May 27, 2013

Overbids, in Berkeley? Mu.

Since we had a Sunday think piece (a really nice way to say TL;DR) yesterday on the supposed strength of schools in the East Bay (short answer: not even), let’s look at another property there. Today’s featured home for your holiday is brought to you from Berkeley by Burbed reader Bob in Oakland.  Thanks very much, and remember, if you have a listing that looks like it could use a little Burbed loving, please send it in!

130526-lincoln-redfin1411 LINCOLN St
Berkeley, CA 94702
Sold for $805,000

2 Beds
2 Baths
1,083 Sq. Ft.
$743 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1938
Lot Size: 3,570 Sq. Ft.
Sold On: Apr 10, 2013
Type: Detached
Stories: 2
Community: N Berkeley
MLS#: 40605874
Style: Bungalow
View: Other
County: Alameda

Charming N. Berkeley/ Northbrae Bungalow on charming Lincoln St. Updated baths, large front & rear yards, spacious laundry room plus bonus room perfect for office or guest suite. And, just 1 block to N. Berk BART, Ohlone pathway and bike routes.

130526-lincoln-kitchenNow let’s check in with Bob:

For your consideration:

This little shack sold for $805k, and went pending two weeks after listing for $599k.  Per a postcard sent out by the selling agent (and received by a friend who lives nearby), it received 16 offers.

Note the Redfin ‘tour insights’ (gotta love ‘em using the word ‘insights’ – it takes the deep intuitive gifts of a realtard to come up with gems like ‘nice house’):

  • 130526-lincoln-yard‘Not a fan of the kitchen’
  • ‘Kitchen is small and could use some updating.’
  • ‘There isn’t a great indoor outdoor flow. You need to go downstairs and out a side door to get to the backyard.’
  • ‘Upstairs bath a little funky….’
  • ‘Upstairs bath could use a remodel.’

130526-lincoln-faucetAlso:

There’s no garage – it was converted into a ‘guest room’ with sliding glass doors which provide a lovely view of the parking pad. 

The description says ‘large front and rear yards’, but the lot size is only 3,570 square feet.

The pix make it look decent sized, but ‘objects in wide-angle lens are smaller than they appear.’

130526-lincoln-fishmktNote the sideways-pointing faucet in the bathroom sink – never seen that before.

Yes, the neighborhood’s pretty nice, but $805k?  Maybe the buyer works in the financial district of SF, and decided that instead of a crappy condo for $1.5 million, they’d snap up this house which is a short, pleasant walk to North Berkeley BART.

I love ‘burbed’ – an island of sanity in a region gone batshit insane for real estate. Keep up the good work.

Not much we can add to that other than we’re talking a 34% overbid.  And how many times can one agent use the word “nice”?

130526-lincoln-nice

Comments (8) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:04 am






January 7, 2013

If You Love Natural Light, You Will Fall

Welcome back to another week of Extreme Housing Win, Bay Area Edition!  We hope everyone had a wonderful holiday break and we wish you all a Very Happy New Year if you haven’t been reading us Every Single Day Like You Should Be.

Today’s featured FUBAR hails from the linchpin of higher learning in all of California.  No, not Stanford.  Thanks very much to Burbed reader Ms. Snoopy for this bodacious buildout of BOOM in Berzerkely!

130106-cragmont-redfin1068 CRAGMONT Ave
Berkeley, CA 94708
$399,000

4 Beds 
3 Baths 
2,129 Sq. Ft.
$187 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1959 
Lot Size: 8,100 Sq. Ft. 
On Redfin: 20 days
Status: Active
Type: Detached
Stories: 2
Community: Berkeley Hills
MLS#: 40598550
Style: Craftsman
View: Bay
County: Alameda

If You Love Natural Light, You will Fall in Love w/ the “VIEWS” of this home. This is definitely a HOME IMPROVEMENT house in the workings! NEEDS a lot of TLC.

130106-cragmont-alfrescoHere’s Ms. Snoopy’s nominating speech for this front-page folly:

According to the agent, this one “NEEDS a lot of TLC.” I guess “TLC” in realtard speak now means drywall, doors, and ceilings. But the agent is right that you will get “lots of natural light” due to the fact that there are no walls.

