February 16, 2013

It’s Search Engine Saturday!

And we haven’t had a Search Engine Saturday for many, many Saturdays!

Recently someone used a Search Engine and found his or her way over to Burbed by entering the following search:

what kind of toxic dump is whisman station on

What kind indeed?  The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) can certainly tell you all about it. But who wants to read a bunch of boring government reports?  That’s why there’s Burbed!  We’re happy to pass along any news about what kind of toxic dump your neighborhood is sitting on as well.  (Pro tip: Most Bay Area neighborhoods are infested with Bubbling Exuberance.)

Here’s our article that answers the above question, and the kind of toxic dump Whisman Station sits on is very nasty indeed.  Specifically, it’s a Tricoroethylene (TCE) plume.

Moreover, according to this article shared by Burbed reader Real Estater, this delightful area of opportunity is expanding into new territory!  Now who says they aren’t making any more land?

This is also your Three Day Weekend Open Thread!  W00t!

Comments (15) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:09 am






February 15, 2013

The Return of the Los Altos Hills Mystery House

We love it when listings rise from the dead canceled and return betteh than EVEH.  Today we have a house that already made one appearance on Burbed, so another one makes it so much more full of Win!  Thanks very much to Burbed reader Dibber for unearthing this unabashed ultimate unavailable (yep, PENDING!) um…

130213-eastbrook-zillow11441 Eastbrook Ave
Los Altos, CA 94024
Pending: $2,499,000
Zestimate®: $2,507,171

Bedrooms: 6 beds
Bathrooms:6 baths
Single Family:9,300 sq ft
Lot:23,086 sq ft
Year Built:1992
Heating Type:Forced air

Description

HUGE CUSTOM CONTEMPORARY HOME W/2100SF ATTACHED GUEST HOUSE**PERFECT FOR LARGE EXTENDED FAMILY OR INVESTMENT RENTAL**EXPANSIVE LIST OF AMENITIES INLC LIMESTONE FLRS, CUSTOM FAUX PAINT, LRG MASTER SUITE W/ SITTING ROOM, GOURMET KITCHEN W/ GRANITE, WINE CELLAR/TASTING ROOM, 5-ZONE HVAC, 4FIREPLACES** TWO (2) CAR GARAGES INCL OVERSIZED HEIGHT FOR R/V/WORKSHOP**FRESH LANDSCAPING,ROOFTOP BALCONY!

130213-eastbrook-frontWe’ll leave it as an exercise to the reader to find out why Zillow led with the cabinet picture instead of the front of the house.  Now let’s check in with Dibber:

Or maybe it never left?  Winchester Mystery House, Los Altos Hills campus.   Check out the listing history.  Who says Silicon Valley is expensive.  I can get you into Los Altos Hills baby!  And only $269 per square foot.  I’m thinking listing mistake…Concord? 

 

130213-eastbrook-dungeonPerfect for the large extended family?  Honey, please show aunt Betty to the 2100 square foot guest house, but this time please keep her out of the wine cellar and off the roof deck.  And honey, the kids really shouldn’t be playing pick-up soccer on the 280.

Yes, ridicuously cheap.  Too bad Foothill College doesn’t have fraternities.  This place would would be perfect… traffic noise would drown out the party noise!

Wonder why this never got snapped up last time we featured it… And here it is all the way from 2010!  Remember this one?

130213-eastbrook-1009-reprise

Wow, has the unwitting seller finally dropped the price low enough price to find a buyer?  Or is this just a coincidence that prices are finally going up again?

130213-eastbrook-history

Comments (9) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 12:03 am

February 14, 2013

Want to be romanced for Valentine’s Day?

burbed_guest_bloggerToday is a very special day if you love romance and lovers and all that twaddle.  Our featured home was suggested by Burbed reader Tracy Tea House, who thought it was perfect for February 14th. We went along with it because we really weren’t up to finding yet another pink house for this year.  Thanks very much and please give Tracy a big, warm Real Bay Area welcome as today’s Guest Blogger!

