November 28, 2011


Just because we’re looking at the best possible DEALS doesn’t mean we can’t look at homes all over the price map.  For example, when you hear about places with asking prices over a million and a half, you’re thinking they’ve got to be in the Real Bay Area.  But here on Burbed, we know that $1.5 million dollar homes can be found anywhere, because that’s what it means to have a Free Market!  You are Free to ask any price you choose for your house, and everyone else is Free to tell you what they think of your brilliant idea.

Thanks very much to Burbed reader Tracy for this find in the beautiful Berryessa bivouac.

15292 CAMELOT Dr, San Jose, CA 95132


BATHS: 5.5
SQ. FT.: 4,787
$/SQ. FT.: $332
LOT SIZE: 1.21 Acres
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
COMMUNITY: Berryessa
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81147474
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 13 days


imageThis house may not have a LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION in one of the Five Hundred Most Expensive Zip Codes, but it has something even better.  Dat’s right!  Mawbul Kawlums!

Too bad this house is on Camelot Drive.  With all these columns it really ought to be on Great Caesar’s Ghost Circle, or perhaps Cassius Clay Court.  Or maybe Camelot drive symbolizes the power of wishing prices.  But then you have to worry about Mordred plotting against you behind the FULL SIZE TENNIS COURT HOLLYWOOD CIRCULAR DRIVEWAY.



And if you are wondering about the agent’s interesting approach toward the English language, Tracy sent me the listing copy from when the home was on the market before.  (And it’s been listed three other times.  According to Zillow the previous listing was for $1,788,950.)

Welcome to this elegant custom-built mansion. The immense formal entry will open to a colossal foyer which embraces any large social gatherings. A Sierra Heights Estate with balconies that overlook the spectacular city light, mountain, and valley views. Many Elegant Upgrades throughout the floor plan reveals the premium value of this home. 4-CAR Garage and many GUESS PARKING SPACES.

I don’t know, how many parking spaces would that be?  Lucky eight?

Comments (6) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:08 am

November 15, 2011

Theory of Relativity in Real Estate

Today we’re taking a trip to the upscale community of Saratoga, thanks to Burbed reader REshrink.  The initial write-up was originally shared on, but REshrink thought they’d be perfect for Burbed.  Add in a visit at the Open House and we hope you agree that these pricey Eichlers make for a great Guest Post.

Neither of these Saratoga listings had sold when this column was sent in, now both are pending!  Be sure to place your bets on their selling prices.  And now, please give REshrink a big, warm Real Bay Area welcome to today’s front page.

19201 SHUBERT Dr, Saratoga, CA 95070


SQ. FT.: 2,840
$/SQ. FT.: $493
LOT SIZE: 0.32 Acres
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Contemporary
VIEW: Neighborhood
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81141806
STATUS: Pending Without Release
ON REDFIN: 41 days

Gorgeous Atrium Model Eichler Home on Corner Lot! * 4bds/4.5bths, Plus Office & Workshop * Spacious Living & Dining Area w. Vaulted Natural Beam Ceilings, Tile Flrs * Gourmet Kitchen w. Large Island, Gas Stove & Lots of Counter & Cabinet Space * Open Family Room w. Fireplace * Master Suite w. Private Courtyard * Indoor Pool w. Solar * Foam Roof * Remodeled Baths * Indoor Laundry * Great Location & Saratoga Schools!

imageJust when you are trying to think if this house has been priced accurately at $1,399,000 (last sold in 2004 for 1.1 M) , a similar listing shows up with a price tag of $1,649,000 (19168 De Havilland Drive, pictured at left, last sold in 2003 for $1,488,000).

Is it a coincidence that these two homes are “perpendicularly” next to each other and have similar architectural styles?

Hmmm…why would an agent advise the owners of De Havilland to bring their home in market at a time when a similar property next door is priced approximately $250K lower. I acknowledge that the backyard of Schubert abuts a busy street, but $250K more, really. I will never pay $5.99/lb for tomatoes in Whole Foods if I know they are selling for $3.99/lb in Trader’s Joe next door. I know, I know…it is a bad analogy. After all, you don’t need a jumbo loan to buy tomatoes.


