March 8, 2012

Newer 62 year old home in East San Jose

Today’s Adventure in Realtard Listing Copy is courtesy of Burbed reader Tracy.  Thanks very much for separating the wheat from the chaff, and sending us the chaff!

2430 RUBY Ave
San Jose, CA  95148


SQ. FT.: 1,420
$/SQ. FT.: $408
LOT SIZE: 0.57 Acres
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Contemporary
VIEW: Neighborhood
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81205841
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 21 days

* * * Regular Sale * * * Newer home with 3 bedrooms 2 bathrooms in a 24,829 sqft land. It has Pergo floors throughout, recessed lighting, ceiling fan, double Pane windows. Inside laundry room in the kitchen area. Kitchen has granite counter top and newer cabinetry. Low maintenance backyard with large patio and large storage room. Close to Eastridge Mall, restaurants and easy access to frwy 680/101.

120307-ruby-facadeHere’s why Tracy thought you’d be interested in today’s featured house:

HUuh??? Built 1950 “newer home”  708 sf with 3/2 and the most ginormous lot.. I am confused. I like the “Low maintenance backyard” and the storage shed might be bigger than the house.


120307-ruby-arrowsThe house is 708 sf, but the agent reports it as 1420?  Maybe the garage and that storage shed were added into the sqft land.  And do you see what’s there on the front porch?  I think it’s time to break out the Burbed Red Arrows, because we’re looking at some MAWBUL KAWLUM ACTION.

Also have to wonder about this Realtard leading with the kitchen cabinets instead of the awesomeness of these profound pillars.


Fortunately, there’s plenty of greenery in the back yard, so don’t worry about the seller neglecting the landscaping.

In fact, there’s so much treasure to hunt for, both on the property and in the surrounding neighborhood, that both you and your kids will enjoy being told to play outside in the Low maintenance backyard!  That is, if you and your kids are intrigued by vintage automotive finds.


Otherwise, at least you’re Close to Eastridge Mall.

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

March 2, 2012

Lots of bedrooms & sqft

If you take a look at the right column, you may have noticed the Category list of all the different kinds of postings covered on Burbed.  Most of them are place names: cities, counties, and San Jose neighborhoods.  With six years of content on the site, there’s still plenty of filing to clean up, and I’m always finding older pieces that weren’t classified correctly.

So while doing a little housekeeping around here, I was rather stunned to find just how little love Burbed had shown to Foster City. Despite the large number of San Mateo County properties featured here, there’s been exactly one house in FC given some proper Burbed attention.  How could that have happened?  Did the Foster City Board of Real Estate Agents make our hosting service an offer that they’re now priced out of forever?

Anyway, it’s time to fix this oversight.  Today we have a find from the City that isn’t just By The Bay, it’s built right over it!

1049 EGRET St
Foster City, CA 94404


SQ. FT.: 1,930
$/SQ. FT.: $311
LOT SIZE: 5,700 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
VIEW: Neighborhood
COUNTY: San Mateo
MLS#: 81144613
STATUS: Pending With Release
ON REDFIN: 133 days

Great family home in nice and quiet location. Lots of bedrooms & sqft. Clean and well maintained. 2 master suites.

Oh, there’s the problem with this home selling.  Too many 4s in the zip code, plus a “bunus” one in the street address.  Somebody must have made an offer based on these wonderful photographs instead.  I especially like the artist’s use of light here.


And what better way to comment on the anomie of life on soft landfill than these disjoint pieces of furniture in the bedroom?  Why, by contrasting it with this bustling bathroom, complete with symbolic bright red cup as the focal point.  Readers are invited to surmise just what it represents.


Plus handy, escape-proof enclosures in both front and back yards, to contain small children and/or vigorous houseplants.  “Bunus”: Never have to yell at neighbor kids to stay off your lawn!


Comments (6) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:12 am

March 1, 2012

UPDATED: All of the structures are in deplorable condition

We appreciate listing copy that tells it like it is.  Don’t let frank talk like this scare you: this is an opportunity!  And you can’t beat the price. Thanks to Michael Boltonestater for this palace of possibilities in Palo Alto!

