December 16, 2012

Hella Pricy Place in Hella Expensive Space Fails to Sell Hella Quick

121215-belvedere-houseview

Let’s say you built a super expensive, fancy-schmancy custom one-of-a-kind house on a spectacular view lot and had a bunch of designers each decorate a different room in the place to make it Extra Super Mega Special. Then you ran a charity fundraiser by calling it a Designer Showcase and listed the place for $45 million.  And of course you list it with Sotheby’s.

121215-belvedere-windowAnd yet, let’s say this drop-dead-gorgeous spec palace did not find a buyer for $45 million (or, we assume, anywhere near that vicinity) when it was first listed this February.  What do you do?

You could cut the price ten million or so.  And it looks like that was tried as well, as the most recent price last week is $35.88M.  And yet, the house is still sitting there, all lonely on its double lot and intense blue skies obtained with the finest Photoshop filters.  What’s the next step to avoiding serious financial fail?

In this case, the solution (or at least the next attempt at avoiding a catastrophe) is to put the house up for auction.  The starting price will be $25 million.  At least one website actually states this is going to result in the home selling for last February’s price.

Alas, we missed the preview yesterday afternoon.  But the auction will be on December 30th, giving you plenty of time to contact the right people and get yourself in on the fun.

121215-belvedere-brochureRedfin won’t disclose the address, but we sure will: 425 Belvedere Ave, Belvedere.  You’re welcome.

Click the image at right to see the home’s brochure and many more pictures in tones of sapphire and sunset.  You can also drool all over the home’s website if the brochure isn’t enough house porn for you.

So, is the market bubble over already, or did the home builders simply overreach with a $45 million ask?  What do you expect the place to fetch at auction?  Is the opening $25 million minimum sufficient to move this mess?

Comments (7) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:08 am






July 11, 2012

COMPLETELY UPDATED: $4.2 million teardown in Belvedere

Burbed has visited this high-priced peninsula before, but we’ve never reported on a teardown at Hillsborough-with-Baywater.  Thanks very much to Burbed reader Pkamp3 for the find.

A $4.2 Million Tear-Down House in Belvedere, California

By ALAN FARNHAM | ABC News – Fri, Jun 29, 2012

120710-belvedere-abcIn Marin County, California, where people tend to have money, people in Belvedere tend to have more. Even so, a recent decision by Clark and Sharon Winslow of 337 Belvedere Avenue to buy the home next to theirs for $4.2 million — and then tear it down — might seem extraordinary.

It’s not, say locals and real estate professionals.

“There are houses being torn down all the time,” says Bill Smith, realtor and ex-mayor of Belvedere. In neighboring Tiburon, he says, a buyer not long ago paid $20 million for the home of tennis star Andre Agassi and wife Steffi Graf, then announced his plan to raze it.

While the article specifically mentions the house that isn’t being torn down, we’re left to guess which property is getting the extreme makeover.  And we think it’s this one.

Update 9:30 AM: And we are completely wrong.  Burbed reader gallileo provided the evidence that it’s the house on the OTHER side.  Correct info added to end of article, because we hate to waste a good housing rant.

341 Belvedere Ave
Belvedere Tiburon, CA 94920
Sold on 01/14/2000 for $2,100,000

120710-belvedere-redfin

120710-belvedere-satelliteSource: Public Records
BEDS: 3
BATHS: 2.5
FINISHED SQFT: 2,831
UNFINISHED SQFT: -
TOTAL SQFT: 2,831
FLOORS: -
LOT SIZE: 8,400
STYLE: Single Family Residential
YEAR BUILT: 1964
YEAR RENOVATED: 1975
COUNTY: Marin County
APN: 06022128
LAST UPDATED: August 24, 2011

The interesting thing about buying and tearing down a perfectly good house isn’t that someone with way too much cash went ahead and did it.  It’s how much the house was worth in the first place.  Zillow says… ZEstimate of $1,876,100.  Which means the new “owners” spent more than twice what this house may be worth just to make more land.

Yes, the purchasers live in that 9524 square foot housing tumor on the left.  Let’s see what they got for $4.2 million!

120710-belvedere-streetview

Oh yeah.  Perhaps they’ll be tearing down this place next, since it’s blocking their Bay access.  (See #42.  Only 1017 days on Redfin!)

Update: Here is the correct house.  gallileo provides a link to SocketSite with the story, and there’s a further link to a piece in the Marin Independent Journal.  So, without further adieu, the actual house that was purchased for $4.2 million only to be torn down.  That and more, after the break.

