October 12, 2012

Mountain View: Sure to Impress

One of the problems with buying a house in Mountain View is that much of the housing stock is old yet expensive.  And by “old” we don’t mean “charming,” we mean “out of style” and “needs major renovation.”  We’re still talking about cookie-cutter tract homes, but in Mountain View, they’re million dollar cookie-cutter tract homes.

Not today’s property!  Burbed reader Michael Boltonestater found us a new property, so new we’re having trouble figuring out where it is.  And that’s where you come in!

121011-geary-movoto291 Geary Way
Mountain View, CA 94041
$1,249,900

Loan Payment:  $4,283/mo
Bedrooms:  4
Bathrooms:  4
Size:  1,744 sqft
$/Sqft:  $716/sqft
Type:  Single Family House
Year Built:  2012
Lot Size:  1,768
Days on Movoto:  48 days
Neighborhood:  Downtown
MLS#:  81231702
Status:  Pending – Do Not Show

121011-geary-angledThis gorgeous new 4 bedroom home is sure to impress with its stunning wrap-around balcony. This Home is in a prime location on the park AND it is an end-unit! The open floor plan is spacious and fully equipped with all the latest interior finishes. The first level has a bedroom and full bath which is perfect for a guest or the in-laws. Hurry in before it’s too late!

You didn’t hurry in and now it’s too late!  Despite the lack of interior photos, you cannot buy this house (for $1.25M!!!!) because someone’s already beaten you to it.  And note that by “house” we really mean “who are they kidding, if they admit this is an ‘end unit’ then why not just call it a townhouse?”

121011-geary-playgroundNote the clever home type: “Single Family House.”  Nothing about whether it’s attached to or detached from anything (other than pricing sanity). 

Does anyone know where this complex is and if anything is still for sale there?  Could it be this one?  Because if it is, you have better like trains.  And by “like” we mean “like listening to them.” Lots of them. Most realty sites don’t map the location, and the one that did seems to be somewhat lost.  (Hint: Fremont is not a neighborhood in Mountain View.)

More importantly, are you impressed with its stunning wrap-around balcony?  PS: If you liked this house, you might also like this one, which is on the same street but not too late.

Comments (15) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:05 am






September 1, 2012

We’re Number One! We’re Number One!

Here’s a cheery news item, submitted by Burbed reader wahnny.

Silicon Valley’s Boom Creates Shortage of $1 Million Homes

120831-cnbc-losaltosPublished: Wednesday, 29 Aug 2012 | 10:22 AM ET
By: Robert Frank, CNBC Reporter & Editor

The home of venture capitalist Kelly Porter in Los Altos, photo, right.

The capital of high tech is now the capital of high-priced real estate.

Silicon Valley currently leads the nation in the number of homes sold for $1 million or more, according to Realtytrac. Sales of $1 million-plus have more than doubled in many communities in the Valley this year, toppling longtime luxury real-estate leaders like Beverly Hills or Miami.

Topping the list is Saratoga, Calif., in Santa Clara County, which had 225 homes sold for $1 million or more. That marked a 162 percent increase over last year.

Ranked second was Burlingame, Calif., which had 211 sales of at least $1 million, more than double last year’s rate. Cupertino and Los Altos ranked third and fourth in the nation, with 175 homes and 170 homes respectively.

Booyah!  We lead the nation in million dollar homes.  Sayonara, Scarsdale!  Meet you later, Miami gator!  Buh-bye, Beverly Hills!  Buh-… there’s just one problem with this article.

CNBC is comparing Silicon Valley to other “longtime luxury real-estate leaders.”  And up there on millionaire’s row is… Cupertino?  That’s not exactly the first town that comes to mind when we think “palatial estate.”

We don’t think this CNBC reporter understands the Real Bay Area.  Any region can feature a town full of luxury homes, towns like Atherton or Hillsborough, only somewhere that isn’t very Special.  You can find some real big, expensive estates in cities such as Bloomfield Hills, Michigan (boyhood home of Mitt Romney), or Winnetka, Illinois, or Greenwich, Connecticut.  Or Beverly Hills.

