March 6, 2013

Bay Area Bubble 4.0: The Old is New Again

We’re covering the housing bubble 24/7 now that everyone’s paying attention to real estate again.  Today we have a lovely home in Redwood City that you may have seen before.  Take another look, while you still can!  Thanks very much to Burbed reader Petsmart Groomer for an excellent surveillance operation.

130305-esther-redfin715 ESTHER Ln
Redwood City, CA 94062
$450,000

2 Beds
1 Baths
750 Sq. Ft.
$600 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1929
Lot Size: 4,790 Sq. Ft.
On Redfin: 33 days
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Stories: 1
Community: Cordilleras Heights
MLS#: 81303054

Beautiful view of bay and city lights. Additional 6900sqft lot to be sold with the property. The additional 6900 sq ft parcel of land CANNOT be developed upon per city and county building department. Building square footage 1130sf on public profile is incorrect, actual living area is about 750sf, Fixer-upper Sold "As Is" may not qualify for FHA.

This house’s list of tag may be bigger than it is.  Not only that, it has a history!

130305-esther-reprise-120620

Here’s something it didn’t have last year (besides an extra hundred thou of instant equity you get now!): Redfin Agent Insights!

130305-esther-redfin-agent

“Dead End,” “Completely gutted” and “Killer Views,” three phrases that don’t go well together after watching certain movies.  How about Zero Dark Thirty?

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






March 5, 2013

Bay Area Bubble 4.0: Seller Sez Make Me Move from Millbrae

We’ve been calling Bubble on the Real Bay Area for several months.  For the next few days we’ll continue to make the case that the housing bubble in the Bay Area is absolutely unmistakable.  Yesterday, we had a 35% overbid in Prime Palo Alto for a tear-down bungalow on a lot too small for subdivision.  Today, we have an even smaller lot with a return of what we called a “wishing price” when the Bubble was about to pop.  But before it did, we had another name for a WTF asking price.  Let’s see what one would look like in Millbrae.

130304-magnolia-redfin140 MAGNOLIA Ave
Millbrae, CA 94030
$1,100,000

2 Beds
1 Baths
990 Sq. Ft.
$1,111 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1927
Lot Size: 6,000 Sq. Ft.
On Redfin: 3 days
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Stories: 1
County: San Mateo
Style: Cottage/Bungalow
Community: Highlands
MLS#: 81306376

Charming Two Bedroom and One Bathroom Single Family Home situated on a Lot that is Zoned R-2 (Residential Duplex). This home is located conveniently around the corner from Downtown Millbrae’s Finest Restaurants and Shopping. Great Development Potential, come see this home!

130304-magnolia-shrinkwrapA thousand a foot is a fair price for convenient access to SFO plus two freeways! Plus this is primo real estate photography. At least the agent isn’t snapping pictures in corners like yesterday.

Plus this home is located conveniently around the corner from Downtown Millbrae’s Finest Restaurants and Shopping.  According to Yelp, the Best Restaurant in Millbrae is the Millbrae Pancake House, so we’re talking haute cuisine.  Or at least hot cuisine. 

130304-magnolia-oldlistingNow, this lovely home last changed hands in September 2010, for $675,000.  Aren’t you sorry you didn’t snag it then?  Look at all the instant equity you missed out on!  As you can see from the old listing photo (right), the only improvement done to the home since then was to Photoshop in a better sky.  Also back then the place was “Close to BART, Airport, Freeways and schools.”

Not any longer!  Now it’s just one big Great Development Potential opportunity for you! With a price like this, this is now a Real Bay Area house, therefore the train tracks, airport and freeways must have been relocated.

We hope you realize this is THE SECRET of how to make money in Bay Area real estate:

  1. Buy house not in the Real Bay Area due to its location fail
  2. Eliminate location fail so house moves to RBA
  3. ???
  4. PROFIT!

Remember, a WTF asking price isn’t a Wishing Price unless there’s no chance of getting it. This is a Bubble Price.  This seller is saying, “You want this house? You’re going to have to pay me enough to Make Me Move.”

Comments (10) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:06 am

March 4, 2013

Bay Area Bubble 4.0 is now officially entering insanity stage: $2.8M Teardown in (of course) Palo Alto

It may be just the tip of the Krazy Kool-Aid effect, but this is not how a reasonable housing market should work.  Thanks very much to Burbed reader Wendie (as well as additional fans) for bringing this textbook definition of Irrational Exuberance to our attention.