And also some chocolate.  This stupid Hallmark Holiday does have an upside.


130213-arlington-trulia1048 Arlington Ln
San Jose, CA 95129
$1,598,000

4 bed, 3 bath
2,415 sqft
Single-Family Home
10 Days on Trulia
187 views
Status: For Sale
MLS/Source ID: NON
4 Bedrooms
3 Bathrooms
2,415 sqft
Single-Family Home
Built In 2007
Lot Size: 8,712 sqft
Zip: 95129
Neighborhood: West Valley

Beautiful Home in Top Cupertino School – Rebuilt in 2007

1048 Arlington Ln Rebuilt in 2007. 2415 SF of living space on a 7068 SF lot Hardwood flooring and recessed lighting throughout home. Fireplace in family room. Custom Cherry wood Kitchen cabinet and granite counters. All New Appliances. Master Suite with Sunken Jacuzzi Tub. Top Cupertino Schools.

130213-arlington-desk

Maybe a good house for Valentine’s Day as the Realtor is really trying hard to romance this house. Let’s go picture  by picture shall we?

Number one, bleak and dismal, focus on the stained and cracked concrete.

Number two, the desk will not fit in this small room so we will try to make you a believer by turning it diagonal.. Problem solved!

130213-arlington-doorNumber three, we are really proud of the stock door, and the paint. Pictures 3-5 are making the most of it.

Pic six, how to show the shower and tub in same photo? We wouldn’t want to waste an extra shot that could involve the commode. And, what makes the Jacuzzi sunken?

But my favorite is the last one. Like a set from a film in the San Fernando Valley. Imagine, an empty room, a bed, a bottle of wine and two glasses. And practically new remodeled 2007, and trying to get that back.

130213-arlington-xxx

Comments (11) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:07 am

February 13, 2013

We’re Number Two! We’re Number Two!

The good news: We beat LA and Chicago and New York and Washington DC and even SAN FRANCISCO. W00t!

The bad news: We lost to Connecticut. Connecticut? Haven’t they been in the news enough already?

The US Metropolitan Areas Packed With The Most Rich People

Rob Wile | Business Insider | Feb. 11, 2013, 8:24 PM

The U.S. Census has published its list of U.S. metropolitan areas with the highest concentrations of wealth in the country.

These are places where a large percentage of your neighbors earn incomes in the top 5th percentile.

Here are the top five.  For the full list, see the article at Business Insider.

Rank Metro % MSA households in US Top 5% Primary Industry
5 Trenton/Ewing NJ 11.6% Protection, extralegal goods, beating the shit out of rivals
4 San Francisco/Oakland/Fremont CA 13.0% Social Media, Investment (hypothetical shit)
3 Washington/Arlington/Alexandria DC-VA-MD-WV 14.1% Lobbying (access to shit)
2 San Jose/Sunnyvale/Santa Clara CA 15.9% Inventing new shit
1 Bridgeport/Stanford/Norwalk CT 17.9% Insuring shit
Comments (3) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:07 am

February 12, 2013

YOU can afford Woodside! Yes, YOU! (Outbuilding garage is currently not usable)

Ah, Woodside, home of the record-breaking property sale.  Also home of Larry Ellison (well, one of of homes, because he sold the other one).  Point is, Woodside is for CEOs and Venture Capitalists, not worker bees.  WRONG!  Today’s featured property, courtesy of Burbed reader holyzoo, shows that Entry Level in Woodside is welcoming you to Executive Acres!  Read on and find out why!

130211-ware-trulia125 Ware Rd
Woodside, CA 94062
$649,000

2 bed, 2 bath
1,180 sqft
Single-Family Home
14 Days on Trulia
411 views
Style: Detached, Cabin – Woodside, CA

125 Ware Rd Charming rustic cabin surrounded by redwoods, in State Scenic Skyline Corridor. Includes parcel # 067-042-020 at .35 acre, 15,682 sq ft. Total of both lots is .9065 acre 39,922 sq ft. They are level lots. Home needs repair and is being sold “as is”. It is ideal for a contractor or handyman. Den was third bedroom but now lacks a closet. Outbuilding garage is currently not usable.

