of flannel-gray pavement and shiny guardrails. He’s a California Highway Patrol officer and also an astute observer of the interstate network — “the most beautiful highway system in the world.”

“The interstates,” he says, “represent America to me.”

The grid, which California historian Kevin Starr calls an “epic of public-works construction that facilitated the rise of California as a mega-state,” is Izarraras’ turf. Cruising I-5 and other highways, he has learned to read these roads — the date stamp on the bridge that suggests a deteriorating infrastructure; the new Ikea strategically placed near major freeways, hatcheries for a big-box culture we depend on for our cereal, Polo shirts and lawn furniture; the skid marks that hint at the breakneck speeds and sudden stops that define our daily lives.

“Californians are used to getting there and getting there quickly,” says Izarraras, who recalls as a kid in L.A. “looking up and all you saw was freeway,” with everyone going somewhere — fast. “To really embrace the California way of life, whether it’s seeking business or pleasure, it has to be now. These roads allow that to happen. The interstates are California.”

Apparently sitting in stalled traffic is California.

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:46 am

November 17, 2006

Have you ever wanted to live in a box?

MLSlistings Property Detail for MLS number 658139
San Bruno, CA 94066


Open House Showing
Sunday, November 05, 2006 1:30 PM – 4:00 PM
The lowest priced home in San Bruno! Beautifully updated with freshly painted interior, brand new carpets, spacious kitchen with a separate breakfast and laundry rooms. Don’t miss this excellent buy!

This Single Family Residence has the following features:
MLS#: 658139 Approx Age: 76 Years Approx Sq Ft: 780
Detached Single Family 1 Story 2 Bedrooms

Box stores are all the rage – so why not make like BestBuy and live in one?

Makes sense to me!

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:34 am

November 16, 2006

The world's first siamese house?

MLSlistings Property Detail for MLS number 664058
Redwood City, CA 94062

Open House Showing
Saturday, October 21, 2006 1:30 PM – 4:30 PM
Sunday, October 22, 2006 1:30 PM – 4:30 PM
Charming, 3 bedroom, 1 bath home in quiet Westside neighborhood.

This Single Family Residence has the following features:
MLS#: 664058 Approx Age: 69 Years Approx Sq Ft: 1190
Detached Single Family 2 Stories Traditional
3 Bedrooms 1 Bathroom 1 Shower over Tub

Uh… what’s the giant cube attached to this house for? Is it part of the house? Because the fence sort of divides them.

Very strange!

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:45 am

November 15, 2006

"Gorgeous 10 years Sunnyvale Singal Family Home"

MLSlistings Property Detail for MLS number 666033
Sunnyvale, CA 94085


Open House Showing
Saturday, November 04, 2006 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Sunday, November 05, 2006 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Reduced $85k must see
Gorgeous 10 years Sunnyvale Singal Family House

* Larry 3 bedroom Single Family House, 1249sqf
* New Interior/Exterior Paint
* Hardwood/Carpeted Floors
* double pane windows New Water Heater
* New A/C, appliances. Washer/Dryer
* close to parks, freeway access, downtown and shopping

This Single Family Residence has the following features:
MLS#: 666033 Approx Age: 10 Years Approx Sq Ft: 1249
Detached Single Family 2 Stories 3 Bedrooms

1) What the heck? Is this house hiding behind other houses because it is shy?

2) What’s a singal house? Was it designed by a famous Singal?
3-6% my friends… worth it?

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:14 am

November 14, 2006

"BUY IT NOW!!!" The owner demands you to!

MLSlistings Property Detail for MLS number 661151
Sunnyvale, CA 94085


Open House Showing
Sunday, November 05, 2006 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM

This Single Family Residence has the following features:
MLS#: 661151 Approx Age: 54 Years Approx Sq Ft: 1009

That’s right. DO NOT RESIST. Buy it now!!! You have no choice! The owner demands you to!

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:13 am

November 13, 2006

Buy now or the house GETS IT!

Last Chance! Maxwell Park Charmer
$489 Last Chance! Maxwell Park Charmer (oakland hills / mills)
Reply to:
Date: 2006-10-27, 10:35AM PDT

If our house does not sell by November we are taking it off the market.

Charming & sunny 1920’s Bungalow in Maxwell Park w/ gorgeous curb appeal, stunning architectural windows, pretty gardens, gracious rooms, smart floor plan, breakfast nook, full size formal dining room, enormous bedrooms & large, grassy back yard, partial basement.

5060 sf Lot! New copper plumbing! Extra long drive way! Friendly neighbors!

Price reflects cost of pest.

2 Bedrooms breakfast nook (now being used as kid’s room)
1 Bathroom
1,197 Est. Sq. Ft.

Agent: Grace Harbo Bishop
Broker: Red Oak Realty
(510) 280-2178

Wow… what an awesome threat! Forget being priced out – buy it today, or it will never be available again. This house is just that special!

(Thanks Edgar.)

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:09 am

November 12, 2006

Real Estate Search: It’s a Jungle Out There – Guest Article from Movoto

Hey everyone,

Burbed is always on the lookout for good content. I use screenshots from Movoto from time to time, so I thought I’d give them a chance to say something on this site. So here’s a guest article from Mark Brandemuehl, VP Marketing at

Type “Santa Clara County real estate” into Google and you’ll get page after page of sites that promise to help you search for homes in Santa Clara County.  It’s similar anywhere you go in the United States – real estate search sites sprout like mushrooms after a rain, but which one should you use?