(more…)

Comments (10) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:15 am

October 30, 2011

Updated: For Halloween Weekend, Here’s a Scary Treat for You from Burbed!

imageOoops, my bad.  It’s a trick.  It’s a trick!

You see, Forbes has their new list of the 500 Most Expensive Zip Codes out, and it’s time to see how much of the Real Bay Area (RBA) can Occupy The Forbes Zip List!  Since this series is a perennial Burbed favorite, we’re going to devote the next five hundred weekend posts to lovingly analyzing every single aspect of this new set of delicious demographic domicile data.

Today: The Top 50 Most Expensive Zip Codes

Hey wait, come back!  This is going to be really good!  We’re going to see which zip codes gained or lost ground since last year!  Maybe some of them get kicked out of the RBA for this!  This is a Burbed exclusive, too, Forbes didn’t bother doing any analysis of their own list changes.

imagePlus this year’s Forbes feature has the top 50 places show the most expensive house so we’ll link to each listing, plus what you can get for a mere million. That means nothing in the RBA except one crapshack in Los Gatos despite their featuring 20 different “expensive” zips.  Ha ha!  Our expensive zips are so Special we don’t let any stinking one million dollar properties in!

We also love to catch Forbes in mistakes, so if there’s something more expensive they missed, or if they otherwise screwed up like last year, we’ll be sure to let them know with as much obnoxious chortling good-natured ribbing as possible.  It’s going to be awesome!

Updated: And the TRICK is on Forbes for a Burbed Treat!   They have screwed up very, very badly.  Badly enough that I’m wondering if their (bad, really bad) mistakes made it to the print version of this feature.  If anyone has a copy, please let us know in comments.

I’ve grabbed the Days on Market (DOM) from the big table as Burbed readers Divasm and nomadic point out every single zip had a DOM of 200.  That’s highly unlikely.  Nice going, Forbes!  I can’t wait to see if your other numbers disagree too!  (Yes, they’re fvcked.)

I’m also putting a break in right after the first entry, because this article is not one of our shorter pieces.  And now, here they are!  Every Northern California entry in Forbes Top 50!

#2: Atherton 94027

  • Median Home Price: $4,295,000
  • Median Price Change: +7.1% ⇑
  • Average Days On Market: 200 162
  • Inventory: 162 41
  • Rank Last Year: #2 (no change)  Exclusive BURBED content, Not on Forbes!
  • Most Expensive Home: $20 Million (52 Tuscaloosa Avenue)

imageOh little town of Atherton
How high we see thee lie
Above thy rich and floodless ditch
You burst with equitie
Yet in they dark streets shineth
No mortgage meltdown mess
The hopes and quips of other zips
Are met in thy address

Oops, Tuscaloosa now listed for $18.9 million.  Sorry about that!  Are you Astonished?

Also I found this $24M home, listed a month ago.  Guess they missed it when putting their article together, since it ran a couple of weeks ago.  But Homes of the Rich found it too.

More after the break!  Much more!

(more…)

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

October 3, 2010

The Most Expensive Zip Codes! MOST EXPENSIVE!!!

Forbes Magazine has their annual most expensive zip code collection again, and high-end real estate agents rejoiced.  This feature is the Capitalist Tool’s usual suck-off to NAR, with the lovely pictures there to move some expensive houses.  Anyway, California, despite its budgetary and property value woes, completely cleaned New York’s clock.  Unfortunately, Los Angeles is getting ahead of San Francisco.

Here are the top ten:

    1. 91008, Duarte, Calif.
    2. 94027, Atherton, Calif.
    3. 90274, Rolling Hills, Calif.
    4. 07620, Alpine, N.J.
    5. 10014, New York, N.Y.
    6. 90210, Beverly Hills, Calif.
    7. 10065, New York, N.Y.
    8. 94920, Belvedere, Calif.
    9. 10012, New York, N.Y.
    10. 93108, Santa Barbara, Calif.

If ever a list defined what flyover land was, this is it.  All ten are California or New York City suburbs.  How did Greenwich, Connecticut get knocked off this list?  More importantly, how did a town full of ginormous houses next to Monrovia get on it?  91008 is mostly big, expensive homes in Bradbury, but the post office calls the zip Duarte. High-priced enclave surrounded by working-class city, good thing we don’t have anything like that in the Real Bay Area (RBA)!

And we sure don’t have anything like this:

High-End Slump Slows
The median price of America’s high-end homes continues to slide, but not as fast as it did last year. Our index of 500 high-end ZIP codes saw the average home price fall 5%, to $1.2 million, from the same time last year. In 2009 the markets on our list saw a 7% price drop.