130302-tennyson-redfin559 TENNYSON Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301

Listed for $2,088,000 on 1/25/2013
Price changed to $2,088,888 on 1/27/2013
Sold for $2,820,000 on 2/25/2013

2 Beds
1 Baths
1,353 Sq. Ft.
$2,084 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1921
Lot Size: 7,500 Sq. Ft.
Sold On: Feb 25, 2013
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Stories: 1
County: Santa Clara
Style: Cottage/Bungalow
Community: Old Palo Alto
MLS#: 81302338

Located in the heart of wonderful old Palo Alto with top rated schools on a large 7500/SF lot. Charming 2 bedroom 1 bath plus den. One oversized bedroom. Hardwood floors , utility basement, and detached Garage. Sold as is in its present condition. Offers to be reviewed after 2/8/2013.

130302-tennyson-bathWe’ll have plenty more evidence as we move into Spring Selling Season that the Real Bay Area is in a Real Bubbly Attitude.  Maybe this can be the First 35% Overbid of Spring.  Now let’s hear from Wendie.

This realtor did an amazing job with the photos of this house! How else could this 3/1 1300 square foot house have sold for 2.8 million dollars?? 800K over asking prices. 

I mean, did you ever think that taking photos of a 1920’s bathroom and a CORNER of a room could do such magic?

130302-tennyson-corner130302-tennyson-corner2x

You’re simply not giving the agent enough credit, Wendie.  I see at least TWO corners.  What, do you think these houses just sell themselves?

Comments (31) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:09 am

March 3, 2013

How do you REALLY feel about Real Estate Professionals?

It’s been a while since we had a realtards thread.  But today’s Not So Professional Agent isn’t being given the Burbed Loving Hug of Attention for his brilliant listing copy.  Thanks very much to Burbed reader J from Alameda for alerting us to this story.

130302-hitnrun-sceneSonoma Co. real estate agent held in fatal hit-run

Henry K. Lee, San Francisco Chronicle | Updated 7:52 am, Saturday, March 2, 2013

Photo from KTVU, no credit specified

(03-02) 07:49 PST SANTA ROSA — A Santa Rosa man turned himself in Friday in connection with a fatal hit-and-run crash that killed a pedestrian, police said.

Steven Harry Heath, 60, was arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and felony hit-and-run in the crash Wednesday that killed 64-year-old George Michael Black of Pacifica, Santa Rosa police said.

Black was walking on the 4600 block of Montgomery Drive shortly after 1 p.m. Wednesday when he was hit by a car that fled the scene, police said. Black died at the scene.

On Friday, a Santa Rosa law firm contacted police on behalf of Heath, who works as a real estate agent. Heath’s attorney told officers that the vehicle from the crash would be found at Heath’s home, authorities said.

130302-hitnrun-heathLet’s review.  Real estate “professional” in a Mercedes S550 hits a pedestrian in broad daylight, and flees the scene. Unlucky stroller who had traveled to Santa Rosa to attend a healing program is pronounced dead seven minutes later#1 Agent in Sonoma the last 3 years running then requests his lawyer contact police two entire days later to say they’ll find what they’re looking for at the hit-and-run driver’s house. Why two whole days? We’re going to make an educated guess that it was long enough for all possible alcohol in someone’s bloodstream to dissipate.

130302-hitnrun-pepperwoodPerhaps you think we’re being cynical.  Well, the readership of sfgate.com is far more so, as several commenters hypothesized that Heath had his attorney transfer his assets to the law firm. We think that’s nonsensical speculation, and that he asked the law firm to transfer his wealth to some deserving relative outside the United States.  Heath, we note, is British and probably has relatives in non-US locales.

Here is just one of those assets: his house on 5562 Pepperwood Road. None of the real estate portals have any specific information on the house other than the lot size (11,246 sf) because they aren’t in the public recorder’s office search results either (yes, we checked).

We are now opening the floor to discuss whatever you’d like about those wonderful real estate professionals in your life, or about anyone who would leave the scene and lawyer up when the right thing to do was fucking call 911 because you just ran your fucking 6,000 pound vehicle into some innocent party’s 175 pound body.  We usually don’t pick on realtards by name, but we’re going to make a giant-ass exception in this case because.

Oh yeah, and this is an Open Thread. It’s March! Time for some Spring Bounce! Let us know how many Mercedes S-class vehicles you see parked at Open Houses!

Comments (12) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:14 am

March 2, 2013

Ever wonder why the East Bay isn’t in the RBA?

This is why.

130301-negeq-norcal

This is Zillow’s map of negative equity by county in Central California.  The more red, the more they bled.  You can look at the map by state, by county, and by zip code.  At the county level, we can see that the only Bay Area regions that aren’t about to terminate from failure to clot are Santa Clara, San Mateo, San Francisco and Marin Counties.  Santa Cruz County is looking a little pink around the neck (it’s 22% underwater) but it’s downright alabaster compared to the abattoir north and east of San Jose.  Here are the county by county numbers for 2012.

