February 17, 2012

Fresh air and no one above you, only eagles

It’s time for a weekend getaway!  Burbed reader Tracy has just the spot: yet another installment in our collection of castles for sale!

San Jose, CA 95120


BATHS: 3.5
SQ. FT.: 5,740
$/SQ. FT.: $296
LOT SIZE: 12.53 Acres
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Contemporary
VIEW: Mountains, Lake, Valley, City Lights
COMMUNITY: Almaden Valley
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81203188
STATUS: Pending Without Release
ON REDFIN: 20 days

3 story Almaden Castle on the top of Mountains. 3 years old. Custom built. 180 degree view. Endless Opportunity and freedom to add your own finishing touches, arrange your wine cellar in the basement. Master bedroom on the top floor. Patio, deck, balconies. Two garages 2 car each. Gated community. Top rated Almaden schools: Graystone, Bret Harte, Leland. Fresh air and no one above you, only eagles

120215-cinnabar-stairsFreedom!  Freedom like the eagles above you, no one else!  Freedom to add your own finishing touches!  Freedom to arrange your wine cellar in the basement!  That’s realtard-speak for the owner ran out of their own freedom, I mean money.  Their misfortune is your opportunity!  Endless Opportunity!


Here is your Endless Opportunity to add your finishing touches to the kitchen.  Can you figure out what is missing from these pictures?


120215-cinnabar-platesYou can enjoy nine more pictures than Redfin provides, as this castle has its very own website.  On the right is one of several extra photos showing the Endless Opportunity you will have getting all the electrical plates, switches, and outlets to blend in a bit more unobtrusively with the paint scheme.

Nothing like living in a three story castle with no one above you.  That means your family has to live in the dungeon.

Comments (16) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:05 am

January 26, 2012

A Beach House for Fantasy Fans

Recently we ran a rather unusual house that would make a great West Coast toehold for the White Castle burger chain.  Yes, it was an actual fracking CASTLE in the back of an otherwise normal home in Los Altos. Burbed reader Tracy is crazy for castles, and has been deploying the trebuchet to hurl several into the inbox.  Here’s another one if you can’t wait until April for Season 2 of HBO’s Game of Thrones.

Unfortunately, this castle, like so many homes built on fantasies and empty treasure chests, was taken off-market.  So we’ll do our best to get the information to you, no matter how many real estate sites we have to scour to find it!

Watsonville, CA 95076
$1,795,000, delisted on 12/12/2011
Originally listed for $1,895,000


Beds: 6
Baths: 4
Sqft: 2,864
Lot: 9,146 sq ft / 0.21 acres
Type: Single Family
Year built: 1971
Last sold: September 22 1999 for $353,500

Beautiful ocean views, convenient beach access, private parking front and rear, quality remodel, 6 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, custom home in Pajaro Dunes – Turnkey! Remodeled kitchen, bathrooms, flooring, roof, siding, windows, appliances. Pajaro Dunes is perhaps Northern California’s best kept secret! To live here or just to visit is an experience to be treasured. Come see for yourself!

imageWe’ve provided all 9 photos, because most of the other sites took them down when the listing got yanked.  Thank heavens for ZipRealty!  And we used Zillow to fill in all those missing pieces, like whether the castle actually had any rooms and was built after the Year 0.  Redfin provided the neighborhood plot layout at the bottom of this post.  Finally, this expired agent page provided the listing copy above.

The very first thing you’ll notice looking at the front of the house is that there isn’t any garage.  And that’s a good thing!  If you’re imagethe kind of person who wants to live in a castle, you don’t want any newfangled technology such as horseless carriages and wireless music using airwaves.  A six bedroom house means you can keep your own horn section to play flourishes when you enter each room.  And really, nobody should be waving except your courtiers.

So the plastic furniture really has to go.  Just set up some trestle tables and benches and you’ll be ready to serve up the wild boars.


