October 4, 2010

LIVE IN, UPDATE, REMODEL OR BUILD THE HOME OF YOUR DREAMS

Here’s another incredible listing from burbed reader sonarrat, who loves the combination of high price and low quality. Put them together and you have today’s feature!

1424 Grant Rd  Los Altos, CA 94024
$1,288,000

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Beds: 2
Baths: 1
Sq. Ft.: 816
$/Sq. Ft.: $1,578
Lot Size: 0.45 Acres
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Style: Cottage/Bungalow
Stories: 1
View: Neighborhood
Year Built: 1947
Community: South of El Monte
County: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81032687
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active 
On Redfin: 84 days

CHARMING 2BED/1BATH HOME WITH A LARGE LOT OF 19,500 SF * HARDWOOD FLOOR UNDER THE CARPETING * GREAT SCHOOL DISTRICT * WALKING DISTANCE TO SCHOOLS AND PARK * CLOSE TO SHOPING AREAS, EL CAMINO HOSPITAL, HWY 85/280 * EASY COMMUTE TO ANYWHERE IN THE SILICON VALLEY * THIS PROPERTY HAS LOT OF POTENTIAL:TO LIVE IN, UPDATE, REMODEL OR BUILD THE HOME OF YOUR DREAMS * YOU MUST SEE THIS PROPERTY INORDER TO APPRECIATE.

imageYes!  Another million-plus property with a listing in all caps!  Yes!  LOTS OF POTENTIAL.  Yes!  Busy street!  Yes!  Busy one-lane-each-way street with constant backups!  Yes!  No garage, just a one-car carport!  Yes, Yes, Yes!  YOU MUST SEE THIS PROPERTY INORDER TO APPRECIATE.  Because it’s just sitting there on Redfin, day after day, depreciating.  Take a look at how it’s depreciating while you don’t go see it.  It’s all your fault this lawn hasn’t been watered in 84 days!

Here’s another reason this property is a must-see, I mean a MUST SEE.  Yes, it’s on a busy street, but did you consider how the lot shape could mitigate that location fail? 

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All you have to do is bulldoze the scraper that’s only on the land to allow a home mortgage, instead of paying 50% down for an empty lot.  Then BUILD YOUR DREAM HOME in the extended area in back, far from the traffic,  And if you think just being on a busy street is bad, take a look at this.

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That street right across Grant from this property is Oak Avenue, and it’s used by a lot of savvy locals to avoid traffic further south (the preschool, the intersection with Fremont Avenue, the feeder to Foothill Expressway).  The large open area to the right is Mountain View High School.  Put those facts together and they spell “EASY COMMUTE TO ANYWHERE IN THE SILICON VALLEY provided you can ever get out of your driveway.”

If the economy ever gets any better you’re going to have an even longer wait, because the old Pumpkin Patch parcel, a little further north, is just waiting to add more homeowners (and car owners) to the traffic mix.  But that’s okay.  You shouldn’t time a major purchase like a house anyway.  Buy this property today and worry about the 53 new houses going in later.  If you’re really lucky the economy will splutter and the developer will go bankrupt.  Hey, it could happen!  Failing developers have kept downtown Sunnyvale retail-free for ten years!  Doesn’t a Los Altos address deserve just as much?

Comments (42) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:03 am






August 24, 2010

Lonely Spec House Needs Care, Decor, and Your Bank Account

Here’s a house that’s been on the market almost half a year.  Not only is nobody living in it now, nobody’s lived in it ever. burbed agents worked hard to find out why,

26462 Purissima Rd, Los Altos Hills, CA 94022
$8,888,000

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Beds: 6
Baths: 7.5
Sq. Ft.: 11,000
$/Sq. Ft.: $808
Lot Size: 2.03 Acres
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Stories: 2
Year Built: 2010
Community: Los Altos Hills
County: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81010120
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active
On Redfin: 173 days

This extraordinary new estate is adorned w/ Old World Roman architecture. Spanning 2 levels, the approx. 10,000+/- sq ft main house offers 4 bedrooms, 2 offices, theatre room, & fitness room. Guest house includes 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, & full kitchen. Other amenities include 7 fireplaces, waterfall, pool w/ spa, sauna, wine bar, optional elevator, & room for tennis court. Excellent Palo Alto schools

purissima1You know what Old World Roman architecture means, don’t you?  If you don’t, I’ll give you a hint.  Dat’s right!  MAWBUL CAHLLUMS.  I think this property might set a burbed record for its sheer columnosity.  These pictures were lovingly borrowed from the property website and should give you the idea.  Just look for the helpful red arrows so you can count how many columns are in each picture.

