August 7, 2012

Like lawns? You’ll love this house in Mountain View!

Today’s house must be an Olympic-level winner, because three different Burbed readers sent it in.  We’re sure you’ll love it as much as they did.

375 ANNA Ave
Mountain View, CA  94043
$698,000

120806-anna-redfin

BEDS:  4
BATHS:  2
SQ. FT.:  1,216
$/SQ. FT.:  $574
LOT SIZE:  5,000 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STORIES: 1
YEAR BUILT:  1956
COMMUNITY:  Thompson
COUNTY:  Santa Clara
MLS#:  81227441
SOURCE:  MLSListings
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN:  8 days

Contractor Special! Excellent opportunity to purchase a fixer-upper in a great location in the Monta Loma Neighborhood. Excellent floor plan with private rear yard backing up to Monta Loma Elementary.

Here are the nominating speeches, first from dollarbin:

From the always popular Monta Loma neighborhood we have a hot little “contractor special”.

Only $574/sq ft?  Fortunately, local realtor Pat Jordan’s newsletter has the full story:

“375 Anna Avenue, 3 BR, 2 BA Mardell with 1,216 Sq. Ft. on 5,000 Sq. Ft. lot.  In very poor condition, offers subject to inspection (cannot see until an offer is written, because it is infested with fleas).  Notice of default has been filed.  Listed for $698,000 by Sereno Real Estate. “

I guess I won’t be able to post a first hand account from an open house.  In fact, I drove by tonight and they’re going with stealth marketing, there isn’t even a sign out front.

Not only that, have a look at the Googlecam.  The next-door neighbor is close.  Real close.

120806-anna-streetview

Bunus: trash bins!  Next, another nod from mabel du, who was yesterday’s Guest Blogger:

there’s only one pic on zillow or redfin, and boy-howdy it’s a beaut!  doesn’t it make you want to rush to buy this gem?  you could lose sight of your dog or kid in that weedy front lawn.  the realtor is set to make a chunk of money on this place, but he couldn’t drop $50 to get the front yard mowed?!?

“…private rear yard backing up to Monta Loma Elementary” –  oh yeah.  the sounds of screaming kids, intercom announcements, and timed school bells all day long, that’s “private” and peaceful.  (check out the satellite maps)   in case you were ondering – the school bells ring early & often, even on holidays.  so don’t plan on sleeping late very often.

Sleep late?  With all those delightful sounds you’ll be hearing?

120806-anna-satellite

Not to mention the amazing history this offers.  Well, amazing listing history.

120806-anna-listing-history

Looks like this property is back in the RBA, if it can pull off this price double after just 13 years.  Which it really needed, after losing value from 10 years before that.

Comments (17) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:08 am






August 6, 2012

Our Peacock laid an Egg. On his face.

Here’s the denouement of a Burbed perennial, and best of all, it’s even in Mountain View!  Thanks very much to Burbed reader mabel du for giving this turkey one more roast with this fine guest post.

And speaking of birds, soon we’re going to have to talk Mountain View and Chik-Fil-A, but we did enough politics yesterday next door in Los Altos.  So please give mabel du a real, warm, RBA welcome as today’s Guest Blogger!


1755 PEACOCK Ave
Mountain View, CA 94043
Sold for $475,000 on 4/13/2012

120806-peacock-redfin

BEDS:  –
BATHS:  –
SQ. FT.:  –
LOT SIZE:  6,200 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Residential Land (Single Family)
VIEW: Neighborhood
COMMUNITY:  North Shoreline
COUNTY:  Santa Clara
MLS#:  81138265
SOURCE:  MLSListings
STATUS: Sold

Sale price includes building plans for 4 bedroom 3 bath home

Do you prefer a bath or a shower?

This flipper-to-be sure took a bath in his bubblicious real estate gamble.  A fun bubble bath?    Not so much.

Plans to feather his nest ran afowl when he ate more than $200k to unload this rotten egg, and that ain’t chicken scratch.   Buyers didn’t flock in as hoped, so after hovering for years on a wing and a prayer he finally ended the drag and landed a buyer.