About 35% of the ZIP codes in our index saw median prices increase or stay flat, but that’s likely because more high-priced homes are coming on the market, while more affordable housing continues to falter. “The year-over-year price changes we’re seeing here aren’t necessarily the change in price for your house, if you have a house in this area,” says Simonsen. “It’s a change in the mix of homes on the active market.”

Anyway, on to the high-priced zips in the Bay Area.  Photos, stats, and smarmy real estate copy is from Forbes.  You’ll recognize what isn’t, and I’ve hunted down all the real estate so you don’t have to.

#2 – 94027: Atherton

Median Home Price: $4,010,200
Median Price Change: 4%
Average Days On Market: 109
Inventory: 57 properties
Median Household Income: $200,001

image_thumb7

This remodeled mid-century four-bedroom, four-bathroom, 4,010-square-foot ranch with a cathedral ceiling, fireplace, media room, two-car garage and gardens sells for $4,488,000. It is listed with Alain Pinel.

And it’s up 4%.  RBA Win!  This house on Fredrick Ave is still for sale, listed 63 days.  Buy now with Redfin and save $56,100!

#8 – 94920: Belvedere

Median Home Price: $3,283,269
Median Price Change: 51%
Average Days On Market: 149
Inventory: 39 properties
Median Household Income: $106,492

image_thumb8

This three-bedroom, four-bathroom 4347-square-foot Spanish-style stucco home in the section of 94920 that’s in neighboring Tiburon offers views and a fireplace and sells for $3,195,000. William J. Smith has the listing.

What’s this?  The zip is shared with Tiburon?  Outrage!  If Belvedere had its own zip, it would kick Bradbury’s butt!  But wait!  This house isn’t in Belvedere but in Tiburon?  That’s bait and switch!  Just for that I won’t buy the house on Buckwheat Court.  In Tiburon.

image_thumb18

#15 – 94022: Los Altos Hills

Median Home Price: $3,048,846
Median Price Change: 34%
Average Days On Market: 176
Inventory: 58 properties
Median Household Income: NA

image_thumb10

This 4,000 square-foot, five-bedroom, six-bathroom Mediterranean-style home has a stucco exterior, vaulted ceilings, a fireplace and study and is selling for $3,195,000. Alain Pinel has the listing.

Up 34%!  New York is our beeyotch.  And so is Forbes, because this house is on Jay St, in Los Altos, No Hills.  It’s also new construction.  Three lots down from busy El Monte.  You’re welcome.

image_thumb20

#18 – 94024: Los Altos Hills

Median Home Price: $2,974,058 <
/dt>
Median Price Change: -9%
Average Days On Market: 179
Inventory: 15 properties
Median Household Income: NA

image_thumb9

This 4,673 square-foot six-bedroom, four-bathroom home has hardwood floors, a fireplace, vaulted ceilings and a swimming pool. It is listed for $2,899,000 with Campi Properties.

Sloppy work again, Forbes.  This house is also in Los Altos, not Los Altos Hills.  And it’s only 4,367 feet, so you’re off by almost 300 sf.  It’s on Young Ct, off Summerhill, off Magdelena, off 280.  Talk about any easy commute, provided you don’t work anywhere near 101.

image_thumb19

#20 – 94010: Hillsborough

Median Home Price: $2,948,423
Median Price Change: 11%
Average Days On Market: 109
Inventory: 101 properties
Median Household Income: $82,188

image_thumb11

This 4,190-square-foot, six-bedroom, five-bathroom home has a double-height foyer, two-car garage, fireplace and swimming pool, and is offered at $3,095,000 by Alain Pinel Realty.

What the – 101 properties listed in Hillsborough?  Are there even 101 properties in Hillsborough?  Trick question!  The zip is shared with Burlingame!  And this listing on Eucalyptus was a trick, too.  Everything in the description lined up, and here I thought they were going to put it in the wrong city.

But who the heck buys a 6 bedroom house with only a 2 car garage?  Where will the servants park?

There’s plenty more zip code madness to come, in another installment.  Although if you’re buying things on installment, you’re priced out of these zips.  Forever.

