July 26, 2012

Double Your Pleasure, Double Your Fun

120725-bing-doublemintIt’s been too long since we’ve checked in with Burbed reader Tracy Tea House and her amazing collection of what-the-heck-is-THATs from the East Side. 

Today she’s back with another San Jose special for all you would-be Silicon Valley millionaires, but this one’s on the other side of the Valley.  Tracy likes Trulia for all her househunting needs, so let’s check in with them.

1454 Bing Drive Bing Drive
San Jose CA 95129


120725-bing-kitchenBedrooms: 4 24 days on Trulia
Bathrooms: 2 
Property type: Single-Family Home
Size: 1,650 sqft
Lot: 6,098 sqft
Price/sqft: $605/sqft
Year built: 1965
MLS/ID: 81224226
Zip: 95129
Listing agent: Michelle Carr-Crowe, ABR,ACRE,ALHS,ASP,CDPE,RECS,SRES, Top 5% US RE Agents
Broker: Just Call (408) 252-8900 Michelle Carr Crowe at Keller Williams Cupertino 

120725-bing-livingHURRY! Special Fourth of July HOT BUY! 1454 BING Dr., San Jose 95129, Open Sat. & Sun., 1:30-4:30 You and the people you care about are invited to see our HOT BUY! Effortless Elegance & Entertaining can Easily be Yours in this Lovely & Upgraded Lynbrook High Home. Featuring a Formal Foyer, Separate LR & FR & Skylight-Illuminated Dining, a Custom Tile & Oak Kitchen, 4 Light & Airy Bedrooms, and 2 Jaw-Droppingly Gorgeous Remodeled Baths, it all add up to Fabulous! Quality Upgrades include Dual Pane Windows, Copper Plumbing to the Main and Cement Tile Roof. COOL Central Air Conditioning, Wet

120725-bing-frontPut your best foot forward, invite the reader into your book with a great cover photo, you’ve got one chance to make a great first impression so always lead your listing with a terrific all-over picture of the house.  A photo of the house.  Not a photo of the flyer for the house.  Wow, this is worse than confusing Call by Name with Call by Value.  And in this listing the facade shot at left doesn’t appear until the fourth photo, but don’t worry, the agent put in another one right next to it in case you skip past.

See that green thing above the flyer and left of the price?  This property is “Active Contingent,” which means an offer was accepted but you just never know which contingency could derail the whole deal. That’s good news for you, because that means you can submit your own backup overbid!

For old times’ sake, head over to Redfin, where’ you’ll find:

  • 120725-bing-lynbrookDifferent first photo, plus photos of school signs (this one is second)
  • All home photos repeated
  • But the street name isn’t
  • Lot is 124 square feet smaller
  • San Jose address in the “Cupertino” community (while being 1.1 miles from Cupertino)
  • Pending Without Release (can’t figure out if that’s the same as Active Contingent since Redfin doesn’t define Without vs With Release)
  • A Virtual Tour link!
  • And different listing copy:

Effortless Elegance & Entertaining Can Be Yours! Fabulous Floor Plan Features Sep. LR & FR! Custom Tile & Oak Kit. Boasts Garden Window, Roll-Outs, Custom Details! Skylights! E-Z Care Laminate, Hardwood, Quality Carpet! E-Z Walk to Rainbow Park! E-Z Walk to Nat. -Recgnizd Cupertino Scls! Miller-API 981 & Lynbrook-API 943! Cool Central A/C + Private Hot Tub for Summer Family Fun!

It’s not enough to name the schools, now they also include the API scores. But the listing copy on Trulia is more deserving of the Burbed Seal of Approval.


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

March 17, 2012

A dozen plus tenants in a million-dollar hood

Foreclosure rattles upscale San Jose neighborhood, and tenants

By Pete Carey, San Jose Mercury News
Posted:   03/14/2012 05:53:36 PM PDT, Updated: 03/15/2012 10:14:37 AM PDT

120315-lacastellet-partitionsThe two-story home in the East San Jose foothills could belong to any well-to-do family, but step through the door and you’re inside a million-dollar suburban foreclosure quagmire.

More than a dozen adults and their pets have been living in a warren of rented rooms in the foreclosed house, turning a tranquil cul-de-sac into what one upset neighbor called "a nightmare for all of us living on that block."

120315-lacastellet-laundryAccording to attorneys for the tenants, the former owner was renting out rooms — including the laundry room and a living room split in two — in the months after the home was foreclosed by the bank. They claim she never told tenants about the foreclosure. Now the tenants face eviction in a hearing to be held Thursday in Santa Clara County Superior Court.