Purchased for in 2007 for $674K, dropped more cash to remove the previous crapshack, finally sold for $475 in 2012.  I don’t think that’s how RE investments are supposed to work, certainly not in the RBA.

To wax nostalgic on this oldie but goodie, let’s revisit previous Burbed entries for this 4H fowl failure:

Sept 8, 2011: This Peacock is looking a little less proud

120806-peacock-reprise-110908

 Click to see the other entries:  (more…)

Comments (3) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:05 am

August 5, 2012

Huge Charter School Controversy in the RBA (tl;dr warning)

120804-bullis-cartoonWe haven’t been shy about sharing our educational “reform” position with you: we distrust the charter school movement.  We believe they are a means for private corporations to strip school boards of their resources and teachers of their benefits by providing cut-rate education under the false flag of “school choice.”  After all, corporations exist to make a profit.  Would you really want your child’s education outsourced to the lowest bidder?  Of course not!  That’s why you’ll pay anything to live in the Real Bay Area!

Charter Schools’ Negative Impact on the Educational System

120804-bullis-protestCharter schools are being implemented all across the country, whether parents want them or not.  This is happening because some very wealthy people, not one of them with any education background, see this as a way to profit at the expense school boards and teachers unions.  Much of the current “school reform” movement has been taken over by tons of money from foundations from the Walton (Walmart), Gates (Microsoft) and Broad (construction and insurance) families and, of course, the Koch brothers.  These groups have completely derailed real school reform in favor of their plan to corporatize our educational system.

All that money crowds out real reform in favor of forcing charter schools, despite their lackluster performance despite their ability to cherry-pick students.  There are stories everywhere of neighborhood schools forced to close, fire all the teachers and administrators, and then reopen as charters, despite complete opposition from the affected teachers, parents and children.  Needless to say, this is most likely to happen where parents are not well-represented in the political system.  That is, this process is most likely to happen in poorer neighborhoods rather than wealthy suburbs.  Remember Waiting for Superman (which is, of course, pure propaganda)?  The Bay Area school in the film was in Redwood City.  And look at all the corporate charter schools that have popped up in Oakland and San Jose.

Click on through to find out what happens next.

(more…)

Comments (20) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:06 am

August 4, 2012

Does Your Refrigerator Match Your Smartphone?

If it doesn’t, it’s time to chuck your fridge.  Thanks very much to Burbed reader nomadic for passing along this fascinating article.

So Long, Stainless: Whirlpool Introduces a New Finish For Premium Kitchens

 

By Keith Barry, July 18, 2012, Refrigerator Info

120803-fridge-white-iceThe stainless steel appliance hegemony has ended.

On Monday, Whirlpool introduced a new premium exterior finish that they call “White Ice.” With clean lines, silver accents and streamlined controls, the new collection’s refrigerator, range, dishwasher, and microwave are a departure from the flash and glitz of stainless steel and its many lookalikes. In fact, the combination of a white finish, stainless handles and mirrored glass appear to have a lot in common with Apple’s popular design language.

The streamlined new look combines with simplified features that Whirlpool says will make the appliances easier to use. “In addition to the intuitive technology, the line takes a fresh look at appliance design and features flawless exteriors that add beauty to any home,” said Pat Schiavone, Whirlpool’s VP of Global Consumer Design.

120803-fridge-apple-storeHere’s why nomadic sent along a clipping from Refrigerator Info (and I do not want to ask why any Burbed reader would also be checking out that site).

You can be the first real estate blog to report the death of stainless!  No more pergranisteel…

And the inspiration is coming from Silicon Valley!

Yes, this is going to look just great in all those new white kitchens with the emphasis on wood rather than a wall of stainless steel.  Because if your kitchen doesn’t look like a foodie version of an Apple Store, then you’re obviously still living in 2001.

Which is when the first Apple Store opened.

Update: The Sunday piece is a thinky one, so deposit your open thread comments here.

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

August 3, 2012

Palomar Park for a Hundred Big Ones!

Who says they aren’t making any more land?  Not true!  Here’s some sitting around doing nothing except waiting for you!  Thanks very much to Burbed reader Mole Man for this remarkable realty in Redwood City!