Go ahead, count the arrows.  I definitely agree this new estate is extraordinary, but then again, things can be extraordinary without necessarily being good.  Like extraordinary rendition.

purissima2purissima3

purissima4 purissima5

purissima6

purissima8

No, you aren’t seeing things.  There are columns in the MUD ROOM above.  Why a house in a semi-arid region like Northern California needs a mud room is something for you to ponder on while you check your bank account.

purissima9 purissima10

purissima11 purissima12

Had enough of that magnificent stairway?  Let’s check out the back yard.  Column WIN!  The structure in the center of the first picture below is the guest house.  Only 4 columns.  Not even as much as the decorative set of arches by the pool.

purissima14 purissima15

purissima16 purissima17

But… problems in paradise: there were cracks forming on the paving under that big balcony in that last picture above.  The house was finished this spring.  Should have used real marble!  That’s a waterfall in front of the guest house (columns foreground).  It was a great idea, but not for the reason you may think.

purissima18

That’s the guest house on the left (above).  So, you thought the mud room was a funny place to put marble columns?  How about taking Mike’s advice and put some in your kitchen!  Or your bathroom!  Oooh-la-la!

purissima7 purissima13

Unfortunately, those MAWBUL CAHLLUMS not only weren’t sold by Fred Armison personally, they aren’t even made of marble!  They’re hollow tubes of concrete!  You’d think for almost nine million dollars the builder would spring for the real stuff?

You’d also think for that many big ones they’d spend a little bit to stage this place properly?  You’d think wrong.  This is what you see when you view each bedroom:

purissima_empty_room

Nothing says, “I’ve got money and power” like a completely empty room.  And when I say empty, I mean there isn’t even a thumbtack on the inside of a closet door.  This house just reeks of empty, as you can see from playing Debbie Does Doric above.  There’s even empty spaces where the builder couldn’t figure out what to do with them, so he turned them into randomly shaped closets in unexpected places.  It’s like those tiny balconies on the second floor of the front of the house.  Those balconies were barely a foot deep.  So you have a room with no window, just a french door to a decorative balcony.

Oh yes, the waterfall.  The waterfall is there to deal with the reality of the lot:

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Not quite easy freeway access, but almost!  The waterfall is there so you won’t hear the gentle susurrations of Interstate 280.

In summary, I think this house is still empty because it looks like it was designed by someone who grew up poor and thinks this is how rich people live.  You know, as many faux marble columns as possible.  Faux!  That’s French!  That’s good, rich people speak French!  Heck, call it a faux mansion!

But there is one fantastic feature the agent forgot to mention.  Since nobody ever lived in this house, nobody ever died in it either.  It’s guaranteed to be ghost-free!

Comments (67) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:01 am

July 27, 2010

Location, Loocation, Looocation – Part II

In a previous post, I asked whether location was all there was to pricing real estate.  Looking at several homes on the same street, their position, and their list prices would help answer this question.  The first home was a small 2/1 in a “fantastic location” for just under a million.  Let’s see what’s on the same street but on the Other Side of that cruel boundary between sort of good and Real Good: Middlefield Road.

365 Lincoln Ave Palo Alto, CA 94301
$7,995,000

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Beds: 8
Baths: 4.5
Sq. Ft.: 5,505
$/Sq. Ft.:$1,452
Lot Size: 0.72 Acres
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Stories: 3
View: Neighborhood
Year Built: 1907
Community: Professorville
County: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81024865
Source: MLSListings
Status: Pending Without Release This listing is in escrow, past inspections and waiting for loan funding. "Without Release" indicates that the current buyer doesn’t need to sell a home to buy the new home.
On Redfin: 62 days