San Jose police officers have responded 16 times since September to resolve disputes and disturbances at the five bedroom, four bath home on La Castellet Court, where houses are valued at $1 million or more. The city’s code enforcement department says it has an open case on the house.      

120315-lacastellet-staircaseRemember the Cubicle House?  This owner simply took that idea one step further now that rentals beat office space.

For all of you who have been criticizing the idea of The Real Bay Area versus The Part That Is Not, this should definitively settle those arguments.  Things like this simply Do Not Happen In The Real Bay Area.  If someone in Los Altos Hills were to notice 15 cars parked along the street in front of the 4,000 square foot housing tumor next door, Code Enforcement would not merely say they have “an open case on the house.”

And in Palo Alto, every one of those vehicles would have collected parking tickets within 2 hours and 10 minutes.

Anyway, our intrepid reporters have tracked down the house in question.


Unfortunately for purposes of journalistic outrage, the Streetview photo does not have the aforementioned excess vehicle collection.


Zillow can show us the neighborhood values.


Homeowners here certainly may have paid over a million for this area, but Zillow has a disturbing lack of faith in their reported valuations.  The expressway-like street against the backyards is Aborn. 

And if you’re wondering why the FB felt the need to fill this home chock-a-block with tenants while hiding from Bank of America, wait until you hear the bubblicious price paid for this place: $1,580,000 on Halloween of 2006. 

Comments (16) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:09 am

January 9, 2012

Bringing you the Finest Listings in Cupertino

Happy New Year, everyone.  One of our New Year’s Resolutions is to keep bringing you plenty of excellent real estate finds, like today’s winner from Burbed reader Tracy.  Thanks very much.

Remember, Burbed is more than just crapboxes.  It’s community.  It’s community of crapboxes!  Without you wonderful readers sending in finds like this one, Burbed would be nothing but… uh…. interesting real estate photos.  Like these!


Cupertino, CA 95014


SQ. FT.: 1,258
$/SQ. FT.: $755
LOT SIZE: 0.25 Acres
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Contemporary
VIEW: Neighborhood
COMMUNITY: Cupertino
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81146749
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 61 days


imageHere’s why Tracy was kind enough to share this listing with us:

Get my award for scariest pictures . How about the price 999,988. Too bad I didn’t see this before Halloween

Well if Tracy liked it at $999,988, then how do you like it at $950K?  Other than taking out those lucky eights, this is a great find, especially if you always wanted to live near a world famous newsmaking site.  And while the news is over, there will be plenty of reminders, like the ten kajillion cement trucks that will drive past your house all day, every day.

Plus check out what the GoogleCam has for this home.


Now THAT is a million dollar look in Cupertino at only 95% the price!  HURRY, Spring Bounce is just around the corner, and so is access to this house!

Comments (10) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:12 am

November 7, 2011

In the path of progress!

Here’s a great find from Burbed reader and occasional Guest Editor sonarrat!  Many thanks for this listing in Google’s backyard!


1988 PLYMOUTH St, Mountain View, CA 94043


SQ. FT.: 640
$/SQ. FT.: $1,461
LOT SIZE: 0.4 Acres
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
VIEW: Neighborhood
COMMUNITY: Rengstorff
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81127711
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 98 days

Great opportunity in Mountain View. Blocks from Google and in the path of progress. This is an older two bed one bath home on a huge lot, perfect for a family who wants property or for a developer. New construction coming two parcels away.

imageHere’s what sonarrat had to say about this house:

We have a new Burbed classic in the making. This one’s in the path of progress! Why, you ask? They’re building a stairway to Google!

That’s even better than an overplayed Led Zeppelin hit, because it won’t hurt your ears and it costs nothing to look.

imageIn the path of progress, indeed! But doesn’t that mean it’s going to be condemned under eminent domain?

At least it has electricity!

Now, check out the neighborhood.  I’m not sure which parcel has the new construction coming, but there sure seems to be a number of multifamily units quite nearby. You’ll have so many more neighbors to socialize with, or at least so many more cars blocking your driveway.


Actually I think I might have found it, at least I found a bulldozer.


It sure would be a shame to lose that terrific vehicle collection.  Maybe they could put them in that nice parking lot next door.

But this house has something even better going for it than the bridge they’re building to Google.  Look what you have in easy walking distance.


Yes, if you ever get tired of this house, just remember, you could be living here!

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

November 3, 2011

Move in with confidence!

Here’s another bubblicious find from Burbed reader nomadic!  This is a delightful Los Gatos home, so well-situated that hundreds of people will drive by every hour to admire it!


