July 28, 2012

Most Fascinating Statement of the Week: Golden Bear Edition

Did you know that there’s a Real Estate department at UC Berkeley?  No, we don’t mean that Cal or the Regents are buying up foreclosed homes nearby.  There is an actual academic department that studies and teaches real estate.

120724-haas-logoAs an academic discipline.

To, among other students, real estate “professionals.”

At UC Berkeley.

The crown jewel of our taxpayer-funded college system.

Yes, there is an actual place called the Fisher Center for Real Estate and Urban Economics and it’s part of Cal’s Haas School of Business.  Here’s their mission statement:

The mission of the Fisher Center for Real Estate & Urban Economics (FCREUE) is to educate students and real estate professionals and to support and conduct research on real estate, urban economics, the California economy, land use, and public policy.

Well, that doesn’t have to be a crisis signifying the lack of integrity of academia, does it?  If they study real estate in a disciplined, methodical and rigorous manner, the subject could certainly be well worth the effort.

Then again, maybe not.

In Tuesday’s SJ Mercury News, Professor Emeritus Kenneth T. Rosen, who is the chairman of the Fisher center, was quoted for a story on the improvement of home values in the second quarter .  Let’s listen in on his brilliant observations on the problem of a stalled regional housing market due to negative equity:

“It’s becoming less negative as house prices are going up around the Bay Area… It only affects those people who bought at the peak two or three years. Part of the reason they have negative equity is that they borrowed a lot of money.”

Ya think?

Comments (1) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:03 am






July 27, 2012

Zoned Industrial; City will not allow change

Success breeds success at Burbed, and our coverage of Google Central just keeps leading to more submissions as close-in as possible. Today’s property is a real treat because it’s so close to everything.  Thanks very much to Burbed reader Michael Boltonestater for this mixed-use manse in Mountain View.

1941 COLONY St
Mountain View, CA 94043
$828,000

120725-colony-redfin

120725-colony-shedBEDS:  3
BATHS:  1.5
SQ. FT.:  1,105
$/SQ. FT.:  $749
LOT SIZE:  0.27 Acres
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STORIES: 1
YEAR BUILT:  1950
COMMUNITY:  Rengstorff
COUNTY:  Santa Clara
MLS#:  81227723
SOURCE:  MLSListings
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN:  1 day
 NEW LISTING (24 HOURS)

Zoned industrial, currently used as a single family house, not allowed to increase the living sqft. Can be used also as mixed residential/industrial. Currently considered non-conforming use and can be kept this way. City will not allow to change the industrial zoning to residential zoning.

120725-colony-drivewayThis agent is such a defeatist! Of course the city will allow to change the industrial zoning to residential zoning.  The only question is, how much will it cost to encourage them to do it?  When you see what this house is near, the answer to whether it’s worth it isn’t just yes, but FOUKING HELL YES.

We’ve seen mixed residential/commercial zoning before, but this house enters a new paradigm for the Silicon Valley engineer/inventor who doesn’t want to be limited to just the garage.  Take a look at all you get just on your block!  Places to build things or store things or blow them up to the left, other is-this-a-house-or-a-wrecking-yard mysteries to the right.  It’s a win either direction you go.  

120725-colony-satellite

Plus, look at the  neighborhood we’re talking about!  It’s not often that the vehicles go so perfectly with the front yard decor.

120725-colony-streetview

And across the street, it gets even better!  No less than Burbed’s favorite townhouse community EVER!

120725-colony-gables

If Burbed were a business that actually made any money, this house would be the place we’d be headquartered. So run out and buy the place, and start your Web 3.1 empire today!

Comments (12) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:10 am

July 26, 2012

Double Your Pleasure, Double Your Fun

120725-bing-doublemintIt’s been too long since we’ve checked in with Burbed reader Tracy Tea House and her amazing collection of what-the-heck-is-THATs from the East Side. 

Today she’s back with another San Jose special for all you would-be Silicon Valley millionaires, but this one’s on the other side of the Valley.  Tracy likes Trulia for all her househunting needs, so let’s check in with them.