Special Opportunity to own one of Professorville’s largest lots & historic homes. Built in 1903 by Stanford Professor Leander Hoskins, this graceful craftsman style home is 5,511 sq ft & has 8 bedroooms & 4 bathroooms on a 31,500 sq ft lot. Fine example original craftsman woodwork. A broad inviting veranda welcomes visitors. Walk to Downtown & Stanford University. Please do not disturb occupants

That photo looks a bit… threatening.  Lights are on but it’s still daytime… but not for long!  The house seems like it’s crouching down low, preparing to spring onto your chest, knock you down, rip out your throat and force you to sign an eight million dollar real estate offer without contingencies.  And no eights in the price, yet!  But it’s a “Special Opportunity.”  It’s so special, the “bedroooms” and “bathroooms” are pre-stocked with extra haunting ooos.

It’s sooo special, that you’d better be able to handle the cognitive dissonance of a “broad inviting veranda” that “welcomes visitors,” except you’re not supposed to “disturb the occupants.”  Guess that broad inviting veranda is off-limits, eh?  But ask yourself, what kind of occupants would there be in an 8/4.5 near a major university?

Two words.  Frat house.  With extra ooos.  Take a look at the photo above, again.  Are you thinking what I’m thinking?

Vampire frat house.

While you put on your carbon-fiber neck protector, savor this lot.  Look how it takes up the space of more than four tall or two grande properties, and just lolls onto both Lincoln and Waverly like a well-played Tetris piece… without actually being on the corner!

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Heh.  I said loll.  And lolling is what you get to do when you live on the Better Side of Middlefield.  Too bad you can’t buy the Vampire Frat House, though.  It’s pending, and loooks like it was delisted a month ago, probably when someone walked in and said “Ooo!  8 bedroooms and 4 bathroooms!  Sooold!”  Loooks like you’re priced out forever, but the ooout-of-tooown sellers are making the city very happy.  The old tax valuation was (ooo!) $175,246.

To be fair, I went up and down the street loooking for unsightly vehicles, but this was the worst to be found.  The next worst was the Post Office truck.  But I do like how this photo shows the hired help gazing longingly at a house he wishes he could live in.

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You see, this is the Better Side (even if you have to leave garlic on each windowsill)!  The neighbors keep their cars tucked behind hedges and trees, so only the transient workers’ jalopies remain.  Next time, we’ll Return to the Dark Side. Be there or be a Tetris piece!

Comments (33) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:08 am

July 12, 2010

Florentine? Isn’t that a Restaurant on De Anza?

So, what should it be today, overpriced teardown or overpriced prestige listing?  That’s the beauty of the Real Bay Area, plenty of both!

5050 ALPINE Rd  Portola Valley, CA 94028
$20,000,000

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Beds: 7
Baths: 6
Sq. Ft.: 16,000
$/Sq. Ft.: $1,250
Lot Size: 20.93 Acres
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Stories: 3
View: Bay, Canyon, Valley, City Lights
Year Built: 1920
Community: Central Portola Valley
County: San Mateo
MLS#: 81032274
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active This listing is for sale and the sellers are accepting offers.
On Redfin: 5 days

One of the nation���s finest private residences, the hand-crafted Villa Lauriston is incomparable and unique. Commissioned in the 1920���s, this 20 room Florentine Villa features the finest historic materials and artifacts from San Francisco mansions and European palaces and churches. This architectural jewel is set in a private 28.4 acre park-like parcel, surrounded by 1,000 acres dedicated as open

image When you’re looking for a house and you find a listing that has a name instead of an address, you know you’re not in Milpitas anymore.  When it’s offered for sale by Sotheby’s International instead of RE/MAX, that’s a hint this is no crapbox in Campbell.  Why bother putting on pretty photos on Redfin?  Heck, they didn’t even care enough to remove those unprintable characters above.  So what?  This is an “incomparable and unique” Florentine Villa in Portola Valley.  A Florentine Villa!  Wow!  That means there’s spinach on top.

And this “incomparable and unique” property has “materials and artifacts from European palaces and churches”?  In some circumstances, that could be due to art theft, or looting.  I hope these were paid for, as last time I checked out European palaces and churches, there weren’t any price tags on the fine historic materials and artifacts, just a few knock-offs in the gift shop.  And they called the house an “architectural jewel” too!  Remember the diamond in the rough a couple of weeks ago?  What does that make this place, the Hope on the putting green?