0 Palomar Dr
Redwood City, CA 94062
$100,000

120802-palomar-redfin

120802-palomar-treesBEDS:  -
BATHS:  -
SQ. FT.:  -
LOT SIZE:  0.37 Acres
PROPERTY TYPE: Residential Land (Single Family)
VIEW: Neighborhood
COMMUNITY:  Clifford Heights
COUNTY:  San Mateo
MLS#:  81050958
SOURCE:  MLSListings
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN:  652 days

Also includes APN 051-031-560. Accessible yet private tree studded 1/3+acre lot in Palomar Park. Located between 410 & 422 Palomar Dr. , lot offers 100’ frontage. Rear property line borders San Carlos. Owner will consider carrying financing to qualified buyer. Easement, Topography map, sewer study available in listing office. Email listing agent for detailed information & reports.

Mole Man says, “Check it out: a 1/3 acre slice of super-exclusive Palomar Park can be yours for $100k (house extra).”  That’s a nice big chunk of land to build your dream house.  That is, it would be if it weren’t for this tiny little thing we found on the assessor maps.

120802-palomar-assessor-map

120802-palomar-driveNow we wonder what those little dashed lines marked “EASE” could refer to?  Could it be the ease with which you’ll be able to build on this double lot?  Or did the surveyor think the land was so beautiful that an artist ought to set up with paints and an easel here?

Or it’s just a big arrow pointing to lot number 9, which is EAST of 10 and 11.  You know what terrible handwriting those surveyors have.

We doubt there will be any trouble getting permits to build here at all.  How could there be, when the seller is a licensed real estate agent?  With loads of experience.  Just look at how many different listings there have been for practice?

120802-palomar-listing-history

Now is the time to buy, because this one has to be right!

Comments (9) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:10 am

August 2, 2012

A better than new home in Sunnyvale!

There are several kinds of problem listings we enjoy digging into.  There’s the traditional crapshack, which is a house that’s basically a really ugly and old box (and it needs work, too).  There’s the perfectly acceptable house with a price that would only attract buyers if it were in pesos instead of dollars.  There’s the very high end custom place that’s a dream home for the owner but quirky as all get out for anyone else.  This house also has a cousin, the high end custom home where the builder/owner went broke trying to finish it.

Today’s listing is a different kind of fail.  This is the house that got a little too foo-foo for the neighborhood, and maybe a little too cute for its own good.  Let’s see what awaits in our favorite Sunnyvale zip code.

1301 PAULINE Dr
Sunnyvale, CA 94087
$1,300,000; reduced from $1,399,999 on 7/27/12; reduced from $1,496,999 on 6/27/12

120801-pauline-redfin

120801-pauline-entryBEDS:  4
BATHS:  4.5
SQ. FT.:  2,875
$/SQ. FT.:  $452
LOT SIZE:  7,032 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Mediterranean
STORIES: 2
VIEW: Neighborhood
YEAR BUILT:  2007
COMMUNITY:  Sunnyvale
COUNTY:  Santa Clara
MLS#:  81224214
SOURCE:  MLSListings
STATUS: Active
120801-pauline-stairway-topON REDFIN:  35 days

Huge Price Reduction! A spectacular custom home in Sunnyvale with Cupertino Schools. Bright open floor plan with 3 master bedroom suits, custom drapery, Austrian crystal chandeliers, dual zone heating and A/C, alarm system, crown molding, and so much more! A better than new home! Cupertino Schools: Stocklmeir 956 API, Cupertino Middle 928 API. Turn key and ready for move in for an amazing price!

We have a lot more pictures waiting for you, so click on through!

(more…)

Comments (18) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:01 am

August 1, 2012

East Coast-influenced architecture in Los Altos Hills

Let’s continue our trip up and down the housing food chain.  Earlier this week we had a genuine crapbox.  Yesterday we had a mid-priced property in a neighborhood without a name (and it really says something for the Silicon Valley housing market that a million dollar property in an unremarkable part of San Jose is considered mid-priced at a million dollars).

Today we’re back to another Burbed favorite: the non-moving high end.  Thanks very much to Burbed reader Petsmart Groomer for this lovely landscape in Los Altos Hills.