14540 BLOSSOM HILL Rd, Los Gatos, CA 95032


BATHS: 2.5
SQ. FT.: 2,193
$/SQ. FT.: $432
LOT SIZE: 0.29 Acres
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Ranch
VIEW: Neighborhood
COMMUNITY: Los Gatos/Monte Sereno
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81142627
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 26 days

Wonderful home in Los Gatos on xx-lg-lot presents everything a buyer is looking for. Remodeled home with granite kitchen, wood floors, open living areas, architectural details of scalloped arched ways, crown molding, inset lighting and lots of natural light, dual-paned windows, large 2.5 baths with double sinks, large master with 2 closets, bonus vanity. Easy commute access. Move in with confidence!

imageHere’s what nomadic had to say about this house

Failed flip, foreclosed, for sale.  A realtard bought this place in ’06 and did all of the renovation work.  The bank ate the loss in ’08.

These people have done nothing to the house since buying it 4/09.  It’s on a busy street with a freakin’ traffic signal in the front yard.  But they figure it has appreciated 30% in 2-1/2 years.  I expect this to linger on the market for many months to come unless they get real about the price.  They would be phenomenally lucky to get $800k; more realistically, $750k-ish.  Look at the awesome street view.  Just to the right is an assisted-living facility; at least the neighbors will be quiet.

That is one amazing default Streetview shot.  I’m wondering about just how wide-angle a lens they must have used to take that picture above from the sidewalk.


And you just can’t beat the feng shui of a T-intersection with another arterial.  That means all that commerce and prosperity is going to flow right into your house.  Or is it out of your house? And speaking of out, here’s the assisted living facility next door.


If you have allergies, this is a great neighbor to have: 80% of the front lawn is paved.  But back to the feng shui, if these residents need assistance to live, does their health flow into your house or the other way ‘round?  This is like Cations and Anions, I can never remember which is which.  But as long as both are flowing in or out, you’ll either get commerce or health!  Make an offer with lots of 8s in the price and move in with confidence!

Comments (18) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:04 am

October 7, 2011

800 sf slate deck becomes extension of the home, because no remodeling allowed

corntrolio over at patrick.net (who has also been an occasional Burbed reader) found this house and complained about it.  We did a smash and grab so you could point and gasp.  At the house, I mean.  Thanks for the great observations, corntrolio!  Note that they were made back when the house still listed for $1.095M.

Are there any Real Estate forums you regularly check for great discussion on local properties?  Let us know so we can steal share them with you.


610 WOODSIDE Way, Woodside, CA 94062


SQ. FT.: 1,670
$/SQ. FT.: $656
LOT SIZE: 7,440 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Traditional
VIEW: Mountains, Neighborhood
COMMUNITY: Emerald Hills Area
COUNTY: San Mateo
MLS#: 81126046
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 75 days

Open flr plan, Massive loft w/ vaulted ceiling. (multitple uses) gourmet kitchen. Bath/2 sinks, vanity area, tub with jets & separate toilet area. 800 sq ft slate deck becomes extension of the home. Crowned molding, recessed lighting, old world plastered walls, french drain, new septic/leach fields, storage throughout. Flat grassy yard/garden w/ fountain. Woodside Schools. OH 10/02.(SUN)1:30-4:30

imageThe ridiculous place I saw recently was this one.

This is a 1BR house with a loft built 2000-2004. You may ask yourself, why would someone do that in this day and age? The reason is because this property is on a septic system, and a restrictive covenant placed on the house in 2001 does not permit more than 1BR.

I also didn’t believe it was 1600+ sqft. I’ve lived in 1200-1300 sqft houses with 3BR that felt bigger. It’s also not really in Woodside proper, but rather Emerald Hills which has the Woodside zipcode/post office and not necessarily Woodside schools. Because this place is north of Jefferson, it may have Woodside schools. Nonetheless, this place is considered part of the Town of Woodside and is subject to its code and planning.

imageIt has a bizarre history too — foreclosed in 2005 at $865,209, and then purchased for $925K in 2006. The current owners tried to add a second bathroom in the loft space but got smacked down by the Town of Woodside for doing so illegally without a permit and against the covenant which requires only 1 BR. The prior owner tried hard to build that second bathroom in the loft space, but got smacked down numerous times by the town (including after demolishing the prior 1BR house and applying for a "remodel").

All this for a mere $1.095M.

And in reply to another comment:

corntrollio, i don’t get it, foreclosed in 2005?? Didn’t he got it for like 355k in 2000?

imageThey tore it down completely (without getting a demo permit) and then rebuilt it. There may have been a big construction loan that was converted to a mortgage, or something else that resulted in the foreclosure (e.g. building the new house then cash-out). These guys tried for several years to back-door a 2nd bedroom into this house, and then the subsequent owner did too. We’re 10 years down the line now.