Speaking of golf metaphors, there is no golf course on the grounds.  (Hmpf, even a spread in Cupertino had two holes for golf!)  But you do get tennis courts, a pool and spa, an historic pool (which means it isn’t usable and they didn’t feel like taking it out), and a reflecting pool.  Let the website tell you all about it (for twenty million dollars, this place had better have its own website):

The property includes the main residence, a cottage or caretaker’s house, four car garage, and a estate landscape featuring a one acre main meadow with dolphin fountain and two river god sculptures, reflecting pond, conservatory/sunken garden with fountain, old swimming pool/stage, two acre 600-vine vineyard, vegetable garden and cutting flower beds, tennis court, picnic area with arbor, natural waterfall and stream, bee hives, lavender/Italian cypress path, and much more.

image Lavender?  Forget it.  For $20 million they should have put in a danged saffron crocus field.  Saffron grows in Mediterranean climates (like this place is trying to pretend it’s from) and sells for up to $11,000 a kilogram.  If you had one of those, you could afford to put in some more MAWBUL CAWLUMS.

Be sure to spend some time perusing the property website.  I’m still trying to figure out where they store the “riding lawn mores” and what the heck a “Hebraic wood splitter” is.  Does it clip off the branch tip first?

Villa Lauriston is both a grand estate and an expression of one man’s personal vision.  The 13,000-square-foot, 20-room Villa and the surrounding acres of formal gardens, ponds and pools was the creation of the English-born entrepreneur Herbert Edward Law. Law was a businessman, a real estate magnate, a connoisseur and a man of the arts.  Law is perhaps best known for having purchased, with his brother, San Francisco’s Fairmont Hotel just days before the great earthquake of 1906.

Quick!  Follow in the footsteps of Herb Law!  Hurry up and buy this place so we can get The Big One over with.

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

July 6, 2010

Gracious Home with Classic Architecture

19730 Glen Una Dr, Saratoga CA
$7,800,000

GlenUna

(He) Honey, I think I found the perfect estate for us
(She) Do tell, pumpkin pie!
(He) Well first, it is fabulous, and it has gorgeous, breathtaking vistas
(She) Hmmm, sounds rather moisturizing!
(He) But wait, we can invite our car lover friends to enjoy the garage with us! The setting is private and gated.
(She) Say, this is a wet dream!
(He) A dream you can build! And once in the garage, we have license to divide and reproduce. Well worth the $1,656/sqf, if you ask me! But you don’t know the best part…
(She) Do tell, I am breathless
(He) Wait until you see the gracious existing home with classic architecture!
(She) … Pumpkin pie, is that a manger?

Comments (6) -- Posted by: DreamT @ 5:02 am

June 25, 2010

What is Dat? Da Playboy Mansion? It’s Ridiculous!

Today’s house is another in our continuing series of seven-digit properties, but the location is a bit of a surprise.  Let’s just say it’s not exactly Real Bay Area.  Thanks to burbed reader sonarrat for this find!

41752 Vargas Rd,  Fremont, CA 94539
$2,875,000

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Beds: 4
Baths: 3
Sq. Ft.: 5,237
$/Sq. Ft.: $549
Lot Size: 5 Acres
TYPE: Detached
STYLE: Colonial
STORIES: Tri-Level
VIEW: Greenbelt, Hills, Mountains, Panoramic, Valley
Year Built: 1996
Community: Mission
County: Alameda
MLS#: 40461526
Source: EBRD
Status: Active This listing is for sale and the sellers are accepting offers.
On Redfin: 70 days

Stand out Panoramic view, warm and inviting house for any family, huge and usable completely fenced lot with retreat house, gazebo and plenty parking. 2 parcels in one. Automatic gates. 1.2 miles to Mission High. Potential for livestock or horses. http://yefimraysbergrealtor. shutterfly. com

imageFinally!  An expensive house that knows how to say “I got money and power!”  That’s right!  MAWBUL CAWLUMS!  Elegant, stoidy, and boisting with class!  Put them in your living room!  Your kitchen!  Your bathroom!  Your bedroom!  Your driveway!  What you wanna bet the car pullin’ up to dat driveway is a Rolls-Royce?