Love your site!

No walls?  That means plenty of fresh air as well!  Plus fresh water.

130106-cragmont-stairwell130106-cragmont-puddles

And plenty of nature, both animal and plant kingdoms, free to surprise you day or night.

130106-cragmont-yard130106-cragmont-view

Would you look at those VIEWS!!!!!

Comments (11) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:01 am

July 1, 2012

You Know You’re Really from X When You Y

Recently seen in the San Francisco Chronicle:

You Know You’re a Real Marinite when you…120630_marin_kids

…Think a redhead adds “diversity” to your kid’s class… (Deanne Fitzmaurice / The Chronicle) / SF

and…

120630_berkeley

120630_sunnyvale_libbysHa.  If we only see three Priuses parked anywhere around Google, it’s only because the rest of the vehicles are plug-in electrics.

So… let’s hear your suggestions for X and Y, where X is your city or town, and Y is whatever you come up with to best exemplify its essence.

We’ll start.  You Know You’re Really from Sunnyvale, when you can’t come up with anything other than the general case using the letters X and Y where X equals “Sunnyvale” and Y remains undefined for now but might have something to do with a gigantic can of fruit cocktail.

But we’re sure you can do better with whatever place you call home.  RBA-only entries not required, but please confine your suggestions to Northern California locales.  (We do have SOME standards around here.)

120630_billboard_box

You can also nominate your entire region, such as “You Know You’re Really From Silicon Valley when you 1. See a billboard like this, 2. Understand it, and 3. Contact the advertiser for a better job.”

The best examples will be featured in a future weekend column, complete with random photos!  Your name or handle on the front page!

Okay… go!

 

Comments (12) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:02 am

April 22, 2012

Happy Birthday Dear Earth Day, Happy Birthday to You

120421-earth-dayToday is the 43rd Earth Day, so thank you Senator Gaylord Nelson (D-WI)!  How should Burbed celebrate Earth Day?  Let’s talk green houses. 

Hold your stones, I don’t mean glass houses.  I mean green, as in sustainable.  Green as in energy efficiency.  Green as in non-polluting, or at least less polluting.  And green as in whatever you left in the fridge is no longer before its time.

Berkeley architect attains enegy [sic] self-sufficiency in 1,800-square-foot home

Michael Freeze, BlockShopper.com, on SFGate.com
Sunday, April 15, 2012

120421-camelia-office

When Chris Parlette, an architect by trade, went green with his Berkeley home, holding back wasn’t an option.

Parlette took his 800-square-foot home, built in 1920, and turned it into a solar-powered building that spanned more than 1,800 square feet. He described his idea of green residential living as a way of pushing the envelope to energy efficiency.

"Being an architect, I spent of lot time thinking of what I wanted to do with other clients’ houses," Parlette said of his home, located at 1147 120421-camelia-kitchenCamelia St. "Gelling these architectural ideals I had, I wanted to put it into practice with this home with mainly solar and green ideas."

A 3.2-kilowatt photovoltaic solar electric system in the form of panels brings power to the home, and it actually provides more electricity than Parlette needs. Aside from the abundance of power, the home, he rightfully noted, also is aesthetically pleasing.

There’s glass aplenty in this Berkeley home, and you’ll definitely hit the solar panels if you toss rocks at the roof.

120421-camelia-outsideYou can see more about the home over on the agent’s website, and there are even more pictures if you head over to Redfin and admire the listing.  But rather than splat out the nitty gritty details ($799K), let’s just use this house to start a discussion on how energy efficient your own home is, or is not.

Newer homes are not necessarily greener, either.  Not only is a lot of new construction done with shoddy materials and plenty of corner-cutting, but isn’t it greener to move into an existing home rather than have a new one built for you?  There are over 1.1 million empty dwelling units in California per the 2010 Census.  That’s 8.1 percent of all California homes.

Are you considering any energy improvements such as better insulation or putting in solar panels?  Is your house a lean, clean, green machine or is it a giant carbon sink?

Discuss your home, or particularly good or bad examples of sustainable energy in homes, or how you’re celebrating Earth Day, or anything else you’d like in this Open Thread.

Comments (14) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:09 am

December 20, 2011

BLACK FRIDAY DEALS: Cheapest House in Berkeley!