1454 Bing Drive Bing Drive
San Jose CA 95129
$998,000

120725-bing-trulia

120725-bing-kitchenBedrooms: 4 24 days on Trulia
Bathrooms: 2 
Property type: Single-Family Home
Size: 1,650 sqft
Lot: 6,098 sqft
Price/sqft: $605/sqft
Year built: 1965
MLS/ID: 81224226
Zip: 95129
Listing agent: Michelle Carr-Crowe, ABR,ACRE,ALHS,ASP,CDPE,RECS,SRES, Top 5% US RE Agents
Broker: Just Call (408) 252-8900 Michelle Carr Crowe at Keller Williams Cupertino 

120725-bing-livingHURRY! Special Fourth of July HOT BUY! 1454 BING Dr., San Jose 95129, Open Sat. & Sun., 1:30-4:30 You and the people you care about are invited to see our HOT BUY! Effortless Elegance & Entertaining can Easily be Yours in this Lovely & Upgraded Lynbrook High Home. Featuring a Formal Foyer, Separate LR & FR & Skylight-Illuminated Dining, a Custom Tile & Oak Kitchen, 4 Light & Airy Bedrooms, and 2 Jaw-Droppingly Gorgeous Remodeled Baths, it all add up to Fabulous! Quality Upgrades include Dual Pane Windows, Copper Plumbing to the Main and Cement Tile Roof. COOL Central Air Conditioning, Wet

120725-bing-frontPut your best foot forward, invite the reader into your book with a great cover photo, you’ve got one chance to make a great first impression so always lead your listing with a terrific all-over picture of the house.  A photo of the house.  Not a photo of the flyer for the house.  Wow, this is worse than confusing Call by Name with Call by Value.  And in this listing the facade shot at left doesn’t appear until the fourth photo, but don’t worry, the agent put in another one right next to it in case you skip past.

See that green thing above the flyer and left of the price?  This property is “Active Contingent,” which means an offer was accepted but you just never know which contingency could derail the whole deal. That’s good news for you, because that means you can submit your own backup overbid!

For old times’ sake, head over to Redfin, where’ you’ll find:

  • 120725-bing-lynbrookDifferent first photo, plus photos of school signs (this one is second)
  • All home photos repeated
  • But the street name isn’t
  • Lot is 124 square feet smaller
  • San Jose address in the “Cupertino” community (while being 1.1 miles from Cupertino)
  • Pending Without Release (can’t figure out if that’s the same as Active Contingent since Redfin doesn’t define Without vs With Release)
  • A Virtual Tour link!
  • And different listing copy:

Effortless Elegance & Entertaining Can Be Yours! Fabulous Floor Plan Features Sep. LR & FR! Custom Tile & Oak Kit. Boasts Garden Window, Roll-Outs, Custom Details! Skylights! E-Z Care Laminate, Hardwood, Quality Carpet! E-Z Walk to Rainbow Park! E-Z Walk to Nat. -Recgnizd Cupertino Scls! Miller-API 981 & Lynbrook-API 943! Cool Central A/C + Private Hot Tub for Summer Family Fun!

It’s not enough to name the schools, now they also include the API scores. But the listing copy on Trulia is more deserving of the Burbed Seal of Approval.

 

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

July 25, 2012

Holy Color Purple, Batman!

One thing we all love on Burbed is real estate photography.  We’ve had photos of just the floor, photos of messy rooms, photos of questionable decor, and photos of more toilets than you could shake a scrub brush at.  But today’s featured property looks at those fine examples of photo fail and says, “Oh yeah?  I can beat THAT.”

Thanks very much to Burbed reader DavidDavidDavid for today’s spectacular colorburst in San Carlos!

2388 BRITTAN Ave
San Carlos, CA 94070
$759,000

120722-brittan-redfin

120722-brittan-garageBEDS:  3
BATHS:  2
SQ. FT.:  1,370
$/SQ. FT.:  $554
LOT SIZE:  7,500 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Ranch
STORIES: 1
VIEW: Neighborhood
YEAR BUILT:  1953
COMMUNITY:  Howard Park
COUNTY:  San Mateo
MLS#:  81226555
SOURCE:  MLSListings
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN:  4 days

Lovely ranch-style home on a large corner lot. Formal LR/DR combo with H/W floors, wood-burning fireplace, french doors lead to patio and secluded back yard. Updated kitchen with dark granite counter tops, stainless appliances & tile floor. Remodeled bathrooms. Recessed lights, New drive way, 2-car attached garage w/ extra storage. Fully lndscp front & back yard. Great schools/nbrhd. Ez fwy accs.

120722-brittan-sideyardHere’s why DavidDavidDavid (I hope I can call him D3 for short) nominated this home for some Burbed loving:

Yet a new achievement in HDR real estate photography! Scroll over to the third and subsequent photos; check out the blazing magenta colorization!

What are you talking about?  We don’t see anything amiss with these photos.

But we’ll keep looking in case our readers might notice any problems.

120722-brittan-frontyard120722-brittan-backyard

Comments (8) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:02 am

July 24, 2012

TechCU conversion – Vote No [Not Snarky]

Let’s take a pause from examining the joys and wonderment of Real Bay Areal Real Estate, and look at a serious issue.