 

130211-ware-kitchenNow lacks a closet? Therein lies a tale!  Here’s more from holyzoo:

Brother to another… etc. . you know the cliche… I have been tracking your website for a LONG time, saving untold sums avoiding therapist bills.

I’ll keep on keeping on, and probably begin to send you more crap than you want, but this busted me up today. We were looking at Mid-Peninsula Skyline properties today – one was a granny shack for $650k. As dated as 1930 can provide.. be prepared for major dryrot repair, complete remodel, or better yet, tear it down and rebuild.

W00t! Teardown! Value is in the land, which is why they’re making more of it. Two parcels, no waiting.  And yes, the granny shack was built in 1930, which means it qualifies for the old house tag!

130211-ware-satellite

And so convenient!

Comments (7) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:07 am

February 11, 2013

Stayin’ Alive in Alameda: Not just a good idea, it’s the law!

Today’s delicious domicile comes to you from Alameda, the island garden of the Bay.  Or should we say Oakland Afloat? Estuary Estates? Maybe you have an even better name for Alameda than those! Thanks very much to Burbed reader JL for finding a house with a creative command to the buyer.

130210-mcdonnel-redfin492 MCDONNEL Rd
Alameda, CA 94502
$599,000

3 Beds
2.5 Baths
1,625 Sq. Ft.
$369 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1992
Lot Size: 3,895 Sq. Ft.
On Redfin: 19 days
Status: Pending
HOA Dues: $365/month
Style: Contemporary
Community: Bay Colony
MLS#: 40601391
Type: Duet
Stories: 2
County: Alameda

Very sunny duet home W/ big lot, great size open backyd, spacious driveway, cul-de-sac. Extra high ceiling grand entrance. Gorgeous new kitchen. double pane window. HOA cover exterior, roof, front yd & insurance. close to ferry terminal. One of a kind. Must see. Nobody pass away inside the house.

130210-mcdonnel-kitchenHere’s what JL had to say about the house:

Burbed is the best! I had to pass along an Alameda listing that has generous and inexplicable amounts of fail.

First, there’s only outside pictures. Never a good sign. But the best thing is the description. Granted, I think we may have a non-native speaker as the writer, but the last line is hilarious no matter what.

130210-mcdonnel-streetviewThe strange thing is, this looks like a nice house. The redfin Streetview link takes you to a street over a block, but if you go to Google street view directly, it shows a decent-looking place. So the Redfin listing could have been nice, but instead was awesomely bad.

Awesomely bad? It’s not every house that’s not just part of a cookie-cutter tract but a gol-durn “duet home” in a cookie cutter tract that can call itself “one of a kind”! Now that’s awesomely something!  Plus there’s insurance in the front yard! The $365 a month HOA fees are just the cherry on this Win Sundae!

We tried to find the collection of “only outside pictures” without success.  Other listing sites either had the photos removed (with the listing marked as off market) or a slightly different set of photos, inside as well as out.  Here are a couple more, just in case Redfin yanks these bright and early Monday morning. 

130210-mcdonnel-hdromg130210-mcdonnel-hdromg2

And we mean it about the bright, as the Cherenkov radiation is strong in this one.  Just for grins, check out the outdoor pix on Zillow!  Must see.

130210-mcdonnel-yard130210-mcdonnel-wtf

Serious WHOA.  Of course if we had a yard like that, we wouldn’t pass away inside the house either.

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

February 10, 2013

Another Wave of the Bubble Wand: A $6.5M Crapbox in Palo Alto

130209-webster-bubblewandYesterday we had a brief summary of snapshots showing that we are indeed entering the early stages of a new real estate bubble.  Far-flung areas are still far below their ridiculous 2005-6 peak pricing, and nearby but unloved neighborhoods are being scraped up by investors rather than the outbid mortgage mooches.