DEALS, DEALS, DEALS, we’re going to travel all around the Bay Area to bring them to you!  Here’s something close to a major center of higher learning!  No, not Stanford, that would be the cheapest house in Palo Alto.  This is the cheapest house near Cal!

And since Cal’s a public school, you can pay a public house price!

1509 ASHBY Ave, Berkeley, CA 94703
$170,000

image

BEDS: 3
BATHS: 1
SQ. FT.: 754
$/SQ. FT.: $225
LOT SIZE: 2,516 Sq. Ft.
TYPE: Detached
STYLE: Bungalow
STORIES: 1
YEAR BUILT: 1922
COMMUNITY: Berkeley
COUNTY: Alameda
MLS#: 40498800
SOURCE: EBRD
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 384 days

Nice home but does need work. Public record shows 754 sq feet, and 1 bedroom but it has 3 bedrooms, so sq foot is larger.

image“It has 3 bedrooms, so sq foot is larger.”

You know, maybe someone subdivided that one bedroom into three and turned this into a super-cheap student rental.  Maybe the sq foot is not larger after all.  Maybe it is.  Maybe it’s a tesseract and the house is actually 25,000 sq foot.  Maybe it’s in some kind of non-Euclidian geometry zone where a sq foot is 25,000 sq inch.  (That may be the best explanation, as Euclid is on the northeast side of town.)

There’s no inside photos, so the only way you’re ever going to find out if sq foot is larger is to BUY THIS HOUSE RIGHT NOW.  Think of it as a lucky raffle ticket, only instead of possibly winning a new car, you could win a larger sq foot.

Comments (9) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 4:07 am

November 13, 2011

The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves: The Third Tier Zip Codes

What will it take to make the zip code series stop?  Lots and lots and lots of quality submissions!  So until you send in your best guest post EVEH, we’ll be running these wonderful lists and photos for the next few hundred Sundays or until we run out of data, by which time Forbes (if they’re still a going concern) will have the 2012 list ready.  But look on the bright side.  No more annoying maps like last year!

Today we look at all the Northern California entries in Forbes Most Expensive Zip Codes 2011: The Top 100 of the Bottom 400.

Previous entries in this year’s series:

Quick recap: Forbes messed up their data even worse than usual this year, plus many areas on last year’s list have completely disappeared without explanation.  We add in the comparison to last year’s rankings and find the “most expensive” house (if it’s findable) that Forbes mentions for each entry.  While Forbes doesn’t seem that interested in hearing from their readers (registration is required), Altos Research, who did the number-crunching, loves talking data.  They’ve responded to a couple of my concerns here.

Here we go, numbers 101-200, which are now under the Million and a Half Median!  How Low do we have to go to sink under a million?  Remember, this is the Third Tier, so Real Bay Area (RBA) bragging rights are gone (except for some exceptions).

#106: Alamo 94507

  • imageMedian Home Price: $1,396,000
  • Median Price Change: -7.8%
  • Average Days On Market: 200 134
  • Inventory: 134 102
  • Rank in 2010: #101 (-5 spots )
  • Most Expensive Home: $11.8 Million (322 Lark Lane)

This high-end (for the East Bay) location south of Walnut Creek is stuck in atop the third tier right where it belongs, just a few spots above Newport Beach.  This luxury home that looks more like an administration building kind of says it all.  Free architectural clue: It’s the windows that make this place a façade fail.

A new $13.8 million property has come on the market since the Forbes article ran, and it has a more traditional (and attractive) look, in the classic “Let’s build a French country estate in Contra Costa County” style.

Plenty more to enjoy after the break!  In fact, we promise the very next one is a Burbed favorite, so click on through.

(more…)

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

March 3, 2011

And the Top City to Meet a Nerd goes to…

Sorry to interrupt the horrible houses, but this is too good to pass up.  Match.com just listed their Top Ten Cities to Meet A Nerd.  Why don’t you all make your predictions which city is the absolute petaflops best place to land yourself your very own nerd, before finding out what they came up with?

Go on, we’re waiting.  We’ll have that list for you right after the break. Did we make it? Did we?

