August 19, 2011

Lots of upside, if you’re down with that

We really have been neglecting Campbell for too long.  So, do you want to be a slumlord?  This place even has an address that sounds trashy!

300 DUNSTER Dr, Campbell, CA 95008


SQ. FT.: 8,656
$/SQ. FT.: $225
LOT SIZE: 0.41 Acres
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81019760
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 448 days

Great Campbell location. No rent controll. Lots of upside. Please do not disturb the tenants.

Here’s some more information you may need before making up your mind on this beauty tucked into the quiet, bucolic Hamilton and Winchester area:

imageMulti-Family Information
  • 1 Bedroom Unit(s)
  • 2 Bedroom Unit(s)
  • # of 1 Bed 1 Bath Units: 9
  • Min Rent for a 1 Bed 1 Bath Unit: $925
  • Max Rent for a 1 Bed 1 Bath Unit: $1,175
  • # of 2 Bed 1 Bath Units: 5
  • Min Rent for a 2 Bed 1 Bath Unit: $1,150
  • Max Rent for a 2 Bed 1 Bath Unit: $1,400
  • Vacancy Factor: 5
  • Vacancy Amount: 9526
  • Existing Rental Terms: Month-to-Month Rental(s)
Financial Information
  • City Transfer Tax: No
  • Tax Amount: $23,693.32
  • Gross Rent Multiplier: 10.24
  • Laundry Income: $4,200
  • Rental Income: $186,312
  • Net Income: $132,813
  • Gross Scheduled Income: $190,512
  • Gross Annual Income: $180,986
  • Gross Annual Income Includes: Laundry
  • Gross Annual Income Includes: Rents
  • Capitalization Rate: 6.8110000000
  • All Cash or Conventional
  • Financial Information Source: Tax Return

You see?  You can make money every time your serfs tenants do their laundry!  Could anything be more awesome than that?  Now all you have to do is figure out how to make them pay you when they surf the internet or use the kitchen appliances.  I think coin-operated routers, stoves, refrigerators, and microwaves are the wave of the future!

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

July 31, 2011

Media Room In Search of Some Action

That is, if by “action” I really meant “trademark violation lawsuit.”  Here’s a weekend WTF for your enjoyment, thanks to Burbed reader James M.


Here’s what James has to say about this photo:

Here’s a great shot of a "media room" from a 6000+ sq ft Toll Bros monstrosity in San Ramon… Perfect for that tech baron in all of us!  That little TV looks pathetic…

Alas, according to Redfin, this listing was removed this past Thursday.  It was still on Trulia, though.

This is an Open Thread.  Let us know about the Open House action you saw this weekend, and how the big the flat-screen TVs are now that rents are going up again.

Comments (13) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:14 am

July 20, 2011

Ennui in Atherton

197 Ravenswood Ave, Atherton, CA

Beds: 4
Baths: 3
Sq. Ft.: 2,820
$/Sq. Ft.: $709
Lot Size: 1 Acres
On Redfin: 127 days
Excellent opportunity to build your estate home in Atherton. Lot is 43,700 sq ft and all level. House needs work and is in original condition. Great potential. Property is currently rented on a month-to-month basis. Beautiful grounds with pool and one bedroom guest house. Property is across from Menlo-Atherton High School Performing Arts Center.

You’ve worked hard, you’ve saved every last penny, you fought for the promotions and finally you’ve made it.  Okay, not really.  You’re a trust fund baby and you know it.  But if anything, that means you’re even MORE entitled to the good life, right?  So let’s head to Atherton and pick up a slice of the good life!  Surely a street name like Ravenswood couldn’t portend anything dire, right?  A 3k manse on an acre seems like just the thing to snap up!  You smile jauntily as you walk into your new home to relax in your…. dark dungeon of a living room?

You blink myopically as you watch the light being sucked out of the room, not sure just where it’s going.  Lethargy seeps into your bones and you only want to collapse on the couch and wonder about the futility of existence.  Wait, you must snap out of it!  Surely a nice bright paint job will fix… whatever it is… that seems to eat light and joy in the living room.  You quickly move into the kitchen to surround yourself in gleaming white tile and paint.