Comments (39) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:05 am

June 15, 2010

truly exemplifies the belvedere

You can fool some of the people all of the time, you can fool all of the people some of the time, but you can’t possibly sell this problematic house to anyone fortunate enough to live in the Real Bay Area.

image

101 Belvedere Ave Belvedere, CA 94920
$27,500,000

Beds: 6
Baths: 6.5
Sq. Ft.:  7,063
$/Sq. Ft.: $3,894
Lot Size: 0.69 Acres
Property Type:
Residential, Detached, Single Family
Style: Custom
Stories: 3
View: Bay, Bridges, City, Lights, Marina, Mountains, Water
Year Built: 1987
Community: Belvedere
County: Marin
MLS#: 21014179
Source: BAREIS
Status: Active This listing is for sale and the sellers are accepting offers.
On Redfin: 19 days

Sited on the western-most promontory of Belvedere Island w/ the Bay directly below & unobstructed views from Mount Tam through Sausalito, the GG Bridge & the entire SF skyline, this property truly exemplifies the belvedere. Warren Callister designed, west-side waterfront w/ 5 bedrooms, 4 full & 3 half-baths in the main residence & separate 1-bedroom, 1-bath guest apartment w/ kitchen & living room.

I don’t even know where to begin with this one, so let’s get the biggest problem out of the way first.  This house is at least 45 miles from Silicon Valley.  I’m sure you could handle a lot of your business via email, Skype and SMS, but.  But.  You’re still 45 miles, that’s an hour and half in traffic, from the people you need to see.  There’s something to be said for “smart” communities, and Belvedere wasn’t anywhere on the list.  Face it, with a density of 1856 people per square mile, you’re not going to find 1259 of them being college grads as you will in San Jose.

Next problem: Serious water hazard.  I mean, would you LOOK at this?

image 

And that isn’t a koi pond.  That’s San Francisco Bay, and it’s 56 degrees in there.   Brrrrrr.  So don’t waste your money on koi.  They’re freshwater.

Now, let’s look at one of those words the listing agent used.  “Promontory,”  No, not promissory, promontory,  As in exposed, windswept cliff.  As in “I sure hope you have a lot of liability insurance, because you are going to need it when your daughter’s best friend starts playing Wuthering Heights on that promontory.”  As in, “Did you hire a geologist to see if the whole house is going down in the drink because a big chunk of promontory just collapsed?” 

image

Promissory probably doesn’t pertain to this property.  At an asking price of $27,500,000, your loan of $729,750 will leave you to come up with a 97.3% down payment.  There is good news!  With that much cash up front, there’s almost no chance of a low appraisal sinking the deal!

Next problem: Isn’t the entire point of buying rather than renting so you can water your own lawn?  This property seems to have neglected the lawn.  Big minus.

Another big lose for this property is the Golden Gate bridge toll.  What is that up to now, six dollars? Five with FasTrak?  Your only way around that is to take the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge and come down I-880.  Well, that or put in a helipad on the roof.

Now, did you take a look at this interesting number?  Price per square foot: $3,894.  I’m going to say that again.  Three thousand, eight hundred ninety four.  Most of the properties on burbed are smaller than that in square feet, let alone cheaper per square foot.  This might indeed be a record.  What is this place made out of, unobtanium?  And for this kind of money, are there any marble columns?

image Nope.  There might be some marble in the bathroom, but none of it was column-shaped.

What a rip-off.

And speaking of rip-off, note how the listing gives and then takes away.  It said 6 BR/6.5 BA, didn’t it?  What you don’t find out until you read the fine print is that one bedroom and one bath are in the guest apartment.  So you’re really only getting 5 BR/5.5 BA in the house, and that 5.5 BA is really 4 full and 3 half bathrooms.  That’s right.  3 of the “bathrooms” don’t have a bath or a shower.  If that isn’t false advertising, I don’t know what is.

It’s that kind of cheap fitting out that leads people to say rude things about contractors.  And let’s just note one thing about the home’s designer, Warren Callister.  He is responsible for Rossmoor.  That’s a retirement community.  In Walnut Creek.  Walnut Creek is even less RBA than Belvedere, because the former is a suburb of Oakland.

imageHere’s another problem with this property: can you imagine having to wash all these windows?  I can’t either.  Keep looking at the pictures in the listing, because this isn’t the only room where one window would have been enough, so Callister put in six.  Did he own stock in Andersen or something?  I mean, if you’re going to spend so much on fixtures, why not throw in a few marble columns instead?

Yup. I’ll say it again.  Custom home, not one marble column.  It’s like they weren’t even trying.  It “truly exemplifies the belvedere.”  A belvedere is a structure built to take in a commanding view, usually above a building or city.  So this house, in not having one, truly exemplifies it.

Comments (27) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:05 am