Bay Area County Percent of homes w/mortgage underwater Median Zillow Home Value Index Decline from peak value
Alameda 25% $447,100 -30%
Contra Costa 33% (highest 20% in US) $334,200 -46%
Marin 16% $716,500 -20%
Napa 30% $365,100 -42%
San Francisco 10% $771,100 -3%
San Mateo 15% $689.900 -15%
Santa Clara 15% $642,600 -13%
Santa Cruz* 23% $503,400 -31%
Solano 54% (highest 1% in US) $202,400 -58%
Sonoma 29% $357,800 -40%

And here’s a live version for you to play with, although you can also head over to Zillow and see it in action wherever you want to examine.

Comments (9) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:14 am

March 1, 2013

They’re Making More RBA Land

Sometimes a picture explains what words cannot.

Rising home values push more Bay Area homes above water, Zillow says

By Pete Carey, San Jose Mercury News

Posted: 02/21/2013 06:26:11 AM PST, Updated: 02/21/2013 06:26:39 AM PST

Rising prices pushed thousands of Bay Area homes back above water last year, according to a report released Wednesday, another sign that the region's housing crisis is easing as the economy recovers.

The report, by the housing website Zillow, shows drops across the region in the number of homes that are underwater — worth less than the value of their mortgages.

More than 56,826 homes bobbed back above water across seven counties of the Bay Area in 2012, Zillow reported. That still leaves 205,986 homes with a total negative equity of $31.5 billion.

Now let's see the graphic. See? Fewer homes are underwater! That means more of them are Special, so more are also in the Real Bay Area! They must be making more Real Bay Area land.

Glad we could clear this up.

 

Comments (30) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:04 am

February 28, 2013

Who Ya Gonna Call in Los Gatos?

Properties featured on Burbed can be one of several things.  They can be the classic ridiculously high-priced crapbox, which is our bread, butter, and without so much rat in it.  There’s your basic eye-popping completely-overdone-for-the-neighborhood McMansion.  There’s your that’s-not-eclectic-that’s-just-WTF white elephant that doubles as a falling knife.

Today’s property seems to fit into that third category. Thanks very much to longtime Burbed reader sonarrat, back with more Bay Area Real Estate Win!  And speaking of Realty Win, today’s winner is also Movoto because Redfin is on the blink and wouldn’t load this listing up.  (Or maybe they blocked us because they’re sick of our whining about those trackbacks.)

130227-blackberry-movoto15950 Blackberry Hill Rd
Los Gatos, CA 95030
$4,095,888

Loan Payment: $14,260/mo
Bedrooms: 5
Bathrooms: 4&1/2
Size: 5,700 sqft
$/Sqft: $718/sqft
Type: Single Family House
Year Built: 2010
Lot Size: 1
Days on Movoto: 44 days
MLS#: 81301292
Status: Active

CUSTOM GATED ESTATE. NEWER CONSTRUCTION. NEVER LIVED IN. MAIN HOUSE: 4,500 SF. 1,033 GUEST HSE. HIGH-END FINISHES. SMART HOUSE; DIGITAL EVERYTHING. VEGAS STYLE PEBBLE TEC POOL W/LED LIGHTS & H20FALLS! AMAZING UNOBSTRUCTED VIEWS: SF TO SJ FOOTHILLS. CHEF’S KITCHEN, VIKING APLS. HIGH CEILINGS. 3 CAR GARAGE. RESORT PROPERTY. *AMPLE* FLAT; MORE FLAT LAND THAN YOU THINK! 1.5 MILES TO DWNTWN. LG SCHOOLS

And here’s why sonarrat checks in with this property:

130227-blackberry-dhoLos Gatos – $4 million, Ghostbusters pool.  Built in 2010, never lived in. Is it any wonder?

Is the house also infested with ectoplasmic residue, or is all telekinetic activity confined to the pool?  Also for some reason Movoto doesn’t provide the lot size.  Per Zillow, it’s 87,120 sq ft, sufficient to snag an acreage tag.

BUNUS: Dude Hanging Out (DHO) in listing photo #20, admiring *AMPLE* FLAT; MORE FLAT LAND THAN YOU THINK!

Comments (8) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:04 am

February 27, 2013

Bubble Bubble, Boil and Double (every 10 years)

130226-mrhousingbubblePeople often ask if we’re in another Bay Area housing bubble. We usually reply that if you live in the Real Bay Area, you’ve been in Bubble 4.0 for at least a year! But not everyone is fortunate enough to live in the RBA. What if you live in the Real Gray Area, or the Corridor of Not Quite?  What if you live somewhere that Is Not Special At All?