But core Real Bay Area listings near high-paying tech jobs are at or even above their insane 2008 peak pricing.  Yes, 2008.  Crap areas hit their high-water marks much earlier than premium places, and it’s the high end that has come back first and letting us know it.  We promised we had a doozy for you today, and we weren’t kidding.  Thanks very much to Burbed reader Wendie for bringing by the bubbly by the carboy.

Location, Location, Location! Teardown: $6.5 Million

Need proof that the Palo Alto housing market has heated up?

130902-webster-patchBy Beatrice Karnes; February 8, 2013

It’s not enough to live in Palo Alto—homebuyers want to live in specific neighborhoods. A home in Old Palo Alto has gone on the market and it’s being advertised as a tear-down or a remodel. Asking price: $6.5 million.

It’s a simple, middle class home built in the mid-1930s and boasts four bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, hardwood floors, some linoleum or vinyl floors, and a one car garage.

Let’s have a look.

120209-webster-mlsl1935 WEBSTER ST
Palo Alto, CA 94301
$6,500,000

Active
Type: Single Family Home
MLS #: ML81303410
SqFt: 3,009130209-webster-front
Beds: 4
Lot Size: 16,610 SqFt
Baths: 3 Full / 1 Partial
Year / Age: 1937 / 76

Virtual Tour

Prestigious Old Palo Alto location. Rare opportunity to remodel or build new on a large lot. Possible subdivision, Buyer to verify with City of Palo Alto. Built in 1935 by William Wurster. Detached recreation room with workshop, dark room and half bath.

130209-webster-tulipsLet us count the ways that this is Dutch Tulip Fever all over again:

  • A teardown, for Six. Point. Five. Million. Dollars.
  • A teardown, but you could remodel. After spending Six. Point. Five. Million. Dollars.
  • A teardown, 78 years old (2 years too young for the “old house” tag)
  • A teardown, with a named architect.
  • A teardown, sold for its potential to build two houses. But why stop there, bribe the appropriate agencies and cram in four!  Heck, how about a 20 story condo tower? Buyer to verify with City of Palo Alto.
  • A teardown, with 22, yes twenty-two mostly similar photos in full HDR.  Have you ever seen HDR photos of a workshop, a basement, or a garden hose left on the ground?  You’re about to.

130209-webster-workroom130209-webster-huh130209-webster-hose130209-webster-carport

Do not miss this Rare opportunity to be able to Walk To Steve Jobs’ House.

Comments (21) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:07 am

February 9, 2013

More Bubblicious Signs of Bubbling Bubblicity

Sometimes, there’s a message out there with your name on it, so you get hit on the head with it again and again and again.  Here are some of the messages we got yesterday, and they all add up to the same thing.

130208-bubble-foreclosureFirst, looks like HELOCs are coming back.  No, they’re not at the insane rate of the glory days of 2006, but there’s more in 2012 than 2011.  So that’s something for us to keep an eye on. 

One of the problems with HELOCs was HELOCity, where every homedebtor used the line of credit not for major home improvements or emergencies, but as a full-time ATM.  People bought a lot of giant-ass SUVs and vacations and bling using the equity in their homes.  Why would they do something that stupid? Do they really think they’d never have to pay it back?  Some of us actually do remember when second mortgages were subprime mortgages throughout the industry.

Speaking of subprime, you know what else is back? Subprime mortgages! That article we featured last weekend on the Dignity Mortgage wasn’t the only sip of subprime sangria.  Gotta love this quote:

The Revival of Subprime: Will This End Badly?

By Matt Clinch | CNBC – February 8, 2013

The sub-prime market – risky mortgage backed securities – is hot again and its revival is exceeding many people’s expectations, the chief market strategist at Rosenblatt Securities says. He believes this will end badly.

The subprime mortgage crisis which led to the financial crash of 2008 involved institutions making loans to those that had difficulty maintaining their repayment schedule.

Wall Street brokerage firm Rosenblatt – which has been monitoring the situation since the last storm – says the credit-led bull market is well under way.

"The subprime market’s revival is proving to be even stronger than we had anticipated," Brian Reynolds said in a research note. "This is just a credit cycle, and it will eventually end badly like the others."