Here’s the (admittedly biased) Movoto guide to what makes a great real estate search site:

1. You must have listings from the Multiple Listing Service (MLS):  If it ain’t MLS, then it ain’t complete.  If you’re looking at a site that does not access MLS data, you are missing homes on the market and the information you find on the site may not be up-to-date.  Though most real estate company websites tap the MLS, watch out for sites that only show “featured listings” – listings where that company gets paid if you buy that home.  They may not be showing you all the homes for sale.

What about some of the exciting new sites like Trulia and Propsmart?  They get their listings by a process called “scraping”.  They find homes on Realtor websites and post the information they find on their site.  It’s NOT MLS.  You’re likely missing homes and the information on the homes you find may be out of date.  A recent Trulia search showed 42 homes for sale in Cupertino while the MLS showed 63 homes on the market.  Do you want to miss 1/3rd of the homes for sale?

Also, watch out for sites that that promise to help you find a home, but collect personal information and promise to get back to you.  They’re going to sell your information to a Realtor (or more than one Realtor) who will be calling you.  You don’t control the search, the Realtor provides homes to you.

Tip:  Local MLS search sites  ( for the Penninsula) provided by the Realtor’s association often have the most extensive search parameters, but can be difficult to use.

2. Maps, Maps, Maps:  Or Location, Location, Location.  If you don’t find a map of homes for sale within a couple of clicks, why bother?  Maps are the only way to search for real estate, especially if you’re not familiar with an area.  Amazingly, many large real estate companies don’t have maps on their sites.  Even if they do have maps, the maps may be hard to find and sometimes the maps don’t work well!

Some sites only offer satellite views of homes for sale.  It’s a matter of personal preference, but I like sites that offer me my choice of maps and satellite views.  True maps often provide more context about where a home is and the surrounding features.  Is that open area on the satellite view a park or an open lot that will be developed in a couple of years?

3. Other information:  What’s the neighborhood like?  What schools are nearby?  Is there a grocery store within walking distance?  Are prices going up or down in this neighborhood?  How do prices here compare with prices in other neighborhoods?  Sure you can go to 5 websites to find all this out, but if you’re evaluating a number of homes, this gets to be really tedious.  Look for sites that skillfully integrate the information you need in one easy-to-use website.

4. What happens when you ask for help?  When you fill out that friendly “Help Me!” form on the site, what happens?  On sites that scrape listings, you get the name and phone number of the selling agent.  The listing agent would love to sell you that house, but may not be much help if you’re not ready to buy.

At a large real estate company website, you’ll be routed to the next agent on call and if the agent is on the ball, you’ll get an immediate call-back.  Make sure you ask lots of questions about their experience and local expertise.  The next “on call” agent may not be very experienced or may not know the area that you’re interested in.

Discount real estate sites will route you to an agent who will work with you over the phone to help buy a property.  Many on-line discount brokers have only one or two agents to cover an area the size of the Bay Area.  With this coverage, you’re not likely to get much expertise on local markets.  If you’re comfortable that you know how to buy a home and understand the area well, this may be the solution for you.

At Movoto, when you ask for help, you’ll be referred to a local agent we’ve hand-picked to serve you.  The agent we send you to is a deep local expert and has years of real estate experience.  We selected him or her because we’re confident they can provide great customer service and value to you throughout the buying process.  We want agents you’ll love to work with.

It’s a jungle out there, but with a little bit of knowledge you can avoid the time wasting  sites and more efficiently find the home you want.

To be clear, I didn’t get paid for this – just a favor to the folks at Movoto for screenshotting their site all the time. Plus, I learned more about their site.

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:36 am

November 11, 2006

Well at least the diversity is free…

North Gate News Online :: City Real Estate Professionals Dispute Report of Falling Prices
“It’s not the kind of market where you hear that buyers are getting the upper hand,” Stone said. “A lot of the time buyers think, ‘Oh, the prices are going to fall.’ It’s not that way at all.”

Many agents think that supply and demand is what keeps San Francisco’s real estate market much healthier than the rest of the country.

“It’s everybody’s favorite city,” Costello said. “For all the reasons everybody wants to be here—weather, culture, sports, views, close to skiing, lifestyle, restaurants, diversity.”

Weather, culture, sports, views, skiing, lifestyle, restaurants and diversity.

How many of those can you afford when you’re spending 50%+ of your gross income on a mortgage?

How often will you go skiing when you’re eating PB&J on weekdays/splurging for ramen on weekends?

Maybe that is the lifestyle!

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:22 am

November 10, 2006

Great for 2 houses! Only allowed 1!

MLSlistings Property Detail for MLS number 665788
Mountain View, CA 94041


This Single Family Residence has the following features:
MLS#: 665788 Approx Age: Unavailable Approx Sq Ft: 679
Detached Single Family 1 Story 1 Bedroom
1 Bathroom 1 Stall Shower City/Public Water
1 Car Carport Lot: 8,000 Sq Ft to .25 Acre Corner Lot

At $1000 per square foot, you’re obviously buying this for the huge plot of land. But here is the strange description from Movoto:

596 MOORPARK WY, Mountain View Property Details – Mountain View Real Estate – Mountain View Homes for Sale – Movoto
A great 9,600 sq ft (approx) corner lot. Can build 2 houses (2,900 sq ft 900 sq ft). Can not subdivide. Many possibilities. Live in the existing house while build your dream house. Value in land. Buyer to verify all data.

Huh? So you can build two houses, but only live in one at a time?

Man, that’s one giant doll house you can build here!

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:12 am