I tell you, it’s being able to build a castle out of a 1971 tract house that makes this country great, even if said castle would be more appropriate on its lonesome on ten acres in Inverness, rather than on a 9000 square foot lot right next to traditional beach homes.


America, F*** YEAH!  Although the tennis courts ought to be replaced with a jousting pavilion, and the flag with one from, say, 971.

Comments (6) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:05 am

January 25, 2012

This home is truly one of a kind!

We’ve got an awesome Guest Post for you today from Burbed reader Fun Dip, and it’s right in the back yard of Apple Computers!  As you all know, Cupertino has a reputation for having the highest prices for the most boring, unexceptional, bland (did I say boring?) tract houses anywhere in the Real Bay Area.

So how much would you have to pay for a Cupertino house you might stop and take a look at?  And would you stop if it were hidden among a group of others just like it?

Please give a big, warm, RBA welcome to Fun Dip, today’s Guest Blogger!

10351 S TANTAU Ave
Cupertino, CA 95014


SQ. FT.: 3,628
$/SQ. FT.: $515
LOT SIZE: 9,375 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Mediterranean
VIEW: Neighborhood
COMMUNITY: Cupertino
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81201986
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 6 days

Spectacularly appointed throughout – this house is simply sticking. This Luxury home, which is one year old house has never been lived in. Brazilian Cherry Hardwood Flooring, Custom Marble Inlay, Exquisite Chandeliers and Recessed Lighting, Gourmet Kitchen, Stainless Steel Appliances, Custom Designed Tiled Flooring, Two Gas Fireplaces, Downstairs Bedroom & Full Bathroom – OH Sat & Sun 12-5

imageThis house is on the WRONG side of Cupertino!

Check out this truly awesome house.  You can get completely lost in the beauty of this house.  So much so, that once I got to the ending pictures of the patio overlooking the rolling stretches of hills, I suddenly realized those rolling hills were just my imagination and that roof sitting two feet away really is the neighbor’s.

I mean, even for a Cupertino rebuild, this goes over the top… You would expect to be squarely inside the RBA to have to go for a build like this.  This is just Cupertino High at Monte Vista prices…

And two houses down?  Also on the market!

19147 TWIG Ln
Cupertino, CA 95014


BATHS: 3.5
SQ. FT.: 3,753
$/SQ. FT.: $426
LOT SIZE: 9,789 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Mediterranean
VIEW: Neighborhood
COMMUNITY: Cupertino
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81201949
STATUS: Pending Without Release
ON REDFIN: 7 days

This home is truly One of a Kind! Custom Built, Barely 5 yrs old. Exquisitely elegant, yet family friendly. Fine appointment throughtout-Cherry Hardwood Flooring downstairs. Gourmet Kitchen-open to nook and family room. Stainless Appliances. Built-in Cabinetry throughout. Downstairs Bedroom w/ full bath. Expansive suite upstairs-Too special to miss–

image(I’ll let you see the awesomeness around the front doors of this one for yourself, I just can’t bring myself to say it.)

This doesn’t seem a little like the first house for sale?  Or pretty much similar to the house in between these two?

wtf, is there a secret underground tunnel connecting these houses?  The houses look so similar, I initially didn’t realize there was a house in between them when looking on Street View.


And check out the description on the second listing.  “This home is truly One of A Kind!”  Really?  Are you sure?  “One of a Kind” as in this McMansion is nothing like the two McMansions right next to it?  Or does making “One of a Kind” in capital letters mean it’s pretty much the same as the one next to it, and slightly not as nice as the one after that?

imageSo what is going on here?  A midday hideaway for a former Apple executive? (rest in peace, dude).  I mean, if I had that kind of money and wanted to build a place to retreat near work, I would definitely build multiple houses in case my wife came over.  Or is someone trying to put this stretch of land back into the RBA?  Let’s face it, as far as Tiger Moms go, crossing over De Anza Blvd might as well be crossing over 101.  I’m really interested to see what happens to these!

Oh right, pan down to the end of Twig lane on Street View (two houses down).  Nice truck… Nicer trailer!