Update 3/7/2012: Added additional comments from Gallileo, who also sent this house in.

3370 PARK Blvd
Palo Alto, CA 94306


SQ. FT.: 928
$/SQ. FT.: $548
LOT SIZE: 5,684 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Cottage/Bungalow
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81203012
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 33 days

Perfect for the client looking for an opportunity to get into the Palo Alto market at the low end – to use their own talents to develop. This property has been abandoned for years and all of the structures are in deplorable condition. Located in a very convenient neighborhood of nice homes.

Whoa, that is one friendly looking house.  I bet all the neighborhood kids play here, or at least dare each other to step on the lawn.  Here’s what Gallileo had to say about the place:

A house in Palo Alto for Not a Lot of Money

120307-park-streetviewPalo Alto finally goes affordable! Yes, you too can buy a house for not a lot of money. You only need 100K down and your Facebook salary will cover that without even waiting for the IPO.

Sure, the house has been abandoned for years and all the structures are in deplorable condition, but with a little draino and a couple of light-bulbs (total cost: $47.98), you’ll be right back enjoying that 7% annual appreciation that everyone in this most real of the real bay area gets. 94306 never left the RBA! Its even close to public transportation–very public transportation.

Oh come on, everyone loves trains!  Now let’s have a good look at that very convenient neighborhood.


Convenient all right!  Walk to the Mercedes dealer… and Fry’s! Plus “bunus” PG&E substation across the street.

Comments (28) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:37 am

January 18, 2012

If You Can Read This, It Should Be Old

imageBurbed should have gone dark on Wednesday, January 18th, to join the SOPA protest.  And despite the presence of Google and Facebook and Twitter and everything that makes the Internet awesome here in our back yard, supposedly both our Senators are supporting this terrible bill.  I do hope you give them a piece of your mind.

Here’s what you had to wait a day to read due to our solidarity with the web-wide blackout.

What can you get in Silicon Valley for $579,803?

On Saturday, we heard from Greg Fielding on Case-Shiller tiers.  On Sunday, we saw some examples of just how much house qualified for the “upper” tier (the top third) in the counties that make up the SF index.  Now here’s what you could get if you bought a house that’s an easy commute distance to some major Silicon Valley employers.


1729 MORGAN St
Mountain View, CA 94043
$585,214, sold on 12/14/2011

3 BR/2 BA, 1,104 sf on a 5,300 sf lot

Built in 1955, and it shows, and what’s more, the house sold in a month above asking!  Doesn’t feature much other than its proximity to Google and LinkedIn, but every minute you don’t sit in traffic means you can enjoy more time in this spacious home.  Okay, it’s got hardwood floors, but still.


Cupertino, CA 95014
$591,700, sold on 12/29/2011

3 BR/1 BA, 1,134 sf on a 5,130 sf lot

This isn’t the least expensive sale in Cupertino within the last 3 months, but it is the least expensive house where they dared show a photo.  Who knows what kinds of problems lurk behind that fence?  Don’t complain.  It’s close to Apple.

Bring your decorator’s eye to this place, because the interior photos show you get a blank slate!  And of course it’s in Rancho Rinconada!


255 HEDGE Rd
Menlo Park, CA 94025
$625,000, sold on 11/2/2011

3 BR/1 BA, 1,190 sf on a 5,500 sf lot

Not only is it close to Facebook’s new location, it has Menlo Park schools!  And we had to jump into the $600s to even find this house, because there weren’t any SFH sales under $600K in Menlo Park or Palo Alto.

And for $625K, you get a house that backs up to US-101.  What do you think the upper tier means, Larry Ellison’s neighborhood?


3401 PARK Blvd
Palo Alto, CA 94306
$672,000, sold on 11/4/2011

2 BR/1 BA, 1,048 sf on a 5,500 sf lot

Speaking of Facebook, this is the least expensive SFH sale in Palo Alto and it isn’t too far from its current headquarters.  Better yet, it doesn’t back up to a freeway!  Instead, it backs up to CalTrain, but you can’t have everything.

But you can have the satisfaction of knowing that the sellers wanted $750K for this well-situated 66 year old house, and didn’t get it.