You feel the building tension ease off as you reach the kitchen.   You start to relax until you realize that the bright sunlight streaming through your small window only reaches the sink before evaporating into the house’s gloam.Surely this can’t be right.  Surely there must be a spot in this sanctuary from the hard knock life of idle aristocracy must have a bright spot!  Some place to uplift your soul and allow you to relax in your castle!  After all, this is Atherton, dammit, and Daddy worked long and hard for you to live here!  Your face becomes a rictus of strident indignation and you summon the tenacity that got you through Stanford after Mommy signed a check for a cool hundred grand and stalk out of the ever dimming kitchen into the dining room.  Here you will bask in the warming sun streaming through your floor to ceiling windows!  The entire wall of glorious glass will allow the sun to blast this malingering discontent from your mind!  Passing through the doorway you are greeted by what seems like acres of glass.   Your glorious aerie of windows and sun awaits!

The room tails away from you into darkness.  The sun gamely tries to banish the darkness, but like the oft scrubbed blood spatters on Lady MacBeth, this is a fight that cannot be won.  Your legs give a wobble and your knees nearly hit the floor as darkness spreads from the house outwards.  It even seems like the house is try to shove another wall against the windows to make the dankness complete.  Surely this is a demon house that hates the light!  You begin to shake uncontrollably, overcome by an urge to flee the house, to seek the sun, to escape the darkness!  Fumbling at your single pane sliding glass doors, you finally yank them open and stumble out onto your acre of golden fields and trees!  You take a deep breath of air only slightly tainted by the nearby bay sloughs, your eyes closed tight, waiting for the perfect moment to open them to the glory that is your land, the one thing that will embrace the sun and your spirit, like a high end skymall hammock for your soul.  You shade your eyes and open them, expecting to be blinded by the sun and find yourself staring at a landscape of lush… bleakness?

The blue sky above mocks you.  The trees bob and weave blocking all warmth.  The cold shadows reach across the grounds to drag you down into the bleakness of existence.  The grass darkens to near black, the trees oily blobs of shadow.  Only a spattering of sun is allowed through, to mock you with the utter futility of seeking warmth, companionship, fulfillment, or the last ice cream sandwich because the maid snagged it when she was cleaning up yesterday.

Beaten, you stare around you at the noose you happily bought and secured around your neck.  You wonder how many days and nights living in every deepening darkness in Atherton it will take before the pool becomes the one beacon of light in your life.  You feel certain soon it will be your only friend, a magnet drawing you to it like a dark iron filing drawn to the magnetic allure of despair and grief.  Surely the pool will have a solution to your dilemma.  Soon it will be time to dive in and discover the warm embrace of certainty.

Comments (18) -- Posted by: sfbubblebuyer @ 4:56 am

July 15, 2011

Missing a Few Zeros, or a Lot of Rent Checks

Here’s a find from Burbed reader z2amiller, opportunity lost, but caught forever in screenshots!  This is was your chance to buy at 1940s pricing, for a house that wouldn’t be built for another thirty years!

1236 Thorpe Ct, Los Alto, CA 94024


BATHS: 4.5
SQ. FT.: 4,723
$/SQ. FT.: $2
LOT SIZE: 0.36 Acres
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Cottage/Bungalow
YEAR COMMUNITY: South of El Monte
COUNTY: Santa Clara County
MLS#: 81128442
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 1 day

Stunning 5 bedroom estate offers multiple master bedroom suites. Your idyllic country retreat displays elevated ceilings, glistening hardwood floors featuring original elements complimented with recent updates- a tasteful display of modernity. Living Room and Kitchen overlooking the wonderfully landscaped backyard. Escape into your own private retreat every single day/Fully furninshed!A must have!

Two dollars a foot.  Two dollars a foot?  At this price I’d buy every house on the block.  For cash.

Okay, how’s this.  Zillow has the same offer at the same price.  Kind of.


Oh, you want to purchase the house?  Zillow has a different recollection of how that went down:



Um, two million?  Well, that’s very different from the asking price when z2amiller found this listing, isn’t it?