Hey, lookit dis one!  It’s in da hallway!  How crazy is dat?  Who lives here, da Pope?  Dis place looks like a PALACE!

Imagine going up to your house and seein’ dese and goin’, "Oh, my God! I live here!"

And notice what’s in the dining room?  A Chandelier! Delicate, sparkling, and boisting with CLASS! Nothing says "I’m loaded!" like a CHANDELIER!

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Look! Are you kiddin’ me? If you had one of dese in your house, you could look like a millionaire! Like da King of England! Like da King of France, or somethin’.  We got one in every room in da house, and yes, dat does include da GARAGE!

If da King of France, or somethin’, lived in Fremont.

Imagine how crazy it would be to say I LIVE HERE!  It seems the agent had a little trouble visualizing it:

image image

imageThe panoramic view and the retreat house look a little bit blurry.  Maybe that’s from drinking all that wine under the chandelier, but look at DIS ONE!  Dere is no excuse for DIS ONE on da right being blurry! 

Notice something in dis room?  Dat’s right!  CAWLUM!

For 2.75 really really big ones, dey could make sure we can see da MAWBUL CAWLUM in da picture!  Ya think?

‘Cause nothin’ sez “I got money and power” like a photo of a MAWBUL CAWLUM.  You can stick dese dings EVERYWHERE!  Can you believe it?  It’s ridiculous!

Comments (11) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:02 am

June 16, 2010

Several Building Pads to choose from and Existing House

Yesterday’s listing was an unsuitable property in a challenging location.  Today’s house is within reasonable commute distance so there shouldn’t be as many complaints.  Also, more eights in the price today so it’s LUCKY.

21631 Hicks Rd  Los Gatos, CA 95032
$1,999,988

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BEDS: 3
BATHS: 2
SQ. FT.: 1,704
$/SQ. FT.: $1,174
LOT SIZE: 24.02 Acres
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STORIES: 2
VIEW: Mountains, Canyon, Lake, Valley, City Lights
YEAR BUILT: 1973
COMMUNITY: Los Gatos/Monte Sereno
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81025440
SOURCE: MLSListings
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 24 days

INCREDIBLE OPPORTUNITY! GATED ESTATE PROPERTY ON NEARLY 25 ACRES WITH SWEEPING VIEWS AND LOS GATOS SCHOOLS! SEVERAL BUILDING PADS TO CHOOSE FROM AND EXISITNG HOUSE. .. NEEDS TLC BUT PERFECT FOR TEMPORARY RESIDENCE DURING CONSTRUCTION, OR TO USE FOR “REMODEL” PROJECT, OR TO OBTAIN SFR FINANCING. .. ALL WITH VIEWS! GREAT POTENTIAL FOR THE BUYER WITH VISION AND THAT WANTS PRIVACY. VALUE IS IN THE LAND.

Another description in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS.  Seems URGENT.  Let’s READ IT before REDFIN starts making sure the AGENTS know how to USE a COMPUTER KEYBOARD PROPERLY before POSTING A LISTING.

This seems straightforward enough.  There’s a rather ugly, boring, run-of-the-mill house that would go for about a hundred thousand in flyover country and about three hundred thousand in the non-RBA (Real Bay Area) part of San Jose.  But these out-of-state greedheads want two million dollars for it because it’s GATED.  And they think they’re going to get it because while they say they’re selling this (ugly, boring, overpriced) house, they’re really selling 24 acres of land with an ugly, boring, overpriced house that just happens to be on one of them.  This house can’t be too Special or we’d get to see a photo or two inside.  Maybe it’s all one giant open space when you walk through the front door?

In a way, they’re being honest about it. VALUE IS IN THE LAND = House is worthless, but you can’t finance this place if we tear it down.  They admitted it was still standing TO OBTAIN FINANCING.  And you could use this PERFECT FOR TEMPORARY RESIDENCE DURING CONSTRUCTION.

So, what happened between 1998, when the owners paid $275,000 for this place, and now? The wishing price is almost eight times higher!  Doesn’t RBA property only double in ten years?  Why have they tried to sell this place once a year, every year since 2004?