Moreover, the Schubert property came to the market only 18 days ago. Therefore, it is not like it has been sitting for 6 months and the owners at De Havilland got tired and decided to list their home a month before the holiday season, A.K.A. slow-real-estate season.

imageWhat kind of business decision goes in putting a home in the market for a price tag that is significantly higher than the neighboring home? If you read carefully at the listings for both homes, you will find the answer. Both these homes have something more in common; they have the same listing agent. It seems the property on Schubert, which now looks like a bargain at $1,399,000, is being marketed at the expense of De Havilland. So, buyers don’t delay or you will miss the deal at Schubert; that is if you can get past the bidding war in an attempt to get it for at least $1.5M, which is still $150K lower than the competition.

Any guesses what will happen to the pricing of De Havilland after Schubert is sold? Just go back to the owner of De Havilland and tell them that they should lower the price to whatever-Schubert-sold-for.

Am I the only one who wants to sympathize with the owners of De Havilland property?

imageAddendum: I ended up going to the open house for the Schubert property. The agent proudly explained the updates the current owner made in the kitchen. The cabinets are indeed new but they are Ikea Adel. Please don’t get me wrong as I am a big fan of Ikea, but an increase of $300K since the last sale ($1.1M in 2004) is hard to explain by Ikea cabinets. As for the appliances, the refrigerator does not make ice, and the garbage disposal has been disconnected as it keeps getting clogged. Besides, the only fireplace in the house is now non-functional.

imageAlso worth mentioning, the whole house smelled of Chlorine (from the indoor swimming pool). This stands in contrast to the real estate agent’s false claim about the house having a salt water pool.  The agent tried to mask the cheap-motel-chlorine-swimming-pool-smell by baking garlic-chicken in the oven during the open house. May be, the agent should have followed the traditional route of baking cookies. While the smell of Chlorine was enough to trigger my migraine, I found a few people leaving right away as the smell of garlic was nauseating.

imageSo, here is a wonderful Ikealer, I mean an Eichler for you to buy for $1,399,000 only. As most people might know, the attraction of any Eichler is their architectural philosophy of bringing outside indoors, Well, this purpose has been well achieved in this particular Eichler. The outside noise from Cox Ave can be heard inside the home in its full glory.


Comments (8) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:02 am

November 14, 2011

This listing is under water. Literally.

Today’s featured listing is thanks to new Burbed reader wahnny, who brings us a delightful first Guest Post from an infrequent Burbed destination.  Let’s hitch up the trailer, because we’re going for a drive down south, and we’re going to be using the boat ramp!

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

14400 UVAS Rd, Morgan Hill, CA 95037


SQ. FT.: 4,480
$/SQ. FT.: $536
LOT SIZE: 9.45 Acres
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Ranch
VIEW: Lake
COMMUNITY: Morgan Hill/Gilroy/San Martin
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81143867
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 27 days

Private and luxurious peninsula estate with breathtaking views of Uvas Reservoir on 9.45 Acres property is magnificent and transformational. With a 5 bedroom house, 2 bedroom guest house, triple carport, shop, and a barn and 6+ acres of arable land, this property has much to offer. This home is surrounded by water front on 3 sides, a 626 acre County Park and 1,165 acres of Open Space Preserve land


I’m a newcomer to (thanks to the link by madhaus on redfin forum), and thought this might be an interesting article to share:

I recently saw a unique property for sale in Llagas-Uvas area of southwest Santa Clara County.

Although the location of this property may be outside the RBA, its pricing doesn’t seem to be.  Aside from being adjacent to a county park (and its parking lot, with frequent weekend traffic), what makes this property extra “special” is the lakefront views … except during the rainy season, when over a third of the property may be underwater (notice the partially submerged trees), or during the summer season, when the water levels go down (sometimes way down … it’s a reservoir after all … see Google Earth image history).

