September 18, 2013

Diamond in the rough. Really rough. For many diamonds.

We’re continuing this Week of Win, jumping to a new county each time. Today we’re headed to Santa Clara, the Mission City.  As in, your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to tell us everything you just love about today’s featured property!

We’ll start. It’s on a street named for an architect!

130917-wren-redfin990 WREN Ave
Santa Clara, CA 95051
$1,598,000

3 Beds
2.5 Baths
2,250 Sq. Ft.
$710 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1963
Lot Size: 0.52 Acres
On Redfin: 55 days
Status: Active
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Stories: 1
Community: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81326991
Style: Traditional
View: Neighborhood
County: Santa Clara

* Diamond in the rough * Huge Lot * Buyer to verify if the property can be subdivided into 3 lots * With TLC, this house is full of potential

130917-wren-lawnThis house is indeed full of something.  Unfortunately there are no pictures inside so we’re going to have to guess what that is.

Also we’re scratching our heads over how much potential this home is full of, especially with the subdivision suggestion. Maybe it has the potential to have even uglier houses much closer.

Comments (4) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:02 am






September 17, 2013

A house for a Princess Bride in Daly City

Some houses are straight from a fairy tale, some from Hollywood, and some are from a story book.  So is this delightful domicile in Daly City, which includes some magical features!

130916-sandiego-redfin363 San Diego Ave
Daly City, CA 94014
$699,000

4 Beds
3 Baths
— Sq. Ft.
Built: —
Lot Size: —
On Redfin: 53 days
Status: Active
Property Type: Detached, Single-Family Home
Community: Original Daly City
MLS#: 411057
Style: Traditional, Cottage
County: San Mateo

New Remodel detach craftsmen house comes with 3 bedroom and 2 bath. High ceiling, Large living dining area. Included in Master suite walking cloth set, amazing full bath with 6ft jet tub, walk-in showing. second bathroom has build-in washer and dryer. 1 year old roof, new water heater and New Furnace. Long drive way can park up to 4 cars. separated cottage with additional 1 bed 1 bath need some TLC but great Potential. separate large garage need TLC. Large Lot with 2 back yard area.

130916-sandiego-livingA walking cloth set? Sold! And it comes with a walk-in showing! That’s a whole lot of walking going on in this fairy-tale cottage! But wait, there’s more!

This amazing living room is exactly where you would find one of the many delightful featured creatures in the movie The Princess Bride. We hope you can spot it right away.

If you can’t, here’s a free clue.  Just go watch the film now that you know where the ROUS live.

130916-sandiego-roundtableMaybe that’s why the house has been on and off the market since 2009.

Bunus: Many houses featured on Burbed have photos of neighborhood features included in the listing.  This home, like many others, has a few shots taken in the general vicinity of the house, including the BART station (just 4 blocks away!).  Whoo-whoo!

But we believe this is the first listing we’ve ever seen that included a pic of a Round Table Pizza franchise.

Comments (5) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:03 am

September 16, 2013

CONTRACTORS DREAM! in Fremont

Happy Monday! Let’s get back to some housing win by sticking our toe just the teensiest bit into the East Bay. Noooo, we don’t mean Oakland or Berkeley or Richmond. We mean just over the Alameda County line but almost in Silicon Valley: Fremont! Or as our hard-working real estate professionals call it: Fre-tastic!*

130915-mission-redfin37503 MISSION Blvd
Fremont, CA 94536
$509,000

3 Beds
2 Baths
1,814 Sq. Ft.
$281 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1910
Lot Size: 10,000 Sq. Ft.
On Redfin: 10 days
Status: Active
Type: 2 Houses on 1 Lot
Community: Fremont
MLS#: 40630404
View: Hills
County: Alameda

FIXER UPPER! HANDYMAN SPECIAL! CONTRACTORS DREAM! TWO HOMES ON ONE 10,000 SQ FT LOT! 880 SQ FT SHOP! LOTS OF PARKING! CHECK W/ CITY REGARDING POSSIBILITIES!

130915-mission-cabinets* This is somewhat of an exaggeration on our part (by which we mean a complete lie). We don’t know anyone who calls the city Fre-tastic, although we did overhear one realtard tell a client that this area was Fre-netic. That’s good, right?

And speaking of good, this will be an awesome house for any small children you happen to have lying around. Not only is the playground all set up in front, look what’s in your back yard!

130915-mission-railway

That’s not just ordinary railroad tracks, but a railroad station for Niles Canyon Railway. Yes, good old-fashioned trains, in your very own backyard! Or close enough to smell them, anyway! Whoo-whoo!  Oops, we mean WHOO-WHOO!