12859 NORMANDY Ln
Los Altos Hills, CA 94022
$6,195,000

120731-normady-redfin

120731-normandy-deckBEDS:  6
BATHS:  6.5
SQ. FT.:  7,333
$/SQ. FT.:  $845
HOA DUES:  $300/month
LOT SIZE:  1.21 Acres
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STORIES: 3
VIEW: Neighborhood
YEAR BUILT:  2005
COMMUNITY:  Los Altos Hills
COUNTY:  Santa Clara
MLS#:  81216432
SOURCE:  MLSListings
STATUS: Active
120731-normandy-poolON REDFIN:  90 days

This stunning custom home is a masterpiece of East Coast-influenced architecture. The main residence features, 5BR/5.5BA + wkout rm (could be 6th BR), private office, a Media rm, large recreation rm & sep wine cell. Darling 1BR/1BA gst hs. Gorgeous landscaped grounds w/ sparkling pool/spa, exceptional terrace w/ fireplace, outdoor kit. & fountain. Detached 3-car gar w/ large workrm. Close in location

120731-normandy-lawnOther than the mildly radioactive trees on the grounds, this housing tumor photographed nicely.  There is the matter of the $300 homeowner’s association fees, not something one expects with a six million dollar property. 

Wonder just what the Normandy Lane Association gives you for the privilege?  Maybe they send someone over every month to spray paint the sod this exact shade of green not otherwise found even on a golf course.

And the reason PG sent it in?  Location, location, location!

120731-normandy-satellite

Comments (12) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:06 am

July 31, 2012

JUST A BIKE RIDE TO DOWNTOWN WILLOW GLEN

We haven’t had any Willow Glen properties in a while, or even not-really-in-Willow Glen-but-claiming-to-be listings.  Today’s featured home was sent to us by bmwman91.  Thanks very much for this #winning not-Willow Glen wonder.

2143 GLENKIRK Dr
San Jose, CA 95124
$975,000

120730-glenkirk-redfin

120730-glenkirk-kitchenBEDS:  4
BATHS:  2.5
SQ. FT.:  2,344
$/SQ. FT.:  $416
LOT SIZE:  8,288 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Ranch
STORIES: 1
VIEW: Neighborhood
YEAR BUILT:  1964
COMMUNITY:  Willow Glen
COUNTY:  Santa Clara
MLS#:  81224337
SOURCE:  MLSListings
STATUS: Active
120730-glenkirk-diningON REDFIN:  33 days

REG Sale. LOCATION LOCATION! Needs some cosmetic updates , JUST A BIKE RIDE TO DOWNTOWN WILLOW GLEN. Upgrades Include: CUSTOM CROWN MOLDING, NEW PAINT, REFNSHD WOOD FLRS, 6 BURNER GAS RANGE STNLSS STEEL DSHWSHR, TRSH COMPCTR, TILED FLR. BATH W/ TILE FLOORS & JETTED TUB. FURNACE & CENT AIR apprx 12 YRS OLD. , COMP ROOF apprx 14 YRS. , AUTO SPRINKLERS.

120730-glenkirk-familyHere’s why bmwman91 shared this house with us:

[The owners] are clearly savvy about cashing in on some of the instant equity that the last seller left hidden in the medicine cabinet in 2005, by listing it for $145k more than was paid for it at the peak. Maybe they need the extra cash to buy some furniture.

Since when was 2005 the peak?  This place might have topped out in 2006, easy!  But we agree about the furniture.  That table sure gets around!

One thing we aren’t sure about is what neighborhood this house is in, but it sure is not Willow Glen.  Google maps isn’t really helping, as it seems to have this house in a neighborhood dead zone.

120730-glenkirk-neighborhoods

120730-glenkirk-frontThere’s a few more names that pop up as you zoom in, but nothing for the area bounded by Hamilton, Leigh, Curtner, and Meridian.  We’re going to go with Cambrian with Campbell-San Jose as a second choice.  Maybe even Dry Creek.  But Willow Glen?  We don’t think so, unless it’s this not-Willow Glen neighborhood called “Willow Glen South Lincoln Glen.”  You know, where they have to point out it’s a REG Sale.