But only in the Real Bay Area can you find crappy houses for a million dollars.  Observe.

First, we look at Saratoga, since there were so many million dollar homes on the list they couldn’t find one to feature in the article (they just noted you could buy 1.2 acres with no house for more than a mill).  Find out what that same price gets you with a house… after the break.

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Comments (38) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:12 am

July 18, 2012

Who wants to buy a meth lab?

This site has made a number of jokes about homes that could have been meth labs but probably weren’t.  But what if you could buy a real one?  Thanks very much to Burbed reader Cam for following up on our recent guide to NOT buying a meth lab.

5674 S SAN FELIPE Rd
San Jose, CA 95135
$1,199,950

120715-sanfelipe-redfin

120715-sanfelipe-hallwayBEDS:  4
BATHS:  3
SQ. FT.:  3,200
$/SQ. FT.:  $375
LOT SIZE:  1.72 Acres
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Contemporary
STORIES: 1
VIEW: Mountains, Neighborhood
YEAR BUILT:  1915
COMMUNITY:  Evergreen
COUNTY:  Santa Clara
MLS#:  81205455
SOURCE:  MLSListings
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN:  155 days

Now is the time to buy this small ranch in the prestigious Evergreen Hills area. New entrance bridge makes a statement. Perfect for the horse-lover (tack room, barn and fencing) or person interested in exploring the possibility of subdivision. Lots of extras including BBQ area, dog run/kennel, covered patio and a hot tub.

120715-sanfelipe-fireplaceHere’s what Cam had to say about this um, very unique (snort) property:

Found this just after the meth lab post.

Pending soon? Agent even included photos of the chemical stains!

The link is to a Redfin forums discussion which links to this property, and also points out the same address is on the DEA seizure list.  The home was seized in August, 2010.  So it’s a pretty safe bet that this house is the real thing.  Except this is interesting as it went into foreclosure the previous February.

120715-sanfelipe-hottubYup, it’s an REO.  And you know what that means, right?  It means the seller (also known as the bank) doesn’t know squat about anything that happened in this house.

Check out the fireplace! More importantly, check out the chemical stains next to the fireplace! No wonder they didn’t dare show us what was cooking in the kitchen.

This reminds us of that huge meth lab bust in March (not this one, in an apartment, like for RENTERS).  We don’t know if this house was seized because the police were tracking down a stolen iPad and hit the jackpot, or if the bank deliberately planted some “bath salts” in the hot tub because they really wanted SOMEONE to take it off their hands.

Comments (14) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:02 am

July 13, 2012

All the World’s a-Staged

Here’s a San Francisco Super Special, courtesy of Burbed reader Petsmart Groomer!  Thanks very much for finding more listings for over a thousand a foot!  Too bad this one is… you guessed it.  Pending!

501 Beale St Unit 10h
San Francisco, CA 94105
$1,174,900

120712-beale-redfin

120712-beale-viewBEDS:  2
BATHS:  2
SQ. FT.:  1,161
$/SQ. FT.:  $1,012
HOA DUES:  $750/month
LOT SIZE:  -
PROPERTY TYPE: End Unit, Luxury, Condominium
STYLE: Contemporary
VIEW: Panoramic, City Lights, Bay, San Francisco
YEAR BUILT:  2006
COMMUNITY:  South Beach
COUNTY:  San Francisco
MLS#:  397084
SOURCE:  San Francisco MLS
STATUS: Pending
ON REDFIN:  55 days
Beautifully staged by Arthur McLaughlin. Corner unit at the Watermark. Panoramic views to East & South. Large private balcony. Maple floors, marble baths, Lutron lighting, s/s appliances, custom window coverings, 24 concierge, fitness center, pool & BBQ.

120712-beale-bathAnd here’s why PG brought you this confounded contemporary condo:

Because who staged the place is very important!