(more…)

Comments (17) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:03 am

October 31, 2010

The Most Expensive Zip Codes – The Series You Hate, The Cities You Loathe

Welcome to Part 5 of the least popular series ever on burbed, ever.  You’re welcome.  Forbes thanks you too, since we’re making fun of their mistakes when they wrote an article on the 500 most expensive zips, and hired Altos Research to do their data crunching.

Here are the first four parts for you masochists who can’t get enough numbers, maps, and boring fascinating statistics.

Today we’re going to cover the zips ranked 151-200.  But to reduce the complaining just a tiny bit, we’ll leave out anywhere that isn’t within reasonable commuting distance to the Googleplex.  Actually if I left out everywhere more than 10 miles from Google we’d only have four cities today, which might not be such a bad thing.

image #151 – 94306 Palo Alto

Median Home Price: $1,270,424
Median Price Change: 4%
Average Days On Market: 67
Inventory: 69 properties
Median Household Income: $82,314

At least this time we’re going to start much closer to where the jobs are.  This is a very important zip code.  If you remember this article, 94306 is the only zip code that’s left in the Real Bay Area (RBA) anymore, if you define RBA as the place where prices don’t go down.  So despite being the #2 zip in Palo Alto (94301 came in at #73 on the list), it’s #1 in the RBA.  It’s also last in the RBA, because none of the other zips qualified at all.

The real reason 94306 went up while prices everywhere else collapsed is because it’s the cheap section of Palo Alto.  This area, formerly the city of Mayfield, featured small homes on small lots which people now tear down and put in oversized mini-mansions that loom over the remaining bungalows.  Unfortunately, real estate statistics are oblivious to such trends, such as someone paying money to remodel or replace a house.  Instead you see crazy price increases and think the neighborhood is red-hot rather than full of sawdust and paint fumes.  If the sale price stats subtracted out the money paid for construction, there’s a good chance 94306 would have dropped as much or even more than the other zips around it.

#160 – 94549 Lafayette

Median Home Price: $1,225,110
Median Price Change: -4%
Average Days On Market: 88
Inventory: 126 properties
Median Household Income: $101,555
Ignored Because: In the East Bay

#170 – 94941 Mill Valley

Median Home Price: $1,185,211
Median Price Change: NA
Average Days On Market: 106
Inventory: 197 properties
Median Household Income: $91,283
Ignored Because:  Model for Hill Valley in Back to the Future

#171 – 94563 Orinda

Median Home Price: $1,184,089
Median Price Change: -5%
Average Days On Market: 101
Inventory: 101 properties
Median Household Income: $119,832
Ignored Because: In East Bay, even closer to Oakland than Lafayette

image #173 – 94303 Palo Alto

Median Home Price: $1,175,241
Median Price Change: -5%
Average Days On Market: 59
Inventory: 34 properties
Median Household Income: $64,256

It’s a pretty safe bet that the median home price hasn’t been contaminated by East Palo Alto (which shares this zip code), but take a look at that median household income.  It’s about $20,000 less than 94306, which has a fairly similar set of residents (in the Palo Alto part of the zip, anyway).

While the zip shares with the Oaklandesque East Palo Alto (hey, at least it brought you IKEA), it also has some nice areas in midtown as well as the West Marine on San Antonio Road.  (Remember, yachties spend like drunken sailors because they are drunken sailors.)

Since 94303 has just everything in the whole city that hugs US 101, that isn’t helping matters.  Some of the lower-cost Eichlers in South Palo Alto that get torn down and replaced by monster houses are in 94303, too.  Hope they put in triple-pane windows like they did at Gables End.

#175 – 94965 Sausalito

Median Home Price: $1,173,479
Median Price Change: -11%
Average Days On Market: 149
Inventory: 84 properties
Median Household Income: $76,808
Ignored Because: Has stupid song written about it

#179 – 94705 Berkeley

Median Home Price: $1,152,174
Median Price Change: -1%
Average Days On Market: 70
Inventory: 30 properties
Median Household Income: $68,112
Ignored Because: Shares zip code with Oakland, lousy state-funded college

image #184 – 94025 Menlo Park

Median Home Price: $1,134,946
Median Price Change: -9%
Average Days On Market: 88
Inventory: 179 properties
Median Household Income: $89,572

When you realize that this zip stretches from the foothills near I-280 all the way to the slums of Belle Haven, that median home price is rather impressive.  Not every city the size of Menlo Park has to make due with a single zip code.  Palo Alto has four distinct zips, and Redwood City has five.