Do you know how to absolutely, positively demonstrate it’s a fact that we’re in another bubble? When places you know are never used in a sentence with “RBA” (unless with a negative) start showing up in these questions.  When even Irvine is calling Bubble again, we have to really start taking better measurements. So, let’s head over to… Gilroy.

 

130226-sunflower-redfin2367 SUNFLOWER Cir
Gilroy, CA 95020
$785,000

3 Beds
4.5 Baths
3,082 Sq. Ft.
$255 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1996
Lot Size: 0.36 Acres
On Redfin: 1 day
Property Type: Attached Single Family
Stories: 2
Community: Morgan Hill/Gilroy/San Martin
MLS#: 81305783
Style: Contemporary
View: Green Belt, Mountains, Neighborhood, Valley
County: Santa Clara

Beautiful Country Estates Home located on 15,000 sq. ft. lot with wonderful Hillviews. Very spacious floor plan with lots of usable land and a great location! Master bedroom located on 1st floor. Located in a cul-de-sac at the top of the hill. Shows beautifully. Don’t miss your opportunity to own this lovely home. Luigi Aprea and Christopher High School district. This is a regular sale!!

130226-sunflower-satelliteThis listing is the perfect mix of mild disdain for the customer with admission that Gilroy is still The Land The New Bubble Forgot. Either than or this agent is still stuck in 2009: This is a regular sale!!

Sheesh, is MLS now charging brokers $10,000 per photo or something? What’s with this 3-in-one tiling display, when most listings manage to cough up nine photos? You would think a 3,000 sf house would have more than one inside room to show off.

Place doesn’t have much of a back yard, either. (Sorry, Streetview Not Available At This Location.)

So, Bubble or Not in Gilroy?

Comments (11) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:09 am

February 26, 2013

UPDATED: AOL tries being Burbed for a day: Let your imagination run wild

130225-aol-wg-front

Updated 11:30 AMSecond house found; see end for details and plenty of pix!

AOL has been doing a real estate area for a while, including a series of videos and articles beyond the listings and search tools. Someone over there must have been reading us, because they did a piece discovering that (gasp!) there are very expensive yet definitely crappy houses for sale in the Real Bay Area.  Worse, they had the gall to call this an “AOL original.”

Have they been living under a rock? This has been our signature claim for more than seven years! Let’s listen in as self-important talking heads who don’t bother introducing themselves tell us what we already know.  (Warning: dude with beard is extra smug.)

 

M’kay.  There’s some really useless accompanying text, so our mission is to do a slightly better job.  Remember, it’s fairly easy to succeed when you set your standards this low.

Decrepit Homes in San Francisco Bay Area Fetch Top Dollar for Mountain Views

130225-aol-rwcBy AOL Real Estate Editors | Posted Feb 21st 2013 5:14PM

A sorry-looking shack, with deep cracks in the cinder-block walls and busted windows, that looks like it’s ready to collapse: You wouldn’t pay a dime for that, would you? OK, say it’s nestled in the gorgeous hilltops of the San Francisco Peninsula with no shortage of pristine mountain views. Now how much would you pay? More than $1 million? Well, that’s how much it’s going for.

130225-aol-wgWe’ve probably violated Fair Use by quoting an entire graf, because there’s only one more.  There’s also only two homes in the video, and only the more than $1 million OMFG Emerald Hills (Redwood City) place (shown above in a clip from the video) has mountain views.  The other (at left, also clipped from the video) is in Willow Glen, and didn’t seem to have any views beyond the neighborhood street.

We were able to find the place in Emerald Lake in about 3 minutes, and it definitely could use a big ol’ Burbed sloppy kiss, Of course it’s already pending.  This is the Real Bay Area we’re talking about!

130225-lakeview-redfin209 LAKEVIEW Way
Redwood City, CA 94062
$1,275,000

3 Beds
2 Baths
1,490 Sq. Ft.
$856 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1948
Lot Size: 0.38 Acres
On Redfin: 207 days
Property Type: Detached Single Family
View: Mountains
County: San Mateo
Stories: 1
Community: Cordilleras Heights
MLS#: 81228879

Incredible opportunity in Emerald Hills. Originally three lots under two APN#’s (APN #057-031-480 and APN #057-031-049) which have been combined into one lot at approximately 25,150 SF. The value is in the land and the views of the surrounding hills with easy access to 280. Walk the site and let your imagination run wild. Dream big and build new or renovate. Plans are available for viewing.

