November 18, 2011

Total square footage of 2200 sq ft not formally recorded

Today’s luscious listing is a superb short sale in San Mateo, courtesy of Burbed reader Divasm!  Thanks for this fantastic find, featuring fun photos, plenty of deferred maintenance, and the ever-popular “The dog ate my permits” excuse.

324 MIDVALE Ave, San Mateo, CA 94403


SQ. FT.: 1,610
$/SQ. FT.: $342
LOT SIZE: 5,056 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Ranch
COMMUNITY: Westwood Knolls
COUNTY: San Mateo
MLS#: 81119319
STATUS: Pending With Release
ON REDFIN: 168 days

Contractor Special! House has 4 bdrms 4 ba on record but total square footage of 2200 sq ft not formally recorded. Owner states that 2 bdrms, 2 ba & family rm addition were built w/ permit. Close to shopping & schools. Needs maintenance. Has a lot of potential. Swimming pool and spa in bkyard. Legality of 4th bath not warranted.

imageHere’s Divasm’s thoughts on today’s house:

This short sale has been around for over 150 days and been in and out of pending. It’s nothing new, same old story…but it’s a great example of when to just NOT include pictures of the house because they’re really not doing you any favors. The outside pic has so much glare and lens flare you think you’re in a JJ Abrams movie, and the inside pics look like somebody intentionally trashed their house…at Christmas time.

imageBut hey, maybe in a couple months the season will come back around and it will appear festive! And I guess we should be happy there are no Dudes or Cats hanging around, there is that…

I think this shot of the kitchen is a 10.  A 10 on the “I’m selling my house for more than half a million bucks and can’t be bothered to clean the kitchen before taking a few snaps.”

They couldn’t even bother to move the trash can out of the frame.  This is so beautiful, it’s bringing tears to eyes.  Or maybe that’s the onions in the trash can.

imageThe permit issues are just the icing on this delectable cake of contractor concern!  Good thing the owner states that most of the additions were built w/ permit!  The extra square footage not appearing on the county records is just a quibble you can work out with the friendly folks at the Planning Department and the Assessor’s Office.  You’re going to be spending a LOT of time with those folks getting approvals for all the maintenance this place needs, so you might as well ask them why there’s 600 square feet “not formally recorded.”

Maybe they’re hiding behind all the crap in this bedroom.

Comments (10) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:04 am

November 11, 2011

Best offer will be considered

Today’s featured house and accompanying guest commentary is brought to you by Burbed reader AstroWallaby, profiling the always adventurous area of Alum Rock, San Jose!  This is a genuine go-to geographical golden goose for great Burbed goodness.

Want to see your name in lights (okay, in bold) like this?  Send in your listing wins, with (or without) your added valuable observations.  Operators are standing by!

And now, please give AstroWallaby a big, warm Real Bay Area welcome!

134 N WHITE Rd, San Jose, CA 95127


SQ. FT.: 999
$/SQ. FT.: $549
LOT SIZE: 6,500 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
VIEW: Neighborhood
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81129919
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 126 days

Large Lot with workshop in the back. Tile counters in Kitchen, Pergo Flooring. Fireplace in living room. Side yard access rear. Spacious Detached garage building. ~2,000 sq ft Side lawn, Fenced and Separate from the front house. Best offer will be considered.

Speaking of dreck, here’s another "optimistic" entry from East San Jose that might be worth a laugh, if you haven’t seen it yet.


The listing at least avoids ALL CAPS, although isn’t saying " Best offer will be considered" sort of redundant when selling a house? Clearly the realtor was impressed by the interior, judging by the two magnificent Quickcam-resolution interior shots they’ve included. It’s sort of disappointing that you can’t actually tell what it trying to escape from that cabinet drawer in the kitchen, but whatever it is I hope it succeeds. As for the imagefireplace… I’m not sure a provocative fandance really works to increase the sex appeal of inanimate objects but I’ll give it bonus points for trying.

The shot of the empty (down to the bare dirt) backyard is interesting. It *could* be an avant-garde artistic use of negative space, but I suspect it’s more likely a counterpoint to the satellite photo which shows no fewer than nine vehicles haphazardly arranged around the property. Nothing like the Pride of Ownership which comes along with owning your own former dirt parking lot. You might even qualify for Superfund money to pay for your landscaping!


And the suggested retail price for this V-J Day-vintage 999 square foot slice of heaven/White Road? A mere $548,000. Sure, it’s a good $200k higher than any reasonable comparable but that’s a small price to pay for a fireplace with a spot-on Sally Rand impersonation.