If you are a TechCU customer, you will soon be asked to vote on whether you want to convert the bank to… well… a bank. Or to keep it as is.

I’ve read through the literature, and I can’t seem to find any good reason on why this conversion should happen.

Worse yet, the phone calls, the literature, the raffle for free iPads for voting (seriously??) have all left a bad taste in my mouth.

You’re free to do whatever you want to do, but I’m planning on voting no on the conversion.

Here’s some more reasons why:

http://www.savetcu.org/

Comments (15) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:26 am

July 23, 2012

This Mountain View House has easy access to Los Altos & Palo Alto!

Listed 7 days and pending already, no doubt because of the easy access to better towns.  Did we mention that Mountain View is hot, hot, hot?  If you don’t believe us look at the trees in these photos.

2546 DELL Ave
Mountain View, CA 94043
$699,000

120719-dell-redfin

120719-dell-crapperBEDS:  3
BATHS:  2
SQ. FT.:  1,216
$/SQ. FT.:  $575
LOT SIZE:  5,000 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STORIES: 1
VIEW: Neighborhood
YEAR BUILT:  1959
COMMUNITY:  Thompson
COUNTY:  Santa Clara
MLS#:  81226069
SOURCE:  MLSListings
STATUS: Pending Without Release
ON REDFIN:  7 days

Great location in Monta Loma Neighborhood! Incredible opportunity to remodel and make your own! Blocks from Monta Loma Elementary School. 4 bedrooms & 2 bathrooms with over 1200 sq. ft living space. Open living room and dining room, bonus room and large backyard. Attached 2 car garage. Just minutes from the New Village at San Antonio Center with easy access to Los Altos & Palo Alto!

120719-dell-backyardPlease pardon us while we try to reboot our eyeballs after yet another HDR attack.  We may also need some potassium iodade pills to mitigate any exposure to the radioactive foliage.

Now, can anyone explain why the realtard chose the “additional” pictures provided?  In addition to all three school facades and the Mountain View Performing Arts Center, there’s a photo of a US Bank with a Starbucks across the street.  Is this a subliminal suggestion that you’ll be rolling in dough from all the new homeowner tax savings?  Or is this photo merely there to show how awesome Downtown Mountain View is, a US Bank and a Starbucks, both! 

Because this is Downtown Los Altos.

120719-dell-losaltos120719-dell-losaltos-streetview

The photo on the left is #24 from the listing. The photo on the right came straight from teh Googly Mapz, for 300 Main Street.  Obviously this view is far more classy than one of the Starbucks closer to this house.  Wouldn’t you rather sip your lattes at a more prestigious Starbucks in a mawbul kawlums zip code?  Heck, why didn’t the agent include a picture of Stanford?

Comments (11) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:03 am

July 22, 2012

Translating Realtardese to English as She is Spoken

Movoto’s blog has some pictures today that illustrate the disconnect between listing copy and what the house actually looks like.  They’ve encouraged other blogs to share it so here it is.

Agent Speak 101

Are there any phrasings you’ve noticed particular to Bay Area homes?  The first one we’ve noticed right away, having moved here from somewhere else.  And almost everywhere else this expression does not mean what they think it means.

The others are just part of the pleasure of living in the RBA, like paying more for the same groceries.

Some RBA Realtardese

Lingo What you think it means What it actually means
Huge Yard 120722-lingo-hugeyard-md

Acres and acres of space

120722-lingo-hugeyard-ca

There IS a yard.  At least a yard wide.

Close to
transportation!
120722-lingo-close-pa

Three blocks from the bus

120303-moorpark-satellite_thumb

Close to freeway.  Real close.

Location,
Location,
Location!
 

120722-location-opa

Best part of town

 

120617-edison-hospital-entrance_thumb

Convenient to emergency psych ward

Now it’s your turn!  If you can provide pictures as well, we’ll add them into your comments for you.

Comments (16) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:28 am

July 21, 2012

Mobile Home Living in Palo Alto

Yes, another article about Palo Alto.  It seems nobody can have too much of that place.  Thanks very much to Burbed reader PKamp3 for spotting this article in the Fox News Journal.

Vehicle-Dwellers Call Palo Alto Home

By DEBORAH GAGE, The Wall Street Journal
SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA Updated July 11, 2012, 6:17 p.m. ET

120720-live-car-wsjPALO ALTO—Kurt Varner moved to Palo Alto from Los Angeles in March to start an Internet company. But instead of renting an apartment, the 25-year-old has been residing in a different kind of abode: his car.