Comments (8) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:08 am

January 17, 2012

White Castle Service… It Takes Just a Minute….

That was a little jingle I remember from ages ago for Ohio-based burger chain White Castle, which made the tiniest (and not particularly good) hamburgers I’ve ever seen.  I suppose today they’d be called sliders, but back then, a square-stamped piece of beef product that looked like a die’s five-spot was what you got at a White Castle.

imageWhite Castle Service, It takes just a minute
For the classy little box with the hamburger in it
For you health we never fry them, we steam them on a bun
Buy White Castles by the sack cuz nobody eats just one!

Now if you’re from White Castle territory, maybe you had some thoughts of setting up a franchise on the West Coast and vacuuming up all the nostalgia-seeking East Coasters who moved here but miss the bad food of their youth.  If you see this as a reasonable business model, here is the perfect house for you.

This home has been noticed by several Burbed readers, including Swan, Tracy, and Lucia, thanks very much for lowering the drawbridge.


Los Altos, CA 94024


SQ. FT.: 2,911
$/SQ. FT.: $566
LOT SIZE: 0.49 Acres
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: French
VIEW: Mountains, Neighborhood
COMMUNITY: Country Club
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81138713
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 130 days

Unique 1/2 acre property nestled between the beauty of the mountains and closeness of town. Main house is a 3/2 with 2112 sq ft and Castle is a 1/1 with 800 sq ft. 4 open-space areas shared with 2 neighbors adds another 6/10th acre to main property. New carpet and paint in main house. Close to highly regarded Waldorf School.

imageThis house comes with its own fracking castle.  I mean, did you take a look at that thing?  Holy crap.

I realize the flag is a bit of an anachronism, since our royalty prefers buildings with mawbul cawlums instead of crenellations, but you can always substitute something more appropriate, such as some heraldic beastie on its hind legs, or better yet, a White Castle Burger Flag, if they made any. 

imageLucia notes:

There’s a fully functional, to code (I’m guessing) tower in the backyard. Perhaps it’s going so inexpensively because it once housed a poor adoptee/kidnapped girl who was never allowed to leave or cut her hair??

Tracy thinks it’s too bad this castle is so close to 280, but there’s more castles being catapulted into the Burbed queue via trebuchet.  Finally, here’s Swan’s observation why you should immediately buy this property.

imageThe dude is upset that he put in a pool and not a guest castle like the house below. Who needs a guest cottage, when you can have a guest castle?

Note, this is a “must buy.”

The observation deck on the castle will come in handy when those nasty invaders start scaling the walls of 280. Should the invaders storm the castle, the open space shared with the neighbors will come in handy as a battlefield.

Or you could start up the franchise in your back yard and wait for Harold and Kumar to show up.  Plus this place is a lot more defensible than your standard burger franchise, which is something to think about if you’re going to stay open until 3 in the morning.

Comments (10) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:09 am

November 28, 2011


Just because we’re looking at the best possible DEALS doesn’t mean we can’t look at homes all over the price map.  For example, when you hear about places with asking prices over a million and a half, you’re thinking they’ve got to be in the Real Bay Area.  But here on Burbed, we know that $1.5 million dollar homes can be found anywhere, because that’s what it means to have a Free Market!  You are Free to ask any price you choose for your house, and everyone else is Free to tell you what they think of your brilliant idea.

Thanks very much to Burbed reader Tracy for this find in the beautiful Berryessa bivouac.

15292 CAMELOT Dr, San Jose, CA 95132


BATHS: 5.5
SQ. FT.: 4,787
$/SQ. FT.: $332
LOT SIZE: 1.21 Acres
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
COMMUNITY: Berryessa
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81147474
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 13 days


imageThis house may not have a LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION in one of the Five Hundred Most Expensive Zip Codes, but it has something even better.  Dat’s right!  Mawbul Kawlums!