Almost as important as how much the HOA dues are on this puppy: $750 a month!  Which is actually a bargain, because that includes two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and most of all, one, count ‘em, ONE parking space!

But who knew that San Francisco could cost almost as much as Mountain View?

Must be because of million dollar views like this one.

120712-beale-streetview

Comments (9) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:09 am

July 9, 2012

How is the real estate market in Silicon Valley?

People sometime ask me, “How is the real estate market in Silicon Valley?”

Well, let’s look at this e-mail I got recently:

20120708c

Townhouses across the street from train tracks, light rail, a high way, and a major road – starting at $624 per square foot?

If you ask me, the market is doing pretty darn well. Everything is back on track, just as nature intended. Finally the Real Bay Area is back on track to eventually overtaking lesser places like Manhattan, London, and Tokyo for most expensive real estate.

The real question is: will you be lining up for 3 days or 3 weeks on the street to get one of these units?

Thank goodness!

Comments (20) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:20 am

June 9, 2012

When your home won’t sell: An electrifying solution

As regular readers of this site already know, homes in the Real Bay Area don’t need to convince buyers of their value.  No matter how inept the Realtard representing it, even a turkey of a home within RBA limits will go pending quickly.

This isn’t the case for homes far, far away from the RBA. Thanks to Burbed reader Michael Boltonestater for this example of how to sell a house that has the misfortune of not being anywhere near Google or Facebook.

1501 GUTHRIE Dr
INVERNESS, IL 60010
$1,149,000 (Reduced from $1,490,000)

120604-guthrie-redfin

BEDS: 4
120608-guthrie-theaterBATHS: 5
SQ. FT.: 6,757
$/SQ. FT.: $170
HOA DUES: $17/month
LOT SIZE: 1.03 Acres
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family, 2 Stories
STYLE: Traditional
EXPOSURE: East, West
YEAR BUILT: 2001
COMMUNITY: Inverness
COUNTY: Cook
MLS#: 08047047
SOURCE: MRED
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 46 days

Wide open floor plan with granite, stainless, and maple kitchen w/ viking range and commercial hood. Hardwood floors throughout much of the home. !st flr. Theater, office, and sun room! Dining room is perfect for large dinner parties. All bedrooms with private baths and walk-in’s. luxurious master suite with sitting room, and high end master bath with vaulted ceilings, cherry cabinets, and marble. Huge deck.

120608-guthrie-kitchenWhat can you do if you own a ginormous housing tumor in flyover country and no longer wish to have it sap your precious bodily fluids?  You list it for sale and more than 30 days go by, which means, according to Jim the Realtor, that the price is more than 10% too high.  In this case, probably way more than 10%, as you’ve already cut it 23% without any takers.  It could mean that nobody wants your expensive mistake.

Clearly, more drastic marketing measures are needed.  Have a look at them by clicking on through.

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Comments (17) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:01 am

June 6, 2012

Pinnacle of Contemporary Indoor-Outdoor Living

Here’s a moldy oldie that got stuck to the lining of the ol’ Burbed inbox.  Of course you can no longer buy it since it went pending in ten days and has now sold. But we can still enjoy it.  Many thanks to Burbed reader Petsmart Groomer for bringing this superb Sunnyvale shelter to our attention!  That’s right, Sunnyvale, one of the ten best places in the entire country to raise kids!

884 BROOKLINE Dr
Sunnyvale, CA 94087
Listed for $1,198,000; Sold for $1,288,000

120605-brookline-redfin

120605-brookline-livingroomBEDS: 5
BATHS: 3
SQ. FT.: 2,411
$/SQ. FT.: $534
LOT SIZE: 7,605 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Contemporary
STORIES: 1
YEAR BUILT: 1967
COMMUNITY: Sunnyvale
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81214209
SOURCE: MLSListings
STATUS: Sold