Every 72 hours, Mr. Varner moves his car around Palo Alto to avoid violating the city’s parking rules, and he tries to be as inconspicuous as possible to local residents and other car-dwellers. Mr. Varner sometimes does some rudimentary cooking at a co-working space in Mountain View, where he codes during the day. And he showers at a local 24 Hour Fitness gym. His total cost for the gym and co-working space is $139 a month.

Living in his car is the only way he can afford to be in Silicon Valley right now, says Mr. Varner, whose wife, a teacher, lives in Los Angeles. Mr. Varner, who has been effectively homeless for the past few months, says he can’t afford to pay rent on two places but will move into an apartment in the area this month when his wife moves up.

He says he is excited about working on something he is passionate about, but being homeless is “a little scary.”

120720-live-car-wsj-vanSo it’s not enough to find out that some people love Palo Alto so much they’ll live at the office.  Every single night.  Because they don’t live anywhere else.  Now we’ve got people living in their cars because it’s completely legal to live in your car in Palo Alto.

No wonder there’s only one mobile home park in Palo Alto.  There’s too much lowball competition!  How can Buena Vista possibly compete with BMW?

This is also your Weekend Open Thread, so have at it.  Did you see anyone living in their cars when you toured Open Houses this weekend?  Where are the best places to park?

 

Comments (31) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:14 am

July 20, 2012

Location, location, location in Old Mountain View

We’ll finish out our weekend with this find close to everything!  At least close to what matters.  Thanks very much to Burbed reader Petsmart Groomer for today’s listing.

579 MCCARTY Ave
Mountain View, CA  94041
$849,900

 

120719-mccarty-redfin

120719-mccarty-blueroomBEDS:  3
BATHS:  2
SQ. FT.:  1,194
$/SQ. FT.:  $712
LOT SIZE:  5,035 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Ranch
STORIES: 1
VIEW: Neighborhood
YEAR BUILT:  1957
COMMUNITY:  Downtown
COUNTY:  Santa Clara
MLS#:  81216279
SOURCE:  MLSListings
STATUS: Active
120719-mccarty-deckON REDFIN:  78 days

Absolutely stunning & charming home adjacent to Old Mountain View. Great curb appeal. Remodeled kitchen with granite slab countertops, stainless appliances & travertine floor. Other features include beautiful hardwood floors, crown mouldings, dual paned windows, remodeled bath with spa tub. Huge rear deck perfect for entertaining. Two finished outbuildings w/ power-perfect home office, studio or playhouse.

It’s always a pleasure when a place we’ve already visited comes back to us, like a disagreeable meal or a reanimated zombie.

120719-mccarty-burbed-061017

120719-mccarty-diningExcept this time it’s got $30,000 more value than six years ago!  Hurry!  Now here’s why PG sent in this property:

“Absolutely stunning & charming home adjacent to Old Mountain View.” – I can think of a couple of other things it is adjacent to…

Let’s find out!  Burbed Sky 3 crew is on scene!

 

120719-mccarty-satellite

 

Comments (4) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:02 am

July 19, 2012

“San Francisco housing market booms bigger than ever”

San Francisco housing market booms bigger than ever

The average monthly price of an apartment lease has risen to $2,734 — up 12.9 percent since 2011 — according to data compiled by the rental data firm Real Facts. The spike in San Francisco rents seems to be spilling over to cheaper markets like Oakland, where the average rent is now $1,835 — up 14.4 percent since last year. Pacifica, where rents now average $1,908, has experienced a 15.6 percent increase.

A recent survey by Realtor.com shows that The City’s median listing price is up 15.4 percent since last year, which matches a similar upward tick in Oakland, where the average home is selling for $379,000. The number of homes for sale in San Francisco is down 40 percent since last year, and nearly 60 percent in Oakland.

Congrats to the Real Bay Area for this tremendous achievement!

You heard it here first! This site has been calling this since… oh… 1849. Finally we are back on track to overtake Manhattan, Moscow, Japan, and other world class cities in terms of being unaffordable (e.g. exclusively awesome)!

Let’s check in with an expert, shall we?

“With the rising rents, we’re definitely seeing some people get off the fence,” Kearney said. “But still, a lot more people can afford to pay rent on a monthly basis — even if it’s higher than a mortgage payment — than those who can come up with a down payment. So we’re seeing more and more of those down payments from parents.”

That’s right! Now’s the time to buy! Unlike when the market was tanking (that was also a time to buy BTW). If you don’t buy (with your parents’ money), you’ll be priced out forever!

 

Comments (56) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:49 am