Too bad this house is on Camelot Drive.  With all these columns it really ought to be on Great Caesar’s Ghost Circle, or perhaps Cassius Clay Court.  Or maybe Camelot drive symbolizes the power of wishing prices.  But then you have to worry about Mordred plotting against you behind the FULL SIZE TENNIS COURT HOLLYWOOD CIRCULAR DRIVEWAY.



And if you are wondering about the agent’s interesting approach toward the English language, Tracy sent me the listing copy from when the home was on the market before.  (And it’s been listed three other times.  According to Zillow the previous listing was for $1,788,950.)

Welcome to this elegant custom-built mansion. The immense formal entry will open to a colossal foyer which embraces any large social gatherings. A Sierra Heights Estate with balconies that overlook the spectacular city light, mountain, and valley views. Many Elegant Upgrades throughout the floor plan reveals the premium value of this home. 4-CAR Garage and many GUESS PARKING SPACES.

I don’t know, how many parking spaces would that be?  Lucky eight?

Comments (6) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:08 am

November 27, 2011

Our Biggest Fan of This Series is Thrilled There’s Another Installment!

imagePoor Mr. Zip.  The United States Postal Service put him out to pasture in 1986, when they introduced the ZIP+4 postal codes.  But he was a familiar sight in the 1960s, urging everyone to include the new ZIP (Zone Improvement Plan) postal codes when sending mail.

Mr. Zip might not be around to nag you on addressing envelopes, because he’s in retirement.  Mr. Z writes to say he hopes this series will go on forever, because he can’t play Name That Code all the time.

imageToday we bring you yet another installment of all the Northern California cities on Forbes’ Most Expensive Zip Code list.  It features data crunched by local favorite Altos Research (and mangled by Forbes; you’d think after I’ve linked to them four different times and noted in each article that their data has a systematic error in every single entry, maybe somebody there would fix it, but NOOOOOOOO).  Anyway, here’s what you may have missed while writing code or hanging out on a sunny sidewalk waiting to collect a faceful of pepper spray.

imagePrevious Entries in the Most Expensive Zip Code Series:

imageNow, we’ll take the Fifth!  Fifth Tier, that is; the Top Half of the Bottom 200!

Let’s see which cities can still scrape together a property median wishing price just under $850K.  Remember, we correct the mistakes as we find them, and we added the comparison to last year’s list.  That’s the kind of original work you’ll only find done by obsessive-compulsive bloggers who think zip codes are fascinating.  Well, Mr. Zip certainly agrees!

image#304: San Mateo 94402

  • Median Home Price: $849,292
  • Median Price Change: NA
  • Average Days On Market: 200 114
  • Inventory: 114 81
  • Rank in 2010: 236 (-68 spots )
  • Most Expensive Home: $13 Million

Now I am beginning to think that the people at Forbes were just making stuff up for that “Most Expensive Home” field.  $13 million.  In San Mateo.  The most expensive place I could find sold for $3.3 mil in June, including the gated entryway.  It’s just like what you get in mid-level condoplexes, including calling itself an ESTATE (complete with the CAPITAL LETTERS).

Ah, but that living room does look spacious enough to hold a very small charity ball.  More goodness from Mr. Zip after the break!


Comments (37) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:03 am

November 23, 2011

OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS, Why isn’t anyone answering?

Today’s find continues our pre-Thanksgiving run of prices on the higher side, in preparation for our upcoming Black Friday Sales.  Many thanks to Burbed reader Petsmart Groomer for this beauty in Belmont!

1824 HILLMAN Ave, Belmont, CA 94002


SQ. FT.: 3,820
$/SQ. FT.: $439
LOT SIZE: 8,900 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Contemporary
VIEW: Bay, City Lights
COMMUNITY: Belmont Country Club
COUNTY: San Mateo
MLS#: 81140955
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 58 days

OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS to own this spectacular spacious one-owner executive home with stunning Bay and City views. The contemporary European design with generous functional living space provides for a relaxed and inviting ambiance. The upstairs features a living room with vaulted beam ceiling and stone fireplace, formal dining room, large kitchen with hardwood floors, ample storage and dining area.

imageA few years ago, I met some neighbor parents when one of my kids befriended their kids, and we got to talking about real estate.  The dad was going on and on about how ridiculous it was that all he could afford was a dinky little tract house.  “I am a Vice President!  I should be living in an Executive Home!  Not here!”