Two million?  As in 200 times more than the original asking price?

Two million?

Never mind.

Comments (9) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:05 am

June 14, 2011

The Ultimate RBA Trophy Property

Face it, any engineer can go work at Google or Facebook or The Next Big Thing Dot Com and get a few million dollars in option payouts.  If you’ve made your mark technically, you want to let your colleagues and future underlings know that you haven’t just arrived, you’re miles ahead of everyone else, and those are YOUR footprints on their back. 

And you’re not going to do that living in a tract house in Real Gray Area.  You need a house that says “I am a Master of the Universe.”  And Burbed reader nomadic has found the house.

21200 Center Ave, Los Banos, CA 93635


Bedrooms: 6
Bathrooms: 4.5
Sqft: 3,800
Lot size: 3,419,460 sq ft / 78.50 acres
Property type: Single Family
Year built: 1961
Parking type: —
Cooling system: —
Heating system: —
Fireplace: —
Days on Zillow: 281
MLS number: 81042858

The Fawcett House designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1955 while he was working on the Guggenheim Museum, is one of less than 300 now irreplaceable Frank Lloyd Wright houses in the world. The historic Mid-Century Modern house built of concrete block, mahogany and glass was completed in 1961.

imageYes you read that correctly, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.  Few architects attain the stature of instant recognition that Wright did, and if you can casually mention that you’re living in a FLW original… well, let’s just say watch your colleagues step back to let you select the best seat at your next meeting.

Some of you may object to the location.  That’s foolish.  We’re talking Frank Lloyd F*cking Wright.  Huge name architect trumps location any day. 

Face it, it’s better to live in a tissue box designed by a Wright or a Gehry than one of those soulless cloned crapboxes we make fun of.  You want to moan about needing Palo Alto schools, then go find yourself a cookie-cutter mini-mansion with zero lot line and lots of fake Spanish tile on the roof.  You may be on the right side of 101, but Frankly, you’re doing it Lloyd Wrong.

Los Banos is going to be the next Mountain View, just you wait!

Comments (26) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:10 am

April 28, 2011

Perfect Hideaway, if You have Something to Hide

Thanks to Burbed reader Petsmart Groomer for calling this listing out in comments!  This is quite a find, quite a find indeed.

1959 BELLE Ave, San Carlos, CA 94070


SQ. FT.: 3,050
$/SQ. FT.: $639
LOT SIZE: 5,750 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Mediterranean
VIEW: Bay, Mountains, Neighborhood, Valley, City Lights
COMMUNITY: Howard Park
COUNTY: San Mateo
MLS#: 81105544
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 57 days

One of the most desirable areas in San Carlos! Plans for a 5 bedroom, 4 bath Tuscan Home with authentic architectural details. Walk to downtown, highly rated public and private schools, parks and youth center. Large parcel to accomodate outdoor kitchen, swimming pool and fire pit. Quiet two block long street.

imageThat agent had me going there!  Full sentences, proper use of capital and non-capital letters, failure to indulge in string of exclamation points, correct spelling, he definitely will accommodate… oops!  Didn’t run that copy through spell check, I guess.  Computer class is hard.

But I think the agent really needed a class in How to Present Your Listings by Emphasizing Positives and Minimizing Problems.  He got off to a great start by putting up a site elevation instead of various photos of a construction site, but… um…

Well, let’s admire some of the photos that this real estate professional thought were the most effective way to persuade someone to buy a two million dollar house.





Here’s what PG had to say about this house:

Perfect for someone looking to get rid of a body

This is another one of those properties where you have to dream the dream, visualize the possibilities, and assume the general contractor is as skilled and organized as this agent.  So let’s get another sense of what it means to be a real estate professional, such as having a keen understanding of the market:


Wow.  Marketing class is hard, too.

Let’s have a look at where this dream home is going to be, on a “large parcel” (of less than 6,000 sf). For two million smackeroos, it better be on a larger parcel than any of the neighbors, at least!


Whoa!  What’s this?  Zillow thinks this is now a double lot!