Sunnyvale, CA 94086
$608,000, sold on 11/9/2011

3 BR/1 BA, 1,100 sf on a 5,550 sf lot

Sorry we had to jump all the way to the $600s, but there’s a big gap above $570K for the last quarter’s sales in Sunnyvale.  This house is in a decent part of town, although you will get plenty of traffic from nearby Washington Park (which has a swimming pool) and the library a few blocks further away.  But it’s a good commute distance to Lockheed, Yahoo! and even Intel.  And in an even better position to see how good the homes thrown up right after WWII ended are wearing their years.


Santa Clara, CA 95051
$585,000, sold on 11/18/2011

3 BR/2 BA, 1,212 sf on a 9,454 sf lot

The further east you travel, the cheaper the houses get.  Palo Alto costs more than Mountain View, which costs more than Sunnyvale, which in turn costs more than Santa Clara.

That’s why this house may not look much more palatial than any of the others above, but it comes on a lot almost twice the size.  It’s a good commute to Intel.  And one of the fun things about the Silicon Valley market that people outside the area don’t get is that most of the cost of any existing property is the land, not the house.

Don’t get too excited about this place.  It’s near the intersection of Lawrence and El Camino, and was sold “as is.”  I wouldn’t expect much from the neighborhood, either, as the agent bragged it was a “regular sale.”

In the future we’ll see what you can get for a million dollars, but don’t expect any gold-plated bathroom fixtures.

Comments (1) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:04 am

January 15, 2012

Fun with Case and Shiller

imageYesterday, we had a guest post from Greg Fielding on Bay Area Case-Shiller tiered data.  In case you haven’t been reading any real estate sites ever, a Case-Shiller index tracks home values by comparing sales of the same homes over time.  The index is arbitrarily set at 100 at the first quarter of the year 2000, so watch out if you ever see a two-digit C-S index for this or any region.  There is also a national C-S index.  Monthly updates represent sales from two months previous.

The counties included in the “San Francisco” regional index are the aforementioned City and County of San Francisco, as well as Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, and San Mateo.  That’s right, it’s not a full Bay Area index and note the absence of Santa Clara County, that engine of high-paying job creation.

Today, we take a look at the magical cut-off point to qualify for the top tier.  According to Fielding, any house selling for more than $579,803 is in the top tier (there are three of them).  Let’s see what kind of palatial abodes you could have for this kind of money.  All homes shown today are at selling prices rather than the wishing ones.


San Ramon, CA 94583
$585,000, sold on 12/8/2011

If you’re looking in San Ramon, here’s a 3 bedroom, two and a half place for you. It’s not a new house, though, this was built in 1980.

The development it’s in sits hard against the freeway (and there’s only one in San Ramon, I-680), but the property itself does not. Instead it backs onto what is now open space.  Given how many new homes went up in San Ramon, the new owner will have some quiet over the back fence until the next bubble starts boiling up.


5205 MANILA Ave
Oakland, CA 94618
$580,000, sold on 12/24/2011

This cute little bungalow is in the Rockridge district, desired by hipsters and yuppies alike.  It’s a 2/1, but at over 1200 square feet it doesn’t qualify for the Burbed “cozy” tag.

There’s absolutely no information about previous sales on Redfin, but with a $43,000 assessment, this obviously wasn’t a flip.  The sellers went all-out with the staging and photography, so enjoy.


122 Crescent Rd
Corte Madera, CA 94925
$594,000, sold on 12/22/2011

Wow, what a home, complete with extra rooms the county obviously didn’t know about.  Listed as a 3/2.5, but recorded as a 2/1.  This place hiding in the woods of Marin County against a hill is going to be a contractor’s retirement fund.

Be sure to check out the sales history on this former REO puppy, it’s crap-tastic.


San Mateo, CA 94403
$585,000, sold on 11/30/2011

Everything in this price range in San Mateo is on the east side.  “Bunus:” This 3/2’s near the 101/92 cloverleaf, which is why it needs the doublepane windows.

This house sold for $795K in 2006, but at least it went for above asking this time around.