Now I never asked him what he meant by “Executive Home.”  He probably meant a big, new house, on a big lot close to a golf course.  He sure didn’t mean his late-50s rancher with second story addition, on a lot closer to a fifth than a quarter acre.

imageI wonder if today’s house would have been acceptable to him, or if it’s still too close to the (gasp) worker bees.  Anyway, the guy and his family soon moved back to San Diego (where he could buy himself an Executive Home on a golf course, but then again, by 2003 so could almost anyone else).  I wonder what he thinks of Occupy San Diego?

Weren’t executives, at least back in the good old days, famous for having three-martini lunches?  Well, the bar’s all ready in this house!  Now, which is worse, the carpet or the wallpaper?

We have plenty more photos after the break!


Comments (11) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:01 am

November 2, 2011

Goraeous Custom Built Home with Sodhisticated Stule and Eleaance

Thanks very much to Burbed reader Tuxxi for this find, adjacent to the “Holy crap, this place is full of armored personnel carriers with SWAT teams carrying assault rifles” neighborhood in Sunnyvale (formerly known as Birdland Neighbors).  Or is that Occupy Sunnyvale?


952 MARION Way, Sunnyvale, CA 94087


BATHS: 3.5
SQ. FT.: 3,600
$/SQ. FT.: $430
LOT SIZE: 9,424 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
VIEW: Neighborhood
COMMUNITY: Sunnyvale
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81139592
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 27 days

Gorgeous Custom Built Home * Formal Living & Dining Area, High Ceiling, Gas Fireplace * Gourmet Kitchen w. Cherry Cabinets, Granite Counters, Large Island, Family Room * Office w. French Doors * Master Suite w. Jacuzzi Tub, Double Vanity, Walk In Closet * “Jack & Jill” Bedrooms & Den Upstairs * One Bed/Bath Downstairs * Cherry Hardwood Flrs * Crown Molding * Coffer Ceilings * Milgard Windows * Beautiful Attention to Detail!

There are two reasons Tuxxi sent this in to Burbed.  First, the neighborhood.  Serf hut next door, check!


Beautiful view across the street, check!


I even attempted a drive-by to find some reported appliances on a front lawn, but didn’t have any luck with that.  I did, however, find this “Persian Palace” a block away.


And by Persian Palace, I’m not saying the owners are from Iran; the term has come to mean an overdone (for the neighborhood) new home with unrelated design elements, the more, the “better.”  While this place doesn’t have mawbul kawlums, it was the fountain and the lions that made me notice it, and I don’t mean “notice” in a good way.  This is Beverly Hills flats wanna-be in a really hinky part of Sunnyvale.  Think Rancho Rinconada, but with lousier schools.

imageIn fact, the entire neighborhood is a complete mishmash of construction projects, McMansions, crapboxes, and “pride of ownership” fifties ranchers, so in some bizarre way the above house isn’t as awful as it could be.

But back to the featured house.  Tuxxi collected the flyer and it’s the second reason this place is on the front page today.


Take a good look at the tagline for this place:


imageThat attention to detail will is what you’re paying 6% of $1.5 million for.  Meanwhile, I’m wondering, a mil and a half for SUNNYVALE?  A mil and a half for SUNNYVALE with SANTA CLARA SCHOOLS?  A mil and a half for Sunnyvale with Santa Clara schools and NO SIDEWALKS?  A mil and a half for Sunnyvale with Santa Clara schools with no sidewalks OR CURBS?

I cannot wait to meet the buyer who thinks this is a DEAL, because I plan on doing a lot of business with whoever that is.  I don’t even know what kind of business, I just know it’s going to be very profitable for one of us.