And while a ranking of 184th most expensive zip code in the country is clearly not good enough for the RBA, perhaps Menlo Park could petition the
postal service to split the city into East and West postal zones, in hope of the western half aspiring to the RBA.

Nah, prices down 9%.  Forget it.

image #185 – 94062 Redwood City

Median Home Price: $1,133,462
Median Price Change: -5%
Average Days On Market: 97
Inventory: 111 properties
Median Household Income: $96,677

Ha ha!  What was I just talking about above?  Redwood City is nowhere as high on the snootiness index as Menlo Park, and yet by having several zip codes, they managed to get one of them to qualify for the Forbes list.  And this is the one zip that shares with Woodside, which is quite a bit higher in the rankings (#41). 

Oh, speaking of Woodside, you’ll never guess what Forbes says their median household income is.  That’s right. $96,677.  Nice going, Forbes.  That means the Woodside median should be higher and the Redwood city number lower, but you managed to miss yet another muck-up.

This part of Redwood City includes the Emerald Lake Hills area, which is a delightful mix of new construction and bizarre old places featuring old cars in the front yard.  You know how some places in Atherton look like Greenwich, Connecticut?  Well, Emerald Lake Hills looks like Appalachia where half the residents won the lottery.

#193 – 94515 Calistoga

Median Home Price: $1,102,625
Median Price Change: -17%
Average Days On Market: 140
Inventory: 67 properties
Median Household Income: $44,320
Why Ignored: Can’t take place named after bubble water seriously

#194 – 94610 Piedmont

Median Home Price: $1,094,846
Median Price Change: -51%
Average Days On Market: 64
Inventory: 7 properties
Median Household Income: $49,066
Why Ignored: Not only down 51%, but completely surrounded by Oakland.  Completely.  Rival zip 94611 is #74 on list.  I also call BS on Forbes for that median household income.  It’s probably mixed up with the part of OAKLAND this zip shares with.  Oakland, it’s full of Oakland.

image #199 – 95032 Los Gatos

Median Home Price: $1,079,587
Median Price Change: -1%
Average Days On Market: 111
Inventory: 183 properties
Median Household Income: $93,118

It’s the home of Netflix!  Woo-hoo!

The second-best zip in Los Gatos (95030 came in at #38), this zip features delightful estates in the foothills and higher, as well as ho-hum tract houses in the flats near freeways.

Now, take a look at that median home price, above.  It’s barely over a million smackeroos, and we’ve almost hit the 200 mark.  That means the next installment (if there is one) will feature houses in “expensive zip codes” that are under a million dollars dollars for a median price.

Think about that for a moment.  Where we live is so Special that we think of houses under a million dollars as not particularly worth commenting on.  At least most of the zips we’ve shown so far are above the average price for a house in this area.  But as we work our way down that list of 500 zips, we’re going to start to see some very ordinary places that are still more expensive than 44,000 other zip codes in the entire country.

Coming Soon: burbed guest editor forcibly retired for not stopping worst series ever, assailed by mob with pitchforks and torches.  Plus, Part 716 of Bing Maps Galore!

Comments (6) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:01 am

July 7, 2008

Berkeley house could use some rehab

Property Detail
Offered at $429,000
1552 ALCATRAZ AVE  BERKELEY, CA 94703

6BD/2BA former residential care facility located on Alcatraz in Berkeley. The bldg. may be able to be converted to a lrg (2195 sq ft) home or multi-units (chk w/city), or operated as a nursing or boarding home (its current zoning). Lrg. lot (6450 sq ft), bonus rms, 2-car garage. Needs rehab.

Believe it or not, this is actually the first home in Berkeley ever featured on Burbed. Thanks to Burbed reader mrbogue for this find (sorry it took me so long to post it!)

Burbed doesn’t know much about Berkeley, other than it’s the other pillar of the Smart People factory that the Bay Area is. So, help me out… is this a good deal or not? Could you rent this to 24 undergrads to turn a profit?

Comments (82) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:05 am