328 Monticello St
San Francisco, CA 94132
$583,000, sold on 10/19/2011

Amazingly, this Merced Heights house doesn’t directly touch walls with its neighbors.  And if you decide it isn’t for you, there are plenty of SF State students to rent it to.  Anyway, you or your tenants are going to have loads of fun with the tandem parking garage.

The house last changed hands in 1989, for $271K.  Quite the investment that doubles its value in 22 years.

We won’t bother with Santa Clara County, as it’s not in the Case-Shiller SF Index anyway.  If it were, that top tier would be a bit higher and way more Special.

Comments (13) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:09 am

January 5, 2012


301 ENCINA Ave
Redwood City, CA 94061



Reading this, it’s not clear to me whether the garage or the house or the guest area has the built-in stereo and air conditioning.

I’m going naturally assume it was the garage. Because… what says “Awesome Man Cave” like built-in stereo and air conditioning. If it had built iPod support, this could be easily another $50k more.

I’m not sure what you’re waiting for – start the new year off right with this ultimate party pad!

Comments (18) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:00 am

December 14, 2011

BLACK FRIDAY DEALS: Cheapest House in Cupertino with 8s!

DEALS, DEALS, DEALS!  We got them all over, even in places like Cupertino where families will sell both grandmothers just to get their kids enrolled in these schools.  Best of all, we found an incredible DEAL in Cupertino that has not one but TWO lucky 8s! 

18811 ARATA Way, Cupertino, CA 95014


SQ. FT.: 814
$/SQ. FT.: $737
LOT SIZE: 5,187 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
VIEW: Neighborhood
COMMUNITY: Cupertino
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81145411
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 47 days

Excellent opportunity for first time home buyers and or build your dream home! This homes needs TLC but lots of potential in a neighborhood of million dollar homes. . Excellent Cupertino schools

In a neighborhood of million dollar homes?  Is there any place anywhere in Cupertino that isn’t in a neighborhood of million dollar homes?  Or at least in a neighborhood of potential million dollar homes?  Just because the house backs up to apartments, is a block from a six-lane arterial, a six-lane expressway, and an eight-lane freeway doesn’t mean there aren’t million dollar homes somewhere.


Also we promised two Lucky 8s, and we delivered.  They aren’t in the asking price, either.  They’re in the street address, so you get to keep them!  Bid this one up to $688,888!

Comments (3) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 4:10 am

December 2, 2011

Millbrae Condo Dreamin’

Let’s visit Millbrae again, because it needs some Burbed love.  Simply mentioning it in passing because its zip code was the 366th most expensive in the county will not do for keeping Millbrae in our sights.

Fortunately, Burbed Reader Paul has found us a wonderful wishing price washout, showing what happens when sellers expect a particular price and the market fails to comply.  Thanks very much, Paul!

1388 BROADWAY #186, Millbrae, CA 94030


SQ. FT.: 1,147
$/SQ. FT.: $522
PROPERTY TYPE: Condominium
STYLE: Contemporary
STORIES: 1-3 (Low Rise)
VIEW: Neighborhood
COUNTY: San Mateo
MLS#: 81141887
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 61 days

Sophisticated living in the heart of Millbrae. Built in 2009, this Garden Level 2br/2ba condo offers approx 1147 sqft of living space. The gourmet kitchen is decked out with beautiful granite counter tops and backsplashes and a myriad of energy-efficient features. The interior is spacious and full of light. Common areas include multiple landscaped courtyards, a spa, barbeque area, & gym.

imageWhen Paul first sent this listing in, the asking price was $628,000, so after a month, with great trepidation, the sellers decided to cut the price all the way to… $615,000.  This did not lead to a packed Open House, flyers going through windows, and overbidding bringing offering prices right where they need to be.  So our dauntless sellers, guided by their brilliant and knowledgeable agent, took another deep (2.5%) price cut to the bone!  $599K!

Here’s how Paul described it:

Hey, the folks just down the street at 151 El Camino are selling new units in the $600s—we should get AT LEAST as much! Just because we bought near the market peak doesn’t mean we can’t walk with $100k of profit today! And besides, we have 2 parking spaces to their 1 (which you’ll need because it’s too far to walk to BART).

imageI chatted with the agent and he confirmed that the sellers were pretty clear on the price they wanted to list at… best of luck to them. Maybe they find a willing victim in the low $500s?