But there’s a bit of a mystery to this place.  Why are there SEVERAL BUILDING PADS TO CHOOSE FROM?  Did they hire several different contractors and fire each one of them before they built anything permanent? Or did they intend to invite NASA to move in when they lose Moffett Field,?  How many BUILDING PADS is SEVERAL, anyway?  The Redfin description doesn’t say, but this older listing says that not only has the house gotten 300 sf smaller, there used to be POTENTIAL FOR 8 BUILDING SITES.  And something about a BARN.  A BARN!  There’s nothing about a BARN in the current listing!  No wonder they reduced the price from last year’s $2,288,000!  If only they’d added some more eights.

And why did they take the TourFactory Video down?  Is there something on those BULDING PADS they don’t want us to see?  Maybe it’s the collapsed 300 sf part of the house.

Are you a BUYER WITH VISION?  Do you WANT PRIVACY?  Do you have a broom for some SWEEPING VIEWS?  There’s probably a fascinating backstory to all those abandoned BUILDING PADS, and it can be yours for just two million dollars.

Comments (13) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:01 am

June 11, 2010

Contractors Special? More Like Contractors Special Olympiad

Today’s house, courtesy of burbed reader VC, reminds us that only the Best of the Best can make it in Silicon Valley.  Why should only software developers and chip designers have all the fun of healthy cut-throat competition and failure of market acceptance?  Builders need a challenge too. Anyone can throw up McMansions on flat land with city services already installed.  But this property is for only the most able, willing, daring, and liquid of contractors.  How would you like to live the dream?

23633 Schulties Road, Los Gatos Mtns 95033
$499,000

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BEDS: 2
BATHS: 1
SQ. FT.: 895
$/SQ. FT.: $553
LOT SIZE: 7.8 Acres
PROPERTY TYPE:  Detached Single Family
STORIES: 1
VIEW: Canyon, Valley
YEAR BUILT: 1960
COMMUNITY: Los Gatos Mountains
COUNTY: Santa Cruz
MLS#: 80947132
SOURCE: MLSListings
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 251 days

Very nice piece of property with over 7 acres and Los Gatos Schools. This is a real contractor special, but wil a great upside potental. Current house is a small 2 bedroom home which could be fixed up nicely. Second home on property needs to be moved, then it would be a nice 3/2 with approximately 1900 sq. ft. The lot next door is also available. Total 13 acres for around 600K, great deal!!

You can’t go wrong on a place “wil a great upside potental,” can you?  Find out just how much work it is to fix up the current house!  It’s a small 2 bedroom home which could be fixed up nicely!  In fact it’s so small, part of the challenge is finding it in the picture above.  Once you do, see how nicely you can fix it up!  The sky’s the limit, along with your bank account.

But you might object, “What’s the excitement in remodeling a little cottage in the woods?”  Prefer a large 3/2 with approximately 1900 sq. ft.?  That second home is here somewhere on property, and all you have to do is move it.  And maybe fix it up at little.  Or a lot.  Perhaps once you do it expands, and it “would be a nice 3/2?”  That should be a quick and easy project, since there are no walls or exteriors to get in the way of the 16 forklifts you’re going to need.image

And once you remove all that scaffolding, it will move even quicker!  Maybe you can borrow the wheels off the pickup, which looks more stable than the structure behind it.

Wondering why the second home had to be moved?  Check out that geologic/flood report!  Meanwhile, a little birdie told me there’s a stipulation with Santa Cruz County to do some grading and retaining wall work.  I hear “some” could mean two hundred thousand worth, but that’s only a rumor.  Some could also mean zero!  Just how much upslope can a little driveway have?

image Now, this project is going to keep you driving to Home Depot a few thousand times, so you’d best buy in bulk.  In fact, the seller is way ahead of you, and is willing to supersize the deal by adding in the lot next door!  And just like those 167 Tool Specials, most of them are drill bits in sizes you already own or socket sets in shapes you don’t need.  In this case, the bonus 6 acre parcel has no improvements, no permits, can’t be subdivided, and doesn’t have a well, sewer line, or septic tank.  But it’s only “around $600K” for both!  If you enjoy bargaining, this is even more fun than buying 60 square feet of granite countertop and making sure it all matches.

Remember, this property thinks it can take you.  Are you going to let it get away with that?