130225-aol-wg-kitchenWe didn’t have the same success in finding the Willow Glen weedery.  This one is similar to it (Craftsman style bungalow, over 12,000 square foot lot, to be sold as-is) but we don’t think it’s the right house.  Can any enterprising Burbed readers find the house in the video? 

Update: House in video found by Burbed reader Chris. See end of this article for details and photos. We’ll also throw in a break as this is starting to get long, so click on through!

(more…)

Comments (10) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:01 am

February 25, 2013

FOCUS-LIVE-ENDURE! In San Carlos! Again!

Okay, vacation’s over. Time to get back to work, and that means heading over to real estate sites to plan on where you really want to live.  Boss has the door shut, so fire up those listing websites! And today’s listing was sent (during coffee break) by Burbed reader Divasm.

130224-belle-zillow1959 Belle Ave
San Carlos, CA 94070
$2,100,000 (Listing removed 2/8/13)

Zestimate®: $1,957,700
Est. Mortgage: $1,883/mo
Bedrooms:4 beds
Bathrooms:5 baths
Single Family:3,532 sq ft
Lot:5,227 sq ft
Year Built:2012
Last Sold:Mar 2012 for $525,000
Heating Type:Forced air

Description

130224-belle-elevations” Tuscan Villa” – Centrally situated, within walking distance to Award winning “Brittan Acres” & “Central” schools. South Bay views from Master bedroom. Construction to start summer ’10 built by luxury home builder The Armanini Group (TAG) Builders, Inc. This home consists of six large bedrooms, den, five full baths, Family room boosting stone fireplace, extra-large eat in Kitchen with breakfast bar & nook open to Family room, Living room with single-beamed ceilings, 130224-belle-elevations2panelled ceiling in Dining room and attached two Car Garage / shop. Anderson wood windows, (full bullnose) granite countertops in Kitchen, travertine stone in Master bath, designer ceramic tiles in auxiliary baths, Kohler plumbing fixtures, custom hand-made cabinetry throughout by local craftsman, Thermador appliances, 3/4″ distressed hardwood flooring, 14 seer-rated air conditioning units, high energy efficient multi-zoned forced-air central heating, tank-less 130224-belle-siteplan(space saving) insta-hot water heater, wireless computer network, smart home electronics for computer programming your lighting, heating & air conditioning, audio, video & irrigation and extensive millwork throughout the entire home. Not all features mentioned. For a personal showing of this magnificent home in San Carlos, please call Michael or Genna Armanini at (cell) 650.218.5123 or email us at michael@armaniniproperties.com PRICE, TERMS AND MATERIALS UTILIZED SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT PRIOR NOTICE, CONTACT YOUR REAL ESTATE BROKER FOR CURRENT PRICING & TERMS. CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS “NEW CONSTRUCTION RESIDENTIAL PURCHASE AGREEMENT AND JOINT ESCROW INSTRUCTIONS” CONTRACT TO BE UTILIZED IN THE PURCHASE OF SUBJECT PROPERTY. FOCUS-LIVE-ENDURE!

No photos, just plans. Inappropriate use of quotation marks. A BUNCH OF ALL CAPS TEXT AT THE END. Best of all, construction promised the summer of… three years ago.  Oh, this is going to be good.  Let’s check in with Big D.

130224-belle-sketch-movotoI was browsing listings in San Carlos and came across this $2.1mil gem. It sounds terrific on paper, and I guess I can see why it’s so expensive, San Carlos, 4/4.5, 3500 square feet, built in 2012. But was it really?

The pic shows a sketch, and the satellite view shows a big dirt lot. Perhaps since then a house has popped up for which they offer to show you the plans, but then why not show a pic? Is it because you’re buying a lot and approved plans for $2.1mil? And look at the history, it’s all over the place. If I had any time I’d drive by myself and check it out…but it certainly must have some reason it’s been on the market for 138 days.

130224-belle-redfin-notforsaleHmm, plans on Zillow, sketch on Movoto, along with this description:

Off market until construction complete approximately mid-May. New quality construction. Plans available to view. Go to: www.johnshroyer.com, Click on “My Featured Listings”, scroll to photo of property, disclosures

Mid-May of what year? We’re starting a pool.  And who is John Shroyer? What happened to Michael or Genna Armanini? Does their cell phone still work? Did they pay their Summer 2010 bill?  How did that FOCUS-LIVE-ENDURE! thing work out for them?

Meanwhile, this construction site gave us some serious déjà vu, and for good reason.  Find out why, after the break.

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Comments (8) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:09 am