And that is very, very odd, because the Redfin listing says it’s a 5750 sf lot.  So the Zillow listing should be over 10,000 sf, right?


imageWow!  Anyone want to calculate the FAR for this?  I suspect it might violate a few city zoning ordinances.  Anyway, time to wake up from the dream and check out Google Streetview, always a fun virtual outing.  So let’s see what that double lot looks like.

Uh, let’s enjoy the single lot the way it was when it was sold in 2007.  Wow!  Is all of THAT included, too?  Dibs on the blue bin!

imageAnd the neighbor across the street on the (shhh, don’t look!) much bigger parcel?

The good news is the neighbor’s house won’t make you feel like a serf, but the bad news is it does sit nice and high lording it over you.  Until you go to your second floor balcony and look them right in the eye.  After all, you have a two million dollar house, and they don’t.

Comments (24) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:05 am

April 25, 2011

Stop Me If You’ve Seen this One

It’s been too long since we featured a house in Palo Alto, or heard from Burbed reader Gallileo.  So today we’ve got both!

443 Ferne Ave, Palo Alto, CA  94306



SQ. FT.: 1,884
$/SQ. FT.: $848
LOT SIZE: 7,519 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Contemporary
VIEW: Neighborhood
COMMUNITY: South Palo Alto
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81113445
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 12 days

Exquisite Eicher Designed & Updated by Award Winning Team * Cherry Cabinets with Stainless Steel Counters & Appliances * Slate Floor in Kitchen/LR/DR * Built-In Shelves in LR * Remodeled Baths w/ Tile Floor, Cherry Cabinets & Custom Lights * Insulated Walls & Roof * Indoor Laundry Room * Mature Landscaping with Beautiful Trees * Convenient Location Near Schools & Shops * Top Palo Alto Schools-Gunn High

Here’s what Gallileo had to say about this listing:

imageLike a moth to the flame, I keep looking at Palo Alto real estate. We now know that south Palo Alto isn’t a part of the RBA:

443 Ferne came back on the market today. Last sold in 2008 for $1.795 million, the current ask is $1.58 million, for a capital only carrying cost of $205,000 over twenty-seven months, or almost $7,600 a month.

And that’s before the owner paid for commissions, property tax and Draino.

It’s a nice house–as insulationless, energy-bleeding, uneven-floored california 50’s tract-Eichlers go anyway. What is the OER for a place like this?

image443 Ferne is back on the market?  Somebody page steve over in Portola Valley.  He was always talking about that house, see here, here, here, here, here, here and here.  It’s amazing that it was never featured on Burbed when it sold in 2008.  For One. Point.  Seven.  Nine.  Five.  Million.  Dollars.

BAM.  And it’s pending without release as of April 13th.  Any guesses as to the selling price?

Comments (56) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:05 am

April 11, 2011

malty million$$$ home in a lather

Thanks very much to Burbed reader Tracy for this bubbly find in Saratoga!  Just the pick-me-up for Spring Bounce.  Cheers!

20615 Leonard Rd, Saratoga CA 95070


BATHS: 2.5
SQ. FT.: 2,142
$/SQ. FT.: $839
LOT SIZE: 0.74 Acres
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Ranch, Traditional
VIEW: Green Belt, Mountains
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81112417
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 18 days

location. location. location. Area of malty million$$$ home (homes up to $4,700,000 sold in the street). Huge and beautiful 3/4 of acre(32200 square feet 161 by 200) land close to down town and schools and shopping. make your appointment. beautifully situated on top of very quiet street. Home was remodel 20 years ago and still needs some work. Fix it now or simply move to it and fix it lather.

imageDefinitely location, location, location if they’re selling malty million$$$ home in the street.  Sound’s like every day is St. Patrick’s day with this view of the Green Belt, wow, you think they have any red pixels left in that camera?  And on-street sales, definitely a big brew party.  make your appointment.

imageYou have a choice: fix it now or simply move to it and fix it lather.  Just make sure you got the fridge plugged in so you can pre-chill your mug.