Pinnacle of Contemporary Indoor-Outdoor Living * Landscaped Open Air Atrium * Spacious Living & Dining Area w/ Brick Fireplace & Glazed Cement Floors * Gourmet Kitchen w/ Granite Counters, White Frameless Cabinets, Island, Sitting & Eating Area, Italian Tile Floors * Master Suite * Pitched Roof * Two Car Garage * Landscaped Yards w/ Stamped Cement Patio, Lighting, Sprinklers, Fruit Trees * Cumberland Elem/Homestead *

brooklineThere’s no doubt that the Real Bay Area is hot, hot, hot!  But even here in the Corridor of Not Quite (which hugs El Camino Real), there’s hard evidence of overbidding.  This house sold for 7.5% above asking!  How else can anyone explain the sale price for this home that doesn’t have Cupertino schools or even the best Sunnyvale elementary?

At least the photographer did a nice job lining up photos 3 and 4 so everyone could really enjoy that pitched roof.

Too bad the same care wasn’t applied to the HDR.

120605-brookline-hdrsky

If those trees glowed any more the EPA would have to remediate the entire neighborhood.

Comments (11) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:07 am

April 27, 2012

It’s a floor wax! It’s a dessert topping! It’s Mountain View!

Burbed began its life as a housing price and mortgage insanity site back in 2006.  And if home prices keep going up, up, up like they are now in some Very Special Places, we could be back to our glory days soon, when every article had over 100 comments no matter how meh the listing was.

Not only are listing prices up Where It’s Special.  So are lease costs.  Have a look at this well-situated rental, courtesy of Burbed reader Adennris.

229 Polaris Ave
Mountain View, CA 94043
For Rent: $1,195,000/mo

120424-polaris-zillow

Beds: —
Baths: —
Sqft: —
Lot: 15,246 sq ft / 0.35 acres
Type: Single Family
Year built: 1973
Parking: —
Availability: now
Lease term: ContactForDetails
Cooling: —
Heating: —
Fireplace: —
On Zillow: 21 days
MLS #: 81211034
Other facts

This may be a bigger entry error than simply putting in a sales price in the monthly rental field.  Here’s this same property on a realty site (photo right) and here’s the listing copy.  It’s a little different than what Zillow had.

120424-polaris-alanhuweGreat income opportunity for the right buyer. 1031 exchange is possible. 2 buildings on one lot. Many possible uses in the ML disdrict of Mountain View. Near the worlds greatest companies and close to many of Mountain View’s wonderful services and delights. Easy commuting access to El Camino, Central Expressway, 85, and 101.

Last updated on  4/25/2012

More Details for 229 POLARIS AVE

Property Class:Commercial Industrial
Listing Status:Active
City:Mountain View
Area:203 North Shoreline
County:SANTA CLARA COUNTY
State:CA
Lot Size:15164.00 SF
Stories:2
Year Built:1973
MLS#:81211034
List Date:3/24/2012

So it’s not a single-family home, then?  But the upside is you definitely can bring your arc welder.

Trulia calls it an income/investment.  But Zillow wasn’t the only one to assume this place was a residence.  Check it out!

120424-polaris-sfbrealty

This is a 380 square foot, single family home, which can rent for only $608 a month.  No beds or baths, but it has assigned schools, and more importantly, places doing business.

Redfin never heard of this location or either MLS listing number above.  That’s because this site is a 6019 sf office building for sale.  And this description might explain all the confusion.

Check this out!!
Real close to downtown Mountain View.
16 unit office building in ML district of Mountain View.
2 buildings on one lot.
Recent Zoning changes have allowed for additional uses.
ML zoning.
Buyer to check with City of Mountain View for precise zoning uses allowed for this location.

Near down town Mountain View.
Blocks from El Camino.
Easy access to highway 101, Central Expressway and highway 85.

If you read all these conflicting real estate offers for the same location, you will also notice that it’s been described as being in three different neighborhoods.  That’s because Mountain View is so cutting edge, it transcends space, time, and money.  No wonder it’s so hot, hot, hot!