Comments (4) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:02 am

June 2, 2010

THIS GEM IS PROOF YOU CAN PLAY HARD AT HOME DURING A FORECLOSURE

Here’s a guest post from madhaus, and it was burbed reader Herve who found this amazing listing!  Thanks, Herve!

15070 MONTEBELLO Rd Cupertino, CA 95014
$2,749,000

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BEDS: 5
BATHS: 5
SQ. FT.: 4,580
$/SQ. FT.: $600
LOT SIZE: 8.69 Acres
PROPERTY TYPE: Attached Single Family
STYLE: Mediterranean
STORIES: 2
VIEW: Mountains, Valley, City Lights
YEAR BUILT: 1973
COMMUNITY: Cupertino
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81023972
SOURCE: MLSListings
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 11 days

STUNNING ESTATE COMPLETELY REMODELED IN CUPERTINO FOOTHILLS WITH SPECTACULAR VIEWS AT EVERY TURN. SITUATED ON 8.69FLAT OAK STUDDED ACRES. THIS PROPERTY IS LOCATED BETWEEN RIDGE VINEYARDS AND PICCHETTI WINERY. MAIN HOUSE OF 4,580SF IS COMPLEMENTED WITH 3 GUEST HOMES WITH THE SAME HIGH-QUALITY WORKMANSHIP THROUGHOUT. THE ONLY WAY TO TRULY APPRECIATE THE TRUE SPLENDOR OF THIS ESTATE IS TO VISIT.

There are two interesting things about this luxurious Cupertino mountain listing.  First, any agent who still YELLS AT ME IN ALL-CAPS deserves to have their STUNNING ESTATE featured on burbed.  And second, it might be a multimegamillion dollar property, but TO TRULY APPRECIATE THE TRUE SPLENDOR OF THIS ESTATE, it’s also a short sale!

image Yes, it’s not every day that a 5 bedroom, 5 bath estate on 8 acres with 3 additional guest houses goes into foreclosure.  The seller is TRULY motivated, at least.  Just APPRECIATE THE TRUE SPLENDOR:

Financial Information

  • Lease Option
  • All Cash or Conventional
  • Seller May Carry 1st
  • Seller May Share Equity
  • Conventional Loan

You can lease now and think about buying later!  Or you can get a loan from the seller (yes, the same one who couldn’t keep current with his own payments)!  TRULY!  Heck, the seller needs money so badly, you can buy some of the STUNNING ESTATE if you can’t afford $2.749M.  (Although with four separate homes amidst this TRUE SPLENDOR, why don’t you simply REFINANCE ONE OF YOUR OTHER PROPERTIES AND PAY CASH?)

And this homeloaner certainly knows about creative financing!  TRULY!  When he bought the STUNNING ESTATE in 2004, he got a million dollar variable first mortgage from a bank, and an $800K fixed second mortgage from the previous sellers!  Thing is, the place cost $1.9M.  5% down?  Now that’s leverage!  So how did the owner of this TRULY STUNNING ESTATE use the leverage?  Looks like he tried to sell it early and often!

Property History for 15070 Montebello Road

Date Event Price Source
May 14,2010 Listed $2,749,000 MLSListings #81023972
Apr 10,2009 Delisted Inactive MLSListings #3
Nov 21, 2008 Price Changed $3,900,000 CupertinoHousingBlog
Oct 14, 2008 Listed Inactive MLSListings #3
Nov 13, 2006 Delisted Inactive MLSListings #2
Jul 10, 2006 Listed 14756490 (price reduced $500K)
Jun 05, 2006 Delisted Inactive MLSListings #1
Jun 01, 2006 Listed Inactive MLSListings #1
Jul 02, 2004 Sold (Public Records) $1,900,000 Public Records

When the STUNNING ESTATE was listed in 2006 (for the second time, mind you), here’s what the seller had to say:

Highlights
  • Great haven as institutional retreat, or private agricultural/recreational resort
  • Perfect as multi-family compound or vacation reunion getaway
  • Price reduced over $500,000!
  • Prime location in Silicon Valley
  • Extremely rare combination of acreage, structures, landscape, view and MOSTLY FLAT LAND!
  • Convenient option to continue current live-in caretaker services
Description

Easily one of Silicon Valley’s most unique and spectacular properties, this gem is proof that you can play hard at home, yet live in total seclusion and still be only 25 minutes driving distance from downtown San Jose. Nestled between award-winning wineries, this amazing 8.69 mostly flat acre compound is like owning your own little mountain village within a storybook forest setting.