14400 uvas 070614400 uvas 1105

Images from Google Earth of 14400 Uvas Road. Left taken on 5/31/2007.  Right taken on 6/19/2011. 

Comments (17) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:09 am

November 8, 2011

Larry Unloads His Other Woodside Listing

We’ve spent too much time talking about Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg, so it’s time to show Larry Ellison a little Burbed love.  And why not, when you could be the next owner of this Woodside home he’s no longer using, since he’s too busy buying up every piece of lakefront property on Tahoe he can find.


1 TURKEY FARM Ln, Woodside, CA 94062


BATHS: 3.5
SQ. FT.: 5,850
$/SQ. FT.: $3,248
LOT SIZE: 3.4 Acres
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Colonial
VIEW: Mountains, Neighborhood
COMMUNITY: Central Woodside
COUNTY: San Mateo
MLS#: 81131446
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 109 days

Exclusive equestrian estate comprised of 2 parcels for total 6.88 acres – 1 Turkey Farm Lane & 125 Roberta. Private & secluded at the end of a cul-de-sac 1 Turkey Farm–Classic colonial 4bd/3.5ba home, pool house, pond-like pool with elevated spa, 125 Roberta–1bd/1ba guesthouse, beach volley ball court, ponds Equestrian facilities 5-stall barn on each property Western Hill View Woodside Elementary

I deliberately misled you by putting the last picture up on the Redfin overview shot.  That’s the guesthouse, or the equestrian facilities, or maybe both.  I used that shot because I thought Burbed readers really enjoy seeing the house in KawlumVision.


And if that isn’t worth $23 million $19 million, I don’t know what is.  Although it’s too bad you won’t have Larry as a neighbor if you buy here.  His Japanese castle is almost a mile away.  Neighbors love having Larry next door since he picks fights about things like tree heights and solves the problem by buying your house for $40 million.

Comments (10) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:06 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 27, 2011

Los Gatos home with 45% negative equity, great for family and kids

Thanks very much to Burbed reader nomadic for this rather intriguing high-price, low-photo listing in Los Gatos!


14880 LAS FLORES Ln, Los Gatos, CA 95032


SQ. FT.: 4,428
$/SQ. FT.: $497
LOT SIZE: 1 Acre
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Mediterranean
VIEW: Mountains, Neighborhood
COMMUNITY: Los Gatos/Monte Sereno
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81141712
STATUS: Pending With Release
ON REDFIN: 4 days

country location four bedrooms and four baths three car garage huge yard great for family and kids

Here’s why nomadic thought you’d like to see this house:

  • Weird history
  • $3.4M in loans
  • Short sale listed at $2.2M
  • Last “sold” in 2010 for $600k

Let’s have a look at that history.


What? No previous foreclosures?  No “not an arms-length transaction”? The seller isn’t a licensed real estate agent?  It wasn’t sold in 2006 for twice the asking price?  The Zillow history makes the above look a little stranger.  Note the July, 2010 sale.


And $3.4 million in loans on the house sounds like something straight from Irvine Housing Blog.  But here’s something you won’t see on IHB:


Yes, that’s this house in Google Streetview plus Burbed KawlumVision.  No wonder the place went pending in only 4 days.  I’m sure the bank will rush that offer right on through.

Comments (13) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:10 am

October 25, 2011

A Tour de Force? This is at least a Tour de Sixce

Thanks very much to Burbed reader Overheard in San Carlos for this find nowhere near San Carlos.  Even though this was sent in a couple of months ago, it’s still on the market.  If you read Saturday’s piece on Astonishing Homes, that fact won’t astonish you in the least.

If you’re asking yourself why it took a couple of months to run this listing, then you’ll realize there are many great submissions to choose from.  At some point we many need to start running houses on weekends, which would be a terrible shame.  That would mean no more zip code articles, ever again, and they were such a reader favorite!

So, on to today’s featured home in Los Altos Hills!