Paul should have mentioned that the $525,000 sale was in 2009.  Everyone knows that was a market low, and it’s completely reasonable to expect a $100K $74K profit from the year the credit dried up.

Also I really like this picture of the kitchen, with the mid-oughties trifecta of granite, stainless, and hardwood (or at least Pergo).

Comments (7) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:09 am

November 30, 2011

tiki hut with tropical look and feel

Today we have a short but sweet guest post from z2amiller!  It’s another luscious listing in the location, location, location land of Mountain View, but this time z left the confines of the immediate neighborhood and found us something even better.

Unfortunately it was sent over the transom as a PowerPoint slide deck.  Given how close this house is to a thriving commercial district, you should be jumping on it as a Web 3.0 opportunity.

Please give z2amiller a big, warm and profitable Real Bay Area welcome as today’s Guest Blogger!

911 BORANDA Ave Unit A, Mountain View, CA 94040


SQ. FT.: 523
$/SQ. FT.: $1,137
LOT SIZE: 3,160 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Cottage/Bungalow
VIEW: Neighborhood
COMMUNITY: Miramonte
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81144771
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 39 days

Cute cottage style bungalow with nice size backyard. .. tiki hut with tropical look and feel. .. perfect for entertaining. Property is walking distance to downtown Mountain View. Gorgeous kitchen, with cherry wood cabinets, newer stainless steel appliances, granite counter tops, and beautiful hardwood floors.

This one made me WTFOL (WTF out loud): @ ~600K

  • 523 sqft (Not counting the tiki hut! Tiki hut?)
  • 523 sqft house with a $100K kitchen (stainless steel, granite, cherry cabinets)
  • Bedroom Desk (picture 7, with laptop) is a Costco steel wire rack – with 523sqft you have to think vertically!


  • Okay actually the tiki hut is kind of awesome (photos 11-14)


  • Only a short block away, and more importantly, downwind from Clark’s Hamburgers – your tiki hut will always smell like fresh hamburgers!
  • Appears to be in the backyard of a strip mall with a tattoo parlor (Revolution Ink)
  • Look at the shape of that lot!   Maybe 3100 sqft but at it looks like about 1/3 – 1/4 of that is useless.


Sorry no time for a full write up, only bullet-point snark 😉

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

November 29, 2011


Today’s house is a Guest Post by Burbed Reader AstroWallaby!  You know how good things come in small packages?  Well today’s featured listing is only 714 square feet, so it has to be fan-fracking-tastic!  Plus a location, location, location to love, love, love!

Please give AstroWallaby a big, warm, sunny, Real Bay Area welcome as today’s Guest Blogger!

537 JACKSON St, San Jose, CA 95112


SQ. FT.: 725
$/SQ. FT.: $714
LOT SIZE: 5,617 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
VIEW: Neighborhood
COMMUNITY: Central San Jose
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81129934
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 144 days

R2 Zone. Main house with private 1500sqft warehouse/workshop. Warehouse/workshop built without permit. Tenant occupied. BIG REDUCTION. SELLER MOTIVATED

imageTipping the scales at $714 per (permitted) foot this 725 square bantamweight contender for your investment dollar punches way above its weight class, as it includes a non-permitted twice-the-size-of-the-house attached warehouse!

And you’ll need it, if for no other reason than to store the grossly distended pride of ownership that comes along with buying what has to be the *shortest* house of in the neighborhood.


imageAnd with that R2 zoning you’ll be able to share that pride with the tenant that conveniently comes with the property, assuming you can convince the city to let you call whatever space is left over in your permit-impaired palace a second unit.

Listed in July for $590k, now’s your chance to steal it following a "BIG REDUCTION" to $518k. I have no idea why suddenly its "SELLER" is so "MOTIVATED" but don’t miss out on your chance to grab an extra $72k of instant equity. After all, Zillow thinks it might be worth up to $749,840!

(Ignore all the recent comps and those small-minded fools at, this house is totally worth the extra $200k+. Owning your own illegal warehouse is a privilege reserved for those willing to pay for it.)

Comments (12) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:01 am