CHECK W/ CITY REGARDING POSSIBILITIES!

Comments (6) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:08 am

September 15, 2013

Hacker House dies from excessive self-image, brand overexposure

Almost exactly a year ago, we took a look at group housing as not just a way to save on rent, but as launching pad to future success.  Some of these homes were in San Francisco, some were in Silicon Valley.  The most well-known one in the Valley might have been the Rainbow Mansion.  Of course, it has a website.

Now Buzzfeed has a fairly longish piece on the implosion of a shared SF house that saw itself as more than just a bunch of geeks splitting the rent.  Or an “intentional community.” Burbed readers, meet the Rise mansion, formerly known as TheGlint. Right, no space. Thanks very much to Burbed reader nomadic for alerting us to this story.

The Rise And Fall Of A Startup Mansion

130914-rise-viewStartups, pizza, ego, beer, filth. The collapse of a hacker house and the battle for Silicon Valley’s soul.

Justine Shamrocks, BuzzFeed Staff, posted on August 26, 2013 at 2:20pm EDT

When William Hsu first moved to San Francisco to work in startups, he got a one-bedroom apartment. “I thought that was the adult thing to do, the thing I was supposed to do,” Hsu says. “But it kind of sucked actually to go home and no one was there. It was kind of depressing.” He missed college. Like many other young techies, his career development was outpacing his social development.

Instead of just getting roommates, he applied to live with 15 other guys at a San Francisco “startup mansion,” which he later went on to run. As more and more young techies like Hsu move into the notoriously expensive city, these “hacker houses” are becoming a rising trend. Varying in size from about 5 to 20 people, they are sort of commune-meets-incubator-meets-dorm. Each has its own vibe, reflecting the different sub-scenes of the of the tech world from visionaries to brogrammers, grad students to hackers, as well as people working at big companies. Some houses are more established and formal; others, chiefly casual.

I first heard about Hsu’s house when I saw the Craigslist ad for the “Live/Work Startup Mansion with sweeping views of San Francisco!” looking to add “cool new people.”

“Come check it out, seriously,” the ad said.

130914-rise-craigslistThe Craigslist ad pointed to this Business Insider writeup, which was essentially a photo diary about where several of Peter Thiel’s Fellows ended up.

Shared housing in a place of high rental costs is nothing new. What is different was when a group of people sharing a bigger than normal house begin to have bigger than normal ideas about what they’re actually doing.

Much bigger than normal:

"The truth is that The Glint is a live-work community that accelerates the creation and creators of value through design, philosophy, the arts & sciences, technology and entrepreneurship. It aspires to shift the conception of heroism from historical warrior ideals to a new paradigm of creativity, collaboration and innovation"

And if you think that’s bad, their two-word tagline for the group home was “Heroism Accelerator.”

That’s going to need the “ginormous” tag all by itself.  Which it isn’t going to earn according to Redfin.

130914-rise-streetview170 Saint Germain Ave
San Francisco, CA 94114
Sold for $1,400,000

4 Beds
3 Baths
4,300 Sq. Ft.
$326 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1938
Lot Size: 4,996 Sq. Ft.
Sold On: Jun 5, 2003
Status: Sold Source: Public Records

And yes, we realize this doesn’t bear a lot of resemblance to the photos in the article, which is why we double-checked a bit. And this Bing bird’s eye image (right) looks more like the one in the story (left).

130914-rise-bf-craigslist130914-rise-birdseye“One of my jokes for a while was that the whole point of TheGlint was to save the planet, at least according to them. But they couldn’t even save the house,” Gooen says. “Imagine taking the most successful CEOs and putting them in a house together in a reality TV show to organize the dishes and house maintenance. That was almost what it was like. Although they were not as successful. They just thought they were.”

130914-rise-getshitdoneHah.  This is still before TheGlint was shut down and two renters took over the lease and rebranded the house as Rise. Now instead of “changing the planet,” they just wanted to network the heck out of each other.

Hilarity ensues.

This is also your Weekend Open Thread. Ever live in a group house?  Did you ever actually “Get Sh*t Done”?

Comments (3) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:07 am

September 14, 2013

Smug techies commission uber-pimped pads

Want to read another self-congratulatory article about how much money everyone is spending in Silicon Valley? You didn’t? See you tomorrow, then!  Thanks very much to Burbed reader PK for alerting us to this important development that nobody at all saw coming.