Comments (14) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:07 am

September 16, 2011

If you can’t jump in the lake, go jump off a cliff

Today’s listing is from frequent Guest Blogger and occasional Guest Editor sfbubblebuyer!  Thanks very much for this awesome property in, where else, Redwood City! 

The agent isn’t sure if it’s in “Emerald Hills” or Cordilleras Heights, but it’s that specialized knowledge, such as what neighborhood a given house is in, that explains why these professionals split a $60,000 fee to help buy or sell a million dollar piece of property.

For the first time ever, we have truth in advertising. At least truth in advertising on a street name. I present 503 Edgecliff Way.


503 EDGECLIFF Way, Redwood City, CA 94062


BATHS: 2.5
SQ. FT.: 3,100
$/SQ. FT.: $321
LOT SIZE: 7,744 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Contemporary
COMMUNITY: Cordilleras Heights
COUNTY: San Mateo
MLS#: 81126139
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 85 days

Contemporary style modern home in Emerald Hills with highly desirable upgrades. Cherry & granite kitchen, contemporary lighting, large walk-in master closet w/ built-ins, double decks & patio, large back yard w/ beautiful landscaping, 2 car garage with built in storage, extra storage below house, extra room below house to build an in-law. Plus, a majestic view of the bay!

imageYou know you’re buying quality when you can bungee jump from your own driveway! They even conveniently sloped the driveway towards the house so that you will be alerted to heavy rainstorms by water flowing across your garage floor.

Or perhaps, if you’re more theatrically inclined, you could stage a neighborhood play of Romeo And Juliet since your front door is on it’s own balcony! How romantic! And you want character? Well, this fake-Spanish house comes with it’s very own OCTAGONAL WINDOW! Whoa! Don’t put a ball through that, you don’t want to know what it’ll cost to replace!

imageEnough of the outside! Inside we’ve got our standard granite, but blinged up a bit with Cherry! It comes with a wine fridge located right next to the oven, because cooling and heating devices next to each other screams "I have so much money I don’t care about thermodynamics!"

imageAnd what is this? A bathroom with all black fixtures? If you plan on using it for the help, don’t worry, they won’t be offended. The sink has built in cawluhms to class up the joint!

Comments (12) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:03 am

September 2, 2011

Staged for sale: Garage converted into a large well

Here’s a great find in a decent part of Sunnyvale, which is like the quality line of Velveeta products, or the Premium label at JC Penney.  You know it’s not that terrific, but it’s better than what the typical shopper buying that brand is going to get.


1090 BUTTE Ct, Sunnyvale, CA 94087


SQ. FT.: 1,380
$/SQ. FT.: $654
LOT SIZE: 7,752 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Ranch
VIEW: Neighborhood
COMMUNITY: Sunnyvale
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81134393
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 23 days

Staged for sale. Court location, just off of 85 freeway. Fresh interior paint. New flooring and crown molding accent. Great year around patio room, makes for great office. Garage converted into a large well finished multi-purpose room and separate laundry. Updated kitchen. Detached workshop taken as is. Large landscaped yard.

imageMaybe this listing needs to be translated from Realtardese back to English.

Staged for saleAs opposed to staged for impressing the neighbors

Court locationSee you in bankruptcy court

just off of 85 freewayThis is completely 100% true!  If the house were any closer you could use that solar-powered call box!


Fresh interior paintTo cover up all the blood, phlegm and tobacco stains on the walls

New flooringAbove dripped onto the old flooring

and crown molding accentOwners need dental work AND elocution lessons

imageGreat year around patio room1957 was the bee’s knees!

makes for great officeSince every year after then was a pretty ordinary one

Garage converted into a large wellIt was pretty easy, we didn’t repair the roof and let the water collect

finished multi-purpose roomYou can eat AND watch TV!

and separate laundryGet to work! Darks here, lights here, bright colors in this basket.  Don’t put your clothes drying rack in the garage, we converted it into a well.

imageUpdated kitchenPremium Formica with Naugahyde stools in harvest gold and avocado green!

Detached workshop taken as isLeaving you with none of it

Largecompared to lots in South Palo Alto

landscaped yardWe didn’t rip the lawn out yet.

Oh, oh.  You know what they didn’t say?  There’s no mention of those amazing CUPERTINO SCHOOLS.  Gasp!  Is this seller not aware that this house has CUPERTINO SCHOOLS?  And the Realtard didn’t mention it either?  Maybe none of them know!  Hurry!  Buy this house before they figure it out and mark the price up to $1,088,888!