We are sure you are thinking the same thing we are: How can we best profit from so many other people’s stupidity?

130208-bubble-pamaiNext, several different reports of an increasingly skewed seller’s market.  We’ll have one up bright and early to start the week, and it’s a doozy.  Here’s a smaller example, an on-the-ground report from Definitely Not the Real Bay Area.  This poor agent says she listed a Blossom Valley property and now her phone is ringing every ten minutes.  Won’t someone let her get some quiet time and please offer twice the asking price already? 

130208-bubble-downpaymentBuyers now have to write beg letters to get noticed when there’s 40 offers on the table. And who can forget the lottery line for just 4 Gale Ranch models in San Ramon.  Need we remind you, Gale Ranch is not only in the East Bay, it’s in a place where they are still making more land. 

If you haven’t already seen this 2007 (!!!) video, enjoy it.  And if you have, sing along, because HERE COMES ANOTHER BUBBLE.

Comments (32) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:05 am

February 8, 2013

A very not-RBA listing in an almost-RBA town

Burbed just doesn’t give the East Bay enough love, so we’re always delighted when our readers send us something from Alameda or Contra Costa County.  Today’s featured listing is from one of the more rarified regions of CCC, but you’ll see that there’s nothing Real about this Bay Area bonanza.  Thanks very much to Burbed reader Kim in the East Bay for this Danville domicile!

130207-lagonda-redfin898 La Gonda Way
Danville, CA 94526
$619,500

3 Beds
1 Baths
1,112 Sq. Ft.
$557 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1953
Lot Size: —
On Redfin: 67 days
Status: Active
Property Type: Single-Family Home
County: Contra Costa
Community: Danville/San Ramon |
MLS#: 403322

Single family home on large level lot with 3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, living room with fireplace, dining area, large kitchen, huge yard, 2 car garage parking.

 

130207-lagonda-kitchenAre we lost? This looks like something not from Danville, but maybe Connecticut.  Bricks, autumn foliage, and what could pass for aluminum siding; all we need are some shooting ranges in those woods over the back fence.  And that spare prose is pure Yankee, other than the outburst about the huge yard.  So huge the lot size isn’t even provided (9583 sf, even that’s more East Coast than East Bay).

Maybe we’re not lost but this house is. The price has been reduced twice, and the agent couldn’t be bothered to clean up before taking the listing pix.  Even the dog carrier stays.

130207-lagonda-satellite

Did we mention location, location, location?

Comments (38) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:05 am

February 7, 2013

Quintessential Real Estate Photography in Cambrian is ADORABLE

Like photos? So do we!  And this pimped-out property has powerful pix!  Thanks very much to Burbed reader Tracy Tea House for finding us this Cambrian casa. It may not have “Honey, stop the car!” curb appeal or “Can I hire your decorator” staging, but for all we know this listing was photographed by Herb Ritts.

130206-park-trulia5639 Park Manor Dr
San Jose, CA 95118
$645,000

  • MLS/Source ID: 81301959
  • 4 Bedrooms
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • 1,486 sqft
  • Single-Family Home
  • Lot Size: 6,098 sqft
  • Neighborhood: Cambrian
  • 14 Days on Trulia
  • 289 views

5639 Park Manor Dr ADORABLE 4BEDROOM/2BATH HOME WITH GUADALUPE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL! Refinished hardwood floors* all new interior paint including the kitchen cabinets & hall vanity* new faucets, mirrors, light bars, vinyl floor & baseboards in master & hall bath* new vanity in master bath* new family room carpet* all new satin nickel interior doorknobs* new dishwasher & faucet* nice play structure* & NEW ROOF.

Tracy says this listing is OMG.  If a picture is worth a thousand words, then it’s definitely tl;dr. 

130206-park-dining130206-park-kitchen130206-park-living130206-park-window-wtf130206-park-yard130206-park-power

Bunus: Super-ultra-extra redundant power lines!  Lots of them, so convenient!

130206-park-satellite

Comments (9) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:09 am