Silicon Valley techies spur home building and remodeling boom

130913-svbuilding-lahBy Pete Carey, San Jose Mercury News
POSTED:   09/10/2013 07:04:31 PM PDT | UPDATED:   3 DAYS AGO

Taking advantage of Silicon Valley’s robust economy, affluent techies are building or remodeling homes, transforming parts of the area’s older housing stock and fueling a boom for Bay Area architects and interior designers.

"The problem is finding time to sleep," said architect Roger Kohler, of Palo Alto, whose firm has more than 20 projects in construction or just completed in Los Altos, Palo Alto, Menlo Park and Atherton.

The tech workers range from midlevel engineers at startups or at tech giants like Apple (AAPL),Facebook and Google (GOOG) to older CEOs or founders selling their companies. Some are doing relatively straightforward, if pricey, remodels, while others are leveling old homes and building new ones with basement game rooms, large garages and the latest in high-tech features.

Catherine Jhung, a vice president at Cleantech.com, and her husband, Brian Buchholz, who works at Google, are including "a lot of the new technologies for green building" in the San Carlos Craftsman-style home they will soon break ground on. The existing home — which they bought seven years ago — was torn down. Construction bids are coming in at $270 to $285 a square foot, or about $900,000.

130913-svbuilding-steampunkThere really isn’t much to say about the article itself, although do check out the photo in the extended gallery of the steampunk bathroom pipes. No, once more the fun is in the comments.  Here are some we really enjoyed.

Oops here comes the haters. Techies forget they live in the bubble. Outside of the bubble, is the long lines of haters.

Wait, we live in a bubble?

This is the kind of Silicon Valley self-congratulatory stuff that is typical of the Mercury News. I can hardly believe that anybody smart enough to make that much money would be dumb and vulgar enough to flaunt it in print like this.

Yeah! Go hide your money in a Swiss Bank Account like we do!

Steampunk? 20 years ago we called it postmodernism. Don’t see any compelling reason to invent a new term when a perfectly good one exists.

You, my friend, do not get steampunk.  Then again, not sure the architect did either.  There’s a distinct lack of gears, valves, and, well, steam.  This looks more like the Rube Goldberg ball machine at the Tech Museum.

The final comment is our personal favorite, in reply to this section of the story:

130913-svbulding-exterior-lahTim Williams and his wife, Renee, both work in biotech and were "half looking around" when they found a lot in Los Altos Hills for sale on Craigslist. "We’re not in the 1 percent," said Tim Williams, "so it was a bit of a stretch for us."

CONTEMPORARY DESIGN

The couple lived in an old cottage on the property during construction of the 3,100-square-foot, contemporary home, designed by Bahi Oreizy and Mariela Pfennig-Mahmud of 360 Design in Los Altos. The new home is stucco, metal and wood on the exterior and has tile floors, under-floor heating and lots of south-facing windows to help sunshine warm the home in winter.

not 1% ??? bought a lot in Los Altos and put up 3100 sq ft home with heated floors? I got news for you, YOU ARE in the 1%. and your just too stupid to realize it.

I got news for you, when you call someone stupid, you’d better not confuse the difference between your and you’re.  Not that we don’t 100% agree with this, as we did stick the home photo in next to the text for some serious cognitive dissonance.

Comments (5) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:02 am

September 13, 2013

Ready for a weekend jaunt? Plenty of head space

Here’s a little bit in the boonies for you to brew in. Or simmer, because it has plenty of SUN. Thanks very much to Burbed reader Tom Paine for today’s capacious cabin in the wilds of Sonoma County.

130911-mission-redfinUndisclosed Address
Camp Meeker, CA 95465
$117,000

1 Beds
1 Baths
648 Sq. Ft.
$181 / Sq. Ft.
Built: —
Lot Size: 7,600 Sq. Ft.
On Redfin: 8 days
Status: Active
Property Type: Residential, Detached, Single Family
Stories: 1
County: Sonoma
Style: Cottage
Community: Sebastopol
MLS#: 21320135

vintage home in camp meeker off street parking, and, SUN. Bring hammers and contractors and septic pro’s, cause it needs some (a lot) of work. great potential. .did i say off street parking and SUN. .. .. .. .. note lot size. .all sq. ft. via auto fill. . easy to work under house plenty of head space.

130911-mission-kitchenVintage home? How would the agent know? There’s no year given for the structure, although public records say 1938. Which means this house is, um, carry the 3 and… wow, 75 years. Which is five years too young to earn the Burbed “old house” tag!

Fortunately we’ve been provided with an inside look that shows the place is so old, the walls aren’t plumb anymore.