Comments (8) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:06 am

September 26, 2011

Incredible Opportunity: Walk to Stanford for half a mil!

Here’s another amazing find by Burbed reader SEA for you today.  Thanks very much for letting us know that not all is style and charm in our favorite city.  There’s also value!


455 GRANT Ave #12, Palo Alto, CA 94306


SQ. FT.: 906
$/SQ. FT.: $579
LOT SIZE: 943 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Condominium
STORIES: 1-3 (Low Rise)
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81136262
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 33 days

Open 8/20 8/21 2nd floor overlooking sparkling pool Huge36ftx6ft Patio Balcony Granite kitchen, granite floor, Brand new bathrooms, Loads of light, Excellent Palo Alto School District, Vacant, Close to CalTrain, El Camino California Ave. Walk to Stanford. Very bright unit with Atrium on one side and pool on the other side.

Here’s what SEA has to say about this, um, well-situated find.

At first I thought it was some sort of prison, but then I realized that it was ‘not a lot of money’ more than not a lot of money.

Prison? Don’t be ridiculous.  This is a highly secure storehouse for your hard-earned savings!  Just look at all these different places you could keep them in while they multiply, and all you have to do is live here.


Now check out how much the previous owners were all able to accomplish in putting their money to work:


See? These transactions are Special, just like you’ll be when you take advantage of this amazing offer to “Walk to Stanford.” It’s a beautiful 1.6 mile walk to Memorial Hall, on the Road of Kings, even! If I were you, I’d get walking to that agent’s office right now.

Comments (7) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:13 am

September 6, 2011

It’s Pending! Again! For the 9th Time!

Here’s another terrific find in comments by Burbed reader Sam Adu!  Thanks very much, Sam!

Want to be on the front page like today’s Guest Blogger? Find a winner of a listing (like this one!) and write it up. Send it in with pictures you’ve taken, or we’ll use what’s on the listing.

Don’t think you can write as well as Sam? Just send in the listing, we can’t write as well as Sam either.

Please give Sam Adu a big, warm Real Bay Area welcome, as today’s featured Guest Blogger with another eye-popping property from the highly-desired Campbell neighborhood that’s not in Campbell.

Yesterday (last week) there was the awesome house that had its price reduced again and again and again.

How about this house that has gone pending again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again (Yes, that’s 9 times pending!!!!!!!) since it was first listed for sale in 2009.


2286 RIORDAN Dr, San Jose, CA 95130


SQ. FT.: 1,557
$/SQ. FT.: $369
LOT SIZE: 5,500 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Ranch
VIEW: Mountains
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 80952568
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 662 days

Great value! The garage was converted to a family room (with permits) offering an additional 460 sqft of living space. Two bathrooms were remodeled before the home went on the market. Don’t let the days on market keep you from seeing this home! Great neighborhood!!

imageimageAll-in-all a pretty unremarkable home although the garage conversion looks pretty hideous from the outside of the house and is darn annoying from a utility/usability standpoint.

I love this part of the listing: “Don’t let the days on market keep you from seeing this home!”. The person responsible for setting the price of this home should be interned in an insane asylum since it has been their crazy pricing strategy that is responsible for this home being on the market since 2009.



What sort of spooky skeletons are hiding in this property to cause it to fall through pending 9 times? Or maybe the pendings are some sort of anomaly in the way the property history is being displayed?

Anyone care to guess how many more times this property goes pending before it gets sold? My completely wild-ass guess is 11.

Comments (6) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:18 am

August 6, 2011

Take on the world. Then come home to your tandem garage.

Anyone check out Fusion Sunnyvale?  Burbed reader Petsmart Groomer found some of the marketing copy a little over the top:


Your life is a frenzy of color, flashing lights and movement. Facebook. Twitter. Email. Blogging. Texting. Meetings. Deadlines. Commuting.

Every day you take on the world. So, you deserve to come home to a beautiful place where you can recharge and relax, entertain and regroup. You want a neighborhood that is alive and vibrant with a fitness room to workout, places to mingle and space to hang out with your friends. You deserve soothing gardens to wander, a putting green to play and walking paths for your dog. It’s your time to do what you want, when you want, in your own community.

Introducing Fusion at Sunnyvale, a townhome community filled with everyday things that fuse your life. The homes have style and all the features you desire at a price you can afford. At the hub of the neighborhood, there is a fitness center, theater, Wi-Fi bar and fire pit. Everything that you need at the end of a long day.
So take on the world, then come home. To Fusion.

imageAs Burbed reader Petsmart Groomer correctly notes, you can’t spell FUSION without F-U.