Comments (15) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:04 am

April 24, 2012

GORGOUS UNBELVABLE PRVT BRTHTKNG CONTRY SETNG

We haven’t visited Belmont for a while, so this find from Burbed reader Overheard in San Carlos was very much appreciated.  And this property going pending despite the inept presentation goes to show that anyone can succeed as a Realtard.  At least anyone can when the Peninsula is this hot, hot, hot!

3034 SAN JUAN Blvd
Belmont, CA 94002
$1,249,000

120423-sanjuan-redfin

BEDS: 4
BATHS: 3.5
SQ. FT.: 3,120
$/SQ. FT.: $400
LOT SIZE: 0.3 Acres
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Mediterranean
STORIES: 3
VIEW: Neighborhood
YEAR BUILT: 2004
COMMUNITY: Haskins Estates
COUNTY: San Mateo
MLS#: 81205312
SOURCE: MLSListings
STATUS: Pending Without Release
ON REDFIN: 73 days

GORGOUS 8 YR NEW MDETEREAN BEAUTY IN A UNBELVABLE PRVT BRTHTKNG CONTRY SETNG. ELEVATOR FOR YOUR MAJESTY’S CONVENIENCE TO A BRGHT AND CHEERFUL 4 BR 3.5 BTH FLR PLN. BALCONIES TO ENJY UR BBQ, WRK FRM HM OR READ A BOOK IN A PEACEFUL AND RICH SETNG. NU PNT, CRPT AND REFRBSHED HDWD FLRS, HI CEILNGS, REC LGHTS, OVRSIZE GRNT KITCHEN/PNTRY, LAVISH MSTR RM & BTH, LOFT IN GRG, EZ FWY ACSS TO SF, SJ, FSTR CTY.

120423-sanjuan-stairsWhile the agent correctly addressed Us as YOUR MAJESTY, We do not consider issuing decrees or declaring war on the East Bay to be WRK FRM HM.  The elevator is appreciated but the lack of a throne room makes this a poor Seat of State for Our Royal Self, Our Royal Family, Our Trusted Advisors, and Our 500 liveried retainers, guards, and servants.

Despite the LOFT IN GRG, We are not amused by the plastic stair protection.

Comments (8) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:11 am

April 3, 2012

Palo Alto duplex home is 2 units $1950 each or maybe $1500

Real estate is a great investment that can pay you to live in your house.  That is, it pays you to live in your house if you rent some of it out.  Here’s an investment opportunity too good to miss from Burbed reader Petsmart Groomer.

3799 PARK Blvd
Palo Alto, CA 94306
$1,149,000

120401-park-redfin

BEDS: 3
BATHS: 3
SQ. FT.: 2,236
$/SQ. FT.: $514
LOT SIZE: 6,930 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STORIES: 2
YEAR BUILT: 1979
COMMUNITY: Ventura
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81207935
SOURCE: MLSListings
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 30 days

Duplex home set up as a two separate units of 1,100sq feet each rents for $1,950. 1 level is a 2 bedrooms/2 baths and the other unit is a 1 bedroom/1 bath rents for $1,500 on a month to month. 1 car garage is rented for $100 a month. Home can be shown by appt only every TuesdayRight fence to be fixed before close of escrow.

imageThe market is hot, hot, HOT here at Ground Zero of the Google-Facebook Nexus.  I don’t understand why this one hasn’t been snatched up yet.

Any ideas why some dot.com entrepreneur hasn’t moved into one unit, rented out the other, did some internets magic in this amazing Garage, and raked in the Profit?

Is it because the listing copy has even Redfin too befuddled to compute a rent ratio?

If we just add up all the dollar amounts mentioned above, we get $1149000 / ($1950 + $1500 + $100) * 12 = 26.97.  That ratio would say “RENT!” anywhere but in Palo Alto.  Here, just getting the privilege to bid on a neglected rental property in a dynamic neighborhood right on the cusp of High Speed Rail is such an honor, the agent won’t show you the inside.  Even though today is Tuesday.

Comments (11) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:06 am