130911-mission-livingIn fact we’re wondering if the interior pictures got mixed up with one of those schoolbus conversions.

Bunus: Undisclosed address? Ha! Burbed loves disclosing them.  It’s 42 Mission Street.  That link goes to Homesnap, which includes a really helpful Google Street View shot.

Bring septic pro’s.  At least it’s easy to work under house.

Comments (3) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:03 am

September 12, 2013

Palo Alto Plat Panoply

It’s time to visit Palo Alto again, and see just how much house you can get there for your dollar, or in this case, your million and a half dollars.  Today’s find is courtesy of Burbed reader Wendie, thanks a ton! Or a million and a half tons.  And that’s before the overbidding!

130911-middlefield-redfin3475 MIDDLEFIELD Rd
Palo Alto, CA 94306
$1,495,000

1 Beds
1 Baths
607 Sq. Ft.
$2,463 / Sq. Ft.
Built: —
Lot Size: 0.32 Acres
On Redfin: 12 days
Status: Active
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Stories: 1
Community: South Palo Alto
MLS#: 81332199
Style: Traditional
View: Neighborhood
County: Santa Clara

Small cottage on extra large lot in the heart of Palo Alto. Wonderful and rare opportunity to build your dream! Additional opportunities include incorporating this beautiful lot into the adjoining property to create a unique family compound. Neighboring property consists of 19,768 ft. ² lot with 3,44 ft. ², 10 year new home (see MLS 81332198).

130911-middlefield-kitchenSteve Jobs bought the house next door to his, knocked it down and turned the property into an orchard. Larry Page thought buying up as many properties on his block was an even better idea. Do you see where we’re going with this?  This property, along with the house for sale next door, will allow you to be a high-profile land baron in Palo Alto.

Okay, South Palo Alto.  And both places list, collectively, for $4.5 million, which is an absolute bargain.

After all, if you’re going to build your dream, it’s going to cost you. And as Wendie notes, you’re paying $1.5 million for the servants’ quarters.

Comments (6) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:01 am

September 11, 2013

Beautiful Turn-key home in Redwood City

Today’s beautiful home is brought to you by Burbed reader Petsmart Groomer. Thanks very much!  And if you see a house for sale and think it ought to be on this front page, please send it to one of the addresses in the upper right corner. We’ll ignore it for weeks until it goes Pending and then frantically look for it in web caching somewhere.  Be sure to include what name you want to be called so we can “accidentally” use your real one instead.

130910-junipero-redfin1321 JUNIPERO Ave
Redwood City, CA 94061
$649,000

2 Beds
1 Baths
710 Sq. Ft.
$914 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1954
Lot Size: 2,625 Sq. Ft.
On Redfin: 21 days
Status: Active
Property Type: Detached Single Family
View: Neighborhood
County: San Mateo
Stories: 1
Community: Central Park
MLS#: 81330820

Beautiful Turn-key home with everything remodeled. Brand new kitchen with stainless steel appliances, hardwood floors, crown moulding, new interior doors and garage door. Nicely landscaped yard. A must see!!

130910-junipero-sinkLooks like the only missing cliché is the granite. But from the picture above, “turkey” isn’t the right barnyard metaphor for this property.  Take a look. This is a classic single-nostril Snout House.  The insanely small lot size is just a “bunus.”

And speaking of bunuses, check out how they solved this common architectural challenge of too few square feet for mandatory residential fixtures.

Now, are you ready for your closeup, 1321 Junipero Ave? Well, you already got one, above. We’d like to highlight how well you play with others, as you  can see in Google streetview.

A must see!!

130910-junipero-streetview.

Comments (3) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:11 am

September 10, 2013

Look beyond the surface in Sunnyvale

Okay, back to properties! There’s only so many times we can talk about commuting, or gentrification, or rising rents, or Facebook stock options. Instead, let’s have a look at this honey of a house that Burbed reader mtv-renter espied in Sunnyvale!  Oops, missing in action on Redfin… hellooooooo, Movoto!  Who says it’s still Active, even though Redfin says it went Pending Do Not Show ten days ago!

130909-remington-movoto693 W Remington Dr
Sunnyvale, CA 94087
$799,999

Loan Payment: $3,148/mo
Bedrooms: 3
Bathrooms: 2&1/2
Size: 2,015 sqft
$/sqft: $397/sqft
Type: Single Family House
Year Built: 1966
Lot Size: 6,000
Days on Movoto: 21 days
Neighborhood: Sunnyvale
MLS#: 81330762
Status: Active

Look beyond the surface and you will see that this property has a ton of potential. Large deck off kitchen overlooks what can be a lovely backyard. Separate dining and family rooms both with sliding patio doors to the backyard area. Walk to shopping and Las Palmas park * Cumberland Elementary, Sunnyvale Middle schools

130909-remington-floorBut let’s hear more from mtv-renter.