Judging from the tile in this kitchen I think a remodel 20 years ago means they got a close-out on this stuff.  This design screams 1988.  And 8s are lucky!

What I really like about this listing is how the agent is barely literate, but tries to pull a fast one on us.


As you can see from the map, the house is fifth on the right from a major arterial that was once a state highway.  But how about this for deceptive? 

(homes up to $4,700,000 sold in the street)

Wow, there’s a $4.7M sale on that street (excuse me, sold in the street)?  Could it be… the ginormous parcel where the road curves a bit?  Ya think?  Maybe the house isn’t worth sparge and the value is in the land?  If you want a malty million dollar house, hop to it and buy both neighbors’ places, scrape ‘em, profit!  You’ll be at lager-heads with the remaining neighbors, but don’t let it ale you.

Comments (41) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:14 am

January 27, 2011

Combines Character of the Past Era with Modern Monthly HOA Fees

Here’s another delightful find from Burbed reader sonarrat, who only comments, “One of the oddest listings I’ve ever seen.”  And sonarrat has certainly found us some odd ones before!

1566 Duckett Way #19, San Jose, CA 95129


BATHS: 2.5
SQ. FT.: 2,776
$/SQ. FT.: $576
LOT SIZE: 4,620 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Colonial
VIEW: Green Belt, Neighborhood
COMMUNITY: Cupertino
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81050795
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 99 days

This beautifully restored Colonial Revival home in new home community combines the character of the past era while offering all the luxuries of today’s lifestyle. 2 story home plus sunroom, detached artist studio and basement/wine cellar. Gourmet kitchen with viking appliances. Large redwood deck off master overlooking wooded creek! Top Cupertino School District (Blue Hills, Miller, Lynbrook).

imageOdd?  It’s a listing with Cupertino schools and there’s 8s in the price.  That sounds downright normal!  What is odd is the small lot size and all those extraneous buildings.  Which ones are yours and which are merely situated really, really, really close to yours?

You know what else is odd?  Upwards of a million and a half for the house and not one interior picture.  Are they still restoring it?  Guess they don’t want you to know, because they conveniently left the year built off the listing.

But the satellite view might give us a hint.


Heck, the $175 a month HOA fees are needed just to sweep up all that construction mess.  Well, other than the unspecified townhouses or condos on the site, let’s see who the neighbors are!


Definitely a million plus view!  So, is this a convenient location?


You betcha!  This house is within 1000 feet of three gas stations, four shopping centers, a bus line, and the world-famous California 85 freeway, which goes directly to Google! 

Now all the seller needs is the economy to do a Revival along with this Colonial.  Then some lucky buyer, somewhere, will say, “Honey, do you know what I want?  I want to live in a big Colonial Revival right next to a bunch of attached housing!  Then they will all know that WE live in the Big House, even if it has an apartment number!”

Plantation boss lifestyle without the kudzu!  What are you waiting for?  Think of the fun your kids will have giving out their new street address!

Comments (13) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:01 am

November 11, 2010

San Carlos keeping real in Real Bay Area


Beds: 4
Baths: 3
Sq. Ft.: 2,130
$/Sq. Ft.: $938
Lot Size: 10,080 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Style: Ranch
Stories: 1
View: Neighborhood
Year Built: 1950
Community: High School Acres
County: San Mateo
MLS#: 81045111
Source: MLSListings
Status: ActiveThis listing is for sale and the sellers are accepting offers.
On Redfin: 55 days
This stunning, one level home features 4 bedrooms & 3 baths with an expansive living room featuring a wall of windows highlighting the breathtaking back yard. Double door access opens to a patio, large swimming pool and spa, plus a trellis-covered patio and lawn area. This great backyard is designed to easily accommodate large gatherings with ease and comfort.

Wow! You go San Carlos! A nice, healthy $938 per square foot. This is a price point that everyone should be aspiring too.

You’ve gotta admit, this is a pretty large house for a 1 story one. And, with a backyard like that, you can host the next Presidential backyard conversation with ease!


Wow, at
this rate, this house will $3 million in no time! Better strike before San Carlos becomes the next Atherton!

Comments (43) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:09 am