So readers, your job is to explain why this not-in-Willow Glen house is worth $145K more than it was in 2005.  Be sure to support your answer by referring to this fine example of a listing photo.

 

Comments (13) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:10 am

July 30, 2012

Hooray for Crapshacks!

It’s been so long since we’ve featured a house like today’s property, and this site used to run almost nothing else.  Blame it on all the flippers out there trying to install granite in absolutely every building.

Today’s home hails from amazing Alum Rock, and was discovered by Burbed reader Tracy Tea House, who is our guest blogger this fine day.  We’re headed for Zillow, (Redfin link here) so hold on!  And before we go, be sure to give Tracy a big, warm Real Bay Area welcome for this guest post!


1761 E San Antonio St
San Jose, CA 95116
For Sale: $285,000

120729-sanantonio-zillow

120729-sanantonio-frontZestimate®: $271,085
Est. Mortgage: $1,020/mo
See current rates on Zillow
Beds: 2
Baths: 1
Sqft: 937
Lot: 9,583 sq ft / 0.22 acres
Type: Single Family
Year built: 1920
Parking: –
Cooling: –
Heating: –
Fireplace: –
On Zillow: 30 days
MLS #: 81224183

Brokered And Advertised By: Altas Realty Listing Agent: Clem Garcia

120729-sanantonio-backThere’s something about a North  East San José crap shack from 1920 that just gets my juices flowing. I start imagining the history, who lived there, what this part of California was like back then, so much closer to the time of  original settlement.

Then, I start thinking of the toxics, asbestos, old leaky containers and old buried tanks in the 9000 sf yard. Suddenly, the idea of tearing it down and building a flip doesn’t sound too bad… But, people are living there, in all  937 sf of it and they want almost 300K for it????

120729-sanantonio-yard

Still the pictures are intriguing. There is dirt, trash, chain link, Plywood fences, artful shadows, and so much more  in the mystery RV.  Then there are the “normal” houses nearby… How has this one remained all these years, and who will come on the scene to change it. Ok, I’m hooked I’ll add it to my many saved shacks, and send it to madhaus and burbed who I know will appreciate the art of this sale.

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

July 29, 2012

A request for information

We get all kinds of mail at Burbed.  Here’s one that asks us for some advice.  Instead of our just sending our answer, wouldn’t it be awesome if we sent several responses?  Our readers are a fairly high-powered bunch, so let’s go!

Dear Burbed.com,

My name is Darren and I am a business student at <school not in the Real Bay Area>.  I’m taking part in a summer business incubator program in <city not in the RBA> where students create startup companies.  I believe the best businesses begin by solving a problem and I’m interested in building my business around helping real estate investors since this has always been an area of interest for me. 

I was wondering if you could take a few minutes to answer some of my informational interview questions below?  I am trying to determine what problems/inefficiencies real estate investors encounter that I could solve through developing a software solution.

I appreciate your help.

Thank you,

Darren <last name goes here>

Questions:

1.)    What is the biggest hassle real estate investors have to deal with?

2.)    If you could wave a magic wand and change something about what you do, what would it be?

Here are our answers for Darren.  What are yours?

120729-ugly-house1.) The biggest hassle for real estate investors is buying a property and subsequently discovering that it wasn’t in the RBA after all.  Usually this is revealed right after the comps drop.

The second biggest hassle is when business students ask anyone running a website even remotely related to one of the topic terms to do their homework for them.

2.) What would we change?  We would find a way to monetize this site using advertisers who would pay us $1000 per pageview.  Also, we’d implement better email tools to direct these sort of blast requests directly to our readers who are here to help.  Plus we’d give ourself super powers.  No way are we letting go of this magic wand.  We may throw it open to our readership to suggest how to use it on people like Darren.  We’re debating between “sic a high-pressure real estate investment salesman on him” and “replace his computer with a motivational book.”

We’ll be sure Darren sees your answers.  Hopefully he’ll also answer some of our questions.  Our first one is “If you could be any kind of house, what kind of house would you be?”

This is also your Weekend Open Thread.  Feel free to tell us what kind of Open House you’d be as well.  If you could wave a magic wand and change something about the house, what would it be?

Comments (17) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:05 am