[Read this rest here.]

imageRedfin shows a picture of the golf course (TWO holes!) but didn’t say anything about the bocce or basketball facilities, let alone a mirrored gym plus a rec center with full kitchen.  And a go-kart track!  So that’s what “Arena” meant, although most “little mountain villages” manage just fine without an arena for yodeling competitions.

So why did the seller remodel the main house and build so much on the MOSTLY FLAT LAND?  Maybe it’s because he’s a General Contractor!  And a Tile and Stone Contractor!  And just to be safe, another General Contractor!  TRULY, when all you have is a hammer and tiles and stone, everything looks like it needs a nail and more tiles and stone to get THE SAME HIGH-QUALITY WORKMANSHIP THROUGHOUT.  TRULY.

Alas, not only has the price come down since the housing market peaked, but so has the language.  In 2006, we got full sentences as well as a fully equipped rec center.  Now that this “gem” is in foreclosure, the bank won’t even let them spring for lower-case letters on Redfin.

But just one little caveat about this TRULY STUNNING ESTATE with the TRUE SPLENDOR.  Not only will you have to negotiate with the bank for “lender approval” of a short sale, it looks like you’ll also have to “negotiate possession” with the homeloaner.  With all those bedrooms on the grounds, at least your “negotiating” team can stay on-site in total seclusion while you “work out” your “differences” in the arena. TRULY.

Comments (46) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:02 am

May 22, 2010

f u cn rd ths u cn lrn abbrvs & gt a gd jb as a rltrd

And now for something completely different… a guest post from madhaus.

17259 DEER PARK Rd  Los Gatos, CA 95032
$1,989,000

17259 DEER PARK Rd, Los Gatos, CA 95032 - Deer Park

BEDS: 4
BATHS: 3.5
SQ. FT.: 3,800
$/SQ. FT.: $523
LOT SIZE: 2.96 Acres
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Mediterranean
STORIES: Bi/Split Level
VIEW: Mountains, Canyon
YEAR BUILT: 1978
COMMUNITY: Los Gatos/Monte Sereno
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 80950749
SOURCE: MLSListings
STATUS: Active 
ON REDFIN: 207 days

Private setting, updated custom home, redone/last 8-9 yrs. Mstr. bedrm & ba redone 2007.Excellent flr pln. Lrge grt rm, F. R. & D. R. ,granite slab in eat-in kit, wd cab, gas stve. Lge utility rm. Big lot size of 2.96 ac w/ built-in pool/spa & fenced yrd. Gate entry w/ lg circular drvwy. Gd lndscping, R. V. boat area/slab w/ power. 2nd side of grge used as offce. Garage can be rtrnd to 3 car garage.

omg wtf?  Does Coldwell Banker now want all home descriptions to fit into one Tweet or SMS?  Are we going back to per-word classified rates? You’d think for almost two million that the agent would meet his well-heeled buyers halfway and not make them guess what some of those abbreviations stand for.

wolfdogFirst things first: Prce Rducd.  Listed for $2.489M in October 2009, dropped $100K in January and $400K more in May.  Lge lot, lge drp!  Now why would a nice home in the hills have trouble selling?  Maybe it’s because during the open house, there’s a welcoming committee.  

Everyone loves dogs!  Everyone!  Just ask the agent!  Everyone loves dogs!  And if you don’t love dogs, then, who cares, because evry1 <3s dgs!  These dogs are loved so much, their owners wouldn’t dream of locking them up while a bunch of strangers tramp through their home.  And nothing says “This could be my house” like being greeted by wolf hybrids in the driveway.  Unleashed wolf hybrids.  If a couple of these don’t scare away the buyers, there’s always the vicious little yappers caged in the laundry room!  This is a whole new level on Special.  If you aren’t brave enough to get out of your car, you don’t deserve to own ths hse.

Do you like 3-car grges?  Do you want one?  You can have one on this property!  Simply gut the offce that’s using up most of it!  It’s all about choice!  I mean chce.

Comments (16) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:00 am