Comments (17) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:06 am

October 5, 2011

It’s baaaaaaaaack. 602 Chimalus makes its return

Today’s house has been brought to you by Burbed reader Gallileo, who is guest blogging a perennial find!  Yes, you’ve seen this house before, and you may be seeing it yet again!  After all, it’s still for sale after 45 days, despite the Palo Alto address.  This is definitely an opportunity for somebody!

Best of all, the Agent has a Financial Interest in this plum.  Mmmmm!


602 CHIMALUS Dr, Palo Alto, CA 94306


SQ. FT.: 2,090
$/SQ. FT.: $837
LOT SIZE: 5,311 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Contemporary
VIEW: Neighborhood
COMMUNITY: Barron Park
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81135381
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 12 days

A fusion of great contemporary design, fine craftsmanship and a calming color palette results in a modern home that is a joy to live in. This home is only 3 years old and shines like new. Spaces are flexible to accommodate your lifestyle and allow single level living, if that is what you seek. Fine custom features and workmanship and Palo Alto schools!

Like a realtor’s penchant for bad pictures and poor copy, 602 Chimalus just won’t go away for long. This house has made several appearances on Burbed over the years, and is right back where it started–for sale with only two weeks on the market–really!




Didn’t sell for $1.6 million in 2009. Didn’t sell for $1.69 million in 2010. Surely it will sell for $1.75 million in 2011. We all know there has been much more than 60K of appreciation on every house in the RBA over the past year, so we know that the overbidding on this place will take it right up where it needs to be.

Even the commenters on redfin think the seller is crazy–of course this was back in 2010. Can’t wait to see how long it lasts on the market this time around.

Comments (46) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:09 am

September 15, 2011

Has Palo Alto really gotten THIS expensive?

Today’s featured listing was sent in by Burbed reader Wendie.  Thanks very much, Wendie, for remembering that we all agreed not to ever discuss Palo Alto again!


120 LOWELL Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94301


SQ. FT.: 1,319
$/SQ. FT.: $1,289
LOT SIZE: 7,500 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Ranch, Traditional
COMMUNITY: Old Palo Alto
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81136132
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 21 days

Opportunity! Many upgrades create move-in condition hm in Old Palo Alto on 7500 sq ft lot. Perfect for downsizeing into prestigious neighborhood or living comfortably while planning the building of your dream home. Popular great room floor plan with gourmet kitchen w/ custom cabinets & granite counters. Stunning full bath. Living/dining areas open to spacious private deck perfect for entertaining

imageHere’s what Wendie had to say about this interesting property:

I find this listing fascinating.  Can a 1300 square foot, 3 bed, 1 bath house, three houses from Alma/train in Palo Alto REALLY command 1.7 million?? I guess we shall see!!  Take a look at the map of the property.  Something (an apartment building, utility building?) is right behind the backyard as well. Whatever it is, its not good.  But, still the owner/real estate agent thinks the house is worth $1,300 per square foot!!!


Let’s have a closer look at that mystery building behind the back yard.


I don’t think that’s a new townhouse.  All the recent construction uses earth tones.

And what’s wrong with $1,300 a foot in Old Palo Alto, anyway?  Lots of people pay that for houses where the agent is too embarrassed to use an exterior shot as an intro to the place.  And if the photos lead with the living room, there’s a good reason, so now let’s have a glance outside.


Awesome!  This place comes with a Dude hanging out in the driveway!

Bunus: This $1.7M listing looks like a serf hut next to the larger neighbor house!  Unless, of course, that wishing price represents the seller’s expectation that you’re going to scrape this sucker down and build something just as large to fit in!  But if that were the case, why all the improvements inside?  Truly a puzzlement whether it’s perfect for “downsizeing” into prestigious neighborhood or living comfortably while planning the building of your dream home!

At least the realtard spelled “prestigious” correctly, while planning the counting of her dream commission.

Update (9/16): Welcome, patrick.net readers!


Comments (31) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:08 am