11580 OLD RANCH Rd, Los Altos Hills, CA 94024



SQ. FT.: 7,825
$/SQ. FT.: $875
LOT SIZE: 1 Acre
PROPERTY TYPE: Attached Single Family
STYLE: Contemporary
VIEW: Green Belt, Neighborhood
COMMUNITY: Los Altos Hills
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81134148
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 79 days

Serenity, Privacy, Seclusion. This Komo Construction Contemporary masterpiece provides an incredibly spacious floor plan of approx. 7,825 sq. ft. plus approx. 1024 sq. ft. bonus room, up to 25 ft. soaring ceilings. The lush resort style backyard, complete with infinity pool and relaxing spa, is perfect for entertaining and quiet enjoyment.

Masterpiece, spacious floor plan, soaring ceilings, lush resort, perfect for entertaining, quiet enjoyment. That’s about five too many real estate clichés for one listing, and we haven’t even gotten to the title they’ve given the virtual tour: “A Tour de Force of Contemporary Design.”

I hope you know what “Contemporary Design” means.  That’s right.  NO MAWBUL KAWLUMS.  It also means “This place is perfect for Unhappy Hipsters captions.”  Here’s a couple of my suggestions.


The captive dwarf cypress glared at the locked cell door while the bench covers continued their mockery.


The fern reported every door barred on the second floor, while the electrified fence prevented a leap to the possibility of freedom below.

Many more pictures await you, so have at it!  Meanwhile, watch the seller try to explain the asking price with that ZEstimate of $2.4 million.  Then it’s a Tour de Twoce.

Comments (7) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:02 am

October 24, 2011

Please show with extreme caution

We’ve spent far too long with overpriced real estate in Google’s back yard.

Let’s return to the other City By the Bay (San Pablo Bay), and see what bargains are to be had in Vallejo real estate.  Thanks very much to Burbed reader Scott for sending in today’s featured house.


1115 Lewis Ave, Vallejo, CA 94591


SQ. FT.: 1,860
$/SQ. FT.: $6
LOT SIZE: 0.28 Acres
PROPERTY TYPE: Residential, Detached, Single Family
COUNTY: Solano
MLS#: 21127170
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 5 days

This property has been partially burned and is not habitable. No roof, electrical or plumbing. Please show with extreme caution.

imageIf you haven’t already read Michael Lewis’ “California and Bust,” on how our state and municipal budgets are doing in today’s economy, I strongly recommend it to you.  He closes his look at Golden State finances with a look at the bankrupt city of Vallejo.  To say city services have been cut would be like describing strip-mining as thinning.  In his meeting with City Manager Phil Batchelor, Lewis mentions there is one other employee; when she takes a break she has to lock up the entire office because nobody else is there.

“Do you know that some cities actually pave their streets?” says Batchelor. “That’s not here.”

Maybe that explains why, if the value is in the quarter acre of land, that the value barely heads into five figures.  At these fire sale prices, you can rebuild or scrape it down!  Heck, you can rebuild AND scrape it down, then build something else! So many possibilities!


Comments (17) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:02 am

October 22, 2011

Silicon Valley Luxury Real Estate’s Most Astonishing Webpage Ever

I read a lot of real estate sites in order to bring you Burbed-worthy features.  Recently, I found an agent’s special “Astonishing Homes” page that looked absolutely scrumptious.  Plenty of seven and even eight-figure high-end properties on acres of land with great schools.

Now I know absolutely nothing about this particular agent, but all these homes were on MLS. Member agents can detail any MLS listings in their region, and Sophia Delacotte put together a webpage with nicer luxury properties for people to get some real estate pr0n action.  But something was amiss when I took a closer look at the actual listings.


With ten different houses, that’s ten front facades and ten sets of details.  I have all that waiting for you inside, but before you join me, make your prediction how many of these ten estate properties:

  • Sold (pending within 7 days)
  • Sold (pending within 30 days)
  • Sold in a longer timeframe
  • Are still active on MLS
  • Had their listing withdrawn
  • Had a price reduction at some point

For “bunus” yucks, guess how many of these ten estate homes have marble columns.

Got your guesses ready?  Good.  Now, let’s see these Astonishing Homes and find out if you’re as Astonished as I was.


Comments (17) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:06 am