So let’s take a good look at this complex that’s such a wonderful place to call home, they show a chair instead of the “Spanish-Eclectic and contemporary architecture by KTGY architects.”

You have to click all the way down to BLOG to find out what the place looks like!  And the name of the blog?  “Short Fuse.”  How clever!  They already worked out that the properties would be selling shortly through their preferred lenders!  (More coming shortly after the break!)


Comments (40) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:06 am

June 27, 2011

Build your own home in Sunnyvale!


Beds: 2
Baths: 1
Sq. Ft.: 610
$/Sq. Ft.: $975
Lot Size: 6,000 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Style: Ranch
Stories: 1
View: Neighborhood
Year Built: 1910
Community: Sunnyvale
County: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81055660
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active

On Redfin: 192 days
GREAT LOCATION walking distance from the new Sunnyvale downtown shops. A great opportunity to BUILD YOUR OWN PLACE. Seller has city approved plans and permits for remodeling to 3 bed and 2 bath (1,582 sf). Contractor can start immediately. Detached garage and workshop in the back was build 10 years ago with permits. Please don’t disturb tenants. Make offer subject to inspection.

Although this has been on the market for 192 days, it sure seems familiar. Where have I seen this $975 per square foot house before?

Oh…. right….

November 18, 2009

Build your own place in Sunnyvale!

185 FLORENCE St, Sunnyvale, CA 94086 | MLS# 80944856
185 FLORENCE St Sunnyvale, CA 94086
Price: $635,000


Wait… that reminds of something else…oh… right…

September 6, 2006

400 sqft house in Sunnyvale with 2 car garage

This sure is a quaint little house…

MLSlistings Property Detail for MLS number 648556
Sunnyvale, CA 94086


This Single Family Residence has the following features:
MLS#: 648556 Approx Age: 96 Years Approx Sq Ft: 400

But here’s the surprise:


Yes, this 400 sqft house has a separate 2 car garage. Was this house originally intended for the chauffeur?

At least the garage has changed. Check it out now!



Look at the amazing appreciation! From $605k to $635k to $595k! Can you say “equity waiting to be tapped”??

Comments (33) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:30 am

June 24, 2011

The Washer Dryer and Refrig stay

Here’s a find from Burbed reader z2amiller, no doubt one of the many also-rans during the long road to homeloanership.  You all remember z2amiller, don’t you?  First burbed reader who admitted, and thus earned this badge:


801 WAKE FOREST Dr, Mountain View, CA 94043


SQ. FT.: 1,075
$/SQ. FT.: $519
LOT SIZE: 7,700 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Ranch
VIEW: Neighborhood
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81125530
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 12 days

Great starter home in Mountain View w/ 4 bdrm. & 2 baths. Freshly painted interior & exterior. New carpets and linoleum. New stove w/ self cleaning oven, fan-hood and dishwasher. The Washer Dryer & Refrig stay. If you love gardening/fruit trees/flowers/herb garden/and vegtable garden you will love this 7700sf lot. Room for boat. Front yard mostly roses on drip system. No Gar. door closed/up-1-car

imageHere’s what z2amiller had to say about this property:

9 pictures and not a single one of the indoors? 4 bedrooms in 1075 sqft? I guess you better _really_ love gardening and spending time outside in your huge 7700 sqft lot!

They must have changed the pictures, only four of them are outdoors now!  And note how this one managed to include the TP on the roll, even!

Wow, I’m getting trippy watching all those water features line up, all those metal bars line up, it even repeats in the mirror… and the metal soap dish reinforces the metal TP holder.  Now that’s art.  Whatever money they spent on HDR photography was money well spent.  I want to buy this place and set up an easel and canvas and see if I can get some water lily action going.  Or at least water closet.

Comments (94) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:03 am

June 2, 2011

Five Years of Circling the Drain

Who here doesn’t love overpriced crapboxes?  Anyone?  Of course we all do!  Overpriced crapboxes are what makes Burbed Burbed!  And today’s listing is not just an overpriced crapbox, but an overpriced crapbox with a mystery!  And you will NEVER guess where it is!

Thanks very much to Burbed reader sfbubblebuyer, who has a house to sell you.  Or maybe it’s a house to stay away from.  I just know that buy it or drive 25 miles in the other direction, you will not forget this place.