I thought this place might be burbed-worthy. I love the Realtor ™ description.

Yup, you definitely have to look beneath the surface – a surface of dust, dirt, grime, and age. Despite all that surface, though, it’s a wonderful $800k diamond in the rough on a crappy intersection in a crappy part of Sunnyvale. These days, anything under $1M is a bargain!

Not just a bargain, a ton of potential!  Let’s examine several pounds of it.

130909-remington-good-housekeeping

Did we mention this house is on a busy street? So many people will admire your new home every day!  We had some follow-up conversation with mtv-renter on the house and hood:

Yeah, you’re right, it’s not that crappy of a part of sunnyvale. I exaggerate about Sunnyvale because I don’t like it much after looking at a lot of houses there; few neighborhoods are walkable to anything but your car, and the downtown area, despite much development, feels kind of dead.

130909-remington-streetview

Also, check out the street view image for this house. The realtor used every trick in the book to make the house look like it’s a palace on a large lot: wide angle lens and a very low point of view to make the bushes up front seem like they’re hiding a large house far in the distance. In reality, that long walkway up to the entry-way is just a crooked asphalt footpath, and your neighbors are close enough to smell them on a hot day, which probably happens a lot given the lack of insulation in these places :)

Comments (1) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:04 am

September 9, 2013

We’re all Bozos on this Google Bus

We thought about bringing up the Google Gossip about Sergey leaving his wife for Google Glass Gal, but we thought better of it. Nothing more predictable than yet another dude with too much money having a midlife crisis and discovering the joys of a relationship with a younger woman.  Instead, we bring you a different Google story, which is actually real-estate related.

Mapping Silicon Valley’s Gentrification Problem Through Corporate Shuttle Routes

20130908-googlebus-mapBY ERIC RODENBECK, Wired Magazine
09.06.13 9:30 AM

Digital flows of information and the capital that it’s generating are having a material input on the physical landscape.

Here’s an ironic thing: I spend a good part of my day designing maps and data visualizations that represent change, while working out of one of the most change-resistant corners in the city of San Francisco.

For the past dozen or so years, the 16th and Mission Street BART plaza below the studio where we work has steadfastly hosted a diverse, rotating cast of characters — from drug dealers and preachers to musicians and hipsters, cheek by jowl with families, social activists, Social Security poets (sadly a shrinking population), and, increasingly but haltingly, young workers in the great technology fields to the south.

It’s proven a remarkably resilient situation: It was this way when I watched it in 2001, at the nadir of the dot-com crash. And it’s this way in 2013, at the mid-point of what some are calling the next big tech boom, the bastard love child of late 1990s Delusion 1.0. Yet the city is just bursting with change these days, if construction is an indicator. When I look out my window, I see at least nine active construction cranes at any given time (and that number would be even higher if it weren’t for the new scaffolding blocking my view of the rest of the city).

Neighborhoods that just 10 years ago were once written off as un-developable are seeing barriers to change break down every day. Why? It’s tough to point to a single cause, but it seems abundantly clear that digital flows of information and the attendant capital that it’s generating are having a material input on the physical urban landscape.

130908-googlebus-posterNow, the title above is completely off the mark.  This article isn’t in any way about Silicon Valley’s gentrification problem.  It’s about San Francisco’s gentrification problem because of those high paying jobs in Silicon Valley.  You would never know from reading the Wired piece that there are “Google buses” all throughout Silicon Valley and its exurbs, not just running various SF to Mountain View routes.  We’ve seen the luxury shuttle buses in San Ramon, in Los Gatos, and in Scotts Valley.  Every one of those buses means the employees onboard are not driving their own vehicles to work, and they are free to come up with brilliant ideas during the commute thanks to onboard WiFi.

They’re also free to play video poker, just like hardworking Senator John McCain.  And like Senators, taking private shuttle buses insulates tech workers from having to deal with ordinary people on public transit. You would be amazed at all the resentment there is toward the Google buses.  Maybe it’s because all those highly-paid tech workers are driving up rents and sales prices, forcing everyone else to move to the East Bay.

Meanwhile, in order to figure out the unpublished list of private shuttle bus stops, Wired had to hire a bunch of bike messengers to follow the buses… and scribble notes on paper.

Comments (3) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:09 am