Comments (16) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:08 am

August 25, 2011

Nice house… Pass the PBR

Today’s featured house was toured, selected, and written up by Burbed reader Divasm.  Thanks very much for serving as Guest Blogger on Burbed!  Remember, if you have a great listing (and you know by “great” I actually mean “atrocious”), great photos, or a great price history, you can write it up and have fame and fortune by appearing on the front page!  Or you can send it the listing and have us muck it up for you!

Please give Divasm a big, warm Real Bay Area welcome.

Now that this house has sold I have an amusing story about our tour of it that I thought Burbed readers might enjoy.


926 STONY HILL Rd, Redwood City, CA 94061
Listed for $928,888, Sold for $847,000


BATHS: 2.5
SQ. FT.: 2,130
$/SQ. FT.: $398
LOT SIZE: 7,840 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STORIES: Bi/Split Level
VIEW: Neighborhood
COMMUNITY: Farm Hills Estates
COUNTY: San Mateo
MLS#: 81111598

Charming 3 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom home in Farm Hill Estates. Wonderful floor plan w/ large family room downstairs. Also includes master suite, eat-in kitchen, fireplaces in living room & family room and 2 car garage. Patio deck leads down to large back yard with beautiful park like setting. Within walking distance of award winning Roy Cloud School ((K-8th). Fresh paint.

My husband and I had an appointment with our Redfin agent to visit this house at 9am on a Sunday. It’s pretty apparent from the listing photos that this place is unoccupied, right? Well, sort of. We started our tour in the living room, and when we moved into the kitchen I noticed a pair of flipflops on the floor under the table. As we continue down the hallway, the first door is closed. I open it a crack and see somebody on the floor on a sleeping bag with a blanket pulled over their head!

stonyhillfoundationWe quickly decide to head outside and look at the backyard, giving the person time to perhaps wake up and regroup before we come back inside. As we are outside we notice a big crack in the foundation, which takes this “needs updates” house in a nice neighborhood past the realm of fixer upper (we looked under the house and could see signs of major shifting as well), especially at the listing price of $928K.

We go in and head downstairs, where we find a couple mattresses with sleeping bags, empty pizza boxes and some barely concealed bags containing Pabst Blue Ribbon cans (sorry, no photos of the contraband to show, we were stonyhillplayhousetoo busy laughing). Aha! It all becomes clear! The girl who once occupied that darling playhouse in the backyard has apparently grown up enough to throw a party in her childhood home, and forgot about the fact that her parents are actively trying to SELL the house.

We go back upstairs and my husband knocks on the closed door, pokes his head in and says that we’re going to look around upstairs and then leave. I hear several teenage girl giggles as he closes the door. He said he saw at least 3-4 girls in their PJs in the room, and a couple who wouldn’t take blankets off their heads…we finally deduce those must have been the BOYS. 🙂

Despite the shaky foundation and best efforts of teenage partiers, the house went pending a week later and sold very quickly after that – I’m assuming to an investor – and some private school teens were left without their PBR party hotspot. Awww.

Comments (14) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:05 am

August 17, 2011

Top of the world location, location, location!

Here’s a one-of-a-kind listing from Burbed reader Petsmart Groomer, who must fondly remember the days when the Real Bay Area could run as far north as Seattle, or at least San Anselmo.

40 Wolfback Ridge Rd, Sausalito, CA  94965


SQ. FT.: –
LOT SIZE: 0.66 Acres
PROPERTY TYPE: Lots & Land, Single Family
VIEW: Bay, Bridges, City, Forest/Woods, Ocean, Panoramic, Park, Valley, Water
COMMUNITY: Sausalito
MLS#: 21107250
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 149 days

This top of the world location sits at nearly 960 feet elevation w/ absolutely incredible views of San Francisco, the mouth of the SF bay & west to the Pacific Ocean, Farallon Islands & sunsets. The lot is a natural penthouse on a private road behind two gates in an exclusive community. It is a very RARE buildable view lot minutes from San Francisco. Don’t be confused-this opp. is better than it looks.

imageHere’s what PG had to say about this top of the world location:

The world has never been so low.

I think you meant the price of this OPPORTUNITY has never been so low!  Don’t be confused-this opp. is better than it looks.

See?  It even has this free bridge thrown in!  That must be worth a couple thousand for the scrap metal alone!

imageIt’s a natural penthouse on a private road behind two gates in an exclusive community!  What more could you want?

Other than really, really hope the agents with this listing would deign to take your phone calls, assuming you could ever find their unlisted number?

Comments (21) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:06 am