2504 EMMETT Way, East Palo Alto, CA 94303


SQ. FT.: 1,620
$/SQ. FT.: $355
LOT SIZE: 5,060 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Ranch
VIEW: Neighborhood
COMMUNITY: East of U.S. 101
COUNTY: San Mateo
MLS#: 81110691
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 84 days



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

I was going to post this to compare its crackerbox joylessness with the current crackerbox from Mountain View, but thought the listing history might deserve a post all of its own. I’m HOPING you know some people with access to the MLS for listing histories, because Redfin only shows it redacted, and Zillow seems to be ignoring the old listings history, but check this bad boy out.




imageOn sale since 2006, and they’re still in denial! It’ll be their 5 year anniversary of chasing the market down on the 26th. Oh man, I want the juicy listing data to see where these geniuses started at and how they overplayed their hand for 5 years. How the hell do you try and sell in 2006 and FAIL? SERIOUSLY? They must have priced this bitch at 1.2 million or something to start!

Okay, sfbb, I feel your pain.  And I found this:


imageLook!  It’s the same agent as now, all the way back in 2008, and the asking price was only $120K more.  Why, $120K wouldn’t even cover an East Palo Alto down payment in 2006.

Maybe this place was where they put the melamine in the milk products, or where our former Governor met up with bimbettes who weren’t classy enough to merit the Sacramento Hyatt Regency.

Comments (20) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:07 am

May 26, 2011

Santa Row, Then and Now

Okay, please hold the pedantic corrections, we know it’s called Santana Row.  “Santa Row” is a Burbed inside joke because of this listing.  (Someday I am going to create a Burbed page of all the inside jokes with links to the original first misuse.  Please send in your contributions for this project and you can get your handle on a permanent Burbed page.  Wow!)

Anyway, here’s a look at all the terrific appreciation an investment in a Santa Santana Row Home would add to your balance sheet!  Get ready to shout… INSTANT EQUITY!  Thanks very much to Burbed reader Petsmart Groomer for some of these fascinating stats, which I find almost as scrumptious as zip code lists.  Of course I had to throw in some BUNUS listings.  (That’s another one.)


333 Santana row #340

688k (05/25/2007)
$390k today (short sale)  “Enjoy of the night life of Santana Row.”


333 santana row (sorry, no unit number given, might be this one, pending 5/4/11)

$690k (03/01/2006)
$599k today


333 santana row #336

$590k (12/23/2005)
$440k today (pending) “full length silk curtains w/ remote”

There’s much, much more after the break.  Much, much, much more!


Comments (15) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:06 am

May 20, 2011

This parcel use to be a Black Smith in the 1900’s

Here’s a house full of win, first mentioned in comments by Burbed reader Real Estater

418 BRYAN Avenue, Sunnyvale, CA 94086


SQ. FT.: 828
$/SQ. FT.: $639
LOT SIZE: 6,000 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Cottage/Bungalow
VIEW: Neighborhood
COMMUNITY: Sunnyvale
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81110948
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 63 days

VALUE IS IN LAND, but this home was lived in. Zoned R2, approx Lot Size is 6,000. 150 x 40.’Quant, Livable’ 2 bdrm 1 bathroom Home w/ Inside Laurnry Room and mudsill foundation made of Redwood beams with ‘uneven’ Fir Flrs & free standing gas stove. Grunt & shove windows. This parcel use to be a Black Smith in the 1900’s. Tons of history & POTENTIAL! Within walking distance to Downtown Sunnyvale.

imageI sure am relieved to hear this home was lived in.  I can’t tell you how many 97 year old houses I have toured that never had a single inhabitant, especially the parcels that use to be a Black Smith in the 1900’s.

Having lived in Sunnyvale during a few years of the 1900’s, there were former Black Smiths all throughout the neighborhood.  It was an epidemic.  This is the real reason there was a housing bubble in the early 2000s: parcels that use to be Black Smiths.  Now they either call United Parcel Service and move to busy streets, or just sit around and get taxed by busybody PTA Presidents.

imageOMG I didn’t know they still made clotheslines like the TV Antenna/Umbrella combo above, which was very common in the early 1960s. In New Jersey.  That’s just a few bits of the Tons of history and POTENTIAL to be found here, every pound of which you get to pay to have hauled to the dump.

It really is not a good sign when there are no photos of the inside (they said it was Quant, Livable), and when the front of the house is the last photo rather than the first one.

Also check out this angled shot from Google Streetview.  I think